Wednesday, December 29, 2010


When I was in the 10th grade, I had a world history teacher that taught me about new years resolutions. He said ... don't make them! Yes, January 1 is a great time to reevaluate your life and priorities and make a change. BUT ... how many new years resolutions are actually kept. I mean there is a reason the gym is packed in January and empty by March! He told us instead to make a list of things that we want to accomplish in the year. A massive "TO DO" list. THEN, work as hard as we can to accomplish them. It could be anything from doing something nice to someone else to reading a book, hiking a mountain, or going to the temple.

The point is, by making a list of things you check off, if you don't do it one day, you haven't broken your resolutions. PLUS, you have a list of activities that you like/want to do to keep your mind and actions focused for the year.

I have decided that each month I would like to make up a list of 15 to 20 things that I need to accomplish for the month. I guess I'm making a resolution to do this .... I hope it will last. There are a lot of things I want done, and I know that if I don't focus on them, I will be no further along than I am now. I will keep this list on the sidebar of my blog, and hopefully comment, or blog, when I have completed my tasks.

SO ... Here are January's "resolutions:
1) Go to the doctor and get help with my infertility problem
2) Be under 175 pounds (SO that I can earn my body bugg!)
3) Try a new style of exercise
4) Buy the food of the person behind me in the fast food (OR SUBWAY) lane.
5) Gut my master bathroom
6) Finish my Spiral Quilt
7) Send someone a gift who might need it
8) Read Harry Potter 1 and watch the corresponding movie
9) Try a new food that I think I currently don't like
10) Write a thank you note to someone that has served me
11) Sift Through Jace's toys -- put away old -- throw out lame -- organize good!
12) Scrapbook Jace's baby pictures ... birth to one month!
13) Drink my body weight in water (that's just over 21 gallons)
14) Clean out and vacuum both cars
15) Ponder my trials, then read my patriarchal blessing to search for an answer.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dear Jo

Last year SJMS started reading a school wide book to teach character development skills. The book was ok, but most had read it before in the 6th grade, and found it quite juvenile. I tried to read it myself, and never could quite make it to the end. I guess I should probably pick it up and finish it .... I was so close to the end. THEN maybe I'll figure out why the counseling department thought it was so wonderful.

The book, by the way, was called Stargirl.

This year, they decided to do a school wide read again,
but chose to read a different book. Dear Jo. They gave a copy to each member of the school, kids and teachers both, and had them read it during their TA class. I heard from several old colleagues that the book was phenomenal! A friend of mine had a student who threw out the book and gave it to me to read. I couldn't put it down.

The text is quite easy, and is in the form of a Journal (Jo). It's about 2 girls who get caught up in online chat rooms and find themselves in a big BIG mess.

If you have a teenager in your home, you should read this book. THEY should read this book. The Internet is not safe, and there are a lot of scary people out there ....

Read it! You can borrow my copy if you'd like.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Rollercoaster

Weight loss has always been such a roller coaster for me. Currently, I'm not obese, but I'm not at a healthy weight either. My problem is that I have a hard time being motivated to buckle down, drop the cafe rio .... *YUM* and lose the weight.

Luckily, I'm a mathematician, and good with patterns :)

Joe and I are getting the "baby hungry" itch again. Well, I've had the itch for a little while ... but we have decided that now is the time to start looking into it again. As many of you know, getting pregnant is not like ordering pizza for our family. Joe and I have been married for almost 10 years and our son is only 1. It's trial ... but here is where my "good with patterns" trait comes into play. EVERY time I've gotten pregnant (all 3 times) I've been in the middle of losing weight. The first baby, I had lost about 20 lbs, with Jace, it was about 10, and with baby #3 ... probably in the 15 range. I was eating healthier and exercising. Perhaps these two things contributed to my hormones being more under control ... and thus easier to get pregnant. Maybe the fact that I have lost 5-10% of my body weight helps too. Maybe a combo of both.

Regardless of the WHY .... it has been a consistent pattern with my pregnancies.

I guess I found my motivation to lose the weight.

SO ... starting today .... I'm going straight.

Because there is another boucher baby up there waiting to come down.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning was awesome this year. Jace was SO much fun ... and got pretty darned spoiled if you ask me.

Joe and I are very impressed and excited that we were able to pull off Christmas this year with a pretty low budget ... but made it feel like we were getting spoiled. If you calculate the worth of everything we got ... we probably would have spent more than $700 ... but we didn't come anywhere near that.

