Monday, August 31, 2009


Over the weekend, I did something special with one of my children. I try to spend one-on-one time with each of my children doing something they choose each month. My kiddo didn't choose anything too exciting, just to go to a warehouse store and enjoy the samples. While we were there we picked up a few few things we needed and added to the food storage. What could have been just running errands was made special because of the conversations we shared and the bond that we strengthened in those few hours.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Food Journal

I have discovered that when I track what I eat, I generally eat less. I like to use a website like or These websites help me keep a running total of how many calories I've eaten and I have a better idea of when I need to stop eating. I even lost a little weight, just very slowly.

For my nutrition class, not only do I have to keep track of what I eat (and when) and how much I exercise; I have to turn it in. Somebody will actually be looking (and probably judging) what I eat every day! Now that is a great deterrent to 10pm bowl of ice cream. OK, I've still been eating ice cream at night, but it's a smaller amount than I would usually eat. :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Goal Met!

I finished my 11th scrapbook layout this month! It always feels so good to accomplish a goal. And since there's still 5 more days in the month...maybe I could even sneak in one more. We'll see if there's any time left between picking up kids, grocery shopping, homework and meetings! :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nutrition Theory

I started a nutrition class last week. I think nutrition and how it affects our bodies is very interesting. In my textbook there was a section on Nutrigenomics. The theory is that what we eat, our lifestyle and our environment can alter our own DNA by turning off or on certain genes in certain people. They showed a certain breed of mice that are yellowish color and prone to large fat stores. By changing the diet of the mice, their offspring are born brown (instead of yellow), store less fat, and increase their life span. The theory is certain diets can trigger different reactions in people because of their DNA and somethings are beneficial across the board because of how it effects human DNA.

It will take decades for the researchers to proved weather it's true or not. But, it is interesting food for thought!

Monday, August 24, 2009


I think I will actually make my goal this month to finish 11 layouts in August, I already have 10 done! Saturday and Sunday I did a little scrapbooking with the kiddos. I don't work as quickly with them wanting my help to sort their pictures (again) or trim something or spell something; but I'll take what I can get. Not only did I spend time with my cuties, I also got back on track to finish my goal.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Photography Club

We had another quick photography club meeting yesterday morning. We're still working through my old college photography textbook. We looked through a section of works from student photographer's entries into a photo contest and looked at them through the eye of the judges. Next meeting we'll start getting to the nuts and bolts of how cameras work.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

National Aviation Day

Yesterday was National Aviation Day. Since there was still school, homework, chores... we didn't devote too much of our time to celebrating. I found a new way to fold a paper airplane and made a couple. After I explained the holiday and my idea to celebrate, paper airplanes came out of the woodwork. I didn't realize we had a half dozen in various corners of the house! Then we took them outside to go for distance. The wind wasn't always cooperating Some tried timing throws to go with the burst of wind. There were even experiments with throwing them at the top of your jump on the trampoline. It was a nice change of pace and got everyone out of the house for a little while. After everyone settled down, I decided to add some color to mine :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


We were celebrating some birthdays on Sunday and I made a cheesecake. I haven't made one in years. I don't know why I don't make them more often - they are so yummy and not too terribly hard to make. I forgot to take a picture before we cut it, but it still looks good to me! Monica also made and decorated a cake that was so cute. Again, we forgot to take a picture, but I think you can get the idea.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Becoming Naomi Leon Book Club

Saturday, we had our family book club meeting for Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan. At the back of the book was some great helps for teachers that we used for our activities. First we made Bunuelos, which is basically a deep fried, flour tortilla sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.

Next, we did one of Naomi's favorite hobbies - soap carving. We just used a few bars from our food storage. It was pretty fun. I thought the kids would enjoy it for maybe half an hour, but they were still carving away an hour later. Over the last couple of days, they keep pulling out some of the bigger chunks and carving them too. It's a little hard to tell in some of the pictures, but we have a tree, a fire hydrant and a loaf of bread. Then there is a bus, a shoe, a seashell, a finger and a bunny.

Next is a our neighbor's dog and a claw. And last is my humble little duck.

Friday, August 14, 2009


So, a kiddo wanted to make snicker doodles (It's like we enjoy cookies or something). I don't make them very often, but it seems like when I used to make them the dough was your ordinary dough that you could roll into a ball. The last time I made them, the dough was super sticky and was very challenging to roll into a ball. So I wrote on the recipe to using the old standby from the Betty Crocker cookbook. I used that recipe this time - and it was sticky again! If I add too much more flour, they don't taste as good. I don't know if I'm perpetually doing something wrong or if I need a better recipe. I would love to hear your suggestions to improve my snicker doodle situation!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


One of the things I had hoped to do this summer, but didn't was to teach my kiddos how to mend. I finally gave them their first lesson! They stitched up a few holes, mostly in stuffed animals, while I sewed on a couple of buttons. They had it down by the end of the lesson with the exception of the knots at the end of the tread.

