Monday, September 16, 2013

My Week of Projects

LAST WEEK I filled my days with projects.  Fun ones!  I made a couple of palette signs.  I love using the sawzall to cut through the nails.  It takes like, 5 minutes to break down a palette that way.  Before a friend told me about using the sawzall Cheryl and I used crowbars and it took us days and days.  And there's something about using power tools.  It's scary yet empowering at the same time.  

I have an idea about inventing steel toed crocs to work in.  Not that I'm a croc wearing crazy mom.  I just have a pair for wearing in the garden.  When I bought those $1 green crocs from the garage sale, I made a promise to myself that I could only wear them around the yard and not beyond.  The same promise I made to myself about the yellow moo moo that I wear on Mondays to do laundry.

Another exciting thing for me this week when I was putting together the palette signs was using John's nailer.  Another power tool.  I  love it!  I just want to go around nailing things with it.  So fun.  I've noticed a change in my mothering this week.  I was a lot more patient with my children.  I think using power tools get a lot of built up emotions and aggression out so I'm not yelling as much. I should try to use it every day.

My first attempt at painting a chevron print.
This was for Kelly O'Reilly, soon to be Kelly Cahoon
I like this picture of me.  It makes me look skinny.

I finally finished our American Flag palette.  I loved how it turned out.  I'm glad that I didn't make this before we learned about how to display flags in cub scouts last month.  I would've painted the "union or field" {the blue square and star} on the wrong side.  Look at me show off my knowledge of our flag. The things I learn in cub scouts.  I finished this and placed it by the front door just in time for 9/11. Patriot Day
 We are having an abundance of peppers in our garden.  I guess that's what happens when your husband plants 2 dozen pepper plants. I'm going to be making a lot of these. 
I love making these.  Cussing tarts.  So named by Carrie's aunt Jan because some times the little
#!**#!!!tarts don't want to come out of the tart tin.  Maybe she might have cussed when that happened.  I may have done the same thing a few times.  But it's okay because they are called cussing tarts.  She made the most delicious desserts.  Well, I got to make these twice this past week for two special occasions.  Maddy Bowman's mission farewell open house and Kelly O'Reilly's bridal shower. 

What a wonderful, fulfilling week.  I try not to think and say, "Look.  I made this."  Brian Regan ruined that phrase for me.  If I get caught saying that to my family I am ridiculed.  I like what President Uchtdorf says about creating something. "The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul."  Oct. 2008. He also said this, "Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty—and I am not talking about the process of cleaning the rooms of your teenage children."    Wait there's more...."We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fullness of joy.4 Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things."  

Just go here to read more.  It's wonderful and go create something this week.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fearless Climber

Duane's 1st peek of Mt. Everest. Day 3 of 10 days to base camp

HAPPY Birthday to my younger, amazing brother, Duane, this week.  He's 40 year's old and he's already climbed to the base camp of the tallest mountain in the world, Mt. Everest.  He's my hero.  His sense of adventure inspires me everyday to climb my mountains.   We have different mountains that we climb.  He seeks out the most adventurous, steepest, challenging, overwhelming ones near and far {and I don't}.  I'm his biggest fan.  I look forward to hearing about his treks and hikes to Half dome, Mt. Whitney, rim to rim of Superstition, and Grand Canyon. 

My mountain isn't a destination it's my daily journey through having F.A.P. and living without a colon and thyroid.  Duane's perspective on climbing a mountain is inspiring.  He's taught me that the view from the top of the world is worth all the pain, training, hard work, foot after foot of miles climbing up a steep trail. 

I can picture a loving Heavenly Father allowing me to face these daily struggles, challenges, a personal Mt. Everest, so when I make it up to the summit I might have a more Godly view of life and love and obtain an eternal perspective. 

I'm grateful to have an adventurous brother, leading the way for me and showing me how it's done.

"Nepal Trip - on top of Cho La, a high pass at 17,650'.
  Hard to climb at places but very satisfying to reach the top. May 2. "
I repeat that little phrase when things get hard...  "Hard to climb at places but very satisfying when I reach the top."  I hope he gets to climb many many more mountains.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Lady of Leisure

THURSDAY was my first day in 17 years that all my children were at school at once and all day.  My friend, Jennifer, teased, calling me a lady of leisure.  I replied that I don't have the budget to be a lady of leisure.  I was more like a stay at home mom/maid.  Lady of leisure sounds like a socialite, pampered mother with perfectly done nails.  Not me.

