Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Today is the end of my 21 day sugar detox!!!! It has been fantastic. I have went 20 and three quarters of a day completely sugar free! 

Explanation: Shannon is the Satan of Sweets. He has been a pretty good partner in this sugar detox, but occasionally he would try and get me to have candy or some treat. I didn't cave. EXCEPT the night that we planned the "gender reveal" I tried to get Shannon to agree to purchasing a baby gender appropriate outfit, wrapping it, and video us opening the outfit to send to my family. Satan of Sweets chose CUPCAKES! Due to videoing error, we ended up needing to reshoot 3 times and therefore we ate 2  cupcakes for the recording. Let me just tell you it was not worth it. I was SO sick. It's weird cause no sugar for 16 days straight and then 2 cupcakes that are heavily frosted= throw up! yuck!

So besides that little hiccup, I have done without honey, maple syrup, store-bought peanut butter, cow's milk, bread, oatmeal, pasta, pre-packaged seasonings, anything packaged or processed, ketchup, salad dressing, store-bought mayo, fruit (aside from one green banana or green apple/day), potatoes, and sugar for 20 and 3/4 days!!!!!! :)

I feel great and it really hasn't been hard. What do I look forward to tomorrow? Honey on my muffins for breakfast! They need a hint of sweetness! :) 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

What am I thankful for? I've had a rough past week and my husband always looks for ways to cheer me up. He sent me the following in a text tonight that truly made me LAUGH OUT LOUD! I'm thankful for a hot husband! :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Name Game

What's in a name? Do you look for a name that's meaningful or unique? Trendy? Firm? Classic? Were you named after an ancestor or close family member? Or were you like me and named out of a baby names book because your awesome mama wanted it to be fun and different!? (I love you Mom AND my name! And thank you for not naming me Tamara or LaToya...they were in the front of my baby book as options.) If you've named a child before, did you take into consideration of how it will suit him or her when elderly? And I even go the other direction as well, there are some names I love for adults that do not seem to suit a child. At the end of the day, does any of this matter? Some say it does. I have actually never really thought about naming my children after someone that I love or have looked up to. I just always wanted my children's names to be different and unique. Hence Keshlyn and Kyden. (totally not good grandparent's names though...)

Their names do have meaning to me. Keshlyn is inspired from my name. Jolee is spelled that way because my middle name is Lee and I have always loved the French language. I took a couple years in college and would love to be fluent someday. Jolie means pretty. And I thought that was fitting for my pretty little girl.

Kyden has his name because I always thought the name Kye or Kai was a great boy's name. But I didn't want to just name him Kye. I am a nickname person or a name shortener...which to some may be annoying. I like to call people by shorter names (i.e. Jennifer = Jen, Jessica= Jess, Debbie= Debs etc.) I tacked on "den" to make it longer. And I wanted to spell his shortened name "Ky" because of my love for my home state of Kentucky.

So if you missed the news from my last blog post and video we are having a...


I like the idea of naming her after my two grandmothers. They were very influential to me growing up. Shannon loves the idea of naming her after someone we love but just doesn't like the sound of the name that I had picked out.  He vetoed me. 

SO.....needless to say I have no other ideas. I told him he is in charge of naming this little lady. He is taking on the challenge. He has offered 2 names. I like them but am unsure if  they're "it." I like having a few options though so we can decide when we see her cute little face.

Keshlyn has been very clear on her name choice. She says her sister is to be named "Cinderella." 

If you do not want my child to be named Cinderella or Kenya, please provide some name ideas for this lady in pink! :) 

Friday, November 16, 2012


Gender Reveal Parties? Fun or lame? Well of course it's kind of lame and cheesy...but that's how I roll. I'm so glad that I had planned a tiny little reveal dinner party for tonight at a friend's house in Vegas, stayed up late to make a cute little "Bow or Beau" banner and cut out lots of mustaches and pink bows (Thanks, Collett for the help)...ONLY TO WAKE UP this morning to a Keshlyn with CONJUNCTIVITIS! 

Look at my sad, sweet girl! And then come to find out my friend Jennifer (host of the gender reveal event) was awakened by the same thing by her little boy this morning! Except her poor Cole had pink eye in both eyes. Needless to say, we had to cancel the night. I was super bummed (mainly because I needed some adult interaction).  

But I still wanted my family in Kentucky to receive the news in a fun way, so we decided to tell them with cupcakes and a video. We were super giggly because it took us THREE TRIES to get it right. (*ahem, we won't blame the operator at all....because she didn't have it recording the first The frosting was so rich that it made us sick to eat it on the third take, so Shannon went with pretending. He's such a good actor. *cough* Take a gander. 

It's A.....

Sorry the video is so was done on the phone.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Good advice...

I so needed to read this! Soon I will be a mother of 3! And to say that it FREAKS me out is an understatement. I had such a rough adjustment from 1 to 2 that it makes me feel incredibly inadequate to be a mother and anxiety certainly sets in if I let it. I realized just how easy it was to be a mom of one child...

and now I'm afraid I'm about to see how much easier it was to be a mom of 2 than 3! LOL :)

 I try to be pretty positive and push fear out of my mind. Sometimes that works and sometimes it fades back in...if you are a mother that's struggling with juggling children and especially if you are expecting, read this mother's (of 6) honest, truthful, and inspiring advice.

P.S. You know when I explained how clumsy I am and my little mishap with the homemade mayo? It splattered everywhere and I had to start over? Yeah...well....I was putting away my little mayo jar from using it and I dropped it it slipped from my hands, fell to the tile floor, and shattered. Glass flew... and consequently so did the mayo. Back to the drawing board...AGAIN! Grrr. Darn my clumsiness!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Greatest Fear

At this point in my life, my greatest fear is that life won't get any better. I know fear itself can be debilitating but when you feel you're doing the best you can to make the best of a situation and see no results from it, fear sinks even deeper. You always hope change is for the better, but sometimes it just may be for the worse...

just my thoughts today.

