Saturday, October 31, 2009

"This is Halloween..."

What a FUN time we had this year for Halloween!
Since Halloween was on a Saturday this year we actually got to celebrate for 2 days!
FUN!!
Tracy downloaded the song "This is Halloween" from "The Nighmare Before Christmas" from iTunes and we listened to this all day in the house, in the car everywhere we went and the kids begged for him to keep playing it.

The kids got to dress up for school and Ethan was the cutest little Mad Scientist ever!! I am just cherishing the few years I have while he is still little and SO excited about life.
This was the EASIEST Costume ever.
I used one of Tracy's old church shirts for his lab coat. We were given the glasses at a Harry Potter promotion at Barnes and Noble and I just purchased a can of silver hairspray paint "Ratted out " his hair to make it crazy and sprayed it silver and then added a little make up on his face and he was done!
Look how adorable he is!
His lab coat said
"Doctor Franken-Smith!!


My little adorable Ethan Kip!!
YES, as you can see, we got snow on Friday!!

Ethan was REALLY excited
to make "potions" and so we added some salsa to water to make this bloody concoction!

Another potion....
we added green food coloring to the red mixture to come up with this potion. Ethan was SO much fun and kept on making silly faces. I don't think I've ever had more fun taking photos of my kids than this day with Ethan.

Jade after his Halloween Dance
he went to. He was cold and had a long day and this was the only photo I was able to get of him.

Jade decided he wanted to be a "Hippie" this year for Halloween and wanted us to make him a "Tie-dyed" shirt and so since I was making one shirt I decided to make 4 shirts to make use of the dye. For less than $22.00 we tie-dyed 5 shirts. ($15.00 for the shirts and around $6.00 for RIT Dye).
This was something we did for Monday Family Night and the kids got to choose what colors they dyed their shirts and they were in charge of making their own shirt. The excitement they had was priceless to watch!
FUN Family Memory!


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We actually are a family that likes to go ALL OUT for Halloween with being dressed to kill in whatever costume we are wearing. I actually had hideous hippie boots, flare legged jeans with inserts Tracy had sewn at the bottoms (true RETRO ugly high waisted jeans), but in the vein of simplifying life we pared down our costume box from four large totes to one tote last Spring and so our costumes this year weren't as "decked out" as they usually have been in years past.
As we were getting ready we had a small "pang" of "why did we send on all that cool costume stuff" (for LOTS of different costumes including my black wig for being a gypsy-witch)?

HOWEVER, now that Halloween is over, I'm steadfast in my thoughts that Halloween was plenty "fun enough" and I'm SO glad we resisted buying more costume accessories to clutter our already cluttered basement.
"Far Out Man"!!

YAY!!
I was able to catch my neighbor before we left to go to the Halloween Concert to snap some quick photos of us all dressed up!
I LOVE them!!

Our Yearly tradition
and something I think I look forward to more than anything else all year is the
Annual Halloween Symphonic Orchestra concert at BYI-I.
It's such a FUN way to introduce your kids to the arts and to classical music.
They always have a theme and this year it was SUPER HEROS! The stage was decorated like Gotham City and all of the people in the orchestra were dressed up in costumes. It was SO much fun to see Ethan get SO excited when they played songs from Batman, The Incredibles and Superman.

Here are the songs that they played.
Batman Suite.............................Danny Elfman
I. The Batman Theme
II. Flowers
III. Love Theme
IV. The Jokers Poem
V. Up the Cathedral
VI. Waltz to the Death
VII. Final Confrontation
VIII. Finale

End Credits from
"The Incredibles"
.........Michael Giacchino

The Ride of the Valkyries............Richard Wagner

The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra........Benjamin Britten
Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell

Superman March...........John Williams

It was SO fun being at the concert all dressed up as a family!
The last of our Halloween night...
after the concert I snapped these last 2 photos. Ethan was being SO funny and really getting into "posing" for photos.
Sad that Halloween is over for another year!
However, I'm really looking forward to November, Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays.
I'm sure sad to lose that hour of light at the end of the day, but I am going to enjoy an extra hour as we had to turn back the clocks tonight.

Now, if I can just get the song "This is Halloween" out of my head as it has been going through my head all day and night! Hopefully, I won't have this going through my head while we're at church. (wink).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

S.U.P.E.R T.O.N.I.C.