Here are some photos of this morning's FUN! :)

Sandman Jammies ... he even got a lightning mcqueen car to go with it!
Look what Santa brought!
Once he saw his little chair, he was SO excited to go and sit in it. Santa sure did an awesome job!
Look .... there's buzz!!
He finally got Toy Story 3 for Christmas. He is super excited to watch it.
Thank You Mom!!
His big learning toy
AHHHH ... look at the haul

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Here Comes Santa Claus ....

Isn't he the cutest kid EVER?

Oh, and Santa's pretty cute too!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

... and the stockings were hung

For our first Christmas together as a couple, Joe and I made fun matching stockings. These stockings have lasted 9 great Christmases and we have loved them very much! I love knowing that Joe had a hand in making these little decorations.
last year we had Jace and wanted to make HIM a matching stocking too. We never got around to it, so the task was postponed to this year.

I was about to buy the felt to create his and remembered a tutorial I saw on how to make stockings. In the back of my mind, I have been itching to put our stockings through a fashion update and have debated on whether or not to do it. I really like our cute little stockings, but at the same time, I want my stockings to match the rest of my decor. Our tree has always been quite elegant. Simple. And I wanted more elegant stockings to match -- while maintaining the fun of them. The deciding point was that I wanted my stocking to say MOM.

I rushed to Joanns and bought 3 coordinating fabrics (that weren't even remotely by each other ... so proud!) and got to work. I also picked up 2 colors of felt that matched pretty close.
It wasn't too hard, and didn't take too much time ... and I LOVE how they turned out! Each stocking will have a different Christmas symbol on it. I figured these were the 3 basic (and easiest to do when you only have red and green to choose from ...)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Fly

I just had a friend remind me of a funny school story that I dont' want to ever forget. Maybe as I remember my silly stories I'll just blog about them.

Last year I had a 7th grader named Roberto. One day near the end of class, I hear this strange buzzing sound. I look up to see Roberto in some sort of a dazed state ... and the kids around him just looking at him funny. Roberto was BUZZING!!

Me: Roberto what are you doing?
Roberto: buzzzzzzzz zzzz zzz zz
Me: ?
Roberto: buzzzzzzzz
Roberto: Oh, I was just seeing what it would be like to be a fly.

The bell then rang and out he went.

Friday, December 10, 2010

My New Job

Last January, I got a phone message from a good friend who I used to work with. She had moved to Denver with her husband while he worked on his degree. She had called to ask me a question about a math problem that she was too tired to figure out on her own, (oh gosh do I know how that goes!) Once Joe and I had completed the problem, I asked her where she is working and ... how I could be involved.

It's called Step to Success. It's an online learning program. She and I both contacted the director of the program to try to get me started! The site was still hugely in the developmental stage and I was told that they were very interested in working with me, but alas, I had to wait. From the get go, I felt awesome about this program. That this program would greatly help me in my goal to stay home with my son. I waited the summer and early fall out ... and finally I got to start at the beginning of November!

I love it! Right now, I'm tutoring reading to 2nd and 3rd graders in Denver. It's a government grant that helps these kids read. You may be thinking what I was thinking .... how do you tutor reading over the Internet? Basically, what we do is go to a meeting center where we are able to both work on my desktop. We play online games that tracks their progress. Several times throughout the 21 session program we give them assessments to see how much they have progressed. After 10 sessions, all of my students have gained at least a 1/2 grade level in their reading. Some even gained more than a full year!

Soon, I hope, I'll be able to work with more math students, but for now ... I feel like I'm helping to make a difference in some of these kid's lives. And I'm having a great time doing it. We are about 75% done with the first batch of kids, and I'm going to be sad to see them go!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Too Smart for His Own Good

I have always known that I have a smart dog. TOO smart of a dog. When he was a puppy, he figured out how to untuck the kitchen chair so he could jump on the table to eat the food left out. He had the ability to jump high enough to get rags out of the bottom of the sink. He is a trouble maker, and we have known that for a long time.

Today proved to be no different.

I thought i would be kind and clean out the garage so Joe had a place to park his car for the winter. Jace and I were out playing and working for probably close to 45 minutes. When I came inside, I didn't notice Copper. I didn't think very much of it though and went on with my morning. About 2 to 3 hours later a man knocked on my door and there stood Copper with blood trickling down his muzzle. Last time he snuck out of the backyard (I have no idea how he does it) he scraped up his back, so I figured this was the case again. The man said that he just witnessed this dog get hit by a car and he ran straight here so perhaps this was his home.

Got hit by a car?

My dog?

