Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Update on Living Cookbook

I have been asked by several people if I still like the software and........ I DO!! Of course there are things I would change but that is the case with most things like this.

The downs I have so far:

I like that you can create your own cookbooks with whatever recipes you want (it comes with over 900 already in the software, some scary, some not so bad). I have put in two of my cookbooks that I use fairly often and it is time consuming since you have to type it all in but it's worth it to me. Getting recipes off line or through emails, etc. is definitely the way to go, it takes all of like 30 seconds to import them!

The nutrition I have found matches exactly with some online recipes and not so much with others. But it is usually pretty close, I think some of the online ones are the problem but that's just me. Plus if you know the nutrition you can override theirs and put it in.

The thing that bothers me the most is that it doesn't always link the ingredients with cost even though they are all in there somewhere (at least THEIR prices). I think their prices are pretty high too but maybe I just buy cheap ingredients. But with time I can get the ingredients and prices of the things I use and make it accurate so that won't be too big of a deal.

That's all I can think of that I don't like and all of them have solutions if you put in more time. Plus I got it for $35 and you can get updates (mostly yearly, and only if you want the newest version) for only about $10 once you have the software. So in the long run I think it is a great thing for me and my family.




I am not very good at finding "the deals" or cutting coupons. I have tried but they end up expiring before I can use them or they aren't really things we use or need. Plus I HATE going to more than one grocery store. Going to Fry's and Costco is almost over doing it for me! I hate spending the time finding the deals, clipping coupons, matching deals and coupons together, and then driving to 5 different stores to get the best deal!! So I managed to do it all in one store!! I didn't get much, but I saved 75%!! All of this was less than $8.

Don't judge me for the sugar cereal and granola bars! I bought them as bribes for Axton in those situations when I really need him to be quite, like Sacrament meeting! And the gum: almost all of it completely free! I love gum when I am craving junk!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Living Cookbook

My new find: a recipe organizing software! I am in heaven!

For those of you who don't know, I have been on this crazy quest to get prices for all of the food items that I buy regularly (and even some that aren't so regular). In college I took a "home ec" class and in it we had to calculate the cost of the meals. The teacher had a huge binder with every ingredient broken down to how much it would cost per cup, TB, tsp, etc. So since Greg and I are sticking to a budget finally (and doing pretty good) I have found that I only have about $2.70 per meal for all three of us! That's less than $8 a day for all of the food we consume!! Oh boy, is that a task. So I started collecting prices to see how much each recipe costs us and find out which ones we really splurge on and which ones are cheaper than cheap (spaghetti and tostadas with home made beans win).

However it is extremely time consuming getting these prices and having Axton with me doesn't make it an easy task. Plus I feel a bit awkward carrying around a notebook and going isle by isle writing down prices without buying anything, oh the looks I get! Needless to say I only got Costco's list done and it took me about a week, several hours a day, of walking down the isles. Then I plugged it all into my computer and low and behold our computer crashed, leaving me to do it all over again! Luckily I had kept most of my handwritten notes instead of throwing them away when I was done.

So I got burnt out! I had looked up programs before to see if anyone had come out with what I was trying to do but my search turned up nothing, I don't know how that happened though. So I was in office max checking out spyware cds when low and behold I see a recipe organizer!! It was $40 and I wasn't sure if it did everything I wanted so I decided to go home and research it again. Then I found it. A website rating the top 10 programs. Unfortunately the one I really wanted (and it was cheaper) isn't compatible with Windows Vista (darn this new computer) so I had to settle for my second option (the sites #3 pick). It was a little cheaper than the one I had originally seen but it has everything I want!!

They have about 10,000 ingredients (just a few- horse, squirrel, moose, ostrich, yup not even kidding!) with average national prices for all of them. No more price shopping for me! Ok, that's a lie. You can also add your own stores and their prices manually if you want to (which I am just crazy enough to do) so that you get more accurate pricing. But on top of this you can add any recipe you want, if you get it from the internet or anything off the computer such as word, etc, it will automatically convert it to the program for you or you can manually enter them in. The recipes will all generate nutritional info for you so if you are worried about calories, or doing a diet such as diabetic, carbs, etc, you can create menus based off of that. I think it is awesome! You can creat menus, shopping list, etc! Plus Greg and I can both rate each recipe so I know which ones we both like, Greg is more honest when filling the ratings out than he is when I ask him as he's eating it! Plus I can email any of these recipes to others, and if anyone else has any kind of software similar to this I can get all of theirs!

I am in heaven!! It is really time consuming up front to get all my info in it but I am pretty confident that once I do, it is going to make planning meals so much better, easier, and faster!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

March 13, 2009, 4:00 a.m.

Big Love? Big Deal
Yes, Mormons are targets, but let’s not get too excited about it.

By Orson Scott Card

In the aftermath of Proposition 8, it’s open season on Mormons, and the producers of HBO’s series Big Love are in the best position to give the Mormons (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) a big slap.

