Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Memes - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
I am so sorry I didn't get this up before tonight! It's been really crazy with the holiday. I know it is probably too late to post now...but PLEASE play along anyway (anytime) even though Friday is almost history!!!

Food 4 Thought Friday

Feel free to play along for some yummy fun! I will post a new one each Thursday night for those that are on a different time zone. JOIN IN!!!

Food 4 Thought Friday ~ This week's questions

What is the most stressful thing for you about the holidays?

What one quality do you admire most in others?

Do you enjoy winter, tolerate it, or detest it?

Midnight Snack
Where is your favorite place to shop?

Recipe for this Week (instead of your recipe for life - what is it for just this week?)

PLEASE PLAY !!!! Come on you know you want to!

Be sure and stop by the other's blogs who played along too!!!


Food 4 Thought Friday ~ This week's questions

What is the most stressful thing for you about the holidays?
Adding so much to my already full plate and trying to pull it off perfectly. Especially trying to find the perfect gift for everyone. That is always very stressful! Writing my family newsletter also adds lots of stress because of the time involved. And when we do family photos--- now that's stress!

What one quality do you admire most in others?
I think it would be being genuine. I have a hard time with people when they are one way around certain people and another way around others. I appreciate people being genuine and real...not phony.

Do you enjoy winter, tolerate it, or detest it?

I really hate the cold, but I enjoy the snow when it's falling. It is so beautiful. I do tend to get really sick of winter quick. The ideal time for winter for me would be two months max! I guess I just tolerate it.

Midnight Snack
Where is your favorite place to shop?
Not sure how I could pick just one! I love Ross because they have such good quality items for such great prices. I love a good deal! I love to shop at Maurices, Deseret Book, Quilted Bear(or boutiques), Sams (or Costco), and Ebay too.

Recipe for this Week (instead of your recipe for life - what is it for just this week?)
There is always, always, always something to be grateful for.


1. My stomach is now happy and full after being empty and hungry all day while I was shopping!

2. Lots of turkey, potatoes and gravy, yams, and PIE is what I ate the most of on Thursday.

3. The yard has lots of leaves scattered around again, but happily no snow yet!

4. At home with my whole family is where I'd rather be at any given time.

5. The smell of pine trees reminds me of Christmas.

6. Since I've been up since 4 a.m. - SLEEP is what I need right now!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing and going to bed early after shopping all day, tomorrow my plans include writing a talk (I have get to speak in church in sacrament meeting on Sunday), wrapping gifts, cleaning, enjoying my time with Sky home, possibly going shopping again because Bryce needs running shoes for one of his classes, was hoping to run the Santa Run (you have to dress up like Santa to run it!) but my group decided to wait until next year since we would have to pay a huge late registration fee, :( and Sunday, I want to do a good job on my talk(the topic is gratitude), relax, and get in some good reading time.

To play go HERE

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

PPP #13 ~ Instilling Gratitude in our Children

Parenting Pointers Post #13
Help for the Frazzled Mom!
Based on Dr. Glenn I. Latham's book The Power of Positive Parenting

"Behave well. Good parenting is first a matter of teaching, second a matter of modeling, and never a matter of reacting." Dr. Glenn I. Latham

Do you ever feel like your children constantly want AND expect more things? Do they take care of and respect the stuff they already have? Are their Christmas lists already needing to be chopped in half?

Teaching children to be grateful can be a difficult thing in today's society of instant gratification. But it is so important and worth the effort when you realize how much their happiness depends on their gratitude quotient. How can they invite more into their life until they are grateful for what they already have? They can't.

Being grateful has many benefits that we all want our children to claim. For one thing, grateful people are so much more enjoyable to be around. But more importantly there is now evidence from recent scientific studies that show counting your blessings is very beneficial to your health!

Research conducted by Robert A. Emmons at the University of California at Davis and Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, shows that people who consciously remind themselves everyday of the things they are grateful for show marked improvements in mental health and some aspects of physical health. In one study the participants kept a gratitude journal and listed each day four or five things for which they were grateful--even if it was just a beautiful day. “In just two to three weeks,” McCullough said, “they reported being happier.” And, “People close to them could see the difference too.” “With gratitude, there is virtually no down side,” said McCullough. And there’s a major upside: “Most grateful people have low rates of depression and negative moods—but high self-esteem.” There was evidence that gratitude is related to reduced risk of major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, phobia, bulimia nervosa, nicotine dependence, alcohol dependence, and drug use/dependence. And an increase in better relationships."

