Thursday, December 31, 2009

Together again

Well, it's been almost 5 months since I've seen my husband face to face.  This is the first separation of any notable length since we were married, 7.5 years ago.  It was a much different experience than I expected.

I can't speak for Matt, but I anticipate that being together again, working as a true team will be a bit of an adjustment.  Matt's been "single" all this time, able to go and do things with any of his friends at any time convenient to him (and let me tell you, that won't work with me).  And I have been the boss of my family, and made many significant changes in our daily life that didn't always make it in to our usually brief conversations.  I think the only people who might not have a problem getting used to it are the kids!

I am confident, however, that we will be able to adjust, tweak, compromise and change ourselves to be one again. It gives me comfort that our vows were not taken on a whim, for fun or without commitment.  When you'll be with someone for eternity, you tend to work a little harder at working things out!

So I'll see him Saturday (I hope) or Sunday morning (for sure). We'll go to church, come back to my parents' house to eat dinner, pile everyone in the van and head out for an all nighter, and be in Rexburg by tea time.  Rexburgers, if you'd like to help, let me know, I'll give you a call when we get into town.  I'd also take help with child care, in addition to moving things.

Wish us luck!

P.S.  I'd like to take this opportunity to publicly thank my parents and brother for putting up with us these 5 months.  I know it hasn't been easy; we've been a strain, and a drain, and a pain.  But I hope, I believe there are enough good memories to overshadow the not-so-great ones.  We've really enjoyed being with you. We love you all so much.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The girls have a birthday

6 years ago, I gave birth to a tiny little girl, and we named her Elizabeth. She was born on my birthday, and I maintain that she is the best birthday present I've ever received! 

Elizabeth is a sweet, caring, intelligent girl.  She started kindergarten (homeschool) and is learning how to read. She practically begs for reading lessons on most days of the week.  She's even started reading from the Book of Mormon during family scripture study, and can read a lot of verses without much help at all!  She loves her brothers, (though she will tell you she does not always like them...) and tries to help them. She's been working especially hard on being a good big sister, and not a second mom, and is coming along famously.  She recently took up a liking for dressing like me, and therefore a lot of the gifts for Christmas, from Santa and for her birthday (and my gifts too) were put toward that effort.  It really tickles my heart that she likes to do that.  She's really blossomed and improved under my new parenting rules, taken from Love and Logic.  I can't imagine life without her, and I'm so grateful to be her Mommy.

Elizabeth requested (on her own, without prompting), chocolate cake with lemon frosting, and since that sounded absolutely lovely to me, and she didn't object, we made that cake and shared it.  Elizabeth insisted we dress alike for our birthday, of course, so we both wore yellow. She wore her new jeans, but my jeans got another hole in them (never buy Faded Glory), we didn't match completely. (My mother-in-love is sending me money to get jeans for myself once we get back to Rexburg. Thanks, Kathie!) But it was close enough for her. We also ended up matching our cake. :D

So we blew out the candles and opened our gifts together.

Elizabeth got flashing shoes from Kael (which she's wanted since October, when Kael got his pair of flashing shoes), Disney princess card games from me, dress-up scarves from Tristan, and a crib for Marie from Granmama and Grampa.  Mom made it herself from an old Mary Kay box and fabric she had on hand.  She had to make up the pattern herself, so it's quite amazing, and it looks wonderful.

I got a cute green shirt (Elizabeth), a pink turtleneck (Tristan), Work and the Glory Volume 4 (Kael), and a purple shawl, made by Mom, complete with shawl pin, and my own starter set of essential oils from DoTerra.  Rhydon's gift to me was babysitting my kids so I could go out to dinner with Mom and Dad.  We went to this FABULOUS vegetarian/vegan restaurant called Lovin' Spoonfuls.  It is truly amazing food! I couldn't tell we weren't eating the "real" thing.  We had Tempura Shrimp, hummus with cucumber slices, Dad and I had side salads with Sesame tahini dressing, we shared a Pumpkin Bisque soup and a black bean soup. Mom had a giant salad with Thousand Island dressing. Dad had pasta primavera. I had ravioli with alfredo, and shoestring fries.  Then we each got shakes: Chocolate Candy Cane, Eggnog, and Strawberry Sunshine.  We talked, and laughed, and generally had a great time.  I think it was my best birthday so far, except for the fact that I couldn't share it with my husband.  We brought home "beef" stroganoff for Rhydon.  It was all lovely.

Christmas with the Kiddos, part 2

So we spent most of the 23rd and 24th cooking, dicing, gathering, and slicing, in preparation for our Christmas feast. It was somewhat of a challenge this year, being new vegetarians.  The main issue was whether to have our traditional Buffalo Wings or not.  We've had Dad's recipe of Buffalo Wings for as long as I can remember, and while we're okay with chicken every once in a while, we wanted to see if we could come up with a substitute.  So we cooked up some Buffalo Fries instead!  We mixed up the sauce for the wings, then cooked some oven fries (potato wedges), basting with the sauce halfway through, and using the extra sauce for dipping. It was so delicious! We made some wings too, but it was the general opinion of those gathered that the fries were better, and there was no real desire for the wings. In fact, for the first time in HISTORY, we had to make Rhydon eat the leftover wings (except the few I saved for Matt, who could not be with us).  Usually there is a fight for them! That's how it was with the fries this year. I even had to make a new batch for Christmas Day.

Also, we watch a lot of the Travel Channel's show, Man V. Food, with Adam Richman. He's always taking on a new challenge of eating someone's spiciest wings, so Dad decided we'd have our own hot wing challenge and made a new spicy hot sauce for 3 of the wings.  Now, my taste buds must really have changed while I've been here, because the original recipe wings were not spicy, and the challenge wings were not as spicy as I could handle. So in the battle of Man V. Food, Men (and Woman) won! (The sauce was quite delicious though.)

