Sunday, January 16, 2011

I was so wrong!

Recently, I enjoyed the Holiday Season with my Mother. During her stay at my home she and I had moments where I could reflect on childhood memories and experiences with her.

Due to the “Spirit of Giving” felt in the air, I shared with her my favorite childhood memory.

In 4th Grade I chose to do the 12 Days of Christmas to a less liked, and poor, girl in my school class.
I have reflected on this experience many times in my life.

I sat next to this girl at school and each morning she would playback every detail of her receiving experience to ME, the giver.
She was determined to catch ME. She had plans each day on how she was going to do it. I even helped her come up with a few ideas!

Each night was a success for me. The following morning she would be so frustrated that her plan didn’t work! How do they get away with it! She was sure she was going to out smart them at least ONE night!

For several of the 12 days this game went on. She continued to spill the beans to me.
Having this interaction with her made the entire experience for me. I felt an unlikely friendship flourish between us.

I remember planning the gift one night. I was at our local Ben Franklyn’s hardware store with only a few dollars. I searched the store for the perfect gift.
I had so many great idea’s but the problem was my limited resources. I sat on the floor near the cashiers stand counting my bag of coins, frustrated that my desires were constrained. I thought: “If I were rich, I could do the best 12 days of Christmas!” At that moment I decided if I grew up and had a lot of money I would have so much fun giving it to the needy.

I don’t remember many of the gifts I gave her, but I do remember one. It was the last day- Day 1. It was the best day of the entire event!

Sometime Previous (Maybe a month) Mom had bought me the most beautiful White dress complete with ruffles and lace! When I looked at that dress for the first time I remember thinking I had died and gone to Heaven. My next thought was I wish church was tomorrow.
Unfortunately, Sunday was 4 days away and even worse...the dress didn’t fit! It was too small. Oh, how I tried to pretend it fit.

Because Mom had purchased the dress up North she couldn’t return it so I was left to Donate it. I was heart broken.I still remember
that feeling of disappointment. The dress hung in my closet for some time; always stinging my heart when I saw it.

As the 12 days were ending Mom suggested I give the dress for a gift.
That idea filled my soul with love. I knew that was the perfect gift to give her on Christmas Eve.

I wrapped the gift and carried it to the car like it was Cinderella’s glass slipper.
I knew this girl wouldn’t otherwise own a dress like this. I couldn’t wait to hear about it at school. (but I had to wait till after the school break!)

That year I experienced the “Spirit of Giving.” and it stuck with me.
I learned a valuable lesson as an 8 year old. Serving others fixes the holes in my heart. I like WHO I am when I am giving.

Up through graduation I had a special unspoken connection with this girl. She didn’t change much in 10 years. Socially we never crossed paths again. Our senior year she was still a homely, quiet, shy girl. But I felt I loved her and I think she felt it too.

I have reflected on this childhood experience often. Now, as a young Mother, I am still being taught by it.

Today 20+ years later I recognize a familiar desire. Unlimited $$$ so I could give to others. I have often thought:

“I would love to surprise her with a desperately needed vacation.”
“I wish I could just buy a car for them.”
“I wish I could afford to fly home to see ____”
“I wish I could pay for her to have this.”
“I wish I had money to go to India!”

My list can go on! (and it does)
My desires are pure but today-I repeat TODAY I realized I am so wrong.

After attending a RS Lesson on Sacrifice, and preparing to give next weeks lesson on Consecration, I saw the flaw in my desires.

Mother Teresa says, “A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, must empty ourselves.”

Elder Bruce R. McConkie states:
“When it costs us but little to give, the treasure laid up in heaven is a small one.

Sam concluded, The perfect gift gives both the giver and receiver.

I’m going to stop putting off service because I don’t have the time.
I’m going to stop wishing I had more money to give.

The truth is, God has given me what I have and he’s waiting to see what I’ll do with it!

Photo: The Widows mite
The widows mite, given in sacrifice, weighs more heavily in the eternal scales than the bulging granaries of the rich man.”

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The truth is....

Nothing like starting the New Year off with a little Honesty.....

