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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Movies, Movies and More Movies

Brady and I have been going to lots of movies lately. It's nice on a hot day to go to the movie theater and enjoy a good movie in a nice cool place. We've been having a great time! We had to see Harry Potter two times - and I could go again and again.. Maybe when it goes to the $1 show.

Brady wanted to see "17 Again". I thought it would be a re-make from when I was a teenager with George Burns.... but it was totally a different story line. We really enjoyed it. Zack Efron was great - he is a cutie!
Tuesday we rented "Push" from Redbox. I thought it was interesting - but left me with a lot of questions. I wonder if they left you with so many question in order to make another one. It was interesting but I didn't love it.

We also rented "Knowing" which Brady watched while I was at work. He didn't like it and said it was depressing and religious at the end. Since he didn't like it, I didn't take the time to watch it.

For Jason's birthday he wanted to see Terminator Salvation. We've always loved the Terminator movies. I liked it but it was dark and seemed black and white. I thought Christian Bale did a great job (I like him in Batman). My boys seemed to like it. Then we went to Sizzler for dinner. It was a great evening. (Dollar Show)

I LOVED Transformer 1 and of course had to see #2. It had a LOT of sexual innuendo's which I did not appreciate at all and it was VERY inappropriate and not needed (ruined the show). I like the old timer transformers. I did NOT like this one as much as the first one.... it was OK. Too bad they have to ruin it.

As soon as Brady returned from AFY he wanted to see X-Men Origins. I loved it. I love all the X-Men movies and this one was great too. It gave you in-debth details of Wolverines life. Loved It! (Dollar Show)
I wanted to see "The Proposal" and we went. I should NOT have taken Brady with me. Yikes!! In my opionon it should have been rated "R". I was shocked to see Sandra Bullock pretty much naked. Shocking to attend with your son. It is totally a girlfriend movie -- not a teen movie or a movie with your son. I was embarrassed and thought it was so-so.

I still need to see "Star Trek", "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" and "Up". It's been nice that there are quite a few movies I have wanted to see in the Theater.

I love movies... I love going to the theater and I love purchasing DVD's. I love being lost in a good movie.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Drivers Training

This is Brady's last week of driver training. Woo Hoo!

Brady has been getting up at 6am to drive at 7am and attend class at 8:30am to 10:00 am each morning. I'm really glad it is over so that we will be able to sleep in for a month until school starts.

While it has been an exciting time for Brady to learn how to drive, it has also been really stressful. Unfortunately his teacher in the car was quite abrasive and scary.

I'll be the first to admit that my boys have never done well with abrasive men. They really haven't been raised around men and men scare them. Especially when they are abrasive. It's something they have to get over to exist in normal society - but they just are not comfortable unless the man is kind hearted.

This particular driving teacher has made the experience really stressful for Brady. With the stress has come with mistakes in driving - which has caused more yelling and more stress - equalling to more mistakes. I think he is just inexperienced and scared.
Every night we talk about the mistakes and I try to comfort him and explain that he is new to driving and it will take time to be comfortable doing it. In my opinion, I think he is worrying about every little thing when driving and can't relax. It doesn't help with the tension in the car from the instructor and being a new inexperience driver.

One day, Brady was almost in tears when he told me that the teacher said "Quit being stupid," Wow!! I was really mad and wanted to call right away and tell his supervisor. Brady didn't want me to do it. I didn't, but sure wanted to do it (Momma bear protecting her cub).

As the training has come to an end, Brady's teacher wanted me to call him and make an appointment to have Brady drive, with me in the back seat. I really felt there was no value in this. I have driven for over 30 years - a very good driver and I know how to drive - I think I can handle driving with Brady after Drivers Training is over. I've done it with Jason -- I know I can handle it.

Plus, can you imagine me in the back seat while this abrasive teacher puts down my son in front of me. It might get a little ugly - so I opted not to even go there.