The rest of our feast was a lovely selection of culinary temptations from around the world. Baba ganouj, hummus, dolmas, indian yogurt, Thai curry (my own recipe, and very tasty!), Mediterranean eggplant dip, salsa, Greek yogurt (delicious with fries and wings, and dolmas too!), Moroccan lentils. And there were the requisite crackers, chips and dips (onion and taco).  Of course we had the perennial Christmas shortbread, a tradition from Dad's childhood, that my children now love. We also had our Orange Blossom punch, though we experimented with tweaking the recipe to make it healthier. Our main concern was corn syrup (high fructose or otherwise).  We used fresh orange juice (because we could, thanks to Bountiful Baskets food co-op), sparkling water instead of ginger ale, less sugar, and on the second batch we substituted maraschino juice with pomegranate juice.  It was different, but pleasant, and certainly worth repeating.  But both Rhydon and I agreed afterward, that it still was not as wonderful as plain cold water! My, how we've changed!!!

(I would like to note at this point that Matt was able to join us via webcam for much of the day, enjoying his own food, lusting after ours, and watching and even opening presents we'd sent him previously. Then he left us to go out for sushi. Why didn't we think of sushi?)

After we'd gorged ourselves on our first plates of deliciousness, we could no longer hold off the kids from opening presents, and so it began.  I will attempt to list gifts received (and who from) in order from youngest to oldest:

Tristan: Snow boots (Elizabeth), Blocks (Grandpa), superhero cape (Uncle Rhydon), little-manly books (Kael),

Nope. Changed my mind. Too many gifts. I will just make mention of the most notable.

All three kids got winter boots. This is the first time ANY of my kids have gotten winter boots.
All three kids got Lego Duplo blocks from Grandpa.  All exactly the same, except for different symbols on each individual block to help determine ownership without limiting said ownership to one child (they can be passed on to the next child someday).
All three kids got superhero capes from Uncle Rhydon.  Yay! (Thanks, Mom, for making them.)
Mom and I made 1 pair of jammies for Elizabeth, and 2 pair for Kael (pictured).  I've had to make several repairs to Kael's, because I'm the one who sewed them, and I'm still learning. Sorry! At least I'm learning, right?
The theme of Mom and Dad's gifts was camping/preparedness, and the gifts were received with great joy and enthusiasm. (Pictured)
I got a book, Work and the Glory #3 (already have 1 and 2), and two skirts from the kids.  Much to my delight, I was also given a preparedness gift or two: I got a 72 hour kit and water purifiers to put therein. This is a recently developed interest, and I was so happy to receive these things. Rhydon received some of the same things, and some more.
Mom and I got 2 pairs of matching pajamas from Dad, by Victoria's Secret. Long-sleeved, pants, one silk, one flannel.  It's been years since we last had matching jammies, and I badly needed new ones, so it was a great gift!
Oh, and Mom worked hard and made a new outfit for Elizabeth's baby doll, Marie. Apparently, Marie is an oddly shaped baby, and it was difficult finding clothes patterns that fit her, but Mom pulled it off, and Elizabeth was so happy!
We sent Matt a new shirt and pair of pants that he'd better be wearing when we see him this weekend *squeal!* or there could be dire consequences. ;)

Then we watched The Christmas Carol, starring George C. Scott (our favorite version), and put the kids to bed only a little past their bedtime.  They slept in until almost 9a the next day, so Santa gift-receiving was much delayed, but happily enjoyed.

Here are the best pictures.  We had a great time!

Happy (early) birthday to me! *Nei-ei-ei-eigh!*

So a few weeks ago, I was sitting and wondering what I could ask for, for my birthday.  I wanted to be frugal, because money is tight, but I knew my family wouldn't let me get away with getting nothing. Then it occurred to me, that I could just have an experience! Two years ago, Matt took me across the U. S./Mexico border for my birthday, because I'd never been out of the country.  Well, guess what else I hadn't done? I had never ridden a horse! It's true!  So, I put out my wish on Facebook:

I would like to ride a horse for the first time in my life, for Christmas or my birthday. Anyone own a horse who would be willing to give me a lesson? It just might be plain wrong that I'm almost 27 and have never ridden a horse.

And what do you know?  A friend of mine from church sees that, and goes and finds someone for me!  Dianne set the whole thing up for me, and today was the day I got to ride a horse for the first time IN MY LIFE!! 

I forget the horses' names because I started this on that day but finished two weeks later... someone help me! I'll fix this post when I figure it out.

I had a fabulous time!  I think I may be a natural talent! Hahaha.  What a great birthday present! Thank you, Dianne, and thanks to the Gambles for sharing with me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas with the Kiddos, part 1

We decided not to go to Disneyland. :(  We were all very sad, but Matt and I are confident we made the right decision.

But that means we won't be able to bring Matt any Christmas stuff, so I decided we would make Matt a Christmas box.  (And we'll be sending it UPS, because if we sent it through the Post Office, he wouldn't get it until Valentine's Day.)  So to start, we made cookies. Snickerdoodles first, because they're Matt's favorite.

Then we did some crafts.

And yesterday, we took the kids to the library for storytime with Santa.  He read Twas the Night Before Christmas , then everyone sang Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and the first verse of Silent Night.  Then everyone got to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what they want for Christmas.  Elizabeth was first in line, and promptly told Santa she wants a bike for Christmas.  I told her that Santa is smart and knows we're soon moving to a place where she won't be able to use her bike for a while anyway, and might send it to her later... I'll be including a note in her stocking from Santa explaining, and then when we finally can get her a  bike, I'll attach a note saying something like, "Sorry it's late. Hope you like it. Love, Santa"  Yes, that should work.

