Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Money Tip 2: Ten Steps to Eliminate Debt

Ten Suggested Steps for Debt Elimination and Financial Peace:
From an LDS Perspective

Don L. Milne—BYU Campus Education Week

Step 1 Pay a full tithe, a generous fast offering, and donate to charities
* Blessings of tithing–“windows of Heaven” (Malachi 3:10)
* Generous fast offering–“unto one of the least of these…” (Matt. 25:40)
* Other worthy charities–many good causes

Step 2 Save a $1,000 emergency fund and a one month food storage
* Make minimum debt payments until $1,000 emergency fund is saved
* Set up a monthly zero based budget (copy available at BYU Education Week website) and a cash envelope system for food, entertainment, clothing, and other impulse spending categories,
* Sell unneeded goods/possessions
* Temporary extra job, if necessary

Step 3 Teach your children good financial management
* Beyond work for normal unpaid basic chores, children should earn commissions (money or family coupons) for certain household work rather than receive allowances
* “Teach children to make money decisions in keeping with their capacities to comprehend…children should earn their money needs through service and appropriate chores” (Elder Marvin J. Ashton, “One for the Money,” Ensign, July 1975, 72).
* The 20-40-40 Rule for Children’s Commission Earnings
o 20% Giving (10% Tithing—10% Other Charities)
o 40% Savings (Not used unless parents approve)
+ Open a savings account
o 40% Spending (Child decides unless age or content inappropriate)

Step 4 Pay off consumer debt
* Identify all your debts from smallest to largest.
* Make minimum payments on all but the smallest debt.
* Throw all your debt payment resources at paying off the smallest debt.
* As soon as this smallest debt is paid off, use all the money you had been applying each month on this now deceased debt and apply it to the next smallest debt.
* Use this system to work through all of your consumer debt. As each debt is paid off, the amount of money available to attack your next debt goes up. The more debt you pay off, the more money you have to pay off the next debt.

Step 5 Be a financial management advocate and example to others
* Be an example to others, let people feel your financial peace and teach them the skills to do the same.

Step 6 After paying off consumer debt, save 3-6 months of expenses and one year of food storage
* “Begin in a small way…and gradually build toward a reasonable objective. Save a little money regularly, and you will be surprised how it accumulates” (President Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Condition of the Church,” Ensign, May 2003, p. 4).
* If your financial situation is more stable, you can be closer to 3 months. If it is less stable, you should save 6 months of expenses.
* Food Storage—For every month of emergency savings you set aside, acquire 2 months of basic food storage. By the time you have your 3-6 months of emergency savings built up; you will have 6-12 months of food storage.

Step 7 Save 10-15% of income for retirement/pay for missions
* At this point you have no debt except the house, a year supply of food storage, and $5,000 to $10,000 or maybe more sitting in your emergency savings fund.
* Retirement savings—preferably 401(k)s with high percentage matching from employers. If you max out what your employer will match on your 401(k), invest the rest in Roth IRA Mutual Funds.
* If necessary, reduce amount being saved for retirement to assist in paying for children’s missions.

Step 8 Save for children’s mission funds and college education
* If you can get to this step early enough, you won’t be tempted to cut back on retirement funding to help out on missions and education. Once you have your 10-15% set up for retirement funding, you should look at your budget and fit this in.
* If you can start really early, simply investing $10 a month in growth stock mutual funds at an 8% after inflation rate would result in $4,800 in 18 years (actual results may vary).

Step 9 Pay off home mortgage early
* If at all possible, use a 15-year mortgage. The problem with a 30-year mortgage is that for the first few years you are basically renting from the bank. For example, in the first two years of a 6%, 30-year mortgage, 82% of your payments are interest payments. Compare this to the first two years of a 5.5%, 15-year mortgage, where only 54% of your payment goes to interest.
* “When I was a young man, my father counseled me to build a modest home, sufficient for the needs of my family, and make it beautiful and attractive and pleasant and secure. He counseled me to pay off the mortgage as quickly as I could so that, come what may, there would be a roof over the heads of my wife and children” (President Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Times in Which We Live,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 72).

Step 10 Build wealth and give to others
* Most Latter-day Saints look forward to the ability to bless the lives of others as a result of being wise stewards over the money with which they have been entrusted. We want to be like the first two servants in the Parable of the Talents and hear the words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matt. 25:23).

