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Copyright © 2008 Happy Clean Living

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blog Book

Last week I received the two blog books I recently ordered. I actually love having a bigger one that has 6 months worth of blogs in it. You can see how much thicker they are then the other monthly books I've ordered. I love looking back through the books and reminiscing about what I did during the past year. 

Technology is a great thing! Hopefully my journaling will let my family and family to come, know more about me. I've never been great at keeping a journal or history of myself. I have a few things written, but this is much more day to day information about what I like and what I don't. I wish I'd done this when my children were younger, but at least I have photo albums with a poor memory. 

I enjoyed reading about our Easter last year and remembering about what Brady did, my little teenager. It was funny and I had totally forgotten what a teenager he is. I told him about it over breakfast on Saturday and we laughed and laughed about what a teenager he is... Great memories captured so I will never forget the day to day stuff. 

Blogging / journaling is a great thing - PLUS having a book to keep those memories alive through the test of time. 

I have to say that I LOVE the new layout from Blog 2 Print, but the photo's are smaller then I'd like them to be. I don't want to edit my book in another program, so it's a catch 22... If I blog and print books for the rest of my life, that will be a LOT of books and information. Is it better to have the smaller pictures and less space it will take up? Is it better to print out the photos that are really special in a bigger size and still scrapbook them? I don't know the answer, I DO love the books, I just wish the pictures were bigger.

Just a reminder, this is the last day for the 15% off coupon to print out your blog with Blog2Print. The coupon code is "newb2p".

I also thought this was an interesting Press Release:

"NEW YORK – March 10, 2010 – Even as the e-book starts to capture the attention of the reading public, a little known phenomenon is pushing copies of printed books skyward: transforming blogs into physical books. This year alone, SharedBook estimates that its Blog2Print service (www.blog2print.com) will publish more than 50,000 copies of individual blogs. “What SharedBook has done with Blog2Print is open a door to publishing that simply could not have existed before. The number of books bloggers have created - and likely will create in the future - is astonishing, and reflects the emerging power of creativity in our culture. 50,000 books in a year is equal to almost 15% of the total number of book titles published in the US in 2009!” said veteran publisher and consultant David Wilk, founder of Booktrix and a number of book-related websites."

Fun New Things From My Shopping Spreeeee

During the visit with my Mom last week, of course we had to go shopping. I took her to Hobby Lobby which is a new store to this area. Hobby Lobby has been open for only a couple of months and so far, I have spent quite a bit of money there. They have fantastic deals, especially during the grand opening which I purchased lots of scrap booking supplies for 50% off.

While shopping for items for my Primary class party I saw these two fairies. I resisted and didn't purchase them. When Mom and I went back last week, they were still there at 50% off and I couldn't resist them this time. Mom purchased one as a birthday gift (she wanted to purchase both but I wouldn't let her) and I purchased the other one.
They have the sweetest faces. I love them!

I also purchased tulip silk flowers to put out in the front of my house. Yes, I put fake flowers out in my yard - ha ha!! Saturday my sister brought my the dragon fly stake to put in the pots (for my birthday). Thanks Chris!
Here is a look at the tulips and my Easter Egg tree. You can see my Easter decorations here and here from last year.
I also purchased this sign. I loved the saying: "The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have".
I've also been looking for some new larger candle holders to go on my new table under the big picture in my living room. My older ones were too small and not the right scale for the table or the picture. I can't show the picture of the candle sticks on the table right now because it has the Easter village on it. Anyway, they are beautiful and were also 50% off. Yeah!
Originally my Mom was going to purchase a blow up queen bed for me as a Christmas present, but she gave me my big picture instead. Then she was going to buy it for my birthday. We looked at it while we were at Shopko last Tuesday (while I purchased DVD of New Moon and The Time Travelers Wife). They were $80 and I told her she could not spend that much money on me. Sheeeeesh you'd think she had a job or something instead of retired. Anyway I told her NO and that I really didn't need one that bad.

We get by fine when someone visits, poor Brady has to give up his room and sleep on the twin blow up mattress that we use for camping in my scrap book room.