(Halloween...Circa 2001)

I just LOVE this time of the year!!
Right now, I feel like a witch or a gypsy and I need a cauldron and wooden spoon to brew up the potent tonic spell that is steeping right now in my kitchen...which is guaranteed to open up your sinuses, clear out a head cold and keep away the Vampires! (wink!)

Tracy's sister Shelley
has got us hooked on something called "Super Tonic". She has made this up for years and given us several jars of it and we enjoy it SO much that we got the recipe and are making up our first brew of this. It's pretty exciting!

For some crazy reason I have always been fascinated by "old fashioned" remedies for various "ails". I even had a relative that made cough syrup by cooking honey and chopped onion for hours on the stove and the syrup was a soothing relief to drink for a sore throat.

The ingredients in Super Tonic are individually and collectively, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and have many other benefits as well.

White onion---is anti-flammatory, antibacterial and good for digestion
Garlic---anti-fungal, anti-viral
Habanero Peppers---reduces inflammation, clears mucus membranes, detoxifying
Ginger root---anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory improves digestion
Horseradish root---antibiotic, heats up the body to detox
Recipe for Supertonic
1 large white onion

1/4 cup chopped cayenne peppers (leave seeds in), OR you can use a combination of Habanero/Jalapeno peppers...one friend even uses 15-20 Habanero peppers Whichever combination you use will work great. You can also sprinkle in a teaspoon or two of dried Cayenne pepper if your peppers aren't hot enough)
3/4 cup grated horseradish root, peeled

4 whole heads of garlic (not cloves)
1/2 cup grated and peeled ginger root


Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar 2 to 3 quarts


Put the
onions, garlic, and peppers, cayenne, horseradish and ginger in a blender and blend until they are a mush.

Put mixture
in a gallon size glass jar. Add vinegar until there is about 1-2 inches of vinegar above chopped ingredients (I put in 2 quarts of vinegar)


Cover
jar with plastic lid. Leave on counter for one week , pushing stuff down in jar a minimum of 3 times per day with a NON-metal spoon. MAKE SURE to keep sides of jars clean....The stuff sitting on sides of jar can mold and ruin the whole batch.


After 1 week
place jar in cool dark place for 3-4 weeks.

STRAIN
(through 4 layers of cheesecloth)
and then put remaining liquid into dropper bottles, OR, you can store this in a mason jar in the fridge. (discard solids)

Keep Refrigerated and then during cold and flu season to keep icky bugs away put a few dropper-fulls of this down your throat everyday.
*******************************
Just making this makes you immune to just about anything and nothing could live in your kitchen for a while, it is pretty strong smelling . I LOVE to take the lid off and inhale the vapors...it cleans out my sinuses every time.

Great gift to give friends!! Don't you wish you were my neighbor...I'd bring you a jar of Super Tonic along with a fresh baked pie, plate of cookies or fresh baked French Bread! (BIG wink)

We have some in our fridge from March of 2008 and it is still potent and hasn't gone bad . It literally can last for years!
All of that vinegar is a preservative and makes it keep for ALONG time.
Looking forward to November 28th
when our Super Tonic will be done "Brewing" and we can fill jars and enjoy the benefits and yummyness of dumping this in our mouths everyday. It's also SO yummy to put a few dropper-fulls of this in soups, or put some on a salad in place of salad dressing!
Lest, you think I'm crazy...
I'm not really...I'm just an adventurous person that likes to try things!
Enjoy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Grateful for "Whatchagot" Soup!


"The unthankful heart...
discovers no mercies;
but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings"

~Henry Ward Beecher

My Heart has been full of Gratitude
this week as I read a "Letter to the Editor" that was in this month's National Geographic.
This is a little snippet from her letter...
Linda from Durham, North Carolina (whose husband had recently lost his job a few months prior to her writing this article) writes:
"This morning I was mired in self pity and grumbling about the state of our finances. Four out of five meals consist of beans and rice and I was sick of it. I headed upstairs to nurse the baby. As I settled down with my son in my arms, I turned to the picture on page 36 depicting a starving baby in Ethiopia. My eyes filled with tears of shame. I couldn't help but compare that withered little boy with the chubby infant on my lap. That boy is no less cherished than my child. I bet if his mother were plunked down in my life, she wouldn't know what to make of her good fortune. She wouldn't have time to complain. She'd be too busy cooking the beans and rice I disdain, planting vegetables in our yard and feeding her child" (end of quote)
This time of year it seems like there is an abundance of garden produce and zucchini gets added to about every meal and there are LOTS of soups and stews made with the abundance of garden veggies as well. I have heard quite a few people complain that they are sick of eating zucchini for every meal, or tired of eating soups for every meal, etc....

