Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My favorite part

We took a little side trip to the Las Vegas temple. We four walked all the way around it at one-year-old walking speed.
Quoting some facts from here: The temple is on 10.3 acres of land.
The temple is 80,350 square feet.
The outside is made of "White precast stone walls and copper roof and detailing."
Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated this temple in December of 1989.
My favorite:
a decorative cabbage
Interesting tidbit: The angel Moroni statue of the Las Vegas Nevada Temple faces east, away from the city, symbolically heralding the Second Coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
Later that day, we had this cool moon following us home.

What happens in Vegas...

...you should be able to share with the world. Really, if you're ashamed to have it shouted from the rooftops, then you shouldn't do it!

My husband got a ticket to the Amazon taking over the World Conference, or something like that, so I decided to join him on the ten hour drive, because I do love adventures as long as they aren't too exciting and by that I mean cars breaking down or other unfortunate circumstances beyond my control, ha ha.

He asked me if I wanted to go at about 4:00 P.M. and we were on the road by 7:30 P.M. and walked into our hotel room by 6:00 A.M.

It was huge and pretty. I believe that is marble tile in the grand entry after coming through double doors. On the left is a closet with lights that turn on automatically when you open the doors, like a refrigerator. Then, there is a large half bath and then the living room.
The view from the 28th floor.
This is the living room with a wet bar and an L shaped couch with a twin sized hide-a-bed. On the right, you can see the corner of the desk and on the left is a table with 4 chairs. The coffee table was padded around the outside, so it was comfy for putting your feet up. The middle was a little bit lower and held magazines, which my one-year-old threw on the floor so the she could sit in the middle. Didn't get a picture of her there, unfortunately. It's my seven-year old in this picture.
Here she is in the humongous bedroom. It has a chaise at the foot of the bed and a chair with footstool and side table over on the far side of the bed. Oh, another cool thing was that the curtains had remote controls!
A view looking the other way, you can see a little vanity in that hallway. You can't see the closet at the end of the hallway with the plush bathrobes, and another bathroom.
The master bathroom was beautiful and spacious. The tub had jets and I really wanted to soak in there while watching t.v., which is up in the left corner where you can't see it, (unless you look in the mirror's reflection),
but, this shower was just too irresistible with the FIVE shower heads!

These hotels in Vegas are just huge, or dare I call them large and spacious buildings, ha ha. (Mormon joke). My 7 year-old wanted his blanket from the car, so my husband said, "O.K. See you in half an hour," but he stalled long enough that our son fell asleep before he went.

They had some really nice Christmas decorations in the lobbies, and we got free apple cider from people dressed like elves. I didn't take a picture of the elves, but, a winter scene,
a close-up,
and a waterfall.
This is the lobby where you will find the registration desk.
A business man saw me taking a picture of my kids and offered to be our photographer so that I could get in the picture, too, which was very nice. He didn't think this one turned out very well, so he took another one and it is better, but I like that my three-year-old and I have pretty much the same expression.
Are you wondering what hotel we were in? Here are a couple pics from outside.
The Palazzo and Venetian are connected and the pens that are in the hotel rooms have both names on them.
Christmas tree outside, along with a skating rink that we didn't go to, since my kids can barely walk without tripping, didn't think they'd enjoy strapping on skates.

The first time we ventured out of the hotel room, I forgot my camera, which is too bad, because there were some amazing sights, including painted domed ceilings and the half-mile indoor canal with the gondolas and the gondoliers that can sing, siiinnnggg so beautifully in Italian. The singers were my favorite part. I really wanted to applaud every time they finished a song.

So, that lasted a couple of hours, I think, our first sight-seeing adventure. I didn't dare go into any of the cool stores that I wanted to go in with my three little ones. We went back to get the camera and rest and I found out the battery on the camera was nearly dead. So, I set it to charge.

Fortunately, my hubby didn't go to the party connected with the conference, so he stayed with the little ones while I ventured out by myself for a little while, but I couldn't find the one store I was most interested in again, so I treated myself to some frozen yogurt with all kinds of toppings, so delicious! And I brought back dinner for the hubby. The little ones weren't interested in eating out. They were happy with the travelling food snacks I had packed before leaving. It's nice when they are easy to please.

Monday, December 10, 2012

"A thankful heart is a happy heart"

(The title quote is from Veggie Tales, which I love.)

