Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008


Well, I wasn't sure "it", meaning general restlessness was going to come, but the count down has arrived. This time around I just seemed to be innately patient with being pregnant. But, today marks the beginning of my 38th week and I am starting to think, hmm I am full term. OK any day now Mr. Enoch. By the way did I mention we already met our insurance premium for the year :) It sure would be cheaper to have him this month, rather than pay all those hospital bills next month. When I told my mom last night, that I thought I might have this baby early, I could tell she was smiling with a good luck with that-it'll never happen grin. All I have to say about that-GOOD THING I CAN"T REACH YOU FROM HERE IN MINNESOTA MOM!!!! I must say, that was not quite as bad as the lady who threatened to pop me with her car keys at church yesterday. Or the other lady who said, "your still here". So, from my check list I have just five things left to do.

1) Find a babysitter, to watch the boys while I am in the hospital.

2) Pack my bag for the hospital.

3) Figure out how to paint my toenails.

4) Have Tom put the other seat in the van, so we can install the baby seat.

5a) Avoid everyone so I don't have to field any questions about when I am due.


5b) Paint a sign on my forehead that says- 38 weeks, don't say a word!

I hate to sound so grumpy, and it is partly in joking tone.

I am adding a few cute cartoons here for viewer pleasure :)

OK, just to play on the opposing team for a while, I might as well wait until my due date because...

Tom will have more vacation time saved by then.
The boys are going to a sibling class on the tenth.
I just found out I am not actually at 38 weeks until the fifth.
January is my month to conduct Relief Society.
Gabriel is starting primary and the transition looks to be slightly difficult.
I may end up with the fat rolley polley baby Tom always wanted.

However, I did get a few things checked off my list ;)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Patience or Patients

First of all, and probably least important, but just so you know, I hate when random strangers come up to me and touch my pregnant bulging belly. It happens every where. The grocery store- usually with 3 energetic children climbing over, in, around, out, underneath, and on top of the shopping cart. They stick out their hand while I am in mid stride to feel my burgeoning bump. Is this OK? I don't think so. Would you touch some ones belly if they weren't pregnant? No! So why, when they are already becoming claustrophobic in their own skin would you add to their discomfort by invading their personal space, which I would like to point out once again is already being surrendered, to a smaller, much less intrusive, cuter, more cuddly being than the unknown stranger in the grocery isle. For all you belly touch-ers out there- I am 35 weeks pregnant and running out of patience! Especially if you follow any belly touching with comments like these- "you look like your about to pop", or "I can't believe your having another one" (remember the 3 very lively lovely's on the cart) or if you really want to see steam say- "you must be having twins."
OK moving on before I raise my blood pressure to a normal level :)
Gabriel drank most of a bottle of Childrens cough syrup on friday. I am going to put all the details in here, so that you will know what to look for. If however you have a weak stomache, you are pregnant, or just can't read some things, skip this paragraph. Now for the story. When Gabriel walked by, he smelled like grape something. I asked him what he had and he didn't say anything. At this point I had him show me, and he ran up to his room and shut the door. He was hiding behind the door with a completely empty bottle of grape cough syrup. I watched him for a couple hours and he seemed fine. I still felt concerned so I started looking it up on the internet. This is where I normally go for medical advice. I am telling you don't go to the internet on this one. The first 3 pages of links had headlines like-"Child dies from cough syrup overdose". "Mother imprisoned for neglect in cough syrup overdose case". This is about the same point when Gabe dissapeared. I asked Seth where he was, and he said he went up to bed. Mild panic at this point. I went up to Gabriels room and my 3 year old is laying in his bed with the lights off. So I turned the light on. And I asked him what he was doing. His eyes were slightly glazed and he said he was really tired. I told him I was worried and we said a prayer. In the prayer I asked Heavenly Father to help his body get all of the yucky poison that he drank out of his system. As soon as we said Amen I start hearing mild explosions coming from his stomache. I asked Gabriel to go downstairs and play even though he was tired. Then I called Tom. Tom said he would be fine. I called Sheri- she and I have adequate experience calling poison control :) She suggested I call, as she had not encountered a closet drinking 3 year old before. So I called poison control. They did the math and figured with his size-35-40 lbs and age, even if the bottle had been full, it wouldn't have caused any lasting symptoms. About 10 minutes later Gabriel ran to the bathroom, bent over to pull down his pants, and he had an explosion. It exploded all over the walls, shower curtain and floor. However, after this trip to the bathroom I noticed his eyes were not glossy and he was more energetic. He has been a very docile child for the last couple days. I am not sure if it was the brush with death or what. When he told Tom the story after Tom got home from work, Gabriel said, "I drank all of the cough syrup and then I died. Then I shot poop out my bumm, then I felt better and I am alive again."

Oh the joys :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thoughts while watching the washing machine ( part 2)

My new, used previously broken-thats why they got rid of it- washing machine is dying. At this point I am advancing it through the cycle. I also watch it carefully to make sure that it doesn't fill and then fill again-to an overflowing point. This has given me adequate time in the basement to do things I never do. Like, organize the food storage. Dust the cobwebs. Go through moving boxes. Exercise on the Elyptical machine. And some other time to just sit and think. Like yesterday, for example when I was sorting socks. I wondered to my self how some people seem to be naturally good at Laundry. Take my mom for example. I never remember having to wear a stain on my shirt or pants, when I was growing up. As I look at my boys clothes, very few of them are without stains. In fact today I just found a stain on one of Seths school shirts, and I have absolutely no idea how to get it out. This is not to say that I don't have adeqaute weapons for stains ie. Shout, bleach pens, Oxyclean, etc. It is just that they never seem to work for me. I also don't have the presence of mind to check for the stains until I am folding the clothes. Then when I was done pondering all of this I realized I had sorted and folded about 40 pairs of kids socks, and they all came from one load of whites. What have my kids been wearing I wondered, if all their socks have been in the laundry. I also wondered if other mothers ever get as far behind as I seem to. And, if they don't how do they keep up?
This was at about the point that I thought I should go check the clock and see if it was time for Seth to come home. I wadled up the stairs, remember I had been doing elyptical, it might have been more of a crawl :) I checked the clock and oddly enough he was about 10 minutes late. I ran around the house just to make sure I hadn't missed his coming in the door. I hadn't so I got my shoes and coat on, and went outside to see if I could find him. At this point he was coming up the steps with a big grin on his face. I asked him where he had been. He told me he had decided to take a different bus home. He wanted to ride with his friend Mike home. This required him to get on a bus without any one noticing, get off with his friend, walk one block west. Turn north, to walk up a 45 mile per hour highway, with no side walks- and no clear line of where the edge of the road is, due to the snow, use the button on the traffic light post to cross five lanes, heading west, and then another 100 yards home. This is my five year old. I don't even let him cross the streat to get the mail, because his attention span is to short to remember to look both ways to cross the street. So needless to say I panicked a little. I asked him how he got home. He said "No big deal mom" I just pushed the buttons and the cars stopped for me. He was really proud of himself. I told him I was glad that he made it home, but from now on he absolutely had to ride the right bus. He promised. This morning when I was making breakfast Seth said, I guess I was a little scared when I almost got ran over by that car. My stomache dropped! I asked for more details. He explained that he tried to cross the "big fast road" without the stop lights or cross walk, but a car honked at him and he hurried and ran into the snow drift. Then he decided he should walk down to the light and push the button. Needless to say, I thanked Heavenly Father for protecting my son, when I didn't even know he needed it. I could just imagine Heavenly Father sitting up in Heaven looking down at Seth shaking his head, and laughing as he sent down an angel to whisper to Seth about how to get home and the safest way to go. It reminded me that I am not in this alone!

