Wednesday, May 26, 2010

i'm outie.

Leaving tomorrow for my sister's in Quincy, Illinois. Just me and ammon man. Thought I would leave you with a fun pic from today. The teachers quorum met to play softball tonight. What a great group of boys. If it weren't for that pesky leader Brother Buchanon. ha ha. He's on the bottom far right. He's like a 12 year old in an old man's body (did i say old man? ha ha) Don't even get me started on stories about Brother Buchanon. They are mostly irreverent and inappropriate. Do you see why he is perfect for the 14 and 15 year olds. ha.

These last couple of months i am really going to try to take pictures of our daily doings and activities, and all of our amazing friends that we never want to forget!!

Talk at you next week.

Best night of Leah's life.

Do you know how rare it is for a daughter of ours to be in a dance recital when it is only her performing? Well, this is the first time ever. Leah couldn't have been happier. All the spotlight on her, and a large crowd cheering her on (we had lots of extra friends come too), flowers for just her. Pure heaven. On top of that she was in the 11+ class. She was so proud. We all in our unbiased opinion proclaimed her the best dancer there. We really were impressed. All of the classes were beginner classes, so what a confidence booster to Leah having many years of dance under her belt.
So proud of you Leah!!!
Here she is in the back row reaching for the stars (or star, ha).

I loved all the dad's in back holding their baby boys. (nice face Josh. When Jacob saw this picture he lovingly said, "Brother Jay is such a tard." I know it was lovingly said because he then added that you and Brother Buchanon are his favorite leaders he has ever had. He is really going to miss you.)

Leah is in the middle. Work it girl!

Such a nice group of girls. Even though leah was younger, they treated her so kindly.

Leah completely adored her teacher Denise Mariner. She is so cute, fun, and makes every child feel so special. What a gift. Oh yah, and she is a great dancer! smile. She teaches out of her garage. Leah has never looked so forward to dance every week. She starts taking new names in June for the fall if you are interested.
Guess who else was dancing that night? My little peep Lennon. I just couldn't resist capturing her sweet little self.

I mean really, look at her. She looks right at me, knowing just how dang cute she is. love that girl.

After the show, Lizzie bowing as she presents the flowers to Leah.

Leah's best friend Paige came to cheer her on. That meant a lot to Leah.

Here are two women that I adore. Natalie (Lennon's mom) and Ahlena. Their daughters were dancing that night as well. In fact, as I looked around the audience that night. I realized that I knew so very many of the people there. As I waved to, smiled at, and chatted with so many of them, it hit me really hard just what I have here in good ol' surprise Arizona. I am completely surrounded by people that I love and care about. People that love and support me, and are always there for me. People whos faces are so familiar to me, and radiate such goodness. I realized, this is going to be a hard move. I've been keeping so busy, and not letting myself think about it, but when i do, the tears flow. How very very grateful and blessed I am. Enough for now, back to not thinking about it. I can't take it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The blessings of the scripture.

This is the title of one of my favorite talks from conference.

Why is it so crucial that we have scripture, and read it often?

Elder Christofferson gives these three main reasons

1. To enlarge our memory.- "Those who either don't have or ignore the recorded word of God eventually cease to believe in Him and forget the purpose of their existence."

2. They are the standard for distinguishing truth and error.-for example, "they discredit the philosophy that has come back into vogue in our day that there are no absolute moral standards. That every man prospers according to his genius, and that every man conquers according to his strength ; and whatsoever a man does is no crime and that when a man is dead, that is the end thereof. Also, many today would dispute about the seriousness of immorality. Others would argue that it's all relative or that God's love is permissive. If there is a God, they say, He excuses all sins and misdeeds because of His love for us---there is no need for repentance. Or at most, a simple confession will do. They have imagined a Jesus who wants people to work for social justice but who makes no demands upon their personal life and behavior. But a God of love does not leave us to learn by sad experience that "wickedness never was happiness." His commandments are the voice of reality and our protection against self-inflicted pain. The scriptures are the touchstone for measuring correctness and truth, and they are clear that real happiness lies not in denying the justice of God or trying to circumvent the consequences of sin but in repentance and forgiveness through the atoning grace of the son of God."

