February 2009 in Review

1st — I woke up at 5:15am this morning to John slamming the office door. He had a Barney show going on the tv. As I put him back to bed there was a Barney song running through my head. If that was the song that was playing when I got up, it was at least 20-25 minutes into the DVD.

3rd — John was watching the Spanish channel when I woke up.

4th — John tries and actually succeeds in lifting a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper.

5th — John put his pants on by himself for the first time, I just turned around and he had pants on!

6th — Lydia figured out how to rip up a kleenex and drink her bottle at the same time.

7th — Had to perform stealth diaper retrieval.

8th — Wondered if Lydia was fake sleeping… is that possible for an 8 ½ month old?

9th — Lydia finally cut that 5th tooth… a break before the 6th please?

— John wants his hand washed… they are mysteriously neon pink and I still don’t know the cause.

10th — Took the kids to Fazoli’s, John poured pepper onto his penne alfredo, and loved it!

11th — Lydia crawled!

12th — I passed my PRAXIS PLT

13th — I lost Lydia…. she was in the kitchen.

 — John created hurricane-like effects in his room in about 2 minutes flat.

 — Had a wonderful Valentine’s date with Aaron.

14th — John uses the wall instead of the white board for his coloring escapades.

15th — Lost Bobby.

 — John pulled the mattress off the bed and then got stuck under it.

 — Found Bobby.

20th — Nice weather. Took kids to the park. John took off running across a field and Lydia took off after him with her military crawling. Shew as pretty fast, but ended up covered in dead, brocken leaves. 

21st — John tries to get into the exer-saucer… with Lydia already IN it. 

22nd — Spent 2 1/2 hours in the ER with John. He did not want to stand on the scale, get his oxygen levels or temperature taken, and then pitched a fit when we were finally shown our room. Another hour later, when the doctor finally arrived, John seemed fine. 

23rd — Put Lydia’s jacket on up-side-down, was in a hurry, so I left it that way. 

 — Home alone. Kids in bed. Hear a paper crackling type of noise coming from John’s room, but it sounds like its outside the door. (Freaked me out.) So, I look over and John’s pushing a piece of paper underneath the door. I go over and try to pull it from my end. Then I slip my fingers underneath and grab John’s fingers. He giggles, “Mommy.” So we talk a bit, through the door, before I bid him goodnight again. 

24th — John put his BYU shoes on by himself, on the wrong feet.  

 — Aaron’s gone. Furnace starts acting up.

25th — John pulled out about 1/2 the wipes of a relatively full package. 

 — Lydia’s just really cute. 

26th — Lydia unscrewed her bottle and was soaked from head to toe, as well as her bed. This was at nap time. 

 — No heat. 

27th — Lydia pulled herself up! 

28th — I killed Aaron’s fish this week… oops.

 — John made a swimming pool in the kitchen with only a cup and running water.


Three Envelope Chicken


4-6 small chicken breasts

1 packet of chicken gravy

1 packet alfredo sauce mix

1 packet of McCormick tomato, garlic and basil grill marinade

1 cup water

egg noodles



1. Mix water and three packets in small bowl.

2. Place chicken in crockpot.

3. Pour over sauce.

4. Cook on low for 4 hours.

5.  Serve over cooked egg noodles. (About 8 oz does the trick.)


I really love this recipe. Its so simple and yummy. You can try it with different “envelopes” too. The original called for the chicken gravy, ranch, and italian dressing, but I thought that a little spicy for my taste. I hope you enjoy!

Page Maps

I have received a lot of compliments on my family scrapbook and feel the need to somewhat “come clean.” I had wanted to make a post about the awesomeness (yes, I said awesomeness) of page maps, but didn’t think about it in accordance with my scrapbook post.

While I can pick and coordinate paper and embelishments pretty easily, I’m not quite so good at the design part. (Although I am improving.) At a digicrop last year someone mentioned pagemaps.com. From that time on my scrapbook pages and creativity improved immensely. The majority of my pages were used with the basic design of someone else! But, if it makes my pages cute, I’m not opposed to using them. Hope you can enjoy these as much as I do.

Here are some of the sights that I have since found and used. 

pagemaps.com (favorite)

heatheranndesigns.com (2nd favorite)

nutsaboutsketches.blogspot.com  (3rd favorite)




Digital Scrapbooking

I absolutely love digital scrapbooking. Before my son was born 2 1/2 years ago I was behind by at least a year. I decided to finish the few pages I had left in my paper scrapbook and then check into digital ones. I had originally decided on Picaboo. I used this for two scrapbooks, but there were two things I didn’t like about it. First, they didn’t offer a 12×12 size and that’s what I really like for my family albums. Second, picaboo has limited abilities. I could choose different backgrounds and page layouts, but that was all. Layouts were limited and text boxes were as well.