Thoughts while watching the washing machine

If you could...-To the tune of If you could high to Kolob- the rhythm of the washer as it agitates playing in the back ground.

1. If you could wake at 6 am with a twinkling of an eye,
And then continue onward With that same speed to fly,
Do you think that you could ever, Through an entire day,
Find out how other mothers do it and still remain so gay?

2. Or see the sun rising, Whithout a rush to the bus?
Or watch the sun setting, in quietness with rest?
Me thinks the children whispers, “Can I get a drink,’
Or go to the bathroom, or I cant reach the sink.”

3. The works of Mom continue, And grocery bags and lives abound;
Improvement and progression have one eternal round.
There is no end to messes; There is no end to fights;
There is no end to sock folding; There is no end in sight.

4. There is no end to dishes; There is no end to spills;
There is no end to finger prints on the windows and window seals.
There is no end to crayons; and magic erasers for the wall;
There is no end to snow; Be careful and please don't fall.

5. There is no end to kisses; There is no end to hugs;
There is no end to bed time stories; This is a song of love.
There is no end to smiles; There is no end to bugs! (especially with 3 boys)
There is no end to mothering; Thank Father in Heaven above!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Four Pregnancies Later

This morning I started thinking about how different each of my pregnancies and labors have been, and I wanted to blog about it so I will have a record of it at some point:) I tried to make this without to many embarrassing details for the guy readers. Sorry if you end up rosie-cheeked anyway.
So 1st Seth. Seth was due nine months to the day after we got married. We planned it that way, as much as you can really plan when you want to have a baby. We kind of figured that there was no need to get married right away, unless you were going to have children right away. So, having said that, I had my first bout of morning sickness on September 16th. And then I was sick everyday until I had Seth on May 21st 2003. I also dealt with Gall bladder attacks from Thanksgiving of 2002 until July after I had Seth. Being 19, inexperienced, and unsure of what to expect when I was pregnant, I had no idea that I was having gall bladder attacks until after I had Seth. I had many people who knew me before I was pregnant tell me pregnancy was not a disease, and I just needed to get up and be happy. My mom said, "Pregnancy is the only gift that shakes you instead of you shaking it." But, somehow I just couldn't enjoy it. Our extended family told us you could do all kinds of things to get the baby to kick, cold packs, pushing bumps, etc. But every time Seth would kick and I would try to get him to kick again, he would go into hiding for about 3 days. I felt really sorry for Tom at this time. Before we were married, I was a fun super energetic upbeat person. Then when I got pregnant, every time he leaned in to kiss me, I had to run to the bathroom to be sick. We still did a lot of fun things, like Tom would talk to my stomach every night, and tell Seth how wonderful he was and that he was destined for great things. From the very first day that we knew we were pregnant with Seth, we called him Seth Thomas. In the scriptures it says Seth was in the perfect likeness and image of his father. And, I couldn't imagine anyone better for my son to be like. Thomas means Twin, and obviously it is also Toms name, so the name fit and it was perfect. At my first baby shower I received a rocking chair recliner. It was so soft and comfortable, I am pretty sure that I slept in it the for almost the entire last month of my pregnancy. As I rocked in it I would sing "I am a child of god" to my tummy. It was really one of the only primary songs that I remembered. It must have stuck, because when Seth was about 18 months old, he could sing it word for word. When I was a week late for my due date, my doctor broke my water and I went into labor. My appointment was at 2 pm. At 5 I fed the missionaries. At 7 I went to an awesome Enrichment night, where they put on a skit from all of the songs of the "woman at the well". This was about the point that I figured I might really be in labor. When I got home from enrichment I told Tom that he better go to bed and get some sleep, because I was probably going to have a baby that night. At about midnight I woke Tom up and told him I thought this was the real deal. He asked me if I could try to go back to sleep. At which point I informed him that I had not been asleep and he better get up! He got up and took a shower and got ready for work, just in case it was a false alarm-since he worked at 6am. Then we went to the hospital. Earlier that night I called the attending nurse in the OB wing to ask her how I would know if I was really in labor. She laughed and said if you can talk and smile during your contractions, its probably not the real thing. Since I was talking to her when I was having contractions I decided I must not really be in Labor. When we got to the hospital I was at a four. When she asked how much pain I was in I told her I wasn't really in pain at all. She figured I probably wasn't in active Labor, so she asked me to walk around for a while. About a half hour later, walking wasn't really an option, so she checked me again and I was at a 6. At this point she decided this must be the real deal. She asked me if I wanted an epidural. I was kind of indifferent, so I decided I might as well. I must tell you that for me putting the epidural in was the most painful part of the entire labor for me. They had a hard time getting it in and poked my back with a huge needle about 10 times. At this point Tom almost fainted and they brought a bed, some juice, and a snack for him. -which I must say, is not really fair, since I was stuck with ice chips! After they had the epidural in place the next five hours were completely pain free. I rested, though I was to excited to sleep. Tom slept. And at about 7:30 I had a sweet little Setherdoo. My nurses shift was over at 6, but she stayed with me until I had Seth. It was so nice to have her there and know that she cared! All of my family came to see me within a few hours of having Seth. Our Elders Quorum president was Seth's pediatrician, so the ward was informed soon after he was born. And they were so great! The night after I had Seth, the nurse came in to wake me up. She said that my baby had been crying for several minutes. And Tom and I had just slept through it. Whoops! The next night after we brought Seth home from the hospital, Tom and I slept peacefully until 6. At which point I realized it was light out side and I still had not fed Seth all night! I ran in to his room to see if he was still alive, which of course he was, and he woke up about 20 minutes later. Happy and hungry. This is the earliest digital image I have of Seth, but I figured it was applicable.
Next came Gabriel Noah. Gabriel means Gods anointed one. I loved this name, because he is the one who got to tell Mary and Joseph of our Saviors coming! Noah means rest in Hebrew. I always joked that after Seth we needed a rest. As some of you may know, Gabriel the angel is Noah the prophet. We decided to have Gabriel in January of 2004. But things worked out differently than planned and I didn't actually get pregnant until July of 2004. At this point I had already started Beauty School. Morning sickness wasn't to bad, and I did great until about November. At this point I started passing out at school every time I would have to stand for to long. The school director asked me to go in to the doctor. So in to the doctor I went. They found out I had very low blood pressure. They suggested lots of rest a high calorie diet and not to stay on my feet for to long. By the end of the month, I just had to put school on the shelf for a while. When I came home, I felt a lot better and things seemed to get easier. I was able to be home with my little setherdoo and sleep when he slept. The Doctor I had with Gabriel was very happy to use medication. We scheduled my Labor for April 22nd-2 weeks early. I scrubbed my floor the night before I had Gabriel. The next morning at 5 am I got up and curled my hair and put on some makeup. Then I woke up Tom and we went into the hospital. They started with the Epidural, which went in without a hitch. after that was going, and I couldn't feel a thing, they started me on pitocin. After a few hours of that they were able to break my water, and I had Gabriel completely pain free a few hours later. Perfect hair, makeup and completely rested!
There was a concern when I was in labor with Gabriel that they were going to have to do a C-section. Every time I had a contraction Gabriel's heart rate would drop. When he came out, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his foot. The more educated I became, the more I realized that this could have happened because of the stress of the pitocin.
Seth 23 months-Gabriel 4 hours

