Christmas Pics 2009

We made it through our Christmas pictures. The place was packed, of course. The kids did great, though. No tantrums, no barfing, I didn't start crying and we all left in one piece. I say it was quite a successful endeavor.


By the end, however, it was clear the kids were nearing critical mass. I think Addie's face says it all.


How Do You Get to Sesame Street?

Lexi and I went to our first ever stage show two weekends ago. The cast of Sesame Street came to Albuquerque and we weren't about to miss it. Now in New Mexico, we don't have fancy theaters or an art district that attracts the famous Broadway shows you're probably familiar with. No, we have casinos. And lots of them. Many of them are actually quite nice and boast pretty upscale facilities. So, we brought some loose change for the after party slot run (that was a joke, people) and went to track down Big Bird.

I hadn't ever been to this casino before, or even in the general area of it's location, but I was armed and prepared with a map. This map was courtesy of the casino website. Surely, we would not be led astray. Now, let me interject that this was not going to be any normal casino run for Lexi and I. No, the day before our big event, the "Mamma Mobile" died. I was driving, going about 50 mph, down the local road when it stalled out. The brakes went, power steering kaput; you name it, it died. We decided that we wouldn't risk another stall out with a shortling in tow. Not to worry; we have the trusty Saturn that would be a great substitute. As Lexi and I are packing up our bags, Allen goes out to start the heater and defroster since we're down in the teens overnight and everything is frozen in the mornings. He comes back in to let me know that the Saturn no longer has a heater or defroster. Well, we sure as heck aren't driving over an hour in freezing temps and with an icy windshield in the craptastic commuter car. So, we say a very heartfelt prayer and load up in the unpredictable Excursion.

So, I've got the map and Lexi's rearing to go. We make it in great time, no stalls and with just enough time for a potty break before show time. I drive around this casino a bit trying to find the "new star center" that is supposed to be super nice and nothing is standing out to me. Finally, I decide we'll brave the smoke filled money pit and find out just where this so-called arena is actually located. Lexi and I make a mad dash for the help desk. We are immediately informed that the show isn't really at the casino: It's in a completely different town 20 minutes away!

I grabbed Lexi and we ran back to the car. Her only comment, "Mom! What happened to Big Bird?!?" I said, "Don't you worry! We're going to find Big Bird and we're going to be on time!" Now, it's about 12 minutes to show time and I have 20 miles to cover. Plus, I've never been in the area. Ever. As I squeal around the corner of the exit of the parking garage, I see another family, 3 year old in tow, sprinting towards the elevators. At least I wasn't the only one.

There was a caravan of SUVs and minivans on the road to the real location of our event. The speed limit was clearly posted at 45 mph. But let me tell you, there is nothing like an expectant toddler to make a woman break the law. We made it in under 10 minutes. We hustled to the doors, hit the pottties, and made it just in time for the opening number.

Big Bird and cast. We had floor tickets and the characters would come down and shake hands with the kids.

Elmo and Mr. Noodle

Lexi and her must have toys of the day.

 Lexi had a super time. She sang and danced and laughed the whole show through.
We had a great mommy-daughter day.

Happy Thanksgiving

This year, we're grateful for:
  • Friends
  • Addison
  • Books
  • Numbers
  • The Prophet
  • Gma
  • Mom
  • Our big house
  • Our hair
  • Nana
  • Lexi
  • Dinosaurs
  • New baby
  • Dad
  • Puzzles
  • Our cousins
  • Mrs. Kinghorn


Parable of the Popper

While no one does any job in this life perfectly, we always have the choice to do our personal best or just trudge along. Sometimes we can do more than at other times. But, we always have the choice to bless others with our talents, no matter how meager, or to keep them all to ourselves. For when we choose not to give our personal best we are doing exactly that: withholding our God given talents - which have been given to us to help bless the lives of others. To help illustrate this point, one of my church leaders gave us the following parable to ponder.

Parable of the Popper

Behold at the time of harvest the ears of corn did bring forth kernels, which were dried and prepared for the popper's hand. And then it was that the popper did take the kernels, all of which did appear alike unto him, and did apply the oil and the heat. And lo, it came to pass that when the heat was on, some did explode with promise and did magnify themselves an hundred fold, and some did burst forth with whiteness, which did both gladden the eye and satisfy the taste of the popper. 

And likewise, some others did pop, but not too much. But lo, there were some that did just lie there and even though the popper's heat was alike unto all, they did bask in the warmth of the oil and kept everything they had for themselves. 

And so it came to pass that those which had given of themselves did bring joy and delight to many munchers, but those which kept of the warmth and did not burst forth were fit only to be cast out in the pail and were thought of with hardness and disgust. 

And thus we see that in the beginning all appear alike, but when the heat is on, some come forth and give their all, while others fail to pop and verily become like chaff, to be discarded and forgotten.


Sharing Time

I've been called as Primary Secretary. I've never served in the Primary before. I've never even been a substitute for a class in Primary before. I'm a Primary virgin novice.