Kael was next, saying he wants a toy airplane that flies by remote control.  Can I just say this statement blindsided me! He'd never mentioned anything like that before! Well, drat.  Hope he likes what he gets anyway, and doesn't focus too much on what he didn't get.

Tristan wanted nothing to do with Santa, to start. I merely suggested he go sit with Santa and he had a meltdown! That's that first pic of him, then the second is when I wasn't fast enough to catch his screaming face, he saw the camera, smiled and said, "Happy?"  Then after everyone else was done, someone had pulled up a chair so a mom could sit with her child next to Santa, so I decided to try that, and had another mom there take the pictures for me.  He was about to protest as we sat down, and then he saw the camera... what a ham.

Now I'll wrap a couple of the presents we got for Matt, and put them in a box with the cookies and crafts.  Then when we get to Rexburg, we'll have another Christmas all together.

By the way, for those of you readers who don't know, we did finally find a place in Rexburg to live! We're 2 blocks away from where we were before, and in a completely different stake, much less ward. Oh well, it's still a good central location, and we'll be near friends all around. Thank you, everyone, for all the good thoughts in that direction.

More Thanksgiving Fun

Grandpa trying out the DDR with Elizabeth. So awesome!

Grandpa did pretty well, too!

Thanksgiving Fun

Our Thanksgiving Dinner, left to right, top to bottom:
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms (Dad's new recipe)
Mushroom Gravy
Pumpkin Custard
Homemade Cranberry Sauce (none left! yum!)
Steamed Broccoflower
Rice Bread Dressing
Garlic Onion Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes and Yams with Craisins
Rhubarb Crisp

It was totally vegetarian (not vegan), and delicious, and I didn't miss the turkey at all.
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video flashbacks #1

Tristan, almost 2 years ago! He's so different now! *motherly sigh*

Arienne Baugh

Monday, November 30, 2009

Kids are funny

the kids saw this and called it a "pearl necklace for the tree."

Home is Where the Heart is...

"Where are you from?"  "What's your hometown?"  Two of the toughest questions I've ever had continuously in my life.  What's the litany?

I was born in Charleston, SC.
I lived in New York for a while, Schenectady, I think? Oh boy, I think I spelled that wrong.
Then we moved to Welch, MN.
Then it was on to the place I grew up, which in itself is confusing. It used to be one of my great pleasures to recite the following list quickly and without taking a breath:

Our address was Goodhue, our phone number was White Rock, I went to school in Cannon Falls, we actually lived near Vasa, and I went to a Red Wing church which was actually in Wisconsin. Got all that? Uh-huh. And all that, I was never really fond of calling Minnesota home. Sorry, Minnesotan friends. It's just not for everyone.

Then I went to college, in Rexburg, Idaho.

Then just before I got married the next year, my parents sold our house and moved to Arizona. Can't really claim that as home either, though I love my parents, and visiting them, and living with them has been great.  It still didn't feel like home (I'd never actually lived there until several years later!)

We bounced around Rexburg for several years.  We tried a University Ward. Nope. Then it was Rigby. Nope. Then it was Rexburg 4th ward. Then it was Rexburg 9th ward. Nope.

Then we moved down here to Vail, AZ for a couple years.  I love the people in my ward, but it wasn't home.

Then we moved back to Rexburg, and into the Rexburg 15th ward.  I got along with people, they seemed to like me, and appreciate me. I wasn't lost in a sea of other young married families.  People knew who I was, I had a calling I loved (choir accompanist) under the best director (Steve Dresen, he's awesome) I'd ever had, outside my own family. We had friends. Then we were moving again so Matt could do an internship in Disneyland, and for the first time, I was sad to leave.  We even arranged for us to be able to move back into the ward again when we came back.

And now, through an unforeseen set of circumstances, that dream may not come true.  And it made me realize today, that for the first time in my life, I'd found someplace I could call home.  Only, I may not get to go back. Oh sure, I'll be in Rexburg.  But for those of you who don't know, in Rexburg, it's really hard sometimes to keep social ties outside your ward boundaries.  You just get too busy, and if you aren't forced to see people every week, you tend to forget them, or set them aside.  We've all done it, LDS or not.

And that makes me really sad.

But I'll never forget that I found home. Thank you.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Taking a Break

Hi, my name is Arienne. And I'm an internet-a-holic.

But today, it stops.

Now, I think it's unrealistic to stop competely, but I'm putting up some STRICT limits for myself, indeed, even sacrifices. I have to. My kids need me.

I want to be a good mom, I truly do. And I've tried my best. But there's that saying, Maya Angelou, I think? "When you know better, do better." Well, that's what I'm going to do.

I realize now that a lot of the problems I have with my kids are cries for attention. But I didn't always know what to DO with my kids. I admitted to my mom the other day, "I don't know HOW to play with my kids!" She's given me some suggestions, and I've come up with some of my own. I've been doing a little better with my avoidance over the past few days, but stricter measures must be taken, at least at first.

What are my new rules? No computer when the kids are awake. That means I need to get up earlier than the first kid (before 6am? Really? I think not), or wait until they go to bed, around 7pm. Yup. Yee haw. Packing all my me time into 2-3 hours a night, for about a week and a half. That's how long until my dad comes back. (and when Dad says it's bad, it's BAD.)

