Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Last week lightning struck the hill near my home, starting a fire. I didn't know it had happened until I went outside and saw it burning. It wasn't right next to my house, but it was close enough that I was a little nervous. Last year I watched a fire which was started miles and miles away from my in-laws house blaze over the mountain and nearly burn their house down. So, when the fire was less than two miles away, I was nervous. I've seen how quickly things can go from under control to "Crap, you've gotta run!"

I live in a rural area. I have three close neighbors, all of whom I am close to. They happened to be gone when the fire hit. So I'm thinking "Okay, parents are gone. Kids are with teenage sitters. Crap, I'm the only adult." And then I'm thinking, "What do I need to save if this turns ugly?" So I wander through my house and gather up everything I had that was important to me. What did I grab? My computer. My external hard drive. It has all of my eight thousand plus pictures, all of my friend's pictures, and all of my writing files. Definitely grabbing that. I grabbed my CD cases because they also hold pictures, though they are the same ones that are on my hard drive. And since I was grabbing my pictures I figured I may as well grab my movies. I would have been fine to lose them but I had time so why not? All of my movies are organized in CD cases so they were super easy to grab. I also got all of our important documents such as birth certificates and passports. Then I wandered through and grabbed what I thought I would like to have, just in case. So I got odds and ends, some jewelry, some material, some books, etc and some clothes. I was going to get more clothes if the fire decided to take a turn from the worst, but that was the last thing I was going to do because I didn't want a nasty mess on my hands if nothing happened.

I also texted my neighbors (all except one, who I completely spaced because her kids weren't home) and asked them what they'd like me to save in the event of a problem. So, I pawed through their things and found hard drives, picture CD's, SD cards, a journal, and important documents. I was going to save it all.

Lucky for me, the fire didn't get out of hand. I saw the emergency vehicles driving up to it, spraying their water on it. I saw an airplane flying around, which apparently was dropping water. One of the mom's of the kids that were left home couldn't get in - they'd set up a road block and wouldn't let her through - so she was keeping me informed on what was going on on that front. For the record, I thought that was completely assinine. Two of the adults were coming home to their kids but the police wouldn't let them through, even though the kids had been left with sitters. I couldn't believe it. What if the fire had suddenly gone bad? Ridiculous. But that's another story.

So, what did I learn from this experience? To have anything important to you in a place that's easy to find and easy to grab because sometimes you're not the one saving your stuff. My neighbors had everything in an accessible place. With a little direction, I found it. I was pretty impressed, actually. But it would have been better for them if they could have said "Hey, everything we need to make sure gets out is right here in this once place." A safe or something. Because if the fire had gone bad, I wouldn't have been running around trying to find everything. I would have split and left their stuff behind. And, if the roles had been reversed, they would have been running around trying to find my stuff because it isn't all in one place. So, to protect those things that are important to you, I suggest a safe or, at the very least, a specific location so they're easy to find and easy to grab. You never know when you'll need that organization.

Here's the fire. It doesn't look very close or very big, but it was close enough and big enough to have me a little nervous.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Today's Quote

Woman was put on earth to be man's equal, to stand by his side and to be a helpmate for him. If this were not so, then man wouldn't need the woman to enter the Celestial Kingdom. Man cannot enter the Celestial Kingdom without the woman, nor the woman without the man. Neither is complete without the other.
         ~Lawrence Tooley, I Saw Heaven!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Vacation Lodging

Planning vacations is my passion.  I love it! It doesn't matter to me if I am the one going on the trip.  I just enjoy making the arrangements.  I have planned a few trips during the past few years where I discovered that hotels aren't always the best lodging choice. It is often times very affordable to rent a house or a condo instead of a hotel room.  The nice thing about this is that you have access to a full kitchen and living room.  Some of them also have their own patios, pools and decks.

  I recently rented a huge home for a 3 night stay. This home had 6 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, and slept 14 people.  It was beautifully decorated and furnished.  It was a beautiful home with vaulted ceilings, a master bedroom to die for, a pool table, a beautiful kitchen with granite counter tops, flat screen tv, tv's in some of the bedrooms and had it's own private pool, hot tub, and deck.  It only cost us a total of $1080.00.  This averaged out to be less than $75.00 a person for the whole three nights which made it very affordable.

Having our own home to stay in also made our trip more affordable because we were able to cook our food in the home. This saved us a lot of money because we didn't have to go to restaurants for every meal.  It was also great to have access to a full size fridge. We also enjoyed having the pool to use when ever we wanted without having to share it with anyone else.

It is very simple to find homes and condos for rent when you are planning a vacation.  Just get into your web browser and do a search.  I used google.  Type in "Homes and condos for rent in........"  enter whatever city you are going to.  It will pull up many options to search through.  Spend a little time searching through these sites until you have found what you are looking for.  Many times they will require you to e-mail someone for more information.  They are usually good about responding quickly and it is worth the wait. When you rent a home or condo, they will charge you the price that they quote on their site, applicable taxes and usually a cleaning fee. I have found that the prices are usually pretty comparable to hotel prices, even with the cleaning fee, but the accommodations are sometimes much better.

