27 May 2010
Needless to say, one would think that I'd have tons of fodder to post about, but I don't.
I will tell you what's coming up though:
- A book review on a book that I JUST finished: I just have to gather my thoughts about how I felt about it.
- My thoughts on home-schooling and why we are going to continue on that path.
- A recipe that sounds really great: I'm trying it on my family for dinner tonight - You'll get the dinner review.
- Along with that - I'll post my thoughts and ideas on how to get a picky eater (we just got one of those at our house after 4 years of NOT being picky...) to eat. Starvation is a thought, but not really an option.
So... rather than waste any more of your precious time, I'll share my thoughts on ONE of those topics... tomorrow.
20 May 2010
I have found the inspiration and desire to stick to my weight displacement program through watching meaningless television shows and wondering "why can't I be in that kind of shape?" I've also found it through blatant honesty as shown HERE. I'm not certain that I would be able to put my weight on a blog! Mostly, I find my desire to stick to my personal weight displacement program through personal thoughts of wanting to do and be better.
I find inspiration to read my scriptures and stay spiritually fit through the example of my Mother. For as long as I can remember, she gets up early in the morning and studies her scriptures. I'm not there yet. Someday, I hope to be. I know I COULD be there if I only put my scripture study over my personal reading.
Recently, I have found inspiration and awe and admiration and longing to be more like her through both a video I watched, and a blog that I found. But let me back track here... several months ago - in the middle of my pity party for one, I read about a couple who were in a terrible plane crash. Both of them survived. I have no idea what he does or did, but she is a fellow blogger and was featured in an LDS publication. I was inspired to be more like her when I read the article about her grit and desire to be the best she can be. And then, for MOTHER'S day (of all days...), my Mom sent me a link to the new Mormon Message "My New Life". I cried. I cried again today when I watched it with my children. I cried today when I watched it with my husband. It was truly that touching.
Nie is an amazing woman. I'm 100% confident that there are days when she has her own personal pity parties for one, but I am also confident that those days are few and the parties are short. She doesn't strike me as a person who lets herself feel too discouraged for too long. She has found her inspiration in knowing who she is, and not only understanding it, but BELIEVING it. There are days when I, too, am like that. Those days are more and more frequent than the pity party for one days. I have come to understand that it is up to ME how I feel, and, as I have come to know, it's true that I am indeed a Daughter of my Heavenly Father - and HE LOVES ME!
Isn't that a marvelous feeling? To know that YOU are loved by the MOST supreme being EVER?! Not only that, but HE wants YOU to become like him! While that thought might, on occasion, be depressing, the more we understand about HIM, the more we learn and understand as parents about ourselves and what is expected of us. I personally feel that the more we allow ourselves to be depressed over the little thing of which we have little to no control, the easier it is to allow Satan (that evil snake) to take control of our minds and we find ourselves doing and saying things we NEVER would say if we were truly in our proper frames of mind.
I don't think Nie lingers on her issues too long. I want to be more like her.
Her blog is definitely worth reading. You can find it by either clicking HERE, or by going to the side bar on this page and clicking on "nienie". I challenge you to find something in your life that's a trial. Do what you can to turn those feelings of being tried into feelings of being blessed.
Remember: If I ask the Lord to take away my trials, I also have to ask Him to take away my blessings. I'm pretty sure I'm not willing to give THOSE back. They say you should walk a mile in someone else's shoes before judging them. There are certain people whose shoes I'm positive I would NEVER fit in to. Nie is one of them.
I want to be like Nie. From the inside, she is one of the most beautiful people I have ever seen.
19 May 2010
We left the antique store empty handed.
We spent the next three days doing research into OTHER stoves, even going to an antique stove warehouse where we saw stove stacked on stove stacked on stove. And then, after visiting "OUR" stove at least three times (we did the same thing with our house before purchasing it, by the way), we finally brought it home. Getting it in the house was a two man job (people in our ward don't answer the phone when we call...the first thing we ever moved into our home was an antique piano; that was a FOUR man job.), but move it in we did. It sat in the sun room as a great conversation starter - "Hey! My GRANDMA had something like this!" "Wow! That thing is in AMAZING shape!" "Are you really going to cook on that?!"
Finally, after 6 months, we called the same poor chap who had helped us move it into the house and asked him to help us move it into place in the kitchen. He must have forgotten how heavy it was, because he agreed. The stove sat, unusable, for another couple of months, until the hottest day in September 2009. It was on that day we finally put the last piece of pipe in to connect the stove to the chimney. And then we fired it up. Literally. We had pizza.
