Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cookie that I love!

Check out these confectionery delights! They arc called Lofthouse Cookies and they are so good! They are a soft, thick sugar cookie that is frosted and has sprinkles on top. They come in all different colors, but these happen to be yellow. I usually prefer homemade cookies (and chocolate ones at that) but these are the best sugar cookies I've ever had. You can find these cookies lots of places. They sell them at the grocery store, and I've even have seen them in Target's checkout aisle. Next time you see them, try them because they are so good and you won't be disappointed!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The royal wedding, part 2

I'm feeling a little tired right now, but that's because I got up at 5 AM to watch CNN's live coverage of the royal wedding. I have to admit I was excited to see Kate's dress, and I was not disappointed. It was beautiful! I love dresses with lace sleeves. It's more modest than a strapless dress, and I think it looks so elegant. Maybe this sort of dress will become more popular now that Kate has done it. I hope so because so many women wear strapless dresses, and to be perfectly honest, most women don't look all that great showing so much skin. It's just not flattering on most women's figures. 

Here are some of my favorite pictures of the wedding:
Kate's sister, Pippa, was the maid of honor and I loved her dress as well. It looked great on her figure, and it was nice to see how beautiful a dress can be, even if your shoulders are covered.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The royal wedding, part 1

Tomorrow's the big day – the royal wedding! Are you excited? I know I am, and I'm not being sarcastic. Granted, I'm really sick of hearing about the wedding on the news, but I will be waking up at 5 AM to tune in and watch. It's something that is historical in a way, and I want to watch for myself so that I can blog about it and write about it in my journal. Then in 20 years when they asked, "Do you remember when Prince William married Kate Middleton?" I can say, "Yes," and reflect back on my memories of the "big day." (Kind of like the people that are looking back on when Prince Charles and Diana got married in 1981.)

I distinctly remember when Princess Diana died on August 31, 1997. It was a Saturday evening and my family and I were gathered in our family room watching Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. they interrupted the show to report breaking news. They showed footage of the car accident and reported on all of the details of what had happened. I remember getting up with my dad at five in the morning to watch Diana's funeral live on TV. It was something that I have fond memories of, even though it was a really sad occasion.

Back to the wedding… I really hope William and Kate will have a happy marriage. It seems like they are marrying for love, so I really wish them the best. I know that Kate isn't royalty, but I'm glad that she and William are getting married anyway. It doesn't seem like Charles and Diana were really in love, since Charles had been having a relationship with Camilla Parker, but she wasn't of noble birth, so they weren't allowed to marry. That's what it seems like to me. Anyway, I really wish William and Kate all the luck in the world.

They really make a beautiful couple, don't they? I think Kate is absolutely gorgeous! I can't wait to watch all about the wedding on TV tomorrow to see all of the "top secret" things that have been kept under wraps.

"The Hiding Place"

My book club met this past Tuesday and we discussed The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. I was excited because this is my favorite book of all time. It's a true story about Corrie T en Boom and her family who lived in Holland during World War II. Although they weren't Jewish, they worked hard to help hide Jews and aid people in any way they could. Corrie, her sister Betsy and their father were ultimately caught and sent to a concentration camp. Corrie and Betsy were two inspiring women who worked hard to uplift the people they came in contact with. They always acknowledged the hand of the Lord in all things and were so devout, even in the midst of horrible circumstances. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes inspiring and uplifting books.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My long day out

Today I had to go to the doctor and it was one long day! I've been having issues with my eye for over a week, so my mom took me in for an emergency appointment on Monday, and today I had to go in for a follow-up since I was prescribed and antibiotic drop on Monday to try and help clear up whatever is bothering my eye. This appointment went quickly and everything appears to be all right with my eye, although it still isn't back to normal quite yet.

After that I was off to Barnes Jewish Hospital so that I could have a few x-rays taken of my abdomen to see how my kidneys, ureters and bladder are looking to make sure that no new kidney stones have formed since my hospitalization last year. After the x-rays were taken I met with my urologist. He thought that everything looked relatively good, but he wanted me to get a renal ultrasound. I wasn't expecting this, so it added another hour to my already long appointment. Hopefully my doctor will like what he sees when he looks at the results.