Hyrum Lawrence
Hyrum means exalted brother, after Joseph Smiths brother- the greatest brother and friend I can think of, and Lawrence-meaning Laurels or award is after my Dad- Larry, though not the same, it was the intention.
When Gabriel was 6 months I was getting ready to go back to beauty school. One morning I woke up and I was sick. After a few hours I felt fine. I decided it must have been food poisoning. Then I started to have other symptoms of pregnancy. So I decided to take the test. When I took the test one line came up indicating that I was not pregnant. So I called Tom and told him it was a false alarm. And I went to work-I cleaned houses. When I got home I realized I had not thrown away the test. I happened to glance at it before it went in the garbage, 2 lines- I was pregnant. I couldn't believe it. I was still nursing Gabriel. I called Tom. It really took me about 3 months to get excited to be pregnant. Then I decided I must be having a girl. Who really has 3 boys in a row-right. So I went to the store and picked out a cute little girls dress. Then we had the ultrasound. I had the doctor look again 3 times just to be sure. Yep sure enough it was a boy! It took me almost another 3 months to be excited to have a boy. I am not sure if anyone else has ever been so grumpy to carry one of Gods greatest gifts. As far as my health went, from month 2 until about month 5 I was literally bed ridden. I could not get out of bed. My blood pressure was so low that my limbs were numb. To lift any part of my body felt like know in the Incredibles(kids movie), when Mr. incredible gets hit with those black balls that inflate, and eventually he can't move... well that is how I felt. I just had to forget completely about my house. The boys just played in my room- Gabe was still a baby and Seth was a great help! He would get diapers and he became very proficient at making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He was 2 and 1/2. Tom would make sure he had breakfast everyday, and he tried to come home for lunch to see if we were all still alive. Then he would come home and fix dinner. About the time that I had the ultrasound, is when all of this nonsense got over. They figured it was just to much stress on my body to have 2 so close when I had low blood pressure anyway. I think I may have only been sick about 4 times during this pregnancy. I had the same doctor with Gabriel as I had with Hyrum. When I was 2 and 1/2 weeks early he induced me. However, because I already had two, I did not get on my hands and knees to scrub the floor, and I slept through my alarm on the morning I was to be induced. We were about a 1/2 hour late. Oh well! I did try to do a few things, so that it wouldn't be to hard to have three. Like I wrote out all the checks for bills, and stamped them so I could send them. The night before I had Hyrum, I sent these bills accidentally. Though Tom was working hard, we were not in a financial position to pay bills twice in the same month, so the next morning when I was having Hyrum I made an emergency phone call to my mom to ask her if she could cover it until I could pay her back. Oh the joys...
When I got to the hospital to have Hyrum I told the nurse that I wanted to go epidural free as long as possible. She kept that in mind. I was feeling pretty good, until she came in 5 hours later and I was feeling like I must be almost done- it was hurting pretty bad-and she checked and I was only at a 3. Then I told her I should probably get an epidural. This was at the same point that my doctor told her to increase the pitocin to the maximum amount. Uhhg! This feels like getting kicked in the stomach over and over and over. 20 minutes later she came into check me and called the doctor with an emergency call, I was at an 8. At this point I was sobbing. It hurt so bad, that everything was a blur! They were asking me questions and telling me not to push and trying to get me to wait-yelling at someone to turn of the "pit". But there was no waiting. Hyrum almost fell on the floor, because they weren't ready. When they caught him they put him on my chest, as if to say- could you hold him for me...I still have to get my gloves on. As soon as they put him on my stomach I was in love! I had not felt that kind of love so intensely or immediately for either of my other boys. Going from a 3 to a 10 in 25 minutes with no meds really puts things in perspective for you :) As I think about it, I think they may have put something in my IV when I was at an 8, I will have to ask Tom.
This is also the first time I got to hold a brand new messy, naked baby on top of my stomach, before he was cleaned up and sleepy. I started to form an opinion at this point, that there must have been a reason why the Lord gave us Labor. It is not a forever thing, but it is something that you have to work hard through and at the end you get the greatest reward. It may sound strange to you, but for some reason because it was so hard, I loved him so much sooner. Hyrum and I, about 10 minutes old

So now for little guy number four. Whom we call Enoch John. We love the prophet Enoch. He was such a righteous leader that he was able to teach an entire city how to love each other with hearts of Zion. That city was later taken to Heaven, none of its inhabitants having to taste of death! Wow what a teacher! And the John, after my Grandpa John. This brave man married into a family of 6 kids and saved them. He was able to hold this family together. He is one of my greatest examples, right next to my dad and my husband. When I found out I was pregnant with Enoch we were so excited. We had been trying for about 5 months, with one miscarriage in between. I didn't take a pregnancy test this time, I just knew I was pregnant. I never got sick until about 9 weeks. I stayed nauseous for about 3 weeks and then it was over. I have only gotten sick 2 more times since. This has been such an easy pregnancy. Remember when I said that " this is the only present that shakes you." well, that is exactly how I feel this time. Every time he kicks or wiggles I get a big happy goofy grin on my face. Tom thinks its cute. This time, I was just positive it was a girl, because it was so different, and really who could have 4 boys in a row. Plus the baby room was already pink :) I was going to call her Twila Eve, however she is a he. When I had the ultrasound, I just laughed. About a week later my rib went out the first time. Luckily I was in Indiana with Rosie-my aunt, and she knew exactly what it was. She popped it back in and so I knew what was wrong and what to do. Each time it has popped out since, I have known that relief is only a few hours away- whenever Tom got home from work. I actually got to a point where I learned how to pop it back in on my own. Since then I think Enoch has dropped, and my rib going out is not a problem any longer. Over all this has been the easiest pregnancy ever! I have a midwife this time. Her ideas of labor are different than my last doctor, and that is what I was looking for. I am not scheduled to have a baby. It will just happen when it happens. The hospital is right across the street from Toms work. He jokes that he will go to work and I can call him when its over. :) The OB unit is terrific at this hospital. I feel very educated on the subject and I am so excited to have this baby and experience everything! It is funny how you learn things in life. At least for me, I find that the opinions I originally have change over time and through experience. When I first started having children, I kind of felt like why not have pain relief if it is there. Now, I kind of feel like, Labor doesn't last forever, women that have children are the only ones who get to experience it, so why not! This will be my first actual med free labor, so I may be singing a different tune, but I can't imagine that I will since I did Hyrums labor on full "pit" without any meds for pain, and that is when I started to form this opinion. So, I know this is long and boring. If you make it this far, I would love to hear your stories.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Whom sayest ye that I am?

