Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I am a homemaker...but I'm not very crafty.

I love food. Everything about it. I can't even watch Ratatouille without feeling extremely hungry and having to make something creative in the kitchen to enjoy, it was even worse with Julie and Julia. I spent the whole movie starving. Not for a hamburger and fries but for something truly gourmet and delectable. The only problem is, I am not a gourmet chef, and I don't have any at my disposal. I am just an average cook with little talent.

I can bake as well as the next person but no better. I don't make fancy culinary creations to die for, although I am often craving them. Sometimes I just want GOOD food, GOOD treats.

I am NOT a scrapbook-er or a crafty person. There is not one creative bone in my body. It would seem that I'm not a very good picture of a homemaker. I don't do anything better than the next person.

There is one thing that I'm pretty good at making, although I've only made it once, it turned out pretty beautifully. I might make it more often if it wasn't so expensive to make and didn't take so much time and equipment, but my family LOVED it. Adam collaborated with me and it was a very neat project so we decided to try it again. This time I suggested Adam take the bulk of the work but he insisted that I could do a much better job at it and frankly, it is more in my realm of expertise. Adam assured me I would have his full support.

We got to work on the project and it started out well enough but I quickly remembered what a taxing project it actually was. It has started to take it's physical toll and quite frequently I tell Adam that I think I'd like to quit. "It's too late for that babe," he says, but I'll be here to help and support you. Often after long nights of working on the project Adam will bring me breakfast in bed. He will do the cooking and cleaning, at least for the first little while, and helps a lot with Hannah when he is home. So many friends assure me, "every project is different," but what they don't know is that this one is much more grueling, especially with a toddler running amok.

But I will carry on with my head held high and my stomach empty. I know the first few months of the project are the worst, and I know that when I am done It will be worth it (although, I'm not going to pretend I'm not worried that my first project, and this current project will conspire against me). Oh well, call me a glutton for punishment. I am a homemaker, and we do like our projects.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A blog in which I complain and give thanks at the same time...

I decided that I needed to write a post about everything I'm grateful for at the moment. There are a lot of things in my life that feel heavy at the moment but amid all the "heavy" I know that it is because we are being blessed.

Things with the Korean girls are pretty tough. Emotionally, I'm always worried about how they are feeling, what they are thinking, if they are in need of anything, if they are happy. They have been with us for two weeks and we have happy times but the end of this week has been rough. They aren't being the best communicators which led to this weeks fiasco of me catching them in MY room going through all my drawers looking for their money. At the beginning, the girls brought me their money and told me that their parents wanted us to hold it for them so they wouldn't lose it or have any problems with it and suddenly the girls decided they wanted it back, so they went through all our drawers until they found it and took it back without saying anything. They also have complained to their parents that they don't get any privacy, they sleep on hard beds (probably because we bought them brand new and nobody has ever slept in them before) and we don't let them talk to their parents enough. This is a problem because we don't have a land line so we purchased minutes for them to call on Skype but we only bought 400 minutes so that means that they can't talk every single now we are getting emails from the mothers asking us to accommodate their children while we are bent over backwards trying to make them happy campers already. It is tough.

But enough about some of the heavy. I am really grateful for the opportunity to serve them and I hope that I can be better. I really want them to be happy here and I am praying to be better for them. I am praying that they will be happy, but hey, it's tough when you are nine years old and you are away from home for 2 months. There will be sad times.

My health hasn't been the greatest this week either which makes it difficult to care for an 18 month old and two nine year old's. Hopefully I'll feel better next week, but in the mean time I guess I'll just suck it up.

Ok, I really didn't mean to complain again. I didn't. The reason why I wanted to write this is because I had such a tender moment with Hannah tonight. It was nothing out of the ordinary, just reading her stories and playing Pop Goes the Weasel and All Around the Garden. She was cracking up like a mad man and it was such a warm feeling to listen to that laugh. It reminded me that all of this was worth it, just in one little smile and one little giggle it made everything worth it.

Also, I couldn't have married a better man. Adam is wonderful. He is wonderful with the girls, he is wonderful with Hannah, he serves me and cares for me and works hard for our family. Adam is my rock. Adam is the glue. I don't give him enough credit for everything he does for me and our little family but he really is my knight in shining armor. He is absolutely my hero and I couldn't be luckier. At the time we were dating I was also writing two missionaries and I had a difficult decision. Do I marry him or do I see how other relationships pan out. The answer was so simple, he loved me best. He loved me better than anyone and that made me fall in love with him. I am so blessed beyond words.

Then there is my brother. I will write him one last email tonight. I've probably written him 100 emails. I think I only missed 4 weeks total. We've discussed everything from the mundane to the profound. I am grateful for my brother. I'm grateful for his service. I'm grateful that I have gotten closer to him over the last two years. Most importantly, I am grateful that in just a few short days, I will pick my daughter up and hand her to her uncle, and when he says "who loves uncle Sean" she will say "me."

