Thursday, October 27, 2011

Spacely gets neutered

Spacely went in yesterday for neutering. It was a long day since there were concerns about his liver. One of his numbers was over 200, the normal range is 10-100. Our vet did a bile acid test on him and his number showed normal on that meaning he just has a liver infection, nothing more serious. Whew! This meant that she was able to go ahead and neuter the boy.

While he was under, the vet was able to get a better look in his mouth. She pulled two baby teeth that were loose and still there even though the adult teeth were also in. She can feel teeth in his gum but without an x-ray, can't tell if they are impacted or just need some encouragement to descend. Since he has no problems at the moment, we can wait a bit to decide what our next step is. She also thinks he is a very young dog, maybe 18 months old.

I picked him up after Kaitlyn's riding lesson. He looked very apprehensive when he was brought out but brightened up and wagged when he saw me. He was still woozy from the meds and wearing the cone of shame.

He was able to eat some dinner but spent most of the rest of the evening snoozing. I took him out and he was able to potty with no problems.

He is moving around very well today, snarfed his breakfast and dinner easily. He took his meds this morning in his breakfast. For the most part, he is leaving his stitches alone so now only wears the cone when we can't watch him. This means that he wears it at night, when he is snoozing in his crate.

He got a crate and seems to like sleeping in it. He has a fleece blanket in there and snuggles down into it. When I get up to take the kids to seminary, he blinks at me and goes back to sleep. Tinsel doesn't even bother to look at me...she is not a morning dog.

Lunches October 17-21

Monday October 17

This was a very skimpy lunch, there were some yogurt covered craisins under the smiling cookie. Mondays are half days so I am not worried that they will go hours with no food.

Tuesday October 18

The kids always consider it a good lunch day if there is Pocky in it. The face on the clementine was done with food safe marker. Kierynn loved opening her lunch to see it.

Wednesday October 19

Honey sticks have proven to be popular by all. They like the flavored ones, I like ones that are natural colored rather than dyed neon pink. It is a win win situation

Thursday October 20

Iain decided he wanted to make his own lunch today and he did! I was so pleased when I saw he made a smiley face on his lunch. I did suggest that next time he put the apples in some salt water to prevent them from getting brown but he didn't care. The veggie straws are something they all like. I find them in a huge bag at Sam's. I can find smaller veggie chips at Giant but I prefer to get the huge bag of straws at Sam's.

Friday October 21

Today was a first of the year...a field trip. It was specifically requested that nothing be sent in that needed to come home. I have no way of knowing if Rhys actually ate his carrots or if he just tossed them since there was no ranch to dip them into. The Teddy Grahams in the lunchboxes are the same amount as what is in the little bag. I don't normally buy them in individual servings because they are so much more. It is more economical to buy the large bag and dole them out.

Monday, October 17, 2011


This is Spacely. He is a long haired Chihuahua that Nicholas found in the middle of a creek, shivering and crying. He obviously has been taken care of, he is not matted although he has really long nails. He walks on a leash nicely, rides in a car, is not upset at being in a crate so I would say someone has taken some time for him. He is not neutered and is not microchipped. Our neighbor, who is also a vet, thinks he is fairly young, maybe 2-4 years old.

As of right now, we have not gotten any responses to our ad listing him as found (minus some details so we can make sure it is not just someone trying to score a free dog). He is very skittish about noises and is not sure at all about Tinsel.

Since we don't know his history, we don't know what he was fed but I do know that I am switching him to raw. We got him some refridgerated food at Petsmart but this evening, I took some of Tinsel's pork neck bones and gave it to him.

He did eat it...all 1.5 ounces of it LOL

Right now, we are not sure what is going to happen with him. I am hoping we find his owners but if not...then we will have to figure out what the next step is. (shots, neutering, bath, nail trimming, basic manners - no marking in the house!)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lunches October 11-14

This week was a short lunch week and an easy one. We had a day off, one stayed home, one got lunch at work and one didn't bring her lunch box into the kitchen all week so I made lunches in the morning rather than the evening.

Tuesday October 11

I used the pain de mie bread for this and thought it would be a hit since they all like it as toast. I was wrong. Kierynn complained about the crust (even though she eats it on toast) and Iain just asked me to not use it for sandwiches again. The kettle corn came from a local corn maze that we visited over the weekend. Rhys brought back his carrots, which I recycled to Wednesday for him.

