The world doesn't revolve around me?

I am trying to learn how to fast happily. I've been fasting for many years, but it hasn't become much easier.
I love food!
When I start feeling deprived, sometimes I remind myself that many people all over the world are hungry, and I should be grateful that I actually have food for my family. I have never experienced real hunger. I have always been able to offer food for my children.

In the same line of thought, when I kneel to pray at the end of the day, I remember that somewhere someone had a tragic day. Just one day, and life changes. I remember that I really am grateful for the health and safety today of my family. I pray for all those that have lost loved ones today, and realize my day wasn't so bad.

I had this conversation with Ammon yesterday, I asked him how many people he though died in one day all over the world. He found this website. Awesome for getting a broader perspective.

I was inspired with the rest of the world by a one-tragic-day-surviver, Nie Nie ,on Oprah. Talk about a broad perspective.

Our Patriot Day Surprise

We've been saying the Pledge of Allegiance for about a month in our morning devotionals. I was surprised that it melts my heart to watch my kids salute the flag and repeat the Pledge.

On September 11th we were having an evening devotional. I brought our little flag outside, and to mine and Ammon's surprise, Audrey rattled off the Pledge perfectly. We looked at each other, "Did you hear that!?" We had her repeat and repeat. This was probably our 20th attempt to get it on film. She wants to play with the camera every time she sees it.

This clip is the best we could get~ but for the record~ she can do it perfectly!

It's pretty much the cutest thing I have ever seen. Kids are smarter than we realize!

I now christen you, "The Book Sharks"

My family has been saying we need to start a Cousins Book Club for a while---so we finally DID! My kids love these books:I thought they would make a fun book club. AND Then I found and couldn't help myself. We sent out formal invitations.
After the guests arrived, Hyrum welcomed them and conducted the first order of business: deciding on a name. They chose THE BOOK SHARKS. We played "There's a candy in my hand." We read Gingerbread Baby, talked about it, and acted it out. Then we read Gingerbread Friends, talked about it and then we put the pictures I had taped around the room in the right sequence. Gift boxes under the tree for their goodies (Gingerbread cookies, bookmark, placemat, & cute recipe card).Masks for Gingerbread Baby re-enactment, and a board game. Hyrum spent all week coloring Gingerbread Friends:

It was SO much fun. For me. I think the kids had a good time too.

I can't wait, The Book Sharks will strike again in October, in Logan. Em is doing a Halloween theme. I'm already excited about the possibilites!

The Week END.

~Two beginnings
~Derelict Anamatronics
~Becoming De-Wonkafied
~Connotations of "LADY"
Two Beginnings (that culminate in one day)
We started studying the "CH" sound at the beginning of the week. If you sit and ponder "CH" you will naturally end up at....Chuck E. Cheese. All week we have been trying to earn enough stickers on our Cheerful Chart to go to Chuck E. Cheese's.
(You earn stickers by being cheerful)

Last sunday, the beginning of this week, Ammon said to me: "I will give you 100 dollars for that outfit." Now in my defense. I'm doing the best I can with what I have. This outfit is old; actually both pieces are hand-me-downs. My excuse is that it is comfy, especially when I get a little thicker. It seemed a little dressier too, or at least compared to my wardrobe. OK I have no excuse. Please nominate me for What Not to Wear. I gladly gave him the outfit. He wanted to burn it.
above: me wearing the said outfit on Hyrum's blessing day. April 2006.
below: me wearing the said outfit on Audrey's blessing day. February 2008.

Derelict Anamatronics
Today dad declared that we had enough stickers on our chart to go to Chuck E Cheese's.
Now, sidetrack for a sec, one of my favorite things about Disneyland is that so much of it stays the same. I tried to pull the sword out of the stone when I was 5, and now my kids can too!
Let's just say Chuck E. Cheese had the same thing going for it....but it wasn't quite so magical. The pictures speak for themselves.
This little guy was my favorite. He used to pop up; I remember from my little brothers 5yr birthday party. (what? 17 years ago?)