I wasn't going to spend $80 on one when you can find it on sale. This was Tuesday and on Wednesday it was on Sale in an ad in the newspaper at Shopko and JC Penney's. I thought the one at JC Penney's looked more deluxe then the one at Shopko. They were on sale for the same price $45. We stopped by JC Penney's and it was on sale for $29.99 and I had a 15% off coupon making it $25.

Woo Hoo on a super bargain theirs was down from $90. Again, Mom wanted to purchase it, but I wouldn't let her. Here she is working with me to make extra money and it kind of defeats the purpose when she wants to spend money I gave her on me (shaking head).
Anyway, lots of shopping and spending money last week. But I got some AWESOME deals which makes me happy.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Enjoy My Quiet Times

Last week my Mom was here visiting and working with me. It was an enjoyable visit and nice to have her here.

After she left, I needed quiet time. I realize how much I enjoy being alone. I find that I truly enjoy being home and having quiet space. I need it and I thrive in it. While I enjoy seeing friends and visiting for an hour or so, after a week of constant visiting - it wears me out and I want my quiet time again.
Also during the past couple of weeks I have watched one of my older customers, Norma starve herself and has ended up in the hospital. I fear the end is not to far off in the distance. This is my customer who didn't have any children and I feel some responsibility to help out as I can. I purchased groceries, cooked dinners to take to her, visited with her. She has one sister, Carol who does care for her the best she can. Carol never married or had children either. These are two older women who need someone to help them. They are not religious and have no support system besides me. While I don't mind helping ..... it does wear me down a bit.

Carol loves to talk on the phone. She has been calling me everyday because she is scared for her sister. She talks and talks and talks on the phone. I do not enjoy talking on the phone for hours. I listen and give encouragement and support ... but wish that it was a 10 minute telephone call instead of an hour telephone call - everyday.
While this may seem very selfish to some people, for me it is taking up my precious time to do the things I need to get done each day. I work hard everyday and when I get home I want to be here for my children - not on the phone chatting. I have always cherished my home time to be a mother in the few short hours between home from work and bed time. There just isn't enough hours in a day to be focused on my children for me. When I have always worked away from the home and worked in a church calling and have been away from the most precious thing in my life (my family) - I hate interruptions from my time at being home with my children. I don't like to talk on the phone or be out with friends because the time I have with my children is NOT enough.

When people are constantly talking and talking to me, I don't have time to think. I really do need my quiet time. I like to read, listen to music, scan the Internet or write a blog. I can't do any of these things if people are talking to me.
Lately I've had many customers who want to talk to me while I work. I don't like that either. While I love my customers and enjoy a quick chat, it is starting to wear on me that they follow me around and talk and talk to me while I work. It's hard because I want to hurry and get the job done and get home. But, when they talk to me - my day is longer and I am home much later.

When I talk to people, I try to be encouraging and supportive. I try to lift them up. I know people like me and I can make friends easily. The problem is.... I enjoy my quiet time. When I make friends - they want to take over "my time" and I become resentful. I don't want to talk on the phone everyday for hours. I don't need to go out to lunch or visit for hours. I have things to do in the short hours I am not working.

My brain hurts from no quiet time. I find that I like it more and more as I get older. I know I could never be married again - as I thrive on being alone and having my own quiet time. I'm getting older and set in my ways of having my own time.

Now, I'm off to think and have quiet time. After a week of visits - I definitely need my "me" time. Maybe I'll blog a little, read a few blogs and listen to quiet beautiful music... Aaaaahhh QUIET! :-D

Monday, March 29, 2010

Motivational Monday - "He is Risen"

F. Melvin Hammond, “He Is Risen,” New Era, Apr 1996, 4

If you will remember what He did, and how great His love is, your love for Him will grow deeper and deeper.

On Easter Sunday we celebrate His rising from the dead and all of us should know the wonderful story of that remarkable event.

It was early on Sunday morning. Deep darkness still hung over the holy city, Jerusalem. Mary of Magdala entered the garden and approached the tomb where the body of Jesus of Nazareth recently had been laid. Just two days before, the humble Christ, hanging from a wooden cross, had given up his life, and mortality had ended for the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh.
Joseph of Arimathaea, a loving follower of Jesus, had gone to the Roman procurator, Pontius Pilate, and had asked that he be allowed to remove the body from the cross. Permission was granted. The body was taken from the cross, and Joseph, with the assistance of another friend, Nicodemus, gently prepared the body for burial after the manner of the Jews. The kind, loving men placed the body of the deceased in a newly hewn tomb belonging to Joseph. Then a great stone was rolled across the entrance, and a Roman seal was placed upon it, “lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead” (Matt. 27:64).

