Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Spreading Sunshine All Along the Way!

What does it mean to be truly happy? I believe it is different for every single person. One persons happiness might not be the same as what another would percieve as true happiness. I came across an article from Susan M. Heathfield titled, "Top 10 Ways to Be Happy at Work". It had some inspiration not only for the workplace but for life in general. This is the abridged version:

  1. Choose to be happy.
  2. Do something you love every single day.
  3. Take charge of your own professional and personal development.
  4. Take responsibility for knowing what is happening.
  5. Ask for feedback frequently.
  6. Make only commitments you can keep.
  7. Avoid negativity.
  8. Practice courage.
  9. Make Friends.
  10. If all else fails, smile.

Happiness for me is like being a child. Children are masters of happiness; it doesn't take much to make kids happy. They'll smile and laugh at the silliest things like bubbles, boxes, animals, when they see someone they love, and a million other things. They do things that make them happy. Seeing a child in a happy mood is very contagious.


Another way to be happy is to just laugh and be silly. Even if you're blue and don't feel like laughing, do it anyways. Even if it's a fake laugh, you will begin to really laugh since a fake laugh sounds so darned silly. I remember in college going to see a comedian and a man two rows behind me had the best laugh! I was too busy enjoying him laughing then to really pay attention to what the comedian said. Laughing raises endorphins and makes you feel more alive and energized. My children make me laugh every day and they really keep me in check to what makes life worth while.

Here is my own personal happiness list:

  1. Seeing my children happy.
  2. Smelling fresh baked bread, rain, and spring lilac bushes.
  3. Enjoying where I work. (I have the best boss in the world.)
  4. Taking time for myself for a bath, a good book, or a favorite cheesy girlie movie.
  5. Knowing the gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and living it's teachings.
  6. Loving the people in the Lost River Valley. I'm amazed by how many people in our small community reach out to help and take care of each other.
  7. Spending holiday's with family.
  8. Having a husband that loves me unconditionally.
  9. I'm happy on the rare days when my body is healthy and I feel more alive. For all the other days I'm just grateful that I don't have anything worse.
  10. Forgetting my troubles and just letting go.

I hope this blog helps spread some happiness and gets you thinking about what truly makes you happy.

Collin's Comments

The following is a list of comments overheard by my four-year old:

  1. "Mommy, I'll still love you when you're old."

  2. "I need to teach you a lesson. I'm the boss of this class!"

  3. "So long suckers!"

  4. "If we crash only you will be killed mommy because me and Carlee are in the back. Then I'll take her home."

  5. "I farted (hee hee)." Unfortunately I hear that alot.

  6. "Carlee is so beautiful!"

  7. ""Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream! Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a...bowl of spaghetti!"

  8. "Let's dance and shake our booties!"

  9. "The moon must be tired, he's going to sleep behind the mountain."

  10. "Carlee is never coming into my room again. I am so mad! Hmmph."

Friday, February 22, 2008

Shoe Fetish? Me?

Okay, so this week I have been accused ALOT that I am obsessed with shoes. Everyone started to say something after I showed up at work one day with my new red shoes. All the girls loved them and a couple even tried them on. When I went to a bridal shower for Josie that works in my office everyone was obsessed with them. Who knew that one pair of shoes could be the center of attention? Probably because no one else in our area has the guts to wear something other than black or brown. After that day the girls at work started paying more attention to what I wear on my feet. Below are most of my shoes. I don't count my hiking boots, snow shoes, camping shoes, or ones that I probably should get rid of. What do you think, shoe fetish or reasonable collection for a career woman?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Our Valentine's Day

Our Valentine's day started off with a festive heart breakfast. I made the kids french toast, strawberries, and ham all cut out as hearts. I also tinted thier milk and scrambled eggs pink. Carlee Ann loved it. Especially the eggs! Mr. Wayne had to take most of his breakfast to his grandma's house because it took him so long to get up and going.

