Thursday, January 20, 2011

Little Wonders...

If you read my last post you saw that Jon and I went to "As You Wish!" and painted some ceramic dishes. It was so darn fun!!! I promised that when Jon picked them up I would put a picture of the finished product on the blog.
So here it is!

This is my plate. My house is decorated with reds and blacks, so I wanted something that would match. I don't know if I have told you the story about "Little Wonders" before, but if I did, I will tell you again!
Jon and I met one a blind date. We went out on a Wednesday and we went out another 2 times within a week!! Needless to say, we were really interested in each other. Well, we are both just grown-up kids and the movie "Meet The Robinsons" was coming out. If you haven't heard of it you should hurry up and see it!!!! It is a Disney Pixar film and it is pretty great. Anyways, before the movie, Jon told me that I could hold his hand if I got scared (in a cartoon! Isn't he cute?). Well throughout the movie, I kept my hand available. You girls know what I mean, setting your hand on the arm rest, palm facing up...but in a way that doesn't look too desperate, but that is noticeable enough for the guy to see it....
Well, even when the movie got intense (for a cartoon movie), Jon didn't hold my hand. As we were walking out of the movie theater (by this point I am feeling kind of discouraged...) it was as though he got the courage and he just grabbed my hand....and I got chills through my whole body!!!
He tells me now that he had told me to hold his hand, but I was never the type to make the first move....
Well, that movie has a song in it by Rob Thomas called "Little Wonders" and after we had been dating for a little while, we both fell in love with it and then after we got married, we felt like this song was perfect for us. It has sort of become the theme of our marriage...the theme for our lives. And - bonus - it has a great memory attached to it for us!
If you haven't heard the song, look it up and listen to the words - it is a great pick-me-up!

This is Jon's. You have to look at his from all different views because it is so fancy. He liked this bowl with the different shape and he meticulously drew out this pattern, traced it, and then filled it in. He made it so we could put our keys in it (we don't have anything to put our keys in, so we are always losing them), but it looks so cool I don't want our keys to scratch it or chip it! Jon says that's silly, but...can you blame me? It is so darn fancy!

And finally...
I feel like I need to start an entire new segment called "things I have burned" because this is twice in a row that I have had a picture of something that I burned!
This is actually something of a miracle. Yesterday I made spaghetti for dinner. I was planning on finishing the dishes this morning and I completely forgot to go in and put the leftovers in a tupperware....well this morning Jon went in to the kitchen and he realized that the stove had been on all night! It was on the low setting with the pan over it all night long. It is a miracle that we didn't burn the house down or die of inhaling the gas or something! We made certain to include that miracle in our prayers this morning. We were so blessed that even our pot came out of it unscathed......which just brings me back to all of the little wonders in our lives.

Monday, January 17, 2011

As You Wish.....

On Saturday Jon took me on a fun date to As You Wish! That fun place where you paint the ceramic stuff and they put it in a kiln and make it all shiny and fancy. We went there for my birthday with my family, and we had a blast, so Jon wanted to go back.

Jon is always so fancy, so while I just painted some big letters on my plate - he drew his design out on a piece of paper, and then he drew it on his bowl with a straight edge and then he traced around it with paint, and then he filled it in.......he is just such an artist!

We had a blast! I love going there! It is so nice to get out of the house, sit together at a table, and just talk while we work on a fun project.
Jon is picking them up on Tuesday - I will post a picture of the finished products when we get them home!

In other news, Jon got a giant Nerf gun for Christmas from my Grams (along with all of the other boys in the family). When I say giant - I mean GIANT!! This thing is huge and it uses 4 D-batteries to power it because it works like a machine gun! You just have to hold the trigger down and it unloads a clip of darts! It is some serious Nerf-power!

Now I need to go get me a Nerf gun so I can protect myself from sneak attacks! Imagine coming around a corner and seeing that face and that giant Nerf gun!! Eeeeeeeek!!
(Note:: The darts don't hurt one bit, and Jon let me shoot him first so he could see if they hurt before he would even dream of shooting me....isn't he a gentleman)

So,I saw the craziest show ever the other night! I flipped on TLC around 11pm (yup, way to late to be awake on a Saturday night....that might explain why were late to church the next day....oops) and there was a show called "Extreme Couponing" and, while I thought it would be a show about a bunch of eccentric people and their crazy coupon habits, I ended up being inspired!! There was a 24 year old lady who clipped coupons and researched store sales and stuff - she had a huge binder filled with coupons, and they were all organized by sections of the store (ie; health and beauty, refrigerated, frozen...etc.). Well, she took her binder and a "battle plan" (she had a list of what she was getting and how many of each product) and headed to Safeway. She loaded up her cart with Barilla pasta, Ragu sauce, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, A&W Root Beer, 7Up, Sprite, and tons of other name brand things. Her total came to over $600.00. Then she handed the cashier her coupons, and as he rang them up you could literally watch the total roll down...and down...and down...until she reached $2.64. Can you believe that???? She left the store with over $600 worth of merchandise (all brand name, not off-brand) and she only paid $2!!!!! I was amazed!!
There were similar stories of other people who did the same things.
The thing that amazed me the most were the year-supplies these people had! Each one of them had enough storage for their families to live, comfortably, for at least 2-3 years! One guy had so much deodorant, he and his wife wouldn't have to buy any for 150 years! Another lady hadn't bought toothpaste or toothbrushes in over 30 years, and she had enough to last her for another 5 years!
One man had a food storage containing about $80,000 worth of merchandise ranging from non-perishable food, to frozen food, to hygiene stuff and he said that he had paid maybe $1,000 for the entire thing.
Now, I have never been one to clip coupons. I have never wanted to be the "Coupon Lady" and I almost have a fear of using them...but when I saw how much money these people were saving on things that I buy on a regular basis for full price, I was inspired to try it out!
So, I am going to start couponing. I don't think I will get as crazy as these people were (one lady dug through the recycling bins to find discarded coupons), but I think I am going to actively pay attention and strategize before I go to the grocery store. It will take me some time to build my coupon stash, but when I do, I think it will pay off.
I am going to document my coupon journey here on my blog.

