Friday, July 23, 2010

40 Days and 40 Nights Pledge

For the next 40 days and 40 nights, I pledge...I COVENANT to practice faith, hope and charity by doing these things.

First...faith. I will pray on my knees every night for the next 40 nights...starting TONIGHT. Pray for guidance, inspiration, peace...pray for the leaders of our country. Pray for their safety, and that they will receive wisdom. I will re-establish my relationship with God.

Hope...hope comes from truth. You can't have hope based on lies. If you go to the doctor and you're in the early stages of cancer, but the doctor tells you that you just have the sniffles...that's false hope, and it won't help you, in fact, it would kill you. So, we have to have honesty, to have real hope. So, I will stop all lies for the next 40 days. That includes lying to myself. I will establish a pattern of honesty and make it become habitual. I will question with boldness...everything...even the things Glenn Beck tells you every night...I will do my own research...and then pray for my own confirmation on the things I have learned. I will find out what is true in my life.

And third...I will have charity. Charity begins at home. I will do something kind for every member of your family at least once a week. I will write it down, and then do it. Also, I pledge to take notice of how blessed I really am. I live in the greatest country the world has ever known...and even the least prosperous among us, are among the wealthiest people in the world...I will be grateful.

Unless you watch Glenn Beck regularly, you are probably wondering what in the world I just copied and pasted and what this is all about. A few days ago Glenn came to realize that there were 40 days until the 8/28 Rally that will be taking place at the Lincoln Memorial. He encouraged his viewers to take a 40 day and 40 night pledge to make a more concentrated effort of practicing Faith, Hope and Charity. Since I love and agree for the most part what the man stands for, I have decided to take on the pledge. I feel only good things can come from this. If you haven't already taken this pledge, I highly encourage all readers of my blog to do this with me. Regardless of whether you can attend the 8/28 Rally or not. Like I said in my previous post, as much as I'd love to attend the rally, I'm not certain that it will be a possibility to do so, what with baby number three due and our really wanting to reach certain financial goals and all. But there are still ways for WE THE PEOPLE to make a difference. Ideas are stirring in my head at the moment that I wish to write about a little later. For now, I just want to make it known that I WILL BE a better person tomorrow than I was today.

You can find the pledge on www.glennbeck.com by the way and actually leave your signature as proof to yourself and to others of the challenges you are willing to take on in order to make that much more of a difference.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Restoring Honor

If there is something worth making an effort going to, this would be it. I don't know if I can make it, but I want to try. It's time to stand up America. We're losing our rights one at a time. Stand up for your constitution. Know your Founders. They are the most amazing men and we haven't learned their true history. Let us truly educate ourselves about our founders and spread the TRUTH.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A New Craft

Every time I learn how to do a new craft of some sort I get an addiction where I can't stop at just making one. Do I need more than one of any of the crafts I make for myself? No. So I justify making more because I intend to give them away as gifts. I must practice some self control. Anyways, this is the latest one. I stopped at two. During Relief Society night, I made one for myself and another for my hard-working sales woman of a sister. They're cute little recipe boards you can attach your own index cards in between and then stand up on an easel in your kitchen. It's always fun doing crafts with a group of people. It was a little difficult to do with no young women there to watch our kids in the nursery like they had "planned" on having. But still a fun and creative night. Sure beats reading The Berenstein Bears and the Bad Dream for the 100th time because THAT has become Orion's latest addiction. Of all the books he has to read, he loves that one over and over again. Who knows why.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Total Money Makeover



As humiliating as this may be to talk about, I want to briefly make mention of our situation at the moment since it's something I don't want to forget and something we've been struggling with for a few years now. I guess we don't really consider ourselves poor money managers but the truth is that we find ways of getting ourselves into new debts shortly after having cleared old ones. This is just no way to live. We've somehow lost control over our lives in this aspect and feel as though we've finally hit some kind of rock bottom as we've had our car repossessed this week. I guess the first step in fixing any problem is admitting there is one in the first place.