As I ponder this question, I can't help but be filled with a deep spirit of love. Who is he, Jesus Christ? He is the reason I will conquer death. He is the hope I feel when I loose a loved one. He is the happiness I have when I have another child, because I know through him, I can be with them forever. He is the reason I will never be alone, even in Minnesota :) He is the one who knows me better than any one else, and loves me still. He is the one who atoned for my sins. The spirit that I feel when ever I choose the right, is the spirit that leads me to him. He is hope in a dismal world. Comfort in a sea of sin and wickedness. He is our leader. The one who guides us home. He said I am the bread of life. In 3 Nephi, it said they partook of the sacrament and they were filled. Filled, not because they ate so much but because of what the sacrament represents. Because he gave his body and blood, that he might call us his children, take us into his fold, and lead us safely back to the father. And if we stray, he will find us. He has promised to never leave us. And he has never left me. Who is Jesus? He is the healer, he has promised us that whatever we go through, he has already gone through for us. He took it on, whether we ask it of him or not. He has told us in the doctrine and covenants that his work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. A Perfect God, our Savior, the one who knows us better than anyone else, and his "work and glory" Is our "immortality and Eternal Life". In the Book of Mormon it says, And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. In a world with so many uncertainties, I know of this one certainty, Our Savior loves us, he has atoned for our sins, and he is the way, the truth, and the light. I hope I can always be found bearing testimony of him in my words, my actions, and my heart. As I leave this testimony, I would love to read your response to the Saviors question, "Whom sayest ye that I am?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

One More Recipe

I want to keep this blog pretty specific to just journal writing, testimony bearing, and encouragement. Having said that I am going to add one more recipe. This is a chocoholic must have, though it needs a little tweaking, I am pretty positive that it is going to become a date night favorite.
It is Chocolate cake in a mug
Five TBS of Sugar
Four TBS of Flour
three TBS of Oil
Three TBS of Milk
Two TBS of Cocoa (I am going to try 1 1/2 TBS next time)
One Egg
a dash of salt
One Mug
Add all ingredients to the mug and mix. Put a plate under your mug and microwave for 3 minutes.
It will "grow" out of the mug while its cooking. Let it settle back in the cup before removing the cup from the microwave.
At least from my experience, part of it stays a little gooey- I like it that way, you could probably cook it longer (shrug) It is a great fix to a chocolate craving!

Thanks for sharing this with me Stephanie!!

Give and receive

This week I have been taught the lesson of give and receive a few times.

First, On Tuesday I read Joseph Smiths lesson on the second coming. There was a part that really stood out to me. It is dated December 27th 1832. Joseph Smith tells his High priest group that if they wanted to receive revelation they needed to be of one heart and one mind. he then recommended that they each pray individually out loud. Each of them did so, one after another. I was surprised as I read on that they did not pray to be of one heart and one mind. They each prayed and spoke of their determination to keep the commandments. Shortly after, the prophet received the revelation that constitutes section 88.
As a side, the last 2 pages of section 88 are a great way to check yourself and see if you are becoming a Zion in heart as Elder D. Todd Christofferson and President Henry B. Eyering referred to in conference.

OK-second lesson. Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to the temple. I was able to give several members of my deceased family the option of being bound together for the Eternity's as Malachi talks about in the Bible. When I was finished I was able to go into the Celestial room. This is a room for quiet meditation. An opportunity to think and pray always gives way in this most beautiful setting. If you ever have a chance to go to a temple open house, I invite you to, and you will see that this special room has a wonderful spirit of love. I was sitting in the Celestial room contemplating my great-great cousin who had done all of the leg work for this family history. He had definitely been motivated from heaven. I had the special feeling of knowing that at least one of the families being sealed was happy, that they would be together for Eternity. As I was contemplating this, my thoughts were led to my brother. He will be finalizing a divorce this week. I prayed for him and my family as they go through this time of trial. After about 20 minutes going on and on in prayer for things that people were in need of, I remembered that I had not yet been brave enough to tell Heavenly Father of my determination to keep the commandments, like the high priests had. I then offered that prayer, and my heart was lead to pray and ask him what I could do for him. The simple answer was, Help your husband. I thanked Heavenly Father and prepared to go home to the whirlwind of boys.
When I walked in, the dishes were done and the house had been picked up. The boys were quiet and playing with Tom. When he saw me, he told me he was going to lay down and take a nap. When I told him about the prompting I had received in the temple to help him, and asked him what I could do to help him, I was suprised at his answer. I don't know what I expected, I was thinking-clean the garage, rake the leaves, etc. His answer, "If you could just clean the house and keep doing all the things you are doing, I would be so happy."
result-I deep cleaned the kitchen with the happiest heart, full of love. I knew that this was helping him and so it made the work full of joy. I continued on through the house, without one feeling of drudgery.

Third lesson- Today was tithing settlement for our family. The Lord has established a great principle of Tithes and Offerings. Tithe or tithing is 10% of your income and Offerings-or Fast Offerings-The Church designates one Sunday each month, usually the first Sunday, as a day of fasting. Proper observance of fast Sunday includes going without food and drink for two consecutive meals, attending fast and testimony meeting, and giving a fast offering to help care for those in need.A fast offering should be at least the value of the two meals not eaten. When possible, we should be generous and give much more than this amount. So now that we are clear on these definitions, I will move on to Tithing settlement. This happens at the end of each year. You and your family go into the bishop, to say whether or not you pay a full 10% tithe. It also gives you a chance to check your records and make sure your records match that of the church.
Before Tithing settlement we had a little discussion with the boys to refresh in their minds what tithing is and where it goes. We gave the boys each a dollar and let them pay a dime from their dollars for tithing. Each of the boys tried to give more. We explained that this was not necessary. The Lord is so good, he gives us everything and only asks for 10% in return. And if we pay our 10% he promises us blessings that we wont even have room to receive. When I told the boys that, the spirit bore witness to me, that I knew it was true, and flashed in my mind the many times that I personally have been able to witness the truthfulness of it.

The "Purple Park"

So, Fourth Lesson-On the way home from tithing settlement we drove by a park. Gabriel said look there is the purple park! Seth said yeah but we don't play at the park on Sunday, and then for the first time, noticed that there were in fact people playing at the park. Mom, he said, some people are playing at the park. Yes Seth I know, but that is because they don't know that Heavenly Father asked us to keep the Sabbath Day holy. But we know that, right. Then Seth said, but I wish I didn't know that, I want to play at the park on Sunday and not go to church. Then I said, yeah it seems like it would be pretty fun to play at the park on Sunday, huh. He said yeah. I said, but can you imagine if you didn't go to church. You couldn't get baptized or receive the holy ghost. If you didn't go to church, your kids wouldn't go to church. If you didn't go to church you couldn't get married in the temple, and that would mean that you couldn't be with your family forever and ever. I said, Seth, going to church is such a small thing that the Lord ask of us. Its like just paying 1 dime from our dollar for tithing. And yet when we keep the sabbath day holy we receive great blessings, like being with are families forever. I am not sure if he learned the lesson, but for me the weeks teachings had come full circle and again the spirit bore witness to my heart that things I was saying were true. I am so grateful for a Father in Heaven who leads and guides me. How blessed I have been!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Best Cinnamon rolls I have ever made!