That still allows me a little time to check on things with friends, update my blog a little here an a little there. I won't be planting any short term crops in FarmVille, or cooking short order food in CafeWorld, or even playing any computer games, unless I'm really stressed, and even then I might just use that time to take a soak in the hot tub or something. And I have books I want to read... so really, I'm just doing the bare minimum online until I've shown my kids through my actions that I love them, I care about them, and I'm not going to put up with any more crappy behavior. Harsh words, I know, but drastic times call for drastic measures, and sometimes, a little drastic vocabulary.

Aside from that, I NEED HELP! Truly, I don't have a lot of ideas of what to do with my kids. Sad, I know. So please comment on this post with suggestions, PLEASE! Or I may just go crazy.

P. S. I will be using a lot of disciplinary ideas from this book:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Happy Halloween After All!

So Rhydon brought home a flu last week, and it's pretty much knocked us all out of commission, in turn. He was first, of course. Then Tristan, me, Mom, Kael, and finally Elizabeth. I kept hoping we would get better quickly, but it was not to be. The kids were SO sad that they couldn't go to the ward Halloween party, trunk-or-treating, or trick-or-treating. And we had their costumes planned and everything... so I thought, what can I do? I'm not sure how it came to me, but it occurred to me that trick-or-treating is just going door-to-door, and we have lots of doors in this house, and three people to help... So we trick-or-treated in the house!

So I dressed up the kids. Elizabeth was the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio. Doesn't she just LOOK the part? I think she loved wearing makeup best of all. I'm going to have quite a challenge on my hands when she grows up I think! Talk about beautiful!
I took the easy route with Tristan. We've had these jammas since Kael was that big. They even have a little cape that attaches with velcro at the shoulders, though I didn't do a great job getting a picture of that. Tristan was happy though. He's only 2!

Kael was Michaelangelo, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle! Mom made this costume 18 years ago for Rhydon! Rhydon wore it 3 years in a row, ages 3, 4, and 5. I thought it was great that Rhydon's namesake be wearing the same costume at the same age. We let Kael watch the first TMNT movie to get him excited about it. He pretty much thought it was the coolest costume EVER and wanted to wear it to bed. But it's not Potty friendly, so we had to say no. :)

We had our home teachers over earlier in the day to give blessings, and one of them came back with his wife, bringing plastic jack-o-lantern buckets full of goodies, so they were already off to a good start. Then we got some bags of candy from the store, and filled up a couple of big bowls. Then we all got behind a door, and had the kids trick-or-treat! Luckily, Elizabeth knew how, and was able to lead the others. They even said "thank you" unprompted!! They came away with quite a haul, and thought it was a great Halloween!
So while it looked a little bleak at first, I managed to pull off a fun and memorable Halloween anyway! I hope it turns into one of those memories the kids look back fondly on years down the road. I know I certainly will!
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Book Review: Parenting with Love and Logic

A few weeks ago, I posted on Facebook that I was having trouble with my kids minding me. This was my status:

"How do I walk softly and carry a big stick with my kids? They don't take me seriously until I get mad..."

In fact, often my youngest would just laugh. It was really frustrating. I don't enjoying being angry, really.

The overwhelming response to my post was that I should read Love and Logic. I requested it at the library, but I had to wait in line, and this week I finally got it!

The book opens with several examples of controlling children and their sad parents. It was like watching Supernanny... you think to yourself, "Well, at least I'm not THAT bad!"

The second chapter defines several ineffective parenting styles, ranging from helicopters (hoverers), and attack helicopters (defensive helicopters-attacking anyone who tries to show their kid the real world; reminds me of that story of the teacher who gave failing grades to cheaters, whose parents then came in and made her give their kids passing grades instead, for no good reason), to drill sergeants (the yellers-which only gets short-term results). There is a passing reference made to parents who don't parent at all, the laissez-faire parent. Of course the ideal is called the Consultant Parent. The focus of this parent is asking questions, and relinquishing any control that is not absolutely necessary. We'll explain more later.

It also goes on to explain that it's better to let children fail and then learn while they are young, than when they go out into the world, because the stakes are more affordable. Protecting them is not showing true love of them, because it leaves them ill-prepared to live on their own and make responsible choices.

The subsequent chapters describe different aspects of this style. Chapter 3 explains how responsible children feel good about themselves, and how our treatment of them affects their self-concept. Chapter 4 emphasizes the need to separate their problems (and learning opportunities) from ours. It also lays down the two rules of Love and Logic:

1) Adults must set firm, loving limits using enforceable statements without showing anger, lecturing, or using threats.

2) When a child causes a problem, the adult shows empathy through sadness and sorrow and then lovingly hands the problem and its consequences back to the child.

Chapter 5 details how to use "thinking words," words that promote thought, with children. Also, it shows how kids need limits, and without those limits, they don't feel secure enough to take risks.

Chapter 6 shows how to let children gain control through making choices. There is a diagram (page 81) that shows how we should give infants very few, if any choices, and give more and more choices as children grow until by high school, they decide just about everything for themselves. This diagram also shows the opposite: that sometimes we give little ones to much choice, and then as they make poor choices, we have to take more and more choices from them as they get older. This is obviously undesirable. One quote I liked:

"Psychologist Sylvia B. Rimm, PhD, says people of all ages compare the amount of control they have in a relationship to only the amount of control they used to have-- not to the amount they feel they should have. When more control is allotted, people are satisfied; when control is cut back, people are angry."

I liked chapter 7. Its title is very expressive: The Recipe for Success: Empathy with Consequences. It explains how we need to show real empathy for our children when they're suffering the consequences of their choices, as opposed to sarcastic or feigned empathy. Another bit I liked was that consequences don't have to be immediate! I've been told the opposite for a long time by various experts, and I had a lot of trouble with that because a parent can never anticipate EVERY infraction, and I was terrible about coming up with something in the heat of the moment, so I always defaulted to the same things: mostly time outs, and occasionally doing nothing. But the authors do a fabulous job of showing how waiting can actually be more effective! It goes like this: Kid makes poor choice. I say, "I think that was a poor choice. I'm going to have to do something about it, but not right now. I'll get back to you. Try not to worry about it." Zing!