P.S. Still doing great on the Sugar Detox! If you want to know more about it, go here.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fa La La

Are you feeling the Holiday Spirit yet? I am already in Christmas mode because you see, I travel to Kentucky in the middle of December so I don't have as much time as most to get gifts ready for family and especially to prepare my advent calendar: Random Acts of Christmas Kindness. I talked about it last year in a post here. 

Would you like to keep Christmas centered more on Christ and living your month of December full of service like He did daily? If so, here are several ways you could create an advent calendar based around service. 

What I did was create tags and then we would hang them on the tree once the service was completed. I loved it because at the end of the season our tree was filled with "service." I put the date and the service to be performed on one side of the tag and then on the other side, a scripture about Christ and/or service that we would read in the morning when Keshlyn pulled out the tag for the day. It was like a quick little devotional.

Sorry for the cruddy pictures, but this is just to give you an idea of what I did. My tags were assorted green, red, and cream. Thank you Cricut for making cutting tags so fast and easy! A punch would work great too.

These tags are laminated so that I can use them year after year but the side with the service is taped on. This is so I can take it off and redo the services each year. I look forward to some new ones!

On to the calendar ideas...These links are not to "service calendars" but they're cute ways you could display a calendar with cards, tags, or slips of paper that list a service/Random Act of Christmas Kindness to be done that day. 

option 1.
Socks. This is the one I want to do...easy and cute. I am hoping to find enough before the first of December so that I can use this calendar.

option 2.
This is the one I made last year because I was too crunched for time to go out and search for the socks...however this took much more time that I though it would due to all of the detailed scrapbooking. It requires a lot of scrapbooking embellishments/paper and may not be the best choice if you don't already have it on hand like I did or if you're looking for something quick and simple.

option 3.
If you don't care what days you do what could totally just do something cute and simple like this one. Make up all your service cards or tags (whatever you want to do) and put them in a glass jar to pull one each day until Christmas. I can't do something like this because I choose services on certain days for a reason (i.e. one that takes more time on the weekend, ones that I can do while in Kentucky, etc...) When you click on this link, you'll have to scroll down just a bit to see the jar display idea.

option 4.
This one is super cute and simple. Brown paper bags made cute with a little ribbon and cutesie numbers. (Psst. the numbers are printable from the site! So all you would have to do is get cardstock, make sure you have colored ink, and print them all out and attach to to the paper bag.)

option 5.
Another cute paper bag calendar idea. Read through this link because this is actually the site that helped me develop the whole thing last year. She actually provides a printable as well that I used. It is a card that you leave with your service or give to the person you're doing the random kindness for. It's really cute. You'll see what I mean.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sugar Detox Update

Day 6 here on sugar detox! Shannon and I are doing fabulous. It surprises me that I don't miss fruit. I mean REALLY surprises me since I am a fruit LOVER. Fruit is what I snack on all day long every day. But, because of this 21 day sugar detox, I am limited to 1 green-tipped banana or granny smith apple, and 1 sweet potato a day. I shockingly have not cheated. I thought I would end up eating more green apples a day, but I haven't. I have been forced to turn to more nuts for snacking as well as carrots, celery and almond butter (homemade), grape tomatoes, roasted veggies etc...

Have you ever tried jicama? It's a Mexican root vegetable that is slightly sweet and has the texture somewhere between that of a raw potato or apple. It is pretty good. I was surprised. It is a great pair for  homemade guacamole. Good snack.

I have always drank almond milk but when needing a snack at night or craving "milk" I had to have the real thing. I wonder why? Cow's milk is super sweet! I have been drinking almond milk exclusively and haven't missed cow's milk. I feel great. I don't feel deprived and I'm being honest. Because I'm eating more vegetables and protein, I feel satisfied after eating. And because I haven't been eating sugar, I don't crave or want sugar. It's been such a neat experience and shocking too. I really thought I would have a harder time not having anything sweet.  

I never realized how much sugar (even natural) is in EVERYTHING we eat (recipes) and buy. Here have been some of the shockers for me at the grocery store: some salsa, peppers in adobo sauce (extremely spicy...ticks me off they would put sugar in it!), most brands of chicken and beef broth, Lawry's Seasoning Salt, Cavender's seasoning (greek seasoning)... Prepackaged seasoning mixtures are almost always full of junk. So, I'm learning to make my own seasoning mixtures. 

I LOVE pork chops. Grilled or baked pork chops are the way to my heart. Seriously. And my favorite seasoning for them? Cavender's Greek Seasoning. Because I can't use it, I looked up a recipe to alter and make my own. 

2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

I splashed the pork with some beef broth (without any sugar!) and then sprinkled the mixture above on it. Baked it up and it was incredible. I served with roasted brussel sprouts, bacon, and apple tossed with red wine vinegar. Favorite meal this past week. 

For most people, breakfast includes something sweet. Most people don't do just eggs every morning. And I'm not different. We would usually have a fruit/spinach smoothie for breakfast because it is sweet. Breakfast has been the most difficult to get creative with but this morning was a definite success. Make these muffins as written and I bet they're delicious, but because I'm on this detox I altered it a little and ate it with warm coconut butter. 

  • 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup raisins (omit on sugar detox)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds
  • 1/4 cup honey (replace with 1 smashed green-tipped banana on sugar detox)
  • 1/8 cup shredded carrot
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
I devoured 2 muffins right away. Favorite breakfast so far. 

