Monday, March 31, 2014

And thus ends Month 3.

Goals!
1. Make dinner every day.  ("Every day" is part of the goal, but it's not quite literal.  I'll explain later.)
2. Wipe the counters after dinner.
3. Be a visiting teacher.  (Don't know what that is?  Click here or here.)

Make dinner every day.
I told you up there ^^ that the phrase "every day" is part of the goal, but it's not literal.  I sometimes fall into the habit of being lazy after work.  Relaxing is fine and good, but sometimes I don't stop.  Joel gets home from work, we sit around, and then 6:00 rolls around.  I'm hungry but don't feel like cooking; Joel's hungry but doesn't feel like cooking.  The question, "What do you want to eat?" gets kicked around for a couple minutes, and then we get back to our TV show.  6:30 comes.  A little hungrier, and therefore a little less willing to get up and cook.  Finally, 7, 7:30, or 8:00 arrives and I say, "Man, I'm starving! but I never felt like cooking.  Rats.  I guess we're eating McDonalds!"  No more!  That's expensive!  Plus not quite healthy.  So my goal this month was not to do that.  Every day I would make something, even if it was frozen Totino's pizzas.  (And this goal also matched up nicely with my Lenten one.)

I did pretty great!  We ate out about once a week, but it was never because of laziness.  We sure ate leftovers a lot, but hey - I made those!  :)  I feel happy about how this goal went, and I think I'll be able to keep it up.

Wipe the counters after dinner.
OH MY GOSH THIS WAS HARD.  Why was it sooooo hard?  I don't know.  All I know is, I did okay *and* got help from others in the house, but basically starting counting down the days left in March about a week ago.  I think it's because I dislike coming back to the kitchen.  I love cooking, I love eating, but once the work is done, I don't want to have to come back and do MORE.  The most guaranteed way to make sure the counters got cleaned was to do it while dinner was finishing cooking.   Yeah, this one will definitely take some more work.

Be a visiting teacher.
I'll admit it - I've been a lazy visiting teacher for the last few months, resorting to dropping off a treat on the last day or two of the month.  It's because I hate calling people I only kind of know on the phone to make / confirm the appointment.  It's helpful when you can text instead of call, but I only have the home number for one of my ladies, which means I have to call.  I basically failed this month, BUT.  I think it was helpful to get me on track for next month.   So I'll report on this goal again in April and let you know if I did any better.

This was a hard month for goals, more because of the goals than the effort, though.  Because I put in a LOT of effort.  I'm giving myself a couple of the easier goals for April.  :)




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They ended up having lunch with Hagrid, though they didn’t eat much - Hagrid had made what he said was a beef casserole, but after Hermione unearthed a large talon in hers, she, Harry, and Ron rather lost their appetites.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Monday, March 17, 2014

GREEN


Well, the same thing goes for St. Patrick's Day.  Only emphasis on the "I'm" - Joel's celebration of St. Patrick's Day is to purposely NOT wear green.  (Don't worry, he always gets pinched.)

Also, do you remember this book?


I thought so!  Eating green eggs and ham on St. Patrick's Day has been my family's tradition for my entire life, so now it's Joel and my family tradition, too!  Well, mostly my tradition.  But watch out, world!  When we have kids, our house will be filled with green eggs and ham!

It's so fun, though.  All growing up, my mom went to great lengths to make sure everything we ate on St. Patrick's Day was green - our water, milk, butter, sandwiches (green bread and green tuna), etc.  It makes everyone jealous when you show up in the cafeteria with a green sandwich - ask any of my classmates - and it's also really exciting to prepare for.  Last night we had some family over for dinner, so in true My-maiden-name fashion, we had green everything!  Normal-colored juice and clementines for those guests who were wary of so much green, and green for everyone else.  


Green eggs, green ham, green toast (I made bread and dyed the dough green), green butter, milk with green food coloring next to it (Joel asked that I not dye the entire gallon, so we dyed our individual glasses of milk), and pie made with green apples.  Yum!  

For those of you whose St. Patrick's Day is corned beef and cabbage,
you're missing out.




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He is wanting paying for his work, sir.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Happy Lent!

Today is Ash Wednesday!, also known as the first day of Lent.

I was a little iffy about choosing something to give up for Lent.  I'm already doing monthly goals, and would having one more overwhelm me and keep from accomplishing the ones I already had for March?

But I'm big on traditions, and it's my tradition to observe Lent, so I'm going for it.  To make it easier on myself, I've chosen something that complements my other March goals.  Without giving those away yet, I will let you in on my Lent goal!  

For Lent, I'm giving up fast food when I don't want to cook.  I can still eat fast food - tonight we're getting pizza - but it can't be because I got home from school, exhausted, and watched TV until 6:30, when I announced that, "By the way, we're having McDonalds for the fourth time this week!"

Here's to healthier habits, cheaper dinners, and Lent!  

What are you giving up?





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“I like a healthy breeze ‘round my privates, thanks.”
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

things I'm loving today

(credit where credit's due)

my new shoes that came in the mail today and only cost...


FIVE DOLLARS.

And they fit perfectly!
I'm in love.




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“Bone of the father, unknowingly given, you will renew your son!  Flesh - of the servant - w-willingly given - you will - revive - your master.  B-blood of the enemy…forcibly taken…you will…resurrect your foe.”
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Saturday, March 1, 2014

resolutions: month 2

February:
1. Empty the dishwasher every morning.  Start it every evening.
2. Be intentionally friendly at church.