Chapter 8 admonishes patience and practice. I needed this chapter. I was stressed: where do I start? The authors tell you to pick one behavior you would like to change in your child, and come up with a game plan on how you will respond. The situation comes up, you do your best with your plan, then do it again. Eventually, they promise, it will become second nature. And one last comfort, it's never too late to start.

The second part of the book goes through specific situations, and shows how to use Love and Logic to solve them. Arranged in alphabetical order, it acts like an index that a parent can reference whenever they're having trouble. Some that promise salvation for me: Allowances/Money, Bossiness, Discipline in Public, The Room: Keeping it Clean, and Sassing and Disrespect.

All in all, I like this book, and I think I will start applying its principles. It will not be easy, and I will most likely feel utterly ridiculous at first, but the results promised are worth the work, and I know they will come.

I will be mentioning various experiences with Love and Logic in other blog posts in the future.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Candy Classics - Open for Business

I'm here to announce the opening of my all-natural candy business, Candy Classics. We endeavor to make all your favorite candies the way they were made originally-no fake sugars, flavors or colors.

My specialty is English Toffee, but I also make truffles, such as Ravishing Raspberry, pictured left, Coconut Crave, Peppermint Paradise, and Caramel Apple.

I ship anywhere in the contiguous United States, and my prices are very reasonable.

Please go to the Candy Classics website for prices, and full product descriptions.

I will also be posting a poll asking what flavor I should introduce for this year's holiday season.

Thank you in advance for your support and patronage.

I look forward to serving you!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Many Me's of 2009

Here is a collage of all the different hairstyles I've had this year... just a little much, perhaps. But when you're recreating your image, sometimes it takes a while to find the right one!

In case you can't figure it out, the newest one of me is the one with short brown hair, taken yesterday. And I must say I like myself as a brunette!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Sweetheart!

30 years ago today, my sweetheart was born! We're all so glad he came!

Love you, honey!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A thought on the state of the Union

A lot of good people may wonder why some politicians are allowed to come into office and destroy our country. People like Glenn Beck, and some others, do their best to show how what's happening is wrong and bad. People must first awaken to those realities. If Heavenly Father saved our country now, we wouldn't appreciate it, because we wouldn't see anything was wrong, and we would soon fall back into our old ways. Also, Heavenly Father can't just rescue us. We must be aware, and do all we can to fix things ourselves, or at least move in that direction. This shows Him that we really want it. And that is why we cannot just sit back, and hope that our leaders do the right thing. We must do our part, to let them know what the right thing is, and that we won't stand for anything less.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Recipes: Mediterranean Past Bake

I came up with this last week, when I realized that I'd forgotten (again) to make another dish that needed to marinate for a while (gazpacho... yum!). I looked in the pantry and freezer and this is what I came up with... hope you like it!

Mediterranean Pasta Bake

1 pound penne or rotini
1 jar spaghetti sauce (about 2-3 cups)
1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
2/3 cup sliced black olives (Kalamata would work well too... but I didn't have any)
1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 oz Feta cheese (optional)

Cook pasta according to directions, only to al dente... no softer!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

When pasta is done, drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water, in case you need more moisture. Put pasta in lightly greased 13x9 baking pan. Add sauce, olives, and artichokes, and Feta cheese, if desired. Stir to combine. Top with Mozzarella. Tent with foil.

Bake for 20 minutes, until cheese is nice and melty, and noodles are heated through. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Serve hot with your favorite green vegetable and garlic bread, if you like.

Let me know if this recipe works for you! Make sure to comment, and give it an adjective. See below post.

Friday, September 11, 2009

My favorite pic

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Our summer

Just some assorted pictures from this summer. The first covers June, the second July, and the third, our trip.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


So the boys' hair was getting too long... covering the tops of their ears, sticking up crazy in the morning, and little mullets forming at the backs of their necks. So it was time to cut their hair. And Elizabeth made me cut hers too (because she wanted to look like Mommy). I had been putting off cutting her hair. I was nervous to do it myself, having had no formal training, and not sure how it would turn out. But we did it, and I'm so glad we did! She's never been cuter, and she's so happy about her hair, she still gasps when she glimpses herself in the mirror, and says, "Mom, I LOVE my bangs! Thank you!!!"

And the boys are back to looking clean and handsome instead of... let's just say rustic! and handsome.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kael's birthday (part 2)

Pics of Kael, beginning to present. It's been an awesome journey! I love you, buddy!

We celebrated his birthday in Arizona by going to the zoo here in Tucson. Separate post for that coming soon!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Family Pictures 2009

I finally discovered my friend Isabelle's secret to her awesome picture collages, and I'm making the most of it!

Here are several groupings of our family pictures. Our photographer was my long-time good friend Lavinda, who does photography for a living. Here is her blog and website.

This is a collection of the best of the family and small group shots taken.

Here are the best shots of Elizabeth. A lot of them were attempts at head shots. Matt would love to see her onscreen. We'll see what happens!

Here are the Kael shots. There were so many good ones. He looked great in every shot we got. I only left out the ones where you couldn't see his face.

And here is Tristan. He would not give up that Dogga (his name for it) for anything! And it was super difficult to get him to stay still. Or smile. So it was hard to get them, but once we got the shots, they were nothing shy of AWESOME!

