Thursday, September 30, 2010


I'm glad I don't eat at McDonalds!!!!

Half-life of a Happy Meal?

Updated 6:33 PM CDT, Wed, Sep 29, 2010
Before you take your next bite of that McDonalds burger and fries you might want to take a look at these photos. 
It would appear that Oak Brook-based McDonalds makes an indestructible product.
New York artist Sally Davies wondered what would happen if she simply left a burger and fries on a shelf for six months. So she did  exactly that with a McDonald's Happy Meal.
Davies checked on the food roughly every three days and took a picture each time. Judging from her images, Day One and Day 137 aren't that different.  Wonder if she did a taste test?
So what is it that preserves this children's meal from the Golden Arches, you might ask.
Food scientists say it's two things: fat, and salt.
The more fat a product contains the less moisture it absorbs, and the less likely the food is to decay because elements like mold have trouble growing. Fifty percent of the calories in McDonald's burgers and fries come from fat.
Salt also prohibits moisture, and the Happy Meal has plenty to spare. One Mickey D's happy meal provides around half the daily recommended intake of sodium for an adult.
In a statement, a spokesman for McDonald's of Canada said its food is "freshly prepared and assembed ... for direct consumption."
    "While the variables with regard to factors such as temperature, moisture and exposure to light are endless, it is possible that food items kept under particular conditions will not show any sign of decay or rot over a long period of time.
    This natural process is not unique to McDonald’s food.
Another McDonald's spokesperson, quoting a doctor from the University of Georgia, said "no hamburger or fry would look like this months after purchase unless it was tampered with or held frozen."


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I finally updated the book blog

I have posted reviews on the following books:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Denim Apron

Yes folks, I've done it again.... I'm being crafty... hahah!! I made a jean skirt not too long ago so now I decided I needed to make something else. I really like being creative I just don't always have the materials or time to do it but with this Creation Plan, I have days to do these projects that I want to get done. So.... today I decided to make an apron from an old pair of jeans. I didn't realize that I'd finish it all in one afternoon, but I did.
You need a sewing machine, an iron, a pair of jeans, some fun material (about 20" long), and thread to match. Yeah, that's it. Come on! You guys know I'm not talented enough for anything too complicated. ;) I took my fun material and opened it up all the way then folded it long ways and cut along the fold. Then I folded it long ways again and cut along the fold so I ended up with 4 long strips of material.
After that, I laid them across the table face down and folded down a 1/2" on the sides and ironed it. Then folded it in half and ironed it again so it looked like what's pictured below.
Here are my four long strips of material already ironed as described above.
I set those aside and pulled out my jeans. I cut the right leg off just below the pocket and one of the back pockets.
I turned it face down on the table and cut a straight line going up the back of the leg. I then cut out the little arm holes. I folded it in half before cutting so they would be equal.
Once I finished that I pinned the fun material strips to the sides so it doesn't matter that my cutting wasn't very straight. No one can tell. :) After the pinning... I sewed it on the sewing machine. I ended up with this:
I think it turned out pretty cute. I've never owned an apron before so I'm pretty excited! :) I think I may add the other back pocket to the apron. That's why my pocket is off to the side. I kind of like it uncentered anyways, that way the crooked-ness is on purpose. :) haha!


A friend of mine heard on the radio that the average person complains SEVENTY times per day. Isn't that insane? So I am going to have a complaining fast. hehe! I like to think that I don't complain that often but I've never really paid that much attention. I have decided that anytime I complain I am going to have to immediately say something positive. Hopefully I will be able to catch myself and eventually I won't complain anymore. I still can't get over that....    70 TIMES/DAY!!!!
So, anyone want to join me in a no complaining fast...?? hehehe!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

North Carolina

Now that I'm on a faster internet connection, let me fill you in on our adventures in the mountains. :)

Here are Collin and Paul in one of the hammocks by the river at the cabin. :)
I told Collin to "strike a pose" and he did. LOL! :) This was on the Graveyard trail... a lot of these pics are from that hike. :)
Ronni and me. My back feels like I did a bunch of push-ups yesterday from carrying her on my back. This is not a very flattering picture of myself but Ronni looks pretty cute! :)