Wednesday October 12

The kids have a difficult time opening the cream cheese so I usually clip an end open so it is easier. For some reason, I cut the entire end off and Kierynn reported her main container had cream cheese in it and it got on her bagel, making it unfit to eat. So....she can put cream cheese on the bagel and eat but if the cream cheese gets on the bagel in transit, it can't be eaten. :::::sigh::::: Rhys did eat his carrots this time around.

Thursday October 13

I had fun with this lunch. I found the eyeballs and was just going to toss them in but then decided to put them on the sandwiches. The puzzle pieces really added some character to the face. I had initially put the honey stick diagonally across the compartment but when I was about to take a picture, Iain suggested that I use it as the mouth. I also like the apple lips with the pistachio teeth...which looks green and rotten.

The kids find it amusing that I take pictures of their lunches and want to know who looks at them. I showed them several different sites that I look at that shows lunches that other kids take to school.

Friday October 14

I don't give bananas very often in lunch since the kids don't like them cut but I decided to give it a go today. I use the press and seal wrap on the ends in an attempt to keep it from browning up. Iain said he didn't want a banana. I suggested apple. He said he wanted grapes. I asked him to get the grapes out while I made sandwiches. He said he would take a banana. What a goof!

Since the bananas are in the main compartment, I let him know he had to have his sandwich cut. He was okay with it. Both Kierynn and Rhys has two of their sections made with pain de mie despite Kierynn lodging a complaint earlier in the week. Why? Because it was already in the house and defrosted and I didn't feel like going to the freezer for a new loaf of "regular" bread. I think she will be okay with it since I made sure her pieces were crust free.

Kaitlyn's lunch box saga is over. Last night I told her I wanted it in the kitchen before it walked in there itself. She told me where it was. I told her to get up and go to that location and bring the box to the kitchen. It finally made it those 10 feet to the kitchen. The Easylunchboxes are made well enough that despite it sitting for more than a week, after a good scrubbing, there are no lingering odors (and there was nothing but crumbs in it for that week)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Lunches October 3-7

Monday October 3

The weeks started out with a repeat of sorts from last week since it went over well... the turkey cheddar wrap. They look skimpy because they won't eat it if I put in lettuce or anything other than turkey and cheese. I could not find the camera so this is a cell phone picture and rather dark. The dark blobs in the main container are brownie bites. I did jello jigglers again and this time, being thicker, they worked out much better.

Tuesday October 4

We have a long standing family ritual of having pizza on Monday nights so I thought I would send in left over pizza. All the kids eat pizza. They like it cold, not reheated. All of them like when I send in ingredients so they can make their own cold pizza at school Why then did I get complaints about sending in cold pizza?? They eat it at home! The white things in the small container are similar to crunchy cheetos without the dayglo orange color. There are some yogurt covered cranberries in the small container. You will notice there is no lunch for Kaitlyn. She was mad at me and I guess this was her punishment to me...not allowing me to make her lunch. She is the one who will go hungry (since I type this all up after the fact, I can tell you she did not pack her own lunch and came home ready to gnaw her own arm off)

Wednesday October 5

The cinnamon mini bagel with cream cheese was a hit with everyone. I added in some pepperoni since I felt they needed something a bit more in there. There is a cheese stick hiding under the cream cheese as well. See my comment above regarding Kaitlyn's (lack of) lunch.

Thursday October 6

Yes, she is still mad. Wow, what did I do that made her so mad ('cause, of course it is my fault) I refused to take her to the mall after she acted like a 14 year old snot and pulled a massive attitude on me. Gosh, how unreasonable of me!

I liked the lunches today mainly because I love using these bento boxes. When I make lunches, I have an idea of what I am going to put in there but sometimes, I am off. I pulled out a few more things to put in there since I was thinking I would have more room. As it turned out, I didn't need them. Hiding under the fish sandwiches (which are actually PBJ) is a mini granola bar. The popcorn looking stuff is Pirate's Booty. Two of the kids have some nutella to dip their apples into, one has peanut butter since she doesn't like nutella (and for the record, neither do I. I don't like hazelnuts) No lunch for Greg since he has a company lunch thing he is going to.

Will Kaitlyn put out her lunch tomorrow? As she got dropped off at seminary this morning, she did ask me very nicely to bring her a sandwich when I picked her up for her riding lesson. I normally do bring her a snack and water but today I will be bringing her basically a lunch (since once again, she did not make her own)

Friday October 7
Nope, no lunch box out for Kaitlyn although she is speaking to me again after finally making it to the mall. She is almost 15, I have asked her to put her lunch box out (it is still in her bag from the last time I made her lunch) I am not going to sit on top of her until she gets it done.