Every pot of soup we make up I feel SO grateful and feel rich as we are eating things that nourish our bodies. My children devour the bowls of soup they are served for dinner. I think of children in other countries and Haiti comes to mind as I read an article of moms taking a certain edible dirt and making it into cookies to feed to their children because they couldn't afford basic staple ingredients to feed their children and they were trying to ward off hunger pangs in their children's little tummy's...that is SO sad to me.
(click here to see the article)


************************

We are SO blessed have such an abundance of food in our lives and it is sometimes easy to take things for granted. So many people don't feel like they are eating a good meal unless it is lasagna, roast beef or pork chops with potatoes and gravy and all the fixings, etc...
If you think through history how many people would have LOVED to have had some onions and garlic and a variety of spices to throw in their soups to add flavor and a cornucopia of veggies...they would have felt rich to have such an array of things to put in a pot of soup.

For some odd reason we really do LOVE the thrift and health of a pot of soup.
(Tracy took this photo with his iPhone at Sam's Club)
On our Friday night date a few weeks ago we purchased a yummy Rotisserie chicken from Sam's Club for $4.97.

We enjoyed making sandwiches with it on the weekend, made a yummy Chicken Parmesan Pasta with part of it...

Then we took the ugly carcass and broke it apart and boiled it all afternoon and made up a pot of "Whatchagot" soup!!
I just love coming home on the one Saturday afternoon that I have to work each month and having the yummy smell of this soup filling up my kitchen as Tracy usually has this to eat when I get home!
Whatchagot Soup (my hubby's creation)
1 to 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 large or 2 small onions chopped

2 to 4 cloves of garlic minced

Saute
these 3 ingredients together for 5-10 minutes until they are tender


Then add in:

6 to 8 cups chicken broth (OR 8 cups water with 3 or 4 tsp. boullion)

Whatever chicken or meat you would like

1/2 cup pearl barley

3 carrots sliced

Red potatoes diced (however many you would like)

Whatever other veggies you would like to add in (
this is the reason it's called "Whatchagot soup"...you just put in what you have on hand at the moment). (We have added in broccoli, zucchini, fresh corn, peas, cabbage, etc... We have even added in leftover pasta from a previous meal...this is really an "anything goes" soup!)

Bring to a boil
and simmer for 20 minutes.

Then add in:

3 stalks celery chopped

Simmer for 10 more minutes

Then add in:

1/2 to 1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 Tbsp. dried chives

1/2 Tbsp. dried parsley

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

Salt and pepper to taste
Boil for 5 minutes and then enjoy with a slice of homemade bread, breadsticks, or toast. (yummy with a little Cayenne pepper sprinkled on it after you dish it up).

If you
don't have much meat in your soup this is great served with a bowl of cottage cheese on the side, OR, it is yummy with cottage cheese put in your bowl of soup.

Enjoy!

SO grateful
to have a hubby who helps out in the kitchen and my kids just love and look forward to the yummy things he makes!
I'm sure lucky and life is just wonderful!

Friday, October 23, 2009

We celebrate with cake!

Traditions...
It’s that time of the year for Tracy’s birthday cake. Decadent German Chocolate Cake I might add. In 19 years we have never made anything else.
October 22nd means we get to enjoy this yummyness!

Note to my hubby...
I can’t believe that it’s been 20 years...(October 18th, 1989) since I saw the most handsome young man in my Pearl of Great Price class at Rick's College. Wearing a navy blue and white striped turtleneck, a white cardigan sweater with burgundy and navy blue stripes around the neck and black penny loafers with your curly hair and trendy eyeglasses! It truly was love at first sight and I can’t believe that out of all the all the girls at Rick’s College that I got to be the lucky one to date and marry you!!

