Monday, October 27, 2008

The NaBloPoMo

So, I've seen NaBloPoMo around in many places, and I never knew what it meant. I finally looked it up on the internet. It means that a blogger posts every day for a month. So, for the month of November, my goal is to do one blog post every day. Some of them may be dumb, and some of them may be great, but I think that this will make me a better writer, and it will help me be a better journal writer. :) So, look forward to a post a day *crossing fingers* starting November 1.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Disclaimer: This post is not very well put together and may not be coherent to anyone but me, so it's really just a journal entry, but I felt like I need to post it publicly in an attempt at explaination to my readers for the way I am and for some of my readers to understand why certain things fit into the parenting category for me.

When I first had Jackie, I had seen many of my brothers and sisters be parents, and I had a good bunch of babysitting experience. I knew how to change a diaper, and I knew the basics of child care. I knew that I wanted to breastfeed if only for the immunity benefits, but there are a whole bunch more benefits that come from breast feeding. My sister-in-law gave me The Baby Book by William Sears.

It was so full of good, practical advice that it made me look into attachment parenting. I was already working hard to breastfeed, and my friend Crissy showed me this awesome pattern for sewing a tube sling and baby wearing just made sense. Also, I had heard that you can spoil a baby by always responding to their cries right on time. This book rapidly changed those fears, and I felt good about holding Jackie anytime she cried, and I felt relieved to have medical permission to co-sleep if I chose to. I started only basing my parenting on just what felt right and what was natural, and that's how I found Elimination Communication. People have been parenting for a long time without diapers, and it made sense to me that babies wouldn't want to sit in their own pee any more than an adult or a dog does. So, my parenting style became all about communication and working to talk with my kids.

Once kids get to be two, some of the attachment parenting ideas like baby wearing (although once in awhile Ben still likes and wants to get in the sling) and for me breastfeeding have become obsolete. We still cuddle a lot, and touch is really important to my parenting, but at the same time, I have tried to figure out how to parent an older child as naturally as possible.

Children naturally hit and kick each other or get angry when someone takes a toy. There has to be a way to teach them that certain behaviors are not acceptable. I have thought about this long and hard, and for me, choices come with consequences in life. Every choice comes with consequences either positive or negative. I want my kids to see this as the natural way of things. If you put the bobby pin in the wall outlet, you will get shocked. As a mom, I try to let my kids get natural consequences as much as possible, but in this case, I will take my kid away and try to give him/her a safer consequence.

In my most recent bout with Jackie this week, I have thought a lot about consequences and freedom. Sometimes, it seems like we think that freedom means that we get to make all the choices we want and there are no consequences. Consequence free choices=freedom in some way. However, there is no consequence free choice. Freedom is the right to choose. Once we choose, we have to deal with whatever outcome happens from that choice. For me, this is imperative to my ideals of natural parenting. If Jackie chooses to break rules just because I'm not around, the consequence of that choice is that I need to be around all the time to help her stay safe. (Thus, we had to have a leash time.) If she chooses the other side and chooses to follow the rules, her consequence is that she gets more time to decide which good toys to play with, and she seems to have a much better time. (She really didn't like the leash time. My activities weren't fun for her.) I guess, for me, this is where politics ties into my parenting style. If we make certain choices in our government, we lose certain freedoms. If people are allowed to make certain choices, then other people aren't ever allowed to have any choices in life.

There are certain choices right now that everyone is faced with. Please weigh the consequences carefully. There are things that we want, but my question is: what are we giving up to have those options? If we give up our military funding for other programs, when we need our soldiers to keep us free, where will they be? And where will we be? We'll lose all of our freedom. We won't have the right to make very many choices at all. I guess that's why parenting and politics go together for me. The very most fundamental in my own parenting style is that choices and consequences go together, and I guess, it's just how I see everything in life.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ben's Birthday Cake

Yes, as you saw in the previous post, Ben's cake was Elmo. I went to the local party supply store and looked for some Elmo things to make his party happy. He got a balloon, napkins, plates, and cups with Elmo and Sesame Street characters on them. However, I also saw the Elmo cake pan. I decided to try it, and as you saw, it turned out well. I had already bought a party cake mix from Wal-mart and some cream cheese frosting that I was going to put sprinkles on with some Elmo candies, but then I saw the cake mix, and I knew he'd love it. Every time he sees a picture of Elmo, he says, "Mama, make Elmo cake?" He wants another one.

