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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wednesday Thoughts

I visited my grandma this evening. She said something that was so good, I asked her to repeat it so I could video tape it:


video

Please ignore the weird "yelp" sound I made when I was trying to quickly say "yep." I promise I don't usually bark my words.

It made me laugh, but as soon as I was done taping, her voice got choked up because she really meant what she said. It breaks her heart that I'm not married yet. You would think that would make me feel guilty or something but it doesn't. I know she's not trying to guilt me, she just wants me to be happy. Every time I visit her, I assure her that "I'm doing my best" and "there's still time." Both of which I'm pretty sure I believe.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Seussical, The Musical

This weekend, my niece was in a musical called "Seussical, The Musical." She played one of the "Who's" in the chorus. She's been rehearsing for months and did such a great job! She was adorable with her "Who" hair:




I went to see the play Sunday afternoon. Because everyone in my family had been to see it earlier in the weekend, I asked my sister, Heather, if her younger kids would like to go again so I wouldn't have to go by myself. She said she was sure they would, and she was right! When I pulled up to their house, the kids were watching out the window for me and immediately came running out their front door carrying their car seats. I was glad they were so enthusiastic about seeing it again!

We got there pretty early so we sat in the theater for about a half hour before it started, just chatting and watching the screen where they projected fun facts about Dr. Seuss, including the fact that he wrote one book for adults called, "The Seven Lady Godivas." They showed the cover of the book on the screen:


Imagine seeing this pop up on the screen when you're sitting next to a six year old boy. He started giggling and I struggled not to join in. He saw my struggle and started giggling harder. Then he asked me, "What do you think of that bum in the back?" Trying to teach a lesson about making fun of overweight people, I said, "I like it as much as the others." Then immediately realized that is not what I meant. I mean, I didn't "like" any of them, necessarily. I don't know what message I ended up sending him, but I don't think it was the right one. Probably that I'm into butts.

In another similar incident, he said to me, "I have to tell you something kind of funny. A boy in my class, Kevin, signed up to be..... a cheerleader! He's a boy!" His giggling made me start to giggle, but I stopped myself and said, "I hope you didn't tease him about that." He assured me that he didn't, and I changed the subject before I could start giggling again at his giggling.

Here's me with the kids. The 5 year old sat on my lap the entire play. It was pretty funny because she couldn't resist dancing throughout most of the play. And she preferred if I bounced my knees to help her really move. When I stopped, she'd pat my knees to get me bouncing again, like I was a horse.


My nephew roped me into scratching his back for most of the play too. Every time I'd stop, he'd give me a "look" and point at his back, indicating that I should get back to work. Ha!

Here are the three of them after the play:


It was a very fun day and those kids just make me laugh so much. On the way there, my nephew told me he was "excellent at counting by 5's" then proceeded to show me. My littlest niece listened then said, proudly, "he's really good at it!"

And my little Who niece did such a good job in the play. I never would have had the courage to do something like that at eight years old. I was a very proud aunt!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cake Auction!

This year I was asked to be the Girls Camp leader for my ward (church unit), as I've mentioned on here before. The first hurdle in this responsibility was the fundraiser. This ward has a cake auction every year for their fundraiser. This year we decided to mix it up a little bit and have my uncle be the auctioneer as Elvis!

We also had entertainment in the form of a six year old girl singing an adorable song about cookies, a wonderful trio (including my mom and aunt), and some of the young men did a hilarious dance that cracked the whole crowd up! As you can see here:



Behind the scenes: getting ready to serve tables:


Just some of the yummy cakes that were sold:






 
A thank you tray I made for our adult volunteers. They were slaving away the whole night!

 

The "for sale" (not auction) table, at the beginning of the night:


Elvis, running the live auction:


Elvis, performing:


Elvis was a huge hit! Everyone loved him. My uncle is a really great performer. One kid asked his mom if it was the real Elvis. Another kid said to his mom, "Elvis was SO cool! I wished he was my dad!! But my dad's pretty cool too."

Overall, I think the night was a success. Everyone seemed to be having a great time. And thanks to the generosity of the ward, we made a lot of money to help the girls go to camp. The volunteers who helped were just amazing too. Every time I turned around, someone was vacuuming, washing dishes, or clearing tables. I just felt overwhelmed with gratitude for how willing people were to help. And the girls did a great job too. They worked hard to make sure everyone was happy and well fed!

