Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and have a very happy New Year!

Our Christmas was lovely. Santa was very generous, and we got to spend lots of time with family. We started our day with a yummy brunch with the Whettens...

..then had a nice visit with the clan at Grandma Hiatt's house. We ended our evening at Grandma Kelley's for dinner. Our awesome nephew, Nathan, provided the post dinner show. He noticed that he could see his reflection in the t.v. so he started dancing. He's got some moves!


video

I am looking forward to the new year. Maybe I'll be a better blogger in 2010!

Love to all!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

And now for December...

Wow. November came and went too fast. I love November. I love the cooking, eating, and visiting that Thanksgiving brings. I never really did one of those posts where I list all of the things I am thankful for. I want to do that. I'll keep it simple, no elaboration. Here's the first 20 things that pop into my head when I think of what I am thankful for:
  1. Cameron
  2. My Mama and Daddy
  3. Cam's Mama and Daddy
  4. Joey
  5. Family
  6. Friends
  7. Mountains
  8. Health
  9. Love
  10. Home
  11. Cam's job
  12. My job
  13. Kindness
  14. Laughter
  15. Music
  16. Forgiveness
  17. Hope
  18. Freedom
  19. Knowledge
  20. Angels
:)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Since it's November...

...I decided I should focus on some things that I'm thankful for. And since in November we also celebrate Veteran's Day, to start off, I want to tell you about two guys who I adore, and who you should know about because they take care of you.

This is my brother-in-law, Jake.



He's Cam's youngest brother. He is a U.S. Marine. He lives somewhere in Afghanistan. He is putting his life on the line for YOU and ME right now, and I am thankful for him.

This is my brother-in-law, Russ.



He's just younger than Cam. He is also a U.S. Marine. You can't see his face, because he is hiding from all of the wind, sand, and sun in Iraq. Thankfully, he returned home from Iraq last year none the worse for wear. I am thankful to Russ for the sacrifices he made to serve our country. Who knows when he'll have to serve again. It could be tomorrow; it could be next year; it could be five years from now.



As of the end of October, the number of troops serving in Iraq was 124,000, and the number of troops serving in Afghanistan totaled 65,000. That is 189,000 sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, and friends all serving our country in wars a half a world away. It doesn't matter what you think/believe politically, the wars they are fighting are real. It's not just what we see on the news. There are things that they face that we can't begin to fathom. It takes someone cut from a special mold to volunteer for the military.

The troops deserve our respect.

And if you have an extra prayer laying around, maybe you could say one for Jake.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hi there!

Nothing like 2 months between posts. I guess no one really reads this anyway, so it shouldn't really matter.

But just in case someone does read this...HELLO! Long time no see! :)

Summer's just about over. I can't believe it. We've done some stuff, but nothing too exciting. And the places we did go to, I either forgot my camera or the memory card. So not many pictures. No bueno.

So...we're still here, still kickin'. No worries.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Something good...

I wasn't able to watch the much-hyped speech that President Obama gave in Cairo this morning. There has been so much talk about it over the past few days, a lot of positive and negative back and forth, and quite frankly, I was bored with it before it even happened. But, since he is our president, and because of where he was speaking and what he was addressing, I decided to read the full transcript of his speech earlier this afternoon.

The end of his speech truly touched me. I am a realistic person, and I realize that a lot of what he said is wishful thinking that will never come to fruition, becuase let's face it, there are too many people who really don't want peace, understanding, or to find common ground. There are people who are so filled with hate and misunderstanding that all they can do is hate and judge because they don't understand. And I'm not just talking about people in the Muslim countries...

Anyway, here's the last few paragraphs of his speech. What do you think?

"...we have a responsibility to join together to behalf of the world that we seek, a world where extremists no longer threaten our people and American troops have come home; a world where Israelis and Palestinians are each secure in a state of their own and nuclear energy is used for peaceful purposes, a world where governments serve their citizens and the rights of all God's children are respected. Those are mutual interests. That is the world we seek.But we can only achieve it together. I know there are many, Muslim and non-Muslim, who question whether we can forge this new beginning. Some are eager to stoke the flames of division and to stand in the way of progress. Some suggest that it isn't worth the effort, that we are fated to disagree and civilizations are doomed to clash.

Many more are simply skeptical that real change can occur. There is so much fear, so much mistrust that has built up over the years. But if we choose to be bound by the past, we will never move forward. And I want to particularly say this to young people of every faith in every country. You more than anyone have the ability to reimagine the world, the remake this world.

All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart or whether we commit ourselves to an effort, a sustained effort to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children and to respect the dignity of all human beings.

All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart or whether we commit ourselves to an effort, a sustained effort to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children and to respect the dignity of all human beings.

It's easier to start wars than to end them. It's easier to blame others than to look inward. It's easier to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share. But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path. There is one rule that lies at the heart of every religion, that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

This truth transcends nations and peoples, a belief that isn't new, that isn't black or white or brown, that isn't Christian or Muslim or Jew. It's a belief that pulsed in the cradle of civilization and that still beats in the hearts of billions around the world. It's a faith in other people. And it's what brought me here today.

We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning, keeping in mind what has been written.

The Holy Quran tells us, 'Mankind, we have created you male and a female. And we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.'

The Talmud tells us, 'The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace.'

The Holy Bible tells us, 'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.'

The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God's vision. Now that must be our work here on Earth."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Goodies

Here are some youtubes that I love to watch.

I've talked about this one on my Facebook page a lot. Love it. So much. Watch it!




This may very well be the cutest, funniest kid I have ever seen:




And quite possibly my favorite:

Friday, May 22, 2009

Oh my HECK!

Can it be? Can it really be? Can it really be that I am finally updating my poor, neglected blog?

