Thursday, December 18, 2008

Does anyone else do this?

I have been doing this all of my life.  As long as I have realized there was music I have been running a soundtrack in my head.  Little things set it off, they mention someone's birthday and in my head starts You say it's your birthday, na na na na na na (it's by the Beatles).  What really sets it off is reading stories.  Every time I have ever read a story it has played in my mind as a movie and what is a movie without a soundtrack?  Every time I am listening to the radio or sampling songs on itunes I am thinking "oh this song would be perfect for that part of the story" or "this is perfect for that time in college when I..." I realized that I am not the only one who does this as I read Stephanie Meyer's website about the Twilight Series and saw that she had posted for each book a playlist of songs that she heard in her head as she wrote the story.  So the question is I guess, does anyone else do this?  Come on I told you I'm crazy and hear music that isn't there, you can comment anonymously, I don't judge. LOL

Friday, December 12, 2008

Kids can be so mean!

Isn't it true? I am so tired of mean kids. My son Ethan has Asperger's Syndrome which is a mild high functioning form of autism in which their social interactions are what suffer. For a better description check out this previous post here.  My son is one of the sweetest most trusting kids I know.  He loves anything to do with technology and because he doesn't know when he is getting annoying he can go on and on about the same thing for way too long.  Well the other day at school Ethan had been going on and on about computers and telling these two boys (who he says are his best friends in his class) that to find his favorite files you go to c:/computer/mydocuments/myfavorites.  These two "friends" started laughing and told him "uh c:/ you're a dork!"  and ran away laughing!  I asked Ethan what he plays with these two when they play and he said "well I try to talk to them but they always just ignore me when I talk."  And these are the kids he thinks are his best friends.  In fact when he said they called him a dork Greg and I asked if he told the teacher and he said "no they are my best friends, it would be mean to get them in trouble."  We told him that he needs to tell the teacher because that is bullying and if they don't get told to stop they will bully more kids and his answer was, "no they aren't bullies, they only make fun of me so it is ok, I don't want to get them in trouble."  It breaks my heart that these are the only kids he thinks are his friends and they are so mean to him and he protects them for it!  I wish I could find some nice boys who will play with him and understand him.  Any advice?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Yeah so I know Thanksgiving was a while ago but I got some great pictures that weekend that I have been wanting to share. Unfortunately my camera had died and I lost the charger. But I have a new charger and now I am ready to update this neglected blog of mine.

My brother Jesse and his wife robin and daughter Shelby came for Thanksgiving this year and that is always so fun and shelby is too stinkin cute. We were all sitting around Thursday morning chatting and letting the kids play. My brother Brian wasn't able to come because he is in the Bishopric in Tucson and he had to be at a youth temple trip he had organized. So I text him to say Happy Thanksgiving and his answers were just a little off. Now he has been known to surprise us and the first thing I thought was I bet they are on their way here and they are surprising us all. Well a couple hours later there they were and it made a great Thanksgiving even better. There is nothing I love like having my brothers and I all together. It had rained pretty well which out in Ames Acres makes for some excellent mud! When we were little my dad had a few 3-wheelers that we would ride all the time in the big empty lot next door. And if it was muddy it was even better! Well given the excellent mud and my dad's two quads the oppourtunity for fun was way too irresistable even though none of us had changes of clothes for us or our kids. Here are some pics of all the fun!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

For the Moms

Ok so you all know me and have met my very busy children. I am always looking for ideas that make my life easier or even just something that encourages me and makes me feel like I can do this. I found a website called that has some great ideas and tools. But I really loved this article I found and I thought you all would enjoy it too. It is written for stay at home moms but I think it works for everyone! :)

Managing Your Household:
11 Ways To Do Less And Feel Great About It
by Carol Bryant

"Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing." --Phyllis Diller

You made the decision to become an at-home mother. Somewhere along the way, however, the duties of full-time housekeeper, errand boy, secretary, chef and hostess have all been added to your repertoire. You go to bed at night envisioning a sunny picnic in the park with your kids and by mid-morning you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by a never-ending list of chores. Sometimes it feels as if you are digging a hole in sand, with new chores constantly filling in the spaces of completed ones. Your children are spending more and more time in front of the television while you placate them with, "I’ll be there in a minute. I just have to…."

