Saturday, January 31, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday

Keeping it short and simple this week...

Go to for a nifty stain removal tool. If you have a stain to remove, chances are this interactive tool will help you figure out the best way to get rid of it! With all the holiday parties and snacks coming up soon, we'll probably all have a few stains to take care of.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Akeelah and the Bee

Yesterday I watched the movie "Akeelah and the Bee." It's about a girl competing in spelling bees who eventually makes it to the national spelling bee in Washington D.C. Even though it's about spelling bees, it's actually a lot like my beloved inspirational sports movies... you know, there's an underdog (probably from a bad part of town or a minority group - or both), the underdog starts competing in a sport and improbably wins, the underdog keeps winning against all odds, the community starts to rally around the underdog, the underdog eventually makes it to the championship and wins the whole thing. Everyone who previously disliked the underdog now sees the error of their ways! Good people get what they deserve! I just love all those movies. So Akeelah and the Bee was a lot like that, even if it's not about sports. Though the national spelling bee is shown on ESPN every year...

At any rate, if you've never seen the movie, I can't recommend it highly enough. It was wonderful and inspiring and just a real feel-good movie!

During the movie, the lead character read a quote which I just loved. It is my new favorite quote and one I would like to adopt as a life philosphy. I need have have it stitched on a sampler to hang on the wall or something, because it speaks to me that much.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles, Harper Collins, 1992.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yum... Kitty!

When we were visiting Aaron's family in Utah at Thanksgiving, Brekken managed to catch hold of the cat and started chewing on one of her ears. Apparently he liked it, because he does the same thing to our cats at home now when he can catch one!


Today I'm feeling thankful for my favorite scripture.

D&C 6:20 - "...therefore treasure up these words in thy heart. Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love."

I just love this scripture because of the warm and comforted feeling it gives me. The image of being encircled in the arms of God's love is so powerful to me. I can picture myself in those loving arms when I need a bit of help and comfort. It helps me remember that even when I feel unworthy, God loves me. And if God loves me, I should work harder to do as He asks. Because this concept and image are so special to me, I do indeed treasure up those words in my heart.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Camera Catch-Up

I keep taking photos of things to post on the blog, and then I never get the chance to actually get the photos off the camera and onto the blog. So here's my catch up of the things I've been meaning to post lately...

I've been doing some cooking with the kids lately. Everything seems to feature peanut butter for some reason. Peanut butter quesadillas were a big hit. Haley has recently decided that she doesn't like cheese quesadillas anymore, but she eats the peanut butter version enthusiastically. Just a couple of leftover tortillas, slap some peanut butter between them (along with some honey for Haley and jelly for Preston). Super easy, but with a vegetable or fruit and some milk to drink, it makes an easy dinner.

We also made peanut butter pizzas. I just used crescent roll dough to bake a quick pizza crust. Then I spread peanut butter on the crust and gave it to the kids along with their "pizza toppings." In this case, they chose to use raisins, blueberries, and miniature marshmallows for the toppings. We cut up the marshmallows to make it look like shredded cheese. The marshmallows aren't so nutritious, but the peanut butter, raisins, and blueberries were pretty good. I added some julienned carrot "fries" on the side. The kids had a great time making their own pizzas, and ate almost every bite.


Our most ambitious peanut butter dinner was Chicken Satay Fried Rice. My parents gave us a really nice wok for Christmas and I wanted to give it a try. I had a recipe for chicken satay that I'd been meaning to make and I had some leftover rice, so I decided to combine them. So I stir-fried some sliced chicken breasts in olive oil with some green onions, soy sauce, and a bit of minced garlic. When the chicken was almost done, I made the peanut sauce:

2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1-2 cloves garlic, minced or chopped
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
juice from half a lemon (can be less, depending on your tastes)

Combine all ingredients and heat in the microwave for about 30-40 seconds (until peanut butter is melted).

I added the cooked rice and the peanut sauce and cooked until everything was warmed through. At the end, I threw in some frozen peas and carrots - a little more nutrition and color. It was yummy! The kids loved it and ate every bite... which is saying a lot as picky as they are lately!


Finally - and this has nothing to do with peanut butter - some pictures of the kids taking advantage of a warm (for January) Saturday afternoon. It was Brekken's first time on the swingset and he really enjoyed it!

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bedtime Battles

For the last 6-8 months, we have been having trouble getting Preston to go to bed at night. We've tried putting him back in his crib, putting a gate across the door so he can't leave the room, the Supernanny method (just pick him up and put him back in bed each time he leaves without talking to him about it), reasoning with him, bribing him, letting him watch a show in bed, sitting next to his bed for an hour or more waiting for him to go to sleep, giving up and letting him come out and lay down on the couch with us... all kinds of things. We have the nightly routine to get into the mindset of bedtime, and that part of the night goes just fine. But as soon as the story is over, he bounces right back out of bed and then screams and screams when we make him stay there. I'm so frustrated by it!