Birthday Highlights...

NOW to the cake....
VERY yummy and easy to make!
Other than the occasional Angel Food Cake, I have never made a cake from a mix from the store. Flour, sugar, salt, soda, eggs, butter, cocoa powder, vanilla and milk are the ingredients used to make a chocolate cake from scratch.

Taking staple ingredients and turning them into something yummy and enjoyable is so much fun for me!
The German Chocolate topping is actually staple ingredients at my house as our food storage always has sugar, cans of evaporated milk, coconut, butter and walnuts available to grab.
German Chocolate Cake
(Cake)
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
In a mixer bowl stir together flour , sugar, baking soda and salt.

1 cup butter
1 cup water
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
In a saucepan combine butter, water and cocoa powder. Bring just to boiling, stirring constantly.
Remove
from heat. Add cocoa mixture to flour mixture; beat with electric mixer on low speed until just combined.

2
eggs
½ cup buttermilk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
Add eggs , buttermilk and vanilla; beat on low speed for 1 minute. (batter will be thin). Put batter in greased/floured 9x13 inch pan (OR 2 round cake pans).
Bake
in 350 degree oven until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (30-35 minutes)
Cool
10 minutes and remove from pan if desired.


(German Chocolate Frosting)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
pinch salt
1 cube REAL butter
1 can evaporated milk
Boil ingredients until it thickens. Cool.
Then add
2 tsp.vanilla, 2 cups coconut and 1 cup chopped walnuts OR pecans. Then put on top of chocolate cake. After I put the topping on the chocolate cake, I always chill it for 1 to 2 hours to set it up.
Enjoy!
I just LOVE Tracy's birthday cake tradition.
SO yummy, so easy and SO good!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Kimmie's List!

I found this quote a few years ago and LOVED it because it fits me perfectly! I am a person that likes to "march to the beat of my own drum" and I really would much rather sit on a pumpkin by myself than to be crowded on a velvet cushion!!

It's a FUN week
at our house this week as Tracy and I have birthdays that are just 2 days apart. Today I am sharing my list of unique things about me.
These are my feelings and thoughts, likes and dislikes at this moment in my life, so that when I look back many years from now I can see what was important to me and how I felt about life.

So, other than things you already know about me like how FAMILY is the number one thing in my life, I thrive on Frugality and being Thrifty, I LOVE nature, LOVE to cook and be healthy and LOVE taking photos and I'm a lover of quotes, LOVE backpacking and enjoying the outdoors and I LOVE to create memories...

Here's a list of quirky, interesting, fun and unique things that make me... ME!
---I don’t have many dislikes in life but here are my Pet peeves…..cold butter on the plate when you have to spread it on bread or pancakes. When someone uses the last paper towel and they just set a roll of paper towels on the counter to use instead of just replacing it. Splatters of water and toothpaste all over the faucet, mirror and counter. Being called “Kim”!

---Favorite movies: "E.T.", Titanic, Calendar Girls, The Saint, Chocolat, The Fugitive, Miss Congeniality, Some Kind of Wonderful, How to lose a guy in 10 days”, Count of Monte Crisco, Bridges of Madison County, Shawshank Redemption, Joe Versus the Volcano

---I LOVE “Little House on the Prairie Series”, “The Sound of Music” and “Lawrence Welk”! (I know I have some diversity with my tastes and likes in movies/programs).

---Favorite treats…I LOVE any kind of berry or apple pie! Raisin oatmeal cookies and homemade bread. I love DARK chocolate Snickers bars and I’m sad it is a rare thing to find them anymore. I also enjoy Almond Joy, Mounds and Reese Sticks. Cinnamon bears and “Ju Ju Fruits” and my favorite of all BLACK licorice!!
(DO NOT like Skittles, Starbursts, Airheads or Sour Patch Kids candy).
---LOVE chewing gum! I enjoy popping it, blowing bubbles and just plain old chewing it! We have gum stocked in all of our cars and plenty in our food storage so we can make sure to always have gum to chew.

---I twirled baton when I was younger AND I also know how to juggle. I think because of these two things that is the reason that I am always tossing things into the air. (dusting polish, pens, balls, etc…) I even throw my dish towel in the air as I’m walking through the house. I enjoy tossing and catching things…it’s a subconscious act.

