Friday, January 30, 2009

It's working!

I have stuck religiously {mostly} to my point counting lifestyle and I have already lost weight! So excited! Not really anything else to talk about. This weekend will be filled with finishing projects around the house and a baby shower for one of my friends. Lindsay has a party too. I hope it's sunny.

I would also like to take this time to wish the Steelers every bit of BAD luck the universe has to offer. Hopefully, for their sake, they were able to hire the same refs this year.Everybody have a good weekend!
the Seahawks really won that year you know}

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sweet surprise

As most of you know, Jeff has been without a job since the begining of October. We've had to really tighten our belts and eliminate extra costs. Really, we didn't have that many extra costs to begin with. One thing we did have to pay for and what was a bit of a burden, was Lindsay's ballet classes.

She has been in ballet since she was 4 years old. Lindsay takes ballet very seriously. It's interesting to watch her in class. Other girls will be goofing off or slightly aloof, not Lindsay. She listens very intently and tries her hardest to do just what Miss. Sandra says.

Lindsay was born with a natural grace and ballance, I have no idea where she got it from. She was born to dance I think. We would take her to Abbey's dance recitals and we would have to have an isle seat. She would insist on copying whatever was being done on stage. Ballet was the only thing that would get that little pill to potty train too. She was almost 3 1/2 and wouldn't even consider it. She was looking forward to being 3 for one reason only. She knew that was the age you could finally get to go to ballet. The one stipulation being, only students that were potty trained would be allowed. When I finally got it through to her, that she was not going to ballet until she was out of diapers, she potty trained in about 3 days.

Anyways, the reason I am writing about it is this. Cutting ballet was a very last resort for our budget. My dear mother stepped in and told me that she would like to pay for her dancing lessons. I was and am very grateful. I finally paid this quarters tuition yesterday. Last night I checked my email for a final time before going to bed to find this:

Sandra Olgard--gift
Hi Heidi,

An anonymous person has paid Lindsay's tuition for the remainder of the year. I can either rip up your check or give it back, which ever you prefer. Lindsay is a joy to have in class and is doing so well. A beautiful girl. Sandra

I was so taken aback with a humble heart and gratitude. I even cried. I try not to do that very often. I am so touched by this sweet and loving gesture. There are sweet little blessings that the Lord gives us. It may not be a job for my husband, but it lightens my load and my spirit none the less.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Is age just a number?.

I have been recently blessed with a nice little side gig. A lady in my church has her elderly father living with her. She called me up and asked if I would be interested in sitting with him for a couple days a week. I of course said yes. I really like to do service for people and I enjoy the elderly, so it was all good.

Since we live in a backwood kind of area, her house would be considered in the middle of nowhere. Ah, but how peaceful it is to live in the middle of nowhere. I brought my big book of Jane Austen, I'm halfway done with Sense and Sensibility. They have a really nice living room with large windows and a very comfortable couch. The good life.

Her dad has dementia. She gave me some instruction on how to handle it. She also wanted it to seem to him, that I wasn't there to watch him. More like he was going to watch me. I was just there to get a break from home and come relax at theirs. During my visit, he wondered when my parents were coming to get me.

The first day I was there we talked almost the whole time. I think I get the gift of conversation from my Dad. He can, if he chooses, be very personable and chatty. :) When the lady had gotten home, she let me know that she was going to have me come more often and that she was going to pay me. So, now I get to hang out with a really nice gentleman and get some spending/bill money too. The next time I came, he was more interested in walking around the house. Not very talkative that day I guess. I got to read my book though.

The reason I bring up the age issue is this, I turned 30 last year. I am going to be 31 this year. Now I think that's a pretty good age. Not too old, not very young. Yet I wonder what age I need to be to get some stature. For the lack of a better word, some respect. The reason I'm think about that is, when I was leaving, she was talking to her dad about me, yet at me too. She had remarked that I was just a young little thing. I kind of smiled. I thought to myself, 'I am always going to be looked at as young by someone.' Not really a bad thing I suppose. It's an interesting thought. To her father, everybody is just a young little thing. So maybe stature/respectable, is just another one of those myths you think exist, only to find out your never going to reach it.

I think back to what Paula Dean said on one of her shows, she was hoping that someday she would be a woman of substance. In my perspective I think she is, but to her she is still aspiring to the peak of maturity. Well, when do we start being looked at as just another adult and not just a young little thing? I hope to one day be a woman of substance as well, but will that not come until I am am past my 60's? Just wondering.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Today is a new start

Today is going to be my first day of counting food points. I am really excited because Jeff is on board. Usually, he is the biggest saboteur, but now he will be my {hopefully} biggest ally.