On Wednesday, I saw an advertisement for the show "The Doctors" where they said they were going to tell us how to end the bedtime battles and get your kids to go to bed. I was so excited - I was trying to figure out how I could manage to see it, since it comes on while I'm at work. We are behind the curve with no TiVO at our house yet. We have 2 VCRs, yet neither of them works to record anything. As it turned out, though, Aaron stayed home sick yesterday. So he was given the assignment to watch the show and learn the secret for me. Turns out it was about a 1 minute segment where all they said was to have a routine and a consistent bedtime and waking time. We know that much! So much for the miracle cure I was hoping for.

So... if you have any great tips for getting a 2-year-old to go to bed and stay in bed, I'd love to hear them!! Post a comment or e-mail me at Anyone who can give us an idea that helps will earn our undying gratitude!

Monday, January 12, 2009

True Romance

I had a girl's night out on Saturday. It was lots of fun to spend some time with friends. We saw a movie together and after the movie, we got some dinner. Over dinner, we talked about the movie and talk turned to some of the more romantic scenes. Since a couple of us have been married for quite a few years, we mentioned that we haven't had a romantic moment in some time. But then I thought twice...

When it was time for me to leave for my night out, Aaron was very busy. He was cleaning the catbox (without me even having asked/nagged!) while also keeping an eye on Haley and Preston playing in the backyard and entertaining Brekken who was sitting in the kitchen on the other side of the gate to the cat/laundry area. And when I asked if I should at least take Brekken with me, he sent me off with assurances that he could handle all three kids.

So there's my true romance. My husband was cleaning up around the house and kept all the kids (even though he had a cold and wasn't feeling so great) just so that I could go have a few hours out with my friends. I tried to return the favor - we had dinner at Chipotle, which is one of Aaron's favorites. So I took home dinner to him. And when I stopped at Target on the way home to pick up a few essentials, I also picked up some of his favorite sorbet as a thank you.

It all just made me think about romance and how once you've been married for a while, you think that you don't have romance in your life anymore. So sure, there's no dancing in a moonlit gazebo going on at my house, but there are other things that show love just as much. It's not so much that my expectations are lowered as that my priorities have changed. And because of those changing priorities, household chores and childcare have become every bit as romantic as anything Hollywood comes up with.

Just a little something for me to remember the next time I watch a chick flick!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Look Out! Brekken's on the Move!

Aaron stayed home with Brekken yesterday because he (Brekken) had been sick - that darned stomach bug coming around again. By the afternoon, Brekken was feeling better and got down to play on the floor.

When I called home to check on Brekken, Aaron told me that Brekken had started crawling! Just a few "steps" at a time, but he was mobile. By yesterday evening, Brekken had really gotten that crawling thing figured out. He was crawling around the living room and trying to escape to explore the rest of the house!

I guess my weekend will involve making sure that the house is ready for a crawling baby.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Haley's 5th Birthday

Well, better late than never! We celebrated Haley's 5th birthday back on December 27, but I've just finally had a chance to download the photos from my camera!

We had a great day. Presents galore and a big party with all her Primary class at the gymnastics studio. Everyone seemed to have a blast.

Haley was very excited about the gymnastics party.

Everyone did the Hokey Pokey.

Amber, Haley, & Kimberly on the bars.

Some of the Crumpley kids didn't want to dance. So their dad (John) went out to show them how it's done!

Haley got to be the queen and direct the dancing.

She got more presents than any kid needs - but she's been enjoying them all immensely.

For more birthday pictures, you can visit

Monday, January 5, 2009

My New Laptop

For a while now I've been wanting a laptop to make it easier to work from home, during offsite meetings, or so I can work while we're travelling (so I don't have to use as many vacation days). Last week we started seeing TV ads for the "Mega Liquidation Sale" - picture lots of shouting and flashing tacky graphics.

Anyway, on these commercials they were advertising laptops for only $199. On Saturday we decided to go check out the sale and see if they actually had anything for that price.

Well, no. I guess that was to be expected. The sale started Friday morning and we didn't go until late Saturday afternoon. But they did have a few laptops for $350. While I was looking at one of them, one of the guys running the booth came over and realized that the laptop was actually much higher-end than the rest of the $350 laptops and was underpriced. He agreed to still sell it for $350, then threw in anti-virus software and the full MS Office suite... still for $350! So we took it. The more I find out, the more I learn that we got a REALLY good deal. Here's the review I found for my new laptop...

"Dell has brought together the best components it could find, and combined them in the most powerful system imaginable. ... The only reason you could possibly justify the need for this type of performance in a laptop is if you are working on high-detail, technical 3D modelling, perhaps visiting clients or displaying sensitive information of a technical nature that you don't want to copy and distribute. The professional slant is reflected in its price. As configured, our review model ran to $5120."

So woo-hoo on the $350 price tag for us!!