Tax Returns

John and I got our taxes done last week and we are super excited to be getting some money back.  I love tax return time because it is always fun to see how much money we are going to get back.  But I swear it seems like every year at this time one of our cars breaks down or we have some other major expense come up so we never get to do anything fun. 

This year right on schedule our car did have issues and it cost us over $500 to fix it.  But we still have money leftover and I have been plotting all sorts of great ways to spend it.  I would love to go on a huge spending spree and blow it all, but then sensibility sets in.  I hate sensibility don’t you?  I came home the other day and begged and pleaded with John for a new camera lens.  I told him how it would turn my life around, make me a better person, give me a purpose in life.  Luckily for me he agreed with all my rationale and said I could!  Needless to say I am over the moon about that.

We also are going to put some away and save up for a trip to Disneyland with my Mom and Dad, Manny, Peanut and Lu, and Randa’s family and whoever else in the family wants to save up and go.  Mom and Dad are plotting bake sales and lemonade stands to earn their money so if you are ever cruising around in their neighborhood stop and buy a brownie, it’s all for a very good cause.

So those are some of our plans for tax return money this year, what about you?  Does anyone get to just spend their entire return on fun stuff?  If so I want to know who you are and all the fantastic things you are buying.  Do you save it?  Pay bills?  Fix up your house?  What?   

Kajal Update

Last night after I posted about Kajal I decided to see if I could find her on Facebook and I did!  How freakin awesome is Facebook sometimes?  Anyways just wanted to let you know. 

Indian Wedding Bracelets

In college I had a good friend from India.  Her name was Kajal and she was so fun to visit with.  We had long discussions about religion and marriage.  She was fabulously smart and her husband was a professor on campus.  She was the first and only person I have ever known in real life whose marriage was an actual arranged marriage.  Her story was fascinating.  She only met her husband 2 weeks before they got married.  He had come to the States to teach and he had a girlfriend over here and his family was really upset with him about it.  After 2 years of dating they broke up and he called his parents and told them to find him a wife.  He flew over to India and married Kajal 2 weeks later. 

Crazy I said, you must be crazy.  I was a newly engaged gal who was obviously convinced my Western thoughts on marriage were the only sane way to go.  But after talking to her and listening to her story it made me think that maybe in some cases it was ok to do it her way.  I was planning my wedding at the time and she came with me when I picked up my wedding dress after my final fitting.  She wanted to show me her wedding dress.  It was the most beautiful pink sari I have ever seen.  The beading was stunning.  The veil she wore weighed about 20 pounds it had so many beads on it.  She told me all about her wedding day and I wish I could have been there; it sounded amazing.  I would love to attend a real Indian wedding.  She showed me pictures of her beautiful Henna tattoos that covered the palms of her hands.  She said they took hours to apply.

  She gave me some of her wedding bracelets since I was getting married too.  They are glass and they make the prettiest sound when they clink together.  I am so sad because I have broken 2 of them.  But I have 6 of them left and I love them and that she was so sweet to share them with me. 


I wish I would have stayed in touch with her.  After I got married I stopped going to school because we could only afford for John to go and I lost touch with her by the time I went back to school.  I suck at staying in touch with people, this needs to me on my goal list.   

Monday Night Confessions

Oh what to confess, what to confess.  Lets start with:

  • I have gone one whole entire week without eating any meat.  And it didn’t kill me.  But I won’t lie, today I really wanted a piece of chicken and Johnny talked me down. 
  • I put in a good 10 hours of work today.  And it’s not looking any better until May.  I will be hating my life for the next 3 months.   
  • After my week last week I swear I was wondering how long I could make our tax return last so that I could quit, but as you can see from the bullet point above I never figured it out.  Too bad I love food and a warm place to live.
  • I may or may not have a tattoo.
  • Last night I had this crazy dream that someone stole my camera and my purse, and it turned out to be some weird homeless kid with dirty grubby hands.  Is that weird I remember their yucky dirty hands? 
  • The other day John and I were watching TV and this commercial came on:

    And in disgust I asked him if I bought that computer if people would smack me on the butt and randomly make out with me in the streets to which he replied, “I sure hope not”. 
  • When I was younger I always wished I had blond hair and brown eyes.  My little niece Nermga has blond hair and brown eyes and I am secretly jealous of her 😉
  • Last week was a really bad week for #12 on my list

Happy Monday everyone!  I am hoping you all had a better one than I did 🙂


cabin by Caroline Beth

Growing up we didn’t have any real neighbors.  I mean there were 2 families who lived about a mile up the canyon from us but they didn’t really count because like I said, they were a mile away.  Across the creek from our house sits a little cabin which belongs to this grandma and grandpa aged couple who would come up to stay for a week every summer.  So for 358 out of the 365 days a year it was just us.  But those 7 or so days  when they came it was like the circus had come to town.  We looked forward to this all year long.  We never knew exactly when they were coming, but you could always count on at least one summer visit from them.  They would roll up in their little station wagon and quietly unpack their goods.  They were really looking for some peace and quite away from it all, and what they got were 7 bored kids who thought they were the biggest novelty around.  News of their arrival would spread like wildfire through our house.

cabin1 by Caroline Beth. 

