Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Abominable hugs

Let's see, with Cindy's 7 (the 8th was away to college) and my 5--we spent 4 days with 12 kids! This is just 9 of them. They were fascinated with watching Avatar on Uncle Darrell's iMac. I'm so inspired to create more peace with my children.

Another Disney pic. Yes, I've got very curly hair. With all the humidity, I decided, why fight it? I used to be a straight-haired tow-head (is that how you spell it??) like my youngest (on the right).

And we'll see if this little video from Autopia works out. He was explaining why he didn't like the Matterhorn.

Yes, he didn't get to hug the bear!

Monday, February 25, 2008

California Dreamin'....

Did you know in California there are real life Strawberry Fields? And yes, Randy started singing like a Beatle as soon as I mentioned them. They go on for miles! So beautiful.

Did you also know that Autopia at Disneyland (that we all call Auto-topia) makes little boys very happy?

And really big roller coasters make mom feel young--and give dads a heart attack:

And that little boys like leaving their mark, even if it involves licking the handrails at the Peter Pan ride? Yes, I stopped him, but I had to snap that picture first!

Hope all is well with you!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Why we want what we Want and Protection Bubbles

Two things on my mind as I sit here in the lobby of Homewood Suites--just a mile from Disneyland. Being in close quarters with the fam the past few days, relationships are on my mind. What do we want from relationships? Whenever I find as aspect of my life being not as perfect as I'd prefer, I take it as a signal to examine it. Why am I wanting what I'm wanting? What am I expecting from it? How will my life--no, my FEELINGS--be different once I have it?

Why do I want such a perfect marital relationship? What am I expecting to feel from it? In what ways can I feel that way now?

Much of what I want is acceptance...and adoration. To be honest, I need to list adoration. I like attention, I like people to like me. Why? Am I still needing validation? Or do we just all love to be liked--because caring about others is our nature?

I find myself being much more assertive these days--and I think at times the family isn't happy with the rules changing. Yet, I'm learning we truly must care for our own needs first.

Protection bubbles. What if people really did have force fields? What if those who cared for themselves, and took care of themselves had strong force fields? They might be able to help others who didn't, without it weakening their field. What if the field was created by self love and self care--by not leaving oneself needy, and depending on others to meet their needs for them?

I wonder if people who get hurt often just have neglected their force fields. And if those they hurt have done the same? Have you ever noticed when you are feeling great about yourself, even intended slights can bounce right off of you--no damage done--and an awareness that the other person must be having a hard time?

I want a strong force field. I want to be filled and available to support others--but do well at meeting my own needs through my connection to God and spiritual help.

What do we really believe about ourselves?

So much for Disneyland news---I guess I've waxed profound. Yet, this little time for myself tonight, IS how I take care of me. It's nice to check in with myself and see how I'm doing.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


No, not missing in action--just headed south to warmer weather! Disneyland, here we come! I'll see if I can post some pics along the way. Take care!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Art and Apples

My favorite thing to eat lately is Brie cheese and Fuji apples. I was a red delicious girl all my life--but not any more--FUJI is the best!

Speaking of apples. This one is called "Alice contemplates her Apple"

I love her cute little face and bright eyes.

Next, here is a collage piece I'm working on--looking scary right now as I gessoed the area for the face, but it will look great once the face is on there!

And then another paper collage piece I'm working on as well. I like its feel so far. I'm learning to work in stages so they can dry and i don't get bored waiting. Now I have a few projects here waiting for their next steps--all dry and ready to go.

Click on the pics for a bigger view.


Naked Pics

Here are some of the promised after bath pics I mentioned before--and some others that were just too cute to not include:

Image hosted @

I like this shot

DSCN0069, originally uploaded by aprylian.

Something about the night light--it looks cool.

Could I ask for a better Valentine?

Check out this card I got from my oldest son, Jairen--soon to be 12--tomorrow, in fact, for Valentines.

Here's a close up--It made my heart melt!

And I got a new Coolpix Nikon camera on sale at Costco, so Jasen is always a willing model. I love that this camera takes the picture quickly--no lag time. I caught this gem today:

And yes, I am sculpting again. Just got this gal's face painted. That's the funnest part--to make them come to life. She still needs a lower half, so it will be a while--hopefully we will be on vacation next week. (Angels, please help the tax return arrive swiftly!) =)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

whip cream heaven...

Inspired by Cafe Gratitude's I Am Rapture

This recipe is for a 6" diameter pan or tub.Serves 8


1 cup soft dates, chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla

Pinch salt

1/2 cup raw carob and cacao powder (I used 1/4 cup of each)

1 1/2 cup finely ground almonds or loosely packed left-over pulp from making milk (wet pulp is fine)

1 cup finely ground dried coconut

1/2 cup finely ground cashews

Whipped Cream

1 cup cashews or a mix of cashews and macadamia nuts

1 cup fresh coconut milk (simply blend 1 part dried coconut with 3 parts water in high speed blender)

1/8 - 1/4 cup honey or agave (depending on how sweet you like it)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon vanilla

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup coconut butter, melted

1 tablespoon lecithin* (1 tbs + 1 tsp psyllium)

*Lecithin is derived from soybeans and acts as an emulsifier. Look for lecithin (preferably non-GMO), in granules or powdered form, at your local HFS. If using granules, make sure to grind them up in a high speed blender of coffee grinder.