Which brings me to my last topic. As you know I have a few different "segments" of my blog (reviews, Just Sayin', Tasty Club, The Good In the World...and now my Coupon Journey) and I would like to get them a little bit more organized. I have seen these fancy tabs at the tops of my friends' blogs and I think that is exactly what I need....but I can't figure out how to get them....
So my blogging-genius sister-in-law is going to help me figure it out, and hopefully I will be able to get this blog mess under control. Just another step toward my "Getting Organized" goal!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Brownies, Survival, and I'm Just Sayin'....

Jon's twin brother Lon taught us how to make Survival Bracelets! They are so awesome! Not only do they look super cool while you wear them, they are also very useful in an emergency. You see, they are made out of really strong cord, and there is a ton of it tied into this tiny little bracelet! So, if we ever got into a bind, we would be able to take the knot out and have a lot of rope! How brilliant is that!?
Lon made a few of them for Jon's sister and her family for Christmas - he also made a really cool belt that has so much extra rope!!
We are really excited about them!

Thanks for letting us use your materials and teaching us this fancy new skill Lon!

In other news, I was making some Mississippi Mud brownies (to take to someone's house, not to eat by myself - just thought I would point that out since I am on a diet) and they had an Oreo cookie crust. I thought it would be really cool to make it in a spring-form pan so that I could take the side off and you would be able to see the fancy crust and the marshmallows on the sides. It works for cheesecake, so what could possible go wrong??
Well, I didn't take into account that the mix was a lot more liquid-y then cheesecake mix. And, I didn't think to put a cookie sheet underneath just in this is what I found at the bottom of my oven when I started to smell the burn.....

No, they are not little pieces of poop, they are little pieces of scorched brownie.
Luckily, the majority of the batter hardened up and the brownies were a success.....phew!

Ok, I am going to start a new little segment on my blog called "I'm Just Sayin'" where I am going to share my thoughts and opinions about politics, religion, current events, or just...ya know...whatever. I really hope that, during these little segments, you will comment about your thoughts on the topic - whether you agree with me or not. I am really interested in what you think and I think we all sometimes like having an outlet to share our opinions without a fear of being judged or having to worry about offending someone.
So here goes......
We have all heard about the tragic shooting that happened in Tucson over the weekend. I was absolutely in shock when I first heard about it. It was so horrible and I truly believe that that man was completely disturbed. On Saturday, the day that it happened, Jon and I had the news on all afternoon to see the new details and the updates of the case. I was very impressed - on Saturday - by how bipartisan all of the networks were being. They weren't bringing up Gabrielle Gifford's political views aside from the fact that she is a democrat. Everyone simply announced the facts and how tragic it was.
Unfortunately the attitude has changed since Saturday. Today the tragedy has suddenly become the fault of the Tea Party, Glenn Beck, the Republican Party as a whole, and Gun-Toting Arizona instead of the fault of a deranged psycho who literally lost his gal-dern mind!
Come on Media People - what Right-Wing-er really believes that the "English Grammar" is a form of brainwashing by the government? Seriously people?? I mean.......seriously?
This has moved way past a Right or Left issue. This man was really unstable. His issues were so out of the realm of political parties. He does not make up the mind-set of the "average" American. I mean, he was expelled from Pima Community College pending a psych evaluation to prove that he wasn't a danger, the military deemed him mentally unfit to of his classmates said that he gave her the creeps and that he wold be "one of those guys you will see on the news after he brings a gun to work". But of course the politicians are already starting to talk about making it a federal offense to say things that "might sound like a threat" against the government or any politician or whatever.....and, of course they are talking about re-evaluating gun laws.
If we outlaw things every time some crazy person does something crazy, we will have absolutely no freedom. I hate that this horrible thing happened. I hate that people died and were injured. I hate that Loughner (the shooter) felt enough hate in his heart that he felt like this was the right thing to do.
That having been said, I don't think that making new laws is going to prevent these types of things from happening. I mean, if you are determined to kill somebody, you have moved past caring that your weapon of choice is against the law.
I don't have a solution to keep things like this from happening. I think it is very important for politicians to be out among the people to understand their concerns and thoughts. I think it is important for us to maintain our freedoms. And I think this is just a really horrible tragedy and Loughner should pay for his crimes.
This is not the fault of a political party, a political commentator, or a lack of laws - it is the fault of an unhinged psycho.
I'm Just Sayin'.....
Tell me your thoughts.