I've been listening and loving Dave Ramsey's advice for the longest time now, but have found it rather difficult to stay on top of any budgeting plan. We have the tendency to do so for a while and then just get lazy. But we came to realize that no justification or excuse is worth it anymore so our plan is to get on top of it, tackle it and to work hard at living debt free and yes this includes student loans and the messy mortgage situation I got myself into years ago with my parents. Yes, I invested in a house, in California of all places, many years ago thinking I was wise for putting my money into a property knowing very little about it. I know we've all made mistakes in our past but hopefully none of you readers of my blog have made one this big in so much ignorance. It's not even a property I wish to keep anymore. But that's besides the point. Right now, our issue is that we have no car which, for someone who travels a lot pulling small trailers across the country, is a big deal. So after a few dozen tears and some serious reassessing of where we are with our lives and where we want to be, we've decided to take on Dave Ramsey's challenge: If you will live like no one else, later you can live like NO ONE ELSE! All too often, we buy things we don't need with money we don't have in order to impress people we don't like.

Gordon B. Hinckley pointed out how our pioneer forebears lived by the adage, "Fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." Having grown up in the prideful state of California, this is not something I am used to especially when it comes to cute new baby clothes or in my case shoes. And keep me away from the fabric store. But it is inspiring and so I write down these mottos to remind me of where I want to be. Where we want to be as a family. So even if we lose this car for good, we WILL find a way and probably a more thrift and prudent one at that. We need to learn to live within our means and though we don't own credit cards at the moment there is much room for improvement so stuff like this doesn't happen again. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Baby News

So, in case you hadn't already figured it out, we're having another little boy. We are 26 weeks along or at the end of the sixth month. We went together as a family one early morning to find out what it was and sure enough, it's quite apparent that Orion and Chrys will have a younger brother to play with now. So far, Alex has been right on the money with all three of them. Coincidence? Who knows for sure. But I think he's definitely more in tune with our spirit children long before we know what they are. I wasn't very sure. I did dream about a boy a few times and since we had already picked out a boy's name and were still undecided on a girl's, we figured it was probably meant to be that way. I still wanted to prepare myself in case it was another little girl. I know Alex really wanted another boy, so I was trying to prepare him for one just in case. But it seems that it wasn't necessary. I sort of did want another girl so that I could reuse all my cute flowers and hair bows on someone that wasn't old enough to yank them off. But we're happy Orion will have another brother he can sword fight with now. And as frivolous as it may sound, I'm excited to purchase matching ties for my two little boys and their dad to go to church in once in a while. So these next few photos are pictures of the pictures. The glare didn't help but since I can't figure out the scanner yet these will have to do for now. I think they're clear enough. But just so you can get the idea.

Hinckley's first photos. Here's his little profile.

And here's the famous ultrasound crotch shot.

A 2-D shot of the face with added color. Almost looks 3-D to me. They got some nice pics in my opinion.

I loved this shot because when the technician took the shot and paused it, Orion looked at it and said, "Oooh, it's a hand like me!" And because the screen was within his reach he placed his little hand onto it lining it up with Hinckley's. That moment was just so touching and I don't want to forget it.

And here's a pretty clear shot of his little toes. I love baby toes. What is it about their bubbly toes that are just so cute?

Anyways, as for my pregnancy. I haven't kept up too well on how it's been going. But so far, so good. I can honestly say this has been a far easier pregnancy than my last two. And I owe it all to my drastic diet change and the extra bits of exercise I've been trying to squeeze in here and there. I still need to work on consistency with my routines but that's a work in progress. I have felt a little bit extra tired and energy drained lately and since I'm prone to getting slightly anemic, I figure it's just a slight iron deficiency. On the days I make a better effort to include lots of sprouts and salads, I notice my energy levels are higher. Also, Maca root powder has helped a lot in helping me to keep my hormones balanced so I'm a lot less moody. I think. It would probably be better to ask Alex for his opinion on this since I never notice my moodiness on myself. But I enjoy the maca in my smoothies quite a bit. I'm still pretty upset that I can't find a place that sells wheatgrass out here. I told Alex that as soon as we come across a Jamba Juice on our way back to Utah, that's our first stop. I've been taking some powdered and frozen wheatgrass but I know it's not the same as freshly juiced. It looses a lot of living energy this way. I tried growing some in trays but for some odd reason I can't grow it right out here. I grew quite a bit of it out in Arizona but here the weather seems to kill it or something. Who knows. Any advice on this would help. Also, I think I need to start watching my sugar intake. I can honestly say I'm addicted to sweet things and so this one is hard when the cravings hit. But I try to make sure my sources are natural like fruits and stuff. Still, I know it's easy to consume a lot of fruit and not enough greens and veggies. I'm trying. But overall, I haven't felt as sick as before and my heartburn is very much under control and just about non-existent. Around this time with my last pregnancy I remember it getting really bad and during the last month I had to sleep almost sitting up to keep it from bothering me at night. Anyways, I grow anxious and nervous all at the same time. I want to meet this baby already but am slightly apprehensive about taking care of three little ones. Well, guess I'll figure it all out somehow.