A light day on the lunch front since I only had to make 3. One of the kids has an appointment today so no lunch. One had requested a nutella sandwich today and got it. After I made it and was looking at lunch, I realized I also put in a chocolate pudding. He will have a chocolate fueled his teacher will thank me later. Sorry!

Friday, September 30, 2011

I was wrong!

I wrote this yesterday: Despite Rhys turning his sweet little nose up at turkey earlier in the week, I am giving it another go. I read somewhere that kids need to be exposed to a new food item at least 4 times before they may try it. Turkey and cheddar roll ups are what is up for lunch today.

When he got off the bus, I lingered back to speak to Iain and Rhys ran on ahead. He dumped his book bag and shot out the door to go to play with a friend. I got out his lunch bag and commented to Greg, before I opened it.

"I bet you any amount that when I open this, his wrap is still in there, totally untouched."

I was so surprised when I opened his lunch bag and saw the container only had the picks I had used to hold the sandwich!

Now, this was the same exact turkey that he didn't even bother to try a few days ago but today he snarfed down an entire wrap (turkey and cheese wrapped in a tortilla)

I was going to try cutting turkey into shapes and see if he would eat it that way.

My next "big" experiment will be trying them out with homemade bread sandwiches. They like homemade bread but generally they think the crust is too thick. I am getting a pain de mie pan so hopefully that will ease the crust issue.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lunches September 26-30

Monday September 26


The kids asked for bagels so they have PBJ on bagels today. The orange chips in Kaitlyn's main compartment are some dried mango. The crackers are some cheddar crackers I made using this recipe. It was super easy to do, I still have the dough left to bake.

Tuesday September 27


Nothing really earth shattering but I did put some M&M's in the little containers. I expected that at least one would not open it to see what was in there (and I didn't tell them in advance). I was right, Kaitlyn had her container full when she came home so I recycled it to her lunch for the next day.

Wednesday September 28


Greg had a work lunch so no box for him. As you can see, the frog and pig box came in so the younger set got a mom version of a lunchable. I knew I was taking a risk, putting some turkey slices in for Rhys. He will eat turkey, eats turkey lunchables but he brought back these 2 slices of turkey (rolled up with a pick) back untouched. Tinsel happily ate them. I quizzed him on why he didn't eat it. He said he likes it flat, not rolled up. You will also see Kaitlyn got the tub of M&M's again. I told her on the way to seminary that it had M&M's in there. "I know, I don't like M&M's." Whoops! That was news to me and not only did I give them again, I gave her a cookie with M&M's in them. When he got home, Iain's first sentence was "Can I have the exact same lunch again tomorrow?"

Thursday September 29


Yes, it is the same tub of M&Ms yet again! This time, they are in Iain's box and I know he will eat them. Today was another iffy lunch. I had asked Greg to get grapes and he brought back some green grapes and some purple grapes. Purple grapes are not very well liked but I thought I would give it a shot anyway. Mr. Indignant Rhys informed me when he got home that I KNEW he didn't like grapes. (He used to!) That was the only gripe about lunches.

Friday September 30

Happy Birthday to my big brother, Donnie!


Is it bad that I am glad this week is done? I really want to give the kids a variety but some days, the standard PBJ just works. Despite Rhys turning his sweet little nose up at turkey earlier in the week, I am giving it another go. I read somewhere that kids need to be exposed to a new food item at least 4 times before they may try it. Turkey and cheddar roll ups are what is up for lunch today. They each got a pudding as well. Rhys has a little tub of peanut butter to dip his apples in because he has gotten picky about his apples. You know, he has gotten picky about everything lately! Lucky for him that he is adorable and I love him to pieces.

There is no lunch for Kaitlyn since she didn't use her lunch from yesterday, we just recycled it to today.

I got in a new batch of SIGG water bottles after I found them for $5 each (!!) They have been working out really well and zero leaks.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lunches September 19-23


I decided to try apple/peanut butter quesadillas in the younger set's lunch and it came out well. The apple bits I didn't use went into Greg's lunch.


I got the silicone pops to try out and they didn't work so well. I made regular jello and it warmed up enough to make a mess while being eaten by a 6 year old. Next time, I will use the jello jiggler recipe instead. The watermelon was a hit with everyone. And, like I mentioned in the previous post, although it looks like Kaitlyn got the short end of the lunch stick, she has the same amount. She has a bit more veggie straws than the others have.


The only thing notable about these lunches is the inclusive of a honey stix. I think these are cinnamon honey ones. There is about a teaspoon of honey in them, just enough for a sweet treat.