With much more effort than it should have been, I shuffled several boys around and Joe and I headed to the animal hospital. In the end, if a dog is going to get hit by a car, this was best case scenario. He has several abrasions in the front of his body, and a staple in his eyebrow, but he is ok. Probably has a pretty decent headache, but he will be alright.

Here are some pics of our little monster after his $459 stay at the animal hospital:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Start Spreading the News

I'm leaving today
I want to be a part of it
New York
New York
10 is a big number, and on June 8th ... that's how long it will be for Joe and myself. Too many marriages don't make it to 10 years, and I really want to celebrate BIG. So Joe and I decided that if we can hack it, we want to visit the Big Apple.

I only have 1 slight problem. I've never planned a vacation before, let alone one of this magnitude. I don't know where to stay. I am not good at booking flights and waiting and getting that "perfect deal". I don't know where to eat in NY or what to DO in NY. How much spending money do I bring? What should I budget, because we gotta start saving soon! I need serious suggestions ... I want to have fun and see it all!

Big Hearted -- He belongs on the farm!

Back in September, our family took a trip to the state fair. We know how much Jace loves animals, and I knew that he would have a blast at the fair. I was ... mostly right.

Jace with the Big Bee.
We started with the birds and small animals. He was grinning ear to ear the entire time as we walked from one cage to the next. My little boy has such a big heart! He LOVES animals ... must be related to Great Grandpa Tom. The problem is that once we left one animal building to go the next his face would turn from this ..... to ....
This. Others around us just laughed at my poor little boy that was so sad to leave the animals behind. I think he was meant to live on a farm, really!
When we got to the goats he would watch them for a time, then steal the hay from their cages and throw it on the ground by his feet. There was little hope of getting him out of the building happy. He just wanted to play with his new friends!
Silly Boy :)

Little Sneeker

Awhile ago (I mean ... I don't really remember when because it has been so long since I've blogged ... but Jace is wearing a 18 month top and 12 month bottom, so it couldn't have been THAT long ago ... anyway, I digress ... ) Awhile ago things were nice and quiet upstairs. Apparently, Jace took his chubby little hands and got on his tippy tippy toes to pull down the raisins. He LOVES the raisins. I guess there are worse snacks to be sneaking!

Pumpkin Goop

Last night as a family we decided to carve pumpkins. Halloween was my mom's FAVORITE holiday and since being married, I just haven't really gotten into it. BUT, now that Jace is growing up, I want to be able to go big on every holiday. I want to make them fun and exciting ... and memorable, like mine were. (Quick side note ... is it just me or does my baby's hair look really red in that picture?). We haven't done a ton this year, and I don't have many decorations, Something I'd like to work on soon. One major thing we did every year with my family was carve PuMpKiNs. I remember my mom's pumpkins were always perfect and I wanted mine to turn out just like hers. She always had a fine eye for detail. Very creative ... my mom was!

We got the table ready to go and dug away. We were only able to get one photo of the actual pumpkin carving extravaganza because our battery on the camera died ... It didn't matter too much, there wasn't a whole lot to see.

Some kids love to play in the mess. Mine does not.
He wouldn't stick his hands in the
pumpkin, but was ok sticking the spoon in. Since he is a boy who likes to put things in it's spot, once it didn't surprise me that once I removed some of the seeds, he picked them up and put them back in! They don't go on the table! What a helper. Before long though, he wanted down and was playing
with his toys as Joe and I finished our pumpkins.
I did Jace's first and then
worked on mine. I'm quite proud of the finished product and they sit happily on my door step awaiting the loads of trick or treaters that we will get on Saturday night.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Water Bottle

Today I got to take part in a focus group with Stampin' Up! (Lucky me ... right!!) I had just dropped Jace off at the baby sitter's house when I started to feel like I was hungry. Normally, I would give in to one of the 900 different golden arches that I would see on the way to the home office in Riverton. This time, however, had to be different because 1) I'm trying to kick the fast food "habit/addiction" and 2) I'm right smack dab in the middle of my money cleanse. I have tutoring after the focus group and I know I won't be home until well after 7. I think to myself that since I can't eat out, I'll have to fill my belly with water. And OH how convenient it would be if I had some! But alas, I didn't bring a water bottle and I don't have any place to get one. Slightly annoyed with my lack of planning, I pulled into the visitor's parking at Stampin' Up! and waited to be called into the room. As I walked through the massive doors to the meeting room, I noticed that each station was set up with a stamp set, name tag, and BOTTLED WATER!

I love answered prayers and small blessings!

