Monday, April 30, 2012

It's Not You; It's Me

This is a hard post to write but I want to remember the day when I told Mike that he was right. Hahaha :-)

What was Mike right about?

A couple of weeks ago Mike picked up some Krisy Kreme's for mostly me but he sacrificed his celiac and ate some too. And then it happened....

He was fine and I got sick.

Mike hasn't eaten gluten for more than 6 months and he was still having skin issues. After all the gluten free stuff in our house his hands still looked awful. So he's been using lotion every day and wrapping his hands at night and within a few days his hands were healed. So most likely it was ezcema.

As for me- I haven't eaten gluten for around 4 months.  I would eat something here or there but never a big helping since I was so concern that I would infect Mike or Ducati. But after those donuts the truth was revealed. I most likely have the gluten intolerance not Mike. Ducati's Celiac is genetic. So it's either Mike or me; there's no getting around that one. So after a few donuts I was bent over in pain, crying because I thought my stomach was going to explode. After about 24 hours later I felt better. But I thought it was a fluke so I wanted to test the theory again. [Yeah I know...what can I say- I'm one of those people :-)]

I was making the kids pancakes for breakfast last week and ran out of GF ingredients. So I grabbed the open box of pancake mix that's been sitting in the back of my cabinet for months now to make just a few. So I took this opportunity to test out the gluten theory and ate 1 pancake. Just 1! And I was sick all over again.

Mike took care of me and tried to shake me out of denial that Ducati must of gotten the gluten intolerance from me. Then everything came flooding back to me. As a kid I would scratch my legs until they bleed. And I even still do that to where Mike will grab my hands in attempts to stop me from scratching. I remember being so tired sometimes that I can't stay awake for the life of me. I remember having close calls of falling asleep behind the wheel. I can recall dozens of things from my research for Ducati that apply to me. Weight, fatigue, digestion issues, skin rashes, etc.

I know this seems simple but it's hard to accept. But it doesn't surprise me since my family health history isn't pretty. Diabetes, heart disease, lung issues, so why not add onto some intestine issues.

But once we get insurance from Mike's new job I really want to find out officially if I have this Celiac disease. So right now Mike is right. It's not him; It's me.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Full of Giggles

A few moments I happen to capture that made us all giggle.

This is how Mike relaxes at home. Toss out those girly cucumbers this man uses pepperoni. He teases that  it spices up his dark circles.

Cati is trying to walk in my shoes. Great job giving it a go! Most wouldn't even attempt to give it a try :-)

Ducati trying to steal Mike's Charleston Chews. But I guess she was in the wrong place at the wrong time since she attempted her theft around her nap time. So she only got 1 bite in before she fell asleep. Better luck next time!
Warm days! After a few days of cold and wet weather our girls were over joyed to get some serious playtime in.

While watching a movie I layed by Lily and she reached over towards me so we could cuddle. Talk about having a melt my heart ♥ moment. 


Mike and I started on the journey of learning how to index archive records. After really taking a liking to genealogy and all it's wonders we decided to step into the new realm of entering the information into the database. We set up an account on Family Search and after a quick tutorial we started grabbing batches of files. Within 1 hour we did 36 records. We're not sure if that's good or not- but for us it was really fun! And a great service all wrapped up in one.

(above it the 1920 US Census with my ancestors Carnik towards the bottom. How cool is that! :-)....)

Daughter in My Kingdom

While at church our Relief Society Presidency spoke about the importance of visiting teaching. They spoke about this wonderful book Daughters in my Kingdom  and they each shared their testimonies of experiences from being involved in visiting teaching.

I can write tons and tons of experiences of how visiting teaching has impacted my life. I can recall a few times where my visiting teaching has helped someone (only because they told me that it was helpful). But then the thought came to me (and I know it was truly inspiration) that I couldn't think of 1 memory that I shared with my visiting teaching companion. I've only had 2 visiting teaching companions so my experience has been pretty small. But that doesn't allow me to excuse myself from this.