The kids also woke up to balloons and candy from mom and dad. Carlee played with her balloons for awhile before begging to start on the candy. I was mean and made her wait at least until after she ate her breakfast.
Eric and I sent the kids off with grandpa Christensen and headed to Idaho Falls. I wasn't sure we would even make it because of the drifting snow. We had to take a different route since highway 20 was closed but we made it. We had to head straight to my doc's office. Not a romantic valentine destination! After the doctor and pharmacy (which we had to go back to 3 times, long story) we did a little shopping. By then my head was throbbing and Eric was running out of steam. He just got off graves that morning and hadn't been to bed yet. We were both so tired we didn't go to a movie like we were planning to. We just went out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse, hit our usual Walmart run, and headed home.

Meanwhile, my mom was nice enough to make the kids a valentine dinner of heart shaped hamburgers and yummy fruit salad.

When we got home the kids had to try on mom's flashy new red shoes. They both thought they were pretty cool. I think I've got quite the stock pile of embarassing pics of Collin to show his future girlfriends. Just kidding Collin!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monkey See, Monkey Do!

On Sunday I was watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I think Collin watched it with me just because Hannah Montana would be on the show. (What can I say? We love the disney channel!) It was actually a touching story of a marine dad who almost died in Iraq and ended up losing an entire leg. Then he came home to deal with healing, a divorce, and trying to raise his four kids by himself in a small, neglected house. Poor guy! He then went on to inspire others who have gone through similar situations.


Anyways, the host of the show, Ty Pennington, was decorating the father's room. During one sequence Ty was trying to break a tile with his head and Collin thought that was extremely hilarious. So what did Collin do? He started bonking his head on the coffee table. Ofcourse little Carlee thought big brother was being funny so she started doing it, too.

Here's a peek:

"Monkey see, monkey do!"

Friday, February 8, 2008

Gung Hay Fat Choy

Sun Nien Fai Lok! (Happy New Year)

Finally, a good excuse to bring out all my asianware.
Happy Chinese New Year - This is the year of the Rat! Thursday night I attempted to introduce my kids to a different culture. I love learning about different customs and different parts of the world. I guess it's the explorer part of my soul coming through. So, what did our evening involve?

  1. First we brought out all of my asian dishes and set the table. Chinese dishes and decor are so beautiful. I knew before we built our house two years ago that I wanted an asian dining room.
  2. Next we put animals on our dishes. Collin was born in the year of the sheep so he colored and cut out a sheep for his plate. Carlee was born in the year of the rooster, I was in the year of the horse, and Eric was born in the year of the dragon.
  3. Collin helped me make paper Chinese lanterns to decorate the table. He did an excellent job cutting on the dotted lines and was proud of himself.
  4. Food time. I made one Chinese dish that I thought all of my picky eaters would enjoy: ham fried rice. I also made terriyaki vegetable chicken stir-fry for me. I love anything stir-fry.
  5. I also made a yummy Chinese dessert. It was called "Raspberry Almond Float" and it was an almond gelatin covered with a raspberry lime puree. I was supposed to put coconut on top, but I forgot. Collin thought the raspberries were too sour but little miss Carlee liked it!
  6. Now it was time to eat. I had a hard time getting Collin to try it; he's just as picky as his father. I'm so glad Carlee ate it up although she didn't really like the stir-fry.

Stir-fry and fried rice*Raspberry Almond Float

Carlee snarfing down her rice*Collin showing me his sheep

Carlee loves fortune cookies!

I wanted to play Chinese games and read the kids a few Chinese short stories but by the time dinner was done and cleaned up I ran out of energy. Oh well, I guess I'll save them in a folder for next year!

Finally, a Moment to Read!

I absolutely love reading. I use to read all the time: pre-kids. I love the kids to death but it's hard to read while they are always demanding my attention. I occasionally sneak in a chapter while they are watching cartoons but even then I'm usually interrupted.


This past week I have had insomnia big time. Instead of just lying there trying to will myself to sleep like I usually do, I finished the book Flying Home. I read the last chapter at 1:30 this morning. I love reading books by Rachel Ann Nunes. Her writing is so personable and moving. My favorite was her Ariana series although I was sobbing throughout every book. Most of her stories are what I call "romantic tragedies". It makes me wonder if she has experienced alot of tragedy herself or if those around her have. Either that or she has a very vivid imagination. I hope I'll make alot more time to read. Even if it's at 5:30 a.m. or 2:00 in the morning.

V-Day Countdown...

