Feb 212010
 

Debby is getting married soon. And she is working out the details for her wedding. She and Jeff have a really tight budget so they are trying to keep things simple and inexpensive, but nice. I guess they had a friend or somebody offer to make a cake for them for $200! My jaw dropped in amazement. I said ‘Cake is not that expensive’. So I started offering different ideas not to tell Debby what she should do but what she *could* do. So she started telling me what she wanted and asked if I thought I could make it. Uh I can try. ๐Ÿ™‚

So she wants a cake, she doesn’t seem to care what kind of cake. She just wants it to have white fondant on it, and pink flowers. So she and I went to wal mart to see what kind of supplies we could get. We picked out a nice cake stand and I got cake pans of all sizes and a few other supplies and we came home and set to work.

Now I feel that I should mention that I’ve never made a cake from scratch before, that is until last month. We grew up with mom making cake from a box mix, and there is nothing wrong with that. I am by no means a cake expert. But the chocolate cake recipe that I made last month turned out so good that I’ve now made it 3 times in the past two months. ๐Ÿ˜›

Last night I got to work trying to make fondant, which was definitely an adventure. I found a recipe for a marshmallow fondant online, and tried it out. I melted the marshmallows with a little water like it said to then it said to pour 3/4 of the powdered sugar the recipe called for onto the melted marshmallow in the bowl then turn it out on a *well greased* counter then knead it with your *well greased* hands like bread dough. Well let’s just say that it was NOTHING like bread dough. The marshmallow slid all over the counter. The powdered sugar kept poofing everywhere. I ended up with marshmallow on my shirt, and powdered sugar all down my pants, and on the dishwasher and all over the floor. You know that Disney cartoon where Mickey, Donald and Goofy are trying to scare ghosts, and they end up crashing into a pile of sticky stuff and a bag of flour falls on them and they end up scaring the ghosts by looking like goopy ghosts themselves? Well that’s how I felt I looked after trying to make the fondant!

Tonight I actually got to use the fondant and put it on my chocolate cake:

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Pretty good for a first try huh? Even if I do say so myself. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think I trimmed it off too short in some areas, but HEY that’s why I’m practicing right? I am going to be making a lot of cake over the next few weeks, so hopefully I’ll end up being able to make a cake that Debby will like. She did like the chocolate cake, she doesn’t want the official wedding cake to be decorated like this one though.

Like the cute cake stand?

Feb 202010
 

Kyle and I were cleaning up and purging junk from our bedroom today and it’s time to say goodbye to my seminary scriptures.

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I haven’t used them in years, because Chewy peed on them YEARS ago (before Kyle and I got married). Ya gross, I know. I only kept them because I felt evil throwing them away. So they have sat in a scripture case on the bookshelf for our entire marriage. So in purging the junk from our house, it’s time to get rid of them. I have two other sets of scriptures. I don’t need the yucky ones. I still feel wicked throwing them away. I tried to hand them to Kyle to throw away because he was closer to the trash can and he looked at me but refused to take them. Then he said ‘I don’t want to do it!’ Sigh.

I decided to look through them quickly before throwing them out, just to make sure I didn’t have anything tucked in the pages that I may have wanted to keep. I did find a real treasure in there. I had tucked in the front a paper that appears to be a talk that my dad gave shortly after we joined the church, which I would like to record here:

“As many of you know my wife and I were baptized in June of last year and seven of our children followed in August. I’ve been asked to talk about Missionary work and how it brought my family to the church.

