Our 5-Ring Circus

Our 5-Ring Circus

Scooter, Quab and Bugs

Scooter, Quab and Bugs
Serving the Princesses since 2004

Tiana and Goose

Tiana and Goose
They really need all of those big brothers...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Making a Difference in Ordinary Ways

I've been thinking more recently about how to make those little differences every day that add up. Like using cloth shopping bags or a reusable water bottle, both good for the environment. Lots of people do both of those and they are easy. Like buying a pair of shoes that will, in turn, provide a pair of shoes for a needy child somewhere in the world, or buying a t-shirt from an adoption fundraiser. We all need clothes and shoes at some point, right? What I mean is, if I'm going to have to buy a pair of shoes or a shirt anyway, I want my purchase to matter to someone. Rather than being one in a line of thousands in the checkout of my local humongous retailer, I would prefer to buy those necessary things in a way that blesses someone who truly appreciates it. Sure, the cashier and the door greeter and the store manager appreciate having a job and I try to choose my humongous retailers based on what they do in the world around them. I'm not saying I'm ready to give up my beloved Tar-Jay!! But my taking one shirt out of my shopping cart probably doesn't really matter a bit to them and might really matter to that adoptive family who gets to make the last $10 needed to buy their airline tickets to bring home their child. Do you see what I mean? There are so many ways that I can go about my daily business and make a difference at the same time. I want to do more! So, what do you do or what have you heard about that you would like to do? If you know of someone raising funds for an adoption, I'm ALL OVER that type of thing. Add a link in the comments to your own blog or a fundraising site, or a company that "gives back." And thanks for making a difference in MY life! If you want some ideas for your own difference-making, I've got a few to share too, and may add to the list as I remember more. Follow the links!
Toms Shoes
Amazon for LWB  is SUCH an easy one!
Women of Faith Events also helps Love Without Boundaries
iGive if you don't have a favorite charity, I give to Compassionate Pug Rescue
147 Shop

*None of these companies have provided me with any type of compensation or incentive and I can almost guarantee that none of them read my blog, either. I do volunteer with LWB, though!

Monday, May 2, 2011

EEEEEEK! Moving Date!

I suppose my denial had to come to an end eventually. We now have an official moving date, closing date for ther new house and I'm researching plane tickets right now to get us all there. Those are ONE-WAY tickets, guys. Last call for stowaways!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

BFFs and Big Haircuts

 Yesterday Goose and Princess L, who have been BFFS since they learned to walk, got their first haircuts. They are both six years old and neither has ever had more than a trim (or a reluctant set of bangs after some misfortune). They had some beautiful LONG hair! Each of them had at least 8 inches cut off, and they are donating it to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program. As much as we loved E's long hair, the new "do" is so "her." Especially with the included glitter spray. Both of them are gorgeous girls, inside and out and we are so proud that their hearts were led in this direction. Goose already plans to grow her hair and donate again!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Giving Up Dreams

This is raw stuff that I'm just hoping to type out and let go. You don't even have to read any further, actually.

Today I was cleaning out the depths of our master bedroom closet. It was hideous and no, I'm not going to post before and after photos. Way back in the corner, behind the skirts from pioneer trek and my first temple dress sat The Box. I don't think even my husband knows about The Box. I guess now he does. Inside is some reminder of each dream of a child that wasn't meant to be. There are a couple of tiny outfits, one with a frog. There is a little stuffed tiger holding a blanket. There is a little hairbow and a ceramic angel. A piece of OB/GYN office stationery from 1995. Each time my heart was opened to a little one, I found something to hold onto. It helped me remember to pray and it helped me love them for however long I could. I'm probably crazy, and let me tell you, there are many more reasons to believe that. But to me, they were each a real part of our family. For a few days, for a few weeks or months, for a year or so.

There was one who would have learned to drive this year. Our Christmas baby. We never knew for sure but she was always a she to us. Aspen. Our first baby. There was a little girl in China who, in a roundabout way, led us to our Tiana. She made me brave enough to talk to J about what had been in my heart for years. There was a tiny little brown baby boy who I desperately wanted to bring home last year. That was the first time that J just came right out and said "NO" to a child. I was shocked. It didn't seem fair for my heart to be so smitten and for his to be so NOT. There was another little boy, seen frequently on this blog, again in China. For him, I fought and I argued and I prayed. And I prayed. And I prayed. For a year and more. I don't know whether I was the only one in our home pestering the Heavens on his behalf but I did a fine job of it, and a constant one. He was matched with a family who I pray daily will love him every second of the rest of his life. Because I already do. And he was the last "No" I could bear to hear. And so I gave up the dream. I Gave Up. And ever since I've felt like I failed the test that I was given by my Father in Heaven. I don't think I will ever feel like our family is complete but the little stuffed tiger goes into the box and maybe it will be the last little reminder I have to put in and close up. The hardest one for me so far. I was so sure. I know it is wrong for me to ask that these feelings just be taken away. Sometimes I get angry, railing at God for putting these feelings on my heart when I can't do a darn thing about them. It makes NO sense, what I feel and know deep down where there is no logic or finance or reluctance or thought. Just love. I hate to admit that sometimes, it isn't enough.