I called the teacher and I was REALLY nice on the phone (at least I thought I was). I explained that my children have a tough time with some men and Brady just didn't feel comfortable with him and that is why I felt he was making so many mistakes. I also told him that I was sure we would be fine without me driving around with him. He acted like I wasn't a hands on parent who was supportive of my child. I thought he was really abrasive on the phone. He was NOT happy that I would not drive around with them. Oh man - it was not a good telephone call.

He said, "Fine I'll pass him," and hung up on me. Wow!! I really felt I was being nice on the phone. Actually, the phone call made it come to light on what Brady has been going through all month.
I know that Brady is terrified of driving and of making a mistake. I know this will pass as he drives with me and I can help him feel more comfortable and "teach" him driving skills without the added stress.

I know he will be a good driver - he just needs to relax. I feel bad that this experience has been so stressful. Hopefully it will turn out all right. With the new law of 6 months driving with a parent - I am sure he will be fine before he is driving on his own. I don't feel any concern over this - I just think this teacher was a jerk (from Momma Bear).

Ripe Tomatoes

This is the first year I've had ripe tomatoes this early in the season. Right now I have 11 ripe tomatoes and lots of green ones. I LOVE container gardens. I feel it has been the most successful I've been - especially with tomatoes. I can't wait to start canning them - Woo Hoo!!

I've been able to can another 11 pints of beans with another batch ready to be picked. That is a total of 23 pints so far. It's a great feeling of accomplishment when you are able to grow and can your own vegetables. The best thing for me has been the "no weeding" in my garden. But, I still have to weed in my flower beds - darn weeds.

My yard and flowers are just awesome. Everything looks great! I love my curbing!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Primary Class Party - Summer

I've been very behind in having a class party. It seems something always comes up, or I'm too busy, the children have things going on or something always postpones it. I finally decided we needed to have it and planned it for July 18th and I printed up the fliers to give out at church. When I arrived at sacrament meeting and reading the announcements on the program, I found out that the Stake was having a Pioneer breakfast - so I had to postpone it again.

Stacie (team teacher), the class and I tried to find a date that would work. The 25-26 weekend a bunch of children were going to Salt Lake City for the pioneer celebration and for family reunions. August 1st was Isabelle's baptism and on and on.

We decided to try and have it on a week day -which is difficult for my schedule. Here is my schedule - Monday night I work, Tuesday night Brady has piano lessons, Wednesday night is Young Men's for Brady, Thursday is a huge work day and Friday is date night or something fun (right?).

We decided to try and have it on Thursday, July 18th. On Wednesday I called around to remind all the boys and girls about the party. Everyone was busy, gone, headed to Salt Lake City for Pioneer day and I knew it was going to be a VERY small party. I also found out it was Pack meeting for the Cub Scouts - which was not on the calendar. Oh well.... we just needed to have it and went forward in getting everything ready.

Eric eating pizza, Dillion (Stacie's son) in the red shirt, Jonathan in his scout uniform, Kia in the very back yellow shirt, Drew (Stacie's son) yellow shirt int he corner, and Jerimian in the white shirt. Jerimian is one of my inactive children. This is the first thing he has come to. He is a delightful little boy - who just turned 8. I'm hoping he will start Cub Scouts and start coming to church - that would be awesome!

Out of 14 children in our class, we only had 4 boys and NO girls. It was a boy party. I also begged Stacie to bring her 2 boys and husband because there wasn't going to be very good attendance. Stacie brought her two boys but her husband worked late.
When the children (boys) arrived, we had them play with bubbles until the pizza came and while waiting for everyone to arrive.

After eating the pizza, we had crafts for them to paint. Stacie found some wooden snakes that move to paint, I found ceramic bugs and cars to paint, and a paddle ball game to put together. The snakes were a huge hit!

We didn't have much time to put the paddle ball game together or paint more then 1 thing. So we are saving it for another party.
I felt the party was a great success for those boys who came. Plus, I was thrilled to have Jerimian come and get to know him better. I still feel like we need to try again this summer to have a party.