It’s a New Year, and with each New Year comes Resolutions.
THE TRUTH IS- I can’t even remember the resolution I made last year.

I must be giving off the impression that I am a Health Nut.
THE TRUTH IS- I’m NOT! I can’t pass on desserts! I still eat chocolate or ice cream every weekend, KNOWING it makes Abi fussy from Nursing.

I’m trying really hard to provide HEALTHY meals for my kids
but THE TRUTH IS-I’m not good at it yet. A lot of my meals are gross.

I Love Photography but,
THE TRUTH IS for every good shot I take I have 10 bad ones.

This year, I’m participating in my 5th Triathlon but
THE TRUTH IS I hate running and swimming!

I LOVE being a Mom, but
THE TRUTH IS I am constantly wondering “Are we done?”

I try to be a good example to my kids but
THE TRUTH IS I’m a hypocrite. When they ask for leftover dessert Monday morning I say “No, not for breakfast!”
When they are off to school, I eat leftover dessert for breakfast!

I can be patient with my kids till 8:25pm but
THE TRUTH IS at 8:30pm I loose all patience and want them in bed YESTERDAY!!!

I am a Creative, Magical Mommy but,
THE TRUTH IS I hate being the Tooth Fairy! I HATE being the Tooth Fairy! I HATE BEING THE TOOTH FAIRY!!!

Ahhh..I feel better getting that off my chest!

Here’s to a honest 2011!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hermit-Theft & Broken Blender

I am a Home body. A successful day for me all depends if I was able to stay at home. I wait till the last possible day to go grocery shopping and cheer when after school activities are cancelled.
My favorite time of the year is Christmas Break. No school, No activities, and No reason to leave the house. I pride myself on the 14 days at home streak I had a few years ago.

Yesterday was the day I had to leave the house. I ran into a bit of a problem.

I couldn’t find my shoes! I was like a kid all over again searching for lost sneakers. For the life of me- I still can’t figure out where my shoes are. What’s worse is; the last time I remember wearing them was a week before Christmas. Am I a Hermit or what?
I’ve searched the house- Nothing. Maybe they are outside under the blanket of SNOW? Or someone stole them?

I’m suspicious of Sam. Maybe he threw them out? He calls them my witch shoes. (He’s not a big fan) He doesn’t seem too concerned that they are missing and coincidentally enough, HE bought me boots for Christmas.....hummm.....I think I’m on to him!
(Unfortunately, I don’t really like the boots he picked for me. They are a little to “Fashion“ for me. I’m a STAY AT HOME (emphasis on STAY AT HOME) and can’t see myself wearing them to the grocery store. Maybe when I grow up I’ll be into the cute fashion things. As for now, I’m lucky to be caught wearing earrings.

Speaking of Stealing and fashion and hermit- I have another problem. I went to Kohl’s long before CHristmas and rewarded myself with a very ”Comfy“ Nike Sweatshirt. Once I got home I pulled it out of the bag to find the security tag still attached! (The door did beep as I left the store but I ignored it and kept walking.)
I wanted to wear the sweater bad enough that I put it on WITH the security tag dangling from the wrist. Oh how I love that sweatshirt. I wore it for about 3 days. I wasn’t going to let a minor detail deny me of comfort!

The Sweater is in need of a wash...yes, I still have the sweater. One of these days when I leave the house I will take that sweatshirt with me and march right in and have that annoying tag removed. Until then- It’s mine and I wear it and I love it. (I’m also one of those people that leave the tags on my clothes to make sure I ”LIKE“ the item before I really commit to keeping it and remove the tags. It drives Sam crazy. ☺ More than once he has pulled a tag off me in a public place.

Do I have issues with Commitment?

Yesterday my blender broke! That’s a BIG deal. I can’t make Green Smoothies if I don’t have a blender! Green Smoothie Girl warned me that only one blender can stand the test of time with daily Green Smoothies. Wouldn’t you know the warranty to my blender was up last week! GRRR....How do these machines know when to break down?
I’m using my $$ I won from being the Biggest Looser to replace my blender. (appropriate way to spend BL cash, I think)
I’m working on a post about Green Smoothies- a lot of people have asked me to tell more about it. I’ll get to that.