In order to explain how we got here I must first explain where we came from. When I was young my family went through periods of investigating different churches and times of staying home. Christian values were taught by example and through other organizations that I belonged to. I grew up knowing about Jesus Christ, be He was not a central part of our lives. When I was ten years old I was in a boys organization similar to the boy scouts and was taught many things. Among them a list of precepts and aims to live by. The precepts are “Be Kind, Live Pure, Speak Truth, Right Wrong, Defend the Weak, Play the Game Square.” These values precede everything that we do in our lives. After these there are our aims, “Be Prompt, Obey Orders, Be Neat, Avoid Slang, Be Polite, Be Positive.” There there was the motto “I Serve-The man who tries to lead others without considering himself to be, first of all, in the service of those he leads, will always be finally rewarded with failure-when humility might have led to success.” And on my desk sits the prayer that closed our meetings “Oh God, my father and friend, teach me to be a true Christian gentleman, help me to think pure thoughts that I may be a clean man, help me to keep my body pure, that I may use it to serve Thee, help me to be truthful, that my tongue may sing Thy praise, help me to be honest, that I may win the confidence of men, help me to build a Christian character, that I may be worthy of those who love me, teach me to respect all women as I do my mother, make my life one of service, and when I am tempted, may I sit humbly at the foot of the cross and look up to Thee for strength, Amen”.

With this foundation I entered adulthood and the responsibilities of raising a family. My job filled six days a week averaging 14 hours a day, and evenings were filled with our fixer upper home and our ever growing family, and Sundays were for sleeping in, having a big family breakfast, visiting extended family and paying the bills. We often felt the blessings that Heavenly Father was bestowing upon us but we rarely gave Him our thanks.

I’m sure that if any of you have teenagers you’ll understand how Heavenly Father felt about us.

Heavenly Father continued to watch over us and patiently wait, He continued to bless us with more children and even though we were struggling financially, somehow things always seemed to work out for us. Then one day when we were expecting our tenth child, an opportunity came out of the clear blue sky for us to move to a larger home in a much better neighborhood. Heavenly Father was blessing us yet again. With the change we finally decided to include church and Christ into our lives. About this time stormy weather hit when our new born son, Timothy Joseph, suddenly died. Fr a time we felt that great emptiness that comes from being alone and lost. We no longer felt that Heavenly Father was watching over us, or that He cared about us. We felt that He had given up n us. After a while these feelings gave way and we becaume involved in another church, hoping to make some sense out of our experience. Although we attended this other church, off and on, for a couple years, we still felt that something was missing. During this time my wife, and children were befriending others in our neighborhood and soon I found myself invited to carious gatherings of these friends. These good people seemed to have the same values that I grew up believing in. Only they also seemed to have the one ingredient that I could never put my finger on. After about a year it finally dawned on me that they were all from the same church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This is when I realized that the difference was Christ. Good values aren’t enough, going to church isn’t enough, nothing short of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will ever be enough. I suddenly knew that Heavenly Father had picked up my family, knowing that hard times were soon to come our way, and placed us in Yorba Linda not because we wanted a bigger home but because Christ is living here. We had thought that we were moving to Yorba Linda but in fact we were moving to the Anaheim East Stake. We had thought that we were moving to a better neighborhood but in fact we were being placed in the loving hands of Yorba Linda Third Ward. Heavenly Father was, as always, taking care of us. He knows as I now know that Christ lives in the dad to dad lives of the members of His church.

When people talk of missionaries they are usually referring to the young men and women who spend two years of their lives in the service of the Lord, teaching families like mine about the restored gospel. They are an important part of the effort. But I’m here today as living proof that when they return home their mission has really just begun. Each day we must live the life that Christ taught us to live and when we invite others to share the blessings, they, like myself, will notice, and will ask and will open their doors and hearts to the message that our youth have pledged to teach.

When I was a child there was a poster on the refrigerator door, I remember reading it when I went to the kitchen to snitch cookies before dinner. It read “No one saves us but ourselves, no one can, no one may, others only point the path, we ourselves must walk the way.” I will be eternally grateful to you full time missionaries that took time out of your lives to point to the path that Nephi speaks of. The path that has an iron rod for support. I will be eternally grateful to Heavenly Father for his patience with me and his love for me. It’s my intention to not only walk the path but to share it with others. I encourage each of you to continue doing the same.