On another note: happy day of voting...

Friday, November 2, 2012

Clumsy Feet

Picture challenge- November 2: shoes

These are our kicks for working out.
I do like my chucks even though I want to buy a pair of Inov-8's for workouts that involve any running.

Those feet cause me a lot of problems. You want to know one thing I really can't stand about myself? How clumsy I am!!!! It makes me angry and sometimes (like today) it makes me cry. I can try to be the most careful Keshia ever and sometimes it just doesn't pan out. I constantly drop things, run into walls, and stub my toe. Shannon says he "pulled a Keshia" whenever he does something clumsy. Good thing he's pretty...

Today I was making some homemade mayo and in transit of taking the food processor bowl off the machine I dropped it and it splatters everywhere. :( I had to start over. And if you've ever made mayo, it is a little tricky. It takes patience because you have to mix the oil and egg slowly to create an emulsion. If you go too quickly, it will never become the consistency of mayonnaise. I cried. At least it did turn out good in the end. It makes yummy egg salad...which we devoured at lunch time.

Why did I cry earlier because of my spill? Is it because I'm hormonal and pregnant? Maybe...but I doubt it because I cry every now and then when I'm clumsy and not pregnant. I cry because I'm angry with myself. Earlier this morning I made coconut flour muffins for breakfast and spilled coconut flour. Seriously! The powder flew. Ugh.

Oh well. The muffins were yummy with some coconut butter spread on top. If you've never experienced coconut butter you are missing out! (My mother-in-law loves this stuff! *wink wink)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy November 1st: Hello Sugar Detox

Happy November! 

I love this month. Normally, I have a little decorative tin can that sits out all month along with some little note cards for us to add something we're grateful for every time we walk by and think of something. Keshlyn even got into it last year. Then, on Thanksgiving night we read them all. It was quite rewarding last year. This year, my tin can is all packed up in storage. *tear. So, we'll just wing it. But, today, I'm grateful for my wonderful MIL allowing us to live in her home for free until we get into our rental in January. 

Normally, I don't do the whole picture a day thing, but my best gal, Jilly-o, challenged me to a picture a day with her this month. She text me the following: 

So here we are. Day 1. Picture of me...and my love. Isn't he so handsome? I just love his smile...and the scruff. I LOVE the scruff. 

Do you ever feel like your body is telling you something? Like you need more water? You need more sleep? You need more exercise? You need less sugar? 

I totally feel like I understand my body's needs. I'm a pretty healthy gal. We eat clean most every day. But, I also love to bake from scratch. So, that presents a problem once I get on a roll. The good thing is I bake, we test, and I give away. It's fun for me. This past seems we have tested a lot of treats. My body is SO done! I need a break. 

I am always intrigued with reading about many things, but this is especially true with health and I am a FIRM believer in eating clean. There's some good info over at about sugar and all of the different types you can find on a label in all of the processed, packaged foods as well as what it does to your body (there's a lot more symptoms besides just weight-gain, people.) I also LOVE the site Julie Bauer is fun to follow. She's funny and inspiring. She recently did a 21 day sugar detox (did wonders for her her chronic acne...she also cut out nuts).  I bought the little booklet, read up and decided November 1st to Thanksgiving would be the perfect time to do it. Shannon was totally on board. My body is in desperate need of a detox right now. I'm following the detox pretty closely, but I'm not ruling out having a little more fruit like berries or an extra green apple if I feel like "the baby" I needs it. This sugar detox eliminates all sugar (artificial-which I would never use anymore. I have evolved from a couple years ago- and natural alike). No honey, no pure maple syrup, no carbs, no fruit! Ok, ok. It allows 1 green-tipped banana OR 1 green apple a day. That's it. Today Shannon and I did pretty good, but if we end up eating a little more fruit I won't mind. As long as we are eating clean and not doing any other "sweets." We started out with Pumpkin Pancakes (made from pumpkin and eggs and some spices), had a salad with homemade dressing and grilled chicken for lunch, carrots for a snack, garlic lemon chicken with steamed veggies for dinner and "chocolate pudding" for dessert... 

This chocolate pudding is actually pretty darn good. It's coconut milk, avocado, 1 green-tipped banana, pure cocoa powder, and pure vanilla all blended together. Then I froze it. YUM! Perfect treat while blogging.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Day of Sugar!

Trick or Treat!? Happy Day of Sugar! 

Keshlyn enjoyed going door to door to get candy! She was funny because she told us we weren't allowed to go to the door with her. We had to wait over to the side.  "I can do it all by myself!" She was done after two little neighborhoods (which I was glad. Less junk. Knowing her mama, this will last her until next October...) It was a brief adventure.

Ky, he enjoyed being pushed around in the stroller and we didn't hear a peep out of him. He enjoyed a few smarties along the way. He thought he was big time. Easy to please.

Rewind a few hours...

I love homemade chicken tortilla soup. I decide to make a pot. I begin prepping for dinner. Chicken thighs are boiling. I am chopping onion, garlic and jalapeño peppers. Chopping happily, I wonder, "why do people wear gloves when handling jalapeños? I don't know."