“Mr. and Mrs. Neighbor are HERE!” one of us would scream.  Seconds later and we were pouring out of doors and windows, out of huts and bushes, out of the creek we had been wading in.  Soon they were surrounded, bombarded with what can only be described as a pack of unruly children who had been on summer break way too long.  They were always so sweet to us.  If they couldn’t stand us they never let on.  They always would have treats for us, treats that my mom never bought because again there were 7 of us and we would have eaten them in 2 seconds, and treats that only grandmas and grandpas have like Whoppers and Nilla Wafers.  My Mother had to have loved it when they came.  This meant she finally had something to occupy us and she could have a few moments of peace to regain her sanity. 

Do you know that to this very day, 28 years into my life I do not know their real names.  I have no clue.  We always called them Mr. and Mrs. Neighbor.  To their face even.  I would go bopping over their and say “Hey Mr. Neighbor whatcha doin?”  and he would just smile and visit with me.  Funny enough we never called anyone else Mr. or Mrs.  I didn’t even call my friends parents Mr. and Mrs.  That special title was reserved only for Neighbors.

cabin2 by Caroline Beth

I remember one summer my Best Cousin Shanna was up for a visit and we desperately wanted to be invited over by Mr. and Mrs. N so we devised a plan.  We decided to get all dressed up and dance around in front of their gate until they saw how cute we were and motioned for us to come over.  We ran to the dress up clothes, which back in the day consisted of a few of my Mom’s old Prom dresses, a couple left over bridesmaids gowns, and one white puffy slip that went under her wedding dress.  We must have picked out some good outfits because it work, they invited us over for more treats. 

cabin5 by Caroline Beth

I loved their small little cabin too.  It was so small that they had a twin sized bed in the living room so they could fit more people.  I thought it was the best concept ever!  I always thought that one day when I grew up I would have a bed in my living room too.  It was much more fun to watch TV that way.  Their teeny tiny TV sat on a little metal TV tray, and they had this big area rug that I am pretty sure was homemade. 

Their acreage was too small to get a permit to put a septic tank so they had an outhouse instead.  A real life outhouse.  And you wondered why we thought they were so novel.  They were like freakin pioneers. 

cabin4 by Caroline Beth

They used to have a little bird house that was an exact replica of their cabin and they had it on a post out by the creek.  When they weren’t there the boys mostly would have contests to see who could hit it with rocks.  No wonder they ended up taking it down.  Plus hanging in the tree they had an old doll house they turned into another bird house.  I loved it.  And when they were gone we loved to turn on their water spout and get drinks out of it.  I think it was actually creek water, we probably shouldn’t have drank that.  

cabin3 by Caroline Beth

 I loved Mr. and Mrs. Neighbor with all my heart.  They will always have a special place in my memory.

YW Lesson #8 Attitudes about Our Divine Roles

Here are my handouts for YW Lesson #8.


I chose to use a quote by Victor Frankl which reads:

“Everything can be taken from a man but…the last of the human freedoms-to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”


I am planning on having an open discussion with the girls so I can gauge where they stand on this topic.  I want to let them know that being a wife and a mother are great things, and that it doesn’t mean you have to give up yourself, or who you are.  And that they get to bring all of their wonderful talents and incorporate them into being the best wife and mother they can be and to not let the outside world influence their views.  I hope it turns out ok! 

For my handouts I designed them to exactly fit on a pack of Orbit gum, to go along with the getting to choose/chews one’s attitude theme. 


Good luck everyone, I hope these handouts can help. 

Click here for my handout: yw8

**If for some reason the handout doesn’t work please send me an e-mail to and I will e-mail you a copy over.**

 Here is my link on SugarDoodle:

Heeereee’s Johnny

This one is from Wendy and it is about how well you know your husband.

1. He’s sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen? Criminal Minds

2. You’re out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Anything but vinaigrette

3. What’s one food he doesn’t like? Chicken feet.  He said it was the only food on his mission to Mexico that he didn’t like.  Tongue and cow guts are no problem though. 

4. You go out to eat and have a drink. What does he order? Water with NO lemons, I always get lemons in mine and they usually end up putting some in his water too and he hates it.  As far as food goes he ALWAYS orders something different each and every time we go out.  He makes it his life goal to never get the same thing twice.  I on the other hand order the same thing every time. 

5. Where did he go to high school? Preston High School.  Same as Napoleon Dynamite.

6. What size shoe does he wear? 11 1/2

 7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? Rocks (he and my dad have this weird rock obsession), stamps (he has books full of them from when he was younger), cast iron cookware, books (I finally had to ban him from anymore books until we have a bigger house), baseball cards (we have tupperwares full of them from when he was a kid)  The funny thing is that he calls me a pack-rat. 

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? Peanut butter. 

9. What would he eat every day if he could? Cheese I guess. 

10. What is his favorite cereal? Shredded wheat.  He waits until it gets all soggy and gross and it makes me gag. 

11. What would he never wear? A Speedo.  hahaha I just burst out laughing even typing that. 

12. What is his favorite sports team? Chicago White Sox

13. Who did he vote for?  You mean my super conservative husband?  Um that would be John McCain. 

14. Who is his best friend? ME.  Ok his best boyfriends are Steve, Tucker, Ronnie and Bake.

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do? Probably blog.

16. What is his heritage? Dude no idea.

17. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind of cake? Chocolate Cheesecake

18. Did he play sports in high school? baseball, football, and basketball

19. What could he spend hours doing? Reading all of his books or cooking.

20. What is one unique talent he has? So like 3 or 4 years after we were married he all of the sudden out of nowhere started juggling.  I had no idea he could do that.  He also can spit tonguetwisters like you would not believe, oh and he makes those dream catcher things, and I detest all things cowboys & indians so they don’t hang in my house.  No offense to anyone who likes them, I just don’t.