An experiment.

Continuing my thoughts about change. Is it possible for someone to really change? Not just for a short amount of time. Not for just a week or a month. But change for good? I wonder is it one defining moment that sparks the person to change or is it a constant battle?

After my last post about change, I decided to conduct an experiment on myself. There are many things I would like to improve about myself. I know everyone has a list of things they would change about themselves. I want to be more patient with my kids. I want to be more friendly and outgoing. But ultimately what I want to change is my unhealthy eating habits. So I’m going to test myself and see if its possible to change. Is it possible for me to change how I eat? If faced with an unhealthy choice, will I pick a healthy one?

I know for a while now that I needed to change how I eat. I’ve been here before. Years ago, I found myself unhealthy and unhappy. And I changed. I lost 25lbs. For me, having children means I have an accordion for a body. Ups and downs. And I get that. But I want to change my (and this sounds so cheesy) my relationship with food. I don’t want to eat if I’m sad or trying to fill a void or bored. I also don’t want to develop diabetes. I want to be more active for not only myself and my personal well being, but I want to be an example to my children of how to eat right and be active. Even though I want this for my boys, I think it wasn’t until after I had my girl did it really hit home that I want to be an example for her.

This is a before and after picture I made in 2011 after I lost 25lbs.

So how am I going to change? For me, it’s starting gradual with little changes. I’m following what I did last time I lost weight. I’m eating smaller more frequent meals, I’m going low carb/and low to no sugar. I’ve been doing it for a week now and It’s been going good. My stomach aches have gone away, which I would have one every morning. I would tell you I lost weight, but I really don’t know. We don’t own a scale. And really this time I don’t want to focus on a number. I just want to keep going, eating healthier and changing my attitude towards food.

Mark bought doughnuts the other day for the family. And I made a choice not to have one. The decision wasn’t so bad because I made the choice already BEFORE that I wasn’t going to have one. I had a small sugar free treat instead. I think that might be the key, if I want to change, I have to make the decision before I’m faced with the choice.

Can someone really change?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about change. How can I improve myself? Its easy to see what needs to be changed in others. It’s easy to say, “Well it’s not that hard, why don’t they just change their ways?”. What they need to do seems obvious to us.

Then it made me think what I need to change in myself. How could I improve? Would it be easy? No it would not. Could I do it? Yes, I could.

We all have something we could improve about ourselves. We could eat healthier, exercise more, communicate better, be more patient, be happier, the list goes on and on. So what do you need to improve about yourself?

What about if your older. When is it too late to change? Can you really teach an old dog new tricks? What if you are in your 40’s, 60’s or 70’s? I had someone tell me once they were too old to change their ways. Do you think it’s too hard for someone older to change their ways then someone younger? I think it’s important to be constantly improving ourselves even when we think we are too old and “set in our ways”..

(This picture made me smile.)

I read an interesting article about change. i encourage you to take 2 minutes and read it.

Can people really change?

I’m hoping I can find that push I need to change. The desire is there, the know how is there, but I can’t seem to start. What will it take? I know it will not happen over night, or by the end of the week. I know change comes with small day to day improvements.

Family Fitness Badge-Exploring USU

We have an family goal to be more healthy. For family home evening, we talked about why the Lord wants us to keep our bodies healthy. What good foods we should eat and what we shouldn’t eat. We talked about exercise and keeping our bodies healthy that way. We sat down with the kids and thought of a few activities we could do as a family in addition to the ones that Dad thought of. After we accomplish all the activities, you can earn a badge. I’ll have to post later about our family badges. This particular badge were calling the Family Fitness badge. This is the design that Mark did, now I just need to make it! Pictures of that to come later. P.S. You can click on any image and it will load bigger. :)

unnamed

Here is our chart that is on the fridge to help us keep track of what we need to do.

IMG_1089

We’ve gone on multiple bike rides so far, but recently we went for a fun hike/explore Daddy’s school. Mark goes to USU and the kids love going up on campus and seeing where Dad goes to school. This is a great free thing anyone can do, you don’t have to go to USU to do this. Just go in and out of the buildings and see what you can find or just walk around outside, there are many sculptures and other things to see at USU.