Cinnamon filling

Orange filling


  1. Place first 3 ingredients into mixing bowl and let sit till yeast begins to work. After about 10 minutes I add 6 Cups flour to this mixture.
  2. Heat Shortening, Sugar, salt, and Canned milk, until shortening is melted, and cool to a luke-warm temperature. When it is cooled, add 4 cups of flour to this mixture then mix it with the yeast mixture, after mixed, add one more cup of flour.
  3. Knead well.
  4. Place in a greased bowl and let rise till doubled.
  5. Punch down, rise till doubled again.
  6. knead then let rest 10 minutes.
  7. Roll out about 1/2 inch thick .- I break this down to a third of the dough at a time, just to make it easier to work with.
  8. Spread with desired filling I melt the butter, add the sugar and mix, then add the cinnamon and mix it all in. As you can see it makes a pretty generous amount- My feeling on this is the gooyer the better. So I dollop it on pretty thick. This is where I add raisins, chocolate chips, or pecans.
  9. Roll up jelly roll style and cut into 3/4-1 inch thick rolls.
  10. Place on greased cookie sheet allowing plenty of room for them to expand.
  11. Let raise 30 minutes.
  12. Cook 350 degrees for up to 25 minutes, watch carefully and do not let them brown!
  13. Store in an airtight conatainer and only frost when needed.
  14. To freshen your cinnamon rolls place a pat of butter on top and microwave for 10-20 seconds.
  15. Makes about 3 dozen

Friday, October 31, 2008

Dear Heavenly Father

I heard the sweetest little prayer this morning. My Dear Gabriel Was looking slightly heavenward with his eyes open and a dead little fire bug in his hands. Hyrum was kneeling next to him, saying "He was our friend" over and over again.
This is the prayer Gabriel fervently prayed
Dear Heavenly Father,
I killed this little fire bug. I am so sorry. Could you take care of him and make him alive again. We love him. Could you take care of him better than I did. I am so sorry
Hyrum said "He is our friend" and that was it. They were off playing a different game.

Oh the tender heart of a child!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Dear Gabriel

Ahh, I am not sure if I should be concerned or not. So, I am blogging, because I can't find similar symptoms on the web-to get an idea of what is going on.

Here goes. My Gabe is 3 1/2 years old. I like to say that he is raw Gabe. That seems to be the best way to describe him. He seems to have no barriers. When he gets sick-while the other boys are sick-he is always the sickest. They get a sniffle, he gets a knock down drag out flew, where there is no relief or end in sight. When he is angry, he unleashes a ball of fiery that you had no idea a 3 year old could conjure. He has been kicked out of nursery for throwing a dresser at a teacher-Later she did come to me apologetically to tell me she antagonized him. Still it just seems he has no protective wall. So, that has been a worry to me. But, then recently I have noticed a few new symptoms. He grinds his teeth during the day- I am not sure if he does it at night. He also breaths very shallowly when he sleeps, and holds his breath with a quick intake and a forceful release all through the day, no matter the activity. That is how I breath when I am in pain, ie. popped out rib, labor, or Gall bladder attack.
He takes about a 2 hour quiet time during the day- but never sleeps. He goes to sleep about two hours after he is in bed. And he hates to have his light off.
Do you all think these are related. Do you think it could be sleep apnea, respitory, behavioral, or I should just not worry?
Everyone who reads this, please leave a comment- I am up for any suggestions!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Some Pictures from Minnesota

Well, I finally got the coupon I wanted and got my pictures put on a CD. However, this is just one roll of film, so they are kind of sparse. I used most of the roll on Hyrum, because he is normally down for a nap and misses out on the photo sessions. Please enjoy!

This is Cutie Pie Hyrum on the Swing set. He is 2 years old. I am loving the stage he is at right now. He always walks around saying "Your my best buddy, huh." To whoever is near. You just can't help yourself picking up this guy and kissing him all over until he begs for mercy.
The swing set is one of those blessings from Heavenly Father that I just shake my head, because I feel so blessed. A man from our ward called us up and asked if we wanted a swing set. He thought we could use it. So he brought it over and assembled it for us. Why is Heavenly Father so good to us?

Gabriel- 3 years old
Every night for scripture study we try very hard to be reverent. It is the only way I can make it through one chapter a night on my own- when Tom has to work late. So, if someone isn't reverent whether it is during scripture study or family prayers, they have to sit on the reverence chair. Gabe got 10 minutes for being irreverent during family prayers. I went up to help the other 2 get to bed, and when I came back down, this was what I found with 6 minutes left on the timer. He was trying so hard to be obedient, but he was so tired. What a sweetheart! He scooted that other chair up to his chair so he could lay down and wait for the timer. He was completely asleep when I took him up to his bed.
Here is my sweet little Setherdoo-Seth for short :) -5 years old
This is the baby room. We made it off limits from the beginning so we wouldn't have a hard time keeping the kids out when the baby comes. However, when Seth builds towers he needs complete concentration and no little hands stealing cups off of the bottom row. So I let him build in the baby room. This is one of his favorite past times. I think we may have an engineer on our hands. :)
This is "our" raspberry patch. It isn't really ours, it is our neighbors. Though he is more than happy to let the boys graze all summer long. Behind the Raspberries are Huckleberry and Blackberry bushes. These along with the apples from our apple tree have been such a treat to us since we moved here.
On one of the last warm days of summer, I decided to let the boys fill one of the gardens with water for a pond. So they could have leaf boat races. When the leaf boats sunk, we decided to make it a sort of slip and slide instead. Hyrum thought it was a terrible idea. But, the other two had a blast. They played in the mud for almost 3 hours after Seth got home from school. I sprayed them off the best I could and carried them each very carefully to the tub. It was such fun-I might not plant that garden spot next year and let them do it all summer long. Just look at Gabe and the water next to him-:)
OK last one. I was trying to get the boys to do the "See no evil" "Hear no Evil" "Speak no Evil" But they followed their big brother and they all thought they were so cute that I had to take the picture any way. This picture is taken in our "fortress". It is actually our porch, but the boys call it their fortress, and it has made a great place for 3 little boys to fight the dragons and save me from the bad guys for countless hours. Sometimes however it is my fortress to go to when I am talking on the phone, so I can get away from 3 very loud little boys.

This is just a little of us in Minnesota.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A little piece of heaven

I have been so blessed! I just read next weeks lesson from the Joseph Smith manual. It talked about all the trials that he endured through his life time. Even one sad occasion when some of his "friends" turned mobbers came into his house, drug him out, suffocated him until he passed out, ripped off his clothes, scratched him with their fingernails all over his body, and then poured hot tar and feathers all over him. At the time his little boy had the measles and when they drug him out of the house, the little boy was exposed to the cold and died 5 days later. After he was able to recover enough from the attack, he crawled to a friends house, where they spent the night cleaning the tar off of him. The next morning he spoke during the sunday service(the mobbers attended) with such faith in the Lord that 3 people were baptized after the service. After reading this lesson, I realized how much I complain. I think if I were Joseph at that time, I would have said, Lord haven't I done all that you asked me to do. I have been your humble servant for all these years, and this is what I get in return. But, not faithful Joseph. He knew that this life was a time to be proved and tested. He bore testimony of it time and again. I ask myself how he gained such great faith. I remember more than a few times in the last several months, complaining at little trials ie. not finding the right house, not being able to get everything done as I moved out, not seeing my husband enough, not having enough money to pay all the bills. What little trials and yet each time I gave into the temptation to ask Heavenly Father why. Each time I was reminded of Job and all that he endured with a great love for God that never waivered. I realize at this time that my faith muscles are pretty weak and prone to give out if the trial lasts for to long. But, luckily we have the Faith of other to help build our own.
So, after I read this lesson, I started looking at things in a little different light. And realize how truely blessed I am and how easy my trials really are. I hope that I can remain faithful no matter what trials I face, and I am so grateful for the reminders that the Lord sends my way!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Oh the places you'll go

