Monday, September 20, 2010

Bloglines is Closing

For all those of you who may use Bloglines, you may have heard the news that it is closing permanently. So sad!! Bloglines has been my program of choice, to follow all the blogs I enjoy reading. It notifies me when there is a new post, and is has a reading pane, so I don't have to visit everyones' blog individually...saving me lots and lots of time!

Well, good news! I have found a great alternative to Bloglines (its perhaps even BETTER!): Google Reader. Click below for instructions on how to export your Bloglines list into Google Reader:

Happy Blog Reading!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saying goodbye...

It's sold!!

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Grand Coulee Dam Viewpoint

Jared decided to wait the arrival of some extraterrestrials...

When they didn't arrive, he instead hoisted some of the kids to the top of the structure.

And when the little kids started begging to go up, too...Jared decided to get his hand-dandy work ladder out of the van for them.

I shot this photo of Jared's legs dangling just moments before he decided to JUMP OFF the building.

:::shaking head:::

I don't even know what to say to that...

...except that I hope my children surive their youth with an example like that.
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Family Reunion 2010

During the days, we went to a local park on the lake that is just above the dam. The girls enjoyed playing with their cousins in the water, and I got to do a lot of reading!

Uncle Chris took us out on his boat. After taking off and getting a fair distance from the docks, his engine started acting funny, and then cut out. He had me a bit worried when he began looking at the docks, seemingly calculating the swimming distance. But alas, he started it again, and we went back. I think he was running low on fuel....

We drove up above Coulee City for a nice view of the dam at a distance!

There is a very odd structure at the lookout, and the grandkids all posed with the grandparents for a photo. Of course, our children were the only difficult ones for this photo shoot!

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Grand Coulee Dam Family Vacation

In mid-August, Jared's parents came for a visit, and took Ella home to Washington with them. That means we had 1 1/2 weeks of quiet in the house, because Maiya had no one to fight with!!

We then packed up the van, and enjoyed a full-days' drive up to Washington, where we met up with Ella once again.

Maiya helped to entertain Ethan in the car...

Next, we took a short drive up to the Grand Coulee Dam area. We enjoyed a family reunion at a lovely house that we rented for the weekend. We took a free tour of the dam...

The whole crew (minus Ethan...who was sleeping in his car seat)...

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Day 30 - My Dream for the Future

I dream that someday I will be the person I want to be...

I will work less, play more.
I will criticize less, love more.
I will shy away less, and step forward more.
I will lecture less, inspire more.
I will begrudge less, forgive more.
I will doubt less, trust more.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Thanks for reading, folks. Sorry it took a lot longer than 30 days...

Day 29 - My hopes,dreams and plans for the next 365 days

I hope to:

Be more patient with my children, and find more time to play with them.
Make new friends, yet keep the old.
Get back to my pre-baby fitness level.

I dream to:

Move to Mexico and start a new full-time life (as opposed to living in places seasonally) for the first time EVER in my married life!!
Travel and see new places in Mexico, and learn more about the Mexican culture.

I Plan to:

Continue growing my sales rep business, and attain even more accounts.
Pay off all my debts.
Learn Spanish.
Expand my wholesale business (flower jewelry)
Build a food storage
Begin saving for a home to buy with cash in the next 5 years

Day 28 - What's in my Handbag/Purse?

I've never been much of one to carry a purse. Ugh. I hate them. I have one smallish travel-style purse (given to me by my parents over 8 years ago!), and if I go out with will find my wallet, Vaseline, toothpicks (for Jared), and perhaps a random assortment of things I've forgotten to clear out (napkins, receipts, etc).

I also have a diaper bag (a beautiful Vera Bradley bag
my Mom gave me 5 years ago), and it has been very well used (i.e. It has seen better days!). Of course, if I'm out with the diaper bag, it carries the baby essentials...wipes, diapers, and a change of clothes. And my wallet, and likely Jared's wallet.

But the MOST IMPORTANT thing to have in the diaper bag is DEFINITELY Vaseline. I might have a breakdown if I leave the house without it.

Yeah, I know...I'm addicted.

Day 27 - My Worst Habit

A few funny habits I have...

#1 - I type things on my fingers. I've learned to do it so that you can't see my fingers moving, but the muscles are being used, and I type uncontrollably at times. I used to type numbers and conversations. Now, I find myself simply typing myself messages. The typical messages I type to myself are: "What the heck?" "Are you kidding me?" Seriously...I have no idea why and how...but when I catch myself typing, I usually discover that I am typing this to myself. WEIRD.

#2 - I play with my hair. I finger through my hair strand by strand, looking for the "crinkly" hairs...the super-curly ones. I used to pull them out, but I've stopped that. Now, if I pull a hair out, it is only because I have been playing with that super curly one for too long! Again, I can't stop myself from playing with my hair strands.

#3 - Every since we left Georgia this Spring, I have been obsessed with ice. I blamed it on the pregnancy, but I still haven't gotten over the craving. I was chewing ice all the time, and I began to worry about the health of my teeth. So, now I only allow myself to suck on ice, instead of chewing it. If you see me reaching into a glass of water to get my ice--I am sorry. I just can't help it.

