I Win!

So today was the day that Maya and I did our 'date with Grandma' that she earned as a reward for dry panties. (it's cool to be the reward!! Gotta love that!) We met at Pei Wei (Natie was on her cupcake quest and I was having a shot in my foot -- another story but it's dang sore) for lunch and after eating, we separated. (side note: since I am not much of a picture taker, I forgot the camera -- and Natie forgot her memory card so no pics of this event! Sigh.)

I took Maya to the mall with me so that she could do whatever her heart desired for her reward. First stop: Build-a-Bear (of course!) to make their newest 'bear' -- a ghost. She was so tickled with her -- she made a sound for it (herself going 'oooooo, oooooo' - -very spooky) and then stuffed her, named her(Ghostie Cottam) and picked out a new outfit for her. Ghostie had a tank top and skirt on when Maya looked at me and said "Grandma, she needs to be modest! Let's get her a sweater!" So we did, of course. Who am I to let Ghostie be immodest, anyhow?

After all that fun, we went on to Dippin' Dots where Maya made her choice for the day: rainbow! She settled herself onto our favorite bench and totally enjoyed her treat. Then -- time for a potty stop (because wet panties during your dry panties reward is out of the question!) so we ran back to Nordstrom, where they have the nicest potties.

Before we left Nordstroms, we had to check out their pink cookies - -which, just FYI, were delicious. We enjoyed those as well, and then spotted Lamme's Candies, where Maya remembered that her Mama loved their pralines. So of course we made a stop, where she chose some pralines for Mama, candy sticks for Maya and a lollipop for Bubs.

Then we headed for home so she could show her loot to her Mom, after which we continued on to Grandma's house for 'rest' time. Actually we built a fort out of chairs and blankets (with Monkey's help), hung out inside it with a flashlight, and watched a little Arthur. Not very restful maybe, but lots of fun.

All in all, I think I was a fun reward and hereby volunteer to be the reward anytime! What a reward -- for ME!


What's your favorite?

Do you have a favorite commercial? At the moment, mine is the cell phone commercial, the one where the dad goes to his kids “each of the five of us can call five people for free, so it’s like 26 people”. And the kids roll their eyes and say “dad, five times five is twenty five, not twenty six.” And he says “No, you have to carry the nine. Five times five is twenty six.” And then the mom deadpans “kids, this is why you have to stay in school.” Gotta love this one.

Can't say I'm a fan of the Geico commercials with the cave men but I think a lot of people like them.

So fill me in. What's your favorite? Or non-favorite?


A little girl, asked where her home was, replied, "Where mother is." (Keith L Brooks)

What a sweet statement on the importance of mom in the family. Home is wherever mom is.

I remember hearing Neal A. Maxwell say something along the lines of "Good homes are still the best source of good humans." So good humans are to be found in good homes -- which is wherever mom is.

Elder Gene R. Cook told the story of a fire that completely destroyed a family's home. Soon after, a neighbor came over to console their seven-year-old but was taught a great lesson himself. "Johnny, it's sure too bad that your home burned down." Johnny's reply? "Oh, that was not our home. That was just our house. We still have our home, we just don't have a place to put it right now."

Home. That's what it's all about. Wherever it is.


What Would You Like to Hear?

Three friends died in a car accident and once they arrived in heaven, they were asked, "When you are in your casket and family and friends are mourning over you, what would you like to hear them say about you?" (side note: I really thought about this as I read this story!)

The first man says, "I would like to hear them say that I was a great doctor of my time and a great family man."

The second man says, "I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher who made a huge difference in our children of tomorrow."

The last man replies, "I would like to hear them say, 'Look! He's moving!' "
You may laugh at this (and I did -- I agree with the last guy completely!) -- but it did make me think. I am not ready to leave this life and move on. There are things I need to do, want to do, and need to perfect. So for me, the lesson is clear: Make the most of every minute. Savor the beauty around you. Live life to the fullest. Learn from every experience, good or bad, then move on and do better. Remember always that life is really just a homeward journey back to the presence of God.

Too often we put things off till tomorrow -- but the reality is that we may not have tomorrow. We don't know how many tomorrows we get. So hug that little one, tell someone you love them. Be an example. Live your testimony. The only thing you can be sure of is that you have this day. Don't waste it.

Ah -- Lost Horizon!