I was then introduced to Heritage Makers. I love Heritage Makers. First, they offer tons of different sizes including a 12×12. I also use 8×8 sizes for my baby books. I’ve used a 5×5 for a family book for John that has pictures of his aunts, uncles and cousins so he can learn their names. (They have non-square sizes as well cards, posters, and more.) Second, I can do everything in the Heritage Makers program that I can do on paper. They have thousands of peices of art: paper, letters, embellishments, fibers etc. You can place the pictures where you want, create circles and rounded corners, turn the pictures so they’re on an angle, have multiple text boxes in different fonts and sizes, and more. Now they even offer templates where you can simply slip in your pictures rather than the ones offered and change any art on the page to personalize it without the fuss.

This is a network marketing company. No, I’m not a distributor, but I do love the product! A link to my 2008 scrapbook is below, so you can see for yourself everything there is to offer! (P.S. If you’re ever interested let me know, I’m sure my friend, who happens to be my distributor, would love to talk to you.) 

2008 Shafovlaoff Scrapbook

Here’s my suggestion. If you’re not an advid scrapbooker and don’t really want to be one, use a program like snapfish. Its easy and quick, cheaper and offers a lot of sizes. And let’s face it, pictures are always better in books than in boxes. If you’re a scrapbooker looking to switch definitely check out Heritage Makers. While it is expensive, its definitely comparable, its just that you’re paying all at once instead of piece by piece.


This is the first time that I feel hopeful in a long while. Some of you know about why I needed to have a partial hysterectomy, others of you don’t, that story will probably be discussed in the future, just know that I had one 2 1/2 years ago. At the time all of my doctors told me that I would go through menopause at a normal age, because I still had both of my ovaries. A year ago, I never would have thought that I’d be on  hormone replacement therapy at 28 years of age, but I am, and now I’m hopeful. 

I don’t know exactly when it started, but there was a transition to me feeling tired, all the time. I didn’t have the energy to do anything. I’d come home from my MOPS meeting and think, “Oh, I’m so tired, I did so much today, I need to rest.” Sounds a little rediculous, doesn’t it. I think because of my tiredness, I began to resent anybody who even seemed perfect at something. If you were a perfect housekeeper, I resented you. If you had children, yet managed to stay thin and in fashion with your hair and makeup in place, I resented you. If you seemed too happy, I resented you.If you had good friendships, I resented you. (Although, I wasn’t honest with myself that I was doing this.) Everything was a struggle for me, from getting into the shower, to simply getting normal clothes on. Other marital issues crept in. My brain couldn’t concentrate on anything. It was too hard for me to sustain thinking deeply about anything, even things that interested me, but I became bored easily. I had a son and a daughter that I was not taking joy in, as much as I should. Things just kept getting worse and adding on. 

Thankfully in June, I went to my sister-in-law’s chiropractor. She was the first one to tell me that I had at most about 2 years before my ovaries stopped working properly. It had just about been two years. So, I kept the information in the back of my head. But,  as I continued to drag more and more and go through periods of depression, I started researching further. Sure enough, according to more natural women’s health adcovates, I should be expecting a loss of hormones. At the same time I wasn’t experiencing hot flashes, so I didn’t think it could be menopause. Things didn’t get better, so I started to look up symptoms that went along with menopause, and even though I didn’t have hot flashes, I did have about 1/2 of what was on the list of symptoms. Being somewhat wary of starting hormone replacement therapy at 28, I looked into finding a more naturopathic doctor. 

It was around the holidays at this point, so I made the appointment for January. When I went to the appointment the doctor confirmed that I probably did have low hormones. She took my blood to test for all the different types of hormones and we made an appointment for two weeks to test the esterdiol and progestrone hormones. (The ones that vary according to a woman’s cycle.) When I returned, she decided to check my hormones, but go ahead and start me on therapy. Not only were my hormones in the post-menopausal range, but they were low, or below normal even for that range. On top of that, because my body is not expecting low hormones, it would react more severely than a 50 year old body. 

While the thought of being on hormone replacement therapy for at least 20 years is somewhat daunting, I’m also relieved and hopeful. Relieved, because my lathargy and attitude wasn’t completely due to my sinful nature. (Another reason that spurred me to get medically checked out is that I had been spending regular time with God, and in my life, when I’m doing so I’m more joyful than I was.) I’m hopeful because I don’t have to look down the corridor of time and wonder when the tiredness will pass, but rather am doing something to help it. 

The first day of wearing my bio-identical estergens patch I felt a huge improvement. I had energy. It wasn’t hard to go to the grocery store. It wasn’t hard or fake to laugh with my children. I was excited and happy. Even the next morning, I was tired (after all I have children waking me up at all hours) but it was different. Life wasn’t a challenge. I wasn’t dragging. I feel like the world is my oyster now and that I’m capable of actually accomplishing my dreams. I thank the Lord for bringing me to this place of answers and hope.