---I love getting into a bed with cold sheets and then pulling the covers over my head and hunkering to get warm.
---I can’t stand to be barefoot. I have to always have shoes on my feet. I wear Birkenstock slip on shoes around the house and shoes are the first thing (OTHER than lipstick) that I put on when I wake up in the morning.

---I LOVE morning time! I love being up early with just me, my thoughts and the cool morning air. I can accomplish more in 1 hour of the early morning than I can all afternoon. I never tire of my morning time.
I love COLOR!!
---My makeup is VERY colorful. I wear royal blue mascara, green eyeliner, I use my hot pink blush on my cheeks as well as my eyelids and I wear hot pink lipstick. I feel like I look “harsh” in black eyeliner and my pencil thin lips look washed out in just chapstick.

---Along with color I LOVE BOLD colors for my wardrobe…hot pink, bright orange, turquoise. I don't feel like pastels look good on me.

---I like sitting UP in my chair and I am always adjusting the seat in the car to sit me up completely straight! It drives Tracy crazy to sit in a chair or in the car after I have been there.

---I always walk FAST everywhere I go and I always park at the back of the parking lot, even if it’s bad weather, because I like to get as much exercise as I can everyday! Love the “Earth Gym” of getting daily exercise by doing things like brisk walking, pushing a lawn mower rather than riding one, etc….

---I have the world's WORST handwriting! I quit writing in cursive shortly after graduating from High School and since I do so much typing during the day for my work, my handwriting suffers and now is just pretty pathetic to look at. So, as much as I LOVE sending heartfelt notes to friends and families, they are always typed, but SIGNED by me. (although my signature looks like a Doctors signature...pretty much unreadable as well).
(the ever famous..."light bulb with a dent in it" hairstyle that I had in High School---I can't belive that this style ever looked good to me).

---I LOVE to shift gears when I am driving a car. I have driven a standard car for so many years when I drive an automatic I feel like I’m going to get in a wreck.

---I really believe that LAUGHTER is the best medicine and when I am around Tracy his laugh is SO contagious and I always have a good belly laugh!

---I LOVE to read “vanity plates” and figure out what they say. For that matter, I just love WORDS in general and love to READ and love doing “Word Searches”!

---I love to take red or black licorice and tie it into knots and then eat it.

---I am a NON-padded bra kind of girl and can only wear a front clasp bra NON-padded bra!

---I haven’t bought a purse for 6 years. I just LOVE the purse that I have. It is practical, functional and it might not be the newest COLOR or STYLE, but I love it and hope I still have it many years from now!

---I like practical footwear and I don’t even own a pair of HEELS! For business casual I like my Doc Martens BUCKLE shoes, or my Keens. For summer I wear Birkenstocks and Chaco sandals and for every day life I wear my Merrill slip-ons. For church I have a pair of Brown and pair of Black 2 inch wide heels to wear with my church attire.
I am a LOVER of music!!
---I love to put on Black Eyed Peas, Ace of Base, The Killers, Depeche Mode, Def Leppard to DANCE and be energized or to enjoy while driving in the car. For easy listening I LOVE Ronan Hardiman, The Secret Garden, Enya, Yanni, Williams Classical Guitar.

---I LOVE Mormon Tabernacle Choir and I LOVE symphonic Orchestra concerts!

---I LOVE to listen to NPR on my morning commute to work.

---I LOVE to sing...Especially when no-one is around!

---My favorite “look” for my wardrobe, is a plain white shirt with a cute button or crocheted sweater, OR, sheer shirt over it. I jazz it up with a spunky necklace.
---6 years ago I found my dream pair of jeans and I have been buying them ever since. My jeans in my wardrobe consist of light and dark “Levis Strauss…low-rise boot-cut Stretch” jeans. I don’t have any other jeans other than this brand/style. It’s nice after so many years of trying to find pants to fit me to actually find something!

---I do NOT like to be late!! I have to be 10 to 15 minutes early to everything!

---I have pierced ears, but after having little babies and having my holes get enlarged I haven’t worn earrings for years. It’s kind of sad, because I have more earrings than anyone else I know.
---I very much am a HOPELESS Romantic! I love Romance and Love and I'm passionate about keeping the SPARK alive in our marriage. The first year we were married I bought a book “Have a Love Affair with your Husband” and I am always reading books to find out FUN ways to keep marriage EXCITING!! (My favorite books for this are: ”Light his Fire” and “How can we light a fire when the kids are driving us crazy”!)