Here is a conversation between Kaity and I regarding sweet things in her lunch.
Me: Do you want a cookie?
K: No
M: Honey stix?
K: No
M: Well, I wanted to put something sweet in there for you
K: You can put love in, it is sweet.
M: I make your lunch with love every day
K: Then it is sweet! (and then she told me she thought the pretzels were sweet enough)

I like this girl :)


You can get all the details on my new, cool, nifty Easy Lunch Boxes if you go go read this post :)


Iain asked me to stop putting picks in his lunch. I would have any way since HE KEEPS THROWING THEM AWAY! He has to make a special effort to do this since there is nothing in his lunch that requires him to make a trip to the trash during lunch.

Kind of a blank looking lunch but it is by request. You can't see it but under the popcorn are a few of the mini oreo cookies and 2 gummy worms. Greg decided to buy lunch for the day.

One thing that is odd about these lunches that is not visible to the camera is that all the sandwiches are the same kind. Every kid requested PBJ...a first!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Easy Lunch Boxes

I got some Easy Lunch Boxes and coolers for the kids to use this year. I sent the coolers off to a friend so she could personalize them for the younger set. Kaitlyn wanted hers left alone.

They came back today and they are so gorgeous! Each of the kids had picked out the color of their cooler and then helped choose which design they wanted. I tried to convince Iain that his name would look better in orange but he insisted on blue and I think it looks nice.


Now that I have the coolers here, I can use the easy lunch boxes themselves. Yes, I know they look like the ones I have been using but trust me, they are not. There is a world of difference in how they feel. While I like the Ziplock ones okay, they are really flimsy and I never expected them to last me a long period of time. The ELB ones are made significantly better (and they have a cool colored lid!)


Nothing in these lunches that you can't really identify except maybe the things in with the cookies. Those are little cookies and cream bites I found at the grocery store... .10 a box so I figured I could give them a try.

Much as I like the ELB containers, you can see I use a plain ole Sterilite container for Greg's lunch. His watermelon is a Glad disposable container and his ranch dressing is in a little container that used to hold finger paints (found 4 finger paint tubs at the Dollar Store marked down to .50. I got them, dumped the paint and washed them out well and they work beautifully)

I like cute so I do go find the cute picks, the sandwich cutters and all that but you don't have to. The kids will eat their lunch without them but I have noticed they eat their lunch much better if it is packed in these containers.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Panda and Jello

I know I said I was only going to do one post with all lunches for the week on it but I got some neato things in the mail and just have to share them. First up is the most adorable Bento box in the world.

This was actually purchased for Rhys but Kaitlyn said she wanted to use it so she gets to use it first. I do have a piggy and frog on the way though.

Second up are these silicone freezer pop molds. I can now do my own go-gurt, jello, pudding, applesauce, frozen smoothie...loads of possibilites.... in these babies. They have a lid on the top to prevent spillage. These have jello in them. Each one holds just under 1/2 cup of jello...a full serving size.

I know it looks like Kaity's box has a pitiful amount of food but she has the same amount that I put in the other lunches. She has a little bit more of the veggie straws.

Lunches September 12-16

The lunches for this week.

Everyone: The muffin is a strawberry cheesecake muffin
Kaitlyn: Food safe markers don't really work well on bread
Everyone: the stuff in waxed paper is homemade fruit leather
Kierynn and Rhys had PBJ "sushi" sandwiches


Kinda a boring looking, skimpy lunch but really wasn't. Those are cheese bites in with the sandwiches, not marshmallows. I promise! I don't object to putting marshmallows in lunches but if I do, they don't get in with the sandwich since they get soggy. The treat is a fortune cookie and 2 mini chocolate chip cookies. Greg went out to lunch yesterday so the lunch I made then was just eaten today.


The pizza lunches were a hit! Iain didn't get one since I didn't know if he would eat it. Rhys didn't use his pizza sauce since he never opened the container and assumed it was ranch dressing. The white stuff is vanilla yogurt with sprinkles. Kaitlyn informed me she does not like using a spoon at school so refrain from packing her things that need a spoon.


Fish sandwiches! No actual fish though, it is PBJ


Electric blue jello jigglers. I see why I only had 1 packet of that flavor. The babybel cheese were a mixed success. Cute but not everyone liked them. Iain got his pizza and wants one every day from now on. Somehow, I can't see that happening.

Lunches September 6-9

I post these on facebook but here is all of them for the week.


