Thursday, January 29, 2009

Juggling Elephants at Inauguration

I read this book back in 2005, called "Juggling Elephants" by Jones Loflin and really like the concept of the book and how to manage my life. I get newsletters and they remind me and help me refocus. The below is an excerpt from today's newsletter. I am blogging about this because I liked how they phrased it is our responsibility to make a difference. It is the person in the mirror who is responsible.
Juggling Elephants Comment At The Inauguration
The title wasn't mentioned, but concepts that are strongly promoted in the book were highlighted by President Barack Obama. Consider these words from his inauguration address:

What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task.-President Barack Obama

In short...Be The Ringmaster of your circus and act based on your purpose. These are difficult times, and if we are to survive and achieve any level of success professionally, personally and as a nation, we must take full control of our actions-and align them with our purpose. Expecting our situation to magically change solely because of the actions of others or an organization is like putting up a tent and hoping a circus will come just won't happen.

Take what you want and apply.... to YOU!
To learn more about Juggling Elephants at

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dave Ramsey vs. Marvin J. Ashton

The computer screen says, "Tax Shelters of the Rich & Famous."
AKA, Swiss Bank Account...
My personal goal is to have one of these eventually.
How awesome would that be?
Pretty Awesome!
With the Economy as it is, there is much discussion on the ways to become self reliant and be ready for anything. So, in the recent days, my mind has been on how to apply money so that it works for me. Here are two plans that are what I will be applying into my life.

Dave Ramsey's Money Make over (He calls his steps, "Baby Steps".)
Step 1 - $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund.
Step 2 - Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball.
Step 3 - 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings.
Step 4 - Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement.
Step 5 - College funding for children.
Step 6 - Pay off home early.
Step 7 - Build wealth and give! (Invest in mutual funds and real estate).

As I wrapped my mine on these steps from Dave, it brought back another Money Guru. That would be Elder Marvin J. Ashton. The LDS church publishes a pamphlet that was once green but now it has been updated and is gold, which is called "One for the Money: Guide to family finance."

1.) Pay an Honest Tithing (10%)
2.) Learn to mange money before it manges you
3.) Learn self-discipline and self-restraint in money matters (Debt-Elimination Calendar)
4.) Use a budget
5.) Teach family members early the importance of working and learning
6.) Teach children to make money decisions in keeping with their capacities to comprehend
7.) Teach each family member to contribute to the total family welfare
8.) Make education a continuing process
9.) Work toward home ownership
10.) Appropriately involve yourself in an insurance program
11.) Understand the influence of external forces on family finances and investments
12.) Appropriately involve yourself in a food storage and emergency preparedness program.
Personally, I think Ramsey wins!!! But both of these ideas should be implemented for the well rounded and self-reliant person. Going to work on the Baby Step Program with Dave and teach Sydney at the same time. She will think it fun. She likes to see money grow!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Two Pretty Gals, oh to the shed

As I was looking at my blog today, it came to my mind that this is for Sydney and me. So, the header was changed to reflect both of us. To involve Sydney, I asked her what the theme should be and she came up with, "Two Pretty Girls" which I changed the "Girls" to "Gals" and we have been created!

Still we are "The Magnolia Cafe" which has never been explained on this blog. But, the name comes from the street we live on in Quincy, FL. But most importantly, it is from Sydney's shed she has used in the back as a playhouse and mini diner. She had a table/chairs, kitchen, bathroom and TV plus a full length mirror and bar for ballet practice. She was helped by Gam-Mommy to set it up. But as time went by she stopped playing in it and she claimed it was because of the tiny lizards who came to visit. Well, we just cleaned out this shed and have sold it to a neighbor. We won't be playing in it any longer. As a reminder, I took a picture of the sign we has posted on the door.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bye bye to Primary... :o(

After 6 weeks in primary as the chorister, I have a new calling. It was made official today at church. Now, I am 2nd counselor in the Relief Society. This is a new calling that I look very forward to learning more about because I have never done anything in the Relief Society leadership.

But, I wanted to blog my experience of Primary music... LOVE IT! When I was called to this, I was terrified but learned to implement my Admin of Recreation and Leisure degree to work with the children. They were learning the songs and they were having fun! At "The Crazy Chorister Blog" (, I found this idea and used it for my Singing Time. Here are the props I was beginning to use in "I Lived in Heaven" below.

On the first Sunday that I did the Singing Wheel, the children found it awesome! Even after we had finished, the Sunbeams walked up and spun the wheel. It was loved that much. It was really cute to seem them enjoy something that much.