So it's a new day. A new way of life {eating wise} is starting and I think it's exciting. I formed my own group too. That was one of the things on my list. I did everything on my list for the week! YAY! Well, all of them except make Jeff his own punch list. I didn't get around to the easiest thing. Go figure.

Anyway, if any of you guys have done the point system and have a thing or two to share, please do. I would love some pointers {HA}

The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Frosty Place

The other day Jeff and I drove about the back roads that surround our home. We are lucky to live in a fairly undeveloped, yet close to a large city sort of place.

I mentioned before that we have had fog for almost 2 weeks, and this lovely white coating is what's left behind. It just gets thicker with every fog. I love it. I hope you can get the feel of it from the pictures I took. I wish you all could see it for yourselves too.

That is a regular chain link fence. No snow, just freezing fog.

Thanks for looking. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fog...I like it.

It has been foggy in my part of town for about a week and a half. I love the fog. Especially when its freezing outside. Everything looks frosty and flocked. I am going to go out and about today and take some pictures of it all. It's got a real ghostly feel and I like it. I'll post those pictures later.

Also, does anybody know how many points a brownie sundae are? no, I must have....WILLPOWER!!!
I think I need a sponsor. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Photo Archive, no theme. Just fun.

I felt like sharing some of my favorite photos of my girls. There is really not a theme, just some I really like and I wanted to share.
Valentines Day with her rose from Daddy
Japanese Gardens after Church

Lindsay at Build a Bear.
Yes, she picked out the outfit.
Yes, I let her go out in public in it.

Sisters enjoying breakfast in the
Thanks for looking. If your stuck for what to do, why not pull out 4 of your favorite photos. Consider yourself TAGGED.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today I am going to do something!

I am going to really accomplish something today. I have been in a rut lately and I want OUT! I am going to make a punch list for myself and for Jeff. I need to get going on something, or the darkness will overcome. {darkness being watching too much tv and snacking a bit}

So, here's my list for the week. Let's see if I can get them done. I will be showing my progress on, hmm, uh, Saturday.?. I know that the blogging world kind of goes to sleep for the weekend, but I will most likely need Friday to finish. Maybe I'll post on Friday. So here I go.

1. Clean my room
2. Clean my craft room/office
3. Start my own weight watchers group
4. Scrapbook some
5. Do some service
6. Do my visiting teaching
7. Cook something new this week

That goes for my list. I can do it! I'll have to write Jeff's for him on a more tangible paper. He has been asking for one so I will finally do it today...

8. Make Jeff a punch list.

There we go. All righty. Ready to be a busy bee. So, what do you guys have to accomplish this week?

Monday, January 19, 2009

He's not heavy, he's my brother...but he is fun.

This weekend we were treated to a visit from my little brother Kelly. That really explains my absence from the blogging world. So, sorry for not commenting.

When Kelly comes to visit, you can be sure there will be lots of laughing, lots of cartoons, lots of video games, and lots of fun. I usually make a treat of some sort too. His usual request is a key lime pie. I mastered the recipe about a year ago.

Kelly, for the past few years, comes over to our house to spend his birthday. We take him out to our favorite restaurants and keep him well entertained. On his birthday, we go out to eat at one place, but we go to Clinkerdagger's for dessert. It's a fancy shmancy eatery in Spokane. Over rated if you ask me, but they have a key lime pie that Kelly fell in love with. I thought to myself,'I can make this for the same price as one piece!' So I buttered up the waitress and she told me where they got the recipe from. Ever since then, I just make them myself and we enjoy them the whole time he's here. I didn't get around to making the pie this weekend. Instead I made cinnamon rolls, which Kelly has said are the best cinnamon rolls he has ever tasted.

On Friday night we went rollerskating. Jeff and I found a nice bench while Kelly and the girls skated away. I wished we had waited to go on Saturday though. Friday night is 12-15 year old, foul mouthed, smoke in the bathrooms, trashy kids night. Every so often, you would hear the owner over the pa system telling the kids to watch their mouths or stop smoking in her bathrooms. She threw a few kids out. It was a big task and she was doing her best. Then she came over and asked how we were surviving the craziness. We informed her that this is the last Friday night we would ever be attending. She didn't blame us one bit. We've been skating there for the last 4 years and I have never seen it like that. The owner only does it once a week and I think it's only to help pay the bills.{Lindsay looks a little nuts in this picture. I think it's her way of keeping her eyes open during a flash. I wish I got some of Kelly. He was doing his best impressions of the FTD logo. Abbey was skating, with a lot of breaks and a lot of informing the owner of what the bad kids were doing. Abbey was really disgusted with the behavior displayed.}

A lot of the time we watched movies, tv series on dvd, and LOTS of Anime. {That's Japanese cartoons} Sunday became a Dragon Ball Z marathon. I watched some of it, then I hijacked Kelly's computer and re-watched most of the Office season 5.