Heavenly Father has paired me with one amazing woman that I probably won't of been close friends with without his guidance. We're completely different. We're in 2 different seasons of our lives. She's fashionable and I'm jeans-n-tshirt. She's been raised in the church and I'm a convert. She's been married 18 years and me 4 years. And my list of differences goes longer than our similarities. But through all our differences I never appreciated her the way I should. So after hearing this talk I was immediately impressed that I need to step out of being a good enough sister into striving to be a better sister.

After church I prayed to my Father 1st to apologize for my ignorance and lack of love for her. But 2nd for ways to learn to love her the way he loves her. My answer was to call her and invite her to attend the temple with me. I must of picked up the phone 4 times before I found the courage to actually punch in her phone number. When she agreed to go with me Tuesday morning I felt a warmth inside my heart. This is what I'm suppose to be doing.

After we went to the temple all our differences in my eyes washed away. She was my Heavenly sister. And that was the only thing that I needed to focus on. When I came back home I talked with Mike about my experience and he was so moved that he started asking several men he knew if they wanted to attend the temple with him.

It was just an amazing experience for me. One that I pray that she and I will be able to do monthly.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Montage Date

Confession- I have been seriously slacking on my dating commitment. For Mike's birthday I gave him a Date of the Month Club . I seen the idea on Love Actually but I made my own rendition to fit our own relationship style. But this slacker wife had allowed (insert excuse) here, here, and here to take me away from my date nights. So I made a Montage Date night with all 4 dates that I have missed. Mike was a great sport about it and accepted my apology to stay on track with our date club. 

Fondue Date. We enjoyed banana and strawberries dipped in chocolate. YUMMO!

 Chinese Date Night. Some yummy potstickers, ginger fried rice and a fortune puzzle that we put together while we ate.
 Taste of India. We tried some Curry Indian noodles that we'll graciously pass next time. We were going to do Henna tattoos but when I read that the ink could stay on your skin up to 6 months I skipped on that and purchased some paint Sharpies. Here's Mike tattoo- it reads "I ♥ Doritos"
 Dinner and Dancing- Enjoyed some chips and Salsa then did some Zumba Salsa. Super fun! We love date night!


Right now Mike is transitioning between jobs. Amazing story actually :-)

When Mike lost his job I lost my mind trying to find ways that we could provide for our family. Mike- he was cool as a cucumber. He had more faith during this trial than I had. Which I feel very blessed to have him in my life for moments that my fear yells louder than my faith.

Any Who..... Mike started networking that he was looking for work. Soon he found a job with a buddy of his. The work was only temporary but still is was work so he jumped on it. Meanwhile I put in applications, sent resumes, etc since this job wasn't permanent. Then a few weeks later Mike found employment at Granite Mills.

He loved the work. He loved the people. And he loved the free wood! Hahaha...... However 2 weeks into his new job he received a phone call from his buddy from the temp job to see how he was doing at the new job. Mike told him how he was doing but knew there was something more to that unexpected phone call. His friend wanted Mike back! All the managers were so impressed on how hard Mike worked and his great attitude that everyone missed him AND once there was an open position everyone agreed that they wanted to offer Mike the job first before anyone else.

Mike was flattered but explained that we needed to pray about it. So over the phone during lunch break we prayed and received our answer. He's to leave Granite Mills and accept the position at the plastic's factory.
But now to break the news to his current boss. Mike's boss really wanted him to stay. He valued Mike's hard work and common sense that he did everything and offered EVERYTHING to Mike in order for him to stay. But we always prayed after each offer and received the answer that he's to continue on towards the plastic factory.

But that didn't stop Mike from giving 110% of himself to his employer even to the last minute he worked there. Mike finished at Granite Mills last week. He'll have 6 days off before having to report to his new job. During these 6 days he's managed to crossed off several things from his Honey-Do list, spend tons of times with our kids, helped care for a couple of sick kiddos, taken care of me when I was feeling crappy, go on a few dates, etc. all the while having a great set of hair.  :-)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

5 years

This date is something both special and sacred to me. Because of my Heavenly Father's love for me and his self-less servants such as missionaries I am able to celebrate my 5 year anniversary of when I was baptized. Pretty amazing if I do say so myself.