Now, Mary Magdalene approached the tomb, but to her amazement the huge stone had been rolled away. The body of her beloved Jesus was gone. Quickly she ran to advise the Apostles of this new tragedy, saying, “They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him” (John 20:2).

Peter, the chief Apostle, and John, the beloved Apostle, hurried to the place of burial. The account of Mary was confirmed. The tomb was indeed empty, except for the linens which had been used to wrap the body. Saddened, the two Apostles went away to their own homes.

“But Mary,” who had followed Peter and John back to the garden, “stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre” (John 20:11). Two angels dressed in white sat within the tomb. Seeing her great grief they asked, “Woman, why weepest thou?” Sorrowfully, she answered them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him” (John 20:13).

Still weeping, Mary turned from the tomb, and through her misty eyes she noticed someone standing close by. The person spoke to her, “Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?” Thinking that perhaps it was the gardener who addressed her, she replied, “Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away” (John 20:15).

In a voice tinctured with pure love and the sweetest tenderness, he simply uttered one word, “Mary.” There was no mistaking the voice; it was Jesus Christ. And thrilled beyond any comprehension, the dear woman could only say, “Rabboni,” which means Master.

There He stood—alive! Raised from the dead! Never to die again! His perfect body forever united with the spirit, the eternal Christ!

To the credit of gentle, loving women everywhere, our Redeemer chose as the first mortal witness of His resurrection from the dead a woman, Mary Magdalene.

As we contemplate the events leading to the death of Jesus Christ, we tend to grieve for the awful sufferings which He experienced at the hands of wicked men—the terrible rending by the lash, the dreadful nails placed in His hands and feet, the prolonged agony of the cross, and finally His tender heart breaking for the sins of all men.

But stop! He is not dead! His is risen! He is the first fruit of the resurrection. Without Him, life for all men would end at death. All would be consigned to the grave forever. But because of Him, our Savior, even Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, we, every one of us, will live again—freed from the everlasting chains of death.
To all who have lost a loved one to the hand of death, I say have hope. For if we are faithful to the end, they will not be lost to us except for a moment. And then, oh the sweetness of that joyous reunion, for the tender mercy of the Lord will bring them forth triumphant from the grave.

As we celebrate Easter, will you remember the story of Jesus coming out of the grave a perfect, glorified being? Will you remember that He made it possible for all of us to someday be resurrected and to come back and live with Him in the celestial kingdom of God throughout all eternity? Then if you will remember, you will understand His love for all of us, and your love for Him will grow deeper and deeper forever.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Motivational Monday - "Testimony of Easter"

"Testimony of Easter"  By Pat Graham

Because I live, ye shall live also (John 14:19).

The Easter story is a story of love. Heavenly Father loves us so much that He sent His Son to earth to atone for our sins. Jesus loves Heavenly Father; He was willing to obey Him. And Jesus loves each one of us. He gave His life so that we may be forgiven when we do something wrong and repent.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13

Jesus died and then was resurrected, which means that He lived—and lives—again. We do not fully understand how Jesus can live again, so we think of it as a miracle. There are many miracles all around us that help us understand the resurrection of Jesus.

Wintertime is long and dark;
The flowers and seeds are sleeping.
They wait for the light of the sun to awaken them.
The warmth of spring brings them to life again,
Like a testimony of the Easter story.
A wonderful thing happens in spring—
The birds sing, the grass becomes green,
The world is awake with the promise of life,
Restoring the earth in its fullness.
Tiny brown buds become blossoms on a tree.
Dry bulbs pressed deep into the earth bloom again.
A little egg inside a nest becomes a bird.
From a gray cocoon, hidden beneath a leaf, comes a beautiful butterfly.

These tiny miracles help us to understand the greatest miracle of all, the Resurrection. When the stone was rolled away that Easter day, Jesus had risen from His tomb.