3. They bring us to Christ, our Redeemer-"In the end, the central purpose of all scripture is to fill our souls with faith in God the Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ--faith that They exist; faith in the Father's plan for our immortality and eternal life; faith in the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which animates this plan of happiness; faith to make the gospel of Jesus Christ our way of life; and faith to come to know :the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent.
I'm just really feeling how crucial it is that we read our scriptures daily. It is so easy to get desensitized when we are bombarded daily with the idea that it doesn't matter if we lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery etc, etc, as long as it makes us feel good. That there really aren't any absolute moral truths. That we aren't any happier if we follow God's commandments. Well, I am here to say that Satan is real, and a big fat liar. And if you are spending more time listening to him instead of immersing yourself in the scriptures, you may find yourself in trouble. It is true that "wickedness never was happiness" as the scriptures say. You will never find real peace, happiness or joy unless you follow God's commandments. Luckily we do have the scriptures to remind us, teach us, and help us understand how crucial Christ's role is in our lives. I'm feeling really really grateful.
(can you tell i gave the lesson last week in church on the scriptures. smile)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

definitely side splitting.

We found this scrapbook page lying around the house. We have been laughing so hard about it, that no one will own up to having made it. I wonder why they chose to put the phrase "side splitting." I am pretty sure that they didn't know that it meant something you would laugh so hard at your sides hurt. But, I still think they used the term appropriately. ha ha. I am so glad that we have this documented in our family history. ha ha.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

healthy yummy trail mix

This is a recipe from my brother in laws health coach. She is a nutritionist, and now that I think of it, I have her whole recipe book. I need to start making all of those recipes.

Are you like me and buy recipe books that you are so inspired by, and can't wait to make all of the wonderful recipes inside? Then something happens and you never do. You just forget, or don't get around to it, and continue to make all the same boring things? Why is that? What can we do? I always think, I will just do one new recipe a week. And then I forget to do even that.

Well, I guess I'm not too horrible at it, I made this one. And this is the SECOND TIME, huge for me. Does that mean it is habit yet? ha ha. But that does tell you something (besides that i had leftover ingredients), it is really really good. In fact so good, it becomes unhealthy because I want to eat it all at once. Anyway, here is the recipe. You won't be disappointed.

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pecans
3/4 cup raw whole or sliced almonds
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup raw coconut
Combine all together and mix with 6T of pure maple syrup
Spread on cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 20 mins.
After cool toss in dried cherries or dark chocolate (or both. smile)

Like any recipe you can change to taste. I like it better without the chocolate to be honest.

To find all the raw nuts, go to the bins in sprouts. Some i found at walmart in pkgs. They will be cheaper that way if you can find them. They have unsweetened coconut at frys.

Let me know if you try it and what you think.

All ready to eat!

PS Did you see poor Daris on the biggest loser last night pleading his case? I felt so bad for him, and knew just how he felt, as I sat there watching the show eating pecan bars.

Monday, May 17, 2010

yah, i know i'm spoiled. but i'm not a brat (all the time)

The first week in May, Dave and I always go on a trip. His birthday is May 4th, and he lives to travel. I am happy to indulge him. I am also his personal travel agent. I'm a good one too. smile.
Usually, we never go the same place twice. That would be too boring right? But there is one place I just had to go back to. The Ritz Carlton in Cancun Mexico. I have been waiting for years for them to have a good deal. When dear travelzoo (which is one of my favorite websites) highlighted a deal there, I called my most loyal customer of my travel agency and emphasized that he really should take advantage of such an amazing deal. He questioned whether it was good judgement to go somewhere he has already been. I explained that he needed to share the ritz with his bff Roger, and I was sure that I could convince him and his beautiful wife Teresa to go (I'm a good travel agent that way). So what is so special about cancun and the ritz. Let me show you.

(by the way, I don't kiss all of my customers. Dave is a very special customer. smile.)

really, I could stop right here. These pictures are enough, don't you think? Cancun has one of my very favorite beaches. Not crowded at the Ritz, and the warmest water, perfect white soft sand, and glorious waves. It's a good combination.

View from our room. Dave is under the first umbrella from the left out on the beach.

Teresa and I. Thanks to our great photog Roger.

Speaking of Roger, here he is at breakfast. The breakfast buffet is one of my favorite things about this hotel. This is seriously the best all you can eat breakfast I have ever had. Plus the service is a thing of beauty. Every night we would all comment how we couldn't wait until morning to have breakfast. We used this same table every time. Whoever got there first got the couch. smile.

I have never tasted pastries as good as these. Serioulsy, every bite melts in your mouth. Do you know how hard it is to try all of them? Especially in one meal? ha ha. Needless to say, we always left feeling a bit sick. ha.

One of my fabulous creations. If you can believe it, this plate was just one of the three plates of food that I ate at this particular meal.

Every little thing is perfection. Like this little bowl of berries. Every berry tasted like the best one you have ever had.

This is what DAve did with them.