I am in the process of planning a few more trips.  Once again I found condos that work out perfectly for the groups that we are taking.  For one of the trips, we are only paying an extra $30.00 over the cost of the hotel rooms I originally had reserved.  On the other trip, we are saving $250.00 over what we would have been paying at the hotel that I had reserved rooms at.  The cool thing is that our accommodations will be much better.  Not only do we have full kitchen's, living rooms etc., but we also have access to multiple pools, tennis courts, volley ball and even a health spa.

Check out home and condo rentals next time you plan a trip and see how easy and affordable it can be.  It will help to make your trip amazing!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Today's Quote

Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.
       ~Proverbs 16:3

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Affirmation of the Week

I know that I deserve Love and accept it now!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Quest and the Quill

I have two blogs that I update regularly. Boospire is the first blog. You all know what this one is about. My second blog, which is solely mine (Mom and I share boospire and I'm very glad we do!) is all about writing,because that is my passion, and following your passion, because following a passion is a journey and the things I've learned I believe are worth sharing. So, that being said, I published a post on my blog that I think might have some value for others. If you want to read more of my blog you can visit my blog here.

Keep Going Even When it Hurts

Remember how I said that part of following a passion or goal is getting yourself in a good place emotionally? Yeah, I wasn't kidding. Unfortunately, you can't always avoid those drops that stick you in the black hole. The trouble is, once you're there, digging yourself back out of that hole usually seems impossible. For me, it's like trying to climb up walls of soft dirt so every move up the wall crumbles beneath me and I slide back down. Sound familiar? I hope not.
Guess what, the hole sucked me up today. Hi hole, how are you? Oh, you're deep today. Nice.
Fortunately, I do this often enough that I've learned a few tricks to pulling myself out. The sucky part, is that I haven't yet learned how to stay out of the darn hole. It seems to like me.
Anyway, here's what I've learned.
  • 1. Don't allow yourself to stay in 'the hole'. If you throw a pity party, you're never leaving. Usually that's what I want to do. Sit down and give up, tell the hole he won. But if you do this, he really does win and you end up miserable. If you must throw a pity party, make it quick then get your butt in gear!
  • 2. Don't listen to the hole. Okay, so I sound crazy. There isn't a hole and it most definitely doesn't talk. But the hole is a mindset and it's a very mean, brutal, nasty mindset. It likes to make you feel like crap. It's very good at making you feel like crap. So what is it telling you? Well, it usually tells me that I am really bad at what I'm trying to do (Okay, it tells me I suck). That usually morphs into telling me I'm an awful mom and the worst housewife ever. Then it gets worse. It starts telling me to give up because it's all pointless anyway. What's the use in trying when every time it gets better it usually follows that it gets worse? Give up. Quit. Be done with it all. Stop dreaming. Stop living. You'll be better off. Ouch. Whack. Thump. Smash. Crack. The words beat against my resolve. STOP!!!!!! I finally scream. Get out! I don't want you here!
  • 3. Which leads me to my third point. Do the opposite of whatever the nasty little hole is telling you to do. If it's telling you to quit, don't! If it's tells you to give up, try harder. If it tells you to be done with it all, power through it and keep going! Because, inevitably, you will rise from this hole and you will get back to a place where you can think rationally again. Those screaming voices will fade until they become just an annoying hum in the background.
  • 4. Surround yourself with the positive. I know I keep saying this, but it's the best way I know to improve something that's really difficult. If you're focusing on all the negatives in your life, you're going to get a lot of negative. Trust me. I know. I do this. But I've learned that when I really focus on the positive I can view life in a better light and good things just seem to come my way. My problem is that once I'm in a good place, I forget to keep up the positive and the negative slowly comes back. Then guess what happens? Yep. The hole opens its gaping mouth and I fall in. So surround yourself with the positive! Fill your head with positive phrases, thank God daily for all the positive, wonderful things in your life. If you can't find any, then thank him for your health and the ability to breathe. Stick affirmations all over your house, things like I love who I am and I love being me or My life is filled with joy. Whatever you want to be, those are the thoughts that need to fill your head.
When you get back to a positive place, it's so much easier to see your goals and passions as achievable things, so do everything you can to get there. Don't let the hole win. I won't. I'm going to keep going today. And eventually I'll win my fight with 'the hole' and I won't slide into it anymore. Until then, I will move forward because that's what I do.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Today's Quote

Today's quote has to start with a bit of an explanation about the location where I live.  I live in the mountains of Utah where we enjoy ( more like endure)  many months of extremely cold weather with tons of snow.  My granddaughter's perception of my life is very humorous.

