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This Phoenix Speaks

Seven years in the making, my first published book, This Phoenix Speaks , is now a reality. The tireless and tiring work invested to ma...

Popular! You're gonna be Pop Uu Lar...

 Not sure why, but I have had the song "Popular" from the Broadway musical "Wicked" on my mind. It invades my brain whenever anyone says the word popular or popularity like I have some movie musical disease infiltrating. It is getting so bad that I will actually sing the word pop Uu lar out loud in the middle of conversation because the thought is so pervasive.

I wonder, at times, about the issue of popularity.

having a bad day

things are not so hot for me right now and I wanted to have something to share except for: today was hard.

Emotions are running high. I have homework piled up and school just started again yesterday. My heart is racing and I am not doing anything except typing.  

I guess this will just be a testament to the fact that I am a super normal girl...

Cheesy Beginnings


In honor of Whimsical Wednesday, I have modified the Reaction options to my posts. Instead of funny, interesting, and cool, we will now enjoy choosing from love it, thought-provoking, and absolute cheese whiz. 

I dedicate the love it option to my superfriend and attribute thought-provoking to the serious person within me, and absolute cheese whiz is the brain-child of my weirdo self. 

Since "absolute cheese whiz" is a vague and strange reaction, I would like to clarify or define when to use the choice absolute cheese whiz.
When a posting is:
  • funny
  • clever
  • silly
  • amusing
  • ridiculous
  • weird
  • absurd
  • bizarre
  • almost as good as cheese whiz itself
please click on it. 

Monkey Bars

Tomorrow starts another first day of school for me. I am taking another Spanish class (the 3rd in a series of 5 required for my degree) and a scripture class on Isaiah in the Old Testament (an elective, but an amazing one at that). I have the same anxiety coming on that I always get because my girl group that I had an entire regular school year with are either traveling the world, working so they can survive another school year out here, or closing the door on their formal career as a Spanish learner. So tomorrow I get to see my same teacher, which is fabulous, but I will have to reach out yet again and see if I can find someone that will want to do study groups and be a friend.

Why would I be so nervous about reaching out? I reach out once a day six times a week to unknown readers around the world (hopefully). 

There is something about the first day of school...anticipation, excitement, recognition of our ignorance--if we already knew the stuff we would not need to go to the classes. Right? I think that last part is the humbling experience that causes a lot of the nerves.

Tip of the Day

the Morning After...

A holiday weekend is so looked forward to--religious holidays like Easter especially for me. The only drawback is the first day back to the grind, back to normal. I actually find it almost painful. The increased sugar intake is kicking my butt and I feel crazy tired.

I think I probably consume somewhere around 300 lbs. of sugar a year.
I have got to reevaluate what I eat. The stress in my life can only excuse so much of how I am turning my back on all the good knowledge I have in my brain to keep myself healthy and happy.

I have an idea! Let's create a candy-free zone:
Everyday I will update how many days I have gone without any private junk food parties.

And your job is to send encouragement and to participate with me (if you want).
Be sure to post your updates as comments to this posting so I can send you encouragement as well.

I need some ideas for  how to NOT go for the junk food:
What do you do to withstand the treat bug?
What healthy snacks do you absolutely love?
I need non-food ideas on how to reward myself for good behavior, too.
Cheap/Free Ideas and ones that cost some moo-lah (I will save those for when I am really struggling)

Hope to hear from lots of people. The more the merrier!

Easter and the Egg

The small and simple egg stands as a symbol of Easter. Eggs bring with them the promise of new life and sustenance for the future. As we hard-boil, color, hunt, crack, eat and enjoy the eggs this weekend, remember He who gives us the hope and promise of renewal and sustenance as we progress in this life. Jesus Christ lived, died, and lives again --  for you, me, everyone.  Happy Easter

fantastic! friday!

I can hardly believe how quickly Easter has come this year!  We just celebrated New Year's for crying out loud. One good thing is that all the eggs, candy, and basket grass are bought.

Speaking of all the Easter goodies-- since when did it cost you an arm and leg to fill an Easter basket?  I was at the store and a very small (4 oz.) chocolate bunny costs $4-6. Then it is another $3 for a small package of m&ms. I could go on and on.  There are four candy eating monkeys at my place and it was just overwhelming. 

How do you fill enough eggs to have a fun egg hunt and do baskets without going broke?  

Well, a really nice lady came up to me and handed me some $1 off coupons for Hershey's and Mars candies and then I shopped the clearance section at the Deseret Book to find small religious gifts in an attempt to keep Jesus the focus for this holiday. Also, Target has a FANTASTIC $1 section that had Precious Moments books that actually reference scriptures.  I felt super happy when I discovered those little guys.