Plate two. Sorry, I don't have a picture of plate three. It had mexican favorites, some steak, beans, etc. There was just so much every morning. Most people don't feel the need to have it all. I can't imagine coming to this buffet and just having one muffin and some juice. ha.

We did do things in between breakfast to work up an appetite. Like visit archaeological sites. Isn't this amazing. It is a newer site called Ek Balam (black panther in Mayan). We had amazing tour guides. Alma and her husband from Alma's Tours. They tie in the information with what we know from the book of mormon. It is like we stepped back into book of mormon times. This picture is taken from the top of a temple.

Coming down was pretty scary.

Up at the top were some amazing carvings. Learning the meaning of them was really cool.

We traveled to a cenote to cool off than on to a traditional Mayan home.

Alma took us to meet a Mayan family that they are friends with. They have 15 children. Amazing. Here are three of their youngest girls with their bet monkey "Natasha". This is their house. They live in round huts with dirt floors and thatched rooves. They sleep in hammocks. I think the kids would like this. I think I would have to pass. Especially at night, out in the jungle is scary. I guess I am just not used to the sounds. They are scary to me.

All of the girls were wearing dresses like these that they make. Aren't the beautiful?

Here is their mother where she spends a lot of time making food. She is making corn tortillas here. Everything is very primitive. As you can see. We are so blessed with so many modern conveniences. But their life was beautifully simple and filled with love. But i was really happy to sleep in my comfortable bed that night and in sweet air conditioning. I already decided that if I ever find out that air conditioning causes cancer (or something equally horrible), I will still use it. It is that important to me. seriously, I have thought about it.

Here is their food storage. Lots of corn for all those corn tortillas.

On to Tulum, which would have been my city of choice back in the day. I mean really, it is on the beach, what were all those communities inland thinking? ha ha. But now that I think of it, I am pretty inland myself. In a desert no less.

They did have these huge iguanas everywhere. And I mean everywhere. I think they are pretty cool.
After snorkeling , and a stop for ice-cream, we finally arrived exhausted back at our hotel.
Here we are with Alma and miguel.

While going off exploring is great fun. This is my favorite place. This is vacation. Do you see what I am reading? The second book in the "Hunger GAmes" series. If you have not read these, go and immediately find a copy. They are the perfect vacation read. You can't put them down though.
So now we are home, and that move to Korea is starting to really creep up on me. Yikes, there is a lot to do. The latest is we are moving in August, and going for one year. We are putting everything in storage and living off base in a furnished apt. At least that is the tentative plan.

Friday, May 7, 2010

some favorites

Thought I'd share some of my latest favorites in beauty products. First on my list is the skin care products from doTERRA. awesome awesome awesome. I think my face glows when i use them. Plus my face feels so incredible. I don't feel like i look as good when i don't take the time to use it.

This face creme is amazing. And what i use when i don't have time to do my whole system above. When my face looks dry, i put it on and the difference is amazing. Of course it is ridiculous pricey. This and the color science products below I got for super discounted prices when my sister worked at a skin care place. I stocked up before she quit. I don't know what I will do when I run out.

This pressed powder has the best coverage and makes your skin look flawless (as flawless as it can at 39. smile). It is a high end mineral make-up.

Have you seen these? They are powder sunscreens, and they really work. They are even waterproof. I think they have a similar product at Ulta. They are expensive but last forever. I have had this over a year and it doesn't even looked used. I would get a tinted one next time.

I did it. I finally found a perfume that I like. The first time ever!! I don't like strong flowery scents. It is lighter and has grapefruit. I love my grapefruit essential oil. I diffuse it for the smell, and it is supposed to get rid of cellulite. I have been rubbing it on, but not faithfully at all (name that movie?). It hasn't worked yet because i was horrified tonight when i was trying clothes on at target and it looked like cellulite had taken over my whole body. Target dressing room lighting is evil, and i hate it. The up side is, if you look good in something in their dressing room, you know it will look amazing anywhere else.

AHHHH, a new love. Not only does this work so so good, more importantly, it smells so good. Smells are very important to me. The product on the left you take a quarter size amount and rub between your hands and apply to wet hair and then blow dry your style. It is obvious what you do with hair spray.
So there you have it. Some of my favs.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

little man is 6 months old today.

All of a sudden Ammon isn't a baby baby. You know what I mean. He is interacting so much more. Eating baby food, rolling around, and laughing laughing laughing. He's a keeper.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

back from san diago (ron bergundy voice)

Lots to share, but i have to watch "biggest loser" first. smile. priorities you know.