I throw them in a pan with some olive oil to sauté. I rinse my hands. I have an eye itch. I rub the corner of my eye. A few seconds pass..."I think my eye is stinging. No. Wait. Yes it is stinging..." A few more seconds pass..."No, my eye is on fire!!!!" I dance around in a circle, run in the bathroom. I splash water in my eye and grab a towel. I soak it and start patting and squeezing water into my eye. It's not satisfying the burn. I grab a cup of water and start rinsing my eye. Oh so slightly- relief comes. Still feels like a match is being held to my eyeball. While holding a wet towel to one eye, I manage to google on my phone, "what to do when jalapeno is in my eye!" It pops up. I can't read it. Still rinsing my eye. My paramedic husband returns home from running an errand. Finally. 
Me: "I need your help."
Shan: "Nope"
Me: "Seriously. Read my phone. "
Shan: As he starts to scan my phone and reads that using whole milk to rinse when jalapeno juice gets in your eye, he begins to kind of laugh and says, 
"Oh you have pepper in your eye? Rinse it with milk. I just dumped a whole glass of milk on a big burly guy's head last week because he was crying like a baby from being pepper sprayed in the face." 


I poured milk into my eye and sure enough, after a few rinses the burning began to subside. SO...what did I learn?! 1) Don't ever ask a question you don't REALLY want to know experience the answer to, 2) jalapeños will burn your eye like a mother, mother,

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fat Feet

Look at those chubby yummy feet! I like to eat his toes. Finding shoes for this little guy is difficult. He can't wear most of the cute sandals out there because they're too tight on his feet and leave blisters. Dress shoes are hard too because they are too narrow. And even if they do fit ok, kid shoes seem to never stay on. They often slip off while he's running.

So I have discovered a solution for an everyday shoe for him that I love.

Skidders! I love them because the top part is like a sock, so it stretches to fit his big feet and best of all- because it's like a sock- they stay on great!

Have you found any other good brand of shoes for little chubby toddler feet?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Morning Funny!

My best friend, Jillian, sent this to me this morning because she thought her Mormon, Kentucky born- and-raised friend would get a kick out of it. I did. Made me laugh. (Even though I happen to have some very different political views from Romney on some still made me laugh)

I quite enjoyed watching the speeches via YouTube of both President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney at the Al Smith dinner. It was fun and refreshing to see them both not take themselves so seriously and to be able to crack jokes at each other in a tasteful way. Haven't seen it? Need a little laugh if you're following the debates and geared up for election? Obama's speech here, and Romney's here.

Other side notes:

1. Our voting system bugs me. No wonder people become apathetic and don't vote...because people are so confused by the electoral college and if their vote really "counts." Regardless of who wins the popular vote in a particular state, that state may or may not require the appointed electoral to even vote with the majority of the state! What!? So then why did we vote? Just for fun!? (Same thing for the caucus I participated in here in NV... our vote really didn't matter.) The candidate who receives the most votes nationwide does not necessarily become president. That blows my mind...I wish the voting system was more straightforward.

 2. What really bothers me is the fact that there are 4 tickets for president...but we only get commercial after commercial and televised debates of 2 of these. What is wrong with this picture? That only the wealthy truly get the support and publicity to run? Only the wealthy make good leaders? I know it takes money to run for president, it just seems so unfair that others who could be great candidates don't stand a chance. I would have loved to have seen debates including the other two. Looks like there's an illusion via media to believe the the general GOP and Democrat ideals are the only ones that exist or far from true.

3. Dear Gary Johnson, ( you would have had my vote if it wasn't for your stand on certain "civil rights" (namely legalizing all abortion. Period. I can understand certain circumstances like rape, threat to mother's health, etc, but for personal or social convenience, no way- and especially not on tax money as it can be now. I disagree simply because my belief is as yours that life is precious and needs to be protected. But our difference is that I believe that a baby is a human life too...even before medically defined "fetal viability".) Man! How I wish Ron Paul was on the ballot...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Costume Preview

You know me. I'm a sucker for a deal. When I found myself at party city a while ago with clearanced costumes at $5 each I went for it. And it just so turned out that the clearance costumes facilitated a family theme: The Wizard of Oz.

Shan is the Tin Man and the size is 12-14! :) I'm going to have fun making that one work...i actually don't think it will be too hard. I'm so glad that my husband is a good sport and just plays along!

The only size of the scarecrow they had was 3T. Ky is 15 months. But I knew I could make it work. So I'm working on it right now. This is the original fit on him right this second...huge! He is so adorable if I do say so myself.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Grammy brought home some addition and subtraction flashcards today for Princess. We have been working on addition but only on worksheets with counting pictures or with other objects. We have not, however, looked at addition in a mathematical layout like these cards. Because they were adorned with Disney princesses, Keshlyn insisted over and over that we do "Learning time." I quickly explained to her that she was not ready for those cards yet. I said, "You wouldn't even understand what the card was asking if I showed you."

Keshlyn: "yes I will!"

Just to prove a point to my three-year-old I decided to hold up a flashcard. I said, "fine. what is 6 plus one?"

Keshlyn looking me straight in the eye, "7"

Astonished, I held up another flashcard.

Me: "What's 1 +3?"
Keshlyn without hesitation: "4"

I thought I was going to pee my pants I just couldn't believe it!

Then I held up a third card 0+0. She tapped her finger on her chin with a look of focus and processing and finally said, "8?"

Then I knew we were back to normal. Those darn zeroes are tough. ;)

Another tidbit from tonight...

Tonight during family scripture study, we talked about how Christ will come again.

Me: "Aren't you excited to see Jesus again?"
Keshlyn: "yeah! But when I was a baby in your tummy, I saw Jesus."
Keshlyn continues as she throws her hand up casually in a slight wave. "I said, 'Hey Jesus'."

The way she said it was as if she was saying, "what up?"

I just LOVE her comments!

New Toy!

Want to see what I'm stoked about!? My new purchase yesterday...drum roll please.....

An olive oil sprayer! ( my husband really thought I was cheesy that I was so excited but loves that it's all about the little things for me.) it can also be used for vinegars and lemon juice.