Because it took so long for us to get our stove in place, I learned several things about cooking. First: you can cook ANYTHING on the barbecue. Second: I love my crock pot. Third: Who says you can't make macaroni and cheese in an electrical skillet? I also learned that the most frequently stated comment to owners of an antique WOOD cookstove is: "My Grandmother used to make the BEST meals in a stove like this. I've never had a better meal."
I don't know about my grandmother's wood cookstove, as far back as I can remember she's had an electrical stove. I CAN, however, tell you about mine. Yes, I am 35 years old and I cook on an antique wood cookstove. My day starts with firing up the stove. On really hot days and during the summer, we give the stove a break and barbecue. If I have good, dry wood, I can get the oven hot enough to bake bread in within 20 minutes. Some days, the oven never gets that hot - like the day I made brownies and baked them at 120... for FOUR hours. Hey. They weren't burnt!
Cooking on an antique wood cookstove is really no different that cooking on an electrical or gas stove - except for the fact that you can't rest your hand on the side of the stove when cooking, and if one burner is on, the entire stove is on. I can regulate the heat by opening and closing dampers, or by adding more fuel to the flames. I can bake a loaf of bread in the same amount of time that a regular stove bakes bread, and I can roast the BEST chicken you'll ever have in your life. (I can also burn my buns on the stove - but that's another, more embarassing post.) A and I have commented that we really should teach our children about electrical stoves; that way they aren't TOO backward when they go to college - and it is for that reason that our glass-top stove sits in the basement where the children use it as a pretend stove for playing house. It's not plugged in, nor does it have an outlet that it COULD be plugged in to. Instead, it sits. In exhile. Not even next to its old friend, the refrigerator (of which we have two - both down in the basement and really not that convenient to the kitchen...)
I love explaining to other people how we regulate the heat in the stove. It's even better listening to our four year old explain to people the same thing. And I love using cast iron. It's an even heat, keeps my food hot even when it's not on or in the stove, and it's the easiest clean up in the world. The original non-stick.
The other day we had some friends come over to purchase eggs. They had never been inside the house before, and her comment was "You really DO cook on an antique stove! They told me, but I didn't believe it." The stove is perfect in our kitchen. It fits with the house. And it does. It looks like it's always been there. The best benefit is that I never have to worry about power outages. I'll always have a way to cook and bake and heat my home - no matter WHAT the weather. (As long as I have access to our wood, I've got heat and cooking energy.) Everyone should have an antique wood cookstove.
So... the next time you're in the area, stop by for some fresh baked bread. Or the best roast chicken you've ever had. You won't be disappointed.
18 May 2010
As a teenager, I was convinced that Hot Chocolate and Toast WAS the breakfast of Champions. I'm still convinced that true champions really drink hot cocoa. Recently though, I've become obsessed with eating SOMETHING for breakfast. I think it's because I've read so much lately about breakfast being key to helping people lose weight and that it's the kick off for your metabolism... and let's face it. Unless you go by something like "SLIM" or people call you Anna and they mean that it's really short for Anorexic... MOST people would admit to having a few pounds that they're trying to dodge. Or get rid of. Or just plain LOSE.
I am NOT the exception to that train of thought. After having had three children in the last four years, I feel like I have at least 10 pounds that are just hanging on. Reminds me of a song that my Dad found on the internet (or somewhere) by a group called Homer and Jethro - one of those "Punny" Songs; the words of which are: "Let me go, Let me go, Let me go. Blubber. Let me scat like a cat 'way from you. You're too fat in the first place, you know it's true. You're too fat in the second place to..." And thus my obsession with breakfast begins.
Mostly, I've become obsessed with smoothies. They're easy, they're nutritious, and they are using up the frozen fruit in my freezer before I want to replenish my stock this summer. Interestingly enough, I've discovered that I'm actually hungry at lunch time when I have a small breakfast. Shocking how that works. I'm not sure if I've actually lost weight over the last few weeks, but I certainly feel a lot more energized in the morning!
Several weeks ago I attended a Relief Society Conference. One of the classes was on nutrition and weight loss and how breakfast really helps in that endeavor. I've never considered myself to be "Fat". Nor have I thought that I have a weight problem. I am, however, inspired by a blog that was mentioned during the class - More Chins Than a Chinese Phone Book... VERY inspiring. The name alone got my attention. This young woman is amazing in her quest for weight loss. I think I'm a slacker when it comes to MY idea of weight loss!