Recommended Sources
1. Provident Living→Resource Management at www.lds.org
2. One for the Money—Guide to Family Finance, Elder Marvin J. Ashton, 1992, Published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah; Ensign, July 1975, 72.
3. Total Money Makeover, Ramsey, Dave, pub. Nelson Books, Sep 2003 ISBN: 0785263268
4. Financial Peace Revisited, Ramsey, Dave, pub. Viking Adult, Jan. 2003, ISBN: 0670032085
5. The Dave Ramsey Show, KNRS radio, FM-105.7, weeknights 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
6. Financial Peace University at www.daveramsey.com

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Holy Week

The week before Easter Sunday take a few minutes each day to discuss what the Savior was doing on that day nearly 2,000 years ago.
I cut and pasted the scriptures in from LDS.org. Sorry that some of the formatting stayed.

Sunday: Jesus rides in triumph into Jerusalem
Behold, thy aKing cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. 6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, 7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. 8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. 9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, aHosanna to the Son of David: bBlessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. 10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? 11 And the amultitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

Monday: Cleansing the temple
12 ¶ And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
13 And said unto them, It is written, My ahouse shall be called the house of bprayer; but ye have made it a cden of thieves.
14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.

Tuesday: the Scribes questioned the authority of Jesus and asked about paying tribute
money (see Matt.21; Matt.22)
23 ¶ And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what aauthority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?

Wednesday: the Scriptures are silent on what Christ did this day. I think maybe He spent time with some of the people He loved—His family and His Disciples.

Thursday: the Last Supper and the Garden of Gethsemane (see Matt.26).
17 ¶ Now the first day of the feast of aunleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the bpassover?
18 And he said, Go into the city ato such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My btime is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.
19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the apassover.
20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called aGethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and bpray yonder.
37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and abegan to be sorrowful and very heavy.
38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is aexceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and bwatch with me.
39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and aprayed, saying, O my bFather, if it be possible, let this ccup pass from me: nevertheless not as I dwill, but as ethou fwilt.

Friday: The trial and Crucifixion and burial of Jesus (see Matt.27).
he had ascourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
¶ Jesus, when he had cried again with aa loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
a rich man of Arimathaea, named aJoseph, who also himself was Jesus’ bdisciple: 58 He went to Pilate, and abegged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. 59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great astone to the door of the bsepulchre, and departed.

Saturday: missionary work in the spirit world (see 1 Pet. 3:18-20; 1 Pet.4:6).
He went and apreached unto the bspirits in cprison;

Easter Sunday: read about the empty tomb and Resurrection (see Matt. 28).
came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for athe bangel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 5 aAnd the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for he is arisen, as he said. Come, see the place where the bLord lay. 7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. 8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

Luke 24: 36 ¶ And as they thus spake, Jesus himself astood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, bPeace be unto you. 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do athoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: ahandle me, and see; for a bspirit hath not cflesh and bones, as ye dsee me have. 40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and awondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43 And he took it, and did eat before them. 44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be afulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their aunderstanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it abehoved Christ to suffer, and to brise from the dead the third day: 47 And that arepentance and bremission of sins should be cpreached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are awitnesses of these things.

Busy Last Week!

