Saturday, May 29, 2010

{5-28} MofM X is for Xtra Fun Hobby

I realize our Relief Society can't spell.  But how many words really start with X?

I think that all hobbies are fun - but most people are a tad surprised to find out that I own and ride my very own dirt bike.  In fact, I really want a bigger more powerful one.  I think people are even more surprised that my conservative, sharp dressing husband is a maniac on a dirt bike, as are all of our children.  

Thursday, May 27, 2010

{5-27} MofM W is for Worst Habit

I think my worst habit is procrastination. I have procrastinated writing this post all day.  Mostly because I procrastinated cleaning my house before my mother-in-law arrives tonight.  

I procrastinate most things. Paying bills, making appointments, grocery shopping, preparing lessons, going to the gym - all on my list - all not done.  I tend to believe this quote from Dennis Waitley: “Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the “someday I’ll” philosophy.”  I just know that my actions will be SO successful that it scares me.

Just kidding - I'm pretty sure I'm just lazy.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

{5-26} MofM V is for Veggie You Hate

I like all vegetables. Even beets.
I hate Macaroni and Cheese.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

{5-25} MofM U is for Unique Talent

I honestly can't think of an unique talent that I have.  Except maybe my double jointed thumbs.  I can really make them dance.

Monday, May 24, 2010

{5-24} MofM T is for Traffic Tickets

I am going to plead the 5th on this one - on the grounds that my answer could incriminate me. 
And it's too early to talk about it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

{5-23} MofM S is for Scripture I Love

I always have favorites that seem to help with whatever I am going through at the time. We have a scripture written on an index card and stuck to the fridge that we have the kids read whenever the contention gets a little thick.  It is Mosiah 4:14-15 and it says:

"And ye will not suffer your children... that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin... but ye will teach them... to love one another, and to serve one another."

A couple of weeks ago, Alan and I spoke in Stake Conference on parenting.  I can't even tell you how scary that was - I didn't sleep well from the time the Stake President called until the day we gave our talks.  It is a daunting subject to stand up in front of hundreds of people and talk about. The scripture that I kind of centered my talk around is found in 2 Nephi 25:26

"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."

I will share one more.  Mosiah 12:21 has been a favorite of mine since my mission.  At my mission farewell in church, my dad told the story of how I was born with a womb deformity. My right foot was turned up so that my toes were touching my leg.  He told how he was so concerned that I would be handicapped throughout my life even though the Doctors told him that it would stretch and heal naturally (it did).  A few days later when the Stake President came over to set me apart for my mission he said how that story had touched him and he shared this scripture:

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings; that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good; that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth."

How beautiful all of our feet are when we are using them to go about doing good.  Think about it next time you are running around picking up your house, walking your child to a friends house or doing your visiting teaching.  Your feet are beautiful in His eyes.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

{5-22} MofM My Anniversary

Seventeen years ago I married the man of my dreams.
My dreams keep getting better and better and so does he.

Friday, May 21, 2010

{5-21} MofM R is for Right or Left Handed


Like 80% of the world's population (according to Wikipedia) I am right handed.  Although I eat with my left hand - I pretty much do everything else right.  

Some interesting things I learned on Wikipedia: (“Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world, can write anything they want about any subject. So you know you are getting the best possible information.” – Michael Scott)

 - Right handed people are rarely found to be left footed. (I didn't even know you could be right or left footed)
 - In Hinduism, the right hand must be used for all auspicious and respectful activity, including eating, giving, receiving, and worshipful offering. (oh, like taking the sacrament!)

 - In Arab cultures, one prefers using the left hand for tasks such as wiping oneself after using the bathroom and the right hand for eating so they can keep their level of hygiene high. (gross! haven't they heard of soap and water?)

 -  Military rifles designed to be shot only from the right shoulder have resulted in injuries from spent cartridge casings hitting left-handed users in the eye and head. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

{5-20} MofM Q is for Quote I Love

"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier" 

-Mother Theresa

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

{5-19} MofM P is for Phobias

I'm pretty scared of something happening to one of my kids.  (see K post)  I'm not just afraid that one of them will die, I'm afraid they will be maimed or kidnapped or chased home from school by bullies.  I'm afraid of them dating, driving, going on missions and getting married.  I'm afraid I will be a lousy mother-in-law.  I'm afraid they will be bitten by a snake, a spider or a scorpion. I'm afraid they will fall away from the church or decide they don't need our family.  I'm afraid they will have low self esteem or no desire to further their education.  The truth is, God sent them to me so good and perfect and lovely that I am afraid I will mess them up.

And, I'm afraid of walking down stairs and not being able to see my feet.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

{5-18} MofM O is for Ordered on the Internet

I'm pretty sure the last thing I ordered on the internet was a book or two.  I love my books.  But I covered that in the letter B post way back on May 4th.  