That is reason enough to be grateful. The big question is - "Is gratitude something we are born with or can it be taught?" Gratitude does not come naturally to most people especially young children. It is most definitely something that can be taught. As you have heard before...gratitude is an attitude. It is a choice we make. And in order to teach it to our children we have to model it in ourselves first.

A simple, sincere expression of gratitude when the kids do something they are asked to do is always appreciated. Noticing the little things they do around the house may seem like too simple of a thing to make an impact, but it will. Even thanking them for putting their socks in the hamper (even if they have only done it one out of a hundred times!) will cause them to want to do it again because it was noticed AND appreciated. Appreciation and praise always goes a long way in getting the behavior repeated. We all like to be recognized when we do something.

Also model the behavior by thanking those people in your daily life. The sales clerk, the bus driver, the piano teacher. This will let them know that gratitude is a standard in your home. Letting your children see that you are grateful will encourage them to be so as well. Always remember to say thanks for the little things and teach them to as well. When someone has given my boys a ride somewhere, the first thing I ask them is if they remembered to say thanks for the ride. A couple of weeks ago, McKay walked in the door and the first thing he said before I could ask was, "Yes Mom, I said thanks for the ride." My boys seldom forget to thank either me or Dave for each meal. It has almost become a contest to see who says thanks for dinner first. That was taught by sheer repetition and reminding them when they forgot.

Another way to show gratitude is through prayer. By praying out loud, your children can hear you expressing thanks for your blessings. Remember to thank God for the blessing of your wonderful children stating each of their names individually and why you are thankful for them!

Another way to teach gratitude is by trying to go without. From time to time, have a family project that involves going without something important. For example, walk to your regular destinations instead of taking the car. Think of things that take a little sacrifice. Those things that will cause us to miss things that we take for granted will help us be a little more humble and grateful for, or toy, or whatever.

Volunteering or serving is a great way for your children to see gratitude in action. There are numerous chances in every community to volunteer. It feels good to help others and they also get to experience the warmth of appreciation.

Assign chores. This will give them an awareness of the amount of time and effort involved in so many of the things they think just magically get done. As they do the chores, they will learn to appreciate the other things we do for them.

Writing thank you notes is such a powerful way to help them feel the gratitude for what they have received. Putting down on paper what they enjoyed about a particular gift, reminds your children why they are grateful for it.

Don't keep your gratitude to yourself! When you feel thankful for certain people in your life, be bold enough to say it out loud or put it in a letter. One of the great tragedies in life is that, too often, we just don't know what we mean to others. When you feel appreciation towards others, tell them!

Try and find the good in each situation.
1. "Oh it's raining, AGAIN. But, I remembered my umbrella!"
2. "My car broke down. But, look at all this exercise I am getting now!"
3. "It is so cold outside today. I am so grateful I have a warm coat to keep me warm!"

4. "I've never seen so many dirty dishes! But that meal was really delicious!"
5. "Will this laundry ever be done? I guess not as long as we are blessed enough to have clothes to wear!"
6. "The electricity was out all night. We had a perfect excuse to order dinner delivery, eat by candlelight, and go to bed early!"

Are you starting to get the picture?

Our children will learn to be grateful as we model it for them. Being grateful may not be something we all just naturally feel or automatically do. It takes some effort. But remember the reward is always worth it!

Check out this video of the GRATITUDE DANCE!!!

As always...good luck, and as Dr. Latham used to say:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Take a guess...

Guess what I did today? Here's a little hint...

I was fed a free lunch, but too nervous to eat it.
I met a lot of people I didn't know
I met a lot of people I did know.
One of those I did know, made me even more nervous.
I stood up during the recitation of a group's guiding principles that were recited by everyone in the room with the exception of me and my husband.
I learned about a group in my community I previously didn't know anything about.
My husband and I were the only non group members in the room.
I was introduced by one of our friends to the entire group.
I sat at a head table.
I stood at a pulpit.
I had notes in my hand.
I gushed over something I love to do.
I was glad when it was over.

What was I doing? Did you guess it yet? If you guessed I attended an AA meeting...WRONG! And wrong again if you thought I was being inducted into some cult or strange religion. Nope. And DOUBLY wrong if you thought I was being made the official undercover double for Mrs. Cavanaugh at Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolate. Nope. None of those, though that last one does sound rather promising.