You can take comfort in knowing that you’re not the first to fall into this trap. Many of us who have chosen to stay at home to raise our children have at one time slipped into the same mindset that we have to do everything ourselves. The difference between feeling overwhelmed and finding satisfaction as an at-home mother comes from recognizing what is important and letting go of the rest.

If you hope to ever find the time to do the important things, like activities with your children or pursuing other interests, it is essential to find ways to do less while discovering more efficient ways to do what is absolutely necessary. Most of us feel better with a certain amount of structure in our lives. Once your household becomes organized, your days feel less like a never ending list of chores. Getting household chores "under control" also gives you a feeling of accomplishment. But how can you accomplish this?

"The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook." --William James

1. Identify your priorities

These are the years when you must decide just how much housework is really necessary. Do you have to clean the house from top to bottom every week or it is more important to spend time with your children? You can vacuum every day or you can take the kids to the park. Which would make your child feel more loved? You’ll have plenty of time after the kids have grown to keep your house in perfect order, if it still seems that important. For now, give yourself permission to do less and then be OK about it.

It’s also important to prioritize your children’s time. Ballet lessons, soccer practice and art lessons at the museum on the other side of town may sound like wonderful opportunities for your multi-talented children, but do you really want to spend your life carpooling? It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of signing your children up for every activity offered. We don’t want our children to be left behind by Susie who has been taking tennis lessons since she was three. But children need some downtime too. Wouldn’t a free afternoon spent discussing the mysteries of life over milk and cookies enrich your kids in equally important ways?

2. Set Goals

Working toward short-term and long-term goals increases your sense of accomplishment. It allows you to focus on what you have done rather than on what is still left to be done. Your long-term goal may be to have all of your Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving. Or it may simply be to have the summer clothes packed away by then. Short-term goals may be to make appointments for everyone with the dentist or to pick up the dry cleaning on your way to the post office after you drop the kids off at preschool. Be sure to make a list of your goals each day so that you can experience the sublime pleasure of checking each one off.

3. Schedule

Write up a schedule for household activities. Following a schedule increases efficiency and decreases the time required. Planning which job is to be tackled when, is more efficient than frantically going from room to room, trying to get it all done at once. If you know that you have set aside time to vacuum on Tuesday, you will not waste time on Monday agonizing over not getting it done. Remember to be flexible and leave room in your schedule for the unexpected. Two-year-olds can be masters at knowing just when to spill the grape juice.

4. Delegate

You aren’t showing love for your children by fostering dependence. Remember that your long-term goal is to mold independent adults. Assign, or have children choose, chores that are appropriate to their age level. Toddlers can help by putting their toys into their toy box each night. Preschoolers love to dust. Older children can become quite good at vacuuming, washing the car and even planning and fixing meals. Rotate chores periodically, perhaps on a biweekly or monthly basis. Allow and insist that all family members do as much as they can for themselves. Don’t forget to include your husband/partner. It sets a good example for your children to see Dad help and makes you feel less like the family maid.

5. Have a laundry basket available for each member of the family

Each person is responsible for putting dirty clothes in it and taking it to the laundry room on wash day. Clothes that don’t make it to the basket don’t get washed. Eventually, that favorite shirt behind the door will be missed and will find its way into the basket. When the laundry is done, fold the clothes, place them in their assigned laundry basket and return them to their proper owner. Don’t despair if the clothes never make it out of the basket and into the closet. At least they are clean, neatly folded and out of the family room.

