Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Milebug--great mileage tracker

I just wanted to make mention of a great app called Milebug that is very useful for keeping track of miles driven.  You'd be surprised  how much you can save on taxes if you keep track of the miles you drive for business, charity, or even medical travel.  This app for the iPhone makes it easy to track miles and make reports for tax purposes or for reimbursement.  There are also Android and Windows 7 apps available.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


We were able to go to Yellowstone last week during Fall Break.  We had a lot of fun and it was great to see how excited the kids got about seeing the wildlife and the "thermal stuff".  Here's a digital scrapbook page that I made with a few pictures and a video.  Just click on the picture below and it will take you to the page on talespring.com.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Learning Sign Language

I've been inspired by my cousin Charlotte's good example of doing her very best for her kids. I'm going to finally start really studying sign language and teaching Aaron. He is getting to where he imitates almost anything we do and he even makes up his own signs trying to tell us what he wants so I know he can pick up lots of new signs if I just show him. It's been a while since I tried to write down all the signs he knows but it's somewhere around 120. Now he's trying to talk a lot and he's using some signs much less because he's trying to say the word with his mouth. The problem is that most of his words sound very much the same so it would be helpful if he used the word and the sign together. I think I'll start with 5 words this week that I'll try to incorporate into our day. This week's words will be:

learn, like, teacher, understand, what, why, who

Okay, so that's actually 7 words but I think that's alright. He might already know like and teacher is a noun that should be pretty easy to learn. The others could be a little harder for him so we'll see how it goes. I will report our progress next week.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Entertaining Friends

When J. and I first got married I thought we'd do a lot more entertaining than we do. He seemed to have so many friends that he kept in close contact with that I thought we'd be inviting them over often for games and food and that sort of thing. Well, that didn't end up being the case, probably more because of me than because of him. As I've already explained, I'm not a good housekeeper so inviting people over causes me stress, therefore we don't invite people over very often.

I've decided tonight that one aspect of my new "happy at home" motto is going to be about sharing time with friends and family. I am going to get my house together and organized so we can invite friends over without causing me too much stress and anxiety. There's another motivation to get off my rear end and get some things done. Hopefully an invitation will be extended to you soon.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A New Direction

Tonight I picked up a book that's been sitting on my shelf for a while. It's called The Ultimate Career: The Art of Homemaking by Daryl Hoole. I've read parts of this book in the past but tonight a few things I read caught my attention and they've caused me to think about my life.

I'm not a good housekeeper. Anyone who's been to my house knows that. I'm not a complete slob but I'm definitely on the slob spectrum. I always have been. Dad, if you read this post, you will be able to attest to the truth of that statement. I don't want to be a slob but I have habits that make it difficult for me to change.

So, tonight I opened this book thinking that I need to make some changes in the way that I run my household. I turned to the first page and the first sentence in the introduction is a quote by a Samuel Johnson who was a writer and literary critic in the 18th century. He said, "The ultimate result of all ambition is to be happy at home." That hit me pretty hard. I am often not "happy at home" and one of the reasons for that is the mess and clutter that I live in. I have a hard time finding things when I need them and I'm often stressed by the overwhelming feelings that I get when I look around at everything I need to do. I'm often grumpy with the kids because they have picked up many of my bad habits and it makes for a perfect storm of chaos and clutter.

After thinking about all these things I've come to the conclusion that I want to make this my new goal and motto: Happy at Home. I'm hoping to use this blog as a way to keep track of my progress, ponder on ways to achieve happiness at home, and share any ideas that are successful. I'm excited about this and have high hopes. Here's to being happy at home.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I think I might be back

So it's been a year since my last post. I've wondered about starting up again a few times but I don't think I was ever quite ready. I'm not sure that I'm ready now either but I'm going to give it a shot.

Not much to say today but OrphanAnnie(8) did say something kind of funny yesterday. She was reading an article in the Reader's Digest (this was surprising in itself) and she wanted to tell me about it. She said, "There is this woman and she's kind of young. She has friends..." Okay, so once you get a little older you don't have friends anymore? Hmm. Does she think that I have friends or not...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

General Conference

I've noticed recently that after every General Conference there is a talk or two that everyone talks about. In October last year it was the one about hope by Pres. Uchdorf. A few conferences back everyone was talking about Pres. Eyring's talk on the journal in which he wrote about how he saw the hand of God in his life every day. I guess I can't remember others specifically but as I watched this General Conference I wondered which talk it would be that I would hear referenced a lot over the next 6 months. I think it will be either Elder Uchdorf's again on discipleship or Elder Bednar's talk on the temple. It could also be the one by Elder Hales about the economic times and how we need to learn to live within our means. Which one stood out to you?