Here are a few pictures from our adventure…

Climbing up the famous stairs.
Climbing up the famous stairs.
Dinosaur foot print.
Dinosaur foot print.-Geology Building
Looking at fish in a tiny pond.
Looking at fish in a tiny pond.-South side of Biology Building.
See the Mountian man
See the Mountian man.-East side of Biology Building.
See something?? I don't think there is anything in these tanks, but they still thought it was super fun.
See something?? I don’t think there is anything in these tanks, but they still thought it was super fun.-Natural Resources Building.
See a bear.
See a bear.-2nd Floor Natural Resources Building.
Airplanes, among other exhibits.
Airplanes, among other exhibits-Engineering
Legos.
Legos.
Riding an elevator to 2nd floor of Engineering. Where there is a great break room with snacks.
Riding an elevator to 2nd floor of Engineering. Where there is a great break room with snacks.
Looking out from pretty high up.
Looking out from pretty high up.
Climbing rocks.
Climbing rocks.

Trying blogging again starting with an awesome secret recipe.

My lil’ sis has encouraged me to start blogging more. I’ll give it a try B. Here is an awesome recipe! If you’ve ever had an english muffin from Macey’s bakery or shaffers bakery, these are it. Not just a copy kat recipe, but the actual recipe. We got connections. :)

Mark has made these a few times. The trick to getting the flat shape it sandwiching them in between two cookie sheets. Use baking paper or two sil pat mats to avoid sticking.

englishmuffins

There are not a lot of instructions, you kind of need a basic knowledge of bread making. You might not need all that flour either. Start with 4 cups. And then only use enough flour so that as the hook is spinning the dough around it “cleans” the bowl. I just really need to make a video of it. I’ll work on that, in the mean time here is the recipe.

ENGLISH MUFFINS

1 Package Yeast active dry yeast; (equivalent to 2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 Cups Warm Water; (baby bottle warm)
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoon Sugar
2 teaspoon Vinegar
5 – 6 Cups Flour

Mix water and yeast, let rest for about ten minutes making sure the yeast foams and is active.

After yeast foams, add all of the rest of the ingredients, starting with about 4 cups of flour and, start mixing (if you have a mixer, use your dough hook, if doing it by hand, you will need to start with 5 cups of flour).

Add flour a little at a time until you have a fairly stiff smooth dough. Take the dough on a lightly floured surface and start dividing it in halves. Ultimately you want 16 small little equal sized dough pieces.

Place a piece of parchment paper (or silicon mat) on the bottom of a cookie sheet. Roll and shape each of the small dough pieces into a round ball, and place on the cookies sheet, leaving enough room for them to spread out (I choose a 2 x 4 pattern, so they were laid out as follows):

0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0

Then place a sheet of parchment paper on top of them, and place an empty cookie sheet on top of them, giving a little push to flatten out the top of the english muffins, but don’t squish them too thin. As they rise, the sheet will press down and make it so they rise out into an english muffin shape.

Let them rise until muffin sized (about 1.5 – 2 hours) and then bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for ~15 minutes. Leave the cookie sheet on top of the english muffins while baking, this helps them keep they’re shape and stops them from browning too much (you don’t want them very brown since they need to be toasted).

Yeah, I’ve got nothing.

So I want to try out this new app. But I seriously have nothing to blog about it. I feel boring. I used to blog to try to entertain my readers but now I want to use melarky.com more for like a family journal. Something that would be fun to look back on. I love to look back on our old posts and eventually I want to print my blog to a book.

So what’s going on with us? Schedules. Lots of schedules. Which is really weird for us. If you know me you know I’m a gal that sits back and just kinda goes with the flow. None of my babies ever had a real sleep or eating schedule. A few years ago I could still sleep in, but now were all about routine and schedules and I like it. Mark has a crazy schedule with full time school and work. Welly has his little schedule with school. Hilly love his routine and Gus well he still doesn’t have a strict sleep and eating schedule, but he’s getting there just because he has to keep up with his brothers.