---I LOVE crazy socks! Every pair of socks that I buy has some kind of color or colorful pattern to them. My kids have never had WHITE tube socks…their socks are all colorful!!

---The first time I bought my kids white socks is for Ethan to play soccer and Jade to have socks for his running shoes. Other than that…COLORFUL socks are what fill our drawers!
---I do not own a slip! I feel that by wearing our “Unmentionables”, bra, nylons, and a dress why do we need anymore layers. I threw away my slip when I went to college and my mom noticed and gave me a slip for my first anniversary of marriage. It got sent on as well!

---I do NOT like to spend money on meaningless things like crafts, etc….I used to do this, but the past few years of life changing experiences have made it where I don’t crave to go out and spend money. If I have something on my counter, table, etc…. I want it to be useful and functional as well as look pretty. Other than my curio and my entry shelf, everything else in my house serves a useful purpose. I don’t care HOW good of a DEAL it is---even if it’s free…if it won’t be useful than I won’t purchase it or bring it into my house.

---I LOVE people watching! I really enjoy going to malls or the store and just observing people!
---I’m finally starting to celebrate my thin straight hair. The older I get the more days I have a straight look to my hair, although I absolutely LOVE styling and curling my hair!!

---I LOVE my “A-line” style haircut and I can’t stand having my ears show and so I like have my hair shorter in the back and longer in the front, hence my LOVE for A-line/bobbed haircuts! (LOVE that "Roaring 20's" look!)
---I hate to spend money, especially on things that I could make for so much cheaper at home. I do NOT like getting my own entrée at a restaurant and Tracy and I always get something and split it.

---I also HATE to waste food. I get stressed out when I see food being wasted! Lots of starving people in the world and it makes me feel bad when I see people wasting.
---I am a LOVER of Art! I enjoy looking at paintings and photos of all kinds. I wish I was more artistic as I can’t even draw a stick figure. I LOVE that I am married to a creative person. He can doddle and draw, build and never ceases to amaze me with his talents!

---I’m thankful for Blogging because I love to be creative and Blogging has allowed me to be able to express my creativity through writing, photos and cooking. I love this outlet that I have in my life.

---I do NOT like nylons of any kind. If I have to wear something with my dresses I choose to wear tights or knee socks/boots. I have never bought a pair of “Nude” or tan nylons in my life. My tights consist of white, cream and black.
---I LOVE my old ’92 Nissan Sentra and I proudly drive it everywhere I go! We bought it brand new and I hope it keeps running for many more years! I have no desire to buy a new car until we are completely out of debt and we can pay cash for it.

---I am a very devoted friend and cherish friendships and it is an important aspect in my life to keep in touch with my friends.

---20 years ago I used to get comments all of the time on how white my teeth were. Now, since the age of “whitening products” that hasn’t happened.
---I don’t like contention at all and I try to avoid contention at all costs!! I am always quick to apologize and I am NOT a grudge holder!

---I really believe that life is an adventure it’s meant to be ENJOYED to the fullest. Grateful, for a family that lets us really enjoy life!
---My poor hands are the last thing on my body to ever get any attention! I have UGLY hands and my poor fingers are sausage fingers. HOWEVER, my feet make up for it. I love my feet and they get plenty of TLC….toenails always painted colorful, heels filed. I love everything about my feet! If it can be said, my feet are cute and sexy.

---I don’t own a cell phone and don’t really feel I need one. I drive 30 miles (round trip) to work and back and if I did have a car breakdown between work and home there are LOTS of nice people I could ask if I could borrow their phone to call Tracy. And after work I am home for the rest of the day and we have a phone at home and so I don’t see the need to have one.
---I am a versatile kind of gal….I LOVE to get all gussied up to head on a date with my hubby or head to work, or church, but, I LOVE to head to the hills and camp/hike and get dirty. I LOVE gardening and digging in the dirt. I’m never too good to get a little dirty. It’s all good!!

