Monday, March 30, 2009

I love an inteview

I have a confession. I'm a pro at fantasy interviews. I've been doing them my entire night, in bed... with reporters. They are always interested in some new achievement I've accomplished, or illuminating opinion. It's my own little, nighttime fantasy. Sexy...isn't it? I stopped doing interviews for the last few years...and I remember having one recently... apparently I had directed my first documentary film.

What? You don't have fantasy interviews at night? Well, what neurotic things do you do?

My husband will ask me every now and then, "So, any interviews lately? Why not? You need to get your people on that."

So...because I love interviews...I was a broadcast journalism major, you know... My friend the Greek Goddess sent me some questions. If you want to be interviewed, make a comment and I'll email you five or so questions. Make sure you write "have your people call my people" if you want an interview.

So, here are the questions, and my responses.

What are some things that are important to you that you are trying to instill in your children? (Can be small or big)

Simple things... like not picking things up and sticking them in our mouths. Or, stick with Mommy, I’ll keep you safe. Picking up after themselves, doing the dishes, folding clothes, saying please, thank you, you're welcome, bless you... etc.

Big things ... that we will always love them, no matter what they do, or how tired or grumpy we are. I want them to know that we aren’t perfect. That we make mistakes and we want to do better. I want them to know that they always have God on their side. I want them to have confidence in their youth, I want them to be their own person, not give in to peer pressure..and silly crowd mentality. I want them to know that when they pray - God listens. I want them to be happy.

If you were a fairy godmother and could "bless" a baby with any trait (think Sleeping Beauty) what would you give them?

Wow, I think I’d bless them with enduring hope/faith. I think if we always had a spark of that burning within us, we’d be able to endure our trials better, and enjoy the good times even more.

What 10 books would you read immediately if you had loads of time?

I love to narrow it down to 10... HOW? Do you mean ones I’ve never read... or ones I want to reread?

Gone With the Wind
Little Women
C.S. Lewis writings both fiction/non
The Woman in White
Atlas Shrugged
Bible (haven’t read that all the way through since... college)
Book of Mormon (working on it again)
Wild Swans
The Last Chinese Chef
Jane Austen writings
Wuthering Heights

...there’s more... but I better stop now. If any of you have books you love and/or want to read - please SHARE. I’m always adding to my list.

What are some family traditions you have with your husband and children (not just holiday ones) that you really like?

We go on a lot of after dinner family walks around the neighborhood.

I always ask the girls “GUESS WHAT?” and the answer is always “I LOVE YOU”.

Making up verbal stories about the two Princess sisters...and telling them to each other in bed.

We like trying new restaurants and haunting our favorites together.


When Ry gets home from work he goes to the front door and calls out each daughter’s name in turn. They take turns running pell-mell into him. He swoops them up and spins them into a hug.

We dance in the kitchen, family room... we sing... we have family cuddle time.

If you could find the cure to one disease in the world which one would it be? I'm not sure if that is a fair question...

...heart break. But since that’s not possible... cancer, in all it’s forms.

If you could pick one talent for yourself that you don't already have what would it be?

This is hard to pick just one... I am just not as talented (in the traditional sense) as most of the people I know... I’d love to be able to sing... master an instrument, speak more languages, do complicated math in my head...

But to pick just one talent... to be calm/patient.

What is your favorite color and why?

Burgundy... a deep wine red. It makes me feel sassy, sexy, deep. Plus, it’s a great color on me.

What is your dream menu for a day-from breakfast to dinner and snacks in between?

Hot chocolate (like the kind my friend Brooke had) and a croissant from Paris
Fresh fruit... summer fruit
Asian fusion or sushi/terriyaki ...shark fin soup
Afternoon tea with all it’s accouterments
Indian food, perfect sea scallops, crab and a heavenly chocolate souffle
Freshly picked veggies (like the Parcel 104 restaurant in San Jose...)

If I could really have a dream menu...I’d have a gourmet chef create wonderful dreamy tastes all day, from the freshest ingredients available.

What are some things you like about yourself?