Charity:  "Mom, what is an Eskimo?"
Julianne: "An Eskimo is a person who lives in the arctic where it snows a lot and gets really cold."
Charity:  "So your mom is an Eskimo?"

We got a good laugh out of that.  Thank goodness for kids!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rango Review

Last week Jake rented Rango. The kids have been wanting to watch it for a while so we finally got it for them. I sat down and watched it with them and, I'll tell you, after it was over I kind of regretted letting them watch it. It's supposed to be a kid movie but I felt like it was seriously lacking in that department. It was fine for an adult movie. It was funny. It was an entertaining story, even if it was a little weird, but for kids, I thought it sucked. Here's why:
  • 1. It was depressing. Kid movies are supposed to be light and fun not depressing and gloomy. Rango was depressing and gloomy. In my opinion, kid movies should be full of positives. The characters should be happy, the themes should be good, the morals of the story should be something beneficial. I just didn't see any of this in Rango. To be fair, I wasn't looking for a moral so there may have been one that I just didn't click on to, but overall I thought it was too negative to be a good kid show.
  • 2. The villains were nightmarish. When you watch any show you know it wouldn't be good without a really good villain. But in a kid show the villains need to be portrayed differently. Less dark, I guess. Take Mother Gothel in Tangled. She was a villain. She was selfish and willing to do whatever it took to keep herself alive, even if that meant killing somebody else. But though they showed all that, they did it in a way that wasn't going to frighten any poor child or scar them for life. They weren't quite as delicate with the villains in Rango, particularly Rattlesnake Jake. He was ruthless. At one point he tries to force the female lead into doing what he wants. When she won't do it he coils himself around her, dangling her body in front of him, and cries "Look into my eyes. I wanna watch you die!" Umm, what? That's a bit much for a kid show, don't you think? He also says "I'm going to blow so many holes in you your guts will be leaking lead!" and "Do what he says, or by all the fires of the black hole I'll squeeze them pretty brown eyes right out of your head!" Maybe it's just me, but I find that a little disturbing, especially when my five-year-old is watching it!
  • 3. The swearing. I've heard some swearing in kid shows and I don't like it. Granted, I swear... a lot. Much more than I should. Still, I don't like to hear it in my kid's movies. It is in this one. It's not a ton. But it was enough that I took notice. I don't mind one swear word, maybe two, depending on the word and how it's presented (as in, did the character say it so low I could barely hear it). But in this movie, it was blatant. I noticed repeated swearing. The worst time, however, Rattlesnake Jake screams it at the female character "Sign the damn papers!" Blatant. Obvious. There's no questioning what he said. I just didn't like it. I don't want my kids hearing that influence from their movies.
  • 4. Sacreligious. Okay, this next point is debatable. I'm not even sure how I feel about the whole thing, but it bothered me so I'm putting it in this post. The characters in the movie pray to the Spirit of the West. They hold hands and say a prayer which sounds a lot like something I'd say in my daily prayers, asking for protection and guidance or whatever, but they offer it up to the Spirit of the West. Something about it just rubbed me wrong. I guess you could use it as a lesson to teach your kids about what you believe, but without that lesson it seems like it might influence them negatively. But that's just me. Like I said, this one is debatable because everybody has a different opinion. I'd love to hear some of those opinions.
  • 5. The last thing that bothered me was that there wasn't a lot of compassion in the characters. It was a lot of looking out for number one while forgetting numbers two, three, four, five, etc. There wasn't a complete lack of compassion; it was there. But there just wasn't a lot. I like my kids' movies to show characters with compassion, hope, charity, love, and all those wonderful positive emotions that make life better.
So, there is my opinion on Rango. I'd love to hear some of your opinions, especially those that see my points in a different way or those that found more positives in the movie. I'm not opposed to seeing the movie differently. For those of you with kids, at least you know a bit about the characters before you watch it with your kids. I would have liked to have known, then I would have skipped through a few parts. Anyway, there you have it. That's my opinion of the movie Rango.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Today's Quote

"Keep going even when nobody else has faith in you. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Perseverence is the key to any passion!"

       ~ Julianne
         Check out her writing blog:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Moose on the Loose!

This amazing moose spent the morning relaxing on my back lawn.  He was very cool to see!  I thought you would like to see our pics.  Enjoy!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Quote of the Day!

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.
       ~2 Corinthians 2:14

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Affirmation of the Week

I am at peace with my own feelings. I am safe where I am. I create my own security. I love and approve of myself.

This affirmation was taken from Louis Hay's book You can Heal Your Life. It is the affirmation to help those who are overweight, but the positive idea it creates will help in many more places in your life, if you make it a part of your routine to change to these positive thought processes.