I share my thoughts with you this morning in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

My family were baptized in 1998 so this talk must have been from 1999. ๐Ÿ™‚

Feb 202010
 

No I’m not pregnant. But I think I would rather be pregnant than be on this horrible emotional roller coaster that I’ve been on the past several months. Over the past several months I’ve been noticing this pattern. Emotionally I’ve been feeling quite low, getting very depressed, and overwhelmed. I seriously hit rock bottom, and feel like I hate my life. I hate that the house is such a mess and I feel like I’m never going to dig myself out of the mess. I hate that Kyle is almost never home and that he doesn’t make time to spend with me. I hate that I’m the only one that ever cleans anything in our house and the kids literally throw fits anytime I ask them to do anything, even if it’s something as simple as ‘Please pick up and put your shoes away’. I hate that the kids are rarely obedient and act like they don’t like me. I hate that financially we’ve never been able to budget. Kyle is gone so much it’s hard to sit down and look at the numbers and decide where money should go. And he and I have different priorities on where the money should go first. All of these things will press on me all at once and I seriously hit rock bottom. Then within the next day or two my monthly cycle starts. EVERY TIME! Hormones are seriously messing with me! Because after the start of my cycle, things go back to normal, and I can see that even though the house is seriously messy and cluttered, it IS getting better, which happens to be a step in the right direction and I actually get excited as I go through and declutter and purge stuff from my house. But then it starts all over again with me getting super depressed and overwhelmed and hating everything and then within a day or two my cycle will start! So now when I start getting that super depressed feeling I think to myself, it must be just about time to start a new cycle, but it still doesn’t help to be feeling so horribly depressed. This roller coaster is driving me crazy!

Feb 112010
 

I have always said that I refuse to use cloth diapers. I’m the oldest of 10 kids. I remember changing a lot of diapers, as a kid, because mom had her hands full and well someone needed to do it. But mom used cloth diapers for a lot of years, and I HATED scraping poop into the toilet, and having to ‘rinse’ the diaper out in the toilet before putting it in the laundry hamper. I also feared pinning the diaper on. It’s hard to shove the diaper pin through so much fabric, it often gets awkwardย  and there’s always the fear of ending up stabbing yourself when the pin doesn’t come through where you were expecting it to. Mom claims that I once stabbed the baby with the diaper pin, and that was when she switched to using disposable diapers.

Kyle hasn’t really had any experience with cloth diapers aside from, he says he wore them. So he has never seen any problem with using cloth diapers.

So that brings me today. I must have lost my mind. We’ve talked of Kyle dropping the second job, and have wondered if we could afford to drop the second income. So I decided that maybe we should give cloth diapers a chance. We could build up a supply of them while Kyle is still working both jobs, then, someday when Kyle finally drops the second job we won’t have the expense of buying diapers any more.

Well I found these abslutely perfect diapers online. No pins, no nasty plastic over pants, and if you use a diaper liner, no scraping poop into the toilet!

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They are all one thing. You just put the pads that they come with inside the inner pocket and they are good to go. Some brands that I’ve found have snaps some have velcro. They are called ‘one size’ diapers because they are adjustable from newborn to potty training. So for Dinah and Chloe I can use the same diapers. Dinah just LOVES them, when the ‘pink diapers’ (we have a few pink ones in addition to these adorable purple ones) are in the diaper stacker, those are the ones she will choose, she will have nothing to do with disposables if she has anything to say about it.ย  So I actually might like this cloth diapering thing. ๐Ÿ˜›

Feb 102010
 

Just a quickie.ย  We got the toilet fixed from Dinah’s mischief, by calling a plumber who came out, pulled the toilet off, pushed the piece out through the back, and put everything back together.

Maybe I’m in the wrong profession.ย  For him to do this, including the “gas fee,” was $105, for less than 45 minutes of work.ย  But I know if I were to try and do it myself, it’d be the better part of a day, and I don’t have the tools nor do I have the experience to pull the toilet off without flooding the floor with used water.. I’d say that was money well spent.

I still need to get the shower working properly.ย  We’ll try it on Saturday, and hopefully I can take the piece to a plumbing supply store to get it replaced, if I can’t figure out why it can’t serve both temperatures at the same time.

 Posted by at 11:43 pm