The fundraiser was a lot of work, and a lot of planning. But I'm glad I was able to be a part of it. It was a fun night and helped me to appreciate the wonderful people in the ward even more than I already did!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday Thoughts

Last night at a youth activity at church, we made chocolate candies with the young women. They'll be selling them at the camp fundraiser this weekend so if you plan on attending that (which you should!), I highly recommend you buy a box! The candies are shockingly delicious! Here's a picture of the inside:


Nomnomnomnomnomnomnom... seriously. So good! Some of them have blueberries on the inside if cherries aren't your thang.*

Anyway, the girls seemed to have a lot of fun dipping the candies. Near the end of the activity though, when the dipping was done, they started having fun with the extra chocolate.


I posted this picture on Facebook and a few people commented or messaged me saying that it reminded them of an old Mormonad. For those of you who aren't Mormons, Mormonads are posters with messages aimed at the youth. Here's the one they were referring to:


In other Wednesday Thoughts, today is the first day of spring! (Insert "why is it going to snow today, then!?" joke here. That is actually happening, by the way.) It gives me hope though that it's official, even it if won't feel like spring for another month or so. Does it feel like spring where you are?

This is what it looks like here:



Happy Wednesday! 

*not a typo

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Positive self image

A friend of mine posted an article on Facebook today from the website www.beautyredefined.net. I had never heard of this website before, and this is the first article I'd read from them but it made a real impact on me. It was about self image and how hard it is to attain a healthy one.

Like most women (and probably men?), I big-time struggle with self esteem and body image. I'm constantly setting goals to exercise more and eat less. And when I don't meet those goals, I mentally berate myself and imagine my future happiness slipping away because of my big butt. I put way too much emphasis on my appearance and assume that true love is only found when you're able to fit in a certain size jeans.

It's not an easy way to live.

And because of that mindset, this article really spoke to me. It talked about ways we can be healthier without the mental abuse we so often inflict upon ourselves. They also listed some ways to do this! Because it is easier just to stay on this page than to go to another, I will copy them here. Just remember, none of the following is my own content. It all came from this article.

I hope that if you struggle like I do, this is helpful to you!