6. Plan Meals

List a month’s worth of meals and recycle the menus each month. Plan a weekly menu and shop for all of the ingredients at once. That should enable you to limit grocery shopping to once a week. When you eliminate those time-wasting extra trips for one or two things you also save money on those extras that always seem to catch your eye. Make a list of grocery items purchased on a regular basis in the order of your grocery store aisles. Make copies of that list and post it where you can easily circle needed items as the need arises. With good planning, you can coordinate other shopping with weekly grocery shopping to save trips.

7. Hire a baby-sitter while you run errands to save time and

The money spent on a sitter will be far less than money wasted on hurried purchases and extra treats promised to appease your impatient brood. When my children were little, one of life’s greatest luxuries was going to the grocery store alone. For that one hour I would casually stroll down the aisles, read labels, check coupons and even browse through magazines. If you don’t want to hire a sitter, trade time with another mom friend. Your time spent watching her children will pale in significance to the luxury of running solo errands. Think of how many stops you can make when you’re not dealing with car seats and strollers.

8. Plan the night before for the following day

Make a list of things to do. This will help you to organize your day and keep you from lying awake all night trying to remember what you promised yourself you wouldn’t forget. Have your children get their clothes and backpacks ready for school. Math homework is less likely to get left behind if it is put in the backpack the night before.

9. Clean and pick up as you go

Any time a mess accumulates or is left undone, it becomes harder and more time consuming to clean up. It takes far less energy, both physically and mentally, to put away one load of laundry than to face a week’s worth. It takes no time at all to clean up after a snack, but the thought of facing a sink full of dirty dishes can be overwhelming. If your children learn to put away a toy when they are finished playing with it, they will never again have to spend an entire morning cleaning their rooms.

10. Do two things at once

Fold laundry, iron, or clean out the kitchen junk drawer while watching TV. Make those phone calls that are guaranteed to involve being placed on hold while you work in the kitchen. You can clean up after breakfast, unload the dishwasher and put away groceries in the time it takes for "a customer service representative to be with you shortly." A portable phone is a good investment, allowing you to do even more. You can water the garden while you leave fourteen messages about the soccer party. You could even relax in the hammock while you patiently listen to your mother’s account of her latest root canal.

Last year I discovered the advantages of having my own carpool backpack. I put my Christmas cards and address book in a backpack as I headed out the door to pick the kids up from tennis lessons. During the fifteen minutes that I waited for practice to finish, I wrote five cards. That may not sound like a lot but between soccer practice, dentist appointments and an oil change, my Christmas cards were finally sent out on time. Sometimes my backpack has thank you notes. Other times it has that novel that I never find time to read. I have even organized my photo albums during basketball season.

11. Learn to say NO!

Your husband promised to stay home with the kids so that you could get your hair cut but now his brother has an extra ticket for the game. Couldn’t you reschedule your appointment? Your church bake sale is tomorrow and the cookie chairman forgot to make her calls. Could you bake eight dozen cookies tonight? There won’t be a Girl Scout troop this year unless someone volunteers to be leader… It’s Patty’s turn for playgroup but something else has come up…again.

It’s great to be flexible and wonderful to be helpful, but sometimes you just can’t do it all. Just when you’ve set your priorities and organized your day, you can almost count on some unexpected crisis to demand your time and attention. Trying to be all things for all people can distract you from what you really want to accomplish. When you become burdened with things you don’t want to do, you no longer have the time or energy for the things that are most important. Once you’ve identified what’s most important to you, stand firm. Practice saying "no" if you need to. You don’t need to offer excuses. A simple "No, that won’t work for me today. Maybe another time," is all that is required. You can’t take on everyone’s problems without cheating yourself. You matter too.

Remember, when you choose to be an at-home mother, the emphasis is on "mother" not "home." Don’t lose sight of why you stayed at home in the first place. It may be a cliché, but it always catches us by surprise when we see how quickly our children grow up. The housework will be there long after the children are gone. You have the opportunity to make these years special. Enjoy them.