Here's just another little hint. I used words like:

On line

On line journaling


Do you know now? Or do you give up?
If you guessed I spoke on blogging at the:

Rotary Club

Then you were right! (with hints like those how could you not be!)

Yes, I spoke on BLOGGING to the Rotary Club. Yes, yes, I too was surprised that the Rotary Club would have ANY interest in that subject as well. But, I was asked and I accepted. First the Woman's Forum, now the Rotary Club. What's next, the state penitentiary? I made it very clear I was NO expert on the subject... just a self taught, previously techno retarded woman who loves to journal, write, and take lots of pictures. Blogging just happens to be the perfect medium for all three! Not to mention it's a great way to stay connected and meet new friends from all over the world!

It was actually quite fun because I had never attended one of their meetings before and always wondered what they did. I learned they are primarily a service based organization. The members are all oustanding citizens of our community. I was impressed when they all stood up and recited the club's guiding principles which are:

Sounds like something that we could all incorporate into our lives doesn't it? I thought it applied to very well to BLOGGING also.

Dave was being the self appointed Mr. Photographer today.

Not sure why he took this one of me getting ready....other than I woke up with a zit the size of Mars and so I wouldn't look at the camera! (Of course after trying to fix the zit, it ended up the size of Jupiter! Why does that always happen when a bunch of people are going to be starring at you?)

He did get this one as I was heading out...

This is during the luncheon. I am sitting by Dr. Ashdown, whom I expect will start a blog! He keeps a daily journal and wants to stay in touch better with his married daughter and so I think he would find a blog a great way to bridge those two.

No, I am not saying a prayer (though it probably wouldn't hurt!) and I don't generally speak with my eyes closed (unless I am being distracted by a photographer named Dave!)

A few of the members as well as President Davis (caught enjoying his juice!)

Who knows? Maybe some of them will actually start their own blog! I would be so impressed!

Kinda silly, but still fun!
My result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else?

You Are a Katharine!

You are a Katharine

Many of these fit me to a tee ~ but a few are way off.

"I am happy and open to new things"
Katharines are energetic, lively, and optimistic. They want to contribute to the world.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Give me companionship, affection, and freedom.
  • * Engage with me in stimulating conversation and laughter.
  • * Appreciate my grand visions and listen to my stories.
  • * Don't try to change my style. Accept me the way I am.
  • * Be responsible for youself. I dislike clingy or needy people.
  • * Don't tell me what to do.

What I Like About Being a Katharine

  • * being optimistic and not letting life's troubles get me down
  • * being spontaneous and free-spirited
  • * being outspoken and outrageous. It's part of the fun.
  • * being generous and trying to make the world a better place
  • * having the guts to take risks and to try exciting adventures
  • * having such varied interests and abilities

What's Hard About Being a Katharine

  • * not having enough time to do all the things I want
  • * not completing things I start
  • * not being able to profit from the benefits that come from specializing; not making a commitment to a career
  • * having a tendency to be ungrounded; getting lost in plans or fantasies

Katharines as Children Often

  • * are action oriented and adventuresome
  • * drum up excitement
  • * prefer being with other children to being alone
  • * finesse their way around adults
  • * dream of the freedom they'll have when they grow up

Katharines as Parents

  • * are often enthusiastic and generous
  • * want their children to be exposed to many adventures in life
  • * may be too busy with their own activities to be attentive

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Take the Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

Which Cullen are you?

I'm a Esme! I found out through Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!

You are thoughtful and care very deeply for your family. A loving home is of great
importance to you and you always try to make people feel welcome. Although you have a great capacity to love, you also have a great capacity to hurt, so at times you can be
sensitive. You're firm when you need to be, but people trust your judgment and
appreciate the kind way you always handle things.

Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!

A little of this and a lot of that...


I have a lot of catching up to do!!! So here goes...

Trip to the Cannery...

Our church operates a huge cannery that provides food for those in need. Members of our church sign up to go and volunteer to help with the operation. It is quite an amazing thing to watch. Dave and I went a few weeks ago. It is so well organized and the missionaries who run it are very strict with the regulations. The USDA inspector made a visit while we were there too.

Need a new look? Well, check out these beautiful hairnets! Aren't they just SO flattering? Bleh! Actually Shanne doesn't look too bad in one (bottom left) for the rest of us, well...

We were all just glad they didn't kick Shanne out for not cutting the gravy. She was having issues with her station! Probably because she was having a little too much fun!!! I was jealous I wasn't working on her station!