"Sydney STORY"
Sydney and I were staying in the hall at church. She turned to a friend and said, "You should see my mom's wheel, it is really cool." My thoughts were, why is she telling someone that they should see "My Will" because it is not any of their business." Then she explained herself a bit better with, your "Singing Wheel" mom. LOL

Close up of the "Singing Wheel"
Verse 1
Verse 2
Verse 3

Soccer Pictures

I rebelled against the photo's this year. Last year the photos were terrible and I say this because as I photographer you should look at your background. That was not the case last year. They had cars all in the background. Hello people!

So this year, I took my own pictures. We will have our own individual throughout the season and so Saturday was the time that I got to capture the team... Here ya go. What do you think about my photo work...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ughhhh, bummed

So, I really try to stay positive in my thoughts but today I am sad.

There are great experiences going on in my life. But today I got some news about a great friend of mine that I work with is going to do something different and going to work with another company. It made me sad for myself because they inspire me and make me push myself. Not that I don't push myself enough but it gave an extra energy in the room when they were there. (Now, I am excited from a friend point of view because now they are going to do their life passion. They figured out why there are here on earth and are going for it! That part is amazing they have found that answer and I am happy for them.)

Funny part was today someone was snapping back at me about calling them and I responded to them... You don't have to get rude, I was trying to help. Which I wouldn't have done, but I became bolder this week. LOL

Now the other item that has bothered me is having to go to bed by myself to a lonely empty bed. This feeling goes in cycles. Sometimes I am okay with it but with it being cold, I have found myself sleeping on the couch some this week. I think if anyone asks me when I am older what was the hardest thing that I did in my life, it will have to be a single mom. Thank goodness for mom's, sisters, friends and boyfriends. Dang it is hard. All you married moms that stay at home and complain about the kids or how much your husband needs your help. You are lucky! You get to see your kids and you get to share the bed with someone. You get to share problems about money, broken down cars, share memories and pick up the kids after school. Its amazing how you have dreams and you can work toward them and then life happens. (however, not wish to be back in that other marriage... )

Now, that I said this, I feel much better.... Should be good for a month or so... Uplifted! :D)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Proverbs 13:22

"A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children."

I am listening to Dave Ramsey's, "The Total Money Makeover: a proven plan for financial fitness" He mentioned this proverb and it hit a cord with me. I want that financial gift for Sydney.

Dave Ramsey also mentioned that it is good to right down goals, which that is something that I don't have a problem. Actually, setting goals is fun for me. So, I did set some small goals this year. They are posted up on my wall at work so I see them each day and that makes me work for them. Here they are:

Performance Goals
- Get comfortable with hearing No’s
- Learn to respond successfully to No’s or Call me back.
- Love the people!

Sale Goals
- Work Schedule (get to work by 9am and work until 4pm when have Sydney and until 8pm without her.)
- Get to writing 8 applications a week.
- Get to a $5,000 dollar week in ALP.
- Write $175,000 ALP make $79,625 gross income.

Personal Goals
- Read Scriptures 15 minutes day
- Pray at least AM & PM
- Blog 3 x’s week

Here is my inspirational quote:
"We CAN do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough!" Helen Keller
These are positive thinking make me better and keep my thoughts in the right direction.
I am the greatest
I can do it all
I am beautiful

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New President Obama

Just amazing about the people that showed up in DC. I watched it on TV in Thomasville, GA with two other girls in my Cubical. Sydney watched it in the lunchroom at school. I asked her what she thought and she responded that the girls looked really cute and behaved. She likes the younger one. I am excited to have children in the White House. I think this will be a good thing. I like his family values. His political views are a bit different to mine so we will have to see what happens in the next few months/years.
President Obama and family The Crowd in front of the Capitol
People all the way back near the Lincoln Memorial
The people... Just people and people and more people.
An Goodyear Blimp picture from above... But it is not from the Goodyear blimp, they could not get approval. Only military vehicles.

The Bushes giving their goodbye wave. Leaving in the helicopter.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Prayers answered

Well, I feel blessed. Yesterday (Friday) was an interesting experience for me. I know that prayers were answered. With the economy being as it has been, it has been a bit hard for me. I had a big meeting and I won. Hooray!! It made me really feel that God does answer prayers of those that pray and pray sincerely. Thanks Mom, Kelly and Mauricio!
Tonight, Saturday... Prayer time went as following, I think she has been observing my conversations and those of others. Sydney gave the sweetest prayer. She asked Heavenly Father to help her mom and her Uncle Aaron to make the sales they needed. She asked that this Economy get better and help those people that need jobs and food. Then her next sentence was asking that her stuffed animals be blessed and to keep everyone safe.

This made me think of the scripture in Isaiah 11:6 at the end where it says, ".... a little child shall lead them." We teach our children the right and sometimes they will lead us when we sometimes are off the narrow path. Just like it says in Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." I am glad that the Lord has blessed me to have such a caring and loving daughter. She reminds me of myself. LOL! I am blessed! May the lord bless those that need the blessings!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cousin Morgan's B-day

Last night we went to Morgan's B-day party for the family. It was great! He turned 13 years old this morning. We enjoyed being around family but when we were leaving, Sydney did not want to leave. She wanted to stay and play with her cousin. Here are some of their crazy pictures...