Collin in a crevice. haha!
The family, yes, my eyes were closed in this pic. I'm just not very photogenic. LOL!
I just thought this was pretty and took a picture.
Of course we had to find a cache while on the trail, right?
We made it to upper falls so the kids removed their shoes and played. Well, they both ended up sitting right in the water but that was fine... we were hot and hiked a long time to get there. :)

Here's everyone having a picnic at the falls. We made this trip with the Monsons and the Haymonds. Paul, Ronni and I did not make it in this pic but we were there too! :)
Collin wanted to hike to the top of the falls so here is Collin (and some unknown man) at the falls. :) We met the others back at the trailhead. :) Paul and Ronni waited for us at the bottom though. Collin just really wanted to see the top of the falls. :)
The end of the hike.... I think Paul was tired. What do you think? The last bit of the trail were stairs and uphill climbs and he carried Ronni back through that. haha! Poor guy! :)
This is The Devil's Courthouse. Here's an explanation about it. Collin thought the legend about the giant was awesome! :)
After we went home and rested a bit we decided it was time to play in the river by the cabins (remember, we only had one full day to spend here so we were trying to fill it up).
Ronni was yelling "Cheese!!" at me. LOL! She looks angry but really she was posing for the camera.
Collin playing on some rocks.
However, the fun quickly ended. Kaden wasn't feeling well and didn't want to play in the water so Traci and Kaden decided to head back to the cabin. Tami offered to help them cross the swift moving part of the river while I watched the other three kids playing on the rocks. Unfortunately, as they were crossing the swift part a tree branch was disturbed. Well, the unfortunate part was that this particular tree branch happened to be the home of a bee's nest. I was trying to get a picture of them crossing the river and as I was looking in my camera I noticed the moms were slapping themselves in the head and swinging their heads around. Then they both started screaming and Tami ran back towards us while Traci and Kaden ran the other way. The bees had attacked. It was a bit scary. Traci was stung several times, Kaden once, and Tami once. The rest of us were okay. We had to wait for the bees to calm down and then we crossed back over somewhere else. Here is a pic of the unfriendly bees' nest.
That was the end of that day. This morning we had to be out of their by 10am so we didn't do much but we did decide to drive the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. It was beautiful and I was able to see WHY the Smokey Mountains are really called The Smokey Mountains.
Aren't the mountains beautiful? I think that Paul may need to find a job in the mountains if nothing here works out. :) We ALL absolutely LOVED the mountains. :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Welcome to Alcove!! :)

Day one at our cabin at the mountains has been fun so far! :) We arrived around 4pm, then the Monson's around 6 and the Haymond's got here close to 8. It's nice! Our little part of the cabin is a studio but super cozy. We love it. There's even a light that simulates a wood stove. We're using it for the nightlight for the kids. :)
Here are the kids on the front porch. hehe! Yes, Collin's shirt is backwards. He dressed himself and we've told him several times but he just says that he wants it that way. LOL!
Here is what we found at the bottom of the mountain.... not quite the bottom but a little ways down. There are also hammocks set up along the edge of it. Isn't it beautiful? I anticipate going swimming in there tomorrow. :) Well, it's bedtime which means the parents are going to hang out int he living room. YAY!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Update on my Zipadee Doodah Day. :)

Well, my hair definitely didn't do what I wanted it to. I wore the same outfit that I've worn many times. I didn't discover that I've lost weight with out trying -- in fact, I've been trying. :) hehe! Collin woke up to discover that sometime during the night he wet his bed, we ran late for playgroup today and the kids ran around all day in mis-matched outfits and Ronni's hair didn't get done, then Ronni threw a temper tantrum b/c she had enough sugary drinks this morning and I gave her water so I put her down for nap early. She needed it. ;) During her nap I made 4 batches of muffins for our trip to the mountains this weekend (I'm responsible for one of the breakfasts. ;) Then my teenage "daughter" came home from school. After we had all snacked on some of the muffins I took the younger to kids to the Haymonds while I went visiting teaching. And, just before I left to go my V.T. called me to inform me of some bad news in her family and she was going to have to cancel so I went alone. It's okay... it was still fun! =D Then, I went back to pick up my kiddos and the house I had left them at was dark and empty. Ak!! haha! My kids were gone. It was okay though b/c they went over to a neighbor's house who is from church and my kids played with their kids. ;) My children were filthy but totally had fun! :) I haven't had a chance to pack for tomorrow and Paul didn't buy everything on the list this morning when he went to the store but today still felt like a great day! :) I can't wait for another one tomorrow!! It'll be even better b/c WE'RE GOING TO A CABIN IN THE MOUNTAINS!!! :)

