Moving Day

The time has come, friends. I’m moving my blog. I am going to see if I can import my archives, but I doubt it.

Why? I’m tired of not being able to use my awesome flip to embed video. I don’t want to have to pay for something that I can get free elsewhere. I want to take advantage of the cute (free) backgrounds my fellow bloggers enjoy without paying for the privledge of creating my own background.  I want to comment on the blogs I follow in a way that will enable others to find me and my humble blog. So off to blogger I go!

I know it is a pain, and I hope you will follow me to the Keeping my Wits About Me new home:

June 10, 2009. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Great Strides (CFF) Walk

CFF Walk

Thanks to AJ, Dad and anyone else who donated to the CFF walk that we participated in this weekend. Our team raised nearly $600 (that was matched by Ancestry) and we won the pizza party! 

I also won the drawing to attend the Taste of Salt Lake at the TGN table. I’m super-excited about that because there is going to be great food from places like Thaifoon, Melting Pot, and other good SLC places.

We had great fun at the walk. It was a 5K from Seven Peaks to NuSkin so it was a nice, shady walk down center street in Provo. Birdy and EJ did really well- EJ got a shoulder/piggyback ride a lot of the way and Birdy rode in the stroller. As you can see from the pic, we brought Chester who was a rock star and made it most of the 3mi. on his own little chihuahua feet. I carried him the last 2 blocks since he seemed pretty tired.

In all it was a fun way to spend a Saturday. I was talking to Bek and found out there is a Buddy walk for T21 (downs syndrome) in Sept. Who wants to raise $$ and join Team Gracie??!?!

June 9, 2009. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Veg-tastic Recipes

A couple people have asked for meatless recipes (no, really!). So I figured I’d post links to some of our new favorites here. 

We made and froze a ton of these “Make Ahead Lunch Wraps” and I’ve been taking them for lunch (imagine that!). They heat up really well and are tasty with salsa.

Our all-time favorite veggie meal is this yummy California Grilled Veggie Sandwich– sooooo good.  Don’t be afraid of the grilled red peppers or red onion- I’m not a fan of peppers, but I”m finding I like them grilled and the onion gets all sweet and mellow.

One night we made Carmelized Onion and Gorgonzola pizza (it was my first time carmelizing onions and it went really well!).  This is a good recipe, but we cut the gorgonzola in half and used a cup or two of mozzerella.  I wouldn’t have wanted just gorgonzola!  But still use both onions- we only used one and wished there were more. We used an easy Garlic  Bread Machine pizza crust and our pizza stone and it was fantastic. Next time we are going to grill the pizza.

For quick and easy stuff, we liked this Tortellini with Fresh Vegetables although next time we’ll try to grill the veggies and just toss with the tortellini.  For other “quick” nights we had breakfast for dinner (with Morningstar sausages – they are veggie and very yummy).  We also like the Bisquick “impossibly easy pies” recipes-  Especially the Quesadilla Pie and the Spinach Parmesan Pie– they taste like a lighter version of a quiche.


June 8, 2009. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Birdy Post

What can I say- how cute is she? 

Here she is, chillin’ with her ride:


Too bad her hair always looks like that. When she gets out of the tub, it looks like this:


And this:


I can’t get it to stay that way. She plays to hard!

This is a series of pictures of a new game she invented- climb onto Mom/Dad’s shoulders:




Ta Da!  Don’t you wish you had a Birdy of your own?

June 6, 2009. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Meatless May Recap

EJ loves Gardenburgers!

EJ loves Gardenburgers!

I know how into my blog you all are, so surely you remember that May was declared “Meatless May” ’round these parts.  I also know that you’ve been just dying to know how it went- right?

I’m happy to report it was a resounding success. Once we got over the idea of “depriving” ourselves, it was really, really good.   We didn’t feel like we were missing anything (really).  We got back into our habit of eating a lot of veggies and fruit and that is a really good thing. 

We all ate better and more balanced meals.  The girls don’t really like to eat meat- especially Birdy.  By paying more attention to alternate protien and balanced meals, I think they were actually better off than when they would just eat some fruit and bread for dinner. 

Suprise! Birdy loves corn on the cob!

Suprise! Birdy loves corn on the cob!

The meals were no easier or harder to prepare- lots of veg prep that was traded for meat prep (thawing, trimming, etc).  We didn’t lose any weight (boo) but we didn’t really excersize more.

We liked it so much that we have decided to flip our eating habits- mostly veggie with meat about once a week (or when we go out).

June 4, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Neener, neener, looky what we have!


Oh yeah- I know you are jealous. Somehow we won the family lottery and we have Cynj’s boys- Sam and Thomas- while she is having their little girl TOMORROW!!!

EJ and Birdy are over the moon to have a sleepover with their boy cousins.  DMP is excited to have boys to play with (and someone for the girls to play with besides him!).  It should be a lot of really good fun for a couple of days.

When we were telling EJ that the boys were coming for a sleepover, I said “Do you know why they are coming to stay at our house?”

“No” she said.

“They are going to stay with us for a few days while their Mommy and Daddy go to the hospital to have their baby sister”

“Why? Don’t they want to see her?”


June 2, 2009. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

The Birds are Tweeting!

We left the window open in Birdy’s room all night the other night and when DMP went to go and get her up, she exclaimed “Dada, the birds are tweeting and I’m awake!