Friday, August 19, 2011

School Lunch Ideas

One of the challenges parents face when school starts is what to feed the kids for lunch.  Because school lunch isn't always affordable or nutritious, many children are taking sack lunches to school.  It takes some creativity and planning to come up with nutritious foods and snacks that don't require heating and that our children will enjoy. Here are some of the ideas we came up with:

1. Peanut butter and honey on whole wheat bread.
2. Deli meat and cheese sandwich.  (Dont forget the green leaf lettuce for extra nutrition)
3. Pre-cooked chicken drum sticks
4. Chicken wrap
5. Cheese Stick
6. Organic baby carrots
7. Pre-cut fresh veggys /with ranch dip
8. Celery sticks filled with homemade flavored cream cheese (See Recipe for Cheese ball posted August 17)
9. Apple slices
10. Grapes and other misc. fruit.
11. Fruit salad made with fresh fruit and real whipping cream
12. Banana Bread
13. Banana Bars
14. Granola Bars
15. Popcorn
16. Fruit cups (sweetened with real fruit juice)
17. Yogurt
18. Bagels and cream cheese
19. Crackers
20. Baked chips
21. 100% juice
22. Salad
23. Bananas
24. Applesauce
25. Organic animal crackers (you can find these at Costco)

Not all of our items are completely nutritious, but overall, we have tried to stay away from white flour, white sugar, High fructose corn syrup and with the exception of the chips and ranch dip, we have also tried to avoid foods that have MSG in them.  We have also selected foods that can be kept cold in a thermal lunch bag with an ice pack inside. 

*You can really be creative with the cheese for the celery sticks.  You can use our recipe for the cheese ball or make up your own.  You can add taco seasoning, salsa, garlic, or bacon bits just to name a few.

*The chicken wraps are easy to make.  Put some butter, ranch or other dressing on your tortilla.  Put a layer of chicken, lettuce, peppers, olives etc. on your tortilla.  Start on one side and tightly roll it up together.  Wrap in plastic wrap.(This can also be made with other kinds of meat.)

*Some schools are nut free schools because of students that have severe allergic reactions to nuts.  Be sure to check with your school before sending foods that are made with nuts.

We hope these ideas will help you plan a fun lunch menu for your children that they will enjoy throughout the year. Also,  we would love to hear your awesome school lunch ideas if you would like to share them with us in our comment section.

***Look for school lunch recipes, information on thermal lunch bags, and where to buy a good hot food thermos which will greatly improve your lunch menu by allowing you to send dinner left-overs and hot soups.

The Boost Team

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Today's Quote

A book is a mirror: if an ape looks into it an apostle is hardly likely to look out.
          Georg C. Lichtenberg

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Nacho Cheese Ball

I made this cheese ball for my sister's bridal shower recently. I have to say it was delicious! I've never made a cheese ball, but it was super easy and super yummy. Enjoy the recipe!

2 packages of cream cheese (8 oz.), softened to room temperature
2-3 T taco seasoning.
1/8-1/4 C. diced pepperoncini peppers
2 T pepperoncini juice
About 1 C crushed tortilla chips

Mix together cream cheese, taco seasoning, pepperoncini peppers and juice. Put in the fridge and let chill until the cheese is firm enough to form into a ball. Wet hands then form the cheese mixture into a ball and roll in the crushed tortilla chips. Eat with crackers and enjoy!

Seriously, this cheese ball was SOOO easy. The measurements don't have to be exact. They're approximately what I put in. More or less of any ingredient really won't hurt. In fact, more would probably enhance the flavor. I will definitely be making this cheese ball again.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Today's Quote

If you aren't successful in life, find out what everybody else is doing and do the opposite.
       ~Sam Walton

Monday, August 15, 2011

Helpful Hints and Tips for the School Year

I have been a homeschool mom for the past 20 years or so, but one year, about 9 years ago, my children asked me if they could attend the local public schools.  I got them all registered and before we knew it, the first day arrived. All of the children were excited so they picked out their clothes a few days before.  They had their backpacks ready, got up early and happily went out the door.  Unfortunately, that didn't happen everyday.  As the year progressed, school mornings became a time of stress and frustration. I would get upset because we couldn't find a shoe or someone had lost their backpack etc.  We would all search, while the clock was ticking, until I was ready to scream.  There were many days when the children left almost in tears and the last thing they saw as they went out the door was a frustrated and angry look on their dear mother's face.

On the days that I was on bus run duty, we would get in the car late, pick all of the kids up late and race to the bus, praying the whole way that we hadn't missed it.  I was haggard, ornery and uptight. I would go to the bus stop and look around at the other parents there and wonder if they too had had a very bad morning.  I dreaded school mornings and counted the days until summer break.  The next year the kids and I decided we preferred homeschool over public school, so they stayed home with me.  I would look out the window and watch all of my neighbors take their kids to the bus stop and thank my lucky stars that I wasn't dealing with that again.  We did homeschool for the next 8 years.