The whole family is up and ready for the day bright and early. And I love it. Welly is off to school and Mark is too and I can get so much done before it’s even 10 am. Then a few hours later its back in the car to pick up, drop off, lunch, more driving. Homework. And let me tell you this kindergartener has a lot of homework and of course Welly drags his feet on it. Usually he has two sheets of math, we practice phonograms, and memorizing his poem. Then is onto dinner and bedtime routine. Then Mark and I have our own little ritual these days as soon as the kids are asleep we sneak downstairs to watch tv in peace. And it is so nice! Actually we are doing that right now, and I’m blogging at the same time! Thank you ipad and Zagg Folio case!

Oh, now to try some code. It’s been a while. Get ready to watch me practice!

I love Fast N’ Loud

20130218-214057.jpg

I also love this guy….
20130218-213234.jpg
If he didn’t work in the hearing health care profession I would totally have him grow his beard out. :) Just kidding. Actually this is more than anyone ever wanted to know, but I love Marky, beard or no beard. Sometimes he’ll shave his beard and he will look so young and be a fun change, but I also love him with a beard. I’m glad I’m not him and have to decide. What a burden it must be to be so handsome. :)

Testing out the wordpress app

I was really excited to find the WordPress app for the ipad the other day. I just don’t blog like I used to because I had to be at the desktop, usually when the kids were asleep, and these days I don’t want to be up when everyone else is asleep! I want to be asleep too! Blogging got to be too hard because Facebook is so easy, I can do it quick on my phone while I’m nursing, or waiting in the car for Mark. But I’m hoping armed with this new app plus this awesome keyboard case we have for the ipad (you should get it, its called Zagg, I think) I’m hoping to do more blogging.

Looks like I can do some code, but I’ll just do this for now to test it out.

Cool I can add pictures pretty easy. I just grabbed this photo quick.

20130217-225446.jpg

Mommy’s key

written in April 2012- Welly sat next to me in the front seat of our car while we waited for Dad to come out. Welly was playing with my keys in the ignition and saw a strange looking key.

“What’s this key for?” he asked grabbing it.

I explained to Welly the best I could that it helps me remember to say my prayers.

I thought back to years ago when I bought it along with two others. One for me and two for the girls I visit taught at the time. The lesson that month was about prayer and there was a quote in the lesson that particularly stood out to me. It was by Boyd K. Packer, it said, “Learn to pray. Pray often. Pray in your mind, in your heart. Pray on your knees. Prayer is your personal key to heaven. The lock is on your side of the veil. And I have learned to conclude all my prayers with ‘Thy will be done’ (Matthew 6:10; see also Luke 11:2; 3 Nephi 13:10).” I thought that getting the keys would help me and the girls I visit taught to remember to pray. I gave each of the girls a skeleton key with the saying, “Prayer is your personal key to heaven. The lock is on your side of the veil.”

I mentioned that part of the quote to Welly, that prayer is the key to heaven, I think I said, “heaven’s door” he really liked that part, and gave a big smile and you could just see the wheels in his head turning.

I went on, “when we pray, we’re talking to our Heavenly Father, and He lives in heaven…..and” Welly interrupted my explination… “Can I talk to Heavenly Father?” I told him, “Sure, but we better turn off the radio”.

Totally un-helped, bowing his head and folding his arms in the front seat he started,

“Dear Heavenly Father…Hey, How’s it going? Is is fun up there…in heaven? (pause) Yeah? (pause) How’s it going? (longer pause) In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen”.

We talked about after HOW Heavenly Father answers our prayers and how it’s different than if he asked me a question.

It was such a cute kid prayer. I was one proud Mom. I was also thankful to take that question about the key and use it to teach him about prayer. I hope that I’m not too busy to miss those opportunities when they come up. I know it’s those little times, those little teaching moments that happen naturally, and unforced, mean the most.

Gus Gus giving in. So should you.

We understand if your tired of voting, but we’d really appreciate it if you gave it another go! Please vote for us again! No winner was announced last week and Zions Bank decided to do a re-vote after making some changes to the way people could vote . The voting is open until May 31st. Voting is a little different this time, but is supposed to be more secure. Thanks again for all your support!

VOTE FOR US EVERYDAY!