What an incredibly busy week. In addition to mommy chores like fixing meals, laundry, clean-up and homeschool chores like making assignments and checking work, and working my job three nights, I did the following:
On Monday, we spent 3 hours at the zoo with our friend Whitney and her son.
On Tuesday, we hosted K’Nex Club at our home (which meant clean-up!) and we went to Chess Club at the Library. Jay and I attended the Caucus. We were both voted in as precinct delegates.
On Wednesday I went Visiting Teaching. It was the opening night of The Little Princess play. Jared and Jayson did great! They haven’t done anything like this before, so it was really fun to see. Grandma Spicer, Grandma Teresa, Aunt Marilyn, Aunt Pam and Grandpa John, all came to see them perform.
On Thursday we went to our Ogden Nature Center Science Class. We ran John by the orthodontist, since he had a loose wire. We went grocery shopping, and then Jo had Girl Scouts (turned in last of cookie money. Personal damage to checking account: $84).
On Friday I cooked ten pounds of hamburger, then drowned it in five cans of Manwich sauce. I put it in a roaster to keep warm until 4:30, when it needed to be feed to the kids doing the Princess Play. The little kids and I went to the Ott Planetarium, where they have been attending a space class for the last several months. We came home, had a snack, and then went to feed dinner to The Little Princess cast. Ten pounds of hamburger feed the cast of 30 perfectly! Come home for five minutes to grab the kids and then back to watch the play.
On Saturday, I woke up to a call asking where I was. Bountiful Baskets had an order for me and if I wanted it, I needed to pick it up now. Groan. I totally forgot. And I already paid for it. So I jumped in the car and picked it up. Now our house is filled with lots of fruits and veggies. Came home, made a fruit smoothie then cleaned up. Went to Target for bridal shower gift for niece and Sam’s Club for milk and rolls -- to feed the play cast. Dropped off kids and Jay and was at the church to feed cast. Picked up kids and Jay and back to watch play. They did wonderful! Hooray, last day! I took the girls and we went to niece’s bridal shower. We got her: a laundry hamper, a hamper, detergent, hangers, and a lingerie bag. I’m exhausted!
On Sunday is church as usual, but I also had to present Sharing Time for the kids. I collected pictures that showed what Christ did the last week of His life, printed out the days of the week (with two Sundays) cut and pasted them onto construction paper and covered the pictures with them. We discussed the Holy Week, with only a few tears from me... I’ll post the timeline and scriptures for you. Jay and I also went to a “Get out of Debt” class offered by our church Sunday night. I’ll post details from that for you as well.
It’s Monday and I’ve started spring cleaning. I started with the laundry room. I’m the kind of person that doesn’t mind if things are totally picked up and exactly in place, IF the inside of drawers and cupboards are straightened and IF I can find what I’m looking for. That hasn’t been the case lately. The laundry room was a good place to start, since we were so busy last week, both the clean and the dirty are piled up. I’ll take and post pictures. I guess I’ll go do that before I forget.
Hugs, The Personal Experience Expert

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hogle Zoo Visit

We are excited for a fun day of homeschooling! I don’t know why they call it homeschool, since we are rarely home. Today we are headed for Hogle Zoo. Going here always makes me a little nervous. Zoo officials got a little upset at me in August, 2005, when I published an article in ICAN’s eNews about the cesarean their orangutan had. I’ll post it here, just for fun. The update on this story is that Eve and Araca are living and playing together.

Essay: Eve and Araca
Early May in Utah usually brings a few warm days and this year was no exception. We
enjoyed a day trip to the zoo during this warm respite. Hogle Zoo isn’t my favorite zoo, but the kids enjoy seeing the animals. Two weeks later – on Mother’s Day- Eve, a
female Orangutan, had a cesarean to deliver her baby, Araca. When I first heard the news, I thought, “What else would you expect to happen? You have an animal on the
endangered species list, pregnant. What zoo keeper is going to ‘risk’ that pregnancy
and baby by sitting on her hands and not doing anything? And ‘anything’ is enough to
slow an animal’s labor progress.” There were many articles in the following weeks about
the baby’s arrival. Strangely enough, I wasn’t upset by any of them, until I happened to
hear a radio ‘interview’ with one of the zoo staff. The zoo keeper described the baby’s
day, being cared for by the staff, fed formula from a bottle and being held by staff in
furry vests. The radio host joked with her about the care of the baby, asking how the
staff avoided ‘getting messed on’. The zoo employee said, “We don’t diaper the baby,
we want to do everything natural with this little orangutan.” Suddenly, I was so angry I
couldn’t see straight. Here is Eve, whose birth was denied her by staff, who now rejects
her own baby. Here is a baby, whose mother doesn’t recognize or claim her, being fed
formula from humans, being held by humans in furry vests and being shown off
between the hours of 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. until 3 p.m. daily, and
they have the nerve to claim they are doing everything natural because the baby
doesn’t have a diaper on!
I don’t know the details of Eve’s birth of her daughter. When called, the Zoo will not
give out any details. When asked questions like, “How did staff know Eve was in labor?
How long was she in labor? Was baby in distress at birth?”- no answer is given. You and
I most likely will never get the answers to these questions or to the ultimate one they
lead to, “Was the cesarean really necessary?”
In the end, it might matter if we knew and it might not. What I do know is that there is
a mother who does not know her baby and a baby who does not know her mother.
They did not get to bond after a natural birth. The baby never breast feed. The baby
has not learned to cuddle with her mother and, in turn, may not mother her own babies
naturally. Generations have been affected by this cesarean, in a species that does not
have generations to give to the nervous human.
A quick note: Hogle Zoo itself admits the cesarean is the reason Eve does not recognize
her baby. Here is a blurb from their website:
Baby Orangutan
The baby, born Mother’s Day weekend by cesarean section, is slowly
being introduced to her mom. Because of the cesarean birth, Eve does not
yet recognize the baby as hers. The staff is doing slow introductions, in an
off exhibit area, to help mother and daughter bond.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gun Owner Tip 1: Hand Position