Lately, I have been ordering all kinds of free stuff like product samples, photo cards and magnets. The Frugal Girls have seriously filled my life with coupons, free samples and good deals.  I read their blog and am friends on facebook.  I don't participate in everything but sometimes it is just too good to pass up.  You gotta check it out!

Monday, May 17, 2010

{5-17} MofM N is for Nicknames

The other day my Dear Husband asked me why I would want to put so much information about my life out in the world via my blog and facebook.  I have no good answer for that.  I'm pretty sure I like to blog and use facebook because I like to communicate.  I don't think I am getting joy out of putting my business out there - but his comment has really been making me think ...  

While I am thinking, I will tell you that I have had a few nicknames.  Mostly derivatives of my first name - like, Jo Jo and Jolie Bean.  One of my brothers just calls me Bean and some of my other brothers call me Leney.  My kids call me mom - is that a nickname?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

{5-16} MofM M is for my Favorite Month

We are right smack dab in the middle of my favorite month. May is always so busy - but I love it. Mother's Day is one of my favorite days of the year.  Alan and I were married in May (celebrating 17 years this month) and the weather is so nice.  Throw in Nicole's birthday, my Mom's birthday, school ending, and all kinds of awards ceremonies and you get four weeks of fun!

{5-15} MofM L is for the Last Movie you Watched (and a giveaway)

Hmmmm.  The last movie I saw in the theatre was Date Night and I am not even linking to it because I am not recommending it.  Steve Carrel and Tina Fey are so very funny but the movie was not very good.

The last movie I watched was actually today while folding clothes, it was a straight to video one called According to Greta with Hilary Duff. Just that introduction alone should be all you need to know about this one. Courtney had a sleep over Friday night and I took them to the Red Box to get a movie and that is what they ended up with.  Thank goodness they all fell asleep 15 minutes in to it. Alan and I watched it this morning and we were amazed at how bad and predictable it was.  We kept wondering to ourselves why we were still watching it.  

I have got a Sonic gift card right here with your name on it if you can tell me in the comments what my favorite movie is.  

Saturday, May 15, 2010

{5-14} MofM K is for Kids

Could I brag anymore about how wonderful my kids are?  They are seriously the best kids around. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

{5-13} MofM J is for Job Title

I am a wife, a mom, a cook, a maid, a driver and dispute solver.  Mostly I'm the one who is supposed to know everything and know where everything is.  

When I was in High School I worked at Taco Bell.  Good Times.  It was before value menus - but I taught lessons to all of my high school friends on what to order to get a bang for a buck. Does anyone remember Taco Light or the meals that came on divided paper, cafeteria-like trays?

After high school but still back in the day -  I was a corporate meeting planner.  It was so long ago that we didn't have the internet.  I worked with a travel agent and planned sales meetings and conventions for all of the salesmen and executives of a large chemical manufacturer.  I traveled to great places like Atlanta, Hilton Head Island and Chicago to work out hotel accommodations, display places etc...  I loved that job.  I did it before and after my mission for the same company.  They were great to me.  I received lovely wedding gifts from many of the executives and the company even payed for our hotel near the airport the night we were married so we could catch our early flight to Mexico. 

Then I found out I was having twins and wondered if I would ever work again.  What was I thinking?  I have not worked out of my home since - but boy, have I worked.  Above my front door is sign quoting the Prophet Harold B. Lee that says - "The most important work we will ever do is within the walls of our own home."  This thing that I am doing now is the most rewarding job I have ever had. 

{5-12} MofM I is for Instruments You Play

You can understand why we put this on the Relief Society getting to know you paper.  We are always looking for piano players!  Actually, we have some very talented pianists in our ward - I used to be one of them - but it really is true what your mamma told you. "If you don't use it, you will lose it".  I am losing it.  I can still play Hymns and songs from Les Miserables (because I pretty much have that book memorized) but plop something new in front of me and I will just embarrass myself. 


{5-11} MofM H is for Have to Have

You can learn more about it here
Both those that live with me and those that don't.  I think I have the coolest family in the world. If you want to meet awesome people in Utah, California, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas I can hook you up!
I am girl who likes to socialize! I love the friends I see all the time, the ones that I see only occasionally and I love that I have friends that I hardly see but when we do get together it is as if no time has passed. 
No explanation needed.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

{5-9} Happy Mother's Day

I am skipping my ABC today to say Happy Mother's Day.  Mine has been great.  We made it to church on time - even with the kids making breakfast (cinnamon french toast with cinnamon syrup). They made my lunch and dinner too - and I had a nap.  I also got some great gifts and cards.  I love my kids so much.  They are good  - but, all of this working together all day was hard on them.  There were a few minor spats and a few bouts of tears - just so I wouldn't forget what mothering is all about.  I always think it is funny that on Mother's Day I never do the mothering things.  Someone else fixes dinner and does the dishes, I took a nap instead of keeping the kids busy with Sunday appropriate activities and I even got a foot rub.  Really, I got to be the dad on Mother's Day.