Mike was baptized when he was 8. As well has Mason and so many others. But unless you write everything down in your journal the details of this special day fade away. However since I was 23 I remember everything. So every year we do something special to celebrate this wonderful day.

(Side Note: I love how my husband celebrates with so much enthusiasm that you would think that it was our wedding anniversary)

This year we went to Temple Square.  Our first stop was the Family History library.
( a great way to show how we are all related)

 Mike's dad has told us for some long time now that their ancestors, The Mehr's, have a book in this library. We've wanted to read it but we've allowed silly excuses to procrastinate us. So today we went to the library to see if we could find this Mehr book. Unfortunately we were days late. The staff were in the middle of digitizing the books and were in the process of working on the letters M's. So we missed it. We were both pretty disappointed but it was a good reminder for us to act without delay from now on.

Anyways I called my father-in-law to see if he knew where to obtain a copy of this book. He was kind enough to offer to mail us his books to we can make our own copy . And while on the phone he told me that the painting in the entry of the Family History Library was painted by a family member. Mike knew that he has a relative who painted for the church but how exciting that we were only a few feet away to one of those painting. After I hung up the phone we turned the corner and seen the painting.
The Eternal Family by Judith Mehr

Absolutely wonderful! So the trip the family history library wasn't a complete waste after all. :-)
Mike was so touched that we purchased a paper copy from the gift shop which now hangs on our family room.

After this activity we walked around the Salt Lake City Temple grounds. Lily and Ducati really enjoyed this.
Pennies in the fountain.

 A duck on the reflection pond.

Lily kept saying "Mom and Dad where married in the temple. When I grow bigger I'll marry in the temple too." How cute!
We found another painting from Judith Mehr inside the North Visitors Center. Pretty awesome!

As we were leaving I asked 2 sister missionaries to take our photo. When they handed me my camera back they asked if we were from around here. I told them that we lived about 30 minutes away. Then they asked us what we were doing down here....and that's when I lost it. Mike and I started crying like a bunch of babies. I couldn't even speak because tears of joy were coming down so fast. Mike managed to compose himself just long enough to tell them that I was celebrating my 5 year anniversary of when I was baptized. Then they started to cry. So all 4 adults were crying in the middle of Temple Square. What a sight :-) We talked about how less than 1 year after I was baptized I was married to Mike. Then a little bit later we were sealed. So within 5 years I've come a long way. Mike explained how 2 Elder missionaries stopped me at Target to ask me if I was happy and then a couple of months I was baptized.

(Elders to answer your questions now- Yes I am happy! Thank you♥)

He explained that I am the only member in my family. Towards the end I managed to fight back my tears just long enough to tell the sister missionaries thank you and to encourage them to stay faithful because they do change lives. It was a special moment for all us.
Back to my special day :-)
Mike treated us to the Nauvoo Cafe for lunch.
 Here's Lily eating her chips.....then cooling down by sticking her face in the vent. She's too funny! :-)

Then a little playtime at Brigham Young Historic Park.

Ducati loves flowers. She kept smelling each one then kissing the ones she loved the most. 

Lily. When she learned that she's named after a flower she calls any and all flowers "HER Lily flowers"

After everyone got their wiggles out we started back to our car. But we couldn't leave without a visit to the waterfall at the Conference Center. These little girls just loved wiggling their little fingers in the water. 

After a such an amazing day already we weren't finished yet. A friend of ours watched our girls while Mike and I went to the temple to do baptisms. Such a great way to truly end this special, wonderful, amazing, blessed day. :-) 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Clean into Action

Tonight was our Relief Society Activity "Clean into Action"

I have really taking a liking to this calling. I admit that I am still struggling with a few things which I pray for constantly for Heavenly Father's help. But tonight it was just 1 great evening.

