Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Gunny Bag Fairy, Pregnancy, and Job Search

Another one of those "random" posts:

So, I was reading in Parents magazine an article about one mom's version of "gunny bag" - they called it the "pick-up fairy" - you know, the lady that comes at night & gets all the toys that are left out and keeps them for a week. Apparently, it worked like a charm for the author's 3-year-old. So... I thought, why not? I decided to combine the 2 & the "Gunny Bag Fairy" is now making regular appearances at my home.

I grew up with "Gunny Bag" (complete with song... see below if you haven't heard it) and it's been fun to sing the song while McKinley picks up her toys. I didn't expect a lot, but she really has gotten into it! No more begging/pleading/threatening (at least for the past week or so we've tried it). She is so fascinated! Every night when we pick up the toys, she will ask me about the gunny bag fairy - "Mom - is the gunny bag fairy a girl?", "Does she have a magic wand?", "Does she fly around?", "Does she eat anything other than toys?", "What if everybody picks up their toys and she's really hungry?" Oh... and the list goes on. She also asked if the gunny bag fairy comes to various friends & family's homes. I told her the gunny bag fairy doesn't come to all homes, which makes her feel a little picked on, so... if she asks you about it, could you just maybe say yes? ;) Now, I just need to find something like this to get her to do her morning chores. Hmmmm....

Here's a cute youtube video of the gunny bag song:

I love you people who tell me I'm a cute pregnant lady. It's so kind - especially since it's so far from the truth :) Sorry... but a cute pregnant lady has skinny little arms and legs and an adorable beach-ball belly. You cannot tell she is pregnant from behind. Her face does not look puffy.
This is not me. The entire truth of the matter is that I've gained enough weight for my entire pregnancy - and I still have 2 more months to go. I try not to full-out smile in pictures now, as my face looks like a huge, poofy ball.
As far as how I'm feeling, my hips have been bothering me a lot lately. I toss & turn seriously 10-15 times a night trying to relieve the pain. I've had the tingles in my hands and arms for the past couple weeks now - especially at night & in the morning, I can hardly use my right hand. The BHX have been going for a few weeks now as well. I'm waking up 2-3 times to pee. My feet hurt.
I'm not just trying to complain. And I will take this ANY DAY over how I felt the first few months. I REALLY am thankful to be pregnant!! I just have to document this for posterity!!

No luck yet. We are going on 6+ months now with no income. We have been EXTREMELY blessed, though, and we both feel like there is something waiting for us. We just need to have faith and trust in the Lord's plan for our family. Jason is sure working hard to get a job. He's done everything I can think of. It's a bad job market right now - especially in the finance industry. We could still use your prayers - and any leads you can send our way. At first, we were set on a small town, but we are trying to open our hearts and heads to where the Lord wants us, so if that's out of state, or even staying in Salt Lake, we are trying to be open & humble to those opportunities.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Potts Family Reunion - Moon Lake

This past week was our 2nd annual Potts family reunion. Mom & Dad rented 4 cabins up at Moon Lake and we really had a great time. The cabins were pretty rustic, but 3 of the cabins (including #10 - the one we stayed in) had stoves, bathrooms, and fridges! It was BEAUTIFUL up there! Perfect weather, beautiful beaches, and of course, what better company can you have than your own wonderful family? Thanks mom & dad for arranging this great trip! We had a wonderful time!

Here's some fun things we did:

-Ate yummy food (including pizza, spaghetti casserole, raspberry chipolte chicken, pancakes, french toast, sandwiches)

-Roasted marshmallows

-Played games (Phase 10, Mancala, Loaded Questions, 20 questions, 1-word-game)

-Played in Moon Lake (cold, but felt really good!)

-Played in the sand and mud (including building sandcastles, writing in the sand & burying each other)!

-Flew kites

-Went fishing (didn't really CATCH much, but the boys especially had a lot of fun fishing anyway)

-Went on walks

-Glitter Toes (thanks Trish!)

-Mom & Kalli playing guitar

-Reading books (me-Anita Stanisfield, Jason -LOTR, Kalli - vampire books)

-Watching the animals (squirrels, chipmunks, and lots of deer)

-Had fun in the rented paddle boat and motor boats

-Just hanging out and visiting - especially with the Checketts who we don't get to see much!

Of course, we had a bit of drama (McKinley's non-stop runny & sore nose, Cindy's late-night homework in Talmage, Ireland's hour-long screamfest the first night, the Simons & dad not being able to be up there the whole time, running out of things, those nasty buffalo gnat bites), but all-in-all, it was a WONDERFUL trip and we all had a great time!