I was very amused. The anamatronic band rocked out to, "If your going out in the sun, and gonna have some fun, don't forget your, S P F na na na S P F." Then there was the people-watching, many good specimens. Unsupervised children. (But I can't talk seeing as every time I turned around Audrey was drinking from a random soda.) I helped Audrey up the Mcdonalds/LasersEdge like play gym. It was a challenge. I tried to go back to my childhood and enjoy it, until I saw the dried puke/poop/who knows...then we got out immediately.The kids games were boring, and didn't give any tickets, so Ammon took matters into his own hands. Meet The Star Shooter. You just pop a little ball into specific slots and you get that many tickets. There is a 50 ticket slot. He mastered it. We ended up with over 1000 tickets for bartering. We had fun, even if the kids didn't.
Becoming De-Wonkafied
Eariler this week: Hyrum is sitting at the kitchen bar eating his lunch, giggling. "Mom," he says through giggles, "you look like Mr. Wonka." We're talking Johnny Depp.
I knew I needed a haircut, but that clinched it. I hadn't found time all week. After Chuck's (may I call you chuck?) Ammon let me stop at Fantastic Sam's and get a haircut. I'm happy with it; it will be good to not be self-conscious about my mullet anymore. As I was paying, Hyrum informed me that I didn't look like Mr. Wonka anymore. Phew.
Connotations of "LADY"
To conclude the evening (and this post), Ammon offered to make good on his $100 offer at the mall. While he wrangled the kids (Pretzelmaker (what happened to Pretzeltime?),Escalators, Water Fountains, Furniture Deparment, Disney Store) I shopped at Macey's. I tried on really nice black high-heels ($89). In the end, I purchased from CJ Banks. (Four blouses that will go lovely with my skirt selection.) All the other women in the store were at least 20 years older than me.
I'll admit it. I've transitioned. I shop in the mom section.
I am ready to own the title, Lady. I often thought of Lady in terms of "That Old Lady," and the like. No,no. Lady, as in My Fair Lady. At least that is my spin on it.


Warning: This is a post about boogies.

I have one clear memory of my mom washing the walls in my room; she was cleaning boogies off the wall that someone had wiped there. She was screaming and gagging and getting really angry at whoever had done the deed. I did share a room with my sister, so we can't be sure who the offender was. Now I only cleaned my room once a year (before Christmas) and my mom only deep cleaned....well...this may be my only memory of that. So let's just say that those boogies may have been there for a long, long time.

I think my mom would be proud that I can learn from her mistakes:

A certain someone has begun to wipe boogies on the wall.

In our house, as was true in my house of origin, eating boogies is an absolute don't-ever-do-it-grossest thing. I can understand the dilemma. You are lying in bed picking your nose, you get a boogie that is too wet to flick, you don't want to get up and get a what you gonna do? Wipe it on the wall, obviously.

It seems the root of the problem is the initial picking of the nose in bed. I know some people are taught to only pick their nose in the bathroom. Is this the direction we are going in? Maybe...

Meanwhile, Hyrum will just spend every couple days washing the wall in his bedroom. It looks so fun that Audrey chooses to help. No gagging involved!

Back to life, back to reality

I just got back from girl's camp. The camp director and I have been preparing like mad women for the last 3 months. We thought of most everything. It was a success.

And now it's over. I don't know what to do with all this free time I'll have now. :)
Or maybe I should say: I just don't know how I ever found all the time to prepare for camp.

I'll enjoy the weekend; I'll get back to laundry, cooking, and cleaning on Monday.

Audrey thinks she is big enough to sit on a bar stool. Look at that proud face. I hoped she would keep her balance long enough for me to take a picture--then I was right back in catching range.Speaking of bar stools, Hyrum fell from one at my mom's last Tuesday. We can now say we've done stitches (along with the broken bones). He got two stitches in the back of his head. I was saved the trauma of holding him down and witnessing the horror because it all happened while I was at the temple. Ammon took care of it.I've been ambitious with Audrey's hair recently. Thanks to Jessica. It's fun. I'm learning. Still haven't tried a french braid on her though :) This is for the Strawberry Days Parade. The kids had a good time when they weren't distracted/quarreling/whining/running down the road, on account of the candy. Oh the things people will do for sugar.

Notice the candy eating mouth.
Our little dragon slayer, wearing the Armor of God.
When I'm at my best Hyrum and I do "Scripture Hero" together in the evenings. I mark ahead passages in my reading of the Book of Mormon. We sing Scripture Power and read a passage I have marked (we started at the beginning) and then we usually act it out as many times as I have patience for. He always likes to put on the Armor of God, we name each part as we put it on, and fight. I don't have armor, so he injures me pretty easily. He stays safe because of his armor. It's a good object lesson, even if he doesn't understand the meaning of it yet.

Audrey and Grandma Jean reading together.

Audrey's cute quote of the day: Every time we go outside she says, "Mom, I swing a minute?" I can't resist; we just have to go borrow the neighbor's tree swing for a minute.

Kefir anyone?

I bought kefir grains from this lady a month or so ago. I've been making kefir for our family (OK mostly me) since.
It grows, and I'm have more than I can eat.
Ammon considers these little guys "another mouth to feed," because of how much milk I have to give them to keep them alive.

I can't bring myself to just throw the excess away; people pay for this!