My friend, Melanie, and I prepared a small talk on natural ways of cleaning. She was a big help since I am a total scatter brain and couldn't get focused on what to talk about or even how to begin. So after some brainstorming we set on talking about 2 things-Vinegar and Baking Soda.

With 2 weeks of planning we made a nice little handout with all the information for these 2 ingredients. And I was really happy that I didn't have to speak. Melanie has taken a public speaking class before so I felt completely comfortable with her speaking to the group of sisters. Me on the other hand was not given the gift of public speaking. Thankfully Heavenly Father blessed me with many other talents....just not public speaking. But the day of the activity I kept receiving the prompting that Melanie wasn't going to make it tonight. I thought that was impossible since we talked days before and we were all ready to go. But I kept having that feeling....and long and behold she didn't show up. No big deal though thankfully with all the notes I was able to explain and share all the wonderful benefits of natural cleaning.

The rest of the evening was a big hit. The sisters in our ward talked about kid chores, tips and tricks for cleaning, there was a swap meet with great refreshments. I'm very thankful and happy that God sent me into this calling. It's taken me out of my comfort zone of back row seater into behind the scenes action mode. Isn't life great!

Here's the recipes that we pulled together for this activity.

Natural Cleaning Recipes

Orange Cleaner * can be used on windows, counters, sinks, grease, soap scum, EVERYTHING~
1 orange peel, 1 cup vinegar, 2 cups of water
After peeling an orange place peel in a jar with ¼ cup vinegar and allow to sit for about 1 week. (so make sure to make when running low) The oils of the orange will escape into the vinegar. After that week throw out orange peels and pour orange vinegar mixture into a spray bottle. Fill to top with water. Shake and clean.   
COST: homemade homemade 60 cents vs Method (Target) Orange Zest Spray $2.99

Cleaner Paste
For sinks, counters, and tubs sprinkle baking soda generously on surface. Spray with Orange cleaner from above over baking soda until it begins to foam. Scrub while it’s foaming. Rinse well.  
COST:  homemade 5 cents vs. Softscrub cleaner $2.77

Oven Cleaner
1 cup baking soda, 1/3 cup table salt, dish soap, water
Spray oven generously with water. Mix together the dry ingredients then sprinkle over the water. Spray again with water. Leave overnight. Wipe out the next morning and scrub with hot soapy water.
COST: homemade 90 cents vs.  Easy Off Oven Cleaner 16 oz $4.62

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
½ cup baking soda, ½ cup vinegar, 10 drop essential oil (optional for scent)
Pour baking soda directly into the toilet bowl, add oil, then vinegar- in this order! Let sit for a few minutes. Scrub bowl with brush. Flush when done.    
COST: homemade 35 cents vs. Ajax 99 cents

Fabric Softener
6 cups warm water, 3 cups white vinegar, 20 drops of essential oils OR  2 cup hair conditioner (if using oil add 1 cup of baking soda)
In large bowl mix all ingredients. Whisk gently or you’ll have tons of bubbles. Pour into container. Use ½ cup per load. Or soak a washcloth with homemade softener and throw into the dryer with other wet clothes.      COST: Homemade 75 cents for 3 quarts vs. 2 quarts of Downy $3.16

Furniture Polish
¼ olive oil, 4 tbsp white vinegar, 2 tsp lemon oil or fresh lemon juice
Pour olive oil, vinegar and lemon oil into bottle. Shake. Squirt polish onto cloth and rub onto furniture. Always go with the grain and evenly distribute polish. For dark wood you can add 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce to the polish. When applied to dark wood will mask any nicks and dents.          
COST: 50 cents to make vs. $3.99 Pledge Polish