Monday, May 3, 2010

{5-10} MofM - G is for the Greatest Vacation

Back to my ABCs!!  If I wasn't so lazy I would go dig up some old pictures and scan them in for this post.  I always think that the greatest vacation is the one we just got home from or the one you are planning.  I think that planning the vacation is almost as fun as taking it.  I love doing all of the research and making the arrangements - trying to find new and interesting things to do in whatever city we are visiting. I am doing that right now - Alan and I are going to Southern California next week for a few days to celebrate our anniversary.  

Alan and I have been able to take some great trips together.  We honeymooned in Cancun and we loved it but since then, we have tried to visit cities in the US that we wanted to explore and/or learn more about.  We have been to San Francisco, Washington DC and Boston.  Six or seven years ago we read the Prelude to Glory books and wanted to see all of the sights that are talked about in those books so we flew to Vermont and drove all over New England, staying in Bed and Breakfasts and enjoying the area that is so different from this desert that we live in. 

With our kids, we mainly vacation in Utah with our family there.  We have been to Disneyland a few times and Knott's Berry Farm and all of that -but when given a choice, our kids always choose to go to Salt Lake to see their cousins.  For the past four or five years, we have been able to vacation in Duck Creek, UT for a week around the 4th of July with Alan's dad, his wife and Alan's siblings.  This has become our favorite vacation of the whole year -  Cousins, motorcycles and cool weather - there is nothing better!

{5-8} MofM - F is for My Favorite Music

A long time ago, when I didn't have my own ipod, I did a post on what itunes says about me. There were a lot of weird songs on there because we were new to the whole itunes thing and we only had one ipod in the house.  Now we all have ipods and we have learned how to manage the songs that are uploaded.  Welcome to the 21st Century Ridd Family!  It took us long enough!

I just recently (like in the last few months) figured out how to listen to my ipod in the car.  I'm a technical genius!  This discovery however has changed what gets listened to most in the car - it depends on who is in the car with me.  When I am driving Devon or Courtney to school it can vary from Aerosmith to Kanye to the soundtrack from Les Miserables. When I have the elementary school kids in the car they will want to listen to Ke$ha or Inside Out's primary songs.  

When I am by myself I listen to conference talks or Josh Grobin or Michael Buble.  I enjoy what little time I have in the car alone by listening to what I like. 

{5-7} MofM - E is for the Essential Start of My Day

I would like to say that I jump right out of bed and land on my knees.  But then I would be lying and in a post about Prayer I should probably be more truthful than that. I typically go straight to the privy and then grumble a little but then start my day with the most important thing - Prayer. 

I need the inspiration that can only come through prayer.  I need the open communication with my Heavenly Father.  I read a story several years ago about a naturalist and banker who was walking through New Your City's Central Park with some of his colleagues.  Above the sounds of New York City life, he heard the song of a bird.  He stopped and listened.  No one else had heard it.  It really bothered him that they could miss something so beautiful so he pulled a coin from his pocket and let it drop on the sidewalk.  The coin hit with a ring no louder than the bird song yet all of the men in his group stopped to look for the coin.  

It is difficult to separate the sounds of the city traffic from the song of a bird but you can hear it plainly if you train yourself to listen.  That is why prayer is the essential start of my day.  I need help in being able to hear the quiet whisperings of the spirit among the constant noise that is my life.  

{5-6} MofM - D is for Desserts

I love dessert! Usually anything with chocolate - although I thoroughly enjoy my fruit pies, coconut creams, and sugar cookies.  I especially love flourless chocolate cake topped with dark chocolate ganache and some raspberry sauce. Sounds heavenly doesn't it?  I think the most decadent, elegant and delicious dessert is also simple to make: Chocolate Mousse.  I love it served in a beautiful crystal goblet with chocolate curls or a simple cookie.  Here is a great, fool-proof recipe for it:

1 cup heavy cream
6 ounces semisweet chocolate (the better the chocolate, the better the final result)
1/3 cup milk
2 egg yolks from large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla (or you could use an extract of your choice but only use 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon)
1 egg white from a large egg
2 tablespoons sugar

In a mixing bowl, whip the cup of cream until it holds soft peaks.  Meanwhile, put the chocolate and the milk in a saucepan, and cook over medium heat until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is warm and smooth.  Add the egg yolks and vanilla, and mix with a whisk until incorporated.  The chocolate will thicken slightly.  in another bowl, beat the egg white until firm, then add the sugar all at once and keep beating until firm and smooth. 