So there you have it. We had those done in May, I think it was... or June? July... oh I can't remember. Two or three weeks later, I completely changed my look, Matt had grown a goatee, and the kids had grown. I almost felt like I needed new pictures! Haha! Next year!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kael's birthday (part 1)

Kael turned 4 this year. Wow! It seems like Elizabeth is still 4 sometimes... Ah well.

We had this first birthday party in Washington, with some of the other Baughs: Gigi (Great-Grandma Ethlyn), Grandma Kathie, Uncle Chris, Aunt Serena, and cousins Emma, Isaac, Haven, and Autumn. We played on the slip'n'slide, we had presents, and unabashedly ginormous amounts of sugar in the form of ice cream and cupcakes with colored frosting (obviously pictured!). It was a fabulous time. And then we got sick. But the party was great! Here's the pic.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Leaving? Cleaning?!

It's here. We're leaving Friday, first thing in the morning. I can't believe it. It still seems kind of uNrEaL. But thank goodness I'm almost done cleaning.

Wow, you have to clean a lot when you move. Can I just say that it truly never occurred to me to wash underneath and behind appliances such as the stove and fridge? I don't think I can remember my mom doing it, and she's a pretty neat and clean person so she must have done it at least occasionally... but I never saw her do it. And it gets really gross under there! Also, cleaning INSIDE the oven?! Seriously? Why not just leave the ashes? Honestly, these things just never occurred to me, I swear! But here I am, doing them, and I must say, it's giving me a strange sort of satisfaction... To go from SO dirty, to so clean... It's a beautiful thing. Next time I do this, I'll make sure the kids see me doing it, because it should be done... at least occasionally.

And for you Facebook users, that other post I was talking about is a goals post. I might be able to get to it on vacation. Cleaning takes a lot of time!

P.S. Thank you to Shannon, who showed me I could format my posts like this! Should be a lot more interesting!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Something to think about

I don't have anything to say really, except that this made me think. I've always had a problem being my family's gatekeeper, though I get better everyday. I'm going to have to add "Who is in charge at my house? ME!" to my daily affirmations.

Interesting article

Friday, July 10, 2009

Has anyone else ever wished that their house would burn down so you don't have to go through all your stuff and get rid of it yourself? I'm there right now.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Aniversary to Us

This year we celebrated our 7th anniversary. Lucky number 7! It's been quite a ride, but I couldn't have asked for a better companion for the drive!

I've also learned that we need to take more pictures of just us, as a couple... these pics were pretty much it! LOL. Live and learn! And Matt, I love learning with you!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Swine Flu: Get Over It!

What is the deal with the swine flu? Why all the hubbub? It's hardly killed anyone! It's been labeled as pandemic, but all that means is that it's everywhere. It doesn't mean it's extremely deadly. I'm attaching a link to an article about this, and it clearly shows how our already out-of-control government is going overboard with this, and trying to take away our personal freedoms in the name of public safety. I'm also including a link to the National Vaccine Information Center, where there is a lot more information to be found, including laws recently made that allow state militia to take our belongings and forecfully vaccinate us and not be held liable for anything that goes wrong, either with our things or our health. This cannot be allowed to continue!! Educate yourself and take action!


National Vaccine Information Center

If on the first one, it asks you for membership, go ahead and sign up. He always has great information and it's completely free.

Friday, July 3, 2009


I'm ready to just throw everything out on the lawn! I'm so tired of all this stuff! I know I should get rid of stuff, but when I look at it, all I see is stuff I can't get rid of! And I don't know how to organize what I DO need! I want to scream! I don't know what to DO! I'm going crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HELP!!!!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

On the move...

I know Matt's blogged and vlogged about it, but I haven't... In little more than a month, we will be moving. Matt has an internship at Disneyland as a Photo Pass, which is a fancy way to say he'll be a photographer. He's very excited! So he'll be going to Anaheim, but the rest of us will not. The kids and I are moving to Arizona, and moving in with my mother! I'm very excited about that. I haven't seen my mother since we left Arizona a year and a half ago. We'll be staying about 5 months. That should be enough visiting to make up for lost time, and maybe even enough to make her get tired of us... I'm kidding.

In other news, I have rejoined the Mary Kay Skin Care Company as a beauty consultant. There are many reasons, but to sum up, it's what is right for me. So if you'd like a free facial, or to buy products from me, call me or check out my website. And don't worry about not being in my area. I have ways of pampering you long distance. I can even do facials long distance, by phone or webcam. So let me treat you like royalty!

We've also decided to really start taking charge of our finances. As part of that I've finally decided on a goal. I want to start an insurance company that covers breakthrough medical technology like bioidentical hormones and such. I was inspired by a book called Breakthrough by Suzanne Somers. It's really an exciting book; I just finished it.

Well, that's it for now I guess. Off to pack and pamper.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Junie B. Jones!

I just finished reading the first Junie B. Jones book to Kael and Elizabeth. I think it's just what I needed to get them interested in reading! It's cute too, entertaining to read. It has some grammatical errors, but you can tell they're on purpose, because it's a kindergartner talking, and what kindergartner has perfect English? Anyway, I can't wait to read more! There are 26 books in the series so far. Wow! Who else has read these books?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Daddy-Daugter Date: Rockapella!

Last night, Matt took Elizabeth on a daddy-daughter date to see Rockapella! What? Who's Rockapella?! For you old fogies like me out there, they did the music for the Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego? television show. Kids these days; no sense of history! Anyway, they decided to get all gussied up. I curled and arranged Elizabeth's hair, gave her a little (no show) makeup, and she and Matt both wore purple. Apparently, they were head-turners and showstoppers! Matt tells me that one pair of older women had to stop and turn around to get another look at Elizabeth, and how she matched Matt! And when they met Rockapella afterwards, Scott, the blond guy, said spontaneously, "That is the cutest little girl I've ever seen!" Warms a mother's heart, that does. Anyway, Elizabeth had a fabulous time. You'll see in the pics below that she got her picture taken with the band, and they all signed both a poster and her program! She felt super special. I'm sure she'll be telling people about it all week! Enjoy the pics!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sick, sick, sick...