 “He is not here: for he is risen” (Matt. 28:6).
Many people saw Jesus after He was resurrected. However, we do not need to see Him to know that He lives. As we keep the commandments and remember Jesus, we feel good. And that good feeling is the beginning of a testimony.

“A testimony of Jesus means that you accept the divine mission of Jesus Christ, embrace His gospel, and do His works” (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1982, page 62).

For a long time the world was in darkness;
The hearts of men were sleeping.
There was no spiritual light upon the earth.
Then at last the heavens were opened,
And the light of the gospel awakened the world.
This was a glorious testimony of the Resurrection.
A wonderful thing happened one spring
When Joseph saw the Father and the Son.
The world was awakened, and the priesthood was returned to earth,
Restoring the gospel in its fullness.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

General Conference Ideas

Here is a link to the new conference book from LDS.org. I love giving my Primary children books to work on while watching conference. The book from SugarDoodle was NOT my favorite this year. They had cartoon drawings of the Prophet and Apostles.... I don't like cartoon drawings, I prefer real pictures. I felt like I was going to have to make my own this year. But thankfully LDS.org came out with a easy book with real pictures - hooray!! It's not a book for really small children who can't read or write, but great if they are in school or even a teenager... I think I'll have it by my side too. It looks like a great note taking booklet for all.

Here is the website for SugarDoodle's General Conference page. It has a bunch of great ideas!

I love what my niece Zoey Michelle does with her family during conference time. She is such a great mother and example to those around her. You can find her idea here. You need to read what she does to make General Conference special for her children. Here is a little excerpt from her blog to prepare her kids is:
"The family home evening before the weekend, we always talk about King Benjamin and how the people gathered their families and pitched their tents facing the temple so that they could hear the prophet. We talked about how we don't have to go to the prophet now; we can watch it on TV or the Internet. We also talk about what the prophet might tell us when he speaks to us and what King Benjamin told his people."

Don't forget to give the ladies you visit teach a conference bag: Here is a link to my blog post showing this great idea:

My goal is to prepare myself for a wonderful General conference weekend. It is one of my favorite times all year. This year will be held April 3 and 4th, which is Easter Weekend. I really want to make a memorable weekend focused on the Savior and all that he has done for us, His resurrection and example. I am really looking forward to a wonderful weekend!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Primary Class Sings "I Know My Savior Loves Me"

My Primary lesson on Sunday was great. The preparation for this lesson was:
     A small gift for each child, such as a flower, a pretty stone, or a short note of appreciation.
At the beginning of the class I ask the children to close their eyes. Then I put the small gift on each child’s lap and then ask the children to open their eyes. They were excited to receive a stem full of red carnations.

It also happened that we were asked to sing in Relief Society. They asked us to sing this years new song: "I Know My Savior Loves Me". We filed into the Relief Society room, all holding their red carnations. It made a statement that they were all alike and beautiful children of God. They did a great job singing!

Here is the new song. I love it!
Can you guess what song I've been singing in my brain all week. Such a great song to know that My Savior Truly DOES Love ME... Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Recipe: Easy Cheesy Potatoes

The recipe calls for 2 24 oz bags frozen cubed potatoes or shredded has browns. However, I am not a big fan of frozen vegetables. I prefer fresh and I boil my own potatoes for this dish. 
Boil potatoes in water until tender - if a fork sticks in the potato easily it's done.
Ingredients:
1 - 16 oz container sour cream or 2 cups. (1 cup is 8 oz)
16 oz medium or mild cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 - 10.,75 oz can cream of chicken soup.. not shown above (oops)
3 green onions, chopped
8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (or bag of real bacon bits)
1/4 cup melted butter (1/2 cube of butter)
Peel and dice cooked potatoes, cut up bacon and green onions.
Add cheeses, sour cream and cream of chicken soup.
Stir everything together. While I was stirring, I knew it was missing something and re-checked my recipe. Oops, I missed the cream of chicken soup.
Pour in greased casserole dish. I use these tin loaf pans. I do this because I end up freezing them for additional meals. Brady and I cannot eat a whole casserole dish full of potatoes and it's nice to be able to pull one out of the freezer and throw it in the oven every once in a while.
Fill greased pan.
Cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes. Remove foil, add shredded cheese to the top and bake 5 minutes longer. Allow to sit for 5 minutes so cheese is melted to the bottom.
Yum, with pork chop or meat loaf, or chicken or roast... well.... you get the idea. Really yummy Easy Cheesy Potatoes (funeral potatoes).