I guess I haven't been having many adventures here in Mundane Land, or maybe I've been having so many adventures that I haven't had time to blog about them. hmm...

Anyway, on Thanksgiving Day my little family went for a walk at some nearby hills.

We started late in the afternoon and the sun decided to go down rather quickly.
I like the dark tree against the lighter sky...
and the dark hills.
We are thankful for a nice relaxing day and for the beauty of nature and the joy of family togetherness, even though it took a little convincing that we really meant for the WHOLE family to go, no, not just me and the little ones as usual. Kids get big enough to stay home without a parent and they think they never have to leave the house again!
Everyone enjoys the smallness of the baby.
The younger kids love to take turns pushing the stroller. The hills are gentle here, but it wasn't long before the "I want to go home"s started.
The speed at which the Earth rotates depends on your latitude, at the poles it's almost zero and at the equator, where the circumference of the world is the widest the speed is about 1,038 miles per hour (1,670 kph). At the mid-latitudes of the U.S. and Europe, we speed along at 700 to 900 mph (1125 to 1450 kph). No wonder the sun sets so fast.
If you've seen one sunset, have you seen them all?
Or is each one unique and ever changing from minute to minute?
This one has the moon in the sky.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sun Mosaic - made of paper

This is my first venture into paper mosiacs. I began by cutting many colors and letters from magazines. Then, I started getting bored of that, because I didn't know what I was going to make with it!
So, I started searching the web for patterns and found many cool things, but decided to use this one: a sun

I started trying to just free hand cut pieces to fit on the pattern, but that was hard, and I saw the great tip somewhere to print two of the pattern and cut one up to use an an actual pattern on my colored papers, so I ended up doing that for part of the face and for the blue and green parts. And then I filled in the still white paper parts with black marker.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Not bad for a first attempt.

I was going to use Mod Podge and cover the whole thing with a layer of it when I was done, but I couldn't find it, so I used mostly a glue stick, but a little white glue here and there.

I haven't decided, yet, if I'm going to attempt another paper mosaic or if I'll try rocks or tiles or broken ceramic dishes or something.
What I think is really awesome is fabric art of this nature, but I think that would require a lot of hand sewing and I just don't enjoy hand sewing all that much. It was hard enough to have the patience to cut and glue tiny pieces of paper.

another day another dinner

For tonight's dinner, I used the leftovers from yesterday's Hawaiian Haystacks.

I put some coconut oil in a big frying pan and sauteed chopped up celery, green bell pepper and green onions, let it cook for like 5 minutes or so, then added a can of chicken and let it cook for 5 or 10 minutes. Then, added some pineapple juice (leftover from the canned pineapple we ate yesterday) and some butter and a little soy sauce, then added a bunch of brown rice (cooked yesterday) and seasonings like lemon pepper, seasoning salt, garlic spread and sesame seeds.

Christian said he liked it, but then he had added cheese and pineapple on top.

Monday, July 16, 2012

What's for dinner?

This dinner looks suspiciously like the previous post; maybe I'm in a rut when it comes to whaaaat's for dinnerrrrr?!
We actually ate this last week, but I think I remember what was in it: a can of chicken, sauteed in olive oil with some seasonings added. Then, sauteed kale in the same pan. In another pan, I heated up a carton of Corn & Lemongrass Soup and added frozen peas and corn and some more random seasonings.

That's pretty much my standard dinner (if I cook): some sort of meat, something green, some kind of sauce or soup and extra veggies - either fresh or frozen. Oh, I also usually add a can of black beans or kidney beans (or both!) to beef it up or rather bean it up... ha... ha...uh, Anyway...

My kids always want to know what dinner is called. Usually I tell them it's called, "Dinner," but sometimes we make up more creative names.

I asked the kids what they thought of this dish. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Christian, did you like dinner?
Christian: Not especially.
Spencer: It was too pea-y.
Me: Peey?
Spencer: Yea, too many peas.
Me: It had lots of corn.
Venna: Yeah, corns are good!

Good thinking on Venna head.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Delicious Recipe?

Since my June 4th post, I have been trying to make better food choices. Mainly, I've been having smoothies or fruit for breakfast and trying not to eat grains.

So, I made a delicious soup last night. I had bought kale and was searching for a recipe on-line to try and went to a website where I could enter in ingredients that I have and it would ask me if I had others, so I clicked on them if I had them and it gave me this delicious sounding recipe: Portugese Kale and Potato Soup.