Well, I hope you got the gist of our weekend. A good time is had by all when uncle Kelly comes to town.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Recipe Club

About a year ago I started a recipe club in my church. Once a month, all the ladies are invited over for lunch at my house. We have a theme for every month too. I started the club mainly to meet new people and have an excuse to throw a mini party.

So if you come, your going to be bringing a dish that represents the theme and some copies of the recipe. It's really fun. I get some regulars that come and I get new people every month too. I like it.

So anyway, I am going to start posting the theme and the recipe I do. If anyone brings anything really noteworthy, I'll put them up as well.

Our theme this month, per request, was Jello. Being LDS and knowing that Salt Lake City is the #1 consumer of this product I knew people wouldn't be hard pressed for recipes. So, here's what I did. I went the pudding route. I made Grandma DeCoursey's sticky pull-aparts.

18 frozen rolls (Rhodes rolls)
1 small package cook and serve butterscotch pudding
1 cube of buttah
1/2 cup of brown sugar (I prefer dark)
1 small package of pecans about a cup (I use whole nuts and break them to the size I want)

I use a bundt pan for this recipe I guess you could use what ever you feel the equivilant would be. So, grease your pan, sprinkle nuts on the bottom of your pan. Place the frozen dough on top of the nuts. Try to get them as evenly spaced as possible. If some are on top of each other that is good. Then sprinkle the pudding mix on top of the dough. Try to distribute it as evenly as you can. On the stove top, combine the butter and the sugar in a small sauce pot. Cook over a low-medium heat. Cook the mixture until well combined and it resembles caramel. You don't really want it to start boiling. You do want to have the sauce very smooth. Next, pour the sauce evenly over the rolls. It's ok if you see pudding that isn't covered, it will work out. Cover the rolls and let them raise over night. When they are good and puffy, put them into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 min. At the end of the time, pull them out and tap on the top. It they seem to have a hollow sound they're ready. Let them sit for about one minute. Then turn them upside down onto a plate large enough to contain the caramel goodness that's about to come out. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wow! Thankyou!!!

I won my cousin Marilyn's music contest...more out of default, but a win none the less! : )) I was so surprised to get a beautifully wrapped present in the mail.

It was the cutest paper and one of my favorite colors too, red. Inside the box was a bunch of CD's of super hip and cool music. All of the CD's have really cute cover art too. It was so fun to open this. I am really excited for it all too.

You see, I have kind of given up on music. Not to say that I don't have a love or an appreciation. I love rock n roll! I just stopped looking for new stuff. I would hear something in a commercial or on the radio that would catch my attention, but then not like anything else in their repertoire. I also am at a loss on how to find new worthwhile music. So to help me out, my dear cousin has come to the rescue! I am looking forward to popping them in and find some new favorites.

Thanks again Marilyn!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I wanna live in the Vintage!

My sister in law Lisa did a cute little post on the milk man. The picture that was used is one of my favorite art styles. 50's and 60's advertisements. Oh, I love looking at the Sears and Roebuck catalogs of yore. Perusing a Better Homes and Gardens from 1962 with a cup of coco would be an ideal afternoon. I admire the prim and proper. I adore the fashion. The movie and television selection were some of the best.

Just like Main Street in Disneyland though, my idea of "the way it was" really is just a commercialized version of what really happened.

{I would give most anything to visit Disneyland in it's infancy too. Which occurred in said time frame.}

So if I had a wish, I would wish to go back in time. A place where you could get a guilt-free cheeseburger and chocolate malt. You had a Milkman, Butcher, Grocer, and you are on a first name basis. Where no woman would leave the house without gloves and a coordinating hat/purse combo. The pearls would be a daily accessory and I could dress in the prettiest Donna Reed number. Open a Dick and Jane book, you'll see what I'm talking about.

OK, so my real life is not even close t0 this, nor would I ever want it to be. I know I would miss integration, equality for women, and pants.