Well, last school year, my 2nd grader begged me to let her go to school with her friends. My first reaction was one of horror. " Are you Insane!", I thought.  That would require going through the morning stress again and  I did NOT want to do it.  I finally gave in and registered her for school, but I was determined to do things differently this time.  I wanted to enjoy the school year with my daughter and be smiling at her when she stepped onto the bus.

I realized that changing my mornings from times of frustration to time's of ease was all about preparation and planning. I know, I am a little slow.  Organized mom's would have done this naturally.  I thought some of you wonder women out there might be a little like me and not fall into the school routine with ease, so I am going to list some of the things I learned.  Here goes:

1. Plan a lunch and snack menu a few days in advance so you have time to purchase items if necessary.
2. Prepare lunches and snacks the night before. ( Keep refrigerated if necessary)
3. Fill all water bottles and Juice bottles the night before. (refrigerate)
4. Schedule a set time everyday for doing homework and looking at school papers etc.  Be sure to sign
     all necessary papers, and return all items, that need to go back to school, to your child's backpack so
     it is all ready to go the next morning.
5. Lay out all clothes the night before.This includes: outfit, underclothes, shoes, socks, jackets, coats
6. If the weather is cold, It is a good idea to gather all winter gear the night before and put it in a bag
    to make it easy to grab in the morning.  This will ensure that your child is warm during recess.
7. Plan your breakfast menu the night before.
8. Get out of bed at least 30 min. before your children so you can have a few minutes to get going.
9. Keep all backpacks and everything your child will need to take with them in a designated area where
    it will be easy to grab in the morning.
10. Plan your schedule so that you arrive at the school or bus stop at least ten minutes early.

  We had our schedule timed down to the minute, and most days it went off without a hitch. There were a few days that didn't go as well because I didn't have time to prepare the night before.  I would start her day with a warning, wake up call about 30 minutes before she had to get up.  This is my snooze call. ( I know how I like to hit the snooze button at least once before I get up.)  This made it easier for her to get up when it really was time.

  Her clothes were  laid out by her bed.  Her back pack was filled with everything she needed to take back and was also hanging near her bed.  We had shoes, socks, jackets and winter gear all gathered and ready to go as well.  She was able to get up and quickly get ready while I prepared her breakfast.  She had plenty of time to eat and get all of her grooming in.  We left for the bus stop 12 minutes early so as not to be rushed.  This made a very positive time for us to spend together before she got on the bus.  We used this time for studying spelling words and reading together. 

I watched many other parents come flying in at the last minute, cars and kids crazily moving through the parking lot in their haste to get to the bus.  Many parents were still in their pajamas, their hair uncombed and they looked like they needed a good cup of coffee.  I felt sorry for them because I had been there before.  How grateful I was that I wasn't in their shoes. 

My daughter,  hugged me as she got out of the car.  She got onto the bus and happily visited with her friends. The coolest thing of all, though, was that my planning paid off!  The last thing she would see as the bus drove away was her dear mother waving and sometimes doing "I love You" hand signs with a big happy smile on my face!

* Watch for future posts on great ideas for school lunches and snacks.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quote of the Week

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
       ~1 Corinthians 15:57

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Affirmation of the Week!

I am happy, healthy and vibrant.  I love Life!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Gnomeo and Juliet Movie Review

If you love clean family movies filled with action, adventure, romance, and treacherey, you will love the animated movie called Gnomeo and Juliet. Just as the title suggests this movie follows the story line of the Shakespeare classic Romeo and Juliet, but has twists and turns that you won't find in the novel.

The story takes place in the gardens of two houses that are right next to each other; separated only by a fence. The owners of the homes are, of course, the Montegues and the Capulets. The interesting characters in the story are actually the garden gnomes who, unbeknownst to the homeowners, are really alive. The garden gnomes call themselves the "reds" and the "blues" because they are all painted those colors. The reds and the blues have had an on-going feud for sometime now which creates some very hostile feelings between the two groups. This also makes for an interesting and exciting story that is fun to watch. It kept my interest throughout the whole show. I thought it was very well written and produced.

I also loved all of the soft rock music which was perfectly laced throughout the show. The music really helped the whole mood of the show, swaying my emotions to react to the characters and the different circumstances they were put in. When I was reading the credits at the end of the movie, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the movie was actually produced by the singer-song writer, Elton John. It turns out that he has as much talent in producing animated films as he has in his music abilities.

Elton John and his crew did a great job producing this film, especially since they were able to make it humorous, interesting and fun for all ages. I loved every minute of it and hope to watch it many more times. This would be a perfect movie to watch for a movie night with your kids and is a must have for any video library collection.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Today's Quote

In faith and hope the world will disagree, but all mankind's concern is charity.
        ~Alexander the Great

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Power of Setting goals

As wonder women we wear many different hats each day.  We are the mother, the wife, the cook, the baker, the house cleaner, the nurse, the teacher, the business woman, and many other things that seem to go along with being a woman.  It takes a lot of energy and usually most of our time to accomplish all of these things.  Because of this, we have a tendency to put ourselves on the back burner which sometimes makes us feel like we have gotten lost in our own lives. Years will go by without taking the time to do things that are important to us.  When this happens for a long period of time, women start feeling less like the wonder women they are and more like a robot, who has little value, just going through the motions of life.