I have been wanting one for a long time. So when I discovered there was a 20% off coupon for bed bath and beyond at my disposal, I snatched this baby up for $8.

I love the convenience of Pam but avoid it because of all the extra "stuff" and chemicals in the can. Now I can use the olive oil I already buy, put it in my sprayer, and voila! My very own "Pam," but now healthier for clean eating! Love it!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wardrobe Essential Shoes!

Do you ever feel lost with your wardrobe? I love fashion and trendy clothing, but I feel like my taste is changing as I get older. I feel more comfortable in classy clothing. I was trying to figure out what I truly needed in my closet for classic basics and I didn't know where to start. So I did some research and found this amazing book : The Style Checklist: The Ultimate Wardrobe Essentials for You (Lloyd Boston). You should definitely follow its advise.

One of the things I've been looking for is nude heels. It is so hard for me as a pasty gal to find the right nude color. They're always too tan next to my flesh until yesterday! I found (Thanks Jess) a beautiful pair of nude heels ( Antonio Melani) that look good on my feet. I think. Where did I find these shoes? Goodwill.

If you don't know this about me, one of my favorite past times is going to garage sales and thrift shops. It's so exciting to see what I can find, clean up, or redo. (Thanks Jennifer and Jessica for being my partners in crime). We spent pretty much the entire day at garage sales and then at Goodwill. We found some great stuff. Always love a good deal!

Friday, October 12, 2012


At first this was my exciting Friday night plans:

Myself. Sitting on the couch in a comfy sweatshirt. Until...Prince Charming stepped in and decided to keep me company.

Isn't my date handsome? :) I heart him.

Touchy Subject

Was anyone else annoyed by the VP debate the other night? I was. For a few reasons, but I won't get into that.

Politics! There. I said it. It's almost Halloween so I figured it's appropriate to scare you! For some, it's about the equivalent of saying, "Boo!" It's a scary topic that they would rather run away from. Everyone hates politics right? Ok, not everyone. But it seems that so many people are so uncomfortable about disagreeing with someone else's political views that many would rather never talk about it. And many still hate the whole "political world" so much that they don't even care to research and learn about the Constitution and the foundation of our great country. I don't like arguments on heated issues either but I feel it is my duty to this country to educate myself and be active in my support of those candidates and leaders who are pursuing the protection of correct principles and rights.

Here are some sources that have molded my views on a few specifics.

"Assume, for example, that we were farmers, and that we received a letter from the government telling us that we were going to get a thousand dollars this year for plowed up acreage. But rather than the normal method of collection, we were to take this letter and collect $69.71 from Bill Brown, at such and such an address, and $82.47 from Henry Jones, $59.80 from a Bill Smith, and so on down the line; that these men would make up our farm subsidy. “Neither you nor I, nor would 99 percent of the farmers, walk up and ring a man’s doorbell, hold out a hand and say, ‘Give me what you’ve earned even though I have not.’ We simply wouldn’t do it because we would be facing directly the violation of a moral law, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ In short, we would be held accountable for our actions.” (James R. Evans, “The Glorious Quest")

“With all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens – a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it had earned.” (Thomas Jefferson, Works 8:3)

“England was killed by an idea: the idea that the weak, indolent and profligate must be supported by the strong, industrious, and frugal – to the degree that tax-consumers will have a living standard comparable to that of taxpayers; the idea that government exists for the purpose of plundering those who work to give the product of their labor to those who do not work. The economic and social cannibalism produced by this communist-socialist idea will destroy any society which adopts it and clings to it as a basic principle – ANY society.” (Dan Smoot, Former FBI agent, 1968).

"Leaving aside, for a moment, the question of the divine origin of rights, it is obvious that a government is nothing more or less than a relatively small group of citizens who have been hired, in a sense, by the rest of us to perform certain functions and discharge certain responsibilities which have been authorized. It stands to reason that the government itself has no innate power or privilege to do anything. Its only source of authority and power is from the people who have created it. This is made clear in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, which reads: "WE THE PEOPLE... do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Suppose pioneer "A" wants another horse for his wagon, He doesn't have the money to buy one, but since pioneer "B" has an extra horse, he decides that he is entitled to share in his neighbor's good fortune, Is he entitled to take his neitake his neighbor's horse? Obviously not! If his neighbor wishes to give it or lend it, that is another question. But so long as pioneer "B" wishes to keep his property, pioneer "A" has no just claim to it.
If "A" has no proper power to take "B's" property, can he delegate any such power to the sheriff? No. Even if everyone in the community desires that "B" give his extra horse to "A", they have no right individually or collectively to force him to do it. They cannot delegate a power they themselves do not have."
A category of government activity which, today, not only requires the closest scrutiny, but which also poses a grave danger to our continued freedom, is the activity NOT within the proper sphere of government. No one has the authority to grant such powers, as welfare programs, schemes for re-distributing the wealth, and activities which coerce people into acting in accordance with a prescribed code of social planning. There is one simple test. Do I as an individual have a right to use force upon my neighbor to accomplish this goal? If I do have such a right, then I may delegate that power to my government to exercise on my behalf. If I do not have that right as an individual, then I cannot delegate it to government, and I cannot ask my government to perform the act for me.
To be sure, there are times when this principle of the proper role of government is most annoying and inconvenient. If I could only FORCE the ignorant to provided for themselves, or the selfish to be generous with their wealth! But if we permit government to manufacture its own authority out of thin air, and to create self-proclaimed powers not delegated to it by the people, then the creature exceeds the creator and becomes master. Beyond that point, where shall the line be drawn? Who is to say "this far, but no farther?" What clear PRINCIPLE will stay the hand of government from reaching farther and yet farther into our daily lives? We shouldn't forget the wise words of President Grover Cleveland that "... though the people support the Government the Government should not support the people." (P.P.N.S., p.345) We should also remember, as Frederic Bastiat reminded us, that "Nothing can enter the public treasury for the benefit of one citizen or one class unless other citizens and other classes have been forced to send it in." (THE LAW, p. 30; P.P.N.S., p. 350)

 The previous excerpt is from a MUST read: The Proper Role of Government by Ezra Taft Benson, Former Secretary of Agriculture. The Eisenhower Administration. I believe his literature on politics and government is timely and dead-on. I have the greatest respect for his works.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

An Apple a Day...