Homemade Laundry Detergent
1 bar ivory soap (we use Kiss My Face soap since it’s all natural and gluten free)
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup baking soda
1 cup oxiclean free
Grate the soap(or use food processor) Add everything else. Place in container of your choice. Each load takes about 2 Tbsp.                           
COST: Homemade $8 dollars for 6 months of ingredients vs. Gain 102 load powder $14.99

I ♥ Dashing Dish

I have found a website that is just amazing. It's called Dashing Dish and I just love it. The woman makes alot of food that consist of  high protein and fiber (which fills you up since gluten free stuff doesn't fill you up) and low sugar (good since diabetes run in my family) and low or no sodium (since heart disease also runs in my family) and low carbs (which is great since we don't eat much grain anyway)

So everything we need rolled up on 1 amazing this is!

Last night I made her Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas (recipe) and her peanut butter chocolate swirl brownies.  (recipe) for Family Movie Night. And everyone loved it all! Mike asked if I could make more brownies for his lunches. Which is a great thing since he's not a chocolate fan but what he doesn't know is this brownie has no sugar and no flour.
So for the past few days I've been cooking up tons of stuff from her website. Today I'm really excite for the girls and I to have mini deep dish pizza bites.

April Smiles

Rain can't stop these girls from having a good time.

 They begged me to go outside and with those big puppy dog eyes and their cute "Pweeaase" (translate toddler talk : please) I couldn't resist.
 They put on some boots and coats and ran out the door.
 I yelled toward them that they only have a few minutes. I knew their clothes would be soaked within 90 seconds but they yelled back "OK!!!" They had so much fun jumping, splashing, slipping, and running that I'm safe to say that 2 minutes was more than enough for them. :-)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Kid Coupons

Our kids have been wanting to redeem their coupons since that Easter Saturday. So today Lily redeemed her's. It was suppose to be for Dinner but she wanted dessert. Can't argue- who doesn't love ice cream for dinner? 

Anyways Lily picked Mike for her parent so they went for some yummy ice cream. She's so focused that it took Mike a couple of tries to get their photo.

 And Miss Cati also redeemed her Movie Coupon. Being a 2 year old sitting in a theater was something that would be impossible so she picked a movie from Redbox which was The Muppets. She was so happy to have picked the movie for Family Movie Night. And just how we thought- she ran, wiggled, jumped, and played during the movie. Good thing it was only $1.28. But as she gets older she'll be able to sit during a movie but until then it's Redbox!  Only 2 more coupons to redeem :-)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Date 2

Friends of ours purchased a new home so our family was invited to a House Warming Party. But my brain started remembering everything and it made me wonder what if our kids mark up their new walls, or break something, or spill on their new carpet, or.... so we decided to get a sitter for our kids and go by ourselves to their house warming party. Much better for everyone around :-)

For a gift Mike made them a beautiful wood ottoman. Who doesn't love ottomans? In our house practically each room has one. I didn't take any photos of it since I'm a huge bonehead. But Mike said he'll make me one too so then I'll take a picture then.

When we left we grabbed a bite to eat. Mike is making me laugh by measuring how far our car was from the back door, the garbage can, the order window,etc....he's just being funny. But after driving home in a nice storm we ended our date and picked up our kids who were so happy that they got to play with their friends.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cheap-O date

This date was something unplanned. While cleaning out our bedroom I found a gift card to Mulligan's Golf  that I must of purchased during summer vacation from 2011. I know- I need to clean out my room more often. Anyways the gift card was still valid until the end of the month. So we couldn't just let it go to waste. My mom watched our 2 little girls and Mike and I headed for a game of mini- golf. So this part of the date cos us $0. 
 What to know 1 of the many reasons why I love my husband? When we arrive at Mulligan's the weather was cloudy, windy, and just had that chill that rain is coming. So our gift card was for $25 and a game for 2 cost $11. So instead of playing 2 games in this weather we paid for the couple behind us. I appreciate that he values random acts of service as much as I do.

After golfing (which he totally beat me at) we headed to Burger King and used those great coupons from the mail. So a meal for 2 cost us $4.50. Pretty good!