The series focuses on members of one of several splinter groups that have left the Mormon Church over the issue of polygamy. To understand what this means to Mormons, it’s worth indulging in a little history.

When the Mormon prophet Wilford Woodruff declared in 1890 that it was God’s will that Latter-day Saints no longer take multiple wives, some Mormons clung to the “Principle of Plural Marriage” and rejected the authority of the president of the church.

This is akin to what happened when Protestants declared that they would no longer follow the pope, and polygamist sects are about as Mormon now as Baptists are Catholic.

The fastest way to get yourself excommunicated from the Mormon Church is to advocate plural marriage.

But the polygamist sects still do most of their recruiting among Mormons, and there is a constant struggle between the church and the polygamists.

Many of these polygamists still believe that it is in Mormon temples that their marriages must be solemnized. The temple is a focal point in their religion — but if they admit they’re polygamists, they can’t get in.

So it actually makes artistic sense for episodes of Big Love to center on their effort to get into the temple. It reflects the real concerns of some polygamists, and it is accurate to show the official church as doing its best to keep them out.

You’re not supposed to enter the temples, once they’re dedicated, unless you’re a member of the church who is keeping the major commandments — which polygamists most flagrantly are not.

Big Love is not doing anything new. Anti-Mormon groups have been describing, depicting, or showing ersatz versions of the temple ceremonies for many years. Anyone who wants to know what goes on in the temples can find out with very little effort. So why are we Mormons upset about Big Love’s foray into anti-Mormon “exposé”?

It’s offensive when believers in one religion hold up the sacred rites of another religion to public ridicule. So we’re hurt — but we’re not surprised.

Mormons have always been the exception to America’s policy of religious tolerance. Throughout our history in America, Mormons have been oppressed by government, killed or driven out by mobs, slandered, and libeled — always by fellow Americans who professed to believe in religious tolerance.

So while we don’t like what Big Love is doing, we’re not doing much about it. We’ve learned by observation that protests and boycotts merely increase the publicity, and therefore the viewership, of such hostile productions as the Big Love temple episode.

So the church’s official advice to its members is: Ignore it.

My favorite response came from Terrance D. Olson, a Brigham Young University professor who does research in family studies. Those who refuse to respect other people’s sacred things, he says, hurt themselves most of all.

My own essay at MormonTimes.com, published by the church-owned Deseret News, strongly urges my fellow Mormons not to write angry letters, because anger never persuades anybody, and expressing it isn’t particularly Christ-like.

Most Mormons are seeing the Big Love temple episode in the context of the recent outpouring of hatred and bile from those who most vehemently opposed Proposition 8. Mormons have been targeted for business boycotts; some have lost their jobs because they contributed to the campaign to defend marriage.

The result is that few of us have any desire to act as the worst of our opponents have acted. After someone has boycotted a friend’s business, it makes it a bit harder for you to want to call for a boycott.

By and large, while we’d prefer that everybody handle differences of opinion peacefully, we’d rather be persecuted than be the persecutors. The few times in our history when we have departed from that principle, the results have shamed us for generations. Tolerance works better.

What Mormons keep foremost in mind is this: We’re a worldwide church. We might be going through a rough patch in America right now, as we butt heads with the oppressive New Puritans of the American Left, but that has nothing to do with how the Mormon Church is growing in Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, or Taiwan.

Big Love is just an entertainment; nothing they do will diminish the sacredness of what goes on inside our temples.

Our primary work is helping people in and out of the church to live a more Christ-like life. Now and then, when a deep moral issue is involved, we get involved in political action. But when we do, we expect that others won’t like it, and we take our lumps.

The more they attack us, the more people they bring to us as allies and, occasionally, as converts to our faith. So rave on, brothers and sisters!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Their newest game

Eating a lime!

We got Cafe Rio for dinner one night and Axton thought he would be all sneaky and take my lime. The best was that he kept trying to eat it even though he didn't like it very much.

Video Overload!

Spinning in Circles

Friday, March 13, 2009

Purpose of Mormon Temples

I have heard a lot about the show Big Love and their upcoming episode. This is what I have been able to find about it and obviously I don't know all of the details. I believe this is as accurate as I can get so forgive me if something on here is false, I definitely won't be watching in order to get the accurate picture.

On Sunday, March 15, 2009, HBO will be airing a segment of their Big Love series titled ‘Goin' to the Chapel’. Aided by an ex-Mormon consultant, this episode makes a mockery of the sacred temple ceremonies. There will be a segment of the show that features actors dressed in full temple clothing and will also show replicas of the celestial and endowment rooms and the ceremonies that take place there.

The LDS church has put out a three minute video in response to this episode. I hope you all will watch it and pass on the word. Click here for the link.