Gun owners should examine their guns for moving parts, being sure to keep all body parts out of the way of these parts. Ask questions about any moving parts before shooting gun. Keep Band-Aids close by.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Proud Owner of a Ruger 380

Got my gun today. Shot my gun today. Bled today. Okay, yes, there is more to the story. We picked up the raspberry Ruger 380. I was rather excited about it. It was interesting (scary?!) how easy it was to pick out a gun, pay for it (and a background check) and walk out of the store with a gun and enough ammunition to do some serious damage. Of course, I’m not planning on doing any damage to anyone other than the guy printed on my target page. In the end, though, it was me who was bleeding. I shot six rounds, which (I’m proud to say) I loaded myself. I kept changing hand positions, trying to get a good feel for the gun (and accurate shots). The last shot, I stuck my thumb up behind the action, which slid back and cut me in two places. My first thought was that my fingernail had been ripped off. I quickly realized that it was the top of my thumb that was dripping blood all down my hand. My husband was just staring at me. His first thought was that I had broken a finger nail. He started to tease me, then he saw the blood. Bummer. After waiting more than 30 minutes for a lane at the range and paying $10, I shot six rounds, bloodied up my thumb and then left. The guy was nice enough to give me a Band-Aid and some Neosporin, but not nice enough to credit us with a lane for the next time we came. I do plan on shooting enough to be accurate and good at it. I did rather well today. Two straight on chest shots, one just to the right of those, two in the jugular vein, and one through the liver. Since neither my husband nor the guy behind the counter, who gave me advice on shooting after I checked “never shot a handgun before” on the intake form, thought to tell me to keep my thumb clear of the action, I need to read the manual. I guess I’ll go do that before I forget.
Hugs, The Personal Experience Expert

Friday, March 19, 2010

More on the UDA conference.

More on the UDA conference. Brigg Noyes presented an excellent session on Helping Parents Preserve their Romantic Relationship after the Birth of a Child. He stated as many as 80% of couples report a drastic drop in martial quality after the birth of a child. He challenged us, who work with pregnant women to raise some questions to the expecting couple.
• “How are you going to preserve the relationship that created this baby?”
• “How are you going to keep this spark going?”
• “What is your role to help your partner?”
• “What is your role as a parent?”
He stated that parents have increase responsibility, more work and less support, decrease in physical and emotional intimacy and increased stress. Depression and surfacing of own childhood issues are common after birth.
The fighting and conflict lead to parent-child interaction. This impacts the baby by
• Increasing baby blood pressure
• Parents have poor ability to read baby’s cues (and therefore do not meet baby’s needs in a timely manner)
• Baby is now at higher risk for later emotional, behavioral, and cognitive problems
• When parents are in conflict, the baby is especially likely to withdraw from the father, negatively impacting this important relationship.
With this knowledge, it is important to assess your relationship, work on communication and intimacy skills and to consciously create a family. Create traditions and everyday rituals.
• www.briggnoyes.com
• www.twoofus.org
• www.marriagebuilders.com
• And Baby Makes Three (book) John and Julie Gottman
• Getting the Love You Want Workbook Harville Hendrix and Helen Hunt
• Passionate Marriage (book) David Schnarch

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Won't Back Down

For some reason, this song is speaking to me today.

I Won't Back Down
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Well I won't back down
No I won't back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won't back down
No I'll stand my ground, won't be turned around
And I'll keep this world from draggin me down
gonna stand my ground
... and I won't back down
(I won't back down...)
Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
(and I won't back down...)
hey I will stand my ground
and I won't back down
Well I know what's right, I got just one life
in a world that keeps on pushin me around
but I'll stand my ground
...and I won't back down
(I won't back down...)
Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
(and I won't back down...)
hey I will stand my ground
(I won't back down)
and I won't back down...
(I won't back down...)
Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
(I won't back down)
hey I won't back down
(and I won't back down)
hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
(and I won't back down)
hey I will stand my ground
(and I won't back down)
and I won't back down
(I won't back down)
No I won't back down...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