Banana Layer and Decoration

2 or 3 ripe bananas, sliced

To make the Whipped Cream:

Blend all ingredients except lecithin until smooth. Add lecithin and blend until thoroughly mixed. Set in fridge for about 1 hr.You should have extra whipped cream but I'm sure you'll find other ways to use it. lol

To make the Cake:Place dates in food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. You may need to add a little water.Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.Assembly:Grease a spring form pan with a little coconut butter or line a medium margarine tub with plastic film.Next form an even layer on the bottom with half of the cake mixture.Top with banana slices, followed by some of the whipped cream. Set in fridge.When very firm, form another cake layer. Then top with more banana slices. (Remember to save some for decoration).Again top with whipped cream and set in fridge.When firm, gently remove cake from the pan or margarine tub and place on serving plate.Decorate with banana slices and serve.

Carmella's Notes:

~ For the whipped cream, I used psyllium husks instead of lecithin, as suggested in Cafe Gratitude's recipe. As a result, I found that I had to let the cream set in the freezer rather than in the fridge. The consistency also made it difficult for the cake to hold its shape well once at room temperature. However, this may not be a major issue if you keep the cake in the freezer, thawing pieces as needed.

~ It is key that you grind your nuts finely in a coffee grinder or a high speed blender before processing them with the other ingredients. This will ensure that your cake layer has a lovely smooth texture.

~ In order to apply the cake layer easily, the whipped cream needs to be quite firm (set in the fridge or freezer first). If you find that the cream tends to yield while patting down the cake, try forming the cake layer on a different surface (such as the counter or a plate) then transferring it over to the pan.~ For a simpler version of this, simply put a cake layer, followed by banana slices. Top with whipped cream and let set in the fridge/freezer. Decorate and serve.

Ooohhh-yummy healthy cheesecake!

White Chocolate-Strawberry Cheesecake

Another one of Vanessa's mouth-watering creations...

White Chocolate-Strawberry Cheesecake
Posted by Vanessa Sherwood on GLiving Community Forum

2 cups fresh chopped strawberries
1 cup cashews (they do not have to be soaked)
3 oz (6 tbsp) melted coconut butter
1 oz (2 tbsp) melted cacao butter
1/4 cup light floral honey or agave
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Blend all of the ingredients in a vita mix or high speed blender until completely smooth.

1/2 cup brazil nuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Pinch of salt
1 heaping tablespoon cocoa powder
1-2 tablespoons agave
1-2 tablespoons cacao nibs
Seeds from 1/4 vanilla bean

Process the brazil nuts, shredded coconut, salt, cocoa powder and vanilla bean seeds in a food processor until fine crumbs. Add the agave and cacao nibs until the mixture just starts to stick together. Press into the bottom of a springform pan. If you are making a large cheesecake, feel free to double or even triple the recipe (crust and filling).

Pour the filling over the crust and chill or freeze until ready to serve. This recipe made two 4 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inch cheesecakes.

Strawberry sauce:
1 cup strawberries
Agave nectar to taste

Blend or mash the strawberries and agave together. Pour over slices of strawberry cheesecake.

I've got to try this! I went to an awesome little class on the many uses of young coconuts, and tried some awesome fudge made from one coconut, an avocado, honey, cacoa poweder, and coconut oil. So tasty--and it's actually pretty good for you. Oh, she also put a little pumpkin pie spice in as well--sounds strange, huh (well, I probably lost you at "avocado") but it was the perfect addition. I'll try making my own tomorrow--it was perfect for dipping bananas in--and it doesn't harden unless you refrigerate it. I'll be dreaming of chocolate bananas tonight!


This was too funny--I have to share it. I often take pictures of Jasen and the other kids (when they were little) when they are fresh out of the tub, all wet-haired and cute, WRAPPED UP IN THEIR TOWELS and definitely covered. But apparently Jasen still realized, underneath all the towels and blankets, he was still naked. So right now, he's fresh out of the tub, in my bed (COVERED with blankets--did I make that clear enough yet?) singing, "Mom, you got to take a picture of me naked! Right now!"

Too funny. He means, naked covered up in towels and blankets, with just his head and arms showing. I wonder if he knows we are all naked in our clothes?

His other latest thing is "Definitely"--as in "I definitely want some water." I like to reply, "Are you sure about that?" but he doesn't get it yet. The other kids do. =) And there is something too funny about a 4 year old saying, "Oh, Sweet!" when he sees something exciting to him. Of course, my 6 year does this too. We don't say this--so I'm thinking it's their Uncle RANDY's doing!

Definitely posting to you later, and off to take naked pics, (hee hee)


101 and things to do with my life....

