Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween Week the busiest week!



A wizard, an orange guy, a red Power Ranger and a bag of jelly beans and friends! That's what 2015 Halloween is made of! It's only Wednesday and already the festivities have begun! Halloween is always a busy time but one of the funnest in terms of getting pumped, planning costumes, sewing costumes (I learned how to make wizard robes this year), carving pumpkins, decorating the home, going to parties, and feeling the exciting spirit that is Halloween!
I love all of it and love celebrating with my children!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

This world needs good babysitters

We've been super blessed in our lives to have a babysitter we can trust and who loves our children. I suppose this is something I've always wished and prayed for, and now I can see that my prayers have been answered because we have Emily. 
Our first day at our new church here in Cedar City, this tall teenage girl with braces and big smile walks right up to our family and says,"I want to babysit your boys! They are so cute!"
And the rest is history.

My husband and I aren't huge party animals, but we like to get out on dates at least 1-2 times a month. We like to go to exotic restaurants like Thai or Indian with non-kid friendly foods  and have a space of peace and quiet for 2-3 hours to ourselves to talk and recharge our tired brains. We like to go to our Temple together to worship, relax, do important work, and connect on a higher, more spiritual plane. 
Now that our baby is 15 months old, I finally feel comfortable leaving him for more than an hour. It takes a long time for me to be able to go on a date without my nursing baby. Right now we are at a really comfortable, happy place with that and it's been fun to have my husband all to myself.

I'm just really, really grateful for a good babysitter. I talk with other moms who don't leave their children with anyone because they don't have anyone they trust. One of the biggest concerns out there nowadays is that moms and dads don't want to leave their precious children with someone who is on their phone the whole time. To have a teenager come babysit, only to have them texting, talking, gaming or surfing the web, is unacceptable to me. 
The ideal babysitter will give your children attention, play with them, read them stories, care for their needs, and entertain them while you are away. This is the type of babysitter I was as a teenager, and this is what I expect from my sitter.
We need good babysitters in this world! Good babysitters become good mothers. Good mothers teach their teenagers not to fiddle with their phones constantly while they are babysitting. 
I am grateful for this family that fell into our lives. I am grateful for all the Emily's out there that allow us parents to leave home for a few hours with the peace and reassurance that our kids are in good hands. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Forty Day Facebook Fasting

Are you:
Feeling scatterbrained and cluttered in your mind? Losing and misplacing things constantly? Feeling a slight spiritual void in your heart? Feeling disconnected from real relationships and friends? Feeling distracted from your family? Feeling anxiety over too many responsibilities and too many things to keep track of? Are you forgetting to do simple things like pick up your child from school? (yes, this happened.)

**This may be a result of facebook overload. 

Join me in fasting from Facebook for forty days as we clear our hearts and minds from excessive images and thoughts from social media that get in the way of real life. Don't get me wrong, I love facebook and the opportunities it allows for us to connect, share, and respond to one anothers needs. There is nothing wrong with being a  part of a large community of people that you care for! In fact, many blessings have come from being involved with my facebook tribe. However, I know deep down in my heart that when I feel like the above, I've been overdoing it and it's time for a facebook fast.

Here's a little chart I made to mark off as I go and keep me on track. Notice that I get a TREAT every 10 days. That's to keep me motivated! Treats can come in the form of pedicures, a new outfit, something pretty for my room, a new can of paint, or a pint of my favorite Ben n' Jerry's ice-cream. 
Be creative and award yourself for staying true to your commitments!
I am starting tomorrow! Who's in with me?

**Disclaimer: Because facebook is more than just socializing, I will still respond to private inbox messages. I will also continue to post events and reminders to the groups I am in charge of: (my Breastfeeding support group, Cub Scouts group, and Church group). I do not think maintaining my groups is contributing to my craziness and I need to be available to those communities.)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Addicted to Garden Salsa RECIPE

Here's my garden soup salsa recipe. I love this salsa so much, I sometimes drink it like soup! And then sometimes I can't stop eating it and I eat the entire batch in one day. That's a lot of tomatoes! 
 **Thank you to my husband for always growing a beautiful, bountiful garden for our family to enjoy. Tomatoes straight off the vine, are a little slice of heaven on earth for me! This year I was able to make salsa with our fresh garden tomatoes, onions, cilantro, corn, and jalapenos. 