The cake pan was sort of expensive, but not as expensive as buying a cake usually is, so I'm posting my pictures of the process in case someone else decides to be brave and try. (P.S. I didn't try to pipe the frosting on in stars, I used a rubber spatula and just normal cream cheese frosting instead of making butter cream.)

First, I just made the cake mix like the instructions on the back. And then I used Pam for baking (with flour in it) and sprayed the pan. I poured in the batter and spread it around with a spatula. Then I put it in the oven. It did take a little longer to bake, but the instructions for how long to bake it were on the inside of the pan when I bought it. (Being literate is definitely a blessing.) Once it came out of the oven, I let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then I cut off the rounded part on the back to try to make it so it could lay flat on the pan. Then, I went around the edges with a rubber spatula and dumped onto the cooling rack. I left it on this rack for a little more than an hour, so it would cool well and not fall apart when I frosted it.

Then, I took a cookie sheet with a flat side and just slid it under the cake. You can use a cookie sheet and a cake board instead, but I already had the cookie sheet, and it worked well. Then, I sorted two cans of frosting into several bowls. I put about one whole can of frosting into a big mixing bowl and dumped in a whole bunch of red cake frosting food coloring. I didn't quite use enough, so it was still slightly pink, but that stuff gets everywhere, and I have an uncanny talent for huge messes, so I decided to quit while I was ahead and use the pink.

Then, in one of the smaller bowls, I put black food coloring. I did buy the black from the party store, too because it's almost impossible to mix black. I used a large amount of black for the small amount of frosting, partly so I wouldn't have gray and the black turned out alright. OK, so I'm really cheap, and I didn't want to get cake decorating stuff just for the mouth and eyes, so I used a plastic zipper bag and cut off the corner. (If you want to try this, I highly suggest from experience (see above about the messes?) that you get a brand name one that you know the zipper will STAY closed on.)

Then, I squirted it out of the bag onto the mouth. Then, I very carefully used a rubber spatula to make the red. It worked out well. I wanted it to be fluffy, so I purposely didn't try to spread it straight. I went different directions, and I kept pushing the spatula into the frosting and lifting it out. It turned out pretty well. Once the red was done, I added some yellow to it to make the orange for the nose. Then, I used a butter knife to spread the nose. I wanted it to be as smooth as possible. It didn't come out completely smooth, but I feel like I did well. Then, I used some white that I saved out and didn't color for the eyes. I used a different butter knife and spread the eyes. Then, I used my trusty plastic bag again and did the black spot on the eyes.

Ben knew at first site who it was. He pointed right to it, his smile went all the way across his face, and he said, "ELMO!" There are quite a few cake pans out there, so if you want to do a kids' b-day party, this was fun, educational for me, and cheaper than buying an Elmo cake from somewhere else. I'm thinking that next time I have a two year old b-day I'll try again with the Elmo. I'm thinking that for Jackie, we might get brave enough to try Tinkerbell. . . :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ben's Birthday

Ben's two year old birthday was on the 10th of this month. It was just a tiny deal with one of our closest friends' families, our family, and Grandma and Papa. He loved it. I'm sorry that this post has taken so long because I know that my kids' pictures are some of the favorite posts from most of my readers. I need to be better at downloading my pictures to my computer from my camera. So enjoy the pictures from Ben's birthday.

Ben loving his birthday cake.

Ben loves Elmo. Having an Elmo theme was Jackie's idea because she saw the plates and knew he'd love this. Here's his cake.