Ugh, this has been a bad couple of weeks. Our family has had a year's worth of illnesses in two weeks. Matt's the only one who was spared, and thank goodness. We can't really afford for him to take a sick day, with him doing his internship and working and giving plasma for extra cash. It started two weeks ago, when Tristan got pink eye. 3 days later, Elizabeth got it. 3 days after that, Kael got stung by a bee, Elizabeth got heat exhaustion and a stomach flu (on the same day she taught herself to ride a two wheeler, see separate post). That day, my throat started to hurt. The next day, Kael had a very apinful stomachache that I was afraid might be his appendix, but it wasn't, thank goodness, and he also got pink eye. A couple days after that, I had a full-blown sore throat flu, Kael got an ear infection, and Elizabeth had a reaction to her antibiotic for her pink eye. A couple days after that, I woke up to everything sounding like it was underwater and an acute pain in my ear - another ear infection for me. Yesterday, Tristan started puking, and now the four of us have nasty coughs. I tell you, it's been rough. Hard on the pocketbook too, since neither Tristan nor I have insurance. I just keep praying this is the end.


Easter was pretty cool this year. It was Tristan's first time looking for eggs. First we went to the grocery store for an egg hunt there, but it was their first time doing it and it wasn't well-regulated. Kids were only supposed to get a few and then leave some eggs for the rest if the kids, but there was no enforcement,and I saw one girl come out of the aisle with a large bucket full of eggs, I mean, at least two dozen.

Luckily, we had our own hunt planned. We were also blessed with the presence of Uncle Rhydon, who helped me hide the eggs. We decided to have it at the theater, just for fun and variety. Tristan started, then Kael, then Elizabeth. Kael and Elizabeth finished at the same time with finding eggs. Everyone had a great time.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spreading the love

{Lucky you!}
The first 5 people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!

2- What I create will be just for you.

3- It'll be done this year.

4- You have no clue what it's going to be.

It may be a story. It may be a picture of myself, or a handmade piece of artwork for your living room. I may sew you something. I may bake you something. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!

5- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch?
Oh, the catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog. The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me! Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it! LETS PLAY!

Kid updates

Elizabeth: is learning to read. She tends to guess a lot though, instead of doing the phonetics, but we'll keep trying. She's also starting to grow out of 4T and into 5T. Time to shop!! And she did the cutest thing last night. I was sleeping in the family room with Tristan, who was having a hard time, when I heard her crying. I ran out and comforted her while Tristan cried himself to sleep, and I told her how why I was in there, and that I would never leave her alone, when I just couldn't keep my head up any longer and laid it on the couch. She grabbed my hand, led me into my bedroom, pointed at the bed (as if to say, get in!), then climbed in after me and slept with me. So cute.

Kael: has taught himself how to burp on command. As I've said from the beginning, Kael is 100% boy. He's also behaving better since I stopped expecting him to be just like his sister, who continues to spoil me with good behavior (most of the time). Kael is different, and since I started respecting that, he's been better. We need to respect the fact that our children are different.

Tristan: finally has all his baby teeth in, and is done until around his 2nd birthday. Today he is sick with a cough, sneezing, and itchy eyes. He's getting better, though. He adds words to his vocabulary every day, and is always proving to us that his lack of words has nothing to do with his intelligence. He also knows how to put his own shoes on (and likes to put on everyone else's too).


A week ago I got my wisdom teeth out. All 4. I was awake the whole time, but thoroughly numbed and medicated. I had the laughing gas (which did not make me laugh, just calm), and they put two shots of novacaine in each area, except the bottom left, which required an additional shot because the bottom right took so long. The top two came out very easy, but the bottom two were impacted and still in bone, so there was some drilling. And they put sutures in the bottom right. I looked like a chipmunk for a few hours, but there will be no pictures because I forbade Matt from taking any. I got an antibiotic and a very nice painkiller that makes me sleepy. I ran out of the pain meds on Saturday, but I still hurt, so yesterday I went and got the doctor to renew my prescription. I'm feeling much better now, and should be able to eat crunchy foods by the end of the week. I'm very happy they're out.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I'm finally getting my wisdom teeth out and I'm so excited! Some of you might think I'm crazy for saying that, but they've needed to come out since I was pregnant with Elizabeth, and they're driving me crazy! My appointment is for next Tuesday, first thing in the morning. Yay!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Change is good

Okay, I better post a blog for my poll over there --->.

I want to change my hair color again. Most of this past year I've been a red head, and I think I'm ready for a change, or at least a touch up. So I'm asking your opinion! I've been blonde and brunette in times past, never black or anything crazy, but it's time for a change, and I promise to abide by the poll results, although if it's Other, I'll have another poll probably to determine what color that should be.

And to the person who already voted... please comment on this entry as to what color you'd like to see on my head.

The poll closes on March 15th. I will color my hair that week and post pics.

p.s. I've found, that if you'd like to vote more than once, you may, by using other computers, or sometimes, even just refreshing, if you're not logged in! If you really want my hair to be a certain color, that's the way to cheat.

Skirts for Elizabeth

Elizabeth loves skirts. No, she LOVES skirts. And I can't find a skirt ANYWHERE! So I went online, and found some patterns, and since my sewing machine is in storage, I'm going to pay a friend of mine with my awesome toffee and she will make them for me! I've posted a link to the blogs where I got them here so if any of you want to make some for your girls, you can!