Back in 1973, Hollywood remade the old Frank Capra movie "Lost Horizon" as a musical. I am dorky and cheesy enough to be willing to admit that I loved it. However, it was pretty much universally loathed by movie critics. Generally, audiences didn't like it much either. The music was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, but according to critics, the music didn't fit the ageless message of the movie, the story of Shangri-La. Critics agreed that the movie was too long, the characters were poorly cast, and that the music didn't work at all.

As you might imagine, it's hard to buy a copy of it as no one liked it and there are few copies available. (side note: I want it!) I loved the music and I loved the messages of many of the songs. There is one song entitled "Reflections" that was sung by Sally Kellerman (didn't know she sang, did you? Well, she's not much of a singer but it worked for that role) that had a very catchy tune and great words. I have the CD and I still think it has a great message.

"When you look at yourself, do you like what you see?
If you like what you see, you're the person you should be.
For your reflection reflects in everything you do,
And everything you do reflects on you.

When you wake up each day, do you like how you feel?
If you like how you feel, you've got nothing to conceal.
For your reflection reflects in everything you do,
And everything you do reflects on you.

Doing something for someone else isn't really for someone else;
It does twice as much for you as something you do just for yourself.

When you lay down to sleep, do you like all your dreams?
If you like all your dreams, life's as happy as it seems.
For your reflection reflects in everything you do,
And everything you do reflects on you."

I love the comment on doing something for someone else -- it's so true that service does more for you than for the person you are serving. Even the smallest act of service that I do for someone else makes me far happier than I imagine it does them!

Great message, and another fun trip down Memory Lane. Sigh. Loved that one -- too bad I was a member of a very small minority!



Today Natie and I packed up the kiddoes and met our friend (and my counselor) Jane at the mall. We had such a good time -- Jane and I both did some returns, then the real shopping began and we had great luck with our mall finds today. Natalie found a cute top/dress at Old Navy, which I'm sure she'll fill you in on. She plans to wear it over black leggings and I'm sure will look awesome on her. (I didn't get to see it on as we were tag-teaming with dressing rooms and kiddoes at that point.

We found a wonderful little hat for Maya, to go with an outfit she has from the Gap (matches the outfit seen above) and is the perfect finishing touch. She also got a great shirt at Talbots, which was a bit of a surprise as I didn't even know they carried kids' stuff. They have a fun assortment of cute things, just FYI. I did well there too -- found a skirt to wear at my nephew's upcoming wedding, (pictured above in my messy closet) another skirt just because I liked it, and a top that's completely cute and will match a lot of what I already own. Much of it was heavily discounted which is always a plus.
Poor Mason! Once again, the boys don't do all that well on a girls' shopping trip. Lucky for him, he just doesn't care. As long as he got his lunch at Chick-Fil-A (he did) and his Snickerdoodle cookie from Nordstrom, he was happy. He's such a good shopper -- mostly wants to sit in the stroller and be cute and he's really good at that. Fun morning.


Friends -- a Precious Commodity

"I'd like to be the sort of friend that you have been to me.
I'd like to be the help that you are always glad to be.
I'd like to mean as much to you each minute of the day
As you have meant, dear friend of mine, to me along the way."
(Author Unknown)

A great big hug and a heartfelt thank-you goes out to all my friends out in the blogging world -- thank you so much for your loving words, your support, your kindness and your thoughts. I can't explain why I've been feeling so down lately. There is no good reason for it. I'm an excessively blessed person and I know it. I have a wonderful husband and family, I'm healthy, I have a calling that I love (I'm not in love with being the Primary president, but I"m in love with the Primary children for sure), I have a wonderful presidency to work with, a lovely home, and a great life. And I'm a Grandma! It doesn't get better than this -- so what's wrong with me??? I wish I knew!

Today I discovered that my Natalie has done something wonderful for me (again!). She is, as I have said before, so dear to my heart and never stops loving me and taking care of me. When I looked at her blog, I sat at the computer with tears as I read the things you all wrote. Thank you, thank you, thank you! What a gift!
Your words helped give me the determination to find a way to BE HAPPY -- and I'm going back to the basics. I need more sleep. I need to be more diligent with my scripture study. I need to keep exercise on my schedule. I need to be more prayerful -- to pray both more fervently and more in depth. I need to work harder on my calling. I need to love more unconditionally.