I’m friendly... the thing is, I wasn’t always outgoing and friendly. I used to be painfully awkward and shy. I had to choose to be the way I am, and work at it constantly. I do it because I remember, and often still know what it is like to be ignored...disregarded. So I reach out because I don’t want other people to feel that ache. Sure, I still feel that way now and then, and yes, I want to give up being the one to reach out... but if I don’t do one else will. It helps to know I have control over something, and to take responsibility.

I’m curious. I love learning new things, experiencing new things. I’m a planner. I am intensely loyal. I’m passionate and thoughtful. I’m generous. But...with these traits...come weaknesses too. Lots of weaknesses.

Where do you get your inner strength from?

Sometimes I wonder if I have strength... or if it’s all just wishful thinking. I hope it doesn’t sound too cliche... but even when I was a child, feeling utterly alone and unwanted... the hope that God was there for me, even if he didn’t deliver me from my pain... helped me survive. I think the fact that I wasn’t the only one, that I wanted to protect others too... made a big difference. I guess at my core I’m a big huge Momma bear, always ready to pounce for those who are hurting.

Tell me something about your journey as a woman in the church.

I grew up in the Church. Despite that I’ve had the ebb and flow of commitment and rebellion. Most of the times these happen within my heart...and aren’t necessarily exhibited. There were moments where I felt a great sense of purpose and belonging...and moments where I felt left alone, some strange child-experiment, meant to be poked, prodded and hurt to see how much it would take to break her. I’ve also felt doubt. Now I’m mostly confident...and sure. Peaceful. I know I don’t have, or understand all the answers - but I’m okay with that, because I here to learn, and improve, bit-by-bit.

I have always felt that as a woman I have an incredible power for good or ill. I’ve always thought an educated woman was more effective, than an uneducated one. I’m not talking about just a degree...although that is a big deal to me - I’m talking life experience. I think it’s important to have a desire to learn new things, meet new people and listen to different ideas. I think that as women, with the important role of shaping young minds, we have a responsibility, to be interested in the world around us. I think we ought to be curious, yearn to learn more...because when we are like that - then our children will be like that. If we constantly say “I can’t do that, I don’t know how to do that” our children will reflect that back to us. But if we say “I don’t know, but I want to learn” or “I can figure this out”... our children will discover that there are no barriers, except the ones we place in front of us.

I don’t fit into the general mold of mormon woman... and I am okay with that. That just means I find myself trying to help others realize that they don’t have to conform to that mold. That means I teach my girls to be true to themselves.

I believe that if we have questions, we should ask them. We should ask the questions of those we know are “strong” in the Church. And if one or two or more don’t have the answers - keep asking. But ask the right people. You don’t ask someone who’s shaky on foundation building to teach you how to pour one. You ask the expert. Same with faith.

Also... I often have to remind myself that my testimony must be founded on Christ. If I believe Him - then I can stand tall. No matter what other people do... my testimony is not dependent on them...but on Him. People are flawed. From family members to friends and neighbors...ward members... we are all flawed. So if we want a sure testimony we can’t depend on family, friends, etc... we can only depend on Christ. “I can do all this through Christ, which strengthenth me.” Phil 4:13 (One of my lovely roommates Holly Gilliland shared this verse with me when I was a sophomore at BYU - I have repeated it to myself... many times over since then)

Friday, March 27, 2009


Carrie (host) made Raspberry Tart and Lemon Souffle. Lori(discussion leader) made the Rice and Beans casserole and Coconut Cake. All the recipes were found in the book.

Last week our Book Group met to talk about Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl. She's a NY Times restaurant critic. This book is her memoir about growing up around food, and how it shaped her life.

Lori, Sally, Leah, Brooke, Angela, Gayle, Jaime, Carrie, QS (moi) (we're also missing a few members)

In case you didn't know, I love food. I love the smells, the taste, the way it's put together...and I like good, quality food. I know some people look at food as merely fuel to put in the tank, but for me it's a pleasurable, joyful experience. I also think our bodies are temples, so I want to put only the best into it. So, I totally enjoyed every morsel of this book.