This was how I lived for the first ten years of my married life.  I got caught up in the business of being a mother, homemaker and wife.  I didn't take time for other things that I wanted to accomplish in my life such as learning to play the piano, read certain books, go on vacations etc.  I wasn't prepared for what, to me, was exactly like a mid-life crisis that showed up about the time I turned 30.  When I turned 30, I realized that ten years of my life had quickly slipped away and all I had to show for it were my 5 children.  Even though that, in itself, was a huge accomplishment, it wasn't enough to make me feel fulfilled in my life.  I felt like I had very little value. I sunk into a deep depression for months.

I finally realized that if I didn't want to seriously go off the deep end when I turned 40, I had better make some changes in my life.  For years I had heard all of the motivational gurus telling everyone to set clear goals in their lives, then one day I was listening to a motivational program called Lead the Field by Earl Nightingale.  He said that the definition of a successful person was a person who was working toward a goal.  I had an ah hah moment!  This was the answer to my problem.  If I was working on the things I wanted to accomplish in my life, then I wouldn't have another major crisis at age 40.  I had always known that I should set goals, but it was something I had never been good at so I had just put it off.

I got out a notebook and started writing.  I put a lot of things on my list.  Some were very large goals like taking my kids to Disney Land or running a river.Others were very small like finding a new hairstyle, reading with my kids a couple days a week, or going to lunch with a friend.  I felt the healing begin.  As soon as I wrote down my goals, I felt like a new person.  I realized that I did have value and I deserved to take time out for myself to pursue some of my dreams.

At first, I worked on my goals a little each day, but as time went on, I kind of kept them in the back of my mind but didn't work on them as much as I had intended too. The interesting thing about writing down goals is that they seem to take on a life of their own.  I think it is the power of intention.  Once I had determined what I wanted to do, I felt like everything in the universe worked together with me to help me accomplish them.  Even though I didn't look at my list or even work on my goals every day, I knew I was going to be able to cross some of them off my list.   

When I turned 40, I found my list that I had written after I had my crisis at age 30.  I hadn't actually looked at it for a couple of years.  I was very pleasantly surprised to see that even though I hadn't been as focused on my goals as I had intended, I was able to go through and cross off at least of third of them.  It felt amazing!  I felt empowered and worthwhile.

Since then, I have added to my list of goals.  I now have a list of 86 things that I want to do in my lifetime and the list keeps growing. I keep the crossed off goals there, so I can see how amazing and accomplished I am. It makes me feel successful.  Every time I start feeling a little down or under valued, I pull out my list of goals and choose one to work on.  I have found that if I do something each day that takes me closer to crossing that goal off my list, I feel energized and happy.

A good way to start setting goals is just to get a notebook and pencil and ask yourself, "What would I like to do in my lifetime?"  I have noticed that the first things that show up usually have to do with vacations or seeing the world, but then other things will start coming too. It is a good idea to keep a note pad with you every where you go. ( I use my note pad on my cell phone) Everytime you think, " I would really like to do......" Add it to your list.  You will be surprised how fast your list will grow.

I set 2 goals this summer.  One was to walk 9 miles a week.  The other was to avoid eating foods that were made with white sugar and white flour.  It has been difficult at times to do this, but having clear goals has helped to keep me focused. The results have been amazing!  I have lost 6 or 7 pounds, and I am wearing clothes I haven't been able to wear for months.  Most importantly, though, is that I feel great!  I have more energy and I feel happier because I feel better about myself and the way I look.  I AM HAPPY TO BE ME, AND IT FEELS GOOD! 


We would love to hear about your goals and all of your successes if you would like to share them with us in our comment section!  Happy Goal Setting!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Today's Quote!

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.
       ~Dale Carnegie

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dominoes on Steroids... Presented by the Kinetic King

I don't watch America's Got Talent but I found this guy, The Kinetic King, by watching clips of the show. Some of you probably already know who he is and what he does. Still, his work is pretty incredible so if you do, then sit back and enjoy the show.

Kinetic energy is the energy of motion. Tim Fort, a.k.a. The Kinetic King, takes everyday objects and starts a chain reaction using kinetic energy (hence the title). Basically it's glorified dominoes (or dominoes on Steroids, as I like to affectionately call it). If you like dominoes you'll love this. He uses dominos, but he also uses cups, Christmas beads, balloons, wooden blocks, popsicle sticks, and more things that I can't remember or can't name. He does some neat stuff. Enjoy!