Keeps the doctor away? What will 10 apples a day do for me?! Cause that was probably my consumption yesterday. I love honey crisp apples. I kind of have a thing for them. They're so delicious but I hate paying $2.99/lb for them. So what did I do? Buy them in bulk- 40 lb box- .81/lb. I've put quite a dent in them since Saturday...

I am drying lots. Good thing this baby has 10 trays! Thanks Grandma Cooper for loaning it to me.

 I did a batch yesterday which almost filled up 2 canisters this size...and this is all that's left. Can you say, "addicting?"

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Big Sister

Keshlyn loves to help her little brother. I got them out of the bathtub and put a diaper on Ky. Kesh did the rest...

Apparently this is the latest thing little boys are wearing to bed...according to 3 year olds.

When I removed the leg warmers and socks she scolded, "mom! Where's ky's

Personal Attachment

Do you ever have a moment where you realize how grateful you are for something specific? Even something easily overlooked?

Today, I had a little tender mercy. A friend who now lives in Spokane, WA came into town in Overton and decided to come visit me. She wanted to see how I was doing and expressed she had been worried about me and how I was managing since the move. We don't speak weekly or often even due to crazy lives so far apart but I do adore her. I wish we had the opportunity to visit more often. I'm so thankful for her thoughtfulness and the time she took out of her day to check in on me. It meant the world to me. Thanks, Jenae!

Her small service today made me realize how grateful I am for those who have had a personal attachment to me by feelings of affection: friends.

There are different kinds of friends. Some may use the term loosely to anyone he/she may be friendly with. I consider these acquaintances. I'm grateful for those as well. But a friend, to me , is someone who over the years in some way or another has reached out to me, cared about me individually, thought about me and acted upon it, checked in with me, uplifted me, and/or influenced me for the better. I, of course, try to do the same. It's definitely a 2 way street.

Friends are funny things sometimes. When you're younger, you can't live without them. When you're married, your best friend is now your husband. And many women and men do away with friends altogether. Both my husband and I still find friends very valuable. I still desire to keep, make, and maintain girlfriends because there's only so much my husband wants to hear about new fun crafts I'm going to try from pinterest or my latest makeup discovery! :)

Now that I'm in Logandale I've truly been missing my handful of good friends from Vegas who have always been there. It takes time to be a good friend and to forget yourself and think about someone else. It takes time and effort to try and make someone else's day. A thoughtful phone call or card can sometimes mean everything to someone. I admit at times I find myself needing to do better as well. I do try to be a good friend to others. I find that the effort results in a meaningful and fulfilling friendship. So, here's to all of you who have influenced me, made me laugh, dropped in to say hi, gotten to know me and cared about me individually: I love you for it. I thank you. I'm forever indebted to you. I look forward to serving you more fully in the future.

In honor of friendship- here are a few pictures below. If I went back to the beginning of my memory, I would have MANY more pictures to post of friends that have been dear to me. But for now, I only have pics from the years of married life on my new computer.

My very best friend,
Thanks for loving me unconditionally and supporting me no matter what!

My Mumsie,
Thank you for all the support, laughs, and love any friend could ever hope for. A mother is the ultimate friend. You have always, without fail, believed in me. I love you so much.

 Mamaw Shirley,
Thanks for your wonderful example and guidance.

Mamaw 'Nita, 
Thanks for the wonderful friendship in my younger years. You helped some of my dreams come true.

Bobby, Dukes, Megs, Jake, Jill,
Thanks for some great memories on the lake! I will cherish them forever.

Thanks for being there for me at all times..even if you did wear the same stinky ol' hat forever! :)

 Jill, & Laura,
Thanks for the long nights of fun, laughter, and support. Together we grew.

Our friendship has continued to grow over the years. I never needed a sister because I have you. You are a special person in my life that I can never ever forget! Thank you for caring about me even though we are so far apart. It goes to show that true friendship can last no matter the bumps in the road and the distance between us. 

Mander Bananer,
Thanks for letting me be me without any apologies. You get me. You always make me laugh. 

Thanks for being a big sister to me. You always have the best advice.

Erin, Kira, Holly, 
Thanks for some good times and laughs. Laughter is one of my favorite past-times.

 Sweet Megs,
Thanks for all the times you stopped by because you felt inspired. Thanks for the wonderful card from some time ago that contained a clipping from a magazine with a quote that is still pinned on my bulletin board. It counseled me to just try my best and realize that's all I can do. Thanks for all of the encouraging conversations and for letting me be quirky, opinionated, crazy me!

Thanks for being real. A real person and a real friend. Someone who is honest and caring and so non-judgmental. You are selfless and willing to be a listening ear anytime I need. Thanks for being my crafty friend and for passing on some of your wisdom. Thanks for making me laugh. "bahamas!" And thanks for agreeing to be a Junk Gypsy with me once our kids are older...if they ever get older. :) 

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Ick Factor

I'm a parent. I can't believe I'm a mom of 2 1/2 children and the wife of a hunky husband. When did I become a grown up? Some may argue that I still haven't...