Sure, I could put certain aspects of the fantasy into my life, but I like to keep them in the "what if file". I just think it would be a fun vacation if you will. If Pleasantville was a real place to visit, I would be booking a ticket to ride!

I feel the same way about the 80's too. I wish I was a teenager of the 80's. The 90's were awful!
I would be Molly Ringwald. Duh. : )

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

We had a great New Year celebration!

We have started a tradition with our little family. Probably similar to what you all do, but it's looked forward by everyone in the DeCoursey house.

So we all stay up to ring in the new year of course. Lindsay seems to have more of a knack at it than Abbey does. Abbey is usually ready to throw in the towel at about 10:30. Jeff was waining at 11:00. I was worried we wouldn't make it. They powered through.

On new years eve, everybody gets whatever they want for dinner. The girls were easy this year. They picked up a bag of chicken nuggets at the store. Jeff was undecided, until we went down the salad dressing isle. A little bottle of Asian Chicken salad dressing seemed to be emanating light. Pick me! Jeff quickly did and it was decided that we would be having a big bowl of Asian Chicken salad tonight. Recipe courtesy of my Momma.

So we pretty much get going when ever the mood hits us. That was about 5pm for us. Along side of our customized dinner we have other nibblies. Jeff likes the cheese ball and crackers. We always seem to have little smokies no matter what the celebration. During the course of the evening we broke out the smores. Being the cleaver mom that I am, I made a mini bonfire with tea light candles on a plate. Good eats!

All night long it has become the tradition to watch the Twilight Zone marathon, play games, and finish with Dick Clark in Times Square. We have a quick succession of happenings after the clock strikes 12.

First. Poppers are distributed and popped. Much to delight of the cats. : )

Second. Pots and pans are passed out. The front door is flung open and the neighborhood is treated to us banging and wishing them a happy new year. I don't think were that bad. Some guy shoots his gun in the air and somebody usually has fireworks.

Third and final. We reconvene in the kitchen and toast the new year with bubbly, the apple kind.

Then it's off to bed. New years day is filled with a snow/sledding party at our Bishops house. His property has a HUGE hill. As the kids slide, the grownups stay warm in the garage, propane heaters are awesome! Lovely ladies make fry bread. Delicious with honey butter! All the coco you can drink too.

Alas, I missed out on the party. I was home cooking up a turkey dinner. I can report that the food turned out great. The gravy was so good. I ruined the Thanksgiving gravy, so this was a little boost to my confidence. We ate our delicious dinner on the lovely china my mom gave me for Christmas. It used to be hers, I admired it so much she just gave it to me. Ain't she sweet?

We said goodbye to the tree. It was a good tree, but it started to smell a bit and needed to go.

I hope you had a fun new year celebration too. Oh, before I forget. Another new thing has happened. My oldest daughter Abbey has started her own blog. She got a camera for Christmas and a blog was just the way to put it to use. So, if you could stop by and say hello to her or if you have any girls around 10 that might be interested in being her blog buddy, send them over to Abbey's Place.

Happy New Year! I know, it was a few days ago...humor me.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Livin' on a Prayer!!! Lindsay style.

For Christmas one of the gifts we got was the second American Idol game for the Wii. We have played it almost every day since getting it. I don't think I like it as much as the first. I like the song choices better on the first one.

Anyway, what's good about this one is the songs Lindsay is favoring. She heard me sing this Bon Jovi number and really liked it. Now it's part of her regular set. Lindsay is very open to trying new stuff. Abbey on the other hand will only sing Since you've been gone and Who knew. We're trying to get her to branch off.

Lindsay does such a good job of Livin' on a Prayer. She wanted me to take a video. She was kind of shy at first, knowing that she was being video taped and all. The girl warmed up pretty quick though. I still think she was holding back a bit. Maybe next time she can wear leggings with a large off the shoulder sweatshirt belted around the middle.

So, what did you think? Do I have a super star or what? She just cracks me up on a daily basis. Next video will be Abbey singing Enjoy the Silence. Maybe if I tell her that uncle Mike loves that song she'll be more inclined to learn it.

BTW, this is a print done by Amy Mebberson. She is on Etsy. She is great. She used to be a Disney artist. If you look at her work you can see a strong Disney influence. I think this one has a touch of Mary Blair.

I don't know if I can have her artwork on my blog or not. Probably not. I just thought it was so cool and embodied my vision of Lindsay, if she were a hip chick in the 80's. If the image disappears, it's because I have to take it down. :)
We had a great New Years Eve and Day. I am going to get that post together maybe next week.