This last video is pretty neat. If you only watch one, watch this one!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Quote of the Day

The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting; give me understanding, and I shall live.
        ~Psalms 119:144

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Quote of the Day!

So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.
       ~ Christopher Reeve

Friday, August 5, 2011

Affirmation of the week!

Money flows to me easily and naturally, just as the waves flow into the shore.

School Daze

On Wednesday I joined the ranks of Wonder Women all over the country when I dropped my daughter, Charity, off for her first day of Kindergarten. I've been dreading this day for months; she's been counting the days until it came!

We were late (are we suprised? Not really) so I ended up walking her to her class. She happily gets in line behind the other students, a big grin on her face, and I stand there, knowing I need to leave, but it just feels so.... off. I don't leave my little girl in strange places with strange people! She jumped in with the other students so fast that I didn't even have a chance to hug her and tell her I love her. She didn't notice; I was slightly heartbroken.

I did find the courage to walk out and leave her behind.  I passed the principle in the hall on my way out of the school. "Everything okay?" she asks with a big, pleasant smile on her face. And I'm thinking... yeah... no... I kinda want to cry a little.... Instead I paste a smile on my face and say "Yep. Found the class just fine. Thank you!" and move on. Lucky for me I had a baby on my hip and a three-year-old holding my hand. That makes it easier.
It was a strange thing driving away from that school. I didn't cry. I only felt like it a bit. And it's not like I don't want her there. Well, yeah it is. Can't she have that experience while she's safely encased in my little protective bubble? I guess not.

I ended up taking my other two kids to the store, since I didn't really want to go home. That was a good experience. It was so much easier taking the two instead of the three! Yes, I've discovered a bonus!
Truth be told, it was nice having her in school for a couple hours. It gave me a little bit of time with my boys, a little bit of time to work on the house in peace. But when it was time to go pick her up, I hopped right in that car and went on my way, happy to have her back.
She, of course, was thrilled with Kindergarten. She drew pictures. The teacher told her stories. She met a new little girl named Ella, who apparently made an impression since she's the only name Charity can remember. She sang a song "Hot potato, hot potato!" which morphs into "Cold spaghetti, cold spaghetti!" While she's singing it she's demonstrating the hand movements that go along with the song. It's really quite darling.

And, perhaps the best thing of all, she is starting to see herself as an honest-to-goodness big girl. She stands taller and I can see she's just so proud of herself. I am too. Sure it breaks my heart, sure it bites watching her move on where I can't go, but I suppose that's part of the expeience of motherhood. The whole joyful, heartwrenching, sometimes earth-shattering experience of motherhood.

When I asked her yesterday what happened to my baby girl, she spread her arms wide as if to say she doesn't know then said matter-of-factly, "I go to school. I'm five. I ride a two-wheeler."
Yes, Baby Girl, yes you do. But you'll always be my Baby Girl.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Quote of the Day

I love you up to heaven!     
~ Jakie, my three-year-old, telling me how much he loves me.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Quote of the Day!

When it looks like the sun doesn't shine anymore, God puts a rainbow in the clouds.
       ~Maya Angelou

A Jonah Day

Today was one of those days that I call "Jonah Days".  For those of you who have never heard that term before, a Jonah Day is a term for a day where everything seems to go wrong. Just like the one that poor Jonah from the Bible went through when he chose to get on a boat and run away instead of going to Ninevah. These are the days that it would be better, and safer, just to stay in bed.  Today was definitely one of those days.  It started off all right, but quickly went on a downward spiral.

  My sister and I own our own cleaning business.  We clean homes around our city.  When I got to my first cleaning appointment today, I realized that I was 30 minutes late.  Ok, not a good way to start the workday.  Then, I was rushing a little to make up a some time and forgot to put the lid on the toilet bowl cleaner after I finished using it.  The bottle fell out of my tote and to my horror  proceeded to gush blue cleaner all over the bedroom carpet of the home I was cleaning.  Not only did it get on the carpet, but it also sprayed all over two walls leaving permanent marks on the walls. Now, I realize that I wasn't being cast into the sea or swallowed by a big fish (actually, I might have preferred that), but I was extremely upset!

As my sister and I were cleaning up the mess, we realized that the toilet bowl cleaner had sprayed the wall behind my clients beautiful cherry wood dresser, but had somehow completely missed the dresser itself. ( I must have some one who loves me behind the veil who was looking out for me.)  Thank Heaven! I couldn't believe it.  What a blessing.  In the end, we were able to get some of it cleaned up, but I will have to hire someone to clean it professionally.  Not the end of the world I guess.

 More things continued to happen as the day went on, but I don't want to take up precious space writing about them as well.