But our big spender was at the D.I.- this seems unlikely but while looking around we seen these 2 movies.
Faith Like Potatoes and Gordon B. Hinckley- A Giant Among Men. These 2 movies run about $10 each used with shipping. But to find them both for $5 each- HAPPY DAY!
So if it wasn't for the 2 movies our date would have been under $5 but I'm not complaining. :-)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Story of Easter

Today being Easter it was a nice day. It's pretty low key at our house. Which I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not-so-good thing but either way it was nice.

We ate french toast casserole for breakfast (recipe from Pinterest), read the last scripture from our Easter Eggs which was pretty awesome and of course went to church.

Why I'm writing down our lazy Easter Sunday was because I experienced a happy mom moment that I want to document since they come far and between. Mason and Mike were in the Sr. Primary class sharing time when the teacher was showing the kids the....12 Eggs of Easter!

So when she opened up the egg and showed the item inside she would look around to see if anyone knew what the item meant and guess who knew it all....Mason. Mike says that Mason was the "Go-To" guy for each egg.

I do not write this to gloat, boast, or be prideful so please don't feel that way. I write this because all those mornings of reading scriptures and teaching the kids the story of Jesus and his Resurrection I sometimes wonder if our kids were listening.  But to hear that what we are teaching them is's a great moment.

But put aside the eggs, candy, and fun- Easter is so much more than that. I am so grateful that Jesus Christ atoned for all my sins in order for me to return back to the presence of my Heavenly Father. I am so thankful that he loves me sooo much. I am only barely scratching the surface when it comes to explaining the amazing gift that both Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ gave us this day. But as I learn more I know I'll appreciate it more each year.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Family Egg Hunt

After reading our 12 Days to Easter  egg Mike and I gathered all the kids into Mason room and went outside to hide our eggs.
Well....we didn't really hide them; it was more like we threw them on the ground. Same thing :-)

For our family egg hunt we start with the youngest and allow a 10 second head start and continue on until the oldest is out.
Ducati went first. She grabbed her basket and started running to find the eggs.

I held guard by the door so no one else sneaked out. 10 seconds later it was Lily's turn. She ran out of the house so fast I was sure her pants were on fire.
Mason and Hailey waited anxiously by the window. 10 seconds later Hailey ran out. By this time Mason was just jumping down the seconds for me. After the 10 seconds he ran out of the house, grabbed his basket, and grabbed all the eggs his sisters missed.
Fun times!

After all the eggs were found everyone headed back in to check out which date they got. Last year we put a Date Coupon in 4 eggs (1 for each kid) and we weren't planning on doing it this year but a couple of weeks ago the kids started talking about this date coupon. They were making plans to trade it if someone acquired the one they wanted. So we made the Date Coupons. Along with the dates we put in the eggs some GF candies and some knick knacks.

Mason recieved $1, a transformer and the date coupon for ice cream. But since he got this one last year he was pretty bummed. Mike and I talked with him but he said he didn't want it. So he gave it to Mike- so now  Mike and I have an ice cream date. Oh well...we tried.

 Lily found the Dinner Date. She's pretty excited! She also received some nail polish, a HOP purse (that I picked up last year for 25 cents......I love clearance items) and a marker set. She was happy with her findings.

 Ducati found the movie date coupon. So to now find a movie that a 2 year old could sit through. Maybe this movie date will come from Redbox since she's been wanting to rent Barbie Mermaid. Who knows? But she also received nail polish, a HOP mini purse and GF playdough.
 Miss Hailey was really excited with her egg findings. She found the $10 video game date. So she can either go to Nickel-cade or Boondocks so redeem her $10. She's really excite for this! She also received this cat bracelet that you can twist into a cat body. It's pretty cool. But also all the HOP items like her sisters.
For each date the kids can pick their parent of choice. So far Lily and Ducati picked Mike. Hailey picked me. But on the day of date they may change their minds. But everyone had a really fun time during our family egg hunt.