First day of school! I thought they were a little too beige, I need to work on getting some more color into them.

Greg: PBHoney, carrots, grapes, apples and a honey stix
Rhys and Kierynn: PB, carrots, cheese, apples, bunny crackers and 3 cake bites
Iain: cheese sandwich is the only difference
Kierynn: PB, cheese stick, bunny crackers, cake bites, Laughing Cow wedge and greek yogurt


Sandwiches are usually the same so I am only going to note things that maybe are not clear from the picture
Greg: the green tub contains ranch salad dressing
The rest of the kids had variations of pickles, cucumbers and carrots based on individual preference. Two like ranch dressing. The brown thing is a piece of fudge that got overcooked and became more like toffee.


Greg: pudding is in the cup
Kaitlyn and Iain: half a PB sandwich
Kierynn and Rhys: It is just bread pieces since I was testing out how the impressions looked.
Iain brought back his pudding, untouched. "Why didn't you eat your pudding?" "I didn't know what it was, I thought it was some weird pickle sauce." Uhm, okay.

There was no school on Friday due to flooding. We knew enough in advance that I didn't make any lunches

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cute Lunch Stuff

I put in an order over at AllThingsForSale and it came in today! They have such cute little accessories for lunches and reasonable prices. No, I really don't need to have panda picks to pack a lunch but lookie how cute they are! Wouldn't that make your lunch more fun to eat?

Here is a picture of the goodies I got.

Starting at the top left are: The little critters are cutters. I can cut sandwiches or cookies with them. They even have a little impression thing so there are details. Way cute! Next are a packet of various picks with veggies on the top. The yellow heart and blue star are egg molds. Guess what is on the stove right now??

Next line: 4 little condiment tubs. I can put a bit of ranch dressing, cream cheese, jelly, peanut butter...whatever in these. In the middle are various animal picks, with 2 panda ones. The musical notes have a bit longer of a pick so will be good for fruits. You can also see why I placed an order to begin with...the adorable panda picks. My mom loved panda bears and to this day, they always make me think of her.

Now seriously, how could anyone not find this stuff so nauseatingly sweet it is enough to make your teeth ache?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Getting Ready for Lunches!

I started doing Bento style lunches, in a way American way, last year. I was using various containers but the ones that everyone seemed to like the best were the Ziplock ones with 3 different sized containers. I liked them too but they are pretty flimsy. Iain went through one in very short order, the lid just breaking and tearing. Since they were $5/2, I decided to not worry too much about it.

As the school year came closer, I once again looked at the containers. I had considered these last year but went with Ziplock instead. This year, I went ahead and ordered a set of Easy Lunchboxes and got each of the kids a cooler for them. I say each of the kids but really, only 4 of the 6 in school. Iain and Rhys got a black cooler, Kierynn the pink (of course!) and Kaitlyn got purple.

For the three younger ones, I found someone who is currently using her machine to embroider their names and designs. Pictures will be posted when they arrive back to me. We also got ice packs to help keep things the proper temperature and some insulated jars to take hot meals during the winter.

I also organized my little cute picks and cutters to be ready for the school year. It looks so cute and pretty and organized. Let's see how long that lasts.

So, I think I am doing fairly well with getting ready to start the lunch making madness. One thing I still was kinda stuck on is drinks.

Pouch drinks (Capri Sun, Kool-Aid, Lemonade etc) are very convenient. They come in a 10 pack for about $2, sometimes less if I find a good sale. I don't have to mess with much, just grab one and toss it in the bag. The down sides are that I think they are basically sugared, flavored water and I don't like the food dyes in them. I can (and do) buy the lower sugar and no dye variety but I am not overly fond of this option. It is $1.20 per day to send pouch drinks.

My other option is to have the kids buy milk. The school system had taken out the HFCS chocolate milk and only plain milk was available. Then they came up with a non HFCS chocolate milk option and it is back on the menu. This option means I would be shelling out $3.60 a day for milk.

After thinking about it for several days and mulling over options, I decided to get some SIGG water bottles, like this one, for the three smaller ones, to send in drinks with them. These are 13 oz, which is actually more than they need to drink but I don't have to fill them up.

Although the cost of the bottles, initially, is a lot, I think in the long run, this is our better option. This also means I can send in just plain ice water too...which they do like to drink. The older three can still take their pouch drink to school. I am hoping that milk will do okay in it and occasionally some lemonade or crystal lite.

So, basically, I have done away with 80% of sandwich bags, paper bags and now 75% of our pouch drinks.