Here is the way I typically follow recipes: (First of all, I pretty much don't measure anything)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided (I used ghee)
1/2 pound chouriƧo or linguiƧa (smoked Portuguese sausages) or kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I used a can of chicken)
1 medium onion, chopped (I used half an onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced (I didn't have fresh garlic, so I used Garlic Spread seasoning)
1 pound russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (I used 5 small red pototaoes)
6 cups water (I used 2 or 3 C water, then added an 18 oz. carton of butternut squash soup)
1 pound kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves very thinly sliced (I around 5 ounces of kale and at least that much spinach)

Using ghee, I browned my canned chicken right in the pot I used for the soup, then added my onion and let it get shiny. Then I added the water and potatoes and a can of kidney beans. Then, I added the butternut squash soup and let it simmer for 20 minutes, then added the kale and spinach. I also added sesame seeds, lemon pepper, a few drops of lemon essential oil, and some whispers of ginger powder, curry powder, garam masala, and parsley flakes. Actually, I used a lot of parsley on the chicken, before adding other stuff.

I think that is all I added.
Here's how mine looked:

It was pretty delicious, if I do say so myself. I just don't know if I can fully recommend the recipe that I used as inspiration. It was useful in telling me how long to cook the potatoes and then add the kale later and how long to cook that, so I am happy I found it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kids Will Keep You Humble

This cute little six-year old said to me, "Mom, I think some people in the world might think you look ugly," and give me this sweet smile.
I was smiling back at him as he said this, I tried to keep my facial expression unchanged as I brilliantly said, "Oh."
As an afterthought to entertain myself further, I asked, "Why?"
He replied, "I don't know. It seems like nobody thinks they look ugly."

On the other hand, my 16 year-old son paid me the nicest compliment today, when I returned home after running errands for a couple of hours. He said, "It seems like things go better when you're here, even if you're not in the room."
I asked him, "Like what?"
And he said, "It just seems like people are happier."

Monday, June 4, 2012

Nothing to see here

My sister-in-law's sister, or in other words, the sister of my brother's wife, is a runner. She has run several half marathons and full marathons. She's my age, though I'm older since by birthday is in the first quarter of the year and hers is in the third or fourth quarter of the year.

I've known her since we were 13. We'll call her Kim. Today she posted on Facebook, "If you've ever felt any inkling or desire to run a marathon TODAY is the day you should start your training for my birthday marathon extravaganza. Go out and run 1-3 miles. Don't forget to smile it helps relax your shoulders and improve your running form. Stay tuned for more information later today."

Well, I've never felt an inkling to run a marathon, but I did to a short Triathlon once, since my sister is a personal trainer, she has to stay fit and when she first decided she wanted to start doing races and things, she invited me to train with her. Shortly after we started training we each became pregnant, so I did the Tri for Fun five months pregnant. The swim was only a quarter mile, but it nearly killed me. I'm not that strong of a swimmer and having a big belly weighing be down... I did the backstroke instead. Then, my granny bike, which had no gears, was losing air in the tire, so that was hard. We switched bikes about half way through the 14 miles. Hers is a racing bike, meaning the feet clip to the pedals and the seat is extremely uncomfortable! Really how do people sit on those tiny things? Then for the run, we weren't sure where the beginning of it was, because we were so late starting that portion that there were no longer people directing us where to go, so we went up in the low hills and ran around, or rather walked for a bit, then came back out, not really doing the full three miles, but we did it!

Anyway, that was the beginning and end of my racing career.

However, I'm tired of being overweight and out of shape! Kim's words caught me on a good day, because it is overcast. I like to walk/jog/run in overcast weather. I hate sweating. Plus, when I said, "I don't think I've ever had in inkling to run a marathon, because I don't like running. But I want to like running!" She said, "You should train with me for this marathon. I'll help you LOVE running."

I told her, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a runner."

But, I decided I needed to start TODAY! Even though it was raining this morning. I asked my little kids if they wanted to go for a walk in the rain with me, my three year old (always the most eager to help me) said, "Oh, I need to get my shoes and my umbrella!" But we didn't leave right then.

I waited until my baby was ready for a nap, and then I held her napping for a while. And then I was in danger of not going, because her nap was going to end too soon, so I forced myself to put her down, nursed her for a bit to comfort her and get her settled, then changed the three year old, got his shoes and my shoes and umbrellas for three of them.