And I continue to push on. Lots of love going out to every one of you, my friends. Thank you!



"I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast and I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed, my presence makes sense and my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tainted visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, positions, promotions, plaudits or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded.

I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed. I will not flinch at the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the cause of Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me, and when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear." (Henry B. Eyring)

I wish I could say that this quote describes me - but it doesn't. It's me as I would like to be and as I continue to strive to be. I'm really feeling low lately, with no real reason I can pinpoint and I need to read and re-read this to keep myself strong, because I want what Elder Eyring describes in the end: " . . . when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me." So I continue trying.


My Nicest Blessings

I am reading the book "Saving Graces" by Elizabeth Edwards (former political candidate John Edwards' wife) and have learned a lot from it. Her family has experienced and continues to experience huge trials. She has a lot to say about how she has found solace and strength in both friends and strangers. One of her best insights, I think, is her comment on community: "We didn't have to be the same; we just had to recognize what a great blessing we could be to one another."

I loved that. There are so many people that I don't have a lot in common with but have learned to love and enjoy in my life. What I know now is that we need each other and we need to understand what a blessing we can be to each other.
I like the way Peter DeVries says it as well: "Our business in life is not to see through one another, it is to see one another through."

There are a few really special people in my cranky life that make such a difference to me. The email messages that come at exactly the right moment, the ongoing love and friendship, the quiet understanding, the non-judgemental acceptance of me as I am, the wonderful relationships we are either just starting or continuing -- these people continue to be such bright spots in my life, usually when I need their brightness most.

I think it was Elaine Cannon that said something like this (and I am paraphrasing here): "Sometimes it's not that you did something for someone, it's that you are something to someone that makes all the difference."

This is what I have in abundance -- people that really are something to me. I consider them to be my nicest blessings. Thanks, friends, for being something important to me.



"When I was very young, most of my childhood heroes wore capes, flew through the air, or picked up buildings witn one arm. They were spectacular and got a lot of attention. But as I grew, my heroes changed, so that now I can honestly say that anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me." (Fred Rogers)

Can I just say how much I love that quote? I have such strong feelings about children. I don't think there is a single area concerning children that I don't care deeply about. I want all children to be cared for, treated fairly and kindly, enjoyed, taught, and most important, loved. There is a place in my heart that really opens wide when I see someone who is a true light in a child's life. That's all that children really need or want: to be loved, protected, valued, respected and accepted. That's not so hard, is it?

We live in a world where children are mistreated daily. I don't have children living in my home anymore, but I have a personal goal that any contact I have with any child will be a positive one. You never know what is really going on at home, and the possibility exists that I could be the only light in a small, precious life.

Children need heroes in their lives.


Total Momsense!

All you moms out there -- check this one out. I'm still laughing!

I do love Shoes!

I think I must be ready for fall -- I'm totally into shoes right now (even more than usual!). Woman's Day had a great article about new shoes for fall, complete with prices and info on where to find them. Check it out here. I want one of each, please!


Loving the Children

Finding God

"I helped a little child to see
That God had made a willow tree,
And God became more real to me.

I tried to lead a child through play
To grow more Christ-like every day,
And I myself became that way.

I joined a little child in prayer,
And as we bowed in worship there
I felt anew God's loving care.

Lord, keep us ever quick o see
By guiding children, we find thee."

This is the message I'd love to get across to reluctant Primary workers. It's always a struggle to get teachers for classes, cub scout leaders for the boys, activity day leaders for the girls, and sometimes even getting subs becomes complicated. A great many people announce that they want a calling 'anywhere but Primary'.

The sad truth is that while the kids do miss out when they don't have a regular teacher, the adults are cheating themselves. I am always enriched and uplifted by the experiences I have in Primary on Sundays. Sure, there are always headaches that go along with it - -but when you can sit with the children in Primary and feel the spirit more strongly than you have in a very long time, it is a huge blessing.

I'm endlessly grateful for the wonderful teachers and leaders we do have -- we have some of the highest-quality, most loving and willing teachers you can imagine. As I look around the room every Sunday I'm filled with love and gratitude for them and the love they share with the children. But we need more!

I often tell the children that if Jesus was visiting our ward, He would be in Primary with us. And I believe that. That's where I want to be.