My youngest son got his braces on today. He is only eleven and I am worried about how he will do with them. I held his hand during the appointment. At one point, he was whining, whimpering, and the tech said, “Come on, what is the problem?”
He said, “It hurts.”
She replied, “It doesn’t hurt. It just feels different, maybe a little funny. I’m doing something you aren’t used to.”
It ticked me off a little. Come on?! Why couldn’t she say, “Sorry. I’m doing the best I can. It will be over soon.”
Acknowledge the pain. Do your best not to cause more pain. Can’t we ask that of those in medical positions?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ecology of a Doula

The Utah Doula Association conference was awesome. I feel really rejuvenated. It was wonderful to be in a room of women who are working hard to make birth a safe and enjoyable experience for the women they serve. The conference was called, “Ecology of a Doula, Relationships, Education, Support”. It was hosted by the University of Utah Perinatal Education. I learned things from every speaker. Over the next couple of days I’ll tell you more about the different sessions; today I’ll tell you about just one. It was interesting that one of the speakers, Robert M. Silver, MD, changed his topic at the last minute. His paper on cesareans was presented at the National Institute of Health conference on VBAC. At this conference, he was supposed to speak on high risk situations and how doulas can help. Instead, he spoke on (insert evil music here) Cesareans: The Dark Side. He focused on long term physical impact of cesareans that most people don’t acknowledge. The list included placenta problems in future pregnancies. That is assuming you are able to get pregnant, which isn’t certain, since women with prior cesareans have a high infertility rate. They are also more likely to have etopic pregnancies. If they are able to get pregnant, they have high rates of miscarriage and stillbirth. Women with prior cesareans report chronic pain.
I found it disconcerting that when the conference organizers found out about the subject change and realized I was there, I was pulled aside and asked to “Be nice” to Dr. Silver. Did they think I would throw tomatoes or “BOO!” loudly when he said something I didn’t like? There were several times when he said something that was controversial (for instance, “VBACs are high risk”) and many in the room would turn to look at my response. I struggled to listen, take notes and keep my face impassive. After his presentation, I was the first to raise my hand. I think the whole room was holding their breath, wondering what I would say. I stood, introduced myself and asked if he would be willing to go to lunch with me. I need to call him and set it up. I guess I’ll go do that before I forget.
Hugs, The Personal Experience Expert

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Money Tip 1: Coupons

It is time to cut back the spending. Goal one: watch sales and use coupons. I spent an hour yesterday cutting out coupons and putting them in my coupon book. I have a three ring binder with dividers (labeled: cereal, snacks, hair products, diary, etc). I put the coupons in sheet protectors divided for baseball cards. Ask neighbors for their newspapers (my excuse was that my boys needed a scout project and we were going to recycle them- and we did take them to the recycler- after we got the coupons) or some papers have packages that allow you to get extra papers on Sunday. A great site for finding sales and help on using coupons is Grocerysmarts.com. The passport, if it comes up blank is: g84rcm. Have fun couponing!


I once heard a speaker ask, “What will determine if we get to where we want to go?” Some guy from the back of the room yelled out, “My wife!” After the laughter died out, the speaker said, “It is our habits. What we do day after day, determine whether we get to where we want go.” How much of what we do is by habit? I’ve been thinking about this since my washer has developed a habit of stopping half way through the cycle. I can’t tell you how annoying it is to throw in a load and to come back to see it isn’t finished. It is my fault, I suppose, since I got into a habit of turning the washer on, then leaving the lid open to go find more clothes to add. This stopped the wash—since more often than not I’d forget to come back and add the clothes. Interesting how one habit started another. Even more interesting is how hard it is to start the washer on a different cycle. If I turn on the permanent press cycle instead of the normal wash load, this allows the washer to continue through the entire cycle without stopping. Habits are hard to break… and some have far more serious implications than whether or not my clothes get washed when I need them to. It is time to throw in some more laundry. I guess I’ll go do that before I forget… again.
Hugs, The Personal Experience Expert

