Friday, January 30, 2009

Wheat Pancakes

Whew!! That is my sigh of relief that New Beginnings is over. I spent the beginning of this week doing nothing but YW stuff (although, I guess I did blog a's my way to escape for a couple of minutes). I seriously even stopped answering my phone. I just tend to get so distracted and I have a really hard time keeping any conversation under 5 minutes. Instead of returning calls and emails, I have been spending the last two days giving Cloey and Katelund all of the attention that they have not been getting lately. I seriously think I should have gotten the worst mother and worst wife award on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Anyways, I made pancakes for Cloey this morning and I decided to post this recipe because it is my very favorite pancake recipe...and it's wheat (which means you can add as much syrup as you want, right?)

Wheat Pancakes
1 cup milk
3/4 c wheat flour
Blend at high speed for four minutes. Then turn to low and add the following ingredients;
2 eggs
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cloey's Declaration

I ran to the store tonight to grab something. Of course, Cloey couldn't stand the fact that I was going somewhere without her so I took her along. Oh wait, I need to preface a little more before I tell you what happened...

For FHE, we have been learning the Article of Faiths songs. We are going to learn a new one on the first Monday of the month and then practice it all month long. So we have been singing the First Article of Faith for a month now and I catch Cloey singing it a lot during the day when she is playing.

Okay, back to the story...

So we walk into the store, and in the loudest voice EVER Cloey sings out, "I BELIEVE IN GOD." I had a lot of strange looks! It was so hilarious. If only I could be that bold when sharing the gospel.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Joy in January???

I have seriously got to pull myself together. I don't know if you have noticed but I feel like all of my posts lately have been so negative. I know that depression-like symptoms are very common in the month of January. In fact, January 21st has been declared the most depressing day of the year. I don't know if it is because all of the holidays are over, resolutions made have already been broken, or if it is just because of all of the cold cloudy weather. Whatever the reason may be, I have been feeling more down than normal and I don't like it.

This last week I have really been focusing a lot of time and energy into New Beginnings. Most everything is ready to go...except for my talk where I go into detail of the theme that we have chosen....which is "Joy in the Journey". The funny thing about the theme is that ironically I chose it, and I think that I need it more than anyone else.

As I have been studying and pondering upon what I should say at New Beginnings, I came across the following quote,
"It is the hope of arrival that can strengthen faith during the journey."

I just kept reading it over and over. Hope has been something near and dear to my heart over the last couple of years. Hope is what gave me the strength to get through some very difficult times. Hope is what kept me going after losing Clairisa. Hope is what keeps me repenting and trying to be better each day. Hope is what gets me through the monotony of housework and the frustrations of motherhood. It is hope that gets me through my bad days and gives me the endurance that I need to get through the "Januarys" of my life.

I am so glad that January is almost over because I am ready to move on, to move forward, and most importantly to... ENJOY THE JOURNEY.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Your Welcome (for not posting pictures)

I think the blood, gore, and disgustingness in the last 24 hours of my life could possibly be worthy of a season of "24". Okay maybe not, but it has been pretty bad. It all started last night at about 8 pm. Cory was fixing his latest obsession...a model airplane...while we were watching a movie together. Well, as he was trying out his corrections, somehow his hand got in the way of the spinning-out-of-control propellers. As he let out a cry of pain, I looked over to see his hand covered in blood. After my heart started to beat again, I realized that he hadn't lost his hand, he had just cut it up REALLY badly. He has 4 huge lacerations (isn't that what they're called when the cuts are really deep and disgusting?). After cleaning his hand and the carpet (he wouldn't let me touch the blood on the airplane b/c apparently it is now endearing to him), he decided that he could patch it up himself with about 20 (okay, really only 5) butterfly band aids. It was the worst cut I think I've ever seen (except for when I was a cub scout leader in Fayetteville and one of the scouts cut his ear while we were teaching him how to swing a golf club...but that's a whole different story). (What is up with all of these parenthesis...sorry) Anyways, at about 3 pm Cloey came down the stairs hysterically crying and then stopping on stairway #2 to throw up all over the carpet. Yes, I did feel bad for her, but it was pretty disgusting to clean up. Then I found out (in a really disgusting way) that she had also thrown up on stairway #3. Cory helped wash out her hair (with his left hand of course) and then we put her in bed with us so that I could wake up every hour for the rest of the morning and run into the bathroom so we could catch as much of the throw up as we could into the toilet. The rest of today has consisted of cleaning up a lot more throw up, blood, and diarrhea off of carpet and clothes. Disgusting.