I'm definitely hoping for a year free of kidney stones since they almost always mean surgery and/or a hospitalization. The kind of stones that form are always infectious, and I've become dangerously sick from these stones on multiple occasions when I've had kidney stones that have made me septic. It's always scary to be so sick that I'm delirious and not fully conscious or aware of what's happening to me. It's happened to me several times and I just assume to not have it happen again for a good long time, if ever!

My mom and I were gone for six hours and were very glad to arrive home after such a long day. Cross your fingers that I will continue to stay healthy!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's like the real thing, only better!

Do you like Samoas Girl Scout Cookies? They are so good, but so bad for you because each cookie has 75 calories and four grams of fat. And who can stop at one since these cookies are so small?

I have a healthier alternative to suggest. Kellogg's Caramel Coconut Fudge Fiber Plus bars. They really taste very similar to Samoas Girl Scout Cookies! One bar (I'd say it's the size equivalent of four Soamoas cookies) only has 130 calories, and the best part is that it has nine grams of fiber. Most Americans don't get the suggested amount of fiber each day, so these tasty bars would be a great way to boost your fiber intake. (Although, I would NOT recommend eating more than one bar a day because you'll regret it later, if you know what I mean!)  ;)

Don't be afraid to try them – you just might find something you love for more ways than one!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter 2011

Yesterday was Easter and we had a great day. The only thing that would've made it better was if the weather would've been nicer. It was quite rainy and cool – not very Easter-like. We just had a small crowd for dinner – mom, Chandra and me, plus Laura, Brett and Amy. It would have been nice to have some of my older sisters and their families over, but at least my two younger sisters were here with Mom and me. We enjoyed eating dinner and visiting together. 

   __I managed to get a few pictures , but they didn't turn out all that well. (I think I had my camera on the wrong setting.) I really wanted to get a picture of Amy on her first Easter in her cute little Easter dress, but she was too wiggly, so it didn't work out.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter!

Midnight is only a few minutes away, so I figure I can post my Easter post a few minutes early so that I can hit the hay. (I don't want to fall asleep in church tomorrow!) I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter with your friends and family. And don't forget to keep the Savior and the resurrection in the forefront of your mind!

Tornado Alley

I live in Missouri (about 30 minutes south of St. Louis), so that is smack dab in the middle of "tornado alley." We've certainly had our fair share of stormy weather lately, including several tornadoes. Here are a few thoughts about thunder, lightning and twisters:

The first thing I always do when it starts storming is pray! "Heavenly Father, it's storming out and I pray that Thou wilt watch over us and keep us safe. Please protect our house and cars and PLEASE help the power to stay ON!" (More about that later.) The Lord always comes through for us and the storm always seems to pass by without being too violent. I know I risk jinxing myself, so I'm mentally "crossing my fingers" as I write this!
   __There was more severe, tornadic-like weather in my area last night, and Lambert International Airport in St. Louis sustained major damage when the roof was ripped off one terminal and many windows were blown out. They shut down the airport and it will be closed indefinitely until things are repaired. What a mess!
I know you're supposed to go to the basement when there are storms and the possibility of a tornado, but that's not an option for me since I can’t walk downstairs, and there's no way my mom could carry me because I'm too heavy. I imagine it would be difficult for anyone to carry me, even if they were a big brute of a person because dead weight is HEAVY! (And I think it would be painful to have someone manhandle me like that.) There's really nowhere in my house I can go, especially if I were in bed because there are large windows on all sides of me. All I could do is cover my head with a blanket and pray for dear life!
Losing the electricity is a terrible inconvenience for anyone, but especially for someone like me who is dependent on electricity to run the machines that make my life comfortable. Fortunately, I no longer have to worry about my ventilator – a breathing machine that has to be powered by batteries or electricity. Now I have this handy little machine that stimulates my diaphragm and makes it contract 16 times a minute so that I can breathe. The box is about 5 inches tall, 3½ inches wide and an inch and a half thick. It is powered by a battery that lasts for three weeks. (It's the size of a C battery, except it's 21x more powerful.) To learn more about diaphragm pacing systems for people dependent on ventilators, click here. (Or just ask me!)
I also have to worry about my overhead lift and my bed. Although the lift holds a charge for a day or so, it wouldn't work long-term since it needs to be charged every day. My special airbed is the most crucial thing I need electricity for. It doesn't stay inflated if the electricity goes out.