Here's a slideshow w/ some pics from the trip:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Financial Freedom Seminar

If you've been following my blog, you may remember this post where I talk about reading 20 & Counting - a book about the Duggar family, who have 18 children.

Well, the fact that they have so many children and have been able to build this enormous home, have these huge vehicles, feed and clothe all these kids and still be able to stay completely out of debt intrigued me. How do they do it? Well, they say in the book that the main thing that helped them from the beginning was the Jim Sammons Financial Freedom Seminar from the Institute of Basic Life Principles. I thought about it & prayed about it & we went ahead & spent the $110 for the 10-disc, 20-hour seminar, including the manual which I highly recommend.

Jason & I watched the last chapter last night & we both agreed that it was probably the best $110 we've ever spent.


Well, where do I start? It goes over 20 principles of financial freedom and they are all based on biblical principles. I admit I was a bit skeptical at first - how can they base this all on scripture? But they truly did. Some of it was reiteration of what our prophets have been telling us forever, some of it was kind of surprising.

Here are the topics that Jim Sammons goes over (I put an asterisk by the ones that REALLY were eye-opening to me):

Disc 1:
Learn what it really means to be financially free.
*Know God’s four purposes for money.

Disc 2:
Identify and reject false financial concepts.
*Recognize God’s reproofs for the wrong ways to riches.

Disc 3:
*Choose to serve God rather than money.
Establish the tithe as a “weekly reminder.”

Disc 4:
*Purpose to keep out of debt. (this is including a mortgage & business debt)
Learn to live within your income.

Disc 5:
Develop sales resistance.
Flee from the hidden traps of swindlers.

Disc 6:
Learn how to get the best buy.
Be committed to an effective accounting system.

Disc 7:
*Never lend to friends or co-sign for a loan.
*Develop the full potential of your home.

Disc 8:
*Choose a good name, whatever the cost.
Learn the principles of praying for money.

Disc 9:
*Avoid business partnerships.
Identify and conquer slothfulness.

Disc 10:
*Listen to the cautions of your wife.
*Prepare now for a lasting heritage.

I will say it took us a long time to get through all these chapters, but EVERY TIME we finished a chapter, we felt closer to each other and closer to God.

I will also say that it took a bit of getting used to - he prays at the beginning and end of each session and some of the terms are not what we're used to as Latter-Day Saints, but I truly did feel the Holy Ghost and was constantly inspired by the stories and principles that were taught.
I will say as well that it took me a little while to get used to Jim Sammons' style, but I soon learned to love this good man and he has an enormous wealth of experiences that illustrate the principles that are taught - and in addition, he has great story-telling abilities.
Of course I'm not pushing this on anyone, but when you find something like this, we both of course want to share this with everyone we know. This is great financial advice that will benefit EVERYone, regardless of your current financial situation, but it's SO MUCH MORE. I feel it's helped me learn to be a better person and a better Christian.
If you have more questions, go to this link. There's even clips from the seminar.
Or e-mail me!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

What a busy, fun weekend!
It basically started on Thursay evening. After Jason helped my Grandpa Tew with some typing, we headed to Holladay for Kylee Fotheringham's wedding reception. She was one of my young women in our Granger ward back in our first few years of marriage. It was so much fun to see her and her family - and a few others from the old ward. I don't think we had seen any of them since before McKinley was born. I'm so glad Kylee & I reconnected on Facebook! It was at her uncle's house in Holladay - gorgeous! The backyard was amazing. I felt like I was in the Northwest instead of Utah - so much vegetation - so many mature trees. Besides how beautiful it was, the reception was just plain fun! Live music, a photo booth (we got to keep a copy and put a copy in their book), and a Letherby's ice cream bar! They even had a playground (in the backyard) next door! It was a perfect night & we had a great time.

Friday morning, it was off to the temple with my grandma, mom & sisters. Holy Moley - it was BUSY! We waited an hour to do initiatory. I was famished by the time we were done, but glad we stuck around to do them. We went to Madeline's afterwards & were treated by grandma & mom to some delicious lunch. As always, I love being around & visiting with those amazing women & feel honored to call them my family!