Day 25 & 26 - My Day & Week in Great Detail

Let me sum up my daily life without wasting much of your precious time...

Up at 7:40
Send Ella off to the bus
Feed Baby
Get on computer--catch up on emails
Baby down for nap
Answer emails and go to work on the computer
Feed Baby
Feed Ella & Maiya
Baby down for a nap
Again--back on the computer--working. Finding new accounts, emailing existing accounts, working on the website, packing jewelry orders, etc.
Baby down for a nap
Feed Baby
Start thinking about dinner (If I'm lucky, I'll make it now so I don't have to worry about it later)
Back to work
Baby down for a nap
Feed Baby
Eat Dinner
Chase Ella & Maiya around the neighborhood. Try to make them eat dinner.
Bathe the girls
Brush their teeth
Wrestle them to bed
Baby down for a nap
Feed Baby
Go on an hour walk with Jared, if I'm lucky
Come home

Anyhow--life is a daily struggle of balancing kids at home with work at home. Some days they fit well together, and other days it is a struggle!

Day 24 - Where I Live

Where DON'T I live?


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Day 23 - A Youtube Video

What else can I say? She said it less than 3 minutes!

Day 22 - A Website

My first inclination is to write about MY

Jared and I were just reflecting on this business website yesterday. It has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 2005 (shortly after we started our business), when it had no official shopping cart, and I used Paypal buttons for everything. I've redesigned it at least 3 times since then...changing programs along the way. Several years ago I settled on X-Cart, by far my favorite shopping cart software I've found! To get it to do what I've wanted it to do, I've had to learn a lot about web design. However, don't ask me to tell you what I've done...because I'm sure I won't remember! I've begun to save little notes to myself about how to change things...and I revisit those notes when I have to alter the design, setup, etc. I also use their user forums a lot to solve problems with the site. I've learned how to do use Photoshop, and I enjoy making graphics for the site. It is not perfect (for example, I redesigned the header years ago, and it is a bit fuzzy. I know how to fix it--I have just never gone back to do it. Some fixes aren't worth my time!). I am also blessed to have the best website host alive. Marv Conn at is literally an angel, popping out of nowhere when I create trouble--and always knowing how to fix it! A good website isn't any good without a good host!

Anyhow--it is my pride and joy--truly a blood, sweat, and tears effort over the years!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 21 - A Recipe

I've been sharing a bunch of recipes, lately.

I wasn't sure if today's was worth sharing...but since I just made it, and the Journal entry today requires a recipe, I guess I will share it after all. I didn't take a photo, but this is from my vegan friends' blog:

I found the recipe online. I think the reason I wasn't oohing and aahing over this, was perhaps because I don't have very "spicy" curry on hand. I love spice. Hmm...maybe I'll go add some spice to it before everyone gets home from work....


1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T hot or mild curry powder
2 T creamy peanut butter
1 (13.5 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
3 cups cooked or 2 (15.5 ounce) cans
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
3 cups fresh baby spinach
salt & freshly ground black pepper
crushed unsalted roasted peanuts, for garnish

1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil, add onion and
bell pepper, cover, and cook until soft--about 10
minutes. Add the garlic and curry powder, stirring
until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Add the peanut butter and gradually stir in the
coconut milk until well blended. Add the
chickpeas, tomatoes, and spinach, stirring to wilt
the spinach, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and
pepper to taste.

3. Simmer until hot and the flavors are well
blended, about 7 minutes. Serve immediately, over rice!

Day 20 - A Hobby of Mine

Whoa. I would never in my life have thought that this would be a hard thing to pinpoint. After all, when growing up I had a TON of hobbies. Theatre, Dance, Soccer, Scrapbooking, Volunteering, the list went on. But a life full of diaper changes, baby feedings, bathing kiddos, and making food...I find it hard to fit anything else in (besides work--which doesn't count as a "hobby").

But I suppose one thing that MAY count as a hobby is that I love learning about new ecologically/economically friendly things to do. I love learning about what can be improved upon, why, and then making the change. For example...I switched to cloth diapering, a more vegan-ish diet, recycling, making reusable trash liners & baby wipes, etc. I think it's fun, and I feel so fulfilled when I do!! And I am also toying with the idea of making my own lotions and laundry detergents, and I am looking forward to the day when I can garden and compost!

And I guess that brings up another "hobby" I've never considered myself much of a cook. I take after my mom in the fact that I use recipes as an "inspiration" rather than a rule book. Sometimes this works to my advantage, and sometimes it doesn't. I love searching for new recipes, and finding a winner. Even when I make a "loser" least I tried!! I follow a lot of vegan and vegetarian blogs, and if a recipe interests me, I save into my electronic cookbook (hosted by Midwest Living Magazine's website!). I *star* the recipes I have tried and liked. The ones that aren't starred are recipes I'm interested in trying. If they turn out well, I star them. If they don't, I delete them!

