Wednesday, September 29, 2010

We Am Smart

Ever since 4th grade when I won the White Bear Lake school district spelling bee with a winning word of "vaccination," I've had this Freudian sense of moral superiority when it comes to spelling.  

I scoff at incorrectly used contractions.

I laugh maniacally at paper stores who misspell the word "stationery".

I still look back with a sort of sick glee the day I completely flummoxed my 7th grade social studies teacher when I told him in front of the whole class that he'd misspelled the word "genealogy" on the chalkboard.  He was so sure that he was right that he looked it up in front of the whole class and had to totally eat his words.  The thought still gives me happy goosebumps.

So now that you know what a spelling geek I really am (yes, that is a personalized dictionary), I should probably disclose to you that my spelling prowess does not carry over into comma usage, mopping floors, or late-night typing (which pretty much includes 99.63% of all my blog posts). 

It does, however, carry over into snorting giggling fits over a high school chemistry worksheet that confidently declares that 60 seconds=1 hour. 
Well that explains a lot!     Here I was thinking I was getting 6 or so hours of sleep a night, when really it was only about 360 seconds. 


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another Burned Dinner Day...

Lately it seems that I've been experiencing a few too many burned dinner days.  It's not that I keep overcooking the food like I did tonight, but rather it's that despite my best efforts,  some things in my life just aren't turning out the way I expect/want them to.

I'm getting to face new kinds of challenges.  I'm learning to be patient.  I'm learning to trust the Lord's plan. I'm learning to pick up the blackened scraps left of my expectations and trying to recreate it into something edible again.  Hopefully better than what it would have been originally.

Unfortunately, in the process, I definitely have done more than my fair share of being grumpy with the kids, muttering curse words at clueless motorists, and complaining openly here on the blog (sorry).

But also I have found my heart turning inwards and bringing to my memory the countless blessings in my life.  My wonderful, supportive husband.  The gift of eternal families.  5 sweet kids.  Comfort in my worries.  A loving, supportive network of friends and family.  

"Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us."     ~Pres. Thomas S. Monson~


Monday, September 27, 2010

Check it out....

I'm a guest blogger today over at We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ.
Thank you to Jocelyn for allowing me the opportunity to participate in your wonderful month-long tribute to the Family Proclamation! 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Flashback Friday: Family Home Evening Fights

The other day I was contemplating life and how it was that I became a blogger.  What was it that took me from my first post on dial-up internet to feeling like it was an important part of my life?

 Sure I like sharing stories and ideas from the trenches of motherhood.  I like taking and sharing photographs.  And, to be totally honest, I frankly enjoy the attention blogging brings as well.  But that still didn't explain it completely.

Then one day recently in the midst of reorganizing the basement it struck me.  I had just put several volumes of my journal up on the shelf and thought, "This is it."  I've filled journal after journal with my ramblings since I was 8-years-old.  Although I've never considered myself much of a writer, I definitely have always used writing as an outlet in my life.

Blogging has given me the outlet to write, to share photos, and to make a fool of myself in the name of a good post.

So, today's Flashback Friday is a little tribute to my journals--past and present.  Sadly for you it won't have any photos of my teased hair, embarrassing costumes, or buck teeth, but it will show you a little glimpse into my 12-year-old brain (and my family).    

I had used my journal to take notes through Family Home Evening one night...
TRANSLATION:   Sunday, February 16, 1986 (12-years-old, 7th grade)

We are getting ready to have Family Home Evening (FHE).  Here is what we're doing for FHE.  We have a fire on the fireplace.
Conducting: Kristina RaChel
Song chosen by: Mom: The Iron Rod
Song chosen by: Nathaniel: I Hope They Call Me on a Mission
Song chosen by: Me: The [Books of the] New Testament
Song chosen by: Peter: The Time is Far Spent
Song chosen by: Matthew:  Happy Birthday to Me (cause mine's next)
Song chosen by:  Heather:  I am a Child of God
Opening prayer given by Dad
Then we have  going over our calendar time.
Lesson given by: Mom
About:  Our Lessons that we had in our [church] class
Closing prayer: By Dad

Funny.  It was like I knew I was going to blog someday and would need some good material.   