When I graduated from high school my Grandma Twila gave me a luggage set. She said she just new I was going places, and that it would come in handy. What a remarkable way to encourage me to follow my dreams of travel! She was right. I have used them many times. This year alone, I have traveled a great distance every month. This is going to be a travel log, but if you have never read the book by Dr. Seuss, I highly recommend it, go to the link at the bottom of the post and check it out!
In January I went to Florida as 1 of the top 100 future beauty professionals of the country.
In February I went to the opposite coast, and California as a guest speaker for the Paul Mitchell Schools to talk about a new philanthropic based program the schools were adopting, called "Be Nice".
In March I flew with my family to the beautiful new state called Minnesota. Where we have started a new chapter in our life which I like to call "growing up".
In April I took a month off to approach the state of being pregnant :)
In May Toms company flew us to Arizona for a wonderful mothers day weekend.
In June I again opted to stay home to get over a state of morning sickness :(
In July we made a trip out to Idaho, where July 31st we drove through Iowa and onto Nebraska.
Then August made up the bulk of our trip, where we traveled through Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
By September I reached the state of exhaustion :)
However in October I packed my suit case once again to go see my beautiful cousin be married. We traveled from Minnesota to Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana.
I love to drive across the country and think about the early settlers of the country and how they may have viewed it. I was especially blessed on this most recent trip to view the vibrant sea of colors of the Midwest. There are trees everywhere, and they are all changing to match the fall temperature. I saw brilliant maroons, bright reds, deep greens, pumpkin oranges, and golden yellows. What a beautiful world the Lord has given us, and I feel so blessed to be able to enjoy it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Top 10 reasons to have another boy

10) Easier to wipe.
9) I don't have to buy anymore baby clothes.
8) Boys are expected to get dirty.
7) I almost have enough for a basketball team.
6) Spit up almost matches white church shirts.
5) White church shirts can be bleached.
4) A girl probably wouldn't survive.
3) Boys are the best peanut buttery kissers ever.
2) Now I can have a Superman, a Spiderman, a Batman, and a Helaman :)
1) I get to change my name to 5boystokiss, and that is just scandalis :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another Boy?

OK, I guess the word is out, we contacted all the essential people, so now it is blogable. We went and had an ultrasound this morning at 7:30 am. That is a feet in itself. But when we saw the bum view, I new for sure that all my trying to talk myself into having a girl just hadn't worked. It is a boy. Mr. Enoch John Kunzler should arrive the end of January. So maybe tommorow I will write a blog about the top ten reasons to have a boy, so stay tuned.
Just as a side note, I figured out how to explain how the baby got there in the first place
I ate him!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Little Tidbits

Why do little boys take a whole bag of lunch meat and scatter little pieces all of the house; Break eggs all over the kitchen floor; dump out the entire toy box daily; run away from the yard; hide under the table to do naughty things; take a butcher knife to the mattress only to pour maples syrup in the holes later; sit in the fridge; unwind a ball of yarn all over the house-all 3 stories, Say mommy your beautiful- don't be grumpy because I think your beautiful and I handsome.

Long days- To break up the monotony of our long days with out transportation and no one close enough to visit, we try to schedule the day. We get up, eat breakfast, read scriptures- while the boys watch a movie. After the movie is over, we clean the house. Pick up all of the toys, sweep the floor, load the laundry basket, due the dishes and make the beds. Then I let the boys play for about 2 hours while I pay bills, check blogs, check email, look at facebook, etc. Then at about 12- we eat lunch and2 little boys go down for a rest. Depending on how I am feeling I either tackle an odd job or take a nap. However if I take a nap I am useless for the rest of the day. About the time the boys wake up, we go get Seth at the bus stop. When we get home, depending on what I have heard from Seths teacher, we go play outside on our new "park" or we go in the house and the little boys watch a movie, while I put Seth to work. At about 5 we all pitch in and make dinner. Then we read scriptures, do the dishes brush our teeth and the boys all are in bed by 7. The only problem with this schedule is that Tom gets home anywhere from about 8:30- 11 so I am left with about 4.5-7 hours of completely alone time. I do not have enough friends to help me fill those alone hours of the day. I talk with my mom for quite a while depending on the day, and then I have my wonderful sister in law Sheri, my bf Christen and then all of the other people that I try to get to help me pass the days. I realize more and more how much time I have on my hands, when I check all 30 blogs, and no one has reposted.

Then I realize there most be more things I should or could be doing. So What are they? anyone full of ideas?
Where is Christen when I need her?

Seth at school- Seth started school, and he seems to be having a hard time. There are few things working against him. First- When he was just old enough to understand us, we did not want to spank him for naughty things, so we used a method called the 1-2-3 method. This is where you give the child three chances to do what is right. But, this has back fired. Not only do all 3 of our kids wait until 2 to listen to us, but Seths teacher disciplines on one.
Second- he is the only kid in his class who has never been to preschool. I thought this was doing him a service, but he is the only one who dosn't seem to be understanding the rules of a classroom.

Lastly- Caucasians are in the minority at his school. They only make up about 5% of the school. He is dealing with so much, that I never had to. He is the only white boy in his class. So he follows the lead of his friends. One of his friends was scaring these little girls in the hall, and they were giggling at him. So, Seth started doing it, and the little girl said- with all the diva attitude she could muster- I 'onna'kick yo' butt. With the side to side head shake thing and all.

I feel sorry for him. He has only had 3 good days since school started 3 weeks ago, and 2 of those days were with a sub. I just hope everyone learns for real what a sweet little boy they have on their hands.
He gets himself up every morning with an alarm, and then he follows a 2 hour schedule to the T all by himself- where he showers, makes his lunch, eats breakfast, brushes his teeth, gets dressed, cleans his room, and meets me at the door to walk him the five minutes to the bus stop. He is an incredibly responsible little guy. Also, he can read. He loves learning. Yet he just can't seem to catch a break. Certainly we should be able to figure this out!

New callings- Tom and I recieved our new callings yesterday. They asked us if we would come to meeting with the bishop before church. About 10 minutes before the meeting started, we met with the bishop. He said, " Well I am sorry it has taken so long to get you guys a calling (just over 2 months) but, (looking at me) all of the auxillaries asked for you. We really wanted to put Tom in the missionary program, but with how busy you are going to be, we didn't want to over burden your family. Tom is terrific with the missionary program and would have been great, but I am glad that they didn't give him that calling as well, because we already don't see him enough. So the bishop went on to say- Sister Berrigan would like you as her first counselor. I was thinking- Sister Berrigan-not sure if I have met her. Then he said- This will be the education counselor- Ohh the relief society president. And then all the wind rushed out of my lungs. I thought I could handle any calling, but not so sure about this one. The rest of the day was a blur. I didn't even hear what calling they gave Tom. Later in the day I asked him what he was supposed to do as the Sunday School first counselor and he said that wasn't his calling. I heard it like three times, just never processed. He is the Sunday School Sec'y I am happy for this calling. It is a Sunday only calling. That we can handle.
So after we were sustained. I went and met the Relief Society president for the first time, and we made plans for our first meeting. She seems really sweet. Whew! and I was sad that I didn't have enough things to do during the day. Heavenly Father took care of that one!

Grocery Shopping- I went to Costco on Saturday. I bought just about a months worth of food, for the price of what I would normally spend in 2 weeks. I will have to go back for bread, milk and LUNCH MEAT :( but, I shouldn't have to buy anything else for the month, wahoo, love bargain shopping!

Doctors Appointments- When Tom was in school, we had all 3 kids with the benefit of medicaid. At times Tom and I were even covered by medicaid- Tom got some dental work done and I got some hardware put in my ankle and a gallbladder removed. I don't think we were ever grateful enough for it though. Now, we have had work insurance since April. Gabriel had to get staples in his head, Tom had to get new glasses, Seth had to have a check up and get shots, and I got my foot x-rayed for no apparent reason at all.
Total we have paid almost $3,000 for medical bills. And now, I am going to get an ultrasound this week that will be about $700. The frustration is mounting. But, Gabriels head has healed, Toms glasses are not falling apart, my foot grrrr, and We get to find out what we are having and we can pay for it!