I am going to check with the Meridian swimming pool - on their last day open and when school starts. I hope we can do a swimming party before they go back to school.

It's fun to party with these precious children, to get to know them better and show them how much we love them and love teaching them.

I need to do a post on Primary handouts - since it's been a while. The binders are getting full and it has been such a fun thing to re-enforce the concepts taught with journal pages and activities. Stacie and I love teaching the 8 year olds!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Motivational Monday - The Law of the Garbage Truck


The Law of the Garbage Truck

By author David J. Pollay

How often do you let other people’s nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless you’re the Terminator, you’re probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of your success is how quickly you can refocus on what’s important in your life.

Sixteen years ago I learned this lesson. And I learned it in the back of a New York City taxi cab. Here’s what happened.

I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, the car skidded, the tires squealed, and at the very last moment our car stopped just one inch from the other car’s back-end.

I couldn’t believe it. But then I couldn’t believe what happened next. The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us. How do I know? Ask any New Yorker, some words in New York come with a special face. And he even threw in a one finger salute! I couldn’t believe it!

But then here’s what really blew me away. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was friendly. So, I said, “Why did you just do that!? This guy could have killed us!” And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, “The Law of the Garbage Truck™.” He said:

Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they look for a place to dump it. And if you let them, they’ll dump it on you. So when someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Believe me. You’ll be happier. So I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the street? It was then that I said, “I don’t want their garbage and I’m not going to spread it anymore.”

I began to see Garbage Trucks. Like in the movie “The Sixth Sense,” the little boy said, “I see Dead People.” Well now “I see Garbage Trucks.” I see the load they’re carrying. I see them coming to dump it. And like my taxi driver, I don’t take it personally; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on.

One of my favorite football players of all time was Walter Payton. Every day on the football field, after being tackled, he would jump up as quickly as he hit the ground. He never dwelled on a hit. Payton was ready to make the next play his best. Over the years the best players from around the world in every sport have played this way: Tiger Woods, Nadia Comaneci, Muhammad Ali, Bjorn Borg, Chris Evert, Michael Jordan, Jackie Robinson, and Pele are just some of those players. And the most inspiring leaders have lived this way: Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King.

See, Roy Baumeister, a psychology researcher from the University of Florida, found in his extensive research that you remember bad things more often than good things in your life. You store the bad memories more easily, and you recall them more frequently.

So the odds are against you when a Garbage Truck comes your way. But when you follow The Law of the Garbage Truck™, you take back control of your life. You make room for the good by letting go of the bad.

The best leaders know that they have to be ready for their next meeting. The best sales people know that they have to be ready for their next client. And the best parents know that they have to be ready to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses, no matter how many garbage trucks they might have faced that day. All of us know that we have to be fully present, and at our best for the people we care about.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their life.

What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by?

Here’s my bet: You’ll be happier.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy 25th Birthday Jason

The years have literally flown by and I can't believe my dear little baby is now 25 years old.
Jason came into the world at 8:25 pm after only 3 1/2 hours labor, to me a single girl of 22 years old. He was beautiful 7 pounds 13 ounces and 20 inches long. Tons of black hair. As I looked at his eyes, fingers and toes it was very hard to imagine that this precious little boy developed inside of my body and he was perfect.
I had high hopes of a total boy playing football, baseball and all the fun boy sports. I guess being raised by a single Mom - it just didn't take. Instead you turned out loving, kind, tender hearted and a wonderful son - not to bad.
I loved you from the very first time I held you - even before. I new that no matter what - we would always be together and I would do the best I could to provide and give you the best life possible.