I’m biased, but she is so dang smart. Thanks to the shape-o-ball, she knows her shapes.  On a recent walk, everything had to be examined and named. “look Dada, triangle!” (About a crack in the sidewalk).  “Look Dada, snow rocks!” (about white landscaping rocks).  It is both fun and maddening to go for a walk with her. Stopping to examine every leaf, crack and squished bug makes for very slow going!

May 23, 2009. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

North Carolina Confrence

As many of you know, I recently did some travel for work.  This confrence took me to the NGS confrence in Raleigh, North Carolina.  In spite of the 5 (yep, 5) flights and a rental car snafu, it was a lot of fun.

For the first time ever, I flew over my hometown- I was pretty excited 🙂


I got in on the last flight of the night at 12:40 only to find that Alamo, where I had reserved my rental car, closed at 12:00. Wha?!?!  So this is me in the abandoned pick-up area of the airport waiting for a super shuttle at 2:30. Can you tell I”m fervently hoping no one will come by and kill me?!?!


I didn’t get to do much sightseeing, but I was amazed at how many trees there are in Raleigh. Being a desert-baby I couldn’t believe that they were everywhere and no one had to plant them. I did get away to visit the North Carolina History museum. It is in the city center near the capitol and this old church (built abt. 1830).


Meatless May also took a temporary break because, when in the South, you have to have BBQ.  North Carolina is apparently known for it’s vinegar-based BBQ and it is goooood. 


No, I didn’t eat this plate of food by myself, I shared with a co-worker.  In case you were wondering, we had ribs, brisket, and some really, really good meatloaf.  The sweet potato fries were delish, and I enjoyed the fried okra, too. It is kind of like fried zuchini.  I was also had hushpuppies for the first time- they can only be described as little fried balls of happiness.  The biscuits were awesome, too.


I met some really interesting people on the plane back home. On one leg, I sat next to a guy who was coming home from protesting Obama’s Notre Dame commencement speech.  He had spent the night before in jail.  We had a very interesting discussion on abortion, gay rights and whatnot.

Another plane mate I met pretty much shared the whole trip. He was going from Raleigh to SLC to turn in his final project. Apparently there is a pretty well-known violin-making school in SLC and he is one of only 3 people in this year’s graduating class. One of these handmade violins takes about 200 hrs to make and sells (on the low end) for about $6,000.  I asked him to let me take a picture while he was checking on it between flights.


Over all, I really, really enjoyed talking to and connecting with the people that use Ancestry and understand what makes them tick.  Like this nice lady. She brought these books she had made using Family Tree Maker to our booth to show them off. They are over 1,500 pages of her tree, stories, pictures and etc.  Amazing.


I missed DMP and the girls like crazy and was so, so, so glad to get home (and it only was partially due to the 3 flights I had to take).  No one missed me too terribly while I was gone (except Chester) but they were all really glad when I came home. Birdy kept kissing me and sitting on my lap with her hand on my chin saying “I luff you!”. 

EJ was very excited to see me too, but it might have had something to do with the presents I brought- giveaways from other confrence booths!  They loved ’em!

May 22, 2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.


Helen KellerWe recenly re-aquired the “Value Tales” books from Mom’s house (Thanks Mom!) and have been using them for FHE.  Our first book was about Helen Keller and the value of Determination.

EJ loved the new FHE format- we got to read a book with lots of pictures, and she really “got” the story of Helen Keller. It was also an appropriate value, since we’ve been working with her on not giving up when tasks are hard.

When I took the girls out on my new bike in the bike trailer for the first time, I didn’t realize that the ENTIRE ride home is uphill. I’m not in the best of shape anyway, and adding 70 lb of kids in a bike trailer didn’t make the climb easier.  I asked the girls to cheer me on and we talked about Helen Keller and not giving up.

About a week later, EJ was riding her little bike around the front of our house. There is a “loop” of sidewalk and on one side there is a bit of an incline.  She was struggling to ride up the small hill and said “Look Mom, I’m determinationing!”

May 20, 2009. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Attention Fellow Readers!


I just discovered a new site last week that I’m really excited about. It is called  Basically it is a site where you can post your unwanted (or already read) books and swap them with others for FREE. 

Here’s how it works- you upload a book to your “bookshelf” someone who is looking for that book “requests” it and you agree to send it to them. You send the book at your cost (about 2.50) and when they receive the book, you get a “credit” that you can use to request a book of your own which someone will send to you at their cost.

I know a lot of you are like me and go through a lot of books. I love to pick them up at thrift stores or DI rather than the library because I usually have  a big “to be read'” pile.  This way I can get all the books I want to read in a very low-risk way. 

I was also suprised at how easy it was to add my books- you just enter the ISBN number (on the back by the bar code usually) and it already has the picture and data for you.  I added about 15 books in about 10 min.

The UI of the site could use some help- it is pretty clunky and akward to really browse books- particularly in “narrowed down” categories (like children’s books for ages baby – 3) but if you use the search feature, it works out OK.

When you get started, if you upload 10 books, you automatically get 2 credits so you can start receiving books. Warning: shameless plug. If you do decide to join and add 10 books, enter my email address or username (mak-p) and I get a credit (i.e. free book) too!

Happy reading!  If you try it out, let me know how you like it!

May 12, 2009. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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