Thursday, January 20, 2011



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

so frustraited.

so we had a great trip to disneyland. it was so much fun...but as we left on sunday we noticed our car leaking gas from the engine. yep. so we had to take the car in on monday...long story short we are stuck in california until wednesday or thursday. which means adam has to miss school, which means he cant miss next week. which means i have to drive to seans homecoming by myself. im so sad tbhat i have been waiting to be with my whole family for over two years and that still isnt going to happen

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


The girls are doing great, Sarah had a breakdown Saturday morning but there have been no tears ever since. They are excited for DISNEYLAND this weekend and I am too. They started school today so I'm very anxious to hear how everything goes for them. We are adjusting pretty well, although the first couple of days were a little stressful for me and I'm sure for them as well. Hannah loves them the most and they love her too. They are good "big sisters" to her and Hannah cried when we left them at school today.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Not off to a great start...

With my reading goal. Sure I've read three books in nine days so I'm on track to finish just fine, but I haven't picked great books.

The Last Lecture was good but it was a little too...intellectual. Not enough heart and soul in it. It wasn't what I was expecting and though I thought the message was nice I liked what Georgia Crouch said when she talked about Tuesdays with Morrie and The Last Lecture being big successes but basically all the golden nuggets can be found with reading the scriptures and going to church.

Dream When You're Feeling Blue was a WWII book about the home-front, focusing on a family, particularly the sisters writing to their fiances. I actually loved this book. It took me a while to get into it but there is a lot of historical facts woven in and it is beautifully written. I HATED the end of the book which is why I can't recommend it fully, I think it had one of the most rushed, bad surprise endings of all time...but up until the last 20 pages it is golden.

The Secret was a crock. Almost laughable. On wikipedia I laughed when I read "The book has also been heavily criticized by former believers and practitioners, with some going as far as claiming that "the secret" was conceived by the author and that the only people generating wealth and happiness from it are the author and the publishers." I laughed at that. The book is based on the "law of attraction" which states that if you think about something, the universe will bring it to you, but wait, the universe can't distinguish between "I don't want a bad hair cut" and "I want a good hair cut" so make sure your emotions are in check and you are thinking positively. Do you want to know the REAL secret? Turn your life to God, have faith in Him and His infinite wisdom and know that he is a loving father. Not that (paraphrasing) if you think fat thoughts you will be fat and if you think that you can eat anything and not gain weight that will be true too, the foods you eat will find perfect harmony with your body because you will be thinking positively. Good thing I found this book at the used book store for 50 cents rather than actually buying it.

Tonight I'm starting Les Miserables and I will be reading that and the Chronicles of Narnia for the rest of the month. I think I'll be much happier with those choices.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


The title of this blog is what I assume is "Hello" in Korean.

Last night, Adam, Hannah and I drove out to North Las Vegas to meet with the other families involved in the exchange, and to pick up our kids. There was pizza and soda provided, and we waited anxiously and nervously for the kids to arrive. This remains to be on of the top ten craziest things I've ever done in my life and I was a little giddy waiting for them to come. Finally the door opened and two by two Korean after Korean filled the cafeteria.

I couldn't pick out OUR Koreans so I stood in a crowd looking, debating which ones were ours. Then I turned around, and separated from the crowd stood two little girls looking our way, particularly at Hannah. That must be Sarah and Yuni.

We walked over to greet them and Hannah walked right up to them. She made a noise and they laughed hysterically, so in turn she laughed hysterically. Hannah started doing all sorts of things to show off, climbing on their luggage, running around in circles, running up to the girls, everything met by a fit of giggles. It was an instant connection and I was so glad the three of them seemed to be having a good time together.

Oh the drive home, the girls slept for a little bit, and Hannah just stared. We got back home and the girls were happy to be settling in. They each had two large suitcases, backpacks, and together they brought one, giant, ominous box...filled with food. Seaweed, Kimchi, some pastes of sorts and lots of variety of 'cup-o-noodles' with a little squid swimming around on the box. The girls had refused the pizza at the get together (although I know they've had it before, it probably just looked a little different and they were too nervous and excited to eat at the time) but were now hungry once they saw we opened the box of food from home. They preferred to take it up to their room (which was a one time deal, but given the situation I allowed it) and Adam and I sat and marveled at the randomness that is our life. Hannah was busily trying to show them everything in the house, and interested in all things Korean, going from bed to bed looking at the girls things. When I told her it was time for bed, she plopped herself down on one of the twins and started fake snoring in true honk-shew fashion. She was sad when she had to go to her room, but I'm sure once the girls get up she will be happy to know they are here to stay.

The girls brought beautiful clothes for Hannah and some candy and tea for Adam and I, along with a book mark for Adam and jewelry box for me.

They stayed up until about 3 in the morning and I hear them stirring now...

One cute thing was they jumped when I turned on the shower, and showed them how to get ice from the fridge. They are adorable and I love them already!