Friday evening, we grabbed some pizza and headed up to the ward campout. It was just above Woodland. We arrived about 7pm & stayed for about 2 hours (no - we didn't stay overnight. Sorry, people, but at about 7 months pregnant, tenting it is just no fun for me anymore). It was fun to see everyone outside of a church setting and just enjoying the outdoors. The guys (Jason & Bryan) built a blazing fire & we all had a good time visiting & watching the kids run around.

After the "campout" we headed over to Heber. Our friends, the Hoffman's, graciously let us stay with them Friday night. They have a beautiful home & it was so great to visit with them. They are incredible people and their girls are so precious. We are thankful to know them! I made some french toast on Saturday morning & we visited for a bit longer & then we were off again to...

Vernal! We haven't been there for over 2 years - I was pregnant with Ireland the last time we were there. Jason's mom's side of the family is there & it was great to go over & visit with Grandma Stewart. I especially wanted to get a picture of McKinley & "GG Stewart," since she is one of the grandma's McKinley Lou is named after. She wasn't entirely "with it" the entire time, but was very sweet and gentle and loving. We captured a precious video of her & McKinley talking & then she started singing a cute song to her. So sweet. After that, we went next door & visited with Jason's Aunt Kris, cousin Jenifer and Daniel's wife. It was good to see them & their beautiful babies - Joey and Mariah.

That evening, we had the privilege (and I do mean privilege) of staying with the Hatch's - just above Vernal in Dry Fork Canyon. Jason's mom is good friends with Carol and Doug and they were so sweet to let us stay with them. They lived in a cabin that they had renovated and added on to and it was just beautiful! Also, they had horses and dogs and constant hummingbirds, so the girls were in heaven. They were just wonderful hosts and provided a delicious dinner and great conversation. We also got to visit with their son, Jason, and he and Carol and Doug were so cute with the girls. The next morning (Sunday), Jason fixed his pancakes while Carol whipped up some bacon & eggs & we had a yummy breakfast. After that, they let the girls ride the horses and praised their riding. I truly do wish we had access to horses. They love to ride them. After that, we got to go up and see the historical Massey Ranch. Carol's side of the family has a ranch that was homesteaded in the 20's/30's and it's stayed in the family ever since. It was fun to go up and see it. Thanks, Hatch's, for making us feel a part of the family!!

Afterwards, we headed back to visit with Grandma Stewart for a little bit and we also got to see Ryan, Judy, and their kids as well as Aunt Lynette. It was great to visit with them. We need to be better about making it to Vernal more often! We left about 4pm and had a nice drive home. Thanks everyone for your hospitality and a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Slideshow update

OK - so... sorry to those of you who had to watch my July slideshow with the same darn music over & over. It was NOT supposed to be that way & I didn't notice till late last night. Had to re-do the whole thing! Grrr...
Anyway, not that you want to watch the entire thing again, but just want you to know that I fixed the music.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I think this picture I took last week deserves its own post. I just LOVE it! It represents everything I love about McKinley and about childhood. Talk about jumping for joy!

July Newsletter & Slideshow

Wowsers - July was insane! Hence, the long slideshow. We had a great, fun, awesome month. Below - slideshow, below that - kids stuff!