A good friend of mine, Marie, mentioned in her blog how she has a list of 101 things she wants to do with her life. At first I thought--that list sounds kind of small--I mean, life is pretty long, after all, for most of us. But then when I started wondering about what my list would look like, I started thinking--could I list 101 things? I want them to be significant after all. So I thought here would be a good place to record it--because it's not one of many journals I can easily lose track of.

I also wondered about people's lists--do they tend to be filled with whatever they have found lacking in their lives? What can we learn from people's lists? I wonder if mine will fill with adventures, because I've felt I've had to work and miss the fun (or tend the children) as I was growing up. Or is it just because I like adventure and travel? Who knows? Who cares--let's get started.

Here it is--as far as I get today--in no particular order:

Go to Hawaii with my children. Something about leaving them and going across the ocean freaks me out, so I'd take them, and perhaps bring a sitter as well.

Go to Nauvoo. I went as a child and fell in love with the trees and atmosphere. I want to experience it as an adult.

Create a membership site--happily, this one is underway.

Live in the country--have my own land and garden.

Build an eco-friendly home with my own hands. Why? I don't know--it calls to me.

Have the ability to speak confidently, coherently, and comfortably in front of people. I know, I know--fear of speaking in front of people is top on most people's fear list--I've been told I don't need to overcome this--it's common. But the difference is--I'm not afraid to--in fact, I really want to--but my body won't co-operate. I get shaky, turn red, lose my train of thought--and half the time my lip quivers. I HATE it. It's absolutely NOT ME. And I'm fine with a few friends I love and am comfortable with. It's something about having a crown turn its attention to me that brings up the reactions. So yes, this one is definitely on my list.

Decorate bedrooms with my kids--however they want it--slides, ropes from the ceiling--anything--I'm game. Childhood should be fun--the kind of fun you don't lose as an adult. (ooh, starting to notice my issues here--yes, I had one of those "be a grown up at age 7" kind of childhoods).

Create A Place of Healing--the actual brick and mortar kind--to be a center of learning, help, and healing for people seeking just these things.

Have a raw and vegetarian food cafe. I'm not even a vegetarian--but I LOVE Sage's Cafe and kindness to animals. I love healthy foods that are yummy. If I go to a fast food place, most of the time it's only because it was there and available and convenient (not even because it's cheap--because with 5 kids, they aren't!). Why not have the same availability of yummy foods that nourish and love your body--instead of stress it out and pollute it?

Live in a solar/wind/water-powered home. We love driving by the windmills at the point of the mountain. My daughter says, why don't we just use this clean power?-- as we round the hill and see the cloud of smog over the Salt Lake Valley? Why indeed! Apparently because we like to slowly kill ourselves, any way we can. It really is that simple--stop doing things that harm yourself. I've been in conversations where the main point is, but it's so expensive to use natural resources. Personally, I think it just hasn't become a priority for people. We are too divided in this--if we all felt the same about it--we'd find away. Honestly, in a world of Ask and Receive--we just aren't asking--what else could it be?

Hmmm...well, it looks like this exercise brings out the writer in me...who, unlike the speaker, has plenty of ideas and opinions about everything. So I'll get back to this, or just do it in pieces. My little 4 year old Jasers wants some Mama time--and since number eleven will probably be "Be a good Mom" --I hear my call to action!

What will your list look like?


Monday, February 11, 2008


Today we went with the kids to see the movie "Water Horse"--it was a fine show as far as kid shows go, but that's not what I wanted to talk about. As I was sitting in the theatre, more interested in my kids' smiles than the movie--not that the show was boring--it's just that those grins are so intoxicating. Anyway, I just felt such gratitude for them. One of my kids noticed I was watching them and I gave him a wink--and in that moment, I thought of my mom. Once in a while she'd smile and wink at us, and even get emotional--and most of the time I was not old enough to understand and just young enough to think she was strange--at least a bit over dramatic. But tonight--I got it. She was just brimming with love for us, and had such a different view of life by now. She went through some tough things, but always tried to have the beautiful smile for us.

She left just days ago, and now she and my step-Dad are living in Korea for the next year and a half for a Church mission. My mother is more of a timid soul, so this was a big step for her--and she was most nervous about the food--which struck me as funny. Now she's off to share that radiant smile with others. I guess I miss her already--but it doesn't feel quite like it. We typically saw each other once a month, so I'm thinking after a few months go by, it will really kick in. It's just strange knowing she's not just an hour away. What I did realize when she left is that it was okay for her to go--I'm at peace with her. There is nothing unsaid. Her hopes and intentions were always known. She has a very pure heart.

That's enough for tonight.

Friday, February 08, 2008

This was too fun....

I admit it--I'm so stylin' I made the cover of Vogue:

Create Fake Magazine Covers with your own picture at

Subscribe to Vogue Magazine at a 63% discount!

Pretty funny, huh? Might make a fun valentine gift if I got creative enough.... =)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Table salt in your studio?

Don't you love how fun this looks--I've got to try it!


orchid, originally uploaded by crazyfish_666.

This one is fun too--I love the fantasy.


gina, originally uploaded by crazyfish_666.

She's kind of snarly looking, but I like it!