Recipe: Easy Cheesy Potatoes
2-24oz bags frozen cubed potatoes or shredded has browns. I prefer real potatoes
1-16oz container sour cream
16 oz medium or mild cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 -10.75 oz can cream of chicken soup
3 green onions, chopped
8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (or bag of real bacon bits)
1/4 cup melted butter

Combine all ingredients, reserving some cheese for topping. Pour into greased casserole dish. Top with cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 minutes longer. Allow to sit for 5 minutes so cheese is melted to the bottom. Note: This makes great leftovers for lunch!


Another recipe:

Boil potatoes as directed above.
4 cups shredded potatoes with cheese grader/food processor
(you can also use 32 ounce of frozen shredded potatoes)
1 cup sour cream
2 1/2 Cups cheddar cheese
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 (10 ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
salt and pepper

Mix together well with wooden spoon. Make sure all ingredients are combined.

Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and spread the potato/cheese mixture into it.

Cover potatoes with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

**You can also add a corn flake topping. 1 1/2 cup corn flakes crushed with 2 tablespoons melted butter poored over the top and stirred to combine. Top the potatoes and bake (with foil over the pan).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day and School Assignment

I hope you are wearing green today - or I might pinch you... Insert evil laugh here.. Maw ha ha
Brady had another biology project he had to do. He had to describe a "cell" by making a drawing of something else to describe the workings of a cell. He spent 2 days working on this project. One day to draw it and one day to color it with colored pencils. It's a really light drawing - but he doesn't like to color dark.
I love his drawing. Each bench, popcorn, trash can, magician has a different meaning. I'll have to have him fill in the details later. It's a great drawing with lots of detail. He really does great work on his projects.
I hope you have a wonderful day and may the luck of the Irish be upon your heads today!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

2010 Primary Class Party!

It's that time again, to have a class party! I have a really wonderful class this year. The children are really reverent, they sing during sharing time, they bring their scriptures and participate. They are great kids. I have a large class, 12 children again this year and all are active - woo hoo!! We only had 8 children at the party this time - next time I hope they all attend.

We had pizza for lunch. The pizza was really, really late - I was worried. It took them over an hour to deliver it! Yikes!! I didn't like that at all. We ended up doing both of our crafts before the pizza arrived. Plus, I had to pull out the play doe for the children to have something to do until the pizza arrived.
Finally the pizza arrived. This is Kaelyn (with finger up), Lauren with hand up, and Annalee getting a slice of pizza.
Daisha is showing off her little chick she made out of play doe - and it was really cute. Mason is such a cutie - and had to sneak in for a picture.
Eating pizza, Annalee, Lauren, Kaelyn and Daisha. As you can see, I pushed the furniture in the living room to one side and put up tables.
This is Lucy.
This is Ali, Naethen and Mason.
Daisha and Kaelyn.
Annalee, silly girl Lauren and Lucy.
I made Lauren put down her peace sign... the sun really wasn't helping with the pictures. You can see gold coins all over the table.
These are the two crafts we put together. A book marker and a chick for Easter. We also decorated shamrock cookies - and I did not get one picture of the wonderful cookies. AND didn't get a picture of them making the 2 crafts. I can't believe it!!

They all took home a St. Patrick's Day goodie bag. It's the same one I make for Seminary devotionals (which Brady has today).
The bag has a kettle with 10 pieces of chocolate gold in it.
The shamrock that represents the God Head and also that they love us. (folds up into a heart = love)
Also a Shamrock pin to wear.
It was a fun party. I'm sad that Jordan, Zachary, Ayden and Brooklyn didn't make it. Hopefully the will be there next time.
Sunday Annalee and Kaelyn gave me a thank you card they made.
From Kaelyn... Very cute drawing!
From Annalee. I glad they enjoyed the party. Next one is scheduled for May to do a Mother's day craft. 1 party down and 3 to go for 2010.

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