Baby pictures

I loved looking at Jori's pictures, and then following Shelley's link to her pictures - -so I thought I'd share this favorite poem (got it from my daughter some years ago) along with a couple of old pics.

Baby Picture

So you were I . . .
I can't think through
To that forgotten time
When I was You.

Could your clear eyes
What is in my own,
Would you
Feel disappointment
At the Me
To which
You've grown?
(Amy Atwater)

What a great comment on becoming. We know this life is a process but as I look into the face of the little girl that once was me, I find myself hoping she could look back at me and be proud at who she has become. I'm working on it. I really am.


Make the Most of Today

"The purpose of life is to listen -- to yourself, to your neighbor, to your world and to God and, when the time comes, to respond in as helpful a way as you can find . . . from within and without". (Fred Rogers) Each day is a gift and we need to try to use as such.

So the scripture that tells us to "Choose you this day whom ye will serve; . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord", (Joshua 24:15) makes it very clear. Not tomorrow, not when we get good and ready, not when it is convenient -- but "this day," -- now, today, we must choose whom we will serve and make it clear in the way we live.


I Feel the Spirit

Today was my day in Primary to do Sharing Time and I spent the past week or so really pondering and praying over how to accomplish my goal, which was to teach the children how we feel the spirit -- and then create an atmosphere so that they could actually do that and know from experience what it felt like. I'd gone back and forth in my mind, gone through my list of ideas and had had a hard time nailing down exactly how I thought I could accomplish this.

I decided last night to take the simplest possible approach -- knowing that time would be short as it was Ward Conference today and that Sacrament meeting could run long (it did), and also that we'd have a member of the Stake Presidency giving a message which, while being really great for the kids (it was), would take more time. I also knew I'd have the entire Stake Primary Presidency sitting in the back, watching the action. So I really wanted them to see what a wonderful group of Primary kids we have. I had prayed a lot about it and like I said, decided to keep it simple.

Jr. Primary (which meets first) was pretty chaotic. For some reason the little ones were all stirred up and there was a lot of crying from kids who never do, lots of talking from kids who always do, and in general, a lot of unrest. This didn't give me any confidence in the idea I had settled on. Once we were through with opening exercises, talks, prayers, Stake Presidency message etc. we had the kids sing "Love is Spoken Here". I know that music always brings the spirit and it really did.

Things had been pretty noisy up to that point but as I spoke with the children and gave them instructions, it was like peace settled over all of us and every one of those little ones gathered around me on the floor for story time. It was so powerful to see them drinking in the message, listening to the story and feeling the spirit. It was so strong -- and I just knew it couldn't be repeated in Senior Primary.

But it was, even more strongly than in Jr Primary. I credit the spirit for the way it turned out -- and music. There is a little song that was published in the Friend some time ago called "I Feel the Spirit" that we used with both groups and it made all the difference.

I came away so fulfilled, so happy and so grateful that prayers are answered. It amazes me that Heavenly Father is aware of one Primary President, who He blessed so that her Sharing Time accomplished exactly what she wanted it to: to let the children feel an outpouring of the spirit. I don't think they will forget it. I know I won't.


Thanks, friends!

I've had a lovely birthday, even though Mark is out of town and not here to help celebrate. Chris, Natalie, Maya and Mason, along with Math, though, have helped make this a wonderful day. Starting with Shipley donuts and presents first thing in the morning, to a fabulous Pei Wei lunch, to shopping and shopping and shopping (Maya's comment when we put her back in the car the last time: "Can we go home now? I'm worn out!" -- and she was!), even building a bear at Build-a-Bear, and then of course the icing on the cake (or should I say the cherry on the ice cream sundae?) was watching Chris crowned the first winner of the Austin Ice Cream Festival Ice Cream Eating Contest. (see Natie's blog for specifics and pics).

And now as I'm checking my email and blog reading, I'm finding lots and lots of messages with good wishes from each of you. Thank you! It's strange to feel like I know all of you, but understanding that it's very possible there are some that I will likely never meet. This is definitely a different way to cultivate friendships but that's what I feel we are doing and I love it.

"In friendship . . . we think we have chosen our peers. In reality, a few years difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another. . . the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting -- any of these chances might have kept us apart. But for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret Master of Ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciple "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends, "Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another." The friendshp is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding each another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of others." (C.S. Lewis)

I find such beauty in each of you -- thank you for sharing it with me!