Monday, July 5, 2010

My Baby Brother Missionary

I've been wanting to post about this for a while now but haven't gotten around to it. I guess I've just been thinking a lot lately about missionaries and missionary work. But here it is: This is my baby brother. He's about 9 years younger than me. And he's on his mission in McAllen, Texas. I can't believe he old enough to be on a mission already. I can clearly remember the day he was born. I wanted to be the first one to hold him. I was so anxious for this baby brother of mine. I remember making that clear to my parents. So, aside from the doctors and nurses and my mom and dad, I was in there to be the first one to hold my baby brother. I got to hold him before any of my aunts and before Gio and that was all that mattered to me. I remember wanting so badly to change his diapers and feed him. I wish I had that desire now with my own kids. Jk. It's different with my kids I suppose. But my baby bro and I have a special bond and I do miss him terribly. He was my little cuddle buddy even long after he wasn't little anymore. And even though he's not my big brother, he was always there to tell me when the guy I was dating was totally wrong for me. And he didn't feel that way about Alex. He must have been the right one. This special brother of mine who grew up with three sisters and no brothers has always been so gentle and kind with the ladies. I know one day he will surely make one lucky lady very happy. And in the meantime, he's making the Lord very happy. Above is one his recent baptisms.

But this picture should give you all a better idea of how goofy and charismatic this kid is if you don't already know him. I think his smile in this photo says it all. I know he has a special work to do and he will strive to do his best with it. Come August he will have already completed his first year. Crazy how time flies. I must be getting old.

So here's a small tribute to my baby brother missionary, Elder Jose Mauricio Velez. I love you little bro. Now, GET BACK to WORK!

Huntington Randoms

As a mother of a door-to-door sales rep, and two little ones while expecting number three, life can get chaotic and redundant. I find that if I don't make an attempt to get out more often I easily fall into the "wo is me," mentality because of feeling trapped at home reading Dr. Suess's ABC's for the 200th time. At the beginning of the summer I stayed at home a lot and didn't like myself much for it. So lately we've tried to keep busy despite our crazy schedules, my growing belly and my lack of extra hands around for help. I will admit it is nice at the end of the day when my hubby and my sister can come home to offer a hand. And even though they come home to eat and sleep and start it all over the next day, I am grateful for their mere presence at those late hours.

So a couple weeks back, Alex and I found a sweet girl from our ward to watch our kids while we went to the temple in the early morning. I remember as a kid talking to Gio about how much fun it would be to try and visit every temple in the world. Well, thanx to this exciting job we're one step closer to completing our goal. I don't know if we'll ever make it to every single one but we've already been to quite a few within the US. It's still fun to try I suppose and has never ceased to bring us a peace of mind. Some of the other things we've tried to stay busy with is feeding the missionaries once a month and attending the summer playgroup/workout every friday in our ward. Feeding the missionaries has always been so pleasant in the past but we've never done it as often as I think we should. Since now my baby brother is out on his mission in Texas he has inspired us to do so more regularly. He said that the first four months in his area were hard and that in that area there were very few members who offered dinners to them but always expressed his deep gratitude for the few that did. It made me think a lot about how many times I've passed the clipboard over to someone else in relief society expecting that others would do it. The thoughts and spirit they bring to our home are so re-enforcing and much needed because of our crazy lives and nothing feels better than doing small acts of service anyways. Just because I can't feed my little brother doesn't mean I can't feed other missionaries in the field. We've found that this definitely lifts us out of our slumps that we constantly seem to fall into over the long summers.




Among other things, taking long walks to the park or simply riding our scooters/pushing strollers is enough to wear out my young children so much that they fall asleep at the table after dinners.