I can't wait!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Getting serious about FHE

So a few weeks ago, we decided to get serious about having Family Home Evening. We set aside some money to make a chart (which I'll describe in a bit), and assigned roles. A week ago I bought the stuff, and last night I made it. It was so much fun! Here are some pictures.

I really enjoyed making it! Everyone I've ever talked to says vinyl lettering is hard to do, but I didn't think so. The whole thing took about two hours, including painting. I decided that black and silver were good classic colors to make our family colors, and I chose teddy bears because there is already a teddy bear theme in the birth samplers I make for each of my children. Elizabeth has asked me to do something like that with her name on it, and I can't wait! I've already got a picture in my head of what I want! Woo hoo!


Okay, so today we were having trouble getting Kael to get himself dressed, and we had tried all the motivations we could think of. On a whim, Matt picked up Elizabeth and said he would spank Elizabeth if Kael would get dressed. It worked! Now, you all may be thinking, what kind of motivation is that? What did Elizabeth think? Well, after Kael was all dressed, Matt put her down and sent her on her way. Elizabeth chased after him, saying, "Can you spank me until Tristan gets dressed?" This was funny enough, but then I asked, "Elizabeth, you WANT to be spanked?!" To which she replied, "Yeah! It's FUN to be spanked!" I swear, that's what she said. I almost peed my pants laughing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

First talk! But so clingy...

So today, Kael gave his first talk in Primary. It was on family. It went very well, he did a great job. The only problem was, he didn't want to be left in Primary after while I went to Relief Society. Ugh. So he ended up going to Priesthood with Matt and I stayed in the hall with Tristan, who thankfully has only 3 weeks to go until nursery.

Anyway, why is Kael so clingy? Maybe I was just spoiled by Elizabeth, who all but pushed me out the door of nursery and hasn't looked back since. But about half of the time Kael was eligible for nursery, he didn't want to go (apparently there was some bullying in play there, in both locations, but still...), and now he freaks if he sees me in the middle of Primary. I can only hope Tristan isn't like that, although, it seems very likely. Tristan is slow to warm up to things in general. I don't know what to do about Kael... ah well, we keep on trudging.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A new bed... well, sort of.

It's been almost 7 years since Matt and I tied the knot. One of the wedding gifts we received was a bed set, from his sister, Vicki. It was a very nice set. The sheets never quite fit right, but it was pretty and comfortable. About a month ago we looked at the comforter, and were shocked to notice that it had so many stains you could hardly see the blanket for the stains. I may be exaggerating a little, but not much; it was looking pretty sad. So when we saw an ad for a bedding sale at Family Dollar, we jumped on it and bought a new one. The set from FD only had the dust ruffle, shams and comforter, so we went to Walmart and got coordinating sheets there: 300 thread count! Nice... I'm including a picture so you can see it. I'm already planning in my head what our bedroom will look like when we have a place we can paint and decorate. It's satin topped, with little green embroidered flowers, and a ribbed section on each side. I LOVE it!!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I once was blind but now I see!

Somewhere back before Thanksgiving, maybe Halloween, my right eye decided it didn't like contacts, and in trying to get it to accept what it did not want, I ran out of contacts for my right eye. We did not have money at the time to buy more contacts for me, and consequently, I've been partially blind for the last 3-4 months. For those who don't know, yes, I wear glasses and contacts, mostly contacts because I don't think I look good in glasses, and my eyes are pretty bad: -5.00 in one, -5.50 in the other. But today, after a slight mix-up and delay (the strength in the first shipment was +5 and 5.5 instead of negative), I can now see with both eyes! It was a little trippy at first, but I feel like my old self again. The kids can sit on either side of me when we read books and I can see, and I don't have to have a mirror super close to do my makeup on one eye. It's marvelous!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sir Sick-a-lot

What a week! Last Sunday, I stayed home with Elizabeth because she said she didn't feel well enough to go to church, which is a big deal for her, because she LOVES church. And then Tristan stayed home too because Matt had to teach in Priesthood and he couldn't take care of Tristan at the same time. Then the next day, Kael woke up puking. Then Friday, Elizabeth woke up puking. And now today, another Sunday, Tristan woke up puking, so here I am, at my computer, instead of at church. Sad day, too, because today is the Presidency message in Relief Society and that's usually one of my favorite Sundays. That and 3rd Sundays, I believe... whenever Nita Miller teaches, she's awesome.

I read an article in my latest Parenting magazine about how kids are sick an average of 10 times a year with various colds, flus or other bugs. I kept thinking to myself, wow, my kids are sick A LOT. But then I thought about it a little more, and individually, they're not sick any more than normal, it just seems that way, because there are 3 of them getting sick the average number of times. That's an average of 1 sick kid a week for 2 weeks, and then one week off, as opposed to having just one, which averages once a month or less. Does this mean when I have another child that I will always have at least one who is sick? Oy to the vey.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sewing it up

So this morning, I sewed up Kael's bear, Joe, for the 5th time, or so. (Yes, Joe Bear. Hey, it was 3:00 in the morning when I named this object for attachment, so give me a break.) I've sewed both arms, one twice, his leg, and now his crotch. It was a delicate surgery, let me tell you, but Joe came through like a champ. I'm just wondering how many times I'm going to have to do this. What will threaten to fall of next? His head? An ear? He's already lost an eye I still need to replace or something. He's a well-loved bear. I should start making a big deal out of it, you know, make a hospital gown for him, some casts and slings that are reusable, maybe a little heartbeat machine.