---I LOVE to get dressed up sexy and cute for my hubby! I love to surprise him with little outfits and I can tell you that I always spruce up my hair, put on fresh lipstick and a little body spray to greet him with a kiss at the door when he comes home from work.
I LOVE being Tracy’s wife!

---I am a VERY happy and cheerful person and I have never suffered from depression, of which I am SO grateful! “Always look on the bright side of lifeis my motto and I try to be positive about most everything in life, especially things that you can’t change.
---I am actually kind of a SHY person and at parties I LOVE to sit and people watch and definitely don’t like to be the center of attention.

---Even though I am shy and not someone who likes to be the center of attention, I enjoy very much leading the music in Sacrament meeting each week and never get stage fright (there is kind of a “dichotomy” going on there).
(these photos are just after I had got done riding the SAMURAI at Lagoon...I was NOT feeling well!)

---I LOVE to befriend
people who don’t have many friends. I enjoy it SO much and would much rather be on the sidelines with someone who genuinely cares then part of a crowd of people who don’t.

---Something that goes along with “being shy” is I LOVE to do things anonymously! I would much rather take a goodie to someone and leave it on their doorstep and brighten their day then to actually present it to them in person. (sometimes, even jars of money get left). I love to do sweet things in secret and don’t like to be given praise or attention.
---I’m always mixing up metaphors. My most embarrassing moment was when I went to ask a member of our Bishopric how things were going. (they had some stress in their home that week and I was trying to think should I ask him…“How are things going?”, OR,”Are you hanging in there okay?” What came out of my mouth is “How’s it hanging?” (it’s a good thing he had good sense of humor).

---I had 2 great accomplishments in 1988----I was listed in the National Achievement Academy award book for honors in Spanish AND I won “Miss Congeniality” in the Dairy Princess Pageant!
---I have a mild PHOBIA of phones. I had a situation at college that has stuck with me and everytime I hear a phone ring I stress out. It drives Tracy crazy! I actually don’t like to talk on the phone as well and always try and find a way to give the phone to Tracy to talk. Although, I really enjoy talking to close friends on the phone!

---I have little boxes of TREASURES! My boxes are full of love notes, letters, programs from concerts, trinkets, etc… and I love to pull them out and read them and look at them a few times each year.
---I have awesome memories from all 4 seasons—there is not a season that I love anymore than the next. I cherish each moment of time in each season that I get to enjoy with my family.

---I’m a nerd, but I LOVE my digital watch. I have a beautiful dressy watch that I wear with my dresses, but I LOVE my digital watch. I won’t be making one of the latest craze BEAD watches. Sorry. I'm just not a "frilly" person and like simple things and so I am happy with the functionality of my digital watch.

---$25.00 wedding band—I love my simple wedding band and I don’t long for anything else. It is a sterling silver band with Sego Lily cutouts around the band. I NEVER long for diamonds at all. SIMPLE is best and SIMPLE is ME!

---I ALWAYS get a red neck when I am nervous. YES, I could never lie or get away with anything, because anytime I get nervous or stressed out my neck gets all blotchy and it is a dead giveaway!

Favorite place to be
(besides anywhere with Tracy)…
sitting on the beanbag reading to my kids!

(Nursing Ethan as we were hiking up to go through the Lewis and Clark Caverns)

---I LOVED nursing my kids! That is the thing I miss most about having little ones is nursing them. I LOVED every moment of it! There is just nothing more sweet than watching a baby suckle on his mommy!

---I am comfortable in my own skin and don’t have any body shame. I celebrate my body with flaws and all! I have a really bad surgical scar on my collarbone (that is 1/2" wide and about 5 inches long) from when I was 11 and have never felt a desire or need to cover it up, even though it’s not the prettiest sight to look at. It’s my body and I love it! I love the size of my chest and the size of my behind. I am really content with myself! Although, I definitely need to do some toning and be more active, but, nonetheless, life is good.

Besides, as a good friend once told me…you need to LOVE the body you have today…flaws and all. You can't live in yesterday's body or tomorrow's body.
I have a body! What a privilege! And, nothing I do in the next 24 hours will significantly change my body anyway... so you have to just learn to love it how it is right now (that doesn't mean you can't have a desire to make it better in the future, but “self-loathing” doesn't help towards this end).

---I can drive a semi-truck and unload a grain truck!