Dear Son,
Ever since you were born,
I worried and wondered
about whether or not
I was being the best parent
I could be.
Did I make you feel important?
Did we find enough time
for the little things that live on
in happy memories
like laughter, and hugs,
And "just-between-us" moments?
And, even when we disagreed,
did you always know
I loved you?
Of all the things
in my life that I might have
or could have
or should have done differently
There's one thing I'd never change,
and that's having you
for a son.....
Disney land on a trip to visit his Dad.
He became a big brother to Brady at age 10.
Although you really didn't like all the time I spent taking care of Brady ....
you were a great big brother.My little missionary - so cute in his suit.
A trip to Vernal, Utah to see the dinosaurs. You loved dinosaurs and mutant ninja turtles. You loved to play with toys. You created so many fun games and time in the sand. You were always on the go.
(Aaaaah the great thing about growing up before computers and computer games - you played outside all the time and had friends).
Uncle Kurt baptised you and Uncle Kelly confirmed you a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was a very wonderful moment.Jason earned his Arrow of Light in Cub Scouts. Yeah!
Teenage years were tough for us. You wanted to do your own thing and I tried to MAKE you choose the right. I pushed you really hard and maybe didn't make you feel like I knew you were wonderful, smart and the apple of my eye.

If I didn't always find a way to say it,
I hope I always showed it -
I'm proud to be your parent,
and I love you, Jason.
Jason ended up getting his GED instead of finishing High School. He was always in a hurry to get on with life. He hated the games people and teachers played in School. He always felt a little misunderstood - and Jocks always were the teachers pet. I finally agreed to let you take the test and leave school. It was a very tough time for me - but I let you spread your wings and fly. One day when you have your own child - you will understand.
Far or near - we have always love you and were glad when you came an enjoyed family victories and supported each other.
My Mister Potato head that comes equipped with props. You make me laugh and shake my head at the same time.
You totally LOVE Apple products and iPhones. You are a very smart technical kid. I love that you are finally understanding how smart you really are. You have great potential to really be successful in this life. You can do anything your heart desires. You are the best son and I really have been blessed to have you part of my life - even though we didn't have a Dad around to show you the ropes..... I think we did pretty good along our journey.
I love you soooooo very much - little guy (or big guy). I hope you know that you mean the world to me and my life. I was a very LUCKY mom to have you come into my life.

Happy 25th Birthday - I hope you enjoy this day and may this year let your dreams come true!

I thought I would post a picture of Jason's Dad, Larry (goes by Lawrence now). Oh how I loved Larry and still do - more like a little brother. He was in and out of our life through the years.
I only wished that he would have made more of an effort to be a great father, a better example and gave a little more. But it's OK, we love Larry... It was my decision to keep Jason and provide for him. I am thankful for the blessings of being a mother to this special man.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Zuccnini Bread Recipe

Zucchini and lots of it has been coming my way. I received two big ones from one of my customers before mine were big enough to pick, another big one from our piano teacher/home teacher and now mine are growing. I pick mine when they are small to keep it in control.
I made a batch of zucchini bread last week and it was yucky. I couldn't find my usual recipe and so I tried another one. It wasn't very good. I looked on line at some of my favorite blogging site and of course I found the recipe that was very similar to mine on Kimmie's blog Pink Cookies with Sprinkles. Kimmie was kind enough to let me put this yummy recipe on my blog so I can print it out on my monthly blog book. Here is a link the recipe on her blog - which is where you will find more tips on zucchini. She is a awesome cook and I LOVE all of her recipes. Thanks Kimmie!
Zucchini Bread Recipe (Very Moist and the taste is to die for - you will love it)

3 eggs, well beaten
1 cup oil (she uses 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 applesauce instead of the 1 cull cup of oil - see the little snack size of apple sauce by the oil - that is 1/2 cup -cool huh?)
1 ¾ cup sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
3 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
3/4 tsp nutmeg
3 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts (optional) - I don't put nuts in mine.

