Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Good Day

She's practically on top of him! He's just used to it, I guess. This is a very common scene. Libby just wants to watch Alex do anything.

Avery sparkles and shines.

A few posts back I mentioned the girls' hair. Libby likes her hair to be "mich-match," especially when she's wearing her Pippi Longstocking dress. Hey, at least it's done!

The Clayton Girls: Anoush, Aryl, Avery, Libby, Emma

Now Avery is starting to be a big girl and wants to be like Libby. They can color in the coloring books together now :)

Fake It Till You Make It

I'm a genuine person, the type of person who has fewer, close friendships. I've always been proud of the fact that I'm not fake. Everyone knows how I feel and where I stand because I wear my emotions on my sleeve.

Steve is the same way. We'd rather fight openly and get it over with than hold our emotions in and hope that it gets resolved later. Hopefully, we love openly as well to counterbalance the bad.

BUT, this morning I realized that I'm getting good at "faking it" (even though I didn't know I was trying), and I actually think it's a step toward maturity.

Let me explain.

Alex was off to a Scouting activity, Steve was on a business call in his office, it was just me and the two girls. I was feeling desperate for a shower because I'm hormonally imbalanced and my complexion is suffering because of it, also because I have hot and cold flashes so I'm sweatier and therefore greasier than usual. (Sorry if that's TMI.)

Libby is 3.5 and she wants to play, she has a lot of questions, there's a lot of drama in doing anything. Avery is 17 months, she woke up too early this morning, she's needy, she wants to nurse ALL THE TIME, she likes the toilet, and dumping stuff - anything - out onto the floor.
This was my bathroom when I came out of the shower, even after I took the precautionary steps of pushing back all the haircutting stuff and hair bow stuff and toiletries and...crayon basket? the back of the counter.

All I could think about was how badly I wanted the solace of a shower. And because my mind was consumed with this thought, I realized that I was being auto-pilot Mommy, I was "faking it."

And everyone was happy :)

See, when Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. But when Mama is a good faker, everyone is happy!

If I can just be fake for the next year - while I'm creating a life inside me - then we'll probably all survive.

This whole "faking it" concept is how I've interpreted the "Come What May and Love It" talk by Elder Wirthlin, specifically as it relates to pregnancy. It was an outright epiphany for me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why Roofing Companies Love Texas

Karina and I thought this crazy hailstorm was pretty cool. Our girls, not so much...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What is RSS?

In an effort to help family and friends connect more easily, I want to share this video that teaches the value of RSS feeds and readers. Using an RSS reader will save you a lot of time on the web and make it much more simple to stay in the loop with your favorite people.

Ready to set up your RSS reader? I recommend Google Reader. All you need is a Google (Gmail) account and you're ready to go.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

99% Accurate

Heaven help us...

Mommy/Libby date for March

We went to see "Bedtime Stories" at the discount movie theatre, I fell asleep albeit only for 5 seconds, Libby couldn't wait to leave so we took a break by going to the bathroom.

But then, then we went to McDonald's for an ice cream cone. Now, that was worth it!

Science Day CO2

Saturdays are now Science Experiment days with Daddy. Carbon Dioxide Gas Cork-with-streamers Launch.


Our field trip to ZPizza was yummy. They gave us a tour, free pizzas, and soda!

And of course Alex found a tree to climb.

Look closer at the picture below in the shadows. He's shimmying up it, funny kid :)

Girls' Hair

I must confess that I'm horrible at doing my girls' hair. I never learned how to do anything other than the basics.

Avery gets compliments everywhere we go on her hair anyway because she has a lot and it's a pretty color. I've cut it every-so-often, and it looks the best down. But for the first time ever I did ponytails for her.

Libby likes her hair Pippi Longstocking style, meaning one side pony the other side braid, or "michmatch" as she calls it.

She usually doesn't want me anywhere near her hair but last Sunday she asked me for buns (not sure where that came from) and this is what she ended up with. We were both happy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

God's Laws of Finance Released!