(As a credit to my Mom and Dad--they were diehard with Family Home Evenings and would persevere with having them every week despite the occasional unhappy ending, that most likely revolved around some sibling provocation instigated by me---hence the reason for me not sharing the instigator's name in my entry.)


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Summer Reading List

“The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.” Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Well, today my life either officially became the basis for a brand new episode of "I Love Lucy" or someone's playing a big practical joke on me.  

I can hear the laughtrack now as the camera pans to me as I forget commitments, babysit 6 kids, wipe marker off a toddler's belly, our dog escapes by climbing over the fence, have my car battery die, and then while I moan on the phone about what a crazy day I am having, a bird poops on my head.  Yes, right on my head, dripping down into my ear.

Hehe.  Someone's laughing, right? 

So, enough of the complaining.  Heaven knows I've done enough of that lately. 

This is a post I've been wanting to do for a while now.  Most of you long-time blog readers know that I love to read, so this post is dedicated to showing a glimpse at mine and Glen's summer reading lists.   Here's mine...a mix of modern and classic and self-help.  A little over 3500 pages. 

Here's Glen's...some modern, motivational, some scriptural.  (He read the Doctrine and Covenants, not the entire standard works.)  :)
I was pretty impressed that Glen's list almost matched mine in volume.  I attribute that to my stellar influence on him over the last 17 years, since he rarely read for pleasure until a few years ago.  Stellar influence or boredom at waiting for me to finish up...

It's a good thing I read when I had the chance, because not only do I not have much time to read anymore, but I'm pretty sure I'd fall asleep in two seconds flat if I even sat down these days.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Challenge Schmallenge

Remember the Fitness Challenge

Well I didn't win.  

Nope, the money was split between the administrator of the contest and another participant.  Yes, that would be the same administrator who picked all of the mystery points each week. The mystery points that were not revealed to the rest of us until the week was over, so we all had to wait on pins and needles to find out what it was and just hope that we had done it (or not done it).    Most likely she was totally honest and picked it blindly at the end of the week like she should have, but if it were my fitness challenge,  the participants would get to take a turn picking the mystery points, just to be totally above board. 

So, enough with the petty complaining, I have a serious gripe now.

The final week of the challenge, the same administrator who took home half the money, decided that the weekly challenge would be to run 13.1 miles during the week.  Not all at once or anything, just in cumulative during the week.  No problem.  I was already running more than that anyway.

But wait.  Miss Diehard Administrator, who was going to win the contest anyway, decided that it wasn't challenging enough yet.  She decided that  the 13.1 miles had to be IN ADDITION to the 1/2 hour of daily exercising that was the normal part of the challenge.  In other words, we were to go against all fitness guidelines about only increasing your intensity by no more than 10% per week and increase by closer to 75% in one week.

Which brings me to the 6:15 appointment I had last Tuesday morning.  The appointment to find out why my foot has been hurting like the dickens ever since the last week of the challenge three weeks ago.    The doctor taped almonds to my foot to mark the points of pain, so the technician could focus in on those spots. 

Turns out the MRI didn't tell me anything about my foot pain...

But while they were in there looking at that same side of the same foot, they were able to confirm that yes, indeed, my pinky toe is broken. 

What does all this mean?  It means all the good exercising habits I spent 12 weeks developing are gone, gone, gone just like that...

And in addition to being in pain, I'm a tad bitter too.

(Disclosure:  The administrator is a stranger to me  and to her credit I never spoke up about these aspects that made me uncomfortable/bitter.   I also do have to say that the fitness challenge in general was a very good thing for both Glen and I.  It was the first time in years I'd put all the pieces together--exercising and eating healthy--and for that part I am very grateful.   I'm more mad at myself for not speaking up about things as I am at the administrator who was just doing her job (and kicking butt at the fitness challenge.))  

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ward Camp-Out: Glen/Lara Style

 1.  Dress in layers and let the kids pack their own bags...

2.   Plan for some good old-fashioned tin-foil dinners....  
Oh, look at that....Chick-fil-A sandwiches come wrapped in foil. 