The Book of Mormon, OK final tidbit. I remember when I was younger one of my friends told me that I would be suprised when I got to heaven and I was a member of the wrong "true church". At the time I was a little worried that maybe she would be right. I did not have enough experience with feeling the holy ghost. Now, I can say with unwaivering faith. If you read the book of mormon every day, there will be absolutely no doubt in your mind. There is a spirit that resides in reading the Book of Mormon. It is the same spirit of love that you feel when you hold a new baby. I wish I knew how to describe it, but it is there. I felt the same spirit when we all got to stand and sustain the prophet during the solemn assembly. Its the same way I feel when I am being comforted by the Lord during the time of trials. There is nothing empty about reading the Book of Mormon. When the Lord said come unto me and hunger and thirst no more, this must have been the feeling he was describing. If you haven't made the commitment for personal scripture study I challenge you to. If you think you don't have time to read it make the time, it will change your life and perhaps your eternity. Make the time!
Love you all.

Friday, September 12, 2008

All about Coupons!

After an alarming month of spending in August, Tom and I decided we had to do something. So, we set a budget. $100/ week on household items, including groceries. Then after going to the store yesterday, I added up how much the bare minimums cost us each week. If I only bought bread, milk, butter, cereal, eggs, lunch meat, diapers, paper-towels, and toilet paper each week, I spend $88. That only leaves me $12 for everything else. What do I do? Get creative. I am going to pass this blog onto you, that one of my friends recently wrote. She is the coupon Queen, and she has totally got it figured out. I am still at the beginning stages.

Here is her blog

Walgreens Tutorial

Okay, I've been asked quite often how I get my deals. It takes some time to get the hang of things and couponing--it was a whole new world when I started. It takes some reading and some work, but it has been worth it (though I may be taking a break here shortly). Anyway, I thought I'd help everyone get in on a good deal at Walgreens. So, if you have one nearby, here's the deal-- no newspaper coupons required and Saturday is the last day to do this:

First off I'm going to start with 4 deals: A, B, C, D. Each of these can be done separately at Walgreens. However, if you have a little money to "invest" and combine the deals, you'll come out pretty nicely and I'll show you how that works at the end.

Crest Pro-Health mouthwash 500 ml. at $4.49
After you pay, you will get a print-out (technical term = catalina) for $4.49 off your next purchase. FREEBIE

Deal B:

1 Dimetapp at $3.99
1 Robitussin at $3.99
1 Dimetapp or Robitussin at $3.99
Total: $11.97
Now use these Internet printable (IP) coupons:
Dimetapp -$2
Robitussin -$1
and your new total is $8.97. After you pay, you will get a catalina for $10 off your next purchase. SLIGHT MONEYMAKER

Deal C:
2 Scrubbing bubbles Action scrubber @ 3.79
Total= 7.58
Now use two IP coupons (using your browsers back button you should be able to print a second one)
2 coupons (-$2.75 off 1) -5.50
and your new total is $2.08. You will get a catalina for $2 off your next purchase, making your total cost $.08.
(Now there are many other ways to do this deal. If you are needing some cleaners, look in the ad. There is an orange box that has other scrubbing bubbles items, shout, windex, fantastik, pledge, and draino in it. Look at it this way-- you buy 7 of those items you get $10 back. This means you are getting $1.42 off of each of those items. All of those $2.49 items are actually costing you just over $1. There are two other scrubbing bubbles items that cost $3.79 that have coupons on the above site-- otherwise, I'm afraid you're out of luck finding any other internet coupons. If you get the Sunday paper and have enough coupons, you can actually make money buying 7 cleaners. I'm assuming many of you don't get the Sunday paper, and even without coupons, it's still a decent deal.)

Deal D:
Is a lesser deal. I'm including it however, because I've been wanting to try these.
Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower cleaner kit @ 19.99
Get back a catalina for $10 off your next purchase.

Now a little FYI:
Some Walgreens will not take internet coupons. Some will, but it depends on your store and your manager. You can not do these deals more than once, for example: If you buy 2 bottles of Crest mouthwash, you will not get 2 coupons for $4.49 off your next purchase. You will only get one per transaction-(or time you pay.) You can, however, do the mouthwash and the scrubbing bubbles, and the medicine together. This is where things can get more complex. I don't want to scare everyone off, and for the sake of keeping things simple, I'll end right there. If you have more questions, I'll answer them. Otherwise, if you're really serious about taking up coupons, I'll direct you to one of my favorite websites, Hot Coupon World.

Now for the big deal. This is more of an investment. I say "investment" because you are going to have to spend more money out of your pocket. I prefer to pay less than $10 each time I go to the drugstore, (Usually more like $1), but this one will have to cost you over $30. If you're willing to foot the bill this time, though, you can use it over and over again for other deals.

1 Crest Pro-Health mouthwash 500 ml. $4.49
1 Dimetapp at $3.99
1 Robitussin at $3.99
1 Dimetapp or Robitussin at $3.99
2 Scrubbing bubbles Action scrubber @ 3.79
1 Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower cleaner kit @ 19.99
Your total there is: $44.03
Minus above coupons -8.50
New total = $35.53

Now you need to look for a little book near the ads when you walk in. It's light green and black with a big W in the middle. It's called the easy saver catalog. Now, if you open it up to page 33, they list all the items that are free after rebate (FAR). There are 9 items, but for the above scenario, I'm going to use the Nivea Body wash.

So, you add that to your order, and your total is $40.52.
You give them this coupon for $10 off and pay $30.52 + tax. Then, out rolls all of your catalinas-- $4.49 (Crest) + $10 (Dimetapp) + $2 (scrubbing bubbles action scrubbers) + $10 Shower cleaner. You have $26.49 to use on your next purchases. Also, you go home and submit the rebate for the Nivea and get back $4.99 there. (If you put it on a Walgreens gift card they'll add 10% to that and you'll be set to go next time and have to pay very little out of your pocket.) All of the above should be close to free. (Depends on your tax rate.) Isn't that beautiful!!!

Now, if you're wondering what you're going to spend your catalina's on, just open back up that easy saver catalog and buy the other items that are free after rebate. Next month you'll get your gift card, and go buy the next things that are free after rebate and just keep it rolling.

As for other info, (I hope I haven't scared everyone away yet), there are so many different ways to do this. Try to get your total after coupons as close to $40 as possible. If you have other stuff on your list, try taking out one of the items that I included, but leave the Deals in-tact. All of these deals are written out in the ad, most people just don't understand them, so make sure you get the correct sizes and items. If you're not interested in the scrubbing bubbles automatic shower cleaner, that's the first item to scratch off the list. That one is costing you money (well, to some degree.) If you don't really want it, you are much better off buying the 7 cleaners, or and/or more of the Free After Rebate stuff. See:

1 Crest Pro-Health mouthwash 500 ml. $4.49
1 Dimetapp at $3.99
1 Robitussin at $3.99
1 Dimetapp or Robitussin at $3.99
2 Scrubbing bubbles Action scrubber @ 3.79 ea = $7.58
5 other cleaners @ 2.49 ea = $12.45
1 Nivea body wash $4.99 FAR
1 Excedrin express gels $3.99 FAR
1 Crest Pro-health toothpaste $3.79 FAR
Minus above coupons -8.50
Minus $10 off coupon -10.00
Total = $30.76

Catalinas for off your next purchase= $4.49 (Crest) + $10 (Dimetapp) + $10 (Cleaners) = $24.49
Rebates = $4.99 (Nivea) + $3.99 (Excedrin) + $3.79 (Crest t.p.) = $12.77
You just made over $6!!