Maya Loves Monkey

Our Matthew is currently living here with us and loves the bonus that provides of time with the kiddoes. He loves being an uncle, nearly as much as the little ones love him. Maya calls him Monkey - -I think it started when she was little and couldn't say "Uncle Matty" so it sort of turned into "Unca Monkey" and has ended just being "Monkey". Now that's just who he is -- Monkey.

Recently, he and Maya were playing with sand out in the yard and as they were doing clean-up, inevitably it turned into a water fight. They both had a ball, chasing each other around the yard with the hose and soaking each other. Then not long after that, he (knowing how Maya especially loves dress-up) presented both Maya and Mason with dinosaur costumes that he had ordered for them. They loved the costumes and it was such fun to see they enjoyed their surprise from Monkey.

I love seeing how much he loves all the kiddoes and how much they, in turn, love him. Everybody needs someone like Monkey in their lives. He's a dinosaur costume provider, he's a water-fighter and chaser with the hose, and he's great at hide-and-seek. Gotta love that. Qualifications every uncle should have, right?
Monkey is a stellar uncle!


According to Fred . . .

"Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person. There have been so many stories about the lack of courtesy, the impatience of today's world, road rage, and even restaurant rage. Sometimes, all it takes is one kind word to nourish another person. Think of the ripple effect that can be created when we nourish someone. One kind empathetic word has a wonderful way of turning into many." (Fred Rogers)

Kind words make such a difference. Mother Teresa said it this way: "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."

I'd love to think that something I did or said made a difference in a positive way to someone. That's my goal: to try to start that ripple effect with someone today.

Fun with Maya

I got to spend this afternoon with Maya. When she expressed that desire ("Grandma, I really want to come to your house for my rest time!"), it was OK with her mom, and definitely OK with me so I strapped her into her booster seat in my car and we headed over here.

She is a most precious little girl -- so bright and silly. I keep a little outfit here in a drawer for her (in case of any accidents or messes) and she invariably wants to 'put on that cute pink outfit, Grandma' -- so that was the first thing she did. Then she settled in for a 'rest' while she watched a few episodes of Arthur and Clifford the big Red Dog -- and then she decided rest time was over. So she found a little frog I have (a gift from a good friend in Reno) and decided it was her birthday present so we had to wrap it. So we did that. After that, we had to blow up some of those long skinny balloons and she knew I could make something fun out of them. I did - a flower. Yay for me -I'm so not creative! Good thing Maya doesn't care. Then she decided we needed treats and should make some cookies ("Please, Grandma! I'm a really good baker!") So we made some cookies and of course had to put sprinkles on at least half of them because she is the sprinkle queen.

Then we had to dance. Yup, we danced. I'm not a great dancer, as you might imagine, but when Maya says dance, I dance. About that time, her mom called and said she was coming over to pick her up and that's when my heart sank. It always does when it's time for the kiddoes to go back home. I know she belongs to her mom and dad and I would never try to interfere with that -- but I love having her here with me. She's another of those shining moments I talked about before.
A big sparkly shining moment, in a nearly-4-year-old body. What a gift.

Shining Moments

Today I'm thinking about good stuff in my life. Last night, I spent most of the evening with friends who are very dear to me. For a while, I was feeling a little bit overwhelmed by all of it -- first that Natalie would take the time to organize a get-together, and then that people took time from their families to come and spend the evening with me.

I was so grateful to have that time with them, to stop our lives and spend some time visiting together. As I looked around that table, I considered that little slice of time we were suspended in to be a shining moment - - something very special and wonderful. One of those good friends knows I like uplifting thoughts and gave me a copy of "Widsom from the World of Mr. Rogers: Important things to Remember" and I love it already. He is full of great little zingers -- you know -- things that sort of push you toward an 'aha' moment. Here's his take on shining moments:

"In the external scheme of things, shining moments are as brief as the twinkling of an eye, yet such twinklings are what eternity is made of -- moments when we human beings can say 'I love you,' 'I'm proud of you,' 'I forgive you,' 'I'm grateful for you.' That's what eternity is made of: invisible, imperishable good stuff."

That's how I felt about looking around that table, loving each of those women, and enjoying the time we had together. That's the good stuff. It really is.


