Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I Was Having a Big Smile On My Face

The phone rang before 7:00 this morning. The recorded message was the unmistakable voice of our school superintendent who started out with, "I am sorry for the late notification, but..." Every child within hearing range immediately assumed school was canceled for the day. I think they may have been holding their breath as the message continued. They were completely deflated as he went on to say that the neighboring town lost power in last night's storm and, as it hadn't yet been restored, that school would be closed for the day.

Sadie, not at all pleased that the message hadn't gone how she'd hoped it would, dejectedly said, "I was having a big smile on my face." But the smile was gone and the kids somehow mustered up the energy to get dressed and out the door for school. 

The storm last night was pretty bad. With temperatures in the very unseasonable 60's yesterday, those numbers had been dropping steadily ever since bringing pouring rain along with the cold air. There was some wind, but not much in our little corner of the world. However, our friends who live in the neighboring town (the one that lost power) were devastated. They own an old mental-asylum-turned-haunted-house that had the roof ripped completely off. Debris was scattered all around their property, through the adjoining field and clear across the road 1/4 mile away. Somehow there was no damage to their mobile home, farm animals, or truck on the same property. Other than a few pigeons, no lives were lost. That's the good news. 

I drove out to their place after the kids were at school to see what I could do to help. I was surprised at the number of huge downed power lines all along the several mile drive, bent over and mangled as if they'd been toothpicks. I heard later that there were 49 utility poles that had to be replaced. There were more than a dozen power company trucks working to get new poles in the ground, but the thick mud from the saturated ground wasn't helping things along.

I stayed for about 3 hours piling up scattered debris from the yard and road. The stuff in the field will have to wait until the ground freezes. One little girl who came to help with her mom got stuck in the mud up to her ankles and lost her shoe when they pulled her out! 

Looking out across the field at the scattered debris. That thing that looks like a body (left of center) is a dummy that was used in the haunted house.
Initially the weather wasn't bad. We kept working when it started to rain. Then it rained harder and the temperature dropped. We even stayed out when the wind kicked in, but then it picked up and we were being pelted so hard in the face by heavy rain and there was a threat of the roof metal being picked up by the wind that we were forced to wait out the storm in the basement of the asylum. After 45 minutes and no signs of slowing, I finally headed home.

My kids were hoping for a "snow day." I'm just grateful we (and our friends!) are all safe. Hopefully Sadie can have a big smile on her face about that. :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Recipe: Green Smoothie

I like my green smoothies when I'm trying to eat healthy. As a delicious breakfast or lunch, they fill me right up with zero guilt. So yummy!

Green Smoothie
(Makes 16 oz.)

1/2 c. milk
1 banana
a generous 1/2 c. non-fat plain yogurt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
a generous handful fresh spinach
5-6 ice cubes
~1 Tbsp. powdered sugar (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a blender (I use an immersion blender) and puree. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Soren's Dream

"I have a dream that many people will become mormons, and live the gospel. I dream that plants and animals will be treated the way they should be. Treat others how you would want to be treated, and serve others. That people will stop swearing and cussing. That there will be no pollution or litter. I dream that there will be no bullying or teasing. There would be no robberies, or wars. I dream peace."

As it turns out, that's my dream too! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sounds Like...

This is one crazy girl!
Sadie went to a birthday party yesterday where the little girls all went and got their nails done. After she got home, she pulled us into the dark laundry room to show off her glow-in-the-dark nail polish. She was pretty happy about that cool stuff!

Later in the afternoon, Jeff thought she was picking her new fingernail polish off and asked her to stop. She said,

"Dad, I'm not picking. I'm just pushing back my tentacles!"

Cuticles...tentacles.... It's hard to tell the difference. :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Looking Forward

January and February are not my favorites. There's too much cold and not enough sunshine. So, in an effort to find something to be happy about, I'm reminding myself that winter won't last forever. And if the coming spring is anything like last year (here and here), there is plenty of happiness to look forward to!

On my front door. :)

Until then, I'll remember this quote and do my best to be happy now:

All seasons are beautiful for the person who carries happiness within. 
--Horace Friess.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Nothing Could Be Further From the Truth

Sam and Savannah don't get along very well. (That's putting it mildly.)

So we had a good laugh when we found this picture, drawn by a 6-year old Savannah, in one of my old journals:

Hmmm, it says their ages are 16 and 17. That'll be true in September. Maybe we just need to give it some time. 

I'm not holding my breath.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happiness Is...

...coming out of church to see the young men scraping the ice off of every car windshield in the parking lot. 

I'm sure I would have appreciated it under any circumstance, but even more so because they spared me the task of scraping our van's huge windshield in 3" heels in an icy parking lot.

Thank you, boys. You saved the day!

(For the record, we went from a sunny 60ยบ yesterday to icy rain today. Sigh.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Studio C

One thing we love to do together as a family is watch Studio C on BYUtv. It's BYU's comedy troupe and they are awesome! Last fall, we looked forward to a new episode each week. Now we're watching them again as we await another season of laughs.

Here is one of my all-time-favorite skits. It seriously cracks me up every time!

You can find all 10 episodes here. Each episode is about 25 minutes of random comedy sketches.

Some other favorites include:

There are so many good ones! Which one is your favorite?

Three cheers for good, clean comedy. Yay!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013

For What It's Worth

One of my goals for the new year is to read more. I know, it's kind of a selfish goal, but I love to read and don't allow myself to indulge in a good book nearly as often as I'd like. Part of the problem is that when I find a great book, I can't put it down. That was definitely the case with my first book of the year. I started For What It's Worth last night and finished it this morning. It was so, so good! I didn't want it to end. (I posted the cute book trailer back here.)

In a nutshell, For What It's Worth is the story of Abby Benson who, through a generous inheritance from her favorite aunt, realizes her dream of opening a bakery selling wedding cakes. Her pricing scheme - allowing her customers to pay her according to what they think the cake is worth - draws a lot of attention because it is so unconventional. She finds love while getting her bakery set up and business is booming from the start. She seems to have everything going for her, but is it too good to be true? What is success really worth?

As much as I hate suspense, I'm going to make you read it to find out. I'm pretty sure you'll thank me in the end.

I'm blessed to call Karey White my friend, but I know I'd love this book even if I'd never gone out to lunch with the author. :)

Do Good

My attempt to pen a favorite scripture in a calligraphy class at BYU in 1994.

There are several in the blogging world who post a word at the beginning of each year to be their focus for the coming year. I like the idea. I've never formally chosen a word, but sometime last year I decided that if I were to pick one word it would be Simplify. I'm still going on my simplify kick. Just today I cleaned out my kitchen cupboards and got rid of all kinds of things that I never use or can easily live without. It felt good.

With the new year, I decided I'd like a new focus as well. Unable to come up with a single word that encompasses all that's been swirling around in my brain, I received my inspiration when reading a long-time favorite scripture. D&C 6:34 says, "Therefore, fear not little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail."

I love this scripture for many reasons, but the one thing that jumped out at me this time was do good. If we belong to His little flock - if He is our shepherd - then we have no need to fear. Do good. No matter what is going on around us, we can go about doing good knowing that He will keep us safe. We can be His hands as we do good to bless the lives of those around us.

So that's my focus for the year.

Do good.

I think it's going to be a great year!