It's been a lovely day.

(Maybe I should have titled this post "disgusting" since I used the word like a hundred TIMES!!)

{ETA: Cory did go to urgent care this morning and the doctor gave him an antibiotic to prevent infection and a tetnus shot. Then he told him that he did a great job dressing the wound and closing it up w/the butterfly bandaids. I can't believe he didn't end up with stitches!!}

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Snow Day!

3 matinée movie tickets to see Hotel for Dogs= $18.50
1 small popcorn= $5.25
3 small drinks=robbery
2 happy children who LOVED the movie and who were so excited to actually go to a movie theater because they have a cheap mom who doesn't want to spend $20 when you can just rent a movie for $4=

This must have been a sad part.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Do I Have a Dream?

Today as we were eating some cake to celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday (Katelund really wanted to do that for "Marthin Luther King". I pulled up his famous "I Have a Dream" speech on U tube. All though I have heard it many times before, for some reason this time it was different. It spoke to my soul on a completely new level.

I am so grateful that we don't live in a day where such extreme intolerance for race is exhibited openly, frequently, and without any remorse. I couldn't imagine what life must have been like back then. As I was looking around at the crowd that was there that day, I was surprised to see how many white men and women were in attendance and actively taking a position against racism. I wonder if I had lived during that time if I would have taken a stand. If I would have had the courage to make my voice heard in standing up for what I knew to be right and wrong. Or would I have passively stood by as I silently lived my own life?

Throughout the history of our country and our world, there have been so many incredible men and women who have sacrificed so much in defending righteousness and freedom. Yesterday as we went on a family walk in the freezing cold, I was talking with Cory about how hard it must have been to have traveled across the plains as a pioneer in such extremely cold conditions. I couldn't imagine not ever being able to escape the harshness of the wind or the coldness that permeates in every bone of your body. They sacrificed so much for the cause of Zion and religious freedom.

All of these thoughts have left me to think about my own sacrifices and my own willingness to actively and passionately take a stand for freedom and righteousness. In a world where family, marriage, and virtue is openly being attacked, am I being an activist? Am I doing and saying enough to make a stand for what I know to be right? Am I sacrificing as much for God's kindgom as those early Saints did? Or am I just passively sitting by living out my life on the sidelines. I can't help but wonder when the day comes when all is said and done, will I have made any difference. Will I have had a dream, one which I lived and died defending?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What is wrong with this picture...

Cory and I are literally text talking right now in our own home. I am upstairs writing some emails and Cory is downstairs texting me. We have been going back and forth now for about ten minutes. As I was laughing my head off while sending my latest reply, I realized how pathetic this is and so what do I do? I blog about it.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I have really been thinking about patience lately. There are some things that I have a lot of patience with and then there are other things where I have absolutely no patience at all!!! For example....

Other people's children-- lots of patience (I think they are adorable even when they are acting long as it's not my children).

My children--really, it depends on the day and what they are doing, but I usually have quite a bit of patience.

Cory--lots of patience (unless he is relentless when he is tackling me down...really is it normal for a husband to tackle down his wife?? Apparently it is for the Mann boys. :)

dogs/cats--no patience (unless it is an irresistibly cute dog).

technology--absolutely NO PATIENCE!!! Why can't everything just work like it's supposed to all of the time!

checkout lines at Walmart with two children who want all of the candy, gum, and soda that they see while standing in line and there are only 4 lines open even though there are like 50 people waiting to checkout--NO PATIENCE!!

slow/bad drivers--lots of patience

elderly--lots of LOVE and patience

spilled water- NO PATIENCE!!