Karina and I are very excited to launch the website for a book we're writing called God's Laws of Finance: How to Prosper Following Prophetic Counsel.

We've even provided a free e-book for you to download, which is a condensed version of what the book will be.

We're going to blog the entire book for free, so if you subscribe to our RSS feed, or have new posts delivered straight to your email inbox, you'll get to read the manuscript as it develops.

The idea for the book developed when we fell flat on our faces financially and realized that we hadn't studied prophetic counsel on personal finance like we should have. We had spent years and thousands of dollars reading books, attending seminars, and listening to the "wisdom of men," but we hadn't been as diligent in heeding authoritative teachings.

We began studying everything we could find from prophets and apostles on personal finance, investing, and preparedness. We were surprised at the mountains of materials that we dug up, though not surprised at the consistency of the counsel.

From our studies emerged a comprehensive model, which we call the "Prophetic Model of Prosperity."

We would love your help in creating the most effective book as possible. Specifically, we would really appreciate two things: 1) comment a lot on each blog post to give us feedback on what we're writing and help us fine tune the message, and 2) share with us your personal stories of financial failure and/or success. Personal stories, or case studies, are a critical element of successful books. The more you share the more you help others.

Start by downloading your free e-book, The Prophetic Model of Prosperity, then either subscribe to our RSS feed or click here to have new blog posts sent to your email address.

Thanks so much!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Garden is Sprouting

Can you see it? Can you see it? Look real close. This is so very exciting for us, and undoubtedly so boring for you.

It's been 14 days since we planted. We haven't been to the garden for 3-4 days because it's been raining, so today it was fun to see that those tiny little hard seeds actually do turn into plants...well, most of them are turning into plants.

You have to keep reading, though, to see the most exciting thing of all!

Squash (above picture)

Cucumbers (above picture)

Corn (above picture)

Spinach (above picture)

Green Beans (above picture)

Successful peppers (right) and failure tomatoes (left row)...I think they failed :(

Strawberries. LOOK CLOSER. Quit skimming. Yes, folks, that's a live one. Real, tangible, edible food.

We thought this was an orange...

but it turned out to be super duper sour...

look at those arms...see why we call her "Squishy"?...and can you see the tear dripping from her left eye?...

She loved it, though, and threw a fit when Libby wanted to try it. I let her have it in the car and she kept squishing her tiny first finger into the hole and sucking on it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

March Update

I don't know what the deal is with tongues around here, but if you'll remember, this post is what happened to Libby recently.

This afternoon, Alex came in the house and said, "I puh a ithe coob on my tongue, it got thuck, tho I tole Loman to lip it off thast like a Band-Aid."

Translation: "I put an ice cube on my tongue, it got stuck, so I told Roman to rip it off fast like a Band-Aid."

Ouch! Looks painful, kiddo!Then at dinner, as we all sat at the table eating, Alex was sulking on the couch because we ran out of applesauce. I said, "You should try eating potatoes and this chicken; it's really soft. Do you think you could just try it?"

In his very put out voice he said, "Ye-ah..with..great..difficulty."

I'm thinking that that doesn't sound funny written down, but it was really funny to me and Steve.

He kept going into the half bath and slurping water. When he came out he said, "I scream if I drink from a cup, but my eyes get big if I drink from the sink."

He also declared, "I'm never, ever, ever, ever, ever touching an ice cube again."

This is Avery with her doggy picture. We're seriously entertaining the idea of getting a dog because of her love for animals. Steve is sold on the idea, and he's the one with allergies; it's me who's still not completely ready.
"Outside" was one of her very first words, but she says "sie." She toddled and giggled as she went from leaf pile to leaf pile all through the yard.And Libby has always been The Best Sleeper. This is after a day at the garden. Hurts me just looking at her.

Friday, March 6, 2009

More on NASA Day

We just had an amazing day with NASA! Check out the photos in the last post.

- No fits/complaining/nagging.
- No crying AT ALL!
- We were on time.
- No pee accidents (Libby actually used the port-a-potties...twice!)
- Awesome weather.
- Super fun hands-on activities.
- No tired Mommy because Avery stayed in the stroller.
- Mesmerized kids.
- The kids ate their homemade lunches.
- Free downtown parking.