So anyway...I just wanted to complain to you a bit. I am certain anyone with children will attest to the truthfulness of my posting and anyone without children-- even though I am bugged, it is super fun to see their faces light up with the surprises. That is why I do what I do.

Juliet: Worth the Read

I was going to talk about the latest and greatest going on in my autism world. Then, I thought about telling you about the awesome service I received from my friends yesterday and give a commentary on how fabulous a good girl friend is to have. Then, I decided to discuss one of the most interesting historical fiction books I have read lately--

The book, Juliet by Anne Fortier, was given to me for my birthday by my superfriend Melissa (FYI: a superfriend goes beyond best or even BFF).

The Non-Traditional Student

If ever there was a non-traditional student that stuck out like a sore thumb on a university campus, it is me at BYU. I went to a community college to get my Associates degree and so I know the difference.  I feel the difference. I enjoy my university experience a great deal, so don't think that I am knocking BYU. I love attending BYU, but I am a thirty-almost forty-something with four kids working on my UNDER GRAD degree.  Picture it: I go to class with 18-23 year olds.  I could have babysat them and some of them I could be their mother.  It is humbling and exciting.  On the first day of a new semester, I just feel old. Then, a few class sessions go by and I have got to know some of the most amazing young people and I am comfortable. The most priceless part of my BYU experience is the super friendships I have made so far.  Some totally fabulous friends. Who can ask for more? Friendship is as essential to me as food, water, and air.

That brings me to the HOW part of my school attendance.

Kissing, the Movies, and Permissible Infidelity

This might be a crazy random thought, but I was watching a movie the other night and I saw Tom Cruise kissing Cameron Diaz in Knight and Day (side note: it is a bizarre yet entertaining movie if you're in a bizarre mood) and the whole concept of permissible infidelity flashed before my eyes. 

So, I totally do not know either of these individuals personally, but I do know that Tom Cruise is married with children and just because he got paid a ton of money to be in a movie somehow it should be wildly romantic or even hot to watch him lovin' all over someone other than his wife. I guess we call that acting, yet I wonder if a great deal of the inability to stay married or even wanting to get married among Hollywoodites and spread throughout our media-charged society can be partly attributed to this permissible infidelity factor, as I call it.

Autism and Injury

My Autistic daughter hurt her ankle in NOVEMBER and nothing showed up on an x-ray, but she was still complaining and still complaining so I took her to the doctor again in December and nothing showed up on the x-ray, but she was still complaining in January so I took her to the doctor a third time and the doctor ordered an MRI of the ankle.  Between rude dentists and office staff not doing their job, we finally got in for that MRI today.  You might wonder what ding dong dentists have to do with anything, but that is an even longer story and I just can't go there if I want to keep this a swearing-free blog.

Yoga and Spring Break

Try to imagine doing yoga with a CD playing in the background.  Most likely you are hearing nature sounds or some kind of aboriginal flute-type instrument putting out relaxing music (I forget what it is called -- David please inform us) My yoga reality this morning was something quite opposite to the slow breathing, body stretching, mind calming effect that yoga moves should have on a person.

For some background, I have a home gym and run a small exercise group with my friends and neighbors. It is more like a support group for women that don't really love exercise, but want to be fit and so we help each other to stay on the wagon. Junk Food Eaters Anonymous. Love/Hate Relationship with Exercise Club. Jogging Stinks But We Are Trying it Anyway Wagon.

My Little Minion

Ok everybody...I am not feeling a bit whimsical whatsoever.  The definition alone means that I can not overthink the idea and put something up here, and I refuse to start dishing out fudge to you if I could and still appear whimsical. 

I have been cleaning like it is part of some mental/emotional therapy program, avoiding my studies as much as possible like it is part of some mental/emotional therapy program, and focusing on my children just like I should. They are the only part of my life right now that I know matters essentially and I should just be happy that I have them. 

The love of a child is of value beyond any treasure. And I am blessed with four! I am seriously rich.

The thought of my little monkeys reminded me of something I think is funny.  Hopefully you do too and this Wednesday won't be entirely wasted by the emotional funk I am in.