But I thought a lot about that lady of leisure as I cleaned and organized the piles in my neglected bedroom.  I leisurely thought about it...  Suddenly, the morning had past.  The bedroom cleaned and organized, and then it was time for lunch.  I am a lady of leisure.  Jennifer, I get it!

Here's what this lady of leisure makes herself for lunch.

Perfect angle-hair pasta with tomato sauce and sauteed zucchini.  All freshly picked from my garden. Martha Stewart, the ultimate lady of leisure, taught me this one. 

2 T plus 1/4 t of salt
1 1/2 pounds of Roma's or one 28 oz can Italian plum tomatoes
8 oz pasta,
4T extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves pressed or cut into 1/8 in thick pieces
1/4 t crushed red-pepper flakes
1/4 fresh basil or parsley leaves, loosely packed and torn
parmigiano-reggiano cheese

Boil water, adding 2 T salt, add pasta and cook according to package.
If using fresh tomatoes, blanch them and remove skins and cut into 1/4 pieces or smash them up.
(Martha would take the cores out, take the seeds out, and not smash them up.  But remember she is the ultimate lady of leisure)
Then in a 12 inch saute pan heated on medium, add oil.  Add garlic to pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is lightly golden, 30 seconds.  Add red-pepper flakes and remaining 1t salt.  Cook until garlic is medium golden, 1 minute.
Increase heat to high. Tilting pan at an angle, add tomatoes on the top portion of the pan so it doesn't splatter all over you.  Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until tomatoes begin to break down, 5-6 mins.  If sauce starts to get too dry, add a little water from the pasta.
Drain pasta and add to sauce.  Stir in basil cook a few more minutes.  Sprinkle with cheese. 

This is simply the best!  Let's do lunch some time...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Gone Fishin

I started going to Fish Lake 23 years ago.  John took me there on our honeymoon.  I think we've gone every summer since.  I love it so...
Fish Lake is full of family traditions like troll fishing, North Carolina Rummy, watching the deer that graze in front of the cabin, and long walks along the lake. 
I have my own tradition.  I love to go on a walk with my children down to the lake and sit in this most comfortable bench that looks perfectly towards the lake and watch my children play on the shore and climb on the lava rocks near by. The bench has an inscription carved into it.  It reads: 
Mr. somebody and his birthday - 1997
Gone Fishing.  
What a thoughtful family he has. When I sit on his bench I can't help but relax and enjoy the place I'm in and at.  I don't have a  care in the world nagging at me.  Contentment is all I feel.  My love of being a mother, a wife, and enjoying the beautiful scenery and nature consumes my soul.  It charges me up for the rest of the year and last almost until the next summer.  Then  it's time to go back to Fish Lake and go fishin.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Counting My Blessings

Manti Temple Grounds August 7, 2013

When ever we drive to Utah, 10 hours in the car, I always bring along a hand sewing project, a book or two, and a stack of magazines.  I don't know why I pack all that with me in the front seat.  All I really need is the Ensign.  I read it cover to cover and commit to read it the next month cover to cover.  That doesn't happen though.  I especially love the short faith promoting stories in the back.  Then I read the other short articles.  Love those.  I have a short attention span I guess.  Then, feeling guilty that I passed over the First Presidency's message I flip back to that. 
I read and reread President Eyring's message.  Recognize, Remember, and Give Thanks.   What he wrote about really struck a cord with me.  I've been thinking of it ever since.  "Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity."  
 I knew I've been missing something from my life these past few years.  So here I go again.   Blogging {or in my case, Journaling}.  
 I love this picture of the children.  They remind me of how happy and blessed we are as a family.  We have challenges everyday.  Someone {me, usually} ends up yelling about something but at the end of the day I can see how blessed we are to have each other.  
I'm grateful for that long drive to Utah last week and feeling inspired to blog again.  This is for posterity!