Elizabeth - After

Wow, I had no idea it had been so long since I last updated. In any event, it has not taken this long for Elizabeth to be beautiful again.

It actually only took a few weeks. It would have taken less time had I put her into the sun but I kept her in. Here she is, looking beautiful again!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Until we went to the American Girl Store, I had no idea Kierynn was interested in Elizabeth. She toyed with the idea of getting Elizabeth rather than Kanani but since Elizabeth is retired, the best we could have hoped for was to find one and have her shipped. As it was, there were no stores that had an available Elizabeth so Kanani came home with us.

I started watching eBay and finally found a nice looking Elizabeth at a reasonable price. She arrived today and I found out why she was so reasonable. Her hair is lovely, she has her meet dress but her legs are a bit more floppy than I would like but here is her real issue:

She has ink stains! I am not new to ebay, I should have asked for more pictures but since I didn't, I have to make the best of the situation. I initially only saw the one on her eyebrow but then in better light, I saw the lighter marks under her eyes and on her temple. They look worse in person, truly.

I have her currently undergoing treatment to remove these ink marks (without removing her eyebrow) and hope to post an after picture in a few days.

I have her shirt and socks here. I am not going to worry too much about getting her actual meet ribbon or shoes. I think I make an exisiting pair of shoes look close enough that Kierynn will be happy.

She had a 4 strand braid when she was new, once Elizabeth is looking better, I will braid her hair, redo her pin curls and then she goes away until Christmas.

Rhys has asked me for a brother doll. I have a rewigged Molly that I had planned to use as an Emily era doll but now, this doll will become a brother doll for Rhys. I am contemplating wigs currently to see which will make the best boy for him. He was unimpressed with the Bitty Twin boy doll. I think once the brother doll is in some khaki shorts, hiking boots and a Pokemon shirt, he will look pretty boy like.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spiritual Musing

No one really thinks of running a spiritual thing but for me, it certainly can be. I listen to music when I run. I don't listen to hymns though. I do have hymns on my ipod but I found if I listen to hymns, I start paying more attention to the music and words than to what I am doing. Not always a bad thing but when I am running, I kinda need to pay attention to what is going on around me. Also, most hymns don't really have the kind of beat I need to help me out so I listen to other music.

As I listen to the music, I am not really paying a lot of attention to it. I am aware of it, occasionally a song I really like plays and I remember hearing it but for the most part, it is more background noise. I ran for over 2 hours yesterday and had music on the entire time but I can only remember specifically hearing maybe 5 songs.

So what do I actually think about when I run? Lots of things. I think I spent a few miles thinking about Survivor, what I would do if I were on the show and how it would be. I think about things I need to do or upcoming events. I thought about the wonder of the world and how perfectly Heavenly Father made things. I thought about it being Sunday and that I think running on a glorious morning like yesterday was keeping the Sabbath holy. Yes, really.

Yesterday was a 10 miler and a good portion of the run was spent in thinking about God. You may find it strange that I think about God when I run but there is something about running that makes me contemplate and ponder Heavenly Father, my relationship with him and other spiritual matters.

It is just me and Heavenly Father when I run so I am able to really examine things, ask questions and reflect on all aspects of what I feel and how I am living my life.

One of the things that I reflected on, as I was running, was my relationship with Heavenly Father. Most days, I think it is pretty good. It can always be improved on. At the moment, I think Heavenly Father is carrying the bulk of our relationship more than I am. I know this is a disappointment to him but that he still loves me. I thought about the inequality in our relationship (my fault) and how I could improve it. I know what to do but I was thinking more specifically on things like...what can I do tomorrow, in the next hour, in the next week, to get back to where I know Heavenly Father would be happier with me. It is not really anything difficult, hard or things I don't is things that I push aside to make room for other things because I know it is not that hard. Does that make sense?

So, as was expected, my run came to an end and my silent but heartfelt time with Heavenly Father came to an close.

A few hours later, I was sitting in office of my Bishop (Yes, I did go to church after the run) This is the first time that I have had a meeting with our Bishop since he was called, even though I have known him for several years. This was our first talk where he was in the position of being the head of my ward. We chatted about various things and the basic gist of the conversation was:

Heavenly Father loves you. What do you think you can do to bring yourself closer to Him and how can I help you get there?

Wow, this just blew me away. It may seem like a pretty standard thing to ask but it really did echo so many of the things I had been thinking about just a few hours prior. Bishop B managed to hit on the exact points that I had examined and found lacking and needing work.