Anyone interested in boosting their family's nutrition is welcome to my kefir bounty!

Photo Post of DISNEYLAND!

Have you read this book?
Sandcake by Frank Asch
Hyrum didn't care too much about re-enacting it, but I had fun.

With some cropping and some color play, the above photo may have potential.

Princess Audrey on King Triton's Carousel. After 5 consecutive times around they crowned her and announced has as a special guest over the speaker. She got a round of applause.

The whole crew.
Jedi Training. Hyrum decided to come back and watch saying, "I'm still a little bit too little."
Awesome to meet up with Hatch cousins while in Disneyland!

Hyrum's thrill ride

Crazy, Fun, Didn't want to come back home--but it's always good to be home.

Let it Simmer

Today I ran 6 miles. A first for me.

Supportive husband
Smiling children chanting, "Go Mom! Go!"
the sun
the pleasant breeze
thinking freely

Inspiration is intriguing.
On Sunday Ammon randomly "challenged" me to run 6 miles every day this week. I didn't take him seriously because I thought it impossible, but something inside me still wanted to do it. On Monday my brother told me he has been running 8 miles.

That clinches it. Today I wanted to see if I could do it.
I succeeded!
Ammon, pushing the stroller, ran the last lap with me. We sprinted the last 100 meters and he was winning, but he let off and let me finish first. I love that.

I've learned that people aren't immediately inspired; it starts with a seed and then it simmers and then it grows. I laugh because the immediate reaction people have to home school or diet change usually is, "That is crazy."

BUT then I discover that my family has been making green smoothies (they tried to hide it from me! ) and reading up on homeschooling. When my brother told me he runs 8 miles, before I even thought about it, something like "That is crazy!" was coming out of my mouth. You can't accept the first reaction. Give it time to simmer.

Speaking of inspiration, Angela Baker spoke at the Leadership Education conference I attended. She knocked me off my feet. I will not apologize for it's length. It's too amazing.
Greatness Inspires Greatness

Just one thing on my mind...

Sorry, I have been MIA in blogging lately. It's not that I don't have anything to say, it's that I have too much to say.

I'm trying to change my diet, completely. It's really hard for me, but I know I need to. (Hi. My name is Abby. I'm a Sugar Addict.) I've learned a lot. I can now talk the talk but I'm still working on walking the walk.

I've been experimenting in the world of sourdough bread for a couple months now. This week I made Kefir. I'm still not 100% postive what it is exactly, but I understand it is healthy for me (like yogurt, but from a goat).

Back to basics. It's awesome and liberating and fulfilling. AND I love wearing an apron, it instantly makes me happier. Funny.

The scriptures say that God will change our hearts, that we can become new creatures in Christ. I know He can teach me everything. I was being pretty hard on myself, I expected to just wake up one morning a new creature. I was reminded of a scripture story Hyrum and I have re-enacted repeatedly. When the Lord asks Nephi to build a boat, Nephi responds asking, Where shall I go to find tools? Tools. Start with obtaining some tools.
I've been receiving tools for sometime now.
One of the best being:
Green Smoothie Girl

The Laundry Thief

A worm craft and poem

I have a pet named Willy
Who lives at home with me.
I keep him in this special cup
So all my friends can see.

Where, oh, where is Willy?
Oh, where can Willy be?
Come out now, little Willy,
So all my friends can see.

He is a little timid.
I must be very firm.
Come out now, little Willy!
Come out, my Willy Worm!

Jean Warren

Brought to you by the letter "W"

Wiggly Worms. A good spring topic. On Tuesday, in-between rain showers, we went exploring. We found our first specimen on the driveway. It was a slug. Gross. We found our first worm nearby. We helped it back into the grass, so it wouldn't dry up like all it's friends. We took turns holding it, and then we observed it as it tunneled back into the earth. (We re-located the slug as well--but we used a stick. ) We walked around following Audrey's lead and ended up at the highschool. We joined a group of kids playing in the sandbox/long-jump pit. When the wind picked up we headed back home to dig up worms in our garden. We found lots. Hyrum was concerned I would hurt the worms with the shovel. He was really upset about Audrey handling the worms, with good reason. She wanted to see if the worm really could live after being split in two. I thought it best not to point out that phenomenon to Hyrum.
We even pulled out a worm that had tied itself into a knot. We collected a generous sample of soil and worms, which now sits on the kitchen mantle.
We have some library supplementation.
Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
The City Worm and the Country Worm by Linda Hayward (Sesame Street)
Along with a selection of Junior Non-Fiction including:
Wonderful Worms by Linda Glaser
Now I just have to think of some worm crafts.
Feel free to share any ideas!