Finally, this is a picture of Jon and I from when we were dating. I love this picture so much and it has been my wallpaper on my phone since we took it.
I love my husband so much and I think he is just do darn handsome! So, I thought I would share!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011 and Stuff

Christmas was incredible this year! Jon and I had a great time with family, and we got so spoiled! It was awesome and we are so blessed to have such incredible families who love us so much! We love you guys!

Now it is 2011. Did that sneak up on you like it did on me? I mean, I felt like Christmas was sneaky this year, but New Years really just jumped right out there, and...BOO! It was 2011! Wow! I feel like 2010 was the fastest year of my whole life!

There are a lot of people of people who don't like New Years resolutions - they feel like you shouldn't have to set goals at the beginning of the year but they should instead be setting goals throughout the year. I agree, we should be setting goals throughout the year. Still, I am what Jon likes to call, a "Monday girl". I won't start a diet or a new goal until Monday because that is the beginning of a new week and I like to start things fresh. If it is really close to a new month, I won't start a new goal until the new month (and if that new month starts on a Monday...well, I am just really ready to go!), and so you can see how a whole new year gets me really excited for goals and resolutions. I love them and I really try to keep them.....for a while....until I forget....or get distracted....and then I realize that Christmas is upon me and I haven't actually kept my goals. It's a vicious cycle.

So, I am taking a new approach to my goals. I am going to tell you about my goals and then at the beginning of every month I will report back on how I am doing with them. That way I will be held accountable to somebody. Now, I am asking my dear readers to keep me in line. Be tough on me. Don't let me become a slacker. If I don't report one month - remind me! I know, it's not entirely fair to burden you with keeping me on track - but I think this might actually help me accomplish some of them.

Ok, here is my list of five resolutions complete with a brief explanation of either why or how I am going to accomplish them.

1) LOSE WEIGHT - Yes, this is a stereotypical goal for New Years, but I really need to jump on this bandwagon. I have gained about 40 pounds since I got married. This is certainly not something I am proud of. Of course I had help from fertility drugs which encouraged probably about 20 pounds or so on their own (pounds that were practically impossible to lose while I was still on the medicine), but I am not without fault. I have virtually stopped exercising and I don't eat great. So, I am determined to exercise for at very least 1 hour, Monday through Friday. I am also going to watch what I eat. I am not going to follow any specific diet plan, but I am going to be aware of the calories and serving size and cut back. My goal is to lose those extra 40 pounds by the end of the year. I think this is a realistic goal and I will only become healthier by doing this. I need to get new batteries for my scale, but when I do I will post my weight weekly. Yes, it might be shameful, but I think it will be very helpful.

2) READ SCRIPTURES AND SAY PRAYERS - Now, Jon and I do a pretty good job at saying prayers. We pray together all the time. The problem is that I tend to count those "together" prayers as my personal prayers. I mean, I say prayers all day long for different things, but I don't do great at the morning and night, on my knees, by myself kind of prayers. So I need to do better at that. As far as scripture study goes - Jon and I do really great when we have a routine, but as soon as that routine gets jostled (ie: Christmas in Snowflake) we get off track and we struggle to get back on track. So, we are going to make a point to not get off track...I am going to make it a top priority in our day.

3) BUDGET - Jon and I need to do better at setting up a budget. We have always just sort-of mentally evaluated how we are going to spend each paycheck, which bills, how much we can spend on groceries, etc...but we haven't been great at actually sitting down, building an actual budget, and following it. I have a great system in mind and I am excited to start it and see that extra financial stress calm down a little bit. I think that is our biggest stress and we need to do something to help it subside a little bit.

4) STAY ORGANIZED - I want to get my life organized. Every aspect of it. Or at least I am going to really try to. I want to stay on top of things as well as I can so that I don't get stressed or feel overwhelmed. I want to keep a good schedule and keep on top of things like laundry and stuff. I am hoping that this will cut out the extra stresses and help me prioritize my life a little bit better.

5) REMEMBER ABUNDANCE - At Time Out For Women a year ago there was an incredible woman named Emily Freeman who really touched me with her talk about abundance and counting our blessings. So I bought her book called "The Promise of Enough: Seven Principles of True Abundance" and I read it in one afternoon. It was an incredible book and it has such great stories and lessons about realizing our blessings in the midst of difficult trials, or just life in general and about being happy with where we are in life and not waiting to be happy when...(something happens). I could go on and on about how great this book is, but instead I am just going to tell you to read this book and I am going to tell you that I am going to make a point to count my blessings and be happy with where I am in life. I am going to stay positive, give people the benefit of the doubt, and not dwell on my trails. I know this might be hard because it will require an attitude overhaul, but I think I can do it!

So that is it - my five resolutions. I will report each month on how they are coming. I hope that it doesn't get super boring for you guys, but I really think it will help to have the extra support.

Happy New Years Everyone!!! I hope you have a great 2011!!