Ben's cake with two candles

Ben Blowing out his candles

The kids at their table eating the cake. Dinner was not nearly this exciting!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I believe that children thrive off boundaries. However, I also realize that sometimes they are going to test their boundaries. Jackie has been testing boundaries quite a bit right now. In the past two weeks, she has given herself a haircut, (with the adult scissors that she knows she's not supposed to have) dumped yogurt onto the floor, tried to climb over the banister, gone downstairs anytime she can without permission, (not usually a problem for most families, but I do live with my inlaws) and generally just trying to do whatever she can that she knows is against the rules to see if I'll notice if she does it when I'm not directly watching. She's also been doing the same types of things at school.

We had a very frank discussion at bedtime last night. I told her that if she can't follow the rules when I'm not watching her, then I'm just going to have to watch her all the time. I don't really believe in putting a leash on a child, but I'm at the end of my rope. If I can't trust her to follow the rules when I'm not around her, then I am just going to have to keep her by me all the time for a little while. I figure one day on a leash, and we'll be able to start communicating and listening better to each other. Today, she has done really well, and she didn't get in trouble at school either. I'm hoping that just our talk did it, and I won't have to resort to backing myself up. Please cross your fingers for me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hold my nose and vote

I have some strong objections to John McCain. I feel like in this election, I am choosing between Socialism lite and Communism in my vote. McCain/Palin is socialism lite, and Barack Obama with his comments about the "need to spread the wealth around" are the communism wolf not even trying to disguise himself as a sheep. So, I went to the polls this week (Since they changed the law in the State if GA, and we can vote this early.) and voted for the McCain/Palin team.

Here are my big three reasons.

1) Abortion. This is my big fat number 1. Although I am a staunch pro-life woman, even if I greed with first trimester abortion, I definately don't and never will agree with third trimester abortions. Babies have been viable even in the second trimester, so how can someone not call a baby born in the third trimester a baby? Legal murder and I don't get along, and I cannot see how a third trimester abortion is anything but legal murder. Barack Obama voted three times to keep infanticide legal in the state of Illinois. Since he did that, he has also stated that he wouldn't want his daughter "punished with a baby." Adoption is an option. The guilt felt over an abortion would haunt his daughter for the rest of her life. Please watch the movie below.

This movie is about a nurse's experience with infanticide. This is even worse than abortion. These babies were alive when they were born too early on purpose.

2) National Health Care. Both candidates have some sort of national health care plan, which I think is all about taking money from some people in the form of higher tax brackets and giving it to people in the lower tax brackets. I believe that people should be able to keep what they earn in most cases. The reason that we have a Federal Government is for our protection. One of my favorite sayings is this: "Any Government strong enough to give us anything we want is strong enough to take away everything you have." (Gerald Ford. Presidential Address 12 August 1974).

3) Patriotism: John McCain spent time actively fighting for my freedom. I know that he knows the true value of freedom. Barack Obama's wife said that "For the first time in my adult life, I'm proud of my country."

I've been proud to be an American my entire life. I grew up loving this country and having respect for the flag. Maybe it's because my dad was a Major in the Air Force, and I had an uncle who died in Vietnam, but I always grew up with a deep sense of love for America and a knowledge of the price of freedom. I'm intensely grateful for all the soldiers and what they choose to do with their lives for me. I can't stomach the idea of putting someone in the whitehouse who supports a wife who has not felt that love for this country.

I admit that McCain has his x's against him as well. However, I think that there are times when certain things have to be weighed against one another. I would like to cast a vote for a write in for Mitt Romney, but I really felt like I had to cast a vote against Barack Obama for number 1 if for nothing else. There is a part of me that needs to share with some of my friends who have sincerely asked for some info on candidates, so I am posting this info for anyone who wants to know. Please pray about your decision before you go to the poll, and carefully weigh the issues that truly are important to you. I'll still love any of you if you vote for Obama, but you can see why I can't. Good luck to all of you, but just remember to be a part of the American system and go vote on or before Election day depending on the laws in your state or county.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

For anyone wondering.

The type of rice in the bottom picture is Thai sticky rice. It's my absolute favorite. My friend who comes to clean my house gave me a Thai steamer, and it's wonderful. Next time I get around to thinking about it and getting to it early enough in the day, then my plan is to take pictures and post instructions on How to make Thai sticky rice. It's yummy, and it's actually one of the only types of rice that doesn't make me sick. ON top of that, I really love it. It's a shame that this much rice went to waste. . .