---WATER is my drink of choice! Other than herbal tea, or homemade lemonade, I rarely drink anything else. (Besides, I don't want to waste my calories on liquid calories as I would much rather save my calories for something YUMMY for dessert!)

---Speaking of Calories, I actually always seem to be subconsciously counting calories and it is very rare for me to overeat.

---Have to always have LOTION and lipstick! I have lotion and lipstick in every car, my purse, kitchen drawer, my swim bag, etc....Cant ever be without these 2 things.

---I had a Sociology class in college and I just LOVED my professor (Hal Hunter). Often when he came to class he had just had a spirited, competitive game of racquetball with the love of his life Marilyn during his lunch hour. During the course as we came to the section on marriage and family, he discussed his relationship with Marilyn and made the statement: "When I married Marilyn, she wasn't just one more person added to my ever growing circle of friends... she BECAME my circle of friends"! (this doesn't mean that he doesn't have many good friends... he was simply emphasizing the singular importance he placed in his relationship with Marilyn).

I am that exact same way. I want to experience the majority of my life with Tracy…I don’t want to do anything unless I can enjoy it with Tracy and so therefore, I don’t crave to go out with girl friends, neighbors, etc….
(We sure love this little tent trailer of ours and we have had LOTS of good times with it...We LOVE when we are on a trip and it's time to stop and make lunch!)

---I LOVE clean looks. A few years ago I took down all of my greenery and window valances and I just LOVE a nice clean look with just a few simple frames/ objects on a shelf wall, but DON”T like the messiness and dealing with dusting greenery. Love WOOD BLINDS on my windows because they can be cleaned easily and they aren’t dust collectors like fabric is.

---I don’t like change at all! I never get an inkling to rearrange my furniture at all. I have figured out what I like and I don’t want to change it. Old habits die hard!

---I don’t like to waste money and so when there is something at a restaurant that I know is good then I will keep on getting that rather then trying something new because I don’t want to spend money and then not have it turn out. HOWEVER, I do like to try NEW things and when we have gone on our cruises I only like to eat things that I have never tried before!! (I just don't like to spend my money on something that isn't "tried and true").

---My eyes are sensitive to the sun and so anytime I am outside I have to be wearing SUNGLASSES!!
(these photos are SO funny...Ethan was scared of Santa)

---
Whenever I hear music and my legs are crossed I will lead the music with my foot (Either 3/4 time, OR, 4/4 time, etc…).

---Love to have my toes popped!

---DON’T like ICE in my water. I would rather drink room temperature water...that way I can guzzle it!

---I really believe that it doesn’t matter how my hair looks, or what my clothes look like, but the most important thing a person can put on each day is a SMILE!!!
---Love the innocence of little kids and their honesty! It’s sad that somehow while growing up we learn to LIE for many aspects of life instead of being truthful like little kids.

---I don’t like to waste time watching meaningless TV….if I watch TV it is because we are watching a movie, OR, I’m watching my favorite programs….”LOST”, or, “The Office”. Other than that, you won’t find me sitting in front of the TV.

---I'm a multi-tasker hate to waste time! I love to be busy all of the time and I am a very efficient “Multi-tasker”. My drawers and closets may not be the most organized things in the world, but my TIME is very organized.
---The older I get the more “Round” my face gets. I sometimes find it challenging to think I look pretty when I look at photos of myself, or look in the mirror at my round, jowly face.

---I am a bird lover and I am always Looking UP to see if I can spot a bird flying, on a telephone pole or in a tree.

---I hate to shave my legs!! I can go for weeks in the winter without ever shaving my legs. (it’s a “time thing”…I am always hurrying in the shower to get ready in the morning and so my legs are the last thing to get attention). HOWEVER, the “Netherlands” and armpits, are always shaved weekly! (smile!)

---I will NOT buy cheap candy for Halloween or any holiday! I would rather spend $20.00 extra and give out good stuff than cheap candy. My motto is…."I will only buy for others what I would buy for my own children"!
My only regret in life is that I didn’t finish college while we were newly married (I worked while Tracy went to school).
I would have loved to have either been an
ENGLISH teacher or a NURSE!
Other than this, I have no regrets!
After 39 wonderful years of life...
it just doesn't get any better than this!