I have really been thinking about this for the last 24 hours because yesterday my patience level was tested to the extreme!! I ran by Walmart before my presidency meeting to get some fabric to cover a bulletin board in the Young Women room. I went to the fabric section and waited and waited. No one came. So I asked a worker for help and she went and called for whoever was working in fabric. Ten minutes later no one came. I went and tried to find someone else to help, they went and called for the fabric person and again...NO ONE CAME!!! I had been there waiting for 20 minutes now. Finally, I decided I was just going to cut the fabric myself. I know what a yard is and I can peel off a sticker and put "4 yards for $1.97/yd.". So I did. I went to check out and the lady looked at it and then me really funny. Apparently, that wouldn't work b/c she had to scan some kind of bar code. Anyways, to make a really long, frustrating story short...I was there for 50 MINUTES so that they could get every manager possible to figure out how to override the stupid system so that they could charge me $7.88. REALLY??? I was late for my meeting and so irritated, but I couldn't even get mad. I was afraid that if I got rude and ugly with them that they just might ask me why I needed this fabric (why would they ever ask that anyways?) and I would say it was for church and then what kind of a Christian would that make me?? Not a very patient one.

Anyways, I am so sorry this post is SO LONG!! Maybe you have already stopped reading, b/c you lost your patience. :)

By the way, thanks for the comments "Anonymous"!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Chocolate Intervention

Ever since New Year's Day, I have eliminated chocolate as one of my main food groups. For the most part it has been a pretty smooth know...when I get that chocolate craving I just eat some broccoli instead. Yummy huh? Really, I have been doing really well...until today. I don't know what my deal is but I am majorly... (apparently "majorly" is not a real least according to blogger spell check, but I'm using it anyways)...stressing today! It's not like I have tons on my plate at the moment, but I am really feeling stressed out in my calling b/c we are waist deep in planning New Beginnings and a zillion other youth activities (AHHHH!!) and I'm trying to get a new counselor. I guess I just feel like there are so many things that I should be and want to be doing for these girls, but at the same time there just isn't enough time to do it all. As I was praying this morning, I had a sentence from the Church History book (that we are using in Sunday School) come to my mind. Basically it says, that a testimony of Jesus Christ is the most important and fundamental part of the gospel, and EVERYTHING else is just an appendage to it. It has really made me examine my list of what qualifies as the essential parts of the program that will fortify and strengthen these girls in their testimonies of the Savior.

Another reason I need chocolate is because of my children. Oh my sweet darling children....and the attitude, disobedience, and DRAMA that comes with them. It has just been one of those weeks.

But, that is not the only reason I want chocolate...also because my house is such a disaster. I try and try to stay on top of it but I have gotten behind this week after being out of town and sometimes it just seems so pointless because while I am cleaning one room, my girls are in the other room (the one that I just cleaned) destroying it! I really should be spending the day cleaning but all I want to do is eat chocolate, watch a chic flick and take a really long non-interrupted nap....and maybe wake up and take a bubble bath. Sounds nice huh? Okay, I guess I better stop dreaming. I think my chocolate craving is almost gone. Thanks for the intervention. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dear Barbara Park,

I just want to write you a letter on my blog to let you know how much my children LOVE your Junie B. Jones books. I have never seen my five year old daughter get so giddy and excited over a book. As I sit and read to her, she waits in anticipation to find out what is coming up next. She can't wait for me to turn the page and she dreads the moment that I tell her that we are done for the night and we'll finish the book tomorrow.

They really are great books, but there is one problem. No one else is allowed to read them to my children b/c I have to do quite a bit of editing while reading aloud. I'm sorry Barbara, but I am NOT going to read bad grammar to my children and I am absolutely NOT going to read the parts when she says that things are "dumb and stupid". My daughter really doesn't need to pick up any more attitude. She has enough, thank you.

But on the other hand, they really are cute stories and I am NOT going to stop reading books that make Katelund get all giddy and excited when I start reading and that make her sad when I on that note, thank you Barbara for keeping my kids up at night so we can read about a little girl with a little too much attitude. :)

Love, Melissa

Pictures coming soon...

Last Wednesday night, me and the girls dropped Cory off at his buddy's house in S. Carolina to go on a 5 day trip to Las Vegas while the girls and I went to Fayetteville. Cory went to the Expo to help his friend meet with vendors in order to expand his business. He was also able to meet up with some family while he was down there. He had a great time. While he was walking convention center after convention center seeing all of the latest and greatest gadgets, the girls and I were helping Cory's mom and dad get ready for an open house for Logan and Becca who just got married. (the wedding that we went to in Minnesota right before Christmas). The open house was in their home so there was a lot of work to be done. We spent Thurs, Fri, and Sat running errands, making food, and decorating. It was a lot of work, but also A LOT of fun. I LOVE decorating for parties but even more than that...I LOVE parties. Especially, when I get to see tons of family and friends who I haven't seen for way too long! I took tons of pictures that I will post on here asap.