Pour the chocolate mixture into the beaten egg white and stir with a whisk just enough to incorporate.  Add the whipped cream, and fold in gently, just until blended.  Pour the mousse into your serving container(s) and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

{5-5} MofM - C is for Chores

I hate them. My house is a mess. Sometimes I am a good housekeeper but most of the time I am not.  For a while I was using the card system that is outlined in the S.H.E. (Sidetracked Home Executive) book.  It worked great the whole time I used it.  In fact, the whole time I was using it my house was so clean it made me nervous to take my shoes off in the wrong place.  I stopped doing it after about a year because it was hard.  I need to remember that I can do hard things.

I do like to iron though.  I'll trade someone who likes to clean bathrooms.

{5-4} MofM - B is for Books

(Happy Birthday Nicole!)

I love to read.  I read all of the time.  I'm not really a discriminate reader - I like everything.  I read my scriptures daily, I read trashy magazines in the Dentist's office, I read romance, mystery, biography, fact, fiction and the backs of the cereal boxes.  I just love to do it.  I almost always have a book I am reading, I take it everywhere - in the car, in the bathroom - I read while I am cooking or watching TV.   I belong to a book club - we are meeting on Thursday - we just read Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns.  I loved it.  I recommend it.  It takes place in 1906 in a small town called Cold Sassy, Georgia and the story is told by a fourteen year old boy. I loved his perspective.  I know there is a sequel and I am going to try and get my hands on it.

So far this year we have read The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti -  an odd but interesting story about a young boy who lives a hard life and sees things that you would never want your kid to see (a presumed dead body that comes to life but is covered in worms etc...) but becomes a tender caring boy who just wants a family.  We read A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich in February - a wonderful pioneer story.  I didn't read the March book - The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  Just couldn't get in to it. Then in April we read The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.  I had actually read it last year when it first came out. It was so exciting.  One of the great things about that is that one of the ladies from the Book Club went to Washington DC right before we met and she brought pictures of many of the things that Dan Brown talked about in the book.  

Maybe if I can really start blogging again I will be able to post up some reviews of the books we read for the rest of the year.  Maybe.

{5-3} MofM - ABC's of Me - A

Since this is supposed to be the Month of Me - I decided that the easiest way to come up with a post each day of the month would be to use a little getting to know you activity that we have been using in our Relief Society.  It is called the ABC's of Me and it is going to get me through the Next 26 days! That is almost the whole month!!  Feel free to participate in the comments!

A - age: Like I mentioned in the previous post - I had my big birthday last year.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I think I will love life in my 40s.  I am hoping to do some really great things in my 40s, take some nice vacations, maybe finally get my house clean, read lots of books, go to the temple at least twice a month and get fit and strong.  In this decade of my life I will see all of my kids graduate from High School, have at least one missionary, maybe a wedding, hopefully a college graduation or two in there.  I can't imagine having a grandbaby but, before I am 50, Devon and Courtney will be 25 and I had them at that age.  Morgan will be 23 and could very well have one too!  I don't like to think about it. 

So I'm going to stop.  

Sunday, May 2, 2010

{5-2} MofM- An Update

I haven't blogged in almost a year and I thought I would try and do an update, but this is supposed to be the Month of Me - so, Grandmas you are not getting the goods on the kids.

Last May, Nicole turned 8 and was baptized.  When it was all over I realized that all of my children were accountable for their own actions.  I question whether I have taught them all they need to know to accept the responsibility.  

June - I had my big birthday.  Life in my 40s is good.

July - we vacationed at the cabin - the best vacation of the year.  We all love it so much.  I became much more confident in my riding and even rode Alan's 450. Good times.

August - School started, I had a week or two of peace and then I got a new calling.  I am the Relief Society president in my ward now - and that is why I haven't blogged.  I've got a lot going on.

September until the present is mostly full of me driving the kids to their various activities, lessons and commitments.  I still participate in my weekly dinner exchange, I try and keep my house picked up (it hasn't been CLEAN in months) and most of the rest of the time is spent changing Visiting Teaching assignments, talking to the lovely women of my ward and all of the other stuff that comes with this kind of calling.

Not the best update - but it is what I can do.  I tell myself that a lot lately.  

{5-1} The Challenge - A Month of Me

My friend Julie has issued a challenge to all of her blogging challenged friends.  She has challenged me to write something about myself everyday for the month of May.  May is my favorite month - Mother's Day, anniversary, school is out, Memorial Day Weekend etc...  And this May is going to be particularly busy so this will be a challenge - but I am up to it!  As per usual, I am a day behind!  Now you know a couple of things about me!