Filling My Soul

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul". (John Muir)

I believe that. We all need more than food to be strong. We need places of beauty where we can play, pray, and breathe in the beauty that surrounds us. It could be anywhere, really. It could be your back yard. It could be somewhere like the Sacred Grove. It could be up in the mountains, or on a beach. It could be what you see as you drive from your neighborhood to another. There is beauty everywhere. We just have to recognize it as such.

As I look around and take in all that there is to love and enjoy, once again I'm grateful. Not only for all the beautiful things I can see, but for the ability to really see them, love them and be strengthened and uplifted by them.

"To be blind is bad, but worse is to have eyes and not see". (Helen Keller)

My spirit is renewed and restored by nature every time I look around. Daily I remind myself how thankful I am to live where I do, where there is so much beauty to nourish my soul.


Wow - I got tagged. This will require some thinking and I'm not so good at that but here goes:

4 things about me you may not have known:
1. I've had 27 addresses since getting married (I know, I know - hard to believe, but true)
2. I went to BYU for 4 years back in the '70's, majoring in Music Ed., but fell in love, got married, got pregnant and that was it for my education. All I had left to do was student teach and wondered why my parents were not happy. I went back in 2001 and graduated from UNLV with a degree in Communication Studies in 2004. I loved it, did well, and fully intended to go on and get a masters degree but then I met Maya and that was it for me. I didn't want school to cut into my time with her.
3. I used to be fat. Very fat.
4. I always wanted a house full of kids but was officially retired from birthin' babies at age 26. It was hard to take at the time.
5. I taught Seminary for 15 years. (I know I am only supposed to list 4 things but this has to be a record!)

4 Jobs I've had:
1. Cashier at the movie theater in Lethbridge, Alberta
2. Front desk at Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton Lakes National Park
3. Asst. manager of Northern Reflections store in Nashville, TN.
4. Elementary school music teacher, also in Nashville. (my favorite of all)

4 Movies I can watch over and over:
1. Grease (cheesy, I know but I like it)
2. Pretty much any Harry Potter
3. Toy Story (learned that from Maya)
4. Napoleon Dynamite

4 Favorite TV shows:
1. The Amazing Race
2. Hell's Kitchen (again, I know, -- but it was fun)
3. Monk (I even wrote a 35 page paper on this show for a class in college a few years ago)
4. Dancing with the Stars (mostly because I know I couldn't do it)

4 Favorite Hobbies:
1. Grandma-ing. I love spending time with these little ones. What a gift!
2. Primary. I love the kids -- and I guess since it's my calling, it's not a hobby but it sort of is.
3. Reading. I'll read pretty much anything but hate to recommend much since I read (like I said), anything, trashy stuff included.
4. Shopping and eating out. No explanation required, I'm sure.

Places I have lived:
1. Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
2. Provo and SLC Utah
3. Boise, Idaho
4. Indianapolis, Indiana
5. Colorado Springs and Denver, Colorado
6. Nashville, Tennessee
7. Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada
8. Austin, Texas. (I think we're here for good -- we love it here!)

4 Favorite Foods:
1. Quaker popcorn cake snacks (they come in 90 calorie packages and I love them)
2. Diet Coke
3. Diet Limeade from Sonic
4. Chicken - pretty much prepared any way at all.

4 Places I'd rather be right now:
1. Shopping. A bad day shopping is still better than a good day doing almost anything else.
2. Hawaii -- I've never been and I really really want to go
3. On a cruise -- see above
4. Playing with the kiddoes

4 Websites I check daily:
1. Yahoo email
2. Blogging friends
3. Google -- many purposes!
4. tvtattle.com -- I want the scoop

4 Places I've been on vacation:
1. Alberta and British Columbia
2. Disneyland
3. Fort Lauderdale, Florida -- loved it!
4. Port Aransas, Texas -- loved that too. I love the beach.

4 Nicknames:
1. Jannywan
2. Janzer
3. Bootsie (long story there)
4. Louchie (see above)

I don't think there's anyone left to tag -- but if you haven't been tagged, you're it.


Fun stuff - check it out!

I stumbled upon a great site with really cute items for the home: cocktail and lunch/dinner napkins, place mats, and a long list of other fun stuff. It's mostly personalizable (is that a word?) and there's a huge variety. Check out To Bee Named and see what you think. The above are napkins and place mats -- there's a lot more to look at. Fun stuff!