The reason I am sharing this with all of you is because when all of these things were happening today, I decided that I had a choice.  I could choose to let them upset me and ruin my day,  maybe even my week, or I could choose to find the good in them. A little quote that my mother used to recite to me kept running through my head.  It goes like this:

Two men looked out from prison bars
One saw mud, the other stars.

 Now, I don't always see the stars. Lots of times I wallow in the mud, but today I decided to look for the good in each situation I was put in. I felt just like Pollyanna. It really helped me.  I realized that the toilet bowl cleaner incident could have been much worse.  It could have sprayed all over her beautiful dresser and Armiore.  It also could have sprayed on priceless pictures that she had on her dresser.  Another blessing was that my client was unbelievably wonderful about the whole situation, telling me that accidents happen.

  Looking for the good in these difficult circumstances really helped me pick myself up and keep going throughout the rest of the day.  It is my hope that next time you have a day where everything goes wrong, you will remember my Jonah day, with my toilet bowl cleaner disaster, and it will help you see the good in your own situation by helping you to look for the stars instead of wallowing in the mud.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Quote of the Day!

I was so glad to see Julie's post about the Fly Lady yesterday.  The housekeeping methods she teaches in her book and on her website have changed our lives.  The Fly Lady believes that one of the reasons people don't do the things they want to, like clean their houses,  is because they are worried that everything has to be done perfectly.  They put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect that they are afraid to start because they don't want to fail.

 I thought it would be fitting today  to put some of the quotes from the Fly Lady's book for our Quote of the Day.  Check out her website at  You will be glad you did!

Today's Quotes:

"Perfectionism will keep you from ever getting out of the chaos"

"No one is perfect and it is an unattainable goal to set for yourself. "

"I have found over the last 2 years that PERFECTIONISM is the main reason our homes are in bad shape or CHAOS! PERFECTIONISM is the reason we are depressed and PERFECTIONISM keeps us from making things better"

"We are imperfect beings and praise God for our imperfection. He made us and He loves us regardless."

       ~Marla Cilley-The Fly Lady
             Sink Reflections pages 14-15

~Posted by Elizabeth

Monday, August 1, 2011


I am a housewife. I'm not the best housewife. I'm more of a disorganized, slightly disfunctional, definitely cluttery housewife. If you walk in my house you see piles in the corners, piles on the counters, piles on just about every flat surface. To be fair, my current living conditions are less than ideal. The biggest room in my house is 13x13. Unfortunately, it's the entrance so it's not really a functional room. All told, I have maybe 800 square feet of space (I'm estimating high. I really think it's less) for myself, three children, and my husband. So, the piles are understandable since there really isn't enough storage space in my home. But that's just me going on a little whiney rant. Who am I to complain? It could definitely be worse.

Anyway, I'm getting off topic. The point of the above rant is that I'm a mess. I'm not very good at organizing and when I do it typically doesn't stay organized. Part of the problem is that I really, honestly just don't like to do it. Cleaning to me is like poking myself in the eye. I would much rather write something for my blog, work on my novel, play with my kids, or do any number of things that are very productive, but don't make the house look clean. Guess that's my downfall. Lucky me.

Fortunately, there are solutions out there for people like me! The best solution that I've found came to me as a birthday gift from my mom. She knows me and my messes :D. The gift was a book called "Sink Reflections". The purpose of the book is to help you get your house clean and organized without sacrificing every second of your life, which is what I feel like I have to do to keep my house clean. In my head I either have a clean house and get nothing else done (including time with my kids) or I have a messy house and get stuff done that I would much rather be doing. I'll get other stuff done, thank you.

"Sink Reflections" isn't like your typical cleaning manual book. Those books all tell you wonderful tips on how to clean, but they don't really dive into the mindset. This book gives great tips as well, tips that are definitely worth following, but she dives into the mindset. She understands me! She knows that if it isn't done perfect then I'm angry at myself, or if I can't do it perfect I don't see the point in doing it. She knows that I have other things I want to be doing. She knows that the thought of cleaning for five hours straight is pure torture! She knows and understands, and gives tips on how to work around those nasty hate-cleaning thoughts that I experience.

I have to say, my house is still a mess, but that's my own fault. I love her techniques. When I use and apply them my house stays clean! Unfortunately, my habits are ridiculous and I do have to change some habits in order for her program to work (habits such as the fact that my house is a mess, it's eleven o'clock in the morning, and I'm blogging instead of cleaning. Huh. Shoot.) When I've followed her program my house is clean by nine or ten. I could be blogging at eleven o'clock with no guilt or problems whatsoever.

Anyway, point being, "Sink Reflections" is an awesome book for all you lovely housewives out there who feel trapped in the never-ending cycle of keeping the house clean. She gives great advice, makes you feel like you can actually get out from under the nightmare, and totally empowers you as a woman. I love her! She calls herself the flylady. Her website is Check her out. You might just love her too.

Quote of the Day!

"Success..... is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."
       ~Winston Churchill