3.  Hurry and set up ginormous tent before dark...

4.  Play hard, run hard, eat too many s'mores, stay up too late, wake everyone up because you have to pee in the middle of the night....

5.  Wake up at crack of dawn and eat pancakes and Bruce Nielson's (in)famous Spam burgers....
(This picture was actually taken this morning.  There were a couple of people (me) that were sad that they didn't get to try one at the camp-out, so Glen got the "recipe" from Bro. Nielson and made them for our Sunday brunch.) 

6.   Pack up.  Go home.  Unpack car.  Start in on the 23 loads of laundry. Crash. 

7.  Cook tin-foil dinners in oven and eat them at home...
Mmm...doesn't that look appetizing?   

Repeat:  Once a year, every September.


Friday, September 17, 2010

No Reason...

♥♥♥It's not our anniversary.  It's not his birthday.  Today I'm just feeling particularly
grateful today for Glen.  For almost 17 years, he's been a good, kind, sweet, gentle,
hard-working, and, in general, awesome husband

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fuzzy Math?

Sleepless night
+ 6:15am appointment
+ almonds taped to my skin (nothing to do with allergies)
+ ear plugs
+ missed school bus
+ 2 failed nap attempts
+ dog food in my pink fuzzy slippers
+ discovered mascarpone cheese
+ America's Got Talent finals (I like them all and can't decide who I want to win)
+ laughing hysterically over a new Geico commercial

= Lara's kind of strange day

So how was your day?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

#1 Cause of All Fights in Our House


Breakfasts and Desserts...

Sounds weird, huh?
Wait until you hear about what specifically they fight about. 

It's not over who got the bigger portion...
It's not over who has to clean up afterward....
It's not over who got the last one...

The #1 cause of all fights in our house (by a mile) is over who gets to cook breakfast or dessert.

The arguments usually occur between Emma and Cami who now "call" their day to cook several days in advance, but even Adam and Ellie have started to vie for their turns in the kitchen as well.  

Before you say something like, "It must be nice to have kids so eager to cook."   Just remember that I'm trying to keep the weight off and having fancy breakfasts several days a week does NOT help in that matter.  Not to mention the fact, that when I say that they "call" their days several days in advance, I mean that  they usually yell at each other for 5 minutes claiming that it was their turn to make the pancakes that day and that by golly they're going to take their turn the next day.   Then I hear fourteen times before then, "Remember, it's my turn to make breakfast tomorrow..."

And desserts are even worse.  Now that we only have them once a week, it is all-out war over who's cooking and what they're going to cook and whether or not they'll let anyone add any of the ingredients. 

Of course, there is an upside to all this contention interest in the kitchen....

99% of all breakfast and dessert recipes I post on Recipe Shoebox are made by the kids and I can't even remember the last time I had to flip a pancake.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Flashback Friday: The Super Stylish Shirt

The Shirt: 

circa 2010 


circa 2006

circa 1983

A couple random thoughts:

1.  How is it that homemade clothes can last approximately 27 years longer than the clothes I buy at Kohls? 

2.  These pictures are exhibit A for why my camera was worth every penny.  It's amazing to see the quality difference even in the 2 most recent pictures.

3.  Why can't grown women wear cute loosely fitted shirts like that without someone asking when you're due? 

4.  Whatever money my parents put towards my orthodontic work was money well spent!  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Shall + Not = Shan't

It is Wednesday night and I think I shall go find my oldest son and take a candid photograph of him in the midst of his evening activities.   

Where oh where wilt I ever find him?

Certainly I shan't  find him mowing the lawn of his own free will.

And I know I shan't discover him hanging up his clothes.  For that is the purpose of the chair in his room. 

Ah, here is my son.    I have found him in the same place and same position he was 72 minutes ago. 

Oh look.  While photographing my son I have happened across the new cell phone bill.     

Holy moly. 

Hmmm....I wonder what he texts about.  It doesn't seem like he could  have THAT much to say in a month.