Collin has been telling me over and over, "It's almost Valentine's Day!" He is so excited and can't wait to start making valentine's for the kids in his pre-school. His grandma Tina even bought little valentine mailboxes for them to put thier valentines in. Only six more days Collin!

He also keeps on asking me what I want for my birthday. I said, "You don't have to get me anything. Just a great big kiss!" He laughed but insisted that he has to get me something. He said, "Should I buy guitar hero for you mommy?" I don't think he has enough pennies for that.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Superbowl Yumminess!

This Sunday seemed to be all about food. My mom came over and we made this yummy dinner of salmon, spinach rice, fried zucchini, and garlic bread. It was so yummy and very healthy. I absolutely love salmon! She rubbed it with dijon mustard and an olive oil spice mix that made it taste wonderful. Collin ate his fish and rice (without spinach) but he wouldn't touch the zucchini. He didn't even like the garlic bread. Carlee just wouldn't eat anything. She was really sick that day and very, very grumpy. Poor little thing. I had to put on her favorite movie Cars just to distract her from her sickies.
After we ate we decorated cupcakes. Collin was very excited about that and wanted to decorate them all! He tried to put lemon filling in them but I don't think much came out. I had to go down the line after him filling them more. Then he put on the icing. He either put on a tiny dollop or he piled it on as you can see from the pictures below. What a little knucklehead. After all the cooking and trying to care for a sick little girl, mom and I didn't watch much football. I caught a few minutes here and there and finally got to sit down for the last couple of minutes. I shouldn't have though because that's when the opposing team threw the touchdown to win the superbowl. Poor Patriots. Oh well, it was a fun day anyway.

*Collin with mommy's favorite drink - Ice water with lemon, lime, and cherries with a splash of cherry juice*

*Collin working hard decorating*

*It was either a dot or a whole lotta frosting for Collin*
*Little Miss Sicky sampling a cupcake*

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Life's Lessons

Yesterday I was watching President Hinckley's funeral on TV and Collin asked me what I was doing. I told him about the funeral and that our prophet is in heaven now.

Collin said, "Are you going to heaven someday mommy?"
"Yes, we all will eventually." I replied.
With tears in his eyes he said, "But I'll miss you when you go to heaven."
I grabbed him in a hug. "Don't worry, it's going to be a very long time before that happens. You'll probably be old with big kids of your own."
Collin sniffed. "But I'll still miss you."
"I'll miss you too but it will be okay because we'll all be together someday with our Heavenly Father."
Collin just looked at me and said, "I need to go in my room for awhile."

By then I had tears in my eyes as well. I don't think my sweet Collin could bear realizing that his mama might not be on earth with him forever. He has such a tender heart. I'm just so grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know with all certainty that we will be together forever, even if we are seperated for a short time on earth. Collin came out a few minutes later and we talked a little bit more. He was fine but the whole situation just broke my heart. The look he gave me when he said, "But I'll still miss you." I just wanted to grab him and never let go. I don't ever like seeing him hurting. I know I'll probably see alot more, it just comes with being a mom, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I love my kids so much. They are truly a blessing in my life.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Collin's Cooking Class

"Let me teach you a lesson," is Collin's newest phrase. I don't know if I'm the only one he says this to, but he says it alot. These "lessons" are usually taught to mom although he has tried to teach his sister to no avail. What has Professor Collin taught me so far?
  1. How to play Scooby Doo on the V-Smile
  2. How to dance around two bean bags properly
  3. How to draw a "X"
  4. How to make a tower out of blocks

In return for Collin's bits of wisdom I taught him how to make rice krispy treats. He absolutely loved making something by himself and was really proud of the finished product. Now Collin will bestow his wisdom upon you!

To make Collin's no-fail rice krispies:

1. First spray the pan. It's really hard to spray it even!

2. Measure out the marshmallows and eat the ones that don't make it into the bowl.

3. Measure out the cereal. Don't worry if you pour too much because you can put it back into the bag.

4. Add some butter.

5. Put it in the microwave...wait patiently for it to cook.

6. Mix it all together. Make sure you taste it to see if it's good.

7. Pour it into pan. If it gets stuck you gotta shake it.

8. Smash it down good with buttery fingers and you're done!

9. Don't forget to clean the dishes!