Whew. I came up with something after all. Sorry my "30 days" has turned into more like 60+ days!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Before I forget...

Jared and I attended the SLC Gift Show (a show for retailers to attend to find new products) last month, just to see what it was like. In short--it was pathetic. We swept through it in less than 5 minutes. We did find one very cool product that we have agreed to begin representing this Fall...I'll share that with you soon!

However...unrelated to that...I walked past a business' booth where they were trying to sell body products (i.e. lotions, etc). The gentleman asked me to take a sample, which I declined (I hate to lead people on when I am not interested), and he continued to call after me as I walked by. He acknowledged baby Ethan, strapped to my front in my Moby wrap, and said "this cream will help with stretch marks!" He quickly realized that was perhaps not something he should have shouted out...and he put his foot in his mouth (figuratively).

Alas...perhaps not the best sales' pitch to a perfect stranger who was not asking for tips on stretch marks...

Day 19 - A Talent of Mine

Well, it's true what they say about talents...if you don't use lose them!

I used to sing...a lot. I was trained classically, but in college I trained in musical theater, pop, belt, etc.

Now, I rarely get the chance to sing. Ever.


I can't say that I truly miss performing musical dance theater all THAT much (life took me down a different path). But I DO miss SINGING, and having an outlet for my vocal music. I would love to sit down for an afternoon with a pianist and plow through a songbook, and I'd love, even more, to share it with others. Singing is definitely my first love! (wait...Jared just read that and said "I guess I'm your 2nd?!" But Honey...I didn't KNOW you when I was 5 years old!!)

There is a time and season for all things in life...and someday, that time & season will return for me :-)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 18 - My Wedding

It was a beautiful day at the LDS Temple Grounds in Bellevue, Washington. My family and Jared's family was all present, and it was wonderful to have so many loving people fill the temple room with us. The temple sealer (the person who performed the marriage) told us many great things and gave us some great advice (which I fail to you have it in YOUR journal?!!). Jared cried through the entire ceremony, and I tried my darnedest NOT to (I didn't want to have to redo my makeup for photos!). It really made me look like an insensitive girl, to not bawl when my husband is kneeling across the alter from me with tears pouring down his face. I love my sensitive man...I am so blessed! The spirit was VERY strong in that room, and even the temple sealer began to cry (we were later told by a temple worker that she has NEVER seen him cry during a ceremony before)!

Afterwards, we took photos on the temple grounds, and then went to a nearby hotel for a lunch that Jared's parents hosted. It was all beautiful--but of course--I was so distracted that I can't remember much!
Then, everyone packed up and drove 3 hours East to Central Washington to Jared's Aunt's house. She hosted a beautiful reception in her backyard. I don't think I got any of the food...and I think I had just one bite of cake (for the photos!)...and I didn't know 90% of the people that attended the reception!

I do remember that Jared's Dad gifted us a beautiful antique mirror with our name and wedding date sandblasted on it (still one of the only ways we remember the date), and my siblings gave us a digital camera that they used to take photos of us all day (such as the below photo)! Thanks again!
We then pulled out from the house (without our vehicle decorated...hmmm...I would have thought our families would have been SOOO on top of that!!), and went 1 hour to a hotel in Ellensburg. Not a lot of hotel choices there...and the one we stayed at featured rooms full of little girls visiting for a soccer tournament. Needless to say, our night was filled with girls running up and down the halls screaming, and even phoning our room at 3am (or was that you?!). Oh...and it was filled with a few other things...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 17 - An Art Piece (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc)

Once upon a time, I worked for a dear friend, Steve, in his delightful art gallery, A Gathering of Spirits, in Skagway, Alaska. Steve is an unbelievably talented artist...his talents range from drawing, carving (woods, bones, & fossilized ivories), rock hounding (he's got mad skills!), and turning small bowls out of all of the above! I just LOVE the miniature bowls...we're talking bowls less than 4 inches tall, down to 1 inch!! Some of my favorites he does are made out of Skagway Birch that he found around the valley. This one is only 1 1/2 inches tall (try to imagine the size of half of your pinky!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 16 - A Song That Makes You Cry (or nearly)

The last Sunday we were in church in Mexico, I sang "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" for the congregation. I sang the 1st & 3rd verses in English, and the 2nd & 4th verses in Spanish. The moment I started singing the 2nd verse, I began weeping. I had to speak a good portion of the rest of the song. The Spirit was strong in that room, and I enjoyed bearing my testimony (even though it is a it embarrassing to cry through a solo...):

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

I know that my Redeemer lives.
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead.
He lives, my ever-living Head.

He lives to bless me with his love.
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed.
He lives to bless in time of need.

He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with his eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.

He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.

He lives, my kind, wise heav’nly Friend.
He lives and loves me to the end.
He lives, and while he lives, I’ll sing.
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.

He lives and grants me daily breath.
He lives, and I shall conquer death.
He lives my mansion to prepare.
He lives to bring me safely there.

He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”

He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”