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Rob

So, Rob already knows what he's getting for his birthday because we're used to talking to each other about anything over $20. Since his present cost quite a bit more than that, then he knows what he's getting. However, I think that the Wii will be good for our family, and he'll really like it. I also think that it will be good excersize for all of us, and I think that we'll want to excersize more when it's hot outside. We've been good about going on walks, but it's better when we don't have to go outside in the heat. :)

I love you bunches, Rob. Happy Birthday to you!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Unintentional Science experiment

Well, about a month ago, I found a Tupperware container in the fridge. I know, as a general rule, I never open the Tupperware containers I find in the fridge unless I’m absolutely certain what’s in them, and whatever was put there has been put there within the last week. Well, this one, I knew was a certain type of rice, so I wasn’t particularly worried at first. I noticed that it had a small amount of green color so I left the container on the upstairs counter. About a week later, (I know, nasty, but you have to realize that I’m living in the upstairs portion of my mom-in-law’s house, and I have to worry more about keeping my kids from destroying the downstairs portion and from destroying anything in her house.) I got up the gumption to open the container. Rob had told me that it needed to go, and it needed to go now. I decided that if it were as colorful as he said it was, then I ought to take a picture for posterity.

Three points for anyone who can tell me what type of rice this is, and an extra point for someone who can name all seven different colors of mold.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

To the interesting stuff

So. I love the awards and tags, but my life has been so crazy lately that I'm sure you're dying for some of the nuances of what's been going on.

As I said before, I FINALLY finished my quilt!!!!!! YES!!! Here are a few pictures.

It really is a beautiful quilt, made all the more beautiful by the knowledge that it's on its way to California. :) Also, I'm hoping to post some things about our trip to Utah. I was going to take lots of pictures of the beautiful mountains and landscape on the way from Salt Lake to Phoenix via St. George, but my camera batteries died in the middle. I'll post a few pictures though. I loved my visit to Utah. My dad seems like he's going to make it through the radiation alright, and if it works, he'll have some good months.

Friday, October 3, 2008


OK, this is my last of the three tag/award posts. In this case, I have been tagged. My friend Katie tagged me quite a while ago. I'm sorry that it has taken me this long, but at least I'm back to blogging at least once a week. I should be able to do some catch up posts in the near future because this coming week is Fall Break, and I don't have to teach Seminary. Also, I don't have my quilt to sew!!!

Here are the rules to the tag:

1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog (copy and paste 1-6).
3) Write 6 random things about yourself (see below).
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post.
5) Let them know they are tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6) Let the tagger (who tagged you) know when your post is up

So, here are the six random things about me.

1) I absolutely love to read LDS fiction. I'm crazy for what my friend Tracy calls paper doll books. They're all the same story with different dresses. Maybe it's because I can read one in about four-five hours, and then leave it and be happy with just getting to escape life for a few hours.

2) I have a passion for the criminal justice system. I love it. I think that our system in America, while flawed, is incredible. In fact, I'm taking the LSAT tomorrow. Wish me luck.

3) I don't brush my teeth nearly enough. I know, it's a nasty habit. I'm working on it. My mom says I need to love myself more. She's probably right.

4) I don't brush my hair much either. That's an OK habit though because you can't really tell whether it's brushed or not. :) I love that.

5) My eyes are hazel. Most people think they're brown, but if you get close enough, you realize that they're really green with orange in them, so they look brown once you're about two feet away or so. (Jackie's eyes are like mine.)

6) This one is from Rob: Loves watching football but won't admit it. I'm leaving that in. I can think of about 50 things I'd rather do than watch a football game, but I have to admit, that I like the big plays.

So, I have already sent a whole bunch of people things. However, I think that I'm going to tag my sister-in-law Darlene, my sister Martha, my friend Jamie, my friend Emily, my friend Crissy (who I hope this will encourage to post a little more often ;)) and Julie Pippert (who needs a little fun in her life right now after Hurricane Ike, she could probably use a few prayers too, to anyone who wants to send some.)