Primary is divided up into the Jr. Primary and Sr. Primary. While one group is in their Sunday school classes, the other participates in Sharing Time. As the secretary, I now have the blessing to teach Sharing Time on a monthly basis.

Of course, the church puts out an annual manual that follows the annual theme and suggests lessons for each month for Sharing Time. Additionally, a lot of creative types post their adaptations of the suggestions so that those of us who are creatively challenged can actually teach a lesson the kids might enjoy.

Tomorrow is my first ever Sharing Time. I've been told the kids (ages 3-11) are pretty easy to please so I'm feeling confident about my lesson. But, I want these young ones to remember me; I want to make a big impression so they'll look forward to me talking at them next time.

I found this website who's author is a creative person and I stole her super cute idea that is sure to wow the masses tomorrow. I had to improvise because I didn't think of this until all of the candy corn was sold out of every store in the whole world so I used Mike-n-Ikes. Looks all right if you ask me, though. As a side note, I can't stand gingersnaps and after doing this I realized vanilla wafers (aka "manna from heaven") would also work and taste loads better. I will say if you're not a detailed oriented person (I'm not) this little project can be time consuming and by the end you'll hate cookies and candies of all kinds. Thank goodness Allen offered to help and we stumbled through the process together. Never the less, I think the kids will enjoy the treat. So, yay for me.

Little turkeys made out of cookies and candies. What's not to love?


Wanna Be

So we're tossing around landscaping ideas for the front yard. There's nothin' but dirt and more dirt out there. The place looks awful. We're anxious to get started, but want to have a good plan in place before we break ground.

Thus, we do a lot of idea poaching from yards that we like. We take afternoon drives and talk about different rocks. We stroll around the neighborhood and discuss the trees. When I drive Lexi to school, I scan the neighborhoods for the creativity I cannot come up with on my own.

There are a few cute yards on the way to school. One, in particular, is quite admirable. The tree is perfectly pruned. The rocks are never kicked into the driveway. And the lawn! Oh my gosh. It's lush, green, and always perfectly manicured. I envy the owners who clearly have more time and will than I do. They keep their place immaculate.

Twice a week I drive by this house. Not a once has a blade of grass been out of place. Not a dandelion to be found. The edges are always within the bounds set by the sidewalk. The grass glistens in the morning light.

Wait...the grass glistens? As I scrutinized this yard day after day and week after week, I started to get the feeling something was different about the place. Finally, after letting it tumble around in my brain for a few days I realized the reason that yard was so distinct. IT IS FAKE! The lawn is not real lawn my friends. It is turf.

This whole time I was feeling bad about my yard, my house, my lawn that has crept outside of its bounds, my kitchen that has crumbs on the counters and my laundry that isn't always put away before the wrinkles set. And why? Because I was comparing myself to this person (that I didn't even know!) who had a perfect little yard and must be a great homemaker because they kept their yard in order. Little did I know that I was comparing myself to a standard that wasn't ever going to be attainable.

As I laughed at my foil, I realized how often I compare myself to other people. I try to meet the "ideal" on every level. The ideal student, leader, parent, wife, friend, homemaker, cook, creative genius, writer, horse trainer, etc. I research the ways to improve myself. I quiz other moms and friends for ideas. I try to stay current in the horse world so that even though I'm not riding, I can still hang with the best of them. I do that for all of the roles I play in this life. Of course, there is a lot of room for improvement on my end so it's exhausting. Trying to be perfect takes it out of a girl, I tell you.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this. Comparing myself to another mom doesn't seem so far fetched, right? She's got kids, a husband, a house and all the things I do. She manages it all and is always perfectly coiffed and happy and her kids are angels. There are those out there who appear to be doing it all. Why can't I do it, too?

This lawn thing makes it blatantly clear just how silly we are to try and be something that isn't real. It's like apples and oranges. My lawn will never be turf. I would be a fool to ever compare the two. Plus, I wouldn't want it to be. I like the living, breathing comfort of real lawn. I like how soft it is on my feet. I like than when I fall down, I don't get road rash.

It's so easy to carried away in the "I should be" mindset. I catch a glimpse of a person and think I know the whole story. I notice the exterior and think I've seen who a person really is. Before I know it, I've decided that this other person must be better at so many things than I am because of the nanosecond I've spent in their presence. So, not only have I seen some pretty nice ideas for my yard, I've learned something far more important for the welfare of my soul. When I start in on myself and the many shortcomings I have, am I really striving for a goal that I can reach? Am I assigning another's priorities to my own life? More importantly, before I start comparing myself to the thing I think I ought to be, am I sure that it's something I want to be?


Dear Self,
When I said I wanted to feel young again, I was not talking about the acne part.
Thanks for nuthin',

About Me

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What started as a way to communicate with far away friends and family has become a place for this horse trainer/HR manager turned stay at home mom of 3 girls to hold on to a bit of her own identity. It's my take on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the thoughts and feelings, the mistakes and triumphs of this family as we bumble our way to eternity.