I do not consider myself strong in words and able to sway peoples opinions, nor do I desire to do so. I am a person who respects peoples beliefs and hope that they will respect mine even if we do not agree on or understand each others beliefs. I am more than happy to share with people what I know and believe and am going to take this opportunity to share a small portion of that belief. I know some of you checking my blog don't understand my religion and why I chose this path in my life but it is truly the best thing I have ever done.

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. While the people in the religion might be flawed I know the gospel is true and will make us all better people for living it. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. I know that Joseph Smith was not the author of the Book of Mormon but that he translated the ancient writings with the help of God. No ordinary man with little education could have created something so complex in so little time. I know that Jesus died for us and that through him we can return to God when we die. I know that we have a living prophet today, Thomas S Monson, and that God speaks to and through him and that we can each receive personal revelation on the truths of these things and other person matters.

I have never been so happy in all my life as I am now, living the church standards. It simplifies my life. I have found a man that I love with my whole heart and who loves me back and we will be with each other in this life and in the next. God has blessed us with a beautiful son that will be ours in this world and in the next. Families can be together forever.

I know that God has led my life down different paths than I would have chosen for myself because he knows better than I do but I have had to do my part in being willing to listen to his promptings and obey them. I know that we are given trials to make us stronger but that we can overcome them.

The temple is a sacred place for us to go to perform sacred ordinaces for ourselves and for the dead just as they did in times of old. For me it is also a place where I can go to think and pray. A place to get away from all of the turmoil going on in the world and feel at peace. A place where I can learn and better understand our purpose here on earth. A place for me to recieve inspiration and revelation on things concerning my life that I may be struggling with. I believe that we are here for a reason, not just to live day by day and make it through. It is a place where I can think about my ancestors and the things they have done for me and to also think of my posterity and what the future holds for them. I do not think that the temple is a "secret" place but that it is simply a "sacred" place.

This is only a small portion of what I feel and believe. I only ask that you respect my beliefs as I will yours. If you have any questions I will do my best to answer them and if I can't then I will find someone who is better able to do so.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pay it Forward

I saw this on a friends blog and made the cut! I thought it was a super cute idea and while my craftiness is limited to scrapbooking I have slowly been trying to branch out to new projects. So if you want to participate be in the top three (or do it anyways)!

1. Be one of the first THREE bloggers to leave a comment on this post, which then entitles you to a handmade item from me.

2. Winners must post this challenge on their own blog, meaning that you will pay it forward, creating a handmade gift -anything!- for the first THREE bloggers who leave a comment on YOUR post about this giveaway!

3. The gift that you send to your 3 friends can be from any price range and you have 365 days to make/ship your item. This means you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you receive your gift and have shipped your gifts. And, remember it’s the spirit and the thought that count!

4. When you receive your gift, blog about it! If you are not one of the first three to comment on this post, you can still play along. Go ahead and start your own Pay It Forward chain, and encourage your blogging friends to do the same! It's all about paying it forward.

Come on ladies! Let's get crafting! I'm excited!

Still getting caught up

I have decided to skip all of christmas since I am that far behind.

Axton has become obsessed with shoes. His, daddy's , mine, anyones. even when he has his on he is constantly trying put another pair on. Sometimes I think it is cute and other times it is really annoying because he cries and cries if he can't get them on. Here he is with Uncle Jeff's slippers.

Greg's family came here in February for a wedding and we had some time to kill Saturday before it started. Josh and Kim suggested we all go to the park and play games so we did. We always love it when the Leavitts get together. Brad and Corina's family was missing since it was Corina's sister who was getting married. I guess we'll forgive them!

Axton and I had the opportunity to go to Rexburg for a little over a week (and over valentines day too). My 3 year old neice, Ryleigh, ended up coming with us so I became a mommy of 2 for a week. It went much better than I was afraid it would since Axton was sick and I hadn't been around Ryleigh in almost a year. They played well with each other except that Axton loved to BITE her! She made up for it by bossing him around and taking all of his toys away. It was good practice for the future (if we ever get pregnant that is).

Recently Axton has learned to give hugs (and eskimo kisses). He is much better at giving hugs to kids than adults.

Ryleigh and Axton figured out how to take Uncle Brantley's cd holder apart and get to his hats that he had hidden in there. They wore the hats around proudly all day long. Hopefully Brantley won't notice the difference when he gets home in 9 more months!!

Last but not least, all the grandkids together, a whopping 3!! Logan, Ryleigh, and Axton. I still didn't have my camera when we went so these are all pictures I managed to get from facebook.

For Valentines Day Greg sent me roses. I was so surprised, especially since I was the one who ditched him! What great husband! Unfortunately I wasn't able to bring them home, it would have been too much of a nightmare on the airplane by myslef with Axton. Axton sure was glad to be home though and when he saw Greg he wiggled out of my arms and went running and gave Greg and a huge hug and then wouldn't leave him. He was so mad the next morning when Greg wasn't home to play with him. He is definitely a daddy's boy.

Well hopefully you got your fix for a while and I will try to update this thing more often.