McKINLEY: Here’s some fun things that McKinley has been doing or saying this month:
-McKinley started her first lessons ever this month – swimming! She did a great job & mom & dad LOVED to watch her learn. She has been practicing whenever she can – in her little pool, in the bathtub, etc. She loves to swim!
-McKinley colored a picture one day and asked to take it to someone who was sick. We ended up taking it to a friend of the family who’s daughter is at Primary Children’s recovering from some organ transplants. It was so sweet of McKinley to want to help!
-It was not easy to get McKinley to sleep when we were out of town this month. The first time, she had horrible coughing fits and didn’t go to sleep until after 11pm. Another time, she wasn’t coughing so much as just fighting her sleep. She would just talk and talk when she was so tired. She told mom that she wanted to dream about her when she was a little girl. Mom told her she needed to go to sleep to dream. She said “Mom! I’ve already fallen asleep like 40 times!”
-McKinley was playing with one of the babies and told mom “I’m pretending this is Joseph Smith!” -McKinley has started saying things are “wicked.” Mom asked if she knew what that meant & she says she didn’t, so mom explained that wicked is doing really bad, evil things – following Satan. McKinley said “So…like peeing in the bathtub – that’s wicked?”
-When we were camping, there were some moths in the camping trailer. McKinley called them butterflies, but mom pointed out that they’re not nice like butterflies. McKinley (OF COURSE) asked why. Mom thought & said “well… they eat clothes.” So – that night there were some moths in the trailer & she was so scared. She said “Mom! I can’t go to sleep! There’s moths in here & they’re going to eat my coat!” She just cried & cried.
-McKinley had so much fun camping & hiking & riding in the Rhino. She just wasn’t used to being alone with only her family for so long. She would say “Mom, when are my friends going to get here? Like Michael, and Jack…”
-McKinley has been talking a lot about getting married lately. She sure wants to marry her daddy, or her cousin Michael. We told her that’s it’s not a good idea to marry family. She asked why & so we tried our very best to explain the logic behind that.
-Mom asked McKinley what the baby’s name should be. She said “hmmmmprobly…Hannah Montana.”
-McKinley is in to writing (or putting together with her bath letters) random letters & asking what they say. She’ll put together a bunch of letters & say “Mom – what does this say?” Usually it says something like sghioiwng
-We were in the kitchen & mom asked McKinley if she knew where daddy & Ireland were. She said “Maybe they went on a mission.”
-McKinley has been saying “nanna, nanna boo boo!” lately. We don’t know where she got it from, but it’s not nice.
-McKinley is also big into competition these days. Whether it’s finishing her food first or buckling her seatbelt, she always wants to win & constantly says “I’m beating you!”
-We were playing in the sandbox one day & making sand castles. McKinley said she was making a special sand castle & then said “See mom – this is Moroni on top!”
-McKinley has finally :( figured out the safety handle on her door. She can’t open the door with it on, but she just pulls the whole thing off.
-McKinley is also big into what Curious George says or does. She says “It’s just like George mom!” – even when it’s things that get her into trouble.
-We were driving home from Grandma Potts’ house & McKinley said “Mom – why did you want me?” Mom said “What do you mean?” Then she said “Why did you borrow me from Jesus?”
-We are working on respect issues with McKinley, including spitting, sticking out her tongue, tone of voice, and lying.
-We’ve been working with McKinley on her learning time & she is learning her letters really well & the sounds they make. She can write her name, but usually still has trouble with the K.

IRELAND: Here’s what our brand new 2-year-old has been up to
-Happy Birthday Ireland! Your birthday was on a Sunday this year, so we did our water party on Saturday, the 4th of July – we were at your Grandma Devenish’s, of course! Then on your birthday, you got to break through the birthday tape, wear the birthday crown, eat on the birthday plate & tablecloth & eat mommy’s French toast for breakfast. Then after your long nap, we had a nice meal, complete with the birthday cake and afterwards presents! We also watched your birthday DVD and looked through your birthday book. You got so many fun things – a stroller, some way cute clothes, a doll, some puzzles & some money! The festivities continued with the Potts side on the 9th of July. We had more water fun (Aunt Cindy bought a fun pool!), more cake & ice cream, and more presents – including movies, lots of princess shoes, and dolls for your dollhouse! You also let go of your 2 balloons. Happy 2nd birthday Ireland! We LOVE YOU!
-She sure has got that 2-year-old attitude down. She will say “NO, NO, NO” and has started to really boss other kids around.
-She’s constantly saying “Help you!” which means “Help me!”
-We were sitting in the living room & Ireland said “Let’s go!” Mom asked where. She said “To church!”
-Ireland knows every time when we’re getting close to home. When we’re on Shaggy Peak Dr, she will say “We’re HOME!” and then she’ll say “Church!” before we get there. She sure is good at remembering!
-One thing we’re hearing a lot from Ireland now is “don’t say that!!” (like when we tell her not to do something) or “don’t sing that!” (when we’re singing her good-night song to her & she doesn’t want to go to sleep)
-Ireland will bring Mom dress up skirts (especially the sparkly one) and say “Mom – be princess!” which means she wants me to help her put on the skirt & be a princess.
-Another fun thing is that she’ll say “Mom/Dad – look!” and show us what’s she’s coloring or making.
-She had a necklace the other day that she was trying to put on Tundra. She would say “Tundra – hold still!!”
-When we’re cleaning her off after meals, she says “Okay, okay, okay, okay!” until we’re done. -Ireland loves getting her swim suit on & go swimming in the backyard. She’ll say “go to swimmin’ lessons!”
-Mom gave Ireland a plate of food after she had woken up from a nap. She said “I gotta say a prayer.” So she did. It was so cute.
-Ireland can really count to 10! Sometimes she’ll get mixed up, but she will even go to 12 sometimes. She’s also working on her colors – she will point to something & say “purple-blue!”