The Money Cleanse

It is a common misconception that money = evil. In the bible, we learn that "for the love of money is the root of all evil". This scripture implies to many that money = evil. But it's not MONEY that is evil ... it's the LOVE of money that is evil. It's what you DO with it that is good or bad.

Since quitting my job, Joe and I have had to obviously take a look at our finances. In Matthew we learn that "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also". Apparently our heart is with eating out! :) It was time for us to have a reality check. Eating out, and other frivolous expenses were no longer in our budget. Quite frankly, I am now sad and ashamed that they were such a driving force in our budget. There was no reason that Joe and I were living pay check to pay check for so long. Why didn't we save for a rainy day? Heaven knows that the rain DOES come! I don't have any of the answers as to WHY we didn't do things differently in the past, but I do know that I am excited about the changes we are making to help in the future.
Recently I have been hearing the name DAVE RAMSEY. I read it in blogs, see it on billboards, and hear it on the radio. I don't know anything about Mr. Dave, except for apparently he is some sort of financial genius. I looked up his site,, and started exploring. I found that there are Dave Ramsey seminars all over the valley, and what more, they are free! Joe and I signed up. I later learned that there was a small fee associated with the kit needed for the class. I started to get skeptical. I didn't want to blow $99 on some whim like I have in the past. We decided that if in fact this man knew what he was doing ... $99 would be a good investment! We are 3 weeks in, trying to incorporate what he suggests, and we already feel like we got a pay raise. More than that, however, I feel like I have a different mindset and attitude towards money.
On with the title of this post. The Money Cleanse. People sometimes cleanse their body by drinking that nasty lemonade. OR they eat only raw veggies, or perhaps wear the patches on their feet, (do those even work?). We decided to do a money cleanse. Once a month, we are going to go a whole week without spending any money. Sounds easy right? Not when you are used to going shopping for whatever you need. And we decided that this "money cleanse" wasn't going to work if we overspent the Sat. befor and over spent the Monday after it was done! Nope. Live life like normal ... just be sure there is enough gas to make it to work.
While going through this week I have been able to
1) be creative with my food storage
2) learned that if I don't have gas to get somewhere ... I walk
3) decided that even if I really REALLY want something, I don't need it unless it is a serious 911 related emergency.
4) embrace the challenge, the change, and the new life style.
My only regret is that I waited until year 29 to start. I wish I could have had the wisdom to start this 10 years ago.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Family Pictures

I never posted that we got our family pictures taken!! It was SUCH an experience. It was a warmish day ... and Jace was tired. He did ok, but he didn't know Alica and quite frankly didn't want to cooperate. Here are a few of my favorites, and I need to pick one to hang on my wall. Which is your favorite?

I was kindof hoping for a horizontal picture ... but my favorite is a vertical one. Please vote on your favorite. :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Another Hobby!

Imagine your kid's first birthday. You are surrounded by friends and family. Your cute baby is "opening" his presents while the entire crowd oohs and awws over how .... strikingly adorable your little boy is. You strip him to his diaper and give him his first birthday cake, this cake by the way is spectacular. Any cake won't do ... you spent hours making it the night before. Your day is perfect.

Then imagine the grief you feel when practically every photo that was taken that day turned up ... BLURRY! The heartache. You won't ever get that day back! True story ... It was on March 16th that I decided I needed a new camera.

It was on July 28th that I got it. With my last big "you are a working mom" pay check ... Joe and I invested in our new toy. The Nikon D5000. It came with an ultra zoom lens and a "normal" one too. Also included was an awesome camera bag and more reading material than I can handle. (I want to take photography lessons soon ... I don't read user's manuals!)

I love it and it is so much fun. I now have to download Photoshop and start tweaking my pictures. Here is my first attempt as a "professional photographer". hehe. We were at Wheeler Farm, and the magnets are in my kitchen. Aunt Joanie ... I need you :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Quilting ... Again

I bought a quilt kit either when Jace was a newborn or while I was pregnant with him. It was awhile ago -- I finally decided this last week to break it out and play. It has the CUTEST material and a nice ... relatively complicated (for me) pattern. It's how I'm going to master my flying geese block ... which by the way, I have never done before! Here is my progression so far:

The pattern (can you see it?)
Cutting out ALL of my hundreds of small blocks
The only "strip piecing" the entire quilt has. Done!

Okay, I'm not very far through it ... but it is coming! I have more pinned and ready to go. I'd like to blog about my quilt's progression. I'm thinking we'll save this quilt for our next baby. Jace has a ton! (and no, that's not an announcement). The next quilt I'm going to work on is one using stampin' Up!'s big shot die. I have fun material for a little girl.