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Showing posts from June, 2010

Breakfast Conversation

The other week I found a good deal on Special K cereal, and the kids like the berry flavor so I bought a bunch of boxes. Their new granola is pretty tasty too. I am discovering the disadvantage of Special K packaging with children who can read:

"Mom, why does it say 'get swimsuit ready' on the cereal box?"

"Um, well, some people want to get skinnier so their swimming suits fit better."

"And it says that you can lose inches off your waist in weeks. Why would you want to do that?"

"Some people want to get healthier, I guess."

"Mom, I think your swimming suit looks just right! You don't have to worry about that."

I'm grateful my children don't notice that I have a rather bulgy tummy sticking out of the top of my pants. I really do need to start exercising again because I feel uncomfortable and flabby, but I'm glad my kids are a little weirded out by the idea of dieting. They don't need to do that and I hope it will …

Writing

I apologize for leaving the blog without a substantial post for a week. I'm realizing that being a parent during the summer actually means having less free time than normal, especially since the kids spent the last two weeks doing swimming lessons every day. My parents came to town last Wednesday night and just left this afternoon. We have spent the last few days keeping the kids up late having fun in the gorgeous summer weather and so I have had little time for posting.

One of the reasons they came this weekend was for my mom and I to attend the Segullah writing retreat yesterday. The day was lovely: good company, good food, and excellent instruction and guidance about the writing process. I've never considered myself much of a writer. I'm married to a writer and have many friends who write; my innate talent is much smaller than theirs, however. The conference gave me many great ideas and I feel energized to try other creative writing beyond blogging. I have two essay ide…

Giveaway Winner!

Is 'giveaway' a legitimate word? It is now! I used the "random number generator" and came up with commenter number 3--Jenny! Hope you like the book!

Thanks to everyone else for commenting; keep an eye out for future prize giveaways and maybe some day you can get in on the action too.

Five Years, A New Look, and a Giveaway

This month marks five years since I started this blog. I was going to write a post with some musings about blogging, but I've already written quite a bit about my history with blogging and don't feel like rehashing it. Plus it's late and I really should be in bed (story of my life). Five years is a long time; it feels like a lifetime. I now have two more kids, a master's degree, a house, and have lived in two different states since starting the blog. Amazingly many of my friends and readers who have been here since the beginning are still following along (I think) and I've gained new ones along the way.

About two years ago I tried to change things around and didn't get anywhere. So the blog has been kind of ugly for two years. Thankfully Blogger just made it easier to make changes to your template so I prettied it up a bit. I'm still not totally satisfied so I'll probably tweak things a bit.

And finally I wanted to give back to my readers by giving them a…

Couponing

I wrote a few years ago about some of my grocery shopping tips that I follow, and I still use most of them (I hardly buy meat anymore, so that saves money). I'm proud of the fact that even with four people in our family eating almost every meal at home I keep our food budget under four-hundred dollars a month. Lately 'couponing' has become the big thing and I keep hearing people talk about how wonderful it is. My sister told me about her friend who spends hours each week dumpster diving for multiple newspaper copies, clipping coupons, and running multiple transactions at the grocery store stocking up on cheap food. I just don't have that time or energy. But, I have actually been using coupons during the last few months and getting some good deals so I thought I'd share a few more of my new shopping tips for making couponing work for you:

1. Plan your shopping trips well in advance. Using coupons isn't usually a great deal unless you strategically pair them with…

First Week of Summer

Even thought last week was technically the first week of summer vacation, it didn't really feel like it because I was out of town for part of the week and then busy with the BYU study for the other two days. This was our first 'real' week of summer break and I think it went pretty well. We did have some family in town so we spent some time with them and that gave us something to do. Monday night we went to the summer reading kick-off at the library and the kids had a great time. There was a magic show and both kids were totally fascinated by it. Also, afterwards, there were some people there from Build-a-Bear with a guy dressed in a teddy bear costume. Little Dude was totally blown away by 'the bear that moves by himself!' I wish I had been able to videotape his reaction--it was priceless.

I typed up a "summer schedule" for us to follow and I think it is helping all of us to stay sane. S-Boogie likes rules and having something to keep track of, and it'…

Reading Roundup: May 2010

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

This book was interesting to read; on the one hand, the writing is beautiful and the story is rich and compelling. On the other hand, the main character is really difficult to relate to and not emotionally mature. Thankfully, towards the end of the book she has an epiphany--I just wish we could see her life from her new perspective after reading an entire book of her narration from the self-centered perspective of a child.

Walking in the Sand: A History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ghana by Emmanuel Kissi

I found this book at the library when I was researching stuff about Ghana for the kids and I thought it looked interesting. As the introduction points out, it's not written by a professional writer or historian so some aspects of the style are a little unusual. I found some parts a little harder to read than others. It was still an engaging read and I found myself inspired by the story of the Church in a country I didn't know muc…

Guinea Pigs

About a month ago I received a phone call from someone at BYU who was looking for mothers of young babies to participate in a research study. During my time at various universities I've seen flyers looking for participants and I've always wanted to do something like this. Plus she offered compensation, so that sealed the deal for me. What she described on the phone didn't seem to bad, but it ended up being a bit more involved than I had planned on.

The baby and I ended up spending Thursday and Friday morning at BYU doing a variety of things in the lab. On Thursday morning I filled out some forms and they hooked me up to a portable blood pressure cuff that squeezed my arm several times an hour. I had to wear it for the entire day, and every time it went off I had to fill out a little form with the time and what sorts of things I was doing. Needless to say, that was a bit annoying and I was so glad to take it off at the end of the day. They also gave me a large jug and inform…

City of Roses

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I just had to show off this picture I took in Portland over the weekend. I think I might be getting some photography skills, especially when it comes to non-moving objects. The baby and I flew up to Portland to spend a weekend with my sister. My parents came up too, since she graduated this Tuesday with her bachelor's degree in nursing. She's been a nurse for a number of years, but only with a two-year degree. I know how much hard work it takes to go to school, especially while working full-time, and I am proud of her. I'm also glad that I don't have to attend any more graduation ceremonies for myself. It's nice to sit back, relax, and enjoy the accomplishments of others.

It was a nice weekend. Both my flight up and my flight back were uncrowded, so I was able to bring the carseat onto the plane and enjoy a whole row to myself. That's the best way to travel with a baby. She hardly complained at all on either flight. And she was generally pretty happy most of the…