Zip-a-dee Doo-dah Day

Do you ever have one of those mornings where you wake up and you feel that something great is going to happen? Sometimes it's something simple like, your hair lays down just the right way or maybe you find the perfect combination of shirt and pants hidden in your closet, perhaps you've lost 2 pounds and haven't even been trying? I love mornings like this, where you feel like anything is possible. So, I am excited to say what lays before me today, on this Zip-a-dee Doo-dah Day!! :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The 50 Books I Must Read Before I Die

Most people have an incredible bucket list with all kinds of exciting adventures on it but I've never made one and I really don't have a lot of things I want to do that I haven't already done. I'll have to work on a bucket list but until then... I have a list of books that I must read. I've sort of made a conglomerate of others' lists. Lots of people and companies have made their list so I took a few from this list and a few from that and formed mine. Here is my list....

1. Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes
2. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
3. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
4. Clarissa by Samuel Richardson
5. Emma by Jane Austen
6. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
7. Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock
8. The Counte of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
9. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
11. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
12. Little Women by Louisa M Alcott
13. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
14. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
15. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
16. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
17. The Diary of a Nobody by George Gossmith
18. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
19. Nineteen Eight-Four by George Orwell
20. Catcher in the Rye by J.K. Salinger
21. Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
22. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
23. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein
24. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
25. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
26. The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass
27. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
28. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
29. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
30. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
31. Dracula by Bram Stoker
32. Scriptures (bible, BoM, PoGP, and D&C) by Various Authors
33. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
34. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
35. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
36. The Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
37. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
38. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
39. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
40. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
41. The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
42. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
43. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
44. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein
45. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
46. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
47. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
48. Persuasion by Jane Austen
49. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
50. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Kami (my 16 year old "daughter") helped me make the little scroll chart on the side so I can keep track of which books I've read. I'm very excited about this!! :)

Barefoot Running -- my dream shoes. :)

I know... the whole barefoot running epidemic. Well, of course it's going to hit me... I'm barefoot all the time anyways. :) The first thing people always ask me is... what about the arch? Well, the idea behind that is if you wear supportive arched shoes, obviously the muscle in the arch will be very weak and if you go w/o the support, well, it won't be good. There is no muscle to hold up the arch. Like any other muscle, you must build it. If you're suddenly going from wearing full supportive tennis shoes to being barefoot then you have to build up the running time. You must still run in your supportive shoes and run a few short runs in your minimal support shoes or barefoot, gradually building it up.
Another thing about popular running shoes is the raised heel...
This encourages a lot of runners to slap the heel down first. The feet were designed to run on the balls of the feet, not the heels. Since the heels are so high in running shoes, often the heels his first.  A better option are minimalist running shoes. You can google that and find many options. Here's one.... it's adidas....
But, what I really have my heart set on and is on my Christmas wish list... are these:

These are vibram five fingers Sprints. Don't they just look like something I'd wear??? :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

active members or consecrated disciples??

Today was stake conference and the stake president gave such an AWESOME talk that I wanted to share. He said that in one of his meetings someone said, "The whole church would change if only a few families became consecrated disciples instead of just active members." He said if we change the Church then we change the world.
He said that most members live Terrestial lives - these are the just active members. They come to church every Sunday and do things that others can see but they don't do FHE or they don't do personal scripture or family prayer... little things like that...  the sins of omission. I admit, I'm totally guilty of this. He said that these are the people who teach and preach the gospel but then they don't apply it to their lives. Often they'll complain about things their leaders taught or asked of them. They basically do things that are convenient.
Now, the consecrated disciples do all these things but they do many other things as well. They are "anxiously engaged in a good cause", they are of one heart and one mind with the Savior and with one another, they serve others... etc.
He said there is no burning our in the kingdom, much is required. Don't sit back. We all need to Go and DO!