Sally's Salsa:

Ingredients:
10 medium tomatoes
1 bunch cilantro
1 large onion
1 large Anaheim pepper
2 large jalapenos
Lemon juice from 2 lemons or one of those plastic lemons
1/4 cup White vinegar
salt to taste

Optional:

1 can sweet corn or 2 large corn on the cobs
1 can black beans
1 large Mango, cubed

Materials:

small food processor
blender
large bowl
sharp knife
cutting board 

Steps:

Chop onions in food processor until small. Place onions in bowl and cover with squeezed lemon juice. Add white vinegar to the bowl. (It's best if you let this concoction sit overnight to give the onions ample time to absorb the juice, but I rarely do that. Mostly because I can't wait that long to eat my salsa!!)
Next remove seeds from jalapenos then chop jalapenos, cilantro, and pepper in food processor. Place them in the bowl with the onions. 
Last, blend tomatoes in the blender until pureed. Pour them into the bowl and mix everything together until all blended and colorful. 
Add salt to taste.
**Feel free to add extras like corn kernels, black beans or chopped mango! MMmmmmm!

*Note on tomatoes: I've tried boiling and peeling the tomato skins off and I've tried just leaving them on. I honestly can't tell the difference. They both taste good to me, so I guess do whatever works!

Eat!: 
With tortilla chips, over tacos, inside burritos, in a salad, with chicken, etc, etc! Until you die!

PICKING THE TOMATOES
ADDING LEMON JUICE TO THE ONIONS
BLENDING UP THE JALAPENOS, CILANTRO AND ANAHEIM PEPPER
MIXING ALL THE SPICES TOGETHER
I ATE ALL MINE BEFORE I REMEMBERED TO TAKE A PHOTO SO I STOLE THIS  FROM THE WWW.  CHIPS AND SALSA IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE COMFORT FOODS!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ten days in Laie

This past August we went back to Hawaii for a family vacation/homecoming. I'm really glad we went, even though it was the hottest most humid month on the planet,  and we couldn't really afford a vacation, and we were already pretty burnt out on traveling with four children after our big California camping road trip. But hey-I'm not complaining because it was Hawaii and I love it there! Sometimes I miss it so much that little tears come out the sides of my eyeballs. 
I miss the ocean. I miss the waves crashing over me. I miss my little fish friends frolicking in the sea. I miss sitting on the sand and breathing it all in. 

Going back in August, I felt like I really needed to see one last time if we could end up living there again. I've still  had this lingering thought in the back of my head since we moved back to Utah, that maybe we didn't have to say goodbye to Hawaii completely. Maybe we could somehow pull off moving to Laie or Hauula? Just because moving to the Big island wasn't the best match for our family, maybe, just maybe we could live on the east side of Oahu, where real estate is still sort of low compared to the north shore, and my husband could teach at the church college, and we could live a very simple, ocean-loving, frugal-saving, semi-life of poverty where we'd have the entire ocean in our front yard. 
So, this past August we rented a small studio in Laie for 10 days, and got to see what life was like living in L-town.
It was a busy, jam packed ten days full of snorkeling, swimming, bodysurfing, seashell hunting, hiking, surfing, hanging out with my Dad,  seeing old friends, and driving all over the island for many adventures. It was awesome!!
We  had to take breaks from the beach every day or so because my kids would get body chaffing so badly that they couldn't walk anymore. All that sand and salt water and sunshine in their shorts really wiped them out!
One day we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center with my Dad. Another day we got to go to Sea Life Park again with my Dad. One day I took the kids hiking up Diamond Head for another view of the island. On Sunday we visited the Laie Temple grounds and visitors Center.  Of course we hit up all my favorite old beaches I grew up at: Three Tables, Sharks Cove, Waimea Bay, Ke'iki Beach, Temple Beach, Hukilau Beach, Sunset Beach. It was magical for me to see my kids playing at all the places I loved to play at as a child.  One my favorite memories is when Zadok and baby Malachi came with me to Temple Beach early one morning to swim, just like I used to do with my mom when I was little. Another good memory was walking around the Temple View Apartments in Laie with my little Jonah. We found sleepy grass and mangoes and ran around like little kids, just like I used to do when I was a kid. We loved the PCC with Grandpa Bill. The kids haven't stopped talking about the hilarious Tongan Drum Show or weaving fish out of palm fronds. The luau food was amazing. Grandpa Bill is always super fun and entertaining!
I was so happy we got to have all these experiences with our family, but after our ten day stay I was anxious to get home and get back into a good routine again. It was a long, adventurous summer of traveling, and this mama needed a vacation from our vacation!

Thoughts of moving back is out of my system now. I can officially stop wondering or wishing or thinking about all the maybes and know for sure that we won't be moving back anytime soon. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't imagine our family living there. There are good and bad things about anywhere you choose to live, and sometimes you just have to trust that you are right where you need to be!

Once again, I bid aloha to my little fish friends, until we meet again.