Could there be any clearer sign that our Bishop truly is called of God? I don't think he pulled the topic of our conversation out of a hat but that he was prompted by the Holy Spirit to say the exact things I needed to hear and confirmed my earlier talk with Heavenly Father I had running.

I love that I can go talk to my Bishop and not be judged, be offered help or whatever I need and still come away feeling loved by Heavenly Father and that my Bishop wants only the best for me.

So yeah, I am making some changes to help me get back to being the person I know Heavenly Father wants me to be.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jess gets new hair

Back in January, I was looking for an American Girl doll for Kierynn. I put a lowball bid on Jess, Girl of the Year 2006, with a pixie cut that I found on ebay. I then found a nice Samantha on a board for about what my lowball offer was so rather than miss out on Samantha, waiting for the Jess auction to elude me as well, I got Samantha. Imagine my surprise when I found out that I won Jess as well!

Once Jess arrived, her hair was not as bad as I expected and was sorta cute. Kierynn thought it was sorta cute as well and we toyed with the idea of finding someone to trim it into a nice shape. After looking at it closely, I realized that it was cut short enough in places that there was no way to get it into a nice shape.

Through an adventure with a second Jess arriving at our house, this one with long hair, we made the decision to send her in to AG and get her head replaced. (No, I didn't buy a second Jess. The seller I bought Jess from sent me a second Jess by mistake. I contacted her and send that Jess on to her correct owner) It is about $50 to get the head replaced.

On an AG board, someone had a JLY doll wearing the most adorable wig. I knew that was the hair for our Pixie Jess! I found out the details and purchased the wig.

Rewigging is really not difficult but I have never done it. I watched loads of videos and read through tutorials on how to do it. Since it was my first time, I expected that it would be a 2 hour epic struggle, complete with sweating, a few choice words and me vowing to never do it again.

Armed with my tools, I set to work. I carefully soaked her hair line, waited a moment and insert the spoon. Less than 5 minutes later, Jess was totally bald. That was so much easier than expected!

Her new wig is in position and is sitting there for a few days to be sure that this is really how I want it. I may make some minor adjustments but basically, this is how she looks with her new hair. I think it is super cute on her!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I am not overly thrilled with how tonight's lunches look. I didn't realize how much beige/brown there was in this lunch but I also don't want to toss MORE food in there just to color it up some more.

It was no surprise to see that Rhys didn't eat most of his ham and cheese chunks. He did eat one of the picks of them but left the other two. Overall, he ate the vast majority of his lunch so no real complaints.

The "sushi" sandwiches were by request today. I am not sure why they call these sushi sandwiches, I have never made sushi and I don't know that they have ever seen it. In any event, they like it and it is fun for them to eat. I use a rolling pin to flatten a slice of bread, remove the crusts and then after I put peanut butter and jelly on it, the slice is cut in thirds and rolled up.

Kierynn(pink box): strawberries and pineapple, sushi peanut butter, pound cake and granola flower
Rhys (blue box): same thing as Kierynn
Greg: PBH, pistashios, berry mix, grapes, cheese chunks, cookies

Kaitlyn (top): PBJ, granola bar, strawberries and grapes, pound cake
Iain (bottom): Ham, strawberries and pineapple, pound cake, granola star, cheese slices

There may be a bonus set of pictures tomorrow, not sure yet. Kierynn and I are going to the American Girl store in New York on Saturday. We will be having lunch there but I am bringing snacks for us to eat on the bus. Since we can bring a cooler, I am thinking our Ziplock boxes are going to be my best bet for packing. Since it is Kierynn, she is willing to eat a lot of different fruits and veggies.

Clementines, grapes, peppers, carrots and apples will be coming along. I will bring some crackers, a few cookies or semi sweet things and then some sandwiches. I may also bring some ham or turkey rolled up and cheese too. I think we will eat something before we get back on the bus but it is always good to have some snacky stuff. Of course, the downside is that if there is snacky stuff...I will eat it.

Good news was that on Tuesday, I was down 1 lbs. This is good since a few pounds began to creep back on and I really need them to go away.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I *love* those things!

Rhys fairly flew off the bus this afternoon and raced to me, clearly with something incredibly important to tell me.

"I loved those round things you put in my lunch! I want them every day!" I was so not surprised to hear this. The older, more wise to my ways older ones, looked over at him and slowly shook their heads. "She won't do it. I bet we only get them sometimes." My kids really do know me.