Dear Mr. Groundhog

You, Sir, are a LIAR! You owe me 6 weeks of Spring. Even if you start now, you cannot possibly make it up to me in time. In lieu of my missing days I will take an extra 6 weeks of fall, to be deducted from the next winter in Utah, whether or not I am present to accept it. Oh, and I've been asking around and you might want to go into hiding again. You're not a very popular guy right now. In the event of snow on or near my birthday in a couple of weeks, I will hunt you down myself and my family will enjoy a fine stew. Then I will make myself a pair of slippers from your deceitful little hide. I mean it. If you don't believe me, ask the Garage Mice.

Sincerely, Me

Saturday, February 26, 2011

For you, FPM- Funeral Potatoes

Now, before my Utah friends get all uppity about their own secret family recipes, let me say this. I did not grow up here, I do not consider myself a native and I cannot claim any Pioneer ancestry. I am the Pioneer of my family! I joined the LDS church when I was 19 and made the long trek West 3 years later. Okay, we trekked in a Honda Civic with air conditioning, but you see what I'm saying, right? So this is the recipe that *I* use (honestly, not very often) and like. Feel free to add your own in the comments below. Some of my friends have been opening their blogs up this week for "Ask A Mormon" Week. Open and honest discussion, a little bit of humor and a safe place to ask all of those things that you don't know about us Crazy Mormons. Hop over HERE to ask, hop over HERE to see who is about to be inducted in to the Funeral Potato Lovers of America, and please, go make a batch of Funeral Potatoes just for me. According to a friend of mine, you can only eat these with ham, a jello salad and Lion House rolls. Don't tell on me, I like 'em with pork chops and corn, and I am not fond of jello salad, especially if it is green and/or includes carrots. I told you, NOT FROM AROUND HERE! Oh, by the way, do not make these or even read the recipe out loud if you're on a diet.

Funeral Potatoes
1 large (32 oz) bag of frozen shredded hash browns
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
1 stick butter, melted
1 pint of sour cream
1/2 c. very finely chopped onions (gotta hide them from the kids)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 c. crushed L*ys plain potato chips-you can try another kind but they won't be as good!
handful of bacon bits (optional but tasty- FP purists would never use them)
Mix all ingredients except the chips and bacon bits in a large bowl, pour into a 9x13 pan, sprinkle the chips and bacon on top and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Leaving Home

I just realized what is bothering me so much about moving. We're losing our "family history." People here know us, but they also KNEW us. Our babies were their babies and theirs are ours. We've all laughed and cried together through every stage of childhood. We've seen them learn to drive, graduate, go to college and get married. We've even welcomed a "grandbaby" or two! We've sent some on missions, we've sent some to Kindergarten, we've waved as they left on first dates or learned to ride a Big Bike. We carpool, we hang out, we laugh and cry and pray for each other. We've had late-night calls for humidifiers or urgent requests to pick up a child who needs stitches. We get invited to each other's family events and people there know who we are. The kids know whose house has the freezer full of Otter Pops, where to stash the scooters when they're having an airsoft war, whose Mom has the cool band-aids or which friend has the biggest dress-up box. We know who we could call for anything, anytime. We Moms know when to just drop off a pizza and a Coke or who will pick up an extra gallon of milk at Costco. The Dads know who to call when they need help fixing a sink or someone to bring the bait. We've seen each other through hard times and rejoiced together over victories. I have "my girls" and they have my back. We are BFFEAE (ask Goose). A house is just a place to sleep, it's the people around you who make a place "home." Today, I don't want to go!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Our New Playground

Well, almost. Still have to iron out a few pesky details like selling a house, buying a house, packing up all of our belongings and moving clear across the country. Piddly stuff. Remember, this picture was taken in January. I was using my old camera that broke two pictures later. The colors are real and yes, the beach was that beautiful. And did I mention JANUARY? We *heart* South Florida, especially when we came home to what I can only hope was a malfunctioning thermometer, because it said 5. As in one more than 4. I think it's still broken because today it only showed me 21 and that's supposed to be a "warming trend." However, I have never found an alligator, python or giant bug in my yard or home so Utah has its perks too.

Friday, January 21, 2011


You know this happens, right. You finally finish your house *just* the way you wanted it. Well, almost. Your kids are a bit older and a bit cleaner and you have a little bit of time for yourself and your friends. You're loving the area, the families, the school. You are just comfortable. Comfort isn't a bad thing, but we all know that's not why we're here. I happen to be one of those people who really enjoys being comfortable. Which is why I'm always looking around the corner to see what's coming at me next. And it's coming, for sure. Our family will soon be embarking on a new adventure, in a place that we've never been and quite far from home. It will be uncomfortable and unfamiliar and feels a lot like starting over. Sometimes that feels good and other times it breaks my heart. Today is the latter, but I'm trying to get back to the good side. When you have kids, you are forced to be brave and strong, to show them that you're not afraid. You can cringe and wail and fall apart inside or in private. But they look to their parents to see whether it is alright. So I am, for them and for my husband who is so animated when he talks about the future. But for you who know me best, and know better, I want to throw a huge tantrum right about now. Hey, don't feel too bad for me. I'll have palm trees in my front yard. Already working on that guest suite, people.