Last night I had a wild hair and went downstairs to ride the exercise bike. Probably the SECOND (and I'm not kidding about that) time I've ridden it. We've had the bike for four years. I definitely am feeling it this morning, and I only went 2 miles. Yes. I AM incredibly out of shape.
I had breakfast this morning. I think I'll go ride my bike.
17 May 2010
14 May 2010
It is the field to the LEFT of the house that we are going to discuss here. Remember that angle? It got steeper today when we had to roll 350 feet of field fencing UP it. The farther we rolled it, the steeper the hill got. Funny how that works... not only did the hill get steeper, the fencing got heavier. Especially when we had to move it around the fence posts because the fencing seemed to want to roll DIAGONALLY from where we wanted it to go. It was truly hard work.
I have a new appreciation for my husband. He is a finish carpenter, who not only does beautiful work, but he has a desire to continue to learn - if he doesn't know how to do something, he figures out a way to learn it. Take fencing - for example. Two years ago, we didn't have any fences on our property. We were the proud owners of two hogs (pigs are pets, hogs are food), and two bovines. (Or, as the children called them - DINNER.) Blessed with friends who had property, we weren't all that concerned about where to keep our animals, until we decided that we wanted to have them on our farm. So... long story short - A bought a video, watched it, and built a fence. He doesn't need the video now, he just builds fences.
I am amazed. He leaves the house in the morning, works hard at whatever he is working on for someone else, and then comes home and fixes things here in our home. And it's not easy things, either. Building a fence is NOT easy - no matter what they say, or how easy A makes it look. I am that much more grateful for the work that I have to do here at home. Cleaning the house is so much easier than rolling field fencing UP a hill.
I'll take my house anyday.
13 May 2010
I complained in my head about the status of my house and how it seemed that I was the only one who EVER picked ANYTHING up. I continued to complain about the fact that I was awake half the night changing poop and doing dishes and folding still MORE laundry...
And the list went ON and ON and ON.
Just in the middle of my extreme complaining to myself, it suddenly hit me. NO ONE CARED. First - no one cared, because no one else was listening! (Talking in your head helps a little with that...) Even if they HAD been listening, no one would have cared because they weren't INVITED to my little PITY PARTY. (People don't bring gifts to those anyway - so why invite them?!) And then it happened.
I started to think to myself about all the things I would miss out on if I DIDN'T have children.
If I didn't have children, I wouldn't have those sticky hugs that only little people can give. I wouldn't realize the joys of teaching children how to clean up after themselves - and the thrill that occurs when they FINALLY figure out how to clean up ON THEIR OWN! I wouldn't have the sleepy "I Love You, Mommy" that comes in the middle of the night when I'm tucking them in for the 39th time. I began to realize the blessing that it is to ME to be a mother.
Now. Let it be said right here and right now that I have some VERY dear Friends (and some Siblings) who haven't YET experienced that joy. For them, it's a struggle. One that I will NEVER understand fully. My heart hurts when I think of the joys that they have yet to experience. Perhaps, it was for THEM that my selfish eyes were opened to the joys that I have. I think it may have been for THEM that my pity party was brought to an abrupt halt.
That being said, I have a story to share.
Almost a year ago, as A and I were contemplating TIMING for our next child, I found out that said CHILD wasn't WAITING for our timing. I was unsure of how to react, and probably reacted badly for one who loves children and doesn't mind being pregnant. Take PROBABLY out of it. I DID react badly. As I was going about my cleaning duties that the Portland Temple one night, griping about being pregnant when, "Gosh Darn it! I WAS ON THE PILL!" I had an epiphany. (That's code for "GOD YELLED AT ME") I heard - in my minds inner eye; the UNselfish part of me - "Don't You DARE be ungrateful for this child. She is coming to you for a reason - and YOU NEED HER." I went on to hear, "You have siblings who are unable to have children at this point and for reasons that you don't know. STOP being ungrateful for the GIFT you have been given."
You know, when you're YELLED at, you generally listen. It was humbling for me to have that experience. And it taught me a lesson in being grateful for ALL my children. I'm not perfect. I still spend more time that I should griping and complaining about what they're NOT doing, and not enough time being grateful for what they ARE doing. That being said, I am truly grateful for my children. I'm grateful when they don't argue and fight with each other. I love seeing them put their arms around each other and tell each other how much they mean to the other. I love watching L give baby C a kiss (it's absolutely the sweetest thing you've ever seen). Mostly, I love learning from them.
I guess Motherhood has its rewards after all.