Now that the girls are older, I finally am able to constantly, consistently cook and bake. The thing is... I love it. I love that it is my "alone" time. That the quiet of cooking helps me center myself. That the simple act of putting together ingredients, calms me. I love the a mother chaos is what reigns... nothing ever goes to plan, if it does it is rare, that's why I love to is logical, methodical...and can actually be completed, and enjoyed. I love the feel as I chop crunchy vegetables. I love mincing and mixing. I love organizing things according to color, cooking order. It's so soothing, the sounds, the aromas. It's amazing that as I nurture myself through cooking...the end result is also nurturing my family. They receive a much more relaxed woman in their midst, along with a healthy, eye-pleasing, tasty meal.

I may not do many things the way I'd like to yet...but I've discovered that if I want to I can learn...and I've learned that it's so satisfying and fulfilling to share nourishing food with those you love.

Another good book about food, relationships... is The Last Chinese Chef. Ever since La Yen recommended it a couple years back...I am it's biggest fan. Seriously good read.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Saw this on DesignMom's site.

I'm currently a stuffy, cotton-headed phlegm-bot... so these two videos entertained me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mistress of Invention

K doesn't have pierced ears...neither do I. She doesn't like the clip on earrings... so she made her own. Colored paper, and masking tape. She's four, and she amazes me. Did I mention the bangs were her own idea... done with her own little hands?

K's conversation with her father on Sunday.

K: Daddy can I watch Olivia?

R: (while watching The San Jose Sharks) Daddy's watching Sharks.

K: I don't like the Sharks.

R: I don't like Olivia.

K: You're not being nice to Olivia.

R: You're not being nice to the Sharks.

K: You hurt Olivia's feelings.

R: Olivia isn't real.

K's conversion with her father on Monday.

K: Daddy I'll watch the Sharks with you. I like Sharks.

R: Okay.

K: Well, if I like the Sharks then you have to admit that Olivia is real.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Yes Ma'am

QS: Is it warm outside? Because it's freezing in our house.

R (the hubby): It's warmer outside than in our home.

QS: What the heck!

M (who is 2): Don't say "what the heck" Mom.

Within the Walls of our Home

Yesterday's Family Home Evening (FHE)was about the importance of Children in a family. In preparation for the lesson I read this below, for myself:

President Gordon B. Hinckley said these inspiring words in a talk called,” Four Simple Things to Help Our Families and Our Nations”

“Children are like trees. When they are young, their lives can be shaped and directed, usually with ever so little effort. Said the writer of Proverbs, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). That training finds its roots in the home. There will be little of help from other sources. Do not depend on government to help in this darkening situation. Barbara Bush, wife of former United States president George Bush, spoke wisely when in Wellesley, Massachusetts, in 1990 

she addressed the Wellesley College graduating class and said, “Your success as a family, our success as society, depends not on what happens at the White House, but on what happens inside your house.”

Religion can help and will do wonders. Religion is the great conservator of values and teacher of standards. Its message on values has been consistent through the ages. From the days of Sinai to the present, the voice of the Lord has been an imperative voice concerning right and wrong. In modern revelation, that voice has declared, “I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth” (D&C 93:40).

What, you may ask, can be done? The observance of four simple things on the part of parents would in a generation or two turn our societies around in terms of their moral values. They are simply these: Let parents and children (1) teach and learn goodness together, (2) work together, (3) read good books together, and (4) pray together.” “Chapter 37: Family Responsibilities,” Gospel Principles, 236

I love that it talks about how important it is to provide a standard by which to live. That whatever may happen in our world, what matters most is what happens in the walls of our home.

Our daughters are both incredibly intelligent, quick to reason, quick to notice inconsistencies... they are also very strong-willed. I feel extra pressure with the challenges that will surround them, to make sure they are equipped with the confidence to choose truth and right, over the voices that preach selfishness, and anything goes. I think as parents, with the strong spirits we are raising... we have a heavy responsibility on our shoulders. I don't remember having very much by the way of FHE growing up. I suppose that's why I get so excited that for the last few months we've been consistent in our little FHEs... it's one of my goals this year. I think now, more than ever the promises of having FHE consistently will aide us as we try our darndest to raise our children.

After our simple lesson, singing and giggling, we made SNICKERDOODLES. The girls love helping me bake. They like to take turns adding ingredients, and had a lot of fun rolling the cookies in the cinnamon and sugar. It is so cute to see them have ownership in the process.