I think I shall aim the camera at his phone instead of his face and take a photo of the message he's working on.  I shall be very sneaky and he shall never know that I peeked. 

Hehe.  I'm so sneaky....

Oh snap.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"First Day of School" Family Facebook Status Updates

ELLIE  just rode the school bus for the first time!   

ADAM.  School.  Schmool. 

EMMA has spent the entire day giggling, jumping and bubbling over with excitement about how awesome her year is going to be. 

CAMI is getting ready for a whole year at home with mom for 8th grade homeschool. 

SPENCER is bubbling over with excitement about being a sophomore.  Yay! 

LARA is cle'a] he'r ke]yb29oa;rd wifth' al]l he'r n2ew f0ou'nd "spar'e" t7im]e. 
GLEN just set the alarm for the unearthly hour of 4:50a.m. for the first day of seminary.  Glen is going to bed.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Last Dregs of Summer...

The humidity has finally lessened.  The school supply kits are out the door.  The backpacks are packed.  Outfits are laid out on the couch.  My spa time is reserved.  (ha ha!)   It's the night before school starts and a mere two days ago, Spencer informed us that he had to visit three war memorials and write in a journal about his experience for his summer homework for World Civ. due the first day of class (three days hence). 

After a 40-minute lecture on the woes of procrastination and then canceling any procrastinated last-minute plans we had been trying to conjure up for the long weekend, we finally decided to make the best of it and just bring the whole family along while Spencer did his homework....

Here he is at the Iwo Jima Memorial, which ironically enough was our very first visit to it ever.  After 13+ years of living out this way, we consider it quite a feat to find a place we've never been.  We thought it was a very cool memorial and hope to visit it again soon. 

Next it was off to the FDR Memorial, which happens to hold a special place in my heart.  As of Saturday morning, it officially became the site of Spencer's first willing smile in a photo taken by a family member since 1999. 

Next it was off to stand in line for the bathrooms, although we couldn't really figure out what was taking everyone so long....

Our last memorial of Spence's assignment was the Vietnam War Memorial, where we spotted this really cool looking family there.  This was the best shot we could get, but believe when I say, that that husband was HOT!!!

Shortly after we left the memorials and headed back to our car, another amazing photo feat happened.  I actually didn't cry when I saw this picture big on the computer screen.  The fitness challenge worked!!!!

After Spence's homework was all done, we were off to play some mini-golf.  Pretty much there was a whole lot of giggling and cheering...

Afterward, they waited on baited breath while Glen tallied the scores.  I was dismayed to find out that it is indeed possible for a 37-year-old woman to get beat by a five-year-old.  So much for my awesome ambidextrous golf swing. 

Then we went home to watch BYU beat University of Washington on our brand new big-screen tv!  Somewhere in the middle of entertaining fellow Cougar fans and calming a big bed-time battle upstairs, I had my own battle with stupid wall that jumped into my path... 
Haven't bothered going to the doctor, but based on the loud crack I heard when it happened and how it looks and feels now, I'm a tad worried it may be broken.  Luckily, as far as toes go, the pinky toe really is one of more expendable ones and doesn't bear much weight. 

Oh yeah, I almost forgot.  Spencer learned this afternoon, when he went to finally write in his Summer Journal about the war memorials,  that his World Civ. class had been canceled along with all accompanying homework assignments.   He's been bragging all afternoon how he's so glad that he hadn't wasted his time doing homework that didn't need to be done.

So much for the life lesson.

Friday, September 3, 2010


After subjecting my poor family to a couple weeks of this....

accompanied with a good dose of forced labor (sharpening 120 dozen pencils in three days' time is definitely not a one-woman job) AND putting up with hot dogs and pancakes for dinner along with my several panicked last minute trips to the store for the "one last thing"...

I should probably think about getting caught up on my neglected laundry pile, mopping my sticky floor, getting caught up with all my blogging friends, answering emails, returning phone calls, deciding what we're going to do for Labor Day weekend....
Ah, never mind.  I'm craving Domino's anyway.


google analytics