Set a true fitness goal: If you’ve held yourself back from running, biking, swimming, etc., because you felt self-conscious about what to wear, how red your face gets from the workout, sweating in public, (the list goes on), it’s time to set a goal and fight to achieve it!  Make this goal about your abilities and you’ll be much less inclined to care about what you look like doing it. Run a certain distance without stopping. Swim 10 laps faster than ever before. Do a certain number of crunches, push-ups, pull-ups, new dance moves – any fitness achievement measured in actions and not numbers on a scale, measuring tape or clothing tag.
Leave your keys at home: If you drive or take public transportation to work, school, or elsewhere when you could be walking or biking instead, why not give it a try? Increasing activity is a beautiful way to release endorphins to feel happier, get your heart pumping and enjoy the outside world!
Forget your number: If you tend to fixate on your weight, measurements or clothing sizes, pledging to leave those numbers behind is your key to freedom!  Make a goal to stop or limit the number  of times you weigh or measure yourself.  It turns out that when we fixate on arbitrary numbers, that often gets in the way of our health.  Start judging your health through your activity level by setting a fitness goal (see No. 1) instead of a meaningless number, and you’ll get somewhere great!
Can the tan: Studies show the first time you set foot in a tanning bed, you increase your chances of skin cancer by as much as 75%! This stat alone is good enough reason to set a goal to limit the time you spend tanning or stop it entirely. The tan skin ideal is fleeting, leads to other “beauty” problems like wrinkles and skin spots, and is achievable through much less harmful means if it’s a look you just have to have.
Stop negative self-talk: Too many girls and women have a constant script of mean thoughts about themselves running through their minds. Recent studies show us that girls who don’t like their bodies become more sedentary over time and pay less attention to having a healthy diet. If you think you’re gross and worthless, why would you take care of yourself? Set a goal to stop saying negative things about yourself. Start with a day, a week, a month, whatever you can do, and make it a permanent practice!
Think nice thoughts instead: On the flipside of the last study, research has found that girls who respect their bodies are more likely to be physically active and eat healthy. They are less likely to gain unnecessary weight and they make healthy lifestyle choices way into the future.  Since what we THINK about our bodies has a strong connection to how we TREAT our bodies, set a goal to shut out negative thoughts as they come and replace them with positive truths!
Put your $ where your mouth is: Make a goal to only shop at stores that treat females respectfully in their advertising and products.  Speaking up with your pocketbook is one of the most powerful ways you can show retailers what you will and will not put up with.
Speak up: When you see a media message that goes against what you believe about girls and women, let your voice be heard. Make a resolution to write to companies that produce and distribute offensive messages, as well as those that you appreciate for showing females as valuable for more than being looked at. This year, we’ve seen major companies pull advertising and products that were offensive because girls and women speak up!  Let this be the year you let your voice be heard.
Go on a media fast: Choose a day, a week, a month or longer to steer clear of as much media as you can. That way, you can see how your life is different without all those messages and images, and when you return to viewing and reading popular media, you will be more sensitive to the messages that hurt you and those that are unrealistic.
Just say “no”: Set a goal to cancel out any media choices you view or read that tell you lies about what it means to be a female. Cancel subscriptions, throw away crappy things you already own, find a new TV show to love. You’ll thank yourself!
Picture perfect: If you are a photographer or like to take pictures, set a goal to steer clear of any Photoshopping or image manipulation that Photoshops those in your pictures out of reality. Signs of life are important and we need to see reality!
Mother knows best: If you are a mother, set a goal to never speak negatively about your appearance in front of your children — especially daughters. Your kids are listening whether you like it or not, and they will learn how to view themselves from your example.
Mirror, mirror: Critically analyze how much time you spend in front of the mirror. Could any of that time be better spent? If you see a need to cut back, set a goal to shave off a few minutes in front of the mirror each day and set it aside for something more meaningful for yourself or others.
Be an advocate: If you teach or lead a youth group of any sort, set a goal to integrate body-positive messages, media literacy and real health goals into your curriculum. Young people are in desperate need of positive, empowering messages to counteract the harmful ones they’re surrounded by each day. It will absolutely take extra time and effort, but we promise it will be well worth your while.
Compliments that count: Make a resolution to compliment girls and women for more than those easy comments on pretty hair, weight loss, clothing, etc.  When we minimize other females to just their bodies, we forget to remind them of their beautiful talents, characters, and gifts!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A St. Patty's Day Treat

Tomorrow's St. Patrick's Day! The day where if you don't wear green, you can expect to be pinched right and left. A day where you most likely will consume more green food coloring than you have since Christmas. A day where a leprechaun might lead you to a bucket of gold or something. I've never really understood the roll of the leprechaun but maybe one of you can teach me.

But I'm digressing. I should tell you now, I'm not all that Irish. I have one ancestor from Ireland - I think it's my fourth or fifth great-grandmother. In her honor, I thought I'd make a special St. Patty's day treat for tomorrow. St. Patrick's Day doesn't really have any obvious foods attached to it (only drinks). So I made one up! And mmmmmm it's yummy, if I do say so myself.

Here's what you need if you want to make it:



1 bag pretzel sticks
1 cup peanuts
Buncha marshmallows
White chocolate (whole bag)
Green chocolate (half bag)
Mint m&ms
Sprinkles
Wax paper surface

First you lay out the wax paper on your kitchen counter. Pour the cup of peanuts on that, sort of spread out.



Then, you melt the chocolate (both the white and green together) on low heat. And you have to keep an eye on this stuff. Keep the heat pretty low otherwise the chocolate will burn. I don't know what it is about white chocolate but it's a total butthead about melting. It looooooves burning and getting all gloppy. If you have a double boiler, go ahead and use that. If you wanted to microwave it in a large bowl, that would be fine too. Whatever floats your boat.



Once it's all melted, add the pretzels - the whole bag! Then you stir, stir stir, until they're all coated.



Then you pour it onto your wax paper surface.Once you've spread it out a bit with your spoon, you add a couple handfuls of marshmallows on top, then the whole bag of mint m&ms, then the sprinkles! Then you have to wait for it to harden. After that, you gobble it up. But I really didn't have to tell you that part, did I?





Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday Thoughts

Last night I was at a youth activity at the church. We were making paper flowers for our upcoming camp fundraiser. In the room where we were working, there are three sections that can be sealed off by a sliding divider. Because it can be divided that way, there are three doors to the room, and it is a fairly long room. Last night we had all the dividers open, as we were all working together as a group. In the middle section, there was a table near the door with two plates of cookies on it.

Are you imagining it?

So, what happened next was one of the best things I've seen in awhile. There we were, working on making the flowers - laughing, talking, and focusing on what we were doing. Suddenly, someone throws a stool into the door by the table where I was working. Stunned, we all looked up to see what happened. Just then, a kid quickly comes in through the middle door, grabs a plate of cookies, and RUNS!

We were all so stunned, no one moved for a couple seconds. Then we came to our senses and several of the young women ran off after him. They eventually caught him and brought the cookies back. It turns out it was a six year old boy who was there for a boy scout meeting.

That kid is my new hero. A six year old came up with a diversion tactic!?!? Yeah, I know he shouldn't have done it, and it was "wrong" and stuff. But it was really funny. I haven't laughed that hard in awhile.

The flowers turned out beautiful too and I can't wait to decorate with them for the fundraiser. It's so fun working with the youth!



Happy Wednesday.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tweet Tweet

I was thinking that, I don't know... maybe you guys would like to hear some funny tweets today? None of them are by me because I'm more "tripped over a rock" funny and less "actually funny." Here are some tweets that have made me literally laugh out loud (as the kids say) lately.

"Don't think I didn't see what you did at church social. I saw everything" - @ecareyo

"To keep alertness at record highs, leave half your time pieces unchanged." - @UncleDynamite

"Facebook, I'm not gonna lie to you: I will NEVER send ANYONE 'The Ultimate Birthday Cookie'." - @dwaghalter

"Whenever you scroll down to the comments section of an article, your computer should immediately shut down until you regain your senses." - @Dschnoeb

"You go, gurt!" - @oldmanweldon

"100% of my time on Facebook is me saying, 'look at this idiot' to my cat Gloria." - @GreenishDuck

"If you want to be respected, be respectful. If you want to be feared, go in the grocery store barefoot" - @bridger_winegar

"Tonight I got to pet a dog. So yeah I guess I'm doing PRETTY OKAY" - @nedroid

"I might not be rich but I'm poor." - @bridger_winegar

"Maybe a moth was eating Gilbert Grape. Ate a bunch of my sweaters you never know." - @GreenishDuck

"Simba, my son. One day you will click here to learn the one weird weight-loss trick Doctors hate." - @trevso_electric

"Rand Paul is JV compared to my wife. She filibustered me for three years straight once." - @andrewhibbard

"Ladies Eyebrows Ask for Six Month Cease-Pluck." - @UncleDynamite


Sunday, March 10, 2013

So Shines a Good Deed in a Weary World

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is one of the most twisted children's movies out there. Of course I'm referring to the version with Gene Wilder, who is completely twisted. And I love it. As a kid I wasn't so keen on it - I think I was scared of Wonka. The way he revels in the bad decisions the children make and doesn't do anything to save them when they are in danger. ("Stop. Police. Help.")

But when I revisited the movie as an adult years ago, I loved it. I loved everything about it. Wonka's weirdness is delightful to me now. Why is he so weird?? Why does he try to terrify everyone? What's up with that weird boat ride!?!? And the car wash scene? Weird, wacky stuff.

So when my friend invited me to come to a special showing of this movie at the Redford theater in Detroit, with guest appearances by the actors who played Charlie Buckett and Mike Teevee, I was suuuper excited!! And yesterday the day was finally here. It was magical, not only to hear some inside scoop from two of the stars of the movie, and see them in real life, but to watch the movie in a large theater with an equally large crowd was really special. When Charlie found the golden ticket, all the children in the theater gasped and squealed  It was adorable. When Veruca fell down the bad egg shaft, everyone cheered. And so on. It was such a fun way to experience a movie I love so much.

An extra nice touch was the organist who played music from the movie before the movie and during intermission. Magical.

Some of the inside scoop Charlie and Mike Teevee told us?

* Charlie really did sing his parts, but he didn't do his own burps in the fizzy lifting scene.
* Charlie filmed all of his running scenes before anything else, and when he finally met Gene Wilder, Gene said to him, "I never want to see you running again."
* The scene where Mike Teevee says, "Dad says I can't get a real gun," and his dad says, "Not until you're 12." took 45 takes.
* Charlie had great camaraderie with both Wonka and Grandpa Joe in real life.

Here are some pictures of the event:





"We are the magic makers and we are the dreamers of dreams."