Then, it was on to the iphoto booth.

We are now reading The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis - I asked the girls if they wanted to continue in Narnia or start up Little House on the Prarie... Aslan won out.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Afternoon Tea for Dinner

Three tea sandwiches: cucumber mint, roast beef with avocado/chives, chicken with guac (avocado, shallots, tomatoes and lemon juice). Add mango tea with honey, tea biscuits and strawberries/blackberries.

Two tea-loving, excited girls who have had tea since they were 18 months.

ps. For those of you that have the invite to my Crying Over Spilt Milk blog... I've got some new posts up and... I've even scheduled posts all the way to Wed... now I need to make a menu for the rest of this week. For those of you I know that don't have access...send me an email and I'll invite you to the private family blog.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Why does the White Witch turn Tumnus into stone?

So... we finished Chapter 12 of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe last night. Tonight we read Chapter 13. I adore these books. I started reading them to my girls (ages 4 and 2) 12 days ago. I thought, what the heck, I bet they can get the gist of the book.

My 4-year-old raises her hand at least twice each chapter to ask about Mr. Tumnus and why the White Witch/Queen turns him into stone. She is deeply invested in what happens to poor, Mr. Tumnus. I love that she wants to pretend she's Lucy. My 2-year-old likes to say Aslan, Narnia and oooooh in fright when the White Witch is mentioned. She also reminds us that "the White Witch pretended to be good."

Sometimes I have to pause, during the descriptions of the trees, grass, valleys, to wait for them to bring their attention back, but they get the action, plot and are so excited to have me read to them each night, a new chapter. There's something so warm and cozy sharing books I love with my little ones. It just makes me so darn happy.

I hope this is the start of many C.S. Lewis readings in their lifetime.

ps. Regarding my goal to do better...yesterday, was a good day. FHE went off without a hitch, no one went into time-out, I didn't raise my voice once... it was like a new me. The girls seemed to be cooperating all day. It was a mini-miracle. Today...I'm going to keep a prayer in my head and go at it again.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Phoenix Sundays

Yesterday in Sacrament meeting our friend John spoke. He talked about a man who was too scared to share the miracle of penicillin to a group of his peers. He then talked about how working in commercial real estate his colleague would tell his team, "you don't have to call all your land lords, just the ones you want to keep". It's like the flossing one... "you don't have to floss all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep".

He related it to sharing what brings us joy, peace and safety. We don't have to share the gospel with all our friends, just the ones we want to keep. That sort of hit it home for me.

Then in Sunday School our fantastic teacher Greg, talked about the Priesthood. Usually lessons about the Priesthood are one-sided. He was able to bring it to all of us. As he taught us about the history, the order that has been set up, I thought about how while there is this great authority bestowed on those that are worthy, it actually is still a tool the Lord gives to teach us. Just because a man has that authority, doesn't make him perfect. It means, he's still learning, the Lord trusts him.

As a woman and mother I think of this often. That having the power to create life doesn't make me an all powerful being (in a teeny, tiny little lamp - sorry Aladdin reference). This gift of motherhood makes me feel a little inadequate...ok fine, a lot inadequate (I know...not grammatically correct...but I'm not asking for a grade on this one). I realize how little I know, and how much I learn as I go, and how much I have to learn over-and-over again. There's never time to sit back and rest on my laurels and say, "yep, I'm all powerful and I know it all, muahahahaha". When I start acting like that, it's time to commit me to a mental home.

My favorite part of the lesson was where we read in D&C 121 about how the Priesthood should be used, and the blessings from it. I think we glean a lot from this that we can apply to Motherhood, and Fatherhood.
40 Hence many are called, but afew are chosen.
41 No apower or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the bpriesthood, only by cpersuasion, by dlong-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
42 By akindness, and pure bknowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the csoul without dhypocrisy, and without eguile
43 aReproving betimes with bsharpness, when cmoved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of dlove toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of adeath.
45 Let thy abowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let bvirtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy cconfidence wax strong in the dpresence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the edews from heaven.
46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant acompanion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of brighteousness and truth; and thy cdominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.
These verses teach us how we are to treat those we have stewardship over. Greg, our teacher asked us, what our "dominion" was. He said as parents, our children are our dominion, and if we practice gentleness, charity, kindness, and make sure virtue garnishes our thoughts, we shall have the Holy Ghost as a constant companion. Our dominion, our children will flow unto us without being forced, coerced... they will willingly follow our examples of righteousness. Gentleness, begets gentleness.