Monday, January 3, 2011

{Reading Goals}

My completed book list 2010:

*The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

*The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

*These is my Words by Nancy E.Turner

*The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The Lovely Bones by Alice Seibol

The Pact by Jodi Picult

*Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Flunke

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen (unfinished)

*The Help by Kathryn Stockett

*The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

*Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Children of Luminance by Russell C Nielsen

*The Six Steps (Working Title) by Joe England

*And Then There Were None by Agatha Christy

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

*If I Stay by Gayle Forman

*How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

*Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

*The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

*Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

*Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

*Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

*Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

*Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K Rowling

*Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

*A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The Man who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued his Career and Revived our Holiday Spirits by Les Standford

*Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

*Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Grand total: 38 books!

I have a new goal this year! Last year I was just reading for fun, but this year I thought it would be even MORE fun to challenge myself to read 100 books! It is a huge challenge, especially with some of the books on my list (Les Miserables, Atlas Shrugged, The Holy Bible etc.) basically this means I'll be reading a book about every four days! My only requirements are: 20 books have to be classics, 10 books have to be non fiction.

Today is January 3rd which means three days have passed! I'm already behind schedule! Just kidding, I've been planning this challenge for about three months which means I started a book on 1/1/11 and completed it today (The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch) and I'm starting another one today (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen) I'll be reading a couple of series books (The Chronicals of Narnia, The Alice books, The Underland books, etc) which will help because I usually read series pretty fast...and I am reading the Standard Works which will take me all year long.

I'm giving up most TV. I'll average a half an hour each night. Adam has 18 graduate credits this semester which means a lot of my reading will be done between now and June :) Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Favorite Albums of the Year

Author: Adam Turney

I love music. My collection on my computer consists of over 30,000 songs and is always growing. Allow me to clarify...I love good music. When I find music I like it will often be played until I no longer want to hear the songs for a long, long time. Occasionally an artist/band will release an album that I find myself listening to all throughout the year. This year I found four albums that kept my ears in heaven and helped me fall in love with the bands all over again.

These bands aren't considered mainstream or huge successes (except Brandon Flowers with The Killers) when compared to the mediocre artists that fill the Billboard Top 100 charts. Anyway, I wanted to share my four favorite albums this year...albums that kept me happy during my bike rides and long drives.

I have included music videos that will allow you to sample some of the music. Also, each band is linked to their page so you can listen to a larger sample of their music.

1. Athlete - Black Swan (England)
Although this album was released in 2009, I didn't discover it until mid-November. I have loved Athlete for several years, but this album helped remind me why they are considered one of my all-time favorite bands.

2. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (France)
Also released in 2009, this album was awarded the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album in 2010. I saw this band perform at The Pearl in Las Vegas and it was one of the few concerts that I actually found myself tapping my hands and feet during every song.

3. Keane - Night Train (England)
Another of my favorite bands, I regret not attending their concert when they were in Las Vegas during the weekend of Hannah's first birthday (so was Justin Beiber and I wish I could have seen part of that show). Each time I listen to their music I wish I would have just purchased the 4 tickets to take everyone and enjoy a wonderful night of music I love.

4. Brandon Flowers - Flamingo (Las Vegas, USA)
Anybody familiar with The Killers will immediately recognize Brandon Flower's voice. Her is the lead singer for The Killers and this is his solo album. At first I wasn't sure about the album, but after several times through I found I loved it just as much as each album released by The Killers (which is also one of my all-time favorite bands). By the way, Brandon Flowers is LDS, although I am not sure he is too active.

Hopefully you might find the music to be as good as I have. I know it isn't for everyone and Melissa gets exhausted listening to my music tastes all the time (I can't handle listening to Disney soundtracks, show tunes, or Glee smashups). But maybe if you give the songs, artists, or albums some time they will grow on you. Or perhaps you are already familiar with the bands and can share in my appreciation for the music.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Days: 29-30 The End!

Well that was fun eh? I did this challenge because I wanted to get into blogging more. I have some blogging goals for next year and I need to be dedicated to it :)

Here is a picture of me from last year. Last year, I was just graduating, I was a brand new mommy of a perfect baby, and a soon to be stay- at- home- homemaker.
I have learned a lot this year. I have grown in faith, I have gained friends, I have gained weight ;) and a greater appreciation for family.

This is me just a few days ago. I wonder what this year will bring? I know it is bringing my brother home from Australia, Adam's dad home from Iraq...It will mean another graduation for Adam, and with that the possibility for a new career direction. My tiny baby will turn two and we will no longer be a family of three once the Koreans get here. We'll take fun trips, work our tails off to pay for Adam's school between me tutoring and Adam's two jobs. It will mean less time with Adam and more one on one time with Hannah as he is taking 16 graduate level credits from 1/4-5/5/ Then it will mean WAY more time with Adam when he is done teaching on June (?)th and I suddenly find him home every day, all day long.

2011 will be awesome. Bring it!