I got iLife11 for Christmas! I am so excited about it but haven’t found the time to dig into it. I have some fun plans for blogging and videos this year.
We had a big snow storm today so everything is cancelled tomorrow. MY KIND OF DAY. I just might get some time alone with my Computer....

Tonight is Date Night with my Hubby. Time to set my boyfriend, MAC, aside.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Peach Salsa

In attempt to simplify my life this year, I’ve decided to have dinner on the table when the kids get home from school.

This solves the after school grumpies and “I’M STARVING“ issue, and frees up my evening to be more involved with them instead of lost in the kitchen.

This really works well with Jace. He is a big bad Kindergartner. This means he has to do EVERYTHING right. He has to do what everyone else is doing because he doesn’t want to be different.
Jace comes home from school HUNGRY and GRUMPY! He never eats his school lunch. Everyday I pack a lunch for him and EVERYDAY he returns with it untouched. Needless to say, he is GRUMPY!

Having the older 3 kids at school all day frees up my afternoon to put some thought into my meal plans and enjoy the quiet moments in the kitchen while preparing.

Today I thought I’d surprise them and make an old family favorite, Enchiladas. I have made this recipe from the get- go of our marriage. Sam has always loved it and we use to eat it a lot. That is, till last year when I began following GREENSMOTHIEGIRL.COM We stopped eating meat every meal.

Now that it is winter I do use meat. Mostly chicken (Organic) but never use the full amount called for in the recipe. Today I noticed I had half a pound of hamburger left over so I thought I’d use it up.

As I was making the enchiladas I had a big smile on my face, remembering all the times this meal was such a hit.

I had everything set and was waiting for the school bus when I decided to cut up Jace’s food so it wouldn’t be so hot. As I did this I couldn’t resist. I had to steal a taste.

The bus pulled up to the house just as I began was so gross!

What had I done wrong? All I could taste was an overbearing flavor of MEAT!

With no time to spare I pulled out the container of Peach Salsa and set it on the table.

The kids were excited to have food waiting for them and I cautiously watched as they dug in.

“It tastes much better with salsa.” I added to their first bites.

All of them dumped Peach Salsa on top, including me.

Jarom excused himself from the table saying he was still full from lunch.

Jennica drowned hers in sour cream and more salsa to get it down.

Jace had his plate empty and was asking for chips to go with his salsa before I could even swallow.

Sam called just after I cleared the table. He was very excited to hear we were having enchiladas.

I told him they tasted like a dead cow. ( He said he preferred his hamburger dead.)

My dinner was a flop.

When Sam got home from work I warned him not to eat it. He made a Peanut Butter Sandwich instead.

Three hours after eating dinner... Jace threw up.

Point proven- You can eat anything with Peach Salsa.
Buy yours now at your local Costco- Super sized!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Letters to God

I thought i was being clever by making dinner at the same time I began the breakfast clean up.
Next thing I know- the kids are home and it’s getting dark.

I spent the entire day in the kitchen! What do I have to show for it?

A dinner and a clean kitchen. Why did it take me all day to achieve just that?
It wasn’t anything extravagant. Chicken Quinoa Soup with dinner rolls. (all homemade)

I did stop a few times to laugh at Abigail. Change her diaper, feed her lunch, and start a load of laundry.

I loved being at home all day in the kitchen.

I have carrots smeared on my left shoulder.

Tonight Jace was pretending to be Harold with the Purple Crayon. He busied himself about the room as we had family "Quiet Time." Not a word spoken but crayon in hand. This child of mine really loves to act things out.

On New Years Eve we watched Letters to God,as a family.
Our kids enjoyed the movie. The younger two were in tears after it was over. I was very surprised at how emotional they were! It took some encouragement to get them to join in on the New Years Eve "Party"

The next few days Jace was writing letters to God and taking them to the mailbox.
Sunday afternoon I walked into a room where Jace and Jennica had paper, crayons and envelopes strewn on the floor. When Jace noticed me watching he announced: "Jennica is writing her first letter to God."
(As if he were an expert.)

Kids are so influential.

I haven't written my letter to God yet.