All about making faces!
More Faces....
Peace Dude! Playing around!
Oh... a nice picture with normal smiles!!!

First Goal of the Season!

So, I have been wanting to post on my blog for a week now but nothing happened until Saturday that was worth sharing. Sydney had a soccer game and she scored 2 goals! Hooray! She got the first goal of the season and then the 3rd. The winning score was 4 to 1, Rugrats.

Here is a video of her dribbling the ball to a goal....

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I love my mom.


Sydney wanted to post something too, so above is what she wanted to share with everyone!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Linked to Facebook

I am so siked... I just discovered that the "Notes application" has a way to import blogs. Now, I don't have to do double duty entry. Now I have tons of people that have the opportunity to correct my grammer though. Oh well, it will save me time and I love saving time!!!

From Ward to Branch

Today we got some major changes in Quincy, FL. The whole Stake Presidency came to visit and changed us from Quincy Ward to Quincy Branch. Sydney was listening and when this was announced she asked, "Mom, does that mean at my dad's church where they have a bunch of people that they are called a Tree?" I explained the different names of a Stake, Ward and Branch but she still things her dad's church should be called, a Tree instead of a Ward.

We also went to Tudy's house to visit with her today and while I took a two (2) hour nap Sydney and Tudy played cards and even picked up Pecans outside. We really enjoyed going to the farm and visiting with her.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Faith is when....

I saw this at a store in Warm Springs, GA when we were there for the lights this year and pointed it out to David and Jacie. They bought it for me. I just love it!

Last night, Sydney and I were having our "mommy and me" time at her bedtime like we always do. This time she asked for a story about me as a kid and my favorite Jesus story. She wanted a story similar to the one when I lived in Mobile, AL at the age of two (2) where I stripped down to nothing and ran to my next door neighbors asking for a cookie. So, I told her the story when I was picked up by Tudy and Papa in Mobile, AL when mom and dad were sick with the flu. It was at that time when I weaned from nursing. (Sydney thought it was weird to still be nursing at two (2) years old.) My first meal was grits! Love them still!

The next story was about faith...The Miracle of 2 fishes and 5 loaves of bread in Matt 14:14-22. I thought it was interesting that this would be my favorite story but it is a story of faith just like my sign that David and Jacie bought me. Have faith to feed the 5000 men (not including women and children) with just the 2 fishes and 5 loaves of bread from a little boy. It reminds me that we have the faith and Jesus Christ will provide. It reminded me of a story where this women and her son had only enough flour and oil to make her last meal and die. Then this man came to the door asking for food. She feed him and did not have anymore food for her family. After the man left the next day she went to check the container for flour and their was just enough there for her to make a loaf of bread for her family and this continued until the season changed and food was available. This is 1 Kings 17:7-16 paraphrased about Elijah and the widow.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Sausage Breakfast Casserole Recipe

I saw this today whil playing on the computer today. It is one close to my mom's recipe. When I turned 16 years old. It was what mom made for Seminary class. It is awesome! Enjoy!

Sausage Breakfast Casserole Recipe
1 lb of Italian pork sausage, (then cooked, drained, crumbled)
4 1/2 cups cubed day old bread
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
10 eggs slightly beaten
4 cups whole milk
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
1/2 cup peeled, chopped tomatoes (optional)
1 Heat a skillet on medium high. Break up the sausage into chunks and cook, working in batches if need be, until browned all around. Make sure the chunks of sausage have some space around them or your meat will steam and not brown. Remove the cooked sausage from the pan and let sit on some paper towels on a plate to soak up the excess fat. Crumble into smaller pieces.

2 Place bread in a well buttered 9x13 inch baking pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Combine the eggs, milk, dry mustard, onion powder and pepper. Pour evenly over the bread and cheese. Sprinkle sausage and optional ingredients over the top.
3 At this stage you can cover and chill overnight, if you want to prepare ahead. If not, let sit for 10 minutes before putting in the oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake uncovered for about one hour. Tent with foil if top begins to brown too quickly.
Serves 6-8.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Our New Year's Evening Party... it's 2009

It started with Pupusa's that I made... Don't they look marvelous.
We ate junk food. (Brianna and Kai were over for a while and we watched Randy from next door shoot off fireworks.) FYI... see the mini ice cream cones. They are tiny.
We shaved Sydney's legs.
The process.
Before and after.
After the shower.
We baked cookies too!
Mom and daughter
It ended with us watching the ball drop and then Robby Knievel jumping the Mirage hotel-casino volcano. He did it! Yeah! (Sydney hit the hay at 12:15 and I popped in "The Women" movie.)