By then it wasn't raining anymore and my big kids could babysit, since I knew they wouldn't be willing to go with me.

Off we went. I had mapped out a three mile loop around the neighborhood, but they played at the park, that is almost a mile away, while I did some sprints, then when we tried to continue, the 6 year old tripped and skinned his already skinned knee, so then he wanted to go home. He didn't cry, just whined about wanting to go home every couple minutes. So, I took pity on him and decided we would head home, which made my three year old break down and cry. He wanted to stay at the greenbelt.

Oh, I was ready to leave them all home next time!

But, I gave Trevor a piggy back ride for part of the way, and that cheered him up, except for my hair getting in his face, so then he walked again and when he found a stick, then he was happy.

We made it back home about an hour and ten minutes after we had left. I only sat down once to get a tiny pebble out of my shoe and to try swinging. My tummy and head just can't handle swinging on a short swing anymore! Takes my tummy away and makes my head feel the same. Me no likey.

If well begun is half done, then we are half done with training for a marathon. Ha! I still have no desire to run that far, but we'll see.

I heard a talk on TED that said that you shouldn't tell people your goals when you are first starting out, because then people say, "Well good for you!" and things of that nature which makes us feel as good as if we already completed our goal, so then we no longer feel the need to actually do it because we already have the good feeling! I thought that was interesting. So, I shouldn't really be posting this now.

So, nobody tell me I'm doing a good job.

It goes against the latest pop culture theory that you should tell everyone your goal, so that they can all help hold you accountable to it. But, really people are too nice, or we don't like their nagging.

So, quietly keep your goals to yourself and accomplish them!
Good thing nobody reads this, except my Mom.
Hi MOM! I love you.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Need I say more?

First time in a swing

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Favorite Month

Hello February! We ushered this month in with a birthday party. My second to youngest turned three! And we celebrated in our usual chaotic style.
This video is for you, Mom.

Dexter was kinda claiming his favorite of Trevor's new toys, but back when it was Dexter's birthday, one thing on his wishlist was something that he wanted for Trevor. So, of course I gave it to him, because it's so nice that he was thinking of his brother, not just himself on his special day. I love to have kids that are good at sharing and thankfully, Trevor didn't get upset that Dexter was so hands on with his presents.

On another note, yesterday, while his biggest sister was babysitting him, they were making quesadillas and Trevor was getting the tortillas out of the package. Two accidently came out instead of one, and so one of them fell on the floor. Venna turned around just in time to see him pick it up and he said, "Look, I got one for you!"

Oh, and in my last post, I said we have a move coming up at the end of the month, but that was postponed until the middle of this month, so that is exciting! (And somewhat stressful!)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome 2012

Happy New Year!

For family night last night we set some goals, personal goals and family goals in each of four areas: spiritual, educational, physical and temporal.

I saw a great tip here (scroll down about halfway to "Tracking New Year's Goals) to make posters of our goals and then decorate them with pictures that emphasize what they are about and hang up the posters.

I think we'll use regular size cardstock paper, so that when the year is over, we can put them in our scrapbooks.

We'll need to break them down into smaller weekly goals though, otherwise they might be too broad or vague to accomplish effectively.

I haven't decided, yet, if I'll post them all here.
I think it's safe to post our baby's goals. She is three months old now and has a lot to accomplish this year:
1. Be present for scripture reading, even if she's asleep (spiritual)
2. Study the English language (educational)
3. Learn to roll over (physical)
3.a. Learn to sit up
3.b. Learn to crawl
3.c. Learn to stand
3.d. Learn to walk
4. Smile & giggle (temporal)

We have a move coming up at the end of this month, so it's tempting to put off making posters until we are settled in our new house, but that seems too long to wait to be reminded of them.

I guess we should make the posters and if they get lost or ruined in the move, then we'll make them again!

I love these words from our Latter-Day Prophet, Thomas S. Monson:
Have the determination to make the effort, the single-mindedness to work toward a worthy goal, and the courage not only to face the challenges that inevitably come but also to make a second effort, should such be required. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow.”

The rest of his article is wonderful also: Living the Abundant Life.

I look forward to the adventures that await us this year and I hope we will have a hand in creating most of those adventures, not just wait for them to come to us.
Wishing peace & prosperity and humble happiness & contentment to everyone out there!