Not one glitch in the whole day. Don't you love that!?

NASA at LBJ Library

March in Texas

Libby loves swimming suits. She was very happy that March 5th, 2009 was 85 degrees and she could wear ONE of her new swimming suits.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm very happy about it too :) But I'm not ready to wear a swimsuit :(

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wanted: 3-5 Canyoneering Partners For A Monterrey, Mexico Trip

*Note: There is time-sensitive material in this post. Please read the entire post for details on how you can join me for a sweet adventure in Mexico in May.

If you haven't been canyoneering, you haven't lived. Canyoneering is a dyamic, intense combination of hiking, rappelling, spelunking, rock climbing, and swimming. The following video will give you a good taste of canyoneering:

When we lived in southern Utah I was canyoneering once a month. But I haven't been since moving to Texas last June. I'm craving it!

Luckily, Monterrey, Mexico, 4-5 hours south of Austin, has world-class canyoneering.

I'm planning a 4-day, 3-night trip to Monterrey in mid to late May and I would love 3-5 partners to join me.


The first 5 people who give me a $100 non-refundable deposit by April 15th get the spots. It's non-refundable because I need to reserve our spot with the guide company with a 50% deposit. As you'll read below, the total cost of the trip will be between $260 and $270 per person.

I've got everything planned out. You don't need any equipment other than basic hiking and camping equipment. We'll be using this certified guide company, which provides everything from equipment, to food, to medical insurance.

I would need someone to volunteer a car, since we just have one car and I can't leave my wife without it. A minivan or SUV that could fit 6 people would be ideal.


We would leave on a Wednesday early afternoon, stay in a hotel that night, canyoneer Thursday and Friday (camp out Thursday night), stay in a hotel Friday night, then come back Saturday morning.

We'll be staying at Hacienda Cola de Caballo, which is a great hotel.

The canyons we'll go through are Matacanes and Canon de Chipitin.


Canyoneering Package (includes food for two days and all equipment): $156/person

Gas: $100 total (about 375 miles one way)

Hotel Room (standard double): $65 Wednesday night, $100 Friday night

Food: $40/person (lunch and dinner going down, breakfast and lunch coming back)

4 People: $1,049 total, $262.25/person (one hotel room)
5 People: $1,410 total, $282/person (two hotel rooms)
6 People: $1,606 total, $267.67/person (two hotel rooms)

We'll share the cost of gas and hotel rooms, and you're responsible for your own travel food (remember that the guide company handles our food for Thursday and Friday).

Reserve Your Spot Now

So who's with me? I need firm commitments from 3-5 people. The first 5 to give me a $100 non-refundable deposit are in. Reserve your spot or get your questions answered by emailing me at stephenpalmer76[at]yahoo[dot]com.

Watch this video to see what awaits you in Mexico:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Planting Is Done

We planted our garden today after rototilling and preparing the soil yesterday.

I'm sure you'll be mesmerized as I recount every little detail. On the right are two rows of corn, with strawberries in front of them. The four mounds in the back corner are watermelon, cucumber, and squash. On the far left are tomatoes and peppers. In between those and the corn are beans, carrots, peas, broccoli, lettuce, and spinach.

Spellbinding, right? Okay, maybe you had to be there. We're sure finding it fascinating, faith-expanding, character-building, and just plain fun.

Pray for us and our little plants! Heaven knows they're going to need all the help they can get...

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Garden Saga Begins

Today we started a new chapter in our life: growing a garden. Some friends, who live just a few minutes from our house, are lending us a 16' x 24' plot. This will be good practice to prepare us for our earthship lifestyle.

Here's what the garden looked like when we started:

We spent about four hours today clearing away the grass and rototilling. We also spread some fertilized soil.

We'll start planting tomorrow. And praying...

Little Buckaroo Ranch

Crazy Proposal Story

My friend Kristi sent me this. It's incredible! They're famous already!