After the sewing kits were put away, one of my kiddos discovered another small hole in the last stuffed animal he repaired. I thought he was going to fix it right then, but when I came back in the room he said he didn't sew it yet because he was waiting for me. That seemed reasonable since he didn't know how to do the knot at the end of the thread. Then he said " I didn't want to sew without supervision." Too cute!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


It's always been hard for me to turn my kiddos loose in the kitchen. I've been trying to do better, especially with the younger ones. So we made Peanut Butter Cookies and I tried to remain the assistant, instead of the head chef. I did a little better, but the crunch for time got the better of me as usual. Oh well. I'm one step closer and we have cookies! I know there will be a next time, ... maybe even today.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tennis Anyone?

Saturday, me and one of the kiddos played a little tennis. We've gone to the tennis courts two other times and I can't say we are really getting any better, we're just enjoying being together and having fun. The memorable part of this trip is I wasn't the one who cried uncle! The kiddo was ready to go home before me! Now that is a different kind of record :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Long Journey

The best thing I like about this blog is it keeps me thinking about what I'm doing every day to work towards excellence. It's a really long road! And sometimes I don't think I'm making much progress - OK, a lot of the time I don't feel I'm making any progress. I was reflecting on what I've done the last couple of days, it seemed a little repetitive. Then I realized a lot of this journey is maintenance! It's not good enough to read our scriptures once, check it off "the list", and never open them up again. As much as I would like to clean the bathroom once and have it stay that way perpetually clean, life doesn't work that way. And as much as I want to be this person I see in my mind's eye, I still make mistakes and bad choices - a lot of them!

So even if it's not very interesting, the last couple of days I've cleaned my bathroom, the fridge and the pantry (again). The clean floors from an earlier post, well they aren't so clean anymore. Hopefully I can revisit them next week. I've practice the piano, exercised, and read. I even finished a couple of scrapbook layouts.

The highlight of the last couple of days is an article I'm working on for the Homemaking Cottage. The idea hit me and the first draft just flowed. I love it when that happens!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Book Review - Three Weeks with My Brother

I recently finished reading Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas Sparks. I know many who love his books, but this was the first one I've read. I saw the movie of The Notebook on TV once and it wasn't my favorite, so I had no desire to read the book and pretty much wrote off any of his books. After reading about Nicholas Sparks' life and getting a sense of his personality, I will give his books a chance.

What hit me the most about this book is that hard things happen to everyone and life goes on. The true test of a person is how they proceed through those challenges. As Nicholas' mother says "Life's not fair" and "What you want and what you get are two different things". I love the reminder that many people faces trying situations and keep pressing forward, can create something wonderful, and bless the lives of others. I believe if you see someone who seems to have everything going for them, you just don't know them well enough.

This book not only has a great perspective, but I also love the humor. I got a few odd looks from my family when I would laugh out loud while reading. It's definitely worth reading!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Photography Club

One of my kiddos is interested in photography. Fortunately it is my wealthiest child. I enjoy photography, always drool over the cool SLR cameras, and I even took a photography class in college. Since I still have my old textbook (and I do mean old - it predates digital photography), we decided to start our own "Photography Club". We're going to start by going through my old textbook and learning the basics about cameras and composition. We started off last night by learning some of the different types of photography jobs. I lean toward the portrait/artistic type of photography. I'll leave the photojournalism to others with stronger nerves and stomachs!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Clean Floors!

With everyone running around having fun this summer, my kitchen floors were neglected. I'm happy to say, the situation is remedied! For all of those of you who know me, you know that I am not a clean freak by any stretch of the imagination. For the most part, my house is comfortable. It's much more comfortable when I can walk across the kitchen and not step on any crumbs - for me at least.

It feels so good every time I accomplish a much needed project that I almost want to keep cleaning. But then reality strikes and I go work on the 20 other things that also need my attention.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

July was another busy month filled with many of the things I had hoped to accomplish. Once again, I was able to finish 9 scrapbook layouts, I can't seem to do any more in a month. We had a lot of fun with our stay-at-home summer school. I gained a exciting amount of family history information at our family reunion. I finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince to the kids for our book club. I just finished Three Weeks with My Brother today, but I read most of it in July. I finished three more articles for the Homemaking Cottage and worked a little bit on my personal history. Granted, I didn't work on the mending pile and teaching my children to sew. Other projects not only went unfinished, but didn't even get touched. It was still a good month!

Now that August is here, I'll try again to complete 11 scrapbook layouts. I'll keep writing and working on family history. I'll keep practicing the piano and reading. I'll keep exercising and working on my food storage plan. I'm also hoping to put together a photography club for me and some of my kiddos. And through it all, I'll keep you posted on our journey!


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