Okay, I could go on and on, but I'll stop. If you want to look at the ad before you get to the store, or the easy saver catalog, they are both online at Let me know how your shopping trip goes or if you have any questions!

So like I said, she is incredible. The other things I have found are and Stephanie recommends a site in her post as well.

Good luck as we all learn together!

More about babies and free baby samples

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Best Friends

It is interesting to me that I can look back on my life and peg the day that my best friends have staked there claim on a portion of my heart. My best friends have come from many different walks of life, but each time they were a hidden gem in a sea of marbles all scrambling to get attention. Each time they found me. I, like many I know, was trying to appear as normal as possible. Just minding my own business when the gem sought me out. When I was a third grader, I played at recess every day by myself. One day I was walking by the boys who were playing hockey when three boys yelled out my name and asked me if I wanted to play. A few of the other boys said I couldn't because I was a girl, but my new found sapphires said that I could, and I officially had a place and status on the playgrounds. From that moment on, even through my Freshman year of college-a bosom friend had found me. He taught me many things, and though he was never popular, most likely because he was my friend, he was always loyal! I talked him through many painful nights of a life threatening disease, and he talked me through every crush-which happened to be every boy who had ever noticed me. After he left on his mission I moved to Twin Falls. Almost immediately I found Tom. The love of my life and the keeper of my heart. Again, he was kind. He invited me to join an institute class with him. He cared a great deal for his friends. He taught me true love. The kind of love that doesn't need a best friendship to bind it. A love that needs no ties at all. It is Christs love. Tom has an amazing ability to love people unending. There aren't the right kind of words to describe it. But Tom has it! Luckily, I get to learn from him every day. Tom is my Diamond.
Then after we were married, and had Seth, we moved to Boise. Once again almost immediately we found another Gem-My pearl. She was this beautiful quiet woman, who was willing to do anything. When she called me up to come and do her visiting teaching, I couldn't help but smile, because I could tell she was nervous. I later found out she has a terrible fear of phone calling. She came to my house with such love I couldn't help but invite her back. We developed a wonderful long lasting relationship with her and her husband. Christen has taught me how to serve faithfully. How to "go without" the praise. She has given me a greater testimony of the gospel. One time someone asked me if I had many friends like Christen. I should have said no, because she is irreplaceable. No one, could be as good as the wonderful friends I have been blessed with in my life. Heavenly Father has truely blessed me with gems. And I could never be grateful enough.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Counting My Many Blessings

A new baby to welcome in January
Tom has a job he loves
Gabriel makes it to the toilet most of the time
Hyrum tries to make it to the toilet most of the time
Seth always makes it to the toilet
We buy our own food
We pay all of our own bills
We have insurance
Our car works for Tom everyday
Our spinach is growing beautifully
We are a 2 minute walk from the park
We have air conditioning
We have enough to eat
We have a family that loves us
We have the most wonderful friends
We have a couch and a rocking chair
We have bunk beds
We have a testimony of the restored gospel and because of this
We have direction from a living prophet
We have clarity of thought
We have blessings un-numbered from paying our tithes and fast offerings
We have scriptures
We have a temple
We have a stronger family
Tom has a great calling to teach the investigator class, we have both learned immensely from
I have a wonderful calling to serve the future Mothers of Zion
Our children each love their primary teachers
We love our bishop and stake presidency
We are buying a new house
Our new house will be just 3 minutes from the temple
We have a bedroom for everyone
We have a large garage and storage shed
We get to see our friends and family in August
Our new house comes with all of the appliances
The weather here has helped my skin to clear up
Seth wants to serve a mission
We went strawberry picking and have the most delicious strawberries
We live in a free country
We have the right to vote for our leaders
We have freedom of speech which lets us proselyte
We have a computer
We have Internet
We have a telephone
We have a wonderful mail system
We have gospel materials at our fingertips
Tom has the priesthood
I am a mother
I know my savior atoned for my sins
I was able to finish school
Tom has a bachelors degree
We live in a safe neighborhood
We have very kind neighbors
We have a wading pool
We have running water
We have electricity
We have other church members to help us strengthen our testimony
We have a food storage
We have a washer, dryer, and dishwasher
Seth is going to be a kindergartener
All of my kids are nursery age and older
We have a clock to tell the time
We have a calender to keep the date
We have a wonderful medical system, where we do not fear our doctors
We have the military to keep us safe
My brothers in the military are still alive
I was able to stay pregnant when so many of my dear friends either cant get or stay pregnant
My husband loves me
My children love me
My husband brings me flowers and dances with me
The spirit is my constant companion
I have unlimited access to food and chocolate :)
I have an eliptical machine
The sun is shining
There is unlimited green in Minnesota
Gabriel loves fishing

I am going to stop now, not because that is all of my blessings, just because that is all I have time for today. I hope this helps us all to feel a little more blessed.
With Love

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A New Level of Understanding

Over my life time, I often look back to see times of great personal growth, and other times of stagnation. This point in my life, is one of those stagnant times. I am going through the motions, but I am not amazing at any one thing, nor terrible at any other. Though I recognize a need for change, I lack the inspiration or means to do so. So I am left to ponder daily on my seemingly frozen state of existence. I am speaking once again of motherhood. Each day we wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, and settle in for a long day of television watching. It is to hot to go outside, and even though we break up the TV watching with reading and playing, it still takes over a major part of our day. I am also pregnant, in the first trimester. I seem to have little ambition. I clean the house at the end of each day and leave the next days mess for the following evening. I attempt a nap when my blood sugar level spikes- usually after lunch and wake up feeling worse than when I laid down. I keep thinking of my wonderful grandmother, our pioneer ancestors, and even my own mother, and wondering what they did at this stage in their life. There seem to be no stories in the journals of laziness or weakness. And they certainly faced more hardship than I, in my air-conditioned, comfortable home. Each day as we settle in to watch a new movie I wonder again.
The other day at an attempt to reach out for help, I called my favorite sister in law, to ask her what I should do, she gave me a few suggestions-ones that seemed highly fruitless for me, and then she assured me that I was doing fine. She said everyone has times like this. I surely can't imagine her acting like I am- and she has an extra child.
Some things that have not been lacking in my life recently are an abundance of spiritual reading material. It seems any where I look or lay I can find an ensign or some scriptures. That has been a true blessing I find myself reading often. Though nothing of great significance has stood out to me. Some thing that has truly blessed me spiritually recently is Toms Gospel Principles class-I think that is what the investigators class is called. I have been truly grateful for the lesson each week. It has left me with things to ponder and I have loved it. I am grateful also for this opportunity to write, my mind seems clearer, at least for a moment. I wonder what season of life this would be considered. It is interesting, to any one looking in at my life at this time, they would probably think I should be the happiest wife in the world. They are right. I am pregnant with a baby I desperately wanted. Tom and I are purchasing our first home this month, and it is a beautiful home. Tom and I have better communication now than we have ever had. Tom has a wonderful job that he loves. We live in a sea of green, it is everywhere, no yellow or dead things like Idaho. I am studying the gospel, and yet something is missing.


I hope and pray that I will reach a new level of understanding.