This last Friday some of the other office wives and their kids invited us to come along and splash around with them at a splash park. My son thought it would be funny to pull down his pants and pee out in the open while we were there. SO NOT something I taught him. But I was reassured by my cousin who also has a little boy, slightly older, that this is innate. Then Saturday we went to the Peach Festival out here. Above is a photo of the bushel of peaches I purchased to bring home to my family who all LOVE peaches. We made a yummy peach cobbler but still have half a basketful that is definitely not lasting. Some of them are still not quite ripe, but close, so that's kind of nice because in that way we don't have to worry about peaches spoiling faster than we can eat. But both my kids and myself can down peaches like no other. So juicy. So sweet. Back in Philadelphia, I recall a moment when we'd picked up peaches from an Amish town and my son, somehow still short, managed to pull a few of them down off the kitchen counter and took big bites out of each of them. I hadn't noticed he was getting into them until I heard a very loud, "Mmmmmm! MMmmmmmmm!!!" along with little smacking noices. I walked around the corner and surely enough there he was indulging himself, covered in peach juice that dripped from his chin, elbows and was very much slathered all over his shirt. How could I take them away? He looked like he was in Heaven. He still loves them just as much. And now I get to enjoy two little indulgent faces at peach-snacking-time. My family always tells me the story of how as a little kid I once requested a bowl of, and I quote, "Peaches con mono cochino." That's Spanglish for Peaches with dirty monkeys. I don't know where that came from. Neither do they. But it's become somewhat of an inside joke and from time to time they still call me that. Orion now gets called "mono cochino," because of me. Because he's my offspring. I guess there's no doubt we're a family of peach lovers.

While there, Orion had some fun bouncing around which he's a pro at.

And sliding.

And we got face paintings/tattoos for the first time. Well, it was the kids' first time. But my son insisted that I get one too and even picked out this pretty butterfly for me. I think he knows I like them. So I got a butterfly on my arm,

Orion picked out a "a pirate face ARrrr,"

And I picked out another butterfly for Chrysalis. So fitting, I know.

On our trips to walmart and the zoo, Orion's newest obsession has become any animal-like toys so his latest includes some dinosaurs, bugs, land mammals and sea creatures. Some of these were a gift from Grandma. I find these are also very helpful in teaching my daughter. Three dimensional creatures are so much easier to understand than the 2-D ones in most picture books. A most educational toy indeed. She actually says dinosaur very clearly now and can distinguish a lobster from a crab from a scorpion a little bit better than she could while I was asking for her to point them out from a board book that we have.


And since she's my daugher and quite possibly a future wife and mother herself, we recently picked up a baby doll stroller for her to play with. She LOVES it. Sometimes she'll stick her baby in upside down, but no matter. And if she can't strap it in quite right and it falls, she just picks up her baby, gives it a kiss and puts her back in sideways.


And Sundays we really try not to go swimming but this Sunday was the fourth of July and so after a yummy potluck dinner that the wives all put together quite nicely, Alex and the kids took a short dip in the pool. Chrysalis has been teething lately so this fun didn't last long but it was long enough for me to snap some photos. And Sunday evening we waited till dark to do a small box of fireworks and some sparklers for the kids. They slept well.


Orion was a little afraid of the water at the beginning of the summer but is now all over the place. I think he forgot how much fun it was. But I am excited to get back to Utah so that we can continue with swimming lessons. At least some to refresh Orion's memory on how to float without floating devices and because I loved the instructor so much, I also want to do a full course with Chrysalis. She's very much ready as she is fearless of jumping into the water. I remember Orion being a lot more cautious. Different personalities I suppose. I have more videos and pics to post soon but this will have to do for now. Hope everyone had a happy fourth and enjoys my random thoughts and happenings.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Grandma Comes to Visit us in South Carolina

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We basically just spent time together and I got a much needed hand with all the small things in life. We took another short trip to the zoo and visited the gardens at Riverbanks this time too. Didn't get too many photos but here's what I got. Hope you all enjoy. And just in case you hadn't already heard, we found out IT'S A BOY! I'll post some ultrasound pics soon. 6 months along now. We're pretty certain of his name too. It's funny because we had a boy's name all ready a while ago and had been struggling to find a girl's name. Now we finally know why. So from the belly, please meet Hinckley James Huntington.

Our little swimmer