When you're a mom/ parent your days become filled with new kinds of laughter, frustrations and lack of bodily control...

Scenario 1: Keshlyn wanted a snack. She went to the pantry, climbed on the step stool and grabbed the bulk size peanut butter jar. She got herself a spoon and climbed up to the table to chow down. One spoonful of peanut butter after another filled her tummy with an afternoon snack. Of course she gets some on her fingers and face. She's 3. After snack time and her own attempt to wipe herself off (she did a pretty decent job) she ran by me and I noticed a little leftover on her cheek. I quickly grab her arm and swing her back around to me. (Mommy reflexes become lightning fast.) I did the only thing any mother would do- take my finger wipe it off her cheek ad lick my finger. I love peanut butter! Too bad it wasn't peanut butter. I noticed it had a slightly different texture. I smacked my lips a bit, deciphering the differences. Stickier. Slimy even. As I looked at my finger where I felt a little leftover, it became very clear that it was...snot. Yum. She apparently has listened to Daddy too often when he tells her just to wipe her nose with the back of her hand which then smears it across her face. Hmph. Men.

Scenario 2: Ky has a fascination with brushing his teeth. Cute? Absolutely. Also frustrating. Keshlyn (and *cough* perhaps sometimes me too) forgets and leaves the bathroom door open. Ky discovers it often throughout the day and sneaks in, grabs my toothbrush- not his- and does some fun things with it. Scrubs his teeth, the floor, the power outlets, and the toilet. That's right. I caught him red handed with my toothbrush in the toilet, splashing merrily in the water. Filled. With. Poop. And pee. Thanks Keshlyn. Gag.

Scenario 3: being a mommy is great. Really, it is. But I'm on baby three and my goods aren't gonna get any better. I've been stricken with an awful cold this past weekend. Hacking, sneezing, sore throat, runny eyes... Blah. I realized that I was feeling quite accomplished if after coughing or blowing my nose didn't cause me to pee my big girl undies. Ok. Just a dribble. But still! I feel like a granny. A coughing attack means a trip to the bathroom. I got smart after a while...I would save blowing my schnoz for when I had to go to the bathroom so that I would conveniently be on the commode for the surprise. And people wonder why I don't feel sexy or attractive... I especially don't feel it while I'm pregnant. A girl who's smokin' hot has the luxury to cough. Just cough. Alone. Not accompanied with the leaking of urine. That lucky girl.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Season of Sweets

*sigh. October is officially here. I spent an entire day yesterday in the kitchen. Shannon enjoyed the fact that I was in the kitchen all day. "Right where you should be, woman," he says. He thinks he's funny. ;) What was I doing? I was making these babies:

60 cinnamon rolls later...
Lots were gifted and 2 pans of rolls are in the freezer to bake fresh on Sunday morning. Can't wait to finally sink my teeth into one. MMMMMMM

October General Conference (gathering to listen to a living prophet and apostles) just isn't the same without homemade cinnamon rolls and homemade potato soup in a bread bowl. I am quite fond of my potato soup. :) It's our yearly family tradition that adds warm fuzzies to the already uplifting weekend.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

What's for Dinner?

My hubby and his bromance partner, Matt (hehe) made this Beef & Vegetable Paleo soup at the Fire Station and had me over for dinner. I WAS OBSESSED! IT is absolutely delicious and ridiculously healthy. The flavor is flawless. So, just a few days later, I'm making it at home. I omitted the Cilantro on top (cause me no like). I added a couple stalks of celery because I had some extra in my fridge. And the coconut milk drizzled on top is a must. It may sound weird, but it's delicious. Also, if you don't like a lot of heat, take 'er easy on the jalapeno's and ground chipotle. Add just a teeny bit to give it some flavor or omit it all together. Nom, Nom!

Click here for the recipe. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Just Quotes

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis is interesting, clever, and thought provoking. "The story takes the form of a series of letters from a senior demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, a junior "tempter" named Wormwood, so as to advise him on methods of securing the damnation of a British man, known only as "the Patient".

I loved these thoughts from the book from the point of view of Screwtape, the tempter himself:

“The more often [a man] feels without acting, the less he will ever be able to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.”

“Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.” 

“When He [God] talks of their losing their selves, He means only abandoning the clamour of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever.” 

“A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all—” 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I know having to show Identification is important to safeguard over-the-counter drugs being sold to minors, however it was quite frustrating when I went to Wal Mart today (which i hate) specifically to purchase 2 items. 1 of which they didn't have and the other- nasal decongestant for a 3 year old. Trying to speed things along all I took in was my debit card and my child who has been whining and complaining about her stuffy nose. We get to the counter with the children medicine and bc I didn't have my wallet she refused to give it to me. Seriously? She wouldn't budge. The only reason I am here with my child who is miserable holding my hand and now I can't get her the relief!? Grrrr.

To top it all off, sweet Shan made another trip in to grab some medicine equipped with his wallet and he wasn't even carded!? Annoying!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Night Time Snack

I'm telling on myself here... but there is just something about a glass of ice milk and a few candy corns (or 5 or 6...) to kick off October.

*And since I no longer have a Facebook, there will be shorter posts like this one more often.

Bits and Pieces

Tip toeing into our bedroom little Keshy goes while Daddy is trying to catch a nap when returning home from a sleepless night at the station.

I catch her and have this conversation all in a whisper,

Me: “Kesh. What are you doing?”
Kesh: “Shhh. I’m sneaking in to find my Dad’s wallet.”
Me: “Why?”
Kesh: “To buy me a Sleeping Beauty dress.”