Kate and Cloey were really sad to go home b/c they always hate leaving grandma and grandpa's house, BUT they were excited to come home to a package in the mail from my mom that was filled with SEVEN Junie B. Jones books. My girls (especially Katelund) L.O.V.E Junie B. Jones!!! I read them before bed and it always end up going like this..." Okay let's stop after this chapter." "Okay mom". "Okay, now it is time to stop." "NO, PLEASE just ONE MORE CHAPTER!!!, PLEASE MOMMY!" Okay seriously, how can I say no to that? I am such a sucker for children's books and reading so whenever my kids ask me to read more, it is REALLY HARD for me to say no (so usually I don't...which is why my kids NEVER go to sleep earlier than 8 o'clock). They may be zombies the next day, but hey, they love books! :) Apparently it's an okay trade-off for me.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

"And a child shall lead [me]..."

This morning as I was getting Katelund ready for school, I was helping her get dressed into the most adorable outfit ever that her Grandma Black gave her for Christmas. As she stood back to model how cute she was, I said, "Oh Katelund, you are going to be the most beautiful girl at school today." She smiled for a second and then it quickly faded as she corrected me by saying, "Actually Mommy, everybody is beautiful and everybody is special."

Monday, January 05, 2009

Motorcycles and Prayers

Yesterday in Young Women, I had one of those experiences where you hear something and in that very moment that you take the information in, the Spirit expounds upon it and teaches and testifies to you in the most remarkable way. I really don't even remember exactly what was said, but we were talking about how the Lord will always hear and answer our prayers; even when the answer is not exactly what we were hoping for. I was reminded of how Cloey would tell people that all she wanted for Christmas was a dress and a motorcycle (wierd, I know). Obviously as parents we were not going to get our three year old daughter a motorcycle, but a dress...that made more sense. She had a wonderful Christmas and got many things that as parents we knew she needed and even wanted, but she did not get a motorcycle.

I think that many times in our prayers we ask for things that are like motorcycles (at least I know I have), things that may be harmful to us or maybe that we are just not ready for. As parents we try to do what is best for our children (at least that is the goal), but our perfect Father in heaven knows exactly what is best for us. He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. His will and His timing are sometimes hard to understand, but really we don't need to fully understand. All we need to know is that He is a perfect Father whose ways are not our ways, and whose answers will always be exactly what we need. As a mother who desperately pleaded for her baby to survive, I know that Heavenly Father heard my prayers but he knew that what would happen would be a refining experience in my life. An experience that has changed me in so many ways...and one that continues to bring me closer to my Savior.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Oh Happy Day!

After a week of being quarantined in my own home, the chicken pox are almost officially gone. Almost. Thank goodness for the vaccine, otherwise it would have been a lot worse of a week.

You may wonder how they got the chicken pox?? Well, I think we may have a medical phenomenon on our hands. The only people that I know who had it was my sister's kids in Texas. Well, my sister sent a package for Christmas with some adorable headbands in them. You know, the headbands she was making when her kids were contagious. Yep, somehow, someway, I think the chicken pox bug had the longest life ever and somehow made it to our home. My doctor does not believe that this is possible, but I'm not convinced.

I'm officially done posting Christmas pictures

A couple of days after Christmas, I finally got around to making "Christmas" sugar cookies with the girls. I told them that they could choose whatever cookie cutter shapes they wanted (assuming that they would pick a Christmas tree or something else Christmasy)... nope... they chose the pumpkin. I really had to talk them into doing the stars as well. Then after the cookies were made, I asked them if they wanted yellow, green, or red frosting. What was I thinking...of course the only color that is ever an option for them is pink. ( There is just something not right about pink pumpkins at Christmas.) Then I let them put the sprinkles on. Wow. That was fun.

Cory was playing football with the girls after work and there was the most beautiful sunset. You may not be able to see it, but it was just one of those moments you have to at least try to capture.
Lately, I have not been able to get any pictures of Cloey smiling normally. What is the deal? If only I could look that adorable with a smile like that.

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