Here's a little update on the past few months:
  • Went to Mesquite. Had a blast! Love these ladies:


  • Took mom and Sharon to see:


  • Welcomed a new, beautiful, perfect little niece:


That's about it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I almost forgot!

Brianne took some fun pictures of Cam and me a few Sundays ago. We braved the cold and the mud in Payson park. Brianne is so talented. Being only 4'2" tall, she has such a unique perspective of the world. It really translated into her photos. And, really, she just has a really good eye for photography. She's gonna go far! Here are my faves:


Guilty of Neglect

Poor, poor neglected blog. I will try to do better. I've just been busy, and not in the mood to blog. But I will try to do better. In the meantime, I saw this on Sheri's blog and thought it was fun. You all know I love to read, so I thought I should see how many of these great books I have actually read:

The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up? Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (x )
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (x)
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (x)
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (x)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (x )
6 The Bible - (Not the whole thing)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte ( )
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (x)
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman ()
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (x )
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott ( x)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy ()
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (x)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (x)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier ( )
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (x)
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk ( )
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (x)
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger ()
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot ()
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (x )
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald ( x)
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens (x )
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy ( )
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (x )
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh ( )
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky ( )
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (x)
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (x )
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (x )
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (x )
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (x )
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (x)
34 Emma - Jane Austen (x )
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen (x )
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (x)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini - (x )
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres (x)
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (x)
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (x)
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell ( x)
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (x)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (x)
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving (x)
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins ( )
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (x )
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy ()
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood ()
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (x)
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan (x)
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel ( )
52 Dune - Frank Herbert ()
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons ( )
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (x )
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth ( )
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon ( )
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (x )
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley ( )
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime-Mark Haddon ()
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (x)
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (x)
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov ( )
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt ()
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (x )
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas ( x)
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac (x )
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy ()
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding (x )
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie ( )
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville (x)
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens (x )
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker (x)
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (x )
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson ( )
75 Ulysses - James Joyce ( )
76 The Inferno - Dante ()
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome ( )
78 Germinal - Emile Zola ( )
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray (x)
80 Possession - AS Byatt ( )
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (x)
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell ()
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker (x )
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro ()
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert ( )
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry ( )
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White (x)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom (x )
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (x)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton ( )
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad ()
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery ( x)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks ( )
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams ()
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole ()
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute ( )
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas (x )
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (x)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (x)
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (x )

Wow! 59 down, only 41 to go!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Goal Update

Thanks for the encouragement, everyone! I really do appreciate it. I just thought that I would pass a long a few very helpful things that I have discovered as I've been trying to reign in spending and save a little more every month.

For help with grocery shopping costs, sistersavings.net is a very cool site. It takes all of the local grocery ads in Utah and Arizona, and it puts all of the special deals into either an Excel spreadsheet or a pdf. I love the spreadsheet, because I can look at what's on sale, and delete things at a certain store I'm not going to buy, and then add my own shopping list, print it out, and take it with me. As I've been trying to plan a menu, sometimes I even choose things to prepare based on what's on sale. It's also nice to stock up on food storage type items that are so cheap. A little a time is how we're supposed to do it, right?

Another site I love is pinchingyourpennies.com. You sign up for a free weekly email newsletter, and you get tips on all sorts of specials. You get grocery store specials, but also other random things. For instance, today I got a code for an extra 50% off clearance items at oldnavy.com. If you like to shop online occasionally, like I do, it's nice to see special little deals all in one place. If you need a code to get the deal, they usually have it there.

Also, I have to plug Dave Ramsey one more time. If nothing else, the budget planning software on the Total Money Makeover website is incredibly helpful and easy to use. It's making it very easy for me to plan and track our monthly spending.

Anyway, little things like these are very helpful to me, so I hope they can be helpful to some of you as well!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Resolu-SHUN!

So yeah, not a big fan of the New Year's Resolution. Why? Because it never sticks. I do really, really well for a week, and then it's off the wagon and back down bad habit road. So I'm taking a new approach. I'm trying a little something I learned in my class, and I'm going to form some new habits.

So, this year I'm setting some betterment goals to help me learn some positive new habits. These are things that need to be done, and things that I need to work on this year and every year. And I'm getting Cam in on this, too.

So, for the new year, and for the long haul, beginning in 2009, I will:

  • Get in shape! We have been able to figure out some out of whack things in my body that have been making my life miserable, and we've come up with a solution that is FINALLY helping me to lose some of this nasty, stupid, mean, stubborn weight. Now the trick is actually getting in shape. Cam and I both really enjoy getting out into the wild and hiking about. The goal here is to be able to be my hiker chick self without getting too winded and side-achy. That is no fun, and me no likey.

  • Simplify! We have too much crap sitting around our house that we don't use, or don't use often enough to justify keeping. So, off to D.I. it goes. Or, if you know anyone who wants an old (but still decent, though no matter how much we clean it, still smells slightly like dog) vaccuum with hose and hardwood floor cleaning attachment, let me know.

  • Cook! We both like to cook. However, we hate our kitchen. Whoever designed it totally sucks. We have ZERO counter space, which is really discouraging when you want to prepare a meal. So we're going to move some things around, see if we can't figure out some system that will give us some more space to cook. It's just too easy to eat out a lot, where it's just the two of us. But the benefits of cooking far out-weigh the convenience of spending our hard earned cash in a restaurant. More cooking=healthier meals and lower food costs, and that will help with:

  • Follow a Budget! We have stupid debt and we don't save money very well at all. To help remedy this, I have enrolled us in Zions Bank's free 3 month trial of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover program. I have made a budget. We are going to stick with it. And we are going to pay down our debts and save for a rainy day! Hooray!

There you have it. Should be easy, right? We shall see. Here's to starting 2009 off right! Wish me luck!