For crying out loud! She’s 3! Where in the world does a 3 year old come up with the idea to be sneaky and after her dad’s money already to buy her a dress!? Isn’t that supposed to wait until prom!? J She makes me laugh.

My little man cracks me up too. He just seems to be the epitome of a boy. He has this baby deep voice that he uses to mumble things to me. and he will run so fast that he becomes top heavy and crashes into EVERYTHING head first. He runs into walls and chairs and cabinets. But he enjoys his head taking the beating. As a matter of fact, he takes the remote control and hits himself in the head with it…on purpose. Over and over again. He laughs. He thinks he’s a comedian. When I tell him, “Owie. That hurts. Don’t do that,” and take it away, he uses his fist to beat himself in the head. Kesh thinks he’s hysterical. And yes, he leaves marks and bruises on himself. He likes to pick up a ball and attempt to throw it (he just drops it behind his back) and then he cheers crazily for himself by performing a thunderous applause. His body shape looks like a block. He’s just a solid kid that doesn’t stop running, falling, and self-inflicting pain. He sure is happy though. His smile brightens the whole room.

So you know how some people have feelings about what they’re having when they’re pregnant? I’ve never had that with my other two. But, this time I have a gut feeling it’s a girl…even though I would love to have another boy for a few different reasons. I had acne with Baby 1 terribly. My grandmother thought I had chicken pox. With Baby 2, I had none whatsoever. Now, I’m not much a believer in the old sayings like how you carry determines if it’s a boy or girl. I’ve squashed that “universal 100% truth” by my other two children. With my girl every other person would stop me and say ,” Oh you’re having a boy!” I would correct them and they would look at me puzzled and say, “are you sure?” To which I would have to eventually reply, “yep, I’ve seen her vagina a few times myself.” People loved that… And with my boy, everyone said it was a girl because of how I carried. Wrong again. I don’t believe that those “sayings” are always right. Every woman is different. However, for me, if this is a girl, then I will at least know that the “acne saying” is true for me because this time around…I have acne again. So is it true that if you have acne, it’s a girl? I guess we’ll see. And about that, I would like to wait until birth to find out while my hubby says he just can’t wait. So, I think I want to have a gender revealing party to make it a little more fun for me. Have you ever been to one or hosted one yourself?

How am I doing? That’s always a loaded question, isn’t it? Well, I’ve relocated to a small town and it has been an adjustment. Who am I kidding? It’s going to be an adjustment for a while…I’m from a small town so the “inconvenience” of the small town doesn’t really bother me (i.e. 20-30 minutes of driving to go to the movies or grocery shopping etc…) And it doesn’t bother me to run into everyone I know (eventually) in the gas stations. I’m down for that. What bothers me in a small town is lack of opportunity and complacency. People are very friendly but I think because there isn’t a high move-in rate here it may be hard to meet people. People have their families and their long-time friends. Not to mention it’s never easy to meet people when you’re busy with children. Granted I’ve only been here 7 weeks which I know is not a lot of time but so far I’ve gathered a few things.

1.) People don’t really “hang out” here. If you have a family here, then that’s who you’re always around. But if you don’t, you don’t. I’ve asked a handful of different people if they get together with other friends to go to dinner or for a group date or for a game night… The answer is always, “no, not really.” BORING! Lol Seriously, though.

2.) Some people are complacent and don’t welcome change. Traditions are great, but sometimes change and trying something new is good. I truly believe that. We need to open our eyes to more than one way of doing something.

3.) People in general aren’t motivated to take care of their bodies.  It seems majority of people do not exercise or care about eating healthy here. There is no gym here and so unless you are a runner, you really have to just figure it out and get creative. We have ordered all of our own equipment for the two of us and we’ll just be a mobile crossfit gym for now.  In the near future we will accumulate enough stuff for additional people to work out with us…if we can recruit anyone to be interested. That will be the real struggle.

Can you tell me why I’m 26 years old and I’m finding minimum of 2 gray hairs each day for the last 2 weeks!?!?!? WHAT!? I haven’t dyed my hair in about 1 year for a couple of reasons. 1) I wanted to just be me for a while and learn to be happy with my features. And even more so #2) I wanted to save money towards our next house down payment fund. $100+/month was getting a little old. But really? That many gray hairs!? I did tell Shannon I may have to go dye my hair brown before too long because I already feel frumpy and unattractive as it is with being pregnant again (I experience this frumpy funk each time) and with kids all over me all day long I can’t really feel sexy. So the hair…it’s gonna have to be fixed! Soon!

My little cheeks boy is allergic to wheat. People ask me if it is really hard with snacks and dinner. I don’t think it is at all. We don’t eat many carbs anyway so I don’t find it that challenging. My little guy is pretty much a “paleo” eater. Our go-to's are fruits, vegetables, and meats. That’s pretty much how we eat every day. It is nice that he can have rice and potatoes. Those are very filling not to mention quick and easy for toddler foods. I’m a sucker for trying new recipes and I’ve enjoyed this allergy pushing me to finally buy almond flour and experiment. I’ve been using coconut flour which I love for certain things but for other things like pancakes, they’re just not the best. If you are eating paleo, gluten free, or low carb diets HoneyvilleAlmond Flour is the only way to go. It is the best. I’ve made banana bread muffins and some BOMB blueberry nut butter muffins with the flour. It’s nice to have another healthy option for chubby cheeks and for me!

Fall is in the air…or just in my mind. The 100 degree weather doesn’t reflect the season. Can the weather come down a little bit so I can start to enjoy the most magical time of year for me?

Halloween crafts and treats are around the corner…