If you have seen the movie Despicable Me, you have heard of the little yellow creatures called minions. 
My seven-year old has been doing a self-study program on how to talk minion ever since we got the movie for Christmas! Did you hear that -- since Christmas?!  She has it perfected too.  She could try out for DM2 and get the lead minion part if there was such a thing. Sometimes she gets talking minion so much that I have to remind her to speak English so I can understand her. And due to her diligence in being multi-lingual I am also beginning to comprehend minion - somewhat. She cracks me up.
I am going to attempt a recording of it (if she will let me and if I can figure out how to post it), but until then here is a clip and you can just imagine a cute little girl copy-catting every nonsensical syllable and looking WAY cuter while doing it:

The Most Dangerous Thing You'll Do All Day

The Most Dangerous Thing You'll Do All Day

Originally, I planned on a different sort of post, but this seems a tad more important to pass along.
It talks about how sitting all day affects your heart attack risks and gives some amazingly simple tips for how to avoid being a sitting duck waiting for that heart attack
Just so you know...I am standing while typing this.

monday madness

This day is starting out pretty calm and I am glad for it, but I don't know how I will do everything I want to in such a short 24 hours.  I need to study and go to school even though my children are on Spring Break; I want to have a fire pit party with some neighbors tonight (I heart making fires almost as much as the color purple); It would be super nice to get my desk cleaned off, laundry done, backyard picked up before that fire pit party, etc. And I am certain that most people have this much to do every day, too.

Wouldn't it be nice to get to borrow some time from other days here and there? I would call it Flex Time!

Politics and the Weather

There is just too much goofy stuff going on the past couple days...our government can't get their junk together without a bunch of drama and Spring does not want to come.
 (plus I am just sick of my messed up personal problems)

I am looking out my window and see snow covering the ground!  Isn't it April and Spring snow is supposed to melt within a bit after falling on all the newly planted flowers and budding tulips? right? Whatever happened to the term April Showers and it mean rain? Really, really strange. Any moisture is great for the water table and for that I am grateful, but I would love to feel warmness for a few months straight. 

Now back to the whole government stuff...

freaked out! friday!

I don't know about you, but I have been anticipating Spring Break for awhile, but that anticipation now has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of feel to it...I look forward to taking my children on outings and spending time with them. BUT by the way this morning has gone so far--I FEAR FOR MY SANITY!!! I might turn into a beast of a mother next week.  

This situation makes me ponder on how my mom was able to cope with even more kids in her house. I do not wonder for a moment how she could absolutely need Prozac. Mind you she actually had depression issues, but add in a couple of punk step children and a 6-pack of children all born within a 7 year period and getting a nursing degree during that same time frame--you have got a certifiable nutcase on your hands and you would not blame her for it. 

Except my mom wasn't a nutcase. She was amazing.

God's Green Earth

Between my class yesterday, errands, and problems, I was down-trodden by 4 p.m.  I needed to do something different than laundry, dishes, picking up the millionth piece of kid junk off the ground, so I went outside. 

Trees are a source of joy for me. I have an affinity for trees and yesterday I pruned the tree in my front yard (yes I am a girl and I have many weird hobbies). Then, I asked a couple of my neighbor friends if they would like me to prune their front yard trees and they said yes. I was finishing theirs and ended up asking more neighbors if they wouldn't mind me hacking away at, I mean lightly trimming, their trees.  After all was said and done, I trimmed eight trees. My hands hurt right now. stiff. sore. How I imagine arthritis to feel like. But the happiness I went to sleep on last night was totally worth it.

mud pies

Later on today I am going to teach a class on potted plants - what you need and how to put it all together and do your best to keep the plants alive.  
The funny thing about this idea of me teaching a class on this particular topic is that I used to KILL all plants in my house.  My mom would hook me up with a few plants, give me instructions on making sure to water them, and then I would proceed to slowly kill each of them in turn over a few months time. Then I would go to her house, get some more, and start the cycle again. I just knew I could do better if I just kept on trying.  My mom had houseplants everywhere in her dining room and kitchen and if I was her daughter I could grow a plant or two.

Monday Message and Matched

It's my two-week anniversary as an actual blogger and I am liking what I see. Double digit followers, a couple comments here and there.  I think we might not recognize this tiny start of a blog within a year. The participation increase has been huge. My plea last Monday for following and commenting was heard, even though there are still silent, faithful readers who won't push that button(you know who you are). 
That said, I am so glad that what I write and scavenge to show you has been found interesting enough for you to spend some of your valuable time enjoying.

At the start of this week, I want to share a quote from the novel Matched by Ally Condie:

feelings of inadequacy

I woke up to a beautiful day.  I was spiritually uplifted. It was sunny and warm. I got the boys' room rearranged and deep cleaned and the new dresser fit! Laundry almost finished (ha ha). I should be doing great, right?  If I could figure out how to not go through an anti-climactic ending to nearly all happy times I think I would be doing quite well.  
Yet, I obviously do not have that particular skill-set or I most definitely would not be making this post look like I am about to.

Funny! Friday!

Source: facebook.com via Jenn on Pinterest

I saw this saying and thought it was totally funny. Although somewhat disturbing, it helps to be able to laugh at cultural things we can only do so much about.
Moms, dads, aunts, and uncles out there...we can try to change this.
Have a Fabulous Friday everyone!