Mix First 5 ingredients
Sift and add the rest
Grease 2 loaf pans and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour (or until toothpick inserted in comes out clean.
To shred the zucchini, I use a cheese grater and grate away.
To use up 1 big zucchini (I cute out the center with the seeds before I start grating it.) I had to make two batches. One batch makes two loaves. It is really a yummy recipe that you and your family will love this recipe.

Happy Zucchini Season!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

AFY Pictures

Brady, Katie and Autumn are all packed, registered and ready to start youth conference. Now, off to find my dorm room.
Another great start to Youth conference. Cute new AFY t-shirts.
Brady and Autumn.
The group shot before the banquet at the end of AFY.
The girls made all of the boys M&M bow ties. I've also seen this done for Father's Day.
All of the boys posing with their cute next ties. Quite shocking to see a read shirt.
One lucky girl being admired by all the boys.
Brady???? What is that face? LOL!

Autumn and Brady all dressed up. Brady didn't like having a suit. I guess it wasn't mandatory. Brady and his roommate were the only boys who had a suit jacket. I think it was totally inspired that the two boys who had a suit ended up in the same room.
I'll have to have Brady fill in the names of the two girls before Autumn and Brady. Going to the temple.
Brady and Autumn on the bus going to white water raft down the Snake River.

They had such a great time. I have lots of picture to post later. Yes.... there a lots more. I am trying to talk Brady into doing a guest post of his experience there. That would be lots better then me trying to explain all his feelings and thoughts of AFY.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Motivational Monday - Twenty Dollar Bill

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill.

In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?"

Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this."

He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?"
Still the hands were up in the air.

"Well," he replied, "what if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.

"My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.

Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless.

But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God's eyes.

To Him, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to Him.

THOUGHT: The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we are but by WHOSE we are! We never lose our worth!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Green Bean Harvest and Canning

It's that time of year again, when preserving food begins. Yes, I had my first crop of Green Beans from my container garden. Very exciting that it has worked out so well. It seemed like there was less damage to the beans from bugs or laying on the ground. Nice, crisp, beautiful beans - our favorite! It was nice to move the pots around to get all the beans picked. Look at all those yummy beans!
Then we took off the ends and snapped them up. Washed the beans really good, washed and prepared the bottles and the pressure cooker.
I washed 12 bottles and had enough beans to fill them all. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each jar.
Fill the jars with boiling water and run a knife down the sides to get all the air bubbles out.
Boil the canning lids for a few minutes and put on the jars and tighten with the ring.
Add to the pressure cooker. Since I had 12 bottles, I did 6 at a time.
Use 10 pounds of pressure on the pressure cooker.
Since it was a VERY hot day - record 106 degrees.... I did not want to process this in the house. I decided to do it outside on the side burner of my barbecue grill. This is the first time I have tried this and I'm sold....I will process food this way from now on. I really think the sun helped in the process - solar rays hitting the shiny metal. The process seemed a LOT shorter to jiggle the 10 pound pressure. After it starts jiggling you process it for 20 minutes.

It was wonderful to get 12 bottles done on my first harvest. I am confidant it will be a great year for beans in my container garden. I also have TONS of tomatoes - just waiting for them to ripen. Yippee!

Saturday I do a lot of washing too. I always change the sheets on the bed and wash them every Saturday. I didn't want to heat up my house because of the warm day - so I pulled out my retractable clothes line and dried my clothes.
A trick I read several years ago was to hang the clothing upside down. To me, it seems like there are less wrinkles drying this way and the top of the pants, the arms on the shirts seem to dry quicker blowing in a gentle breeze.

I love the smell of clothing hanging on a line. mmmmmm

Brady kept teasing me that I was getting old - with all of the old way of drying clothes, washing dishes by hand - because I didn't want to turn on the dishwasher - and that heat.

It worked too - because the air conditioner was able to keep the house cool on a 106 degree day. I love air conditioners.... and I'm going to use it - no matter what "green freaks" think or the government does with their cap and trade bill.... It's my house and I'll keep it cool!! (sorry about the rant ;-) *wink!

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