Kierynn informed me that she doesn't like raisins. I said I knew that. Then she wanted to know why I put some in her lunch. I told her they were blueberry flavored craisins and after she tried a few at home, she ate the ones she had left in her lunch box. Let's keep Monday's chocolate covered raisins a secret, shall we? She thought they were just soft chocolate chips.

When I opened boxes to clean them out, I found that Rhys actually didn't eat most of his lunch. Oh, he ate the "good stuff" (sandwich, chips and donuts) but left everything else. His lunch for tomorrow is a bit smaller and we will see how it goes.

As predicted, Ryan asked me to back off on the jelly since I put too much for him. Gah, what did I let myself in for?

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to just make 5 lunches and not worry about kid A doesn't like apple so if I cut an apple, kid B gets apple too since she will eat it, Kid C doesn't like cheese cut so don't cut the stick, Kid D will eat strawberries and most fruits but not apples and so on and so on. So why do I do it? 'Cause they are cute and I love them to bits! Seriously, they won't see it now but when they open their lunch each day, I am telling them how much I love them and how much they mean to me. One day, in the far distant future, they will look back and clearly hear me say "I love you!" when they think of their lunches. They won't remember that I put them in strange containers or made patterns on their sandwiches but theywill remember I took the time to make a lunch specifically for them. Okay, sappy moment over...on to the pictures!

Kaitlyn (upper left): PBJ, entire cheese stick since apparently one cut into pieces is somehow faulty, grapes, chocolate chip muffin, fruit shapes
Iain (lower left): ham and cheese chunks, crackers, grapes, chocolate chip muffin, fruit shapes. I had enough room that I put his drink in there too.
Greg (right): PBH, grapes, cheese chunks, pistachios, mixed berries and grapes. Not pictured are his cookies and his mini a separate bag.

Kierynn and Rhys: They pretty much have the same thing, Kierynn has more apple slices. ham and cheese chunks, crackers, chocolate chip muffin, fruit shapes, apples.

Since Rhys didn't eat his apples in his previous lunch, I am trying cutting them into chunks and sticking a pick in it. He usually is more willing to eat something if it has a pick in it. I ordered some Pokemon cupcake picks and we will see how they work. I think they may be too large but will know for sure when they get here.
I put their drinks in the lower tier of the box.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cold, not warm

I finally figured out why Kierynn seems to be having an issue with cheese in her lunch. She eats cheese normally with no problem. When I am making something with a block of cheese, she asks for a chunk. I just could not figure out what the problem was. I let her know the cheese in her lunch today was the regular cheese that I use (Colby Jack) and expected when she got home, she would be thrilled. Nope. Then she finally TOLD me why she didn't want to eat was warm! She likes her cheese cold and a bit firm. After a little more probing, she said string cheese was fine but no more block cheese. Okay, Miss Picky.

I took two pics of the lunches for today, it is just too much to try to get into one shot.

Kaitlyn (upper left): PBJ, baked cheese crackers, string cheese chunks, blueberry flavored craisins, grapes, apples, granola shapes and a few gummy hearts.
Iain (bottom left): PB, baked cheese crackers, string cheese chunks, blueberry flavored craisins, grapes, apples, donut holes
Kierynn (right): PB, honey, banana sandwich, baked cheese crackers, blueberry flavored craisins, apple slices, donut holes

Rhys (left): See Kierynn's lunch...they have the same thing today.
Greg (right): PB, honey and banana sandwich, grapes, pistachios, cheese, baked cheese crackers, berry mix (blue, black and strawberries), 2 cookies (not in the pic)

Kaitlyn doesn't have donut holes since she is the reason we have them. Her French class is having a party and she is bringing in donut holes. Since she is having them in class, I didn't put any in her lunch. I rarely buy donut holes so the wee ones should be fairly thrilled to see them in their lunches.

After I make lunches, they generally go into a lunch bag and then into the fridge overnight. Rhys and Kierynn just carry theirs or put it in their bag. Here is what they look like, ready to go in the fridge overnight.

After using the new boxes again today, I like that I can put the drink in there. I just need to get some better dividers to keep things from moving too much. Ryan asked me to make his sandwich again. Yesterday, when I asked him, he said he wanted a medium amount of peanut butter. Apparently, his idea of medium and mine differ since he asked me for a lot of peanut butter today. I think I put about 3 times as much as I would normally put on and he said that was okay. Yuck! Glad I am not eating it.

Brownies went very well this evening. We had a Cadette troop come in and lead us. The girls learned about camping, dunk bags, what to bring and then we played several games. We played one from England, Zimbabwe, Japan and the US. This means the girls there earned the Playing Around the World Try It.