Ha!  I bet you thought (after January and the first goal of February) that my overarching goal for the year was to keep a cleaner house!  But then you read February's second goal.  :)

Empty the dishwasher every morning.  Start it every evening.
I did pretty okay on this.  There were some days we didn't use many dishes and the dishwasher didn't need starting, so the next morning it didn't need emptying.  Those days don't contribute to failure because the job didn't need to be done.  The real test of whether I did well on this goal is this: how many times did I think, "Man!  I need a certain dish but I didn't do the dishwasher last night so it's still dirty. :(  "?  The answer: 2-3.  Not too bad.  I hope to continue to improve, but this month wasn't bad.

Be proactively friendly at church.
We have lived in our current location for two years and still feel like we hardly know anyone and no one knows us.  In our last ward, there was a strong feeling of community.  Everyone loved and helped each other, and there was hardly a Sunday we didn't spend at someone's house for dinner / games or with someone at ours.  So it's been hard to have such a noticeably smaller friend pool here.  That's why I picked this goal.  I was sitting in church one day and wrote this in my journal:

Sacrament.  I was looking around during the hymn, thinking about last week.  I was in a different ward for sacrament meeting and this lady came and sat by me.  She was so friendly, you'd never guess we'd never met.
There are a lot of visitors in our ward this week.  I looked around at them and thought, "I wonder if any of them have had a similar experience in our ward today."  Immediately I thought, "Of course not; our ward's not friendly enough," remembering how we've felt here and what someone mentioned to J last week: "There's a real lack of camaraderie in our ward."
Right when I thought that, another thought came to mind - "Why don't you do something about it?" and imagined myself being friendly to everyone. "I can't do that."  and then it occurred to me that the lack of community in our ward is sad to Him, too.  And then we sang, "Be obedient, I implore..."  You don't "implore" something that doesn't matter to you; you implore about something that's really important.  And then, still feeling afraid, I thought, "Be the change you wish to see in the [ward]."  So.  I guess I've found my goal for next month. :P  The blog I read this week about asking meaningful questions instead of "How was your day?" directly applies here.  So do those people we saw at the furniture store yesterday who asked about J's dad instead of a generic "How are you?", showing that they remembered something important going on in J's life, even though they hadn't seen him in a long time.
Heavenly Father prepares us.

Now, let me just say, in case you're in our ward :) that some feelings get worse the more you think about them.  Meaning, things aren't as bad as I think sometimes.  However, everything I mentioned up there are things that others in our ward - like, a lot, not just one - have said to me or Joel as well, so it's not just us.  Anyway... now that I've sufficiently hurt everyone's feelings... 

Being friendly was something I'd been thinking about for a long time - a "stop complaining and do something" idea - but that journal entry (and what inspired it) was the exact kick in the pants I needed to start.  I made the goal of being proactively friendly because it made me more responsible.   No more sitting around and waiting for other people to come and receive friendliness from me - now I had to seek them out!  No more contributing to the problem and calling myself a victim!

This goal was so hard for me!  But my very first Sunday of trying, Joel and I received our FIRST EVER!!! invitation to dinner in this ward.  It was amazing and soooo fun!  It was not specifically a result of my efforts; I know that.  I didn't even see that family that day.  But it was a tender mercy from Heavenly Father saying, "Look!  This can work!"  The rest of the month went just as well, though just as difficult.  One of my favorite results was that I left church every week feeling happy.  This is one goal I am excited to try and carry out through the rest of the year.  Feeling happy is worth the effort.




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“That was a sample of fertilizer from Norway!” said Percy, going very red in the face.  “It was nothing personal!”
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Sunday, February 23, 2014

blue, black, red, yellow, green, and Sochi

dinner
We're kind of obsessed with the Olympics at our house.  Every two years for two weeks, I give myself license to watch as much TV as I want.  The Olympics are the reason we have channels on our television.  (Honestly - Last Olympics, we couldn't get the antennae to work and only got the Spanish soap opera channel.  We got Dish purely to not miss the Olympics.)  Check out our Olympic-themed meal!  I made this for the Opening Ceremony.  What to do for the Closing?  Something that looks like a person weeping?  :)


dessert: fruit pizza with blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, bananas, & grapes




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"The idea of being taught consideration by a man who had just blasted away
half his living room wall seemed to be causing him intense suffering."
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Friday, February 21, 2014

all things

I was playing a game with my cousins.  For the sake of ease, let's call this game Scattergories.  It wasn't, but it was similar enough that now you all know what I'm talking about without having to read a lengthy description.

Anyway.

One of the cousins was on the low end of the game's age recommendation, so some of the questions were a struggle for her.  At one point, she threw her pencil down and said, "I can't do this!"  Her sister argued that she could, but she stood her ground.  "No, I can't!  I can't do these."  To which her sister replied, "(her name here)!  Yes, you can!  'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!'"

About Scattergories.

I was shocked at her reference.  I was taken aback that anyone would use a scripture when encouraging someone to play Scattergories with them.

but I was also impressed.  That application of scripture really resounded with me; it meant much more than whether someone was doing well at Scattergories.  It was a strong, in-my-face reminder that the Gospel applies to every situation.  EVERY one.  And, I'll be honest, to hear someone's outburst that God can even help us play Scattergories showed me how much faith she had and how little I have when it comes to unimportant situations.

No, that's not right.  I have a strong belief that God helps in everything.  I just never thought of something like a party game being something to ask for help over.  But why not?  He cares.  Why not ask?




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"'...It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.'"
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire