My Family

My Family

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I used to be quite creative. Even when I had 4 little kids running around, I found some time to do creative things with my hands. My favorite thing to do - my love - was counted cross-stitch. I know - can you believe that I actually had time to do that?! Well, when I started working outside of the home, I put all creativity away. I kinda miss it. I've been cleaning out different parts of my house lately, and I've come across things like old cross-stitch magazines, old projects, etc. I even got some treasures from my grandmother - things I made for her years ago. My needlework.

Just looking at these things makes me think that maybe I can pick that HUGE project back up, and even maybe finish it! Here is my *in progress* project.

It's been in progress for forever. In my defense - it's HARD. Really HARD.

Do you think I can finish it? (Look at that package - you can tell it's an old project!)

There's just something about creating something lovely - with your own hands - that makes your world better. :-)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Third World Countries Quiz

I'm now working with the Four of Hearts Foundation - a fundraising and service group started and run by my nephews, and their friends (a bunch of teenagers!). I'm the Director of Finance and Organization. We are focusing on Guatemala - the country where their little sister, Ellie, was adopted from. My sister made up this little information quiz - I thought I'd post it here. It's an eye-opener. Take a few minutes to read it...

Mayan poverty

The following is a little quiz to give you an idea of what your life would be like if you lived in Los Robles where we will be working (we are going there in June 2010, or in any of the Mayan villages around the Lake. One point five million people live like this in Guatemala. So few people really know what it is like to live in a third world here's a little exercise in third world makes me truly feel about you???

1. Take out the furniture: leave a few old blankets, a kitchen table, maybe a wooden chair. You've never had a bed, remember?

2. Throw out your clothes. Each person in the family may keep the oldest suit or dress, a shirt or blouse. The head of the family has the only pair of shoes.

3. All kitchen appliances have vanished. Keep a box of matches, a small bag of flour, some sugar and salt, a handful of onions, a dish of dried beans. Rescue those moldy potatoes from the garbage can: those are tonight's meal.

4. Dismantle the bathroom, shut off the running water, take out the wiring and the lights and everything that runs by electricity.

5. Take away my house and move the family into the tool shed.

6. By now all the other houses in the neighborhood have disappeared; instead there are shanties - for the fortunate ones.

7. Cancel all the newspapers and magazines. Throw out the books. You won't miss them - you are now illiterate. One radio is now left for the whole shantytown.

8. No more postman, fireman, government services. The two- classroom school is 3 miles away, but only 2 of your 7 children attend anyway, and they walk.

9. No hospital, no doctor. The nearest clinic is now 10 miles away with a midwife in charge. You get there by bus if you can afford the fair or bicycle, if you're lucky enough to have one.

10. Throw out your bankbooks, stock certificates, pension plans, insurance policies. You now have a cash hoard of $5.

11. Get out and start cultivating your three acres. Try hard to raise $300 in cash crops each year because your landlord wants one-third and your moneylender 10 percent.

12. Find some way for your young children to bring in a little extra money so you have something to eat most days. How about selling on the street, anything you can get ahold of from gum and candy to alchohol. But it won't be enough to keep bodies healthy - so lop off 25 to 30 years of each life.

Can you imagine? Unfortunately this a reality for so many living in Guatemala and countries around the world. Can you step up and out of the box to help be the change in the life of a child? Can you spare some change to feed a family? If so here's your chance. Click on the donate button and make a contribution so these children won't have to find work and they will still have a meal!!

Visit and go to our Store/Donation page to donate!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Chef Matthew

My youngest son, Matthew, is a really great cook. I guess he learned young. I went off to work, after being a full-time stay-at-home-mom forever, when he went into 1st grade. That was 6-7 years ago. Rick always used to say, "Poor kid, has to cook for himself." - while he watched Matthew cooking eggs in the electric frying pan that was on the counter (the top of his head would just barely clear the counter). It was a pretty funny sight. So, what can I say - the kid learned to take care of himself. Is that so bad?! He'll thank me when he's older. Really. I don't feel guilty. At. All.

I'm actually pretty proud of him - especially when I see something like this...

Ok, so, he was really hungry a few hours ago - he didn't eat lunch (because the "only decent food - pizza - was gone" by the time he got there.). Then he asks, "Mom, do we have any vegetables?" "Yes", says I (phew). "There should be broccoli, pea pods, carrots, stuff like that." "Well, do we have any onions?" (What kid asks for onions?!) "Yes, I think so." I asked him what he was going to make and he told me... "Ramen, like Grant does. (Grant is the oldest - and went to Japan on his LDS mission, where he learned to make Ramen.) A few more questions - "What do I use in the bottom of the pan?" "Olive Oil." "Is this onion still good?" "Just cut the bad parts off - it should be fine." (This whole time I'm sitting on my butt, watching TV. In my defense, I was watching this great Glen Beck documentary.)

The next thing I know, this heavenly smell - I kid you not - wafts through the house. I get up from the couch, and go to see what's goin' on. He's got three pans on the stove - one cooking the veggies, one cooking Ramen, and one cooking a hard-boiled egg. 5 minutes later, he's finished! Combine all of the ingredients, carefully balance the chop sticks on the bowl, and voila! A masterpiece! He called for the camera - snap, snap - and then told me to upload the pics onto the computer while he eats. Here's another shot of the masterpiece. He made the veggies into a smiling face on top of the noodles. I'm not sure if I can really see it - but he swears it's there...

What an amazing kid. Oh, and he also does his own laundry - AND, he also can clean a bathroom like you've never seen! Now, I don't want to hear from any of you about neglect, ok? (I don't work outside of the home, anymore, and I try to be here whenever he is - not because he needs me, but because I love to be here when my kids are. They CRACK. ME. UP.) Believe me, his wife will one day LOVE me for "neglecting" him! ;-)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Zonked out!

Waking up - yawning...

Life is good for the Herron dog...

Show me those killer teeth!


Itchy nose!

Obviously, she loves it!

Monday, January 18, 2010

All Things Denote There Is A God

Just a few thoughts on the lesson I taught yesterday at church. I'm one of the teachers in Relief Society. We have a new manual this year, one that reviews basic gospel principles. I have to admit, I'm really excited about teaching from this manual. I share this responsibility with one other teacher, and we each teach once a month. I taught Lesson 1 yesterday. The subject of this lesson was God - Our Heavenly Father. The lesson was split into 3 sections: There Is A God, The Nature of God, Coming to Know God. As I was looking for additional material to use for this lesson, I came across 2 Ensign articles. One was in the January 2010 Ensign, entitled "God is Truly Our Father." The other article is found in the November 2009 General Conference issue of the Ensign and was written by Elder Robert D. Hales - "Seeking to Know God, Our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ." These two articles were very helpful in my preparations. I started my lesson with one of my favorite stories in the Book of Mormon - the story about Korihor, the Anti-Christ. Korihor was a member of the church who had apostatized. He went around convincing others that they didn't believe in Christ or God. He did a pretty good job. Eventually, he was taken before the prophet, Alma. The scriptures tell us that "he did rise up in great swelling words before Alma". Alma calmly answered everything Korihor said. Alma asked "Believest thou that there is a God?" Korihor answered, "Nay." Alma... "Will ye deny again that there is a God, and also deny the Christ? What evidence have ye that there is no God, or that Christ cometh not? I have all things as a testimony that these things are true; and ye also have all things as a testimony unto you that they are true; and will ye deny them? Korihor demands a sign, saying that if Alma will give him a sign, he'll then believe. And here is Alma's answer (I LOVE this part): "Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator." I just love that verse from the Book of Alma in the Book of Mormon. It contains my favorite sentence in all the scriptures: "All things denote there is a God".

Here are some of the pictures I used in my lesson - just reminders of the knowledge, and power, and creativity of God the Father... (these were taken from the Hubble Space Telescope)

Michael and I were talking about my lesson earlier in the week, and we started talking about the Universe. He showed me a video on Youtube that is really mind-blowing. It made me realize just how tiny and insignificant this world is. And yet... God loves us, cares about what goes on here, and wants us to return to him. That, to me, denotes there is a God. I testify that God is real, and He loves us - each individually. Here is the video... it's a little long, but worth the time it will take to watch it... ENJOY!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Those Bags Sure Suck!

Today I've been working on decluttering my basement. Rick and I decided to try to finish the majority of the basement, just in case one of our kids gets married and they need to live with us. A-hem. Anyway, my basement is the biggest pit - just really junky. I'm not going to take ALL of the blame, but I will admit to at least half of it. Not only does this basement have an accumulation of junk, it is FULL of hand-me-down furniture, old cabinets, our deck furniture, etc. We can hardly walk through the rooms. My poor son, Michael, is actually living down there! (I would post pictures of some of the rooms, but Rick would kill me. Literally - kill me.)

We started in the storage room, mostly because we had to put our Christmas stuff back into that room. Several years ago, Rick made these big shelves for our storage room, and they were in serious need of fixing - so Rick made them much more sturdy and we went through everything on the shelves and decluttered. It was fun. We threw away quite a bit of old stuff, I took a full load to the D.I., and then put the rest back on the shelves. It looks nicer now.

My son, Michael, mentioned that I should get some of the bags that you put stuff in, and then suck the air out. So I did. WOW!!! I love those bags! Whenever I've seen them on TV, I just haven't been able to figure out how in the world they would work. It seems to me that if you have a bunch of blankets stuffed into this bag, and then you stick the end of a vacuum in the hole, it would suck up the blankets! But, that's not what happened. It worked beautifully. Here are the pictures to prove it...
This little bundle has 3 large blankets in it! So cool.

This one showed the three different bags I filled. That long, flat one is filled with 6 pillows and some bedding. The one in the back has 5 pillows and a blanket in it.

ALL of that stuff on one shelf! SWEET!

Now for the craft room... or CRAP room, as Rick calls it. :-)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My "To Do" List for 2010

It's POST-IT NOTE Tuesday!!!

It looks like I can't put these resolutions off any longer! If I tell you about them, I'll probably work harder to meet my goals. Accountability ROCKS!

I found a great idea on a friend's blog (Tara at Family Traditions). She suggested choosing one word for the year - something you'd like to focus on. Hmmm. I guess I can do that. My word for 2010 is CHANGE. There are so many areas of my life I'd like to change and improve on this year. I feel like I've been focusing on just one word - CANCER - for the last year and a half, and it's really messed me up, mentally and physically. So, here are the things I'd like to "CHANGE" this year:

1. PHYSCIALLY: I seriously need to improve my health. I weigh more than I've ever weighed, I'm weak, I never exercise, I feel awful most of the time. I'm tired of not being able to say "I feel GREAT!" when someone asks. I recognize that cancer took a lot out of me - I know that I need to cut myself some slack (I'm saying this, because of all of my friends and family who will probably tell me to do it!), but I also know that I need to get feeling better. So, my list of HEALTH goals are as follows:
a. walk EVERY day
b. cut my serving sizes in HALF
c. drink WATER
d. eat BETTER food

2. EMOTIONALLY - Even though I'm having a hard time dealing with my post cancer life, I've decided I'm not going to go back to work - since going back to my old job didn't work out, I'm not going to try to find another job. (Whenever I say, "I've got to find a job!", my parents, and my husband's parents, not to mention a bunch of other people, freak out, I'll humor them, and stay home.) BUT, I've really got to have some extra money every month - I have to feel like I'm contributing something for my family. So, I'm going to try to SAVE (from Rick's paycheck) as much as I'd make at a part time job. I'll do this by...
a. Not going out to eat more than twice a month.
b. Cutting my food budget down - make menus, and shopping lists.
c. Only buying books for my bookclub - not going to hang out at the bookstore whenever I feel like it! I have enough unread books in my house to sink a battleship! So, I'll read those instead of buying new books. Or, maybe I'll frequent the library more often.
d. Stay home and work on de-cluttering my house - stop going shopping! I don't really NEED anything. ;-)

3. SPIRITUALLY: My spiritual self needs tons of improvement. So, here's what I plan to do...
a. study my scriptures each morning during breakfast.
b. read scriptures with my family during dinner each night.
c. Have FHE at least every other week when Grant brings Alyx to dinner. I'll try to remember to have FHE every week, though.
d. Remember my prayers. Really - I have so much to be thankful for!

Well, that's my list. So far it's working. My day starts like this... I get up between 6:15 and 6:30 am. I watch the news (or snooze) while I wait for Alex to get ready. I take Alex to school at 7:00 am. I come back and have breakfast and study scriptures for 45 minutes while I wait for Matthew to get ready. I take Matthew to school at 8:00, and head to the cemetery to walk. I'm there anywhere from 20 minutes to 40 minutes. Come back home, and shower. Then, it's time for a little of this and that (cleaning and stuff). Then, and only then, can I play on my computer! I know that it's 9:34 right now, and I haven't showered or done any this and that yet, so I really shouldn't be on the computer. Oh well.

So, "CHANGE" physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. I KNOW I CAN! Wish me luck. ;-)

Oh, and can't forget the other stuff I'd like to accomplish this year: continue blogging (I've got 6 blogs!), meet a bunch of new people, hang out with my friends, enjoy my son Michael before he leaves for two years, get to know Grant's girlfriend, Alyx (might be a permanent thing!), read-read-read, stop waiting for cancer to come back, plan something REALLY cool with Rick for our 25th anniversary, and BE HAPPY!!!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Random Thoughts

I have had the flu for 5 days! What a rotten week. This week was supposed to be the first week of my new fitness plan - eating right and walking every day. It's really depressing that I haven't been able to stick to what I had planned. Oh well. As soon as I feel better, I'll make sure I start.


I've been reading a lot, lately. Quite a few good books: "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater", "U is For Undertow", "The Search For The Red Dragon" (from the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica), and now I'm reading "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens. I've read all of these books since Christmas! Do you ever get into the reading zone? I do. Sometimes I'll go for quite a while and only read one book, and then at other times, I can't put the books down, and I'll go through a ton. This last month has been like that. *Sigh* So many books, so little time!

As I type, my 3rd son, Alex, is getting reading to do his DBQ in American Studies (honors English and honors History combined class). A DBQ is a Document Based Question - he'll be given a document and then he has a certain amount of time to write a paper, using the document and his knowledge about it and the time period. He was given a "heads up" on what he might have to write on - they gave him 4 questions. He had to study extensively for all 4 questions. Then, at the first of class today, he'll go up and pull a question out of a hat - and that's the one he'll have to write on. Wow. I'm so glad I'm no longer in high school. Aometimes I wonder why the teachers have to to think up the hardest things for kids to do. Why do they have to make the kids so miserable?! I really wish him luck today.


Speaking of school work, it's the last week of the quarter. I have a love/hate relationship with the last week of each quarter. On one hand, there is always a TON of homework - kids are trying to catch up, and finish late/missing work. I'm going to sound like a mom here - if they would just do it when it's assigned, we wouldn't have such a miserable last week of the quarter! On the other hand, it makes me so happy when that last day comes - and the kids walk in from school. I feel like celebrating - it's kind of like that feeling you get on the last day of the school year. No more stress for a little while. Of course, it's not the last day of the school year, so that feeling doesn't last very long, but it's nice for a minute.


So, I've experience every mother's nightmare lately - my oldest is talking marriage. Not for a while hopefully, but just the fact that he's thinking about it makes me sad. I'm not saying that I don't love the girl he's met - I do, really - but every mom of a boy knows that she's the number one girl in his heart. Until he meets HER. That, right - HER. Then, Mom is quickly relegated to second place, and will be forever. Sad, huh? I can't help thinking about the past - quite often, too. What a beautiful little boy he was - all the fun we had together, just the two of us, how smart he was through school, how loyal he was to his friends, the talent he showed every time he picked up a musical instrument, etc. How much I missed him when he left on his mission for 2 years to a foreign country. How happy I was when he came home. Everyone says that you don't lose a son, you gain a daughter. Which is something I've always wanted. I've joked for years that I'm going to get my girls after they've gone through those awful teenage years! Haha. But, I can wait. I hope he takes things slowly. Young love is so sweet. But, having him belong to just me for a little longer is much sweeter.


I've been reading lots of blogs lately - and most of them have New Years Resolutions listed. Hmmm. I guess I'd better list mine too. Maybe that's a good subject for tomorrow's post.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

A bunch of my favorite guys - several years ago at the Prom!

My son, Grant, is the one in the middle with the white bow tie. Senior Year - 2006.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Post-It Note Tuesday

Today, I'm gonna participate in Supah Mommy's Post-it Tuesday...

If you want to play, too, here is the link to make your notes...
(and DON'T ask about why my notes have black around them - geez.)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

My Gorgeous Boys

My Gorgeous Boys