It's crazy how dependent we are on electricity because our lives get even more nutty when the power goes out. No refrigerator, oven, microwave, TV, internet, phone service, computer, etc.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! I know I've mentioned several times on my blog that I hate spring, but that's not totally accurate. I like spring, it's the transition between winter and spring that I hate. That being said, now that the temperatures have warmed up and the grass has greened up and the flowers have started blooming, I'm perfectly happy. 

When I was in fourth grade we were given trees (flowering dogwoods) in the month of April for Arbor Day. I brought mine home from school and my dad planted it in the backyard. That was 17 years ago and I'm happy to say that it's still alive! Even though it's been 17 years, it's still not all that big since dogwoods tend to be relatively small, slow growing trees. (I love my tree, although I wish it were a pink dogwood, because I think those are even prettier!) Here are some pictures of it:


My two younger sisters were also given Arbor Day trees when they were in fourth grade that were planted in my yard.  Laura got a pin oak tree that unfortunately did not thrive and ended up dying. Too bad. I wonder what it would look like today had it survived. Chandra got a bald cypress and it's huge – taller than our house! Cypress trees are much faster growing than dogwood trees, so her tree is at least twice as tall as mine, even though it's several years younger. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's a family thing

My friend Elizabeth recently came over for a visit and I asked her about her birthday. (She turned 28 at the end of March). One of the many things she told me was that her sister bought her the movie Oscar. I told her I'd never heard of that movie before so she told me that it is one of her favorites because it has a lot of good memories attached to it since she and her sisters watched it a lot growing up and still to this day quote lines from the movie.

I decided to get Oscar from Netflix since Elizabeth spoke so highly of it . It was so funny and I found myself laughing out loud several times. Oscar is a Sylvester Stallone movie from 1991. Here's Netflix's synopsis of the movie: 
"Big-time gangster Snaps Provolone (Sylvester Stallone) promises his dying father, Eduardo (Kirk Douglas), that he'll go straight. Easier said than done, as Snaps encounters far too many setbacks in this comedy from director John Landis. There's a little black bag mix-up, a daughter who changes fianc├ęs three times and a continuously revolving door of thugs. The all-star cast includes Tim Curry, Marisa Tomei, Chazz Palminteri and Don Ameche"


Like I said, it was really funny and it reminded me of another movie that I watched not too long ago called What's Up, Doc? A 1972 film starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal. 

Anyway, I could totally relate to what Elizabeth said about having strong emotional attachments to a movie because of the fond memories of watching that movie over and over with your family growing up. I can think of several movies that I watched with my sisters when I was a kid that we would quote to each other. Here are the ones that spring to mind:

#1) Sister Act
#2) Father of the Bride
#3) The Princess Bride
#4) Big Business*
#5) Willow
#6) 9 to 5*
#7) Kindergarten Cop
#8) Beaches*

*Just for the record, the movies with the * by them were ones that we had taped off TV, so they were edited  versions of the real movie. I actually saw an unedited version of 9 to 5 recently as I was flipping channels, and I was surprised at all of the innuendos that were in it for a PG-13 movie. That wasn't the version I remember watching as a kid. Just clarifying because I don't want anyone to think my parents let us watch anything too inappropriate! They were actually pretty strict when it came to what we were allowed to watch.)

Even now when my family gets together we still reminisce about the things we remember watching and doing as kids. It's lots of fun!

His Sacred Name - An Easter Declaration


For the past several weeks Easter has been on my mind, particularly Jesus Christ and His life's mission. I love this video because it's really powerful. It's less than 3 minutes, but it sums up who Jesus Christ is and what He went through because He loves us. It's definitely worth checking out!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Images of Easter

What images spring to mind when you think of Easter? This is what a lot of people think of:




In some ways it's sad that this is the first thing that pops into your head when thinking of Easter because although the Easter Bunny, candy and fresh flowers are all good things, they aren't  what Easter's really about.

This is what Easter is really about:

These pictures are hard to look at and cause me sadness as I think about all of the pain that Jesus had to endure. But He endured all that He did because He loves us. I'm so grateful I know this and that I don't have to question it, especially in this world where bad things happen and people are always asking, "Why?"

Here's the best part… three days after Jesus was crucified He was resurrected, and one day I will be resurrected, too! (We all will.) No more paralysis, no more being trapped in a broken body. 


This knowledge that my suffering won't last forever is what keeps me going even when the future looks bleak. This is what allows me to be so happy and positive.
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