We did Beef Stew. This was my station...↓ (top left) doing potatoes. We didn't have to peel them, just remove any bruises or black or green spots.

See the cute little old lady on the top left photo (that will be me in about 40 years!) ...she was a hoot! She managed that knife like an army soldier that wasn't going to take any guff. When we had a break she would just sit there with it aimed at anyone that dare get near her! Daisy is at the bottom right. That woman makes the most amazing cinnamon rolls!

This is the stew after it was put in cans and then the gravy going in.

I am standing by all the ingredients before they are mixed together (bottom left) while Dave was running the can operation (bottom right). Our shift lasted three hours, from 7 -10 a.m. It was a lot of fun and a great service for those in need.

My favorite part was going out to breakfast at Village Inn after. Yum! I had these Orange-Cranberry-Almond pancakes with Orange Sauce! Can you say Mmmmmm!!!

I think Dave is looking pretty happy too! It was D-lish! He's not too bad either! ☺

Visit to the Humanitarian Center

My Young Women group went to Salt Lake City to tour our churches Humanitarian Center a few months ago. I never got around to posting about it but thought it would go well with the cannery one. We took two quilts to donate that we had made at Girl's Camp. It was an eye opening experience that left us all walking away feeling very blessed for all we have and so grateful we belong to a church that is able to help those who are less fortunate throughout the entire world.

This is from the Humanitarian website:

Working under the attentive eye of Church leadership, the LDS Church Welfare and Humanitarian program is responding to areas of human need more than ever before. Present priorities include care of the world's poor and a greatly expanded employment support to elevate men and women from circumstances of need to the blessings of self-reliance. Gifts, bequests, and endowments for these initiatives extend personal reach around the globe to help victims of disasters, homelessness, hunger, and disease. Teachers receive needed training, facilities, textbooks, and supplies, weapons in their war against ignorance, poverty, and hopelessness. Orphans and street children find relief from the daily struggle to survive. Job training opens doors of opportunity. Micro-enterprise turns ingenuity into prosperity. Jobs appear where there were no jobs before. The unemployed find stability; the underemployed begin to realize their greater potential and create the surpluses that transform them from receivers to givers. These are effective opportunities, those that build lives.

Pictured above is some of the donated clothing that will find it's way into another country where the need is so great.

The facility is very large as well as very organized and efficient.

More shots of the huge amount of clothing and where it may go.

Above is pictured a few of the many ways we provide to the needy across the world.

President Thomas S. Monson said, "We have a responsibility to extend help as well as hope to the hungry, to the homeless, and to the downtrodden both at home and abroad."

Here we are with our quilts!!!

Go HERE to read more about what we do as a church to relieve the needy, distressed, homeless, jobless, hungry, poor, and victims of disasters. You will be amazed!

Just another day in paradise...

We get A LOT of deer in our backyard. We usually have does and fawns. This year we have a set of twins that enjoy eating our shrubs and flowers! Lately though, we have been seeing this beautiful buck.

~More Creatures~
Look what was in my house! Well...technically the garage, but STILL!

It's not a real big surprise since we get a lot of these at this time of year, but I prefer that I don't SEE them! Dave found this guy. DANG good thing too! If it had been ME...oh the drama!

Good Mail!

This came from Steph @The Daily Grind

It is soooo cute! I can't wait to use it! Thanks Steph!!!

McKay's First Band Concert

McKay is a drummer in the 6th grade band. The first year they don't allow percussion, just bells.

He got to play the Bass Drum and even got to do a solo!

For your listening enjoyment here is his solo... which I might add, I had NO idea he was even going to do. I also didn't know he was playing the bass drum. Why didn't I know?????????

Because he is a BOY!

The only part of his solo you will hear are the last TWO beats. Listen closely because it will be over before you know you missed it! Why only the last two beats? Well, since I didn't KNOW he was doing a solo, I didn't have the video ready. Once I got it ready, his solo only had TWO beats left. Why again?????????

Because he is a BOY!
♥BOYS! Gotta love em'♥

Be prepared or you will miss it! The very first two beats on here are the only ones I got of his solo. The rest is of the other sections!

Saturday was the annual Turkey Trot! I ran it with my neighbor Julie.

It's a 4 mile race and the prizes are Pumpkin Pie and Turkeys!

I didn't win a turkey...(sob)

But I did win a pumpkin pie for getting 2nd place.

For more photos and the rest of the tantalizing story go HERE!

At least for now!!!


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