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sunny Friday

It is a sunny Friday. I’m glad, since I need the warm sunshine. The kids did their school work, then we picked up boxes of ICAN brochures. Funny thing, I ran into a friend at the printer. I haven’t seen her in a while and it’s nice to catch up. She said she wondered if I was around when she saw eight boxes with ICAN brochures taped on the side! Now I’ve got to make a trip or two to the post office to get them mailed to our bookstore.
I took to the kids to a park for some play time, but it was cut short by a little girl with a little bladder. Oh, well, she’s just like her mom, always going!
We are headed to Salt Lake City now. I need to drop off my son’s laptop that crashed. He does his school work on it, so I want it repaired so he can get back to work. This was good timing, I guess, since he is off camping anyway. I’m not sure where the rest of the day will take us, but am ready for some fun.
Hugs, The Personal Experience Expert

Mommy Tip 1: Get Car Summer Ready

With warmer weather on the way, you’ll want to stock your car with all the things you need for last minute stops at the playground. Gather sunscreen, wet wipes, finger snacks (I keep Capri Suns in the fridge in the garage and grab a few whenever we are leaving the house for a while—kids always ask for a drink, wherever you go), playground toys, balls, hats and put them in a crate or tub in the back of the car. This way, while running errands, if you pass by a park and decide it is time for a break, you’ll be ready!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Healthy Living Tip 1

Get your vitamin D. The best way is by being outside at least 20 minutes a day. I noticed last summer going outside (usually to hang laundry on the line) made a huge difference in the way I felt. Right now, the sun isn’t quite warm enough to lure me outside, so I’m taking a supplement. It helps tremendously! I’m able to get moving earlier and much more happily. I can’t wait for it to be warm enough to get my daily dose from the sun!

Forgot Birthday Gifts?

Yesterday I went to Target to get snack for my teenagers who are going biking in Zion’s National Park this weekend. While there, I was supposed to get gifts for the ladies I work with in my church’s primary. They all have birthdays this month. I was talking on my cell phone, though, and totally spaced it. So, five minutes before our meeting last night, I dug around the house and put together a bag of stuff for them. Here is what I said as I gave them each item:
It’s your birthday, don’t be sad (box of tissues)
Wash away any tears and any sadness from last year (a bar of soap)
And put a smile on your face (toothbrush-nice vibrating ones)
Remember (a jumpdrive- bought on clearance)
You are a princess (new princess washcloths I bought too many of last year and had in storage)
You are a Daughter of God, I love you ladies!
I hope this gives you ideas for the next time you are caught without a gift at the last minute. Or maybe we should all stock up on small gifts and birthday cards… I guess I’ll go do that before I forget… again.
Hugs, The Personal Experience Expert

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ever wonder?

Ever wonder what difference you can make? I woke up early to listen to Day 3 of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Conference on Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC). I recognized a number of the women who stood up to make a point and ask a question. They are beautiful, articulate, strong women and moms who are doing what they can to change the VBAC climate. I’m cautiously hopeful that if we take the evidence report and run with it, we might be able to make a difference.

Ever wonder what you forgot? Today has been one of those days for me. After listening to conference, I made a yummy fruit smoothie for breakfast. It was then I remembered I should have called Jessica. Jessica is an awesome woman who teaches True North for teens in our area. Right now they are getting ready for their yearly play. A major problem presented itself yesterday, when the church venue had scheduling issues. The dates have been changed slightly and she needed to be sure my two teens could still participate. They can and it will be fun! I called her.

Ever wonder who writes those readers for young kids? I really had to wonder as I listened to my kids read to me today during our homeschool. One of the books was on dinosaurs. I’ve never been into dinosaurs. They are dead and they have long, weird names, which I can hardly say and which I wouldn’t expect my young kids to know.

Ever wonder if your kids will be okay? After lunch, I took my eleven year old to the orthodontist for spacers between his teeth. Next week, he will get his braces on. Poor kid wasn’t happy at all. I hope he does okay with them.

Ever wonder if you are buying the right thing? Challenge one: We stopped by The Bike Shoppe to get a patch kit, extra tubes and a pump for my teens who are going to Zions National Park this weekend on a bike trip with the Boy Scouts. I hope it is what they need. Challenge two: getting snacks and drinks for the weekend off the list you hope you remember correctly, since your teens texted their list to you, but you are on a phone call with a friend and don’t know how to access your texts without hanging up on her. No complaints when I got home, so I guess I did okay.

Ever wonder what you opened up your laptop to do? I sat down to do something, I’m sure of it… but I hope it wasn’t urgent, because I can’t remember… oh! I was supposed to schedule my massage. I guess I’ll go do that before I forget… again.

Hugs, The Personal Experience Expert