I just thought it was so awesome! It made me realize how much I'm really lacking in my life and everything that I need to improve on; which, unfortunately, is quite a lot. I am so excited that I went and was able to listen to the talks. I needed this b/c I've been feeling burned out lately (I posted about it a while back) and this made me realize that there is really no time for that. I just need to do the things I need to do. I can't get burned out and must be constantly engaged in a good cause. I thought I'd share even though nothing is worded as well as his talk was but hopefully you get the idea. :) Dh and I are going to have a talk tonight and make a plan so we can make our family consecrated disciples instead of just active members. =D

Saturday, September 18, 2010

In the dog crate....

The kids were playing on the porch when they were supposed to be getting something for me. They were taking a while so I sent Paul out there to get them and here is what we found. :)

No 'Poo

I've been meaning to blog about this but I keep forgetting. I get asked about this many times so I thought I'd share it here so I can just refer ppl to this blog to get the info.

Here are a few links you may want to check out:
Ditching Shampoo
The No Shampoo Alternative

So, first, to those of you who don't know me that well.... yes, I tend to lean on the hippie ways. hehe! I don't consider myself one but I've been called one many times in my life. I think of myself as more "natural". ;) Whatever label you give me, the fact remains, I don't use shampoo and haven't for about two years now. This seems a little weird, I know but this actually began when I started researching other alternatives to shampoo b/c my scalp and base of my neck were covered in itchy hives. I have very sensitive skin and have to be careful what I use on it. Shampoo had finally gotten the best of me and I was tired of scratching. I came across the No 'Poo method. If you google that you'll find TONS of articles.

Yes, it's true, you don't use shampoo. Shampoo is full of chemicals that actually strips away the natural oils in your hair that are there to protect it. With the no 'poo method, your hair builds up it's natural oils and gets softer and healthier. However, it takes a few days to weeks for your hair to get used to this. With shampoo, your hair gets used to producing an over abundance of oils b/c the shampoo strips it away. Most people's hair gets very oily for a little while until the body adjusts to having the oils back in the hair. Once you make it through that part... the rest is cake, not to mention very affordable!

How do I clean my hair then, you ask? That's simple. I make my own shampoo! :)
First, you need a few simple ingredients:
Baking Soda

Apple Cider Vinegar

and... if you tend to have dry hair, you'll need some honey

All you do is put 1 tbs of baking soda into a 1 cup container, squirt a little honey in if you want and then fill it up with water and stir. I like to take the container into the shower with me and fill it up with my shower water so it's the same temperature. Get most of it around the roots and massage it in. Rinse. Next, pour some apple cider vinegar in the same container -- about a tbs and then add water. Pour it over your hair. Rinse. Voila!! You're done!! :)

See... so simple! ;)

The early morning sky...

Every morning I get up at 6am to run and have some quiet time. Well, this morning, I couldn't find my sports bra and it seems that my cat dragged off one of the socks that I laid out. In an effort of NOT waking up the rest of the family I decided not to go digging around through the house in search of the missing articles of clothing and just went outside. Obviously, I didn't go running since I was missing a vital piece of clothing for it. Instead, I sat in the damp grass and did some yoga/stretches and then I leaned back and just stared at the sky. I could hear crickets chirping and an occasional car drive by and that was about it. It was totally relaxing... I loved it! The stars were beautiful. I found the Seven Sisters and Orion. Woo-hoo!

If you get the chance, I recommend waking up early and chilling out under the stars before all the wild children wake up. It's worth it!! :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Swimming at Bunny's =)

For playgroup yesterday we went swimming at Bunny's apartments. Woo-hoo!! Here are some pics.
Here we are trying to get used to the cool water. The days here are still in the 90s but the nights have been in the 60s which makes for some chilly water.
Ronni sunning. haha! Crazy girl. Look at that grin. She was yelling "cheeeeeeeese". As soon as I took the picture she hopped up and jumped into the pool.
I was so proud of my kids. They just had the little floaties on and swam all over the pool. I even deflated half of the air in Collin's. I was so proud of them!!! :)
Of course, the younger kids seemed the think that the little spigots for cleaning off your feet were the most fascinating. haha!
Time to leave.Collin is leading Jacob back to the van.
Here's Ronni and Kaden and there's Ally coming up behind them. :) Aren't they all cute!! =D