I sat there in the meeting looking at these verses in a way I'd never seen them before. It was like finding the most simple answers to all of my parenting questions. I sat there thinking... it's so simple... and yet, also so hard.

I realized I need to do better, work harder to make myself more pure, more gentle, more persuasive in kindness as a mother. The answer is there. The choice is mine, will I do it... and reap the blessings, or will I make excuses and act weak and foolish.

Then in RS my fabulous friend Carrie taught about Peace. I love that word, Peace. It's like how Peter, Susan and Lucy felt when the Beavers told them about Aslan... I feel all warm and comforted when I hear the world Peace.

I feel Peace in the temple. The reverence, the quiet. And... it was like the Lord was telling me, "If you want peace in your own home, follow the example of mine." So, I'm going to start, again, I'm going to try harder on Monday to be more patient, kind, persuasive and more pure in my thoughts. I'm going to try to be softer in my tone of voice... I'm going to try a little harder to be a little better for my girls.

I am not expecting perfection. I am miles and miles from there. But I know the Lord will appreciate my tiny, little efforts... because I'll give all I've got. And when I fall short, which I know I will - he will accept me, and cheer for me when I pick myself up and try again. You know why? He loves me, just as I am.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tired of the BULL? too...and John Stossel shows us all... it's all BULL.

Legislators saving the Budget Crisis? BULL

State Controlled Traffic... BULL

Fed Gov't BULL

Universal, Gov't Pre-K BULL

Congress and the Border? BULL

No Middle Class? BULL

Thank goodness there are people like Stossel in the media.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Picnic in a Tent for Family Home Evening

My hubby called from work and suggested this idea. Which is perfect because the lesson tonight was on the important role of Fathers.

He picked up some sandwiches from Quiznos and then we packed up the following in our car for the short drive up to the park:

- kids-sized tent (because we aren't really a camping family...we don't have a real tent)
- a tarp for the kid-sized tent (because we use the tent inside and I didn't want to get it dirty)
- 2 blankets for comfort
- 2 pillows to make it more homey
- drinks, chips, sandwiches

Load family in ...just like a clown car


Take turns telling made up stories

Teach lesson

QS: K, what's your favorite thing that Daddy does?
K: Kisses me.
QS: M, what's your favorite thing that Daddy does?
M: Gives me cookies.

Clean up, and use up energy playing at the park

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Show yourself...

If you wouldn't mind terribly... would you please click follow on the side bar to the right?

I have friends that have been asking me if I know someone in *insert city/state* who found their blog from mine...and I have no idea who is reading this blog... except for the few that have commented.

So... to save me the curious questions... please... if it's not too scary - show yourself.


How Not to have a Budget solution

QS: I called directv and went with the most basic plan, slicing our bill in half. Also I found out they've been charging us for four receivers, not two. So I am hoping to get a credit back.

R: What are we losing?

QS: It doesn't matter. Did you not hear me? They've been charging us for something we didn't's like money thrown into the wind, willy-nilly.

R: Right, but do I still have my sports channels?

QS: Dose it matter?

R: Well - the extra money (10 bucks a month) they charged us over a year is really not that much.

QS: Are you kidding me? Every penny counts. So can you call them and tell them to give us a credit or something? You're the negotiator.

R: No, I'm too busy at work.

QS: Then can you do it at home? They're available 24 hours.

R: No, I don't feel like it.

Next Day

R: So I called Directv at work.

QS: Really?

R: Yeah, I got them to give us a 5.00 credit a month for the next year, and got them to put back our orginal programming.

QS: You did what?

R: Didn't you ask me to talk to them?

QS: Yes, to implement credit - NOT to redeem your programming package.

What we have learned... men would rather have their families live in a tent, than lose their stupid sports.

ps. My fingers are ice cold...but I won't turn on the heat because I don't want to live in a tent.