Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Now that's a good chip!

As much as I wish I didn't love chips, I do! I recently tried these new cheeseburger flavored Doritos and I love them! In an odd way they really do have an authentic cheeseburger flavor that's so good. There's also a taco flavored Dorito that's pretty good, although I don't like them as well as the cheeseburger flavor. I've also seen buffalo and ranch Doritos but I haven't tried those yet. Anyway, I just wanted to tell everyone about this pallate-pleasing flavor of Doritos!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Politics, political commercials and politicians

I'm wondering if anyone out there is as discussed as I am with political commercials! First of all, politics are something that I really can't stand! Maybe it's because I don't really understand politics, but politicians always seem so nasty and are always just out for "number one!" I get so annoyed when I'm constantly bombarded with nasty political commercials every time I tune into the television! One politician is always slamming another, and it's so disgusting! I don't really claim to be a member of one political party or another, although I am a conservative person. However, there are very few, if any, political commercials that I approve of. (I definitely couldn't say, " I'm Heather Johnson and I approve this message!)

If I were to see a political commercial where the candidate was just listing their views and concerns without ridiculing their running mate I would be far more in favor of them than if they were criticizing someone else. Why are the people that make political commercials so daft that they don't realize this?! We might not agree, but can't we just respectfully agree to disagree?! It's really infuriating!

I have to admit that I can't remember that much about the specific aspects of our founding fathers and government, (I've been out of school too long!) however, I'm sure that they would be disgusted with our current politicians and the road that our government and law system has taken in the past 100 years or so. They're probably rolling over in their graves with embarrassment, thinking something like, "That is not how we set up our government; that is not how our government is supposed to work!"

All right, I'll get off my soapbox now, but my feathers were ruffled and I just had to get a few things off my chest! (And for the record, I heard no fewer than 10 political commercials in the few minutes it took to write this post.) When will the election be over?!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Girls nights and get-togethers

I love hosting get-togethers at my house every so often because it's fun to spend time with friends, and it's always a good excuse to make and eat good food!

A few weekends ago I had a girls night with some friends and we made some satin hair flower clips for our hair. It was my friend Elizabeth's idea after she found the instructions on a blog; here's the link:

Anyway, it was really easy and lots of fun. Here are sthen pictures of our results:

Then last Friday I had a "getting to know you" night where I invited a few gals from church over to get to know my sister Kristin since she is new in the area. Kristin made cream cheese basil bruschetta and a rocky road tart. Both were really delicious! We chatted until about 11:30 pm and it was so much fun to learn even more about our friends.

Tonight is my book group, which I'm really looking forward to, especially since Kristin made a homemade German chocolate cake. She gave me a little taste of the frosting she made and it was so good -- I can't wait to have a piece tonight!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm in love!

I recently mentioned that my sister Kristin and her family came to live with my mom and me earlier this month while her husband looks for a job. Kristin has four boys and it's been so fun to get to know them, especially since I really didn't know them at all before this summer. I don't have much experience with little boys, (or a least I didn't before this summer) but it's been so wonderful to be around these little boys. They're sure different from my nieces, which is what I'm used to since my two oldest sisters each have four girls. The way the boys play and the way they interact with each other and with me is so different from the way girls play and interact with each other. I always thought I preferred girls over boys, but now I have to admit that I'm completely impartial! I love my little nephews so much and I feel so blessed to be able to have four of them living with me for a little while. On that same note...

School started last week, and Kristin's oldest son Kaleb started first grade. It was unexpectedly hard for school to start because I really miss Kaleb being around all day. This must be what moms experience when their kids start back to school each year. It's getting better now, but it was just so different those first few days of school last week. I just like having all the boys around all the time!

Cardinals game: check!

This past weekend I was able to check another thing off of my "Things to Do in 2010” list when I went to a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. The reason this made my 2010 list was because I haven't been to a baseball game is almost seven years, and I've never been to the new Busch Stadium that was rebuilt a few years ago. I'm not a huge baseball fan, but I really enjoy watching games at the stadium because the atmosphere is so infectiously exciting. We played the San Francisco Giants and won the game 5 -- 1.

Hillarie, Javier, Annie, Chandra me:
Baseball ticket: $28.25
Parking: $15
Nachos: $8
Chocolate brownie ice cream: $5
The whole experience: priceless!

Matt Dancing

Above is a video that my sister Annette showed me when she visited last week. The guy in the video, Matt, goes all around the world dancing in front of different people and it's become a YouTube hit. Annette's son Kimball loves watching this video, and he even tries to dance like Matt. I was so fascinated by this video and I watched it over and over. It was so fun to see all of the different places in the world that Matt has traveled to, and the people who live there that join in on the dancing.

Matt Dancing, part 2

In the above post I wrote about the "Matt Dancing" video that my sister Annette told me about. Her son Kimball and two of my other nephews, Ethan and Jared, loved watching the video over and over. This video is one that my sister took of the boys dancing while watching Matt dancing. I thought it was so cute how they really got into it. So cute!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ted Drewes: check!

One of the things on my "Things to Do in 2010" list was to go to Ted Drewes for ice cream. If you're not familiar with St. Louis you might be wondering what Ted Drewes is and why it made my list. For all of you "out-of-towners," Ted Drewes is a little stand that sells frozen custard. It's been around since 1929, and anyone who is from St. Louis has certainly eaten at Ted Drewes, or at least knows what Ted Drewes is!

Ted Drewes is especially significant to my family because we would always stop at Ted Drewes after going to the dentist each summer. It was a tradition and we always did it! This is something that I have such fond memories of.

I hadn't been to Ted Drewes in a long time, until yesterday. (It had been at least 10 years, but probably even longer!) So the fond memories in conjunction with the long absence is the reason that going to Ted Drewes made my 2010 list. I loved the trip down memory lane and my chocolate heath concrete tasted wonderful and really hit the spot!

Here are some pictures from the outing:

Busy, busy, busy!

I haven't been blogging much lately because things have been so busy! My sister Kristin, her husband Scott and their four little boys moved in with my mom and me three weeks ago. Kristin's husband finished his MBA earlier this year but he hasn't found a job yet, so they decided to move in with us while he looks for a job. I couldn't be happier to have my sister and her family living with us! Until my sister and her family visited in June, it has been four long years since I'd seen my sister. I'd only met her oldest son twice, her second oldest son once (and that was when they were both very young) and I'd never met her two youngest sons. I'd heard all about the boys from my sister, but it was so nice to finally get to know them a little bit.

Kristin's family's nine-day visit in June was wonderful, but it just wetted my appetite for more! I was so sad when Kristin left, so you can imagine my joy when a few weeks later Kristin and her husband asked my mom if they could live with us while searching for a job. He hasn't found a job yet, but I'm "mentally" crossing my fingers that he will find a job soon and that it will be in the St. Louis area. It would be a huge blow to all of us if their family had to leave now -- especially if it were somewhere far away!

My sister Annette and her two kids are also visiting this week, so we have a house full with six kids, ages six and under! It's definitely loud and there's always something going on, but I love it! Hopefully I'll have time to squeeze in a bit of computer time soon so that I can keep posting. I really miss blogging when things are busy!

Friday, August 13, 2010

What's wrong with having a large family?

It seems like in today's society it's a strange and bizarre thing to have a large family. A lot of people think that having more than two or three children in some sort of "phenomenon." I've heard my sisters and some other people I know with 3+ children say that when they are out in public with their kids they occasionally get questions like, "Are these all your children?" I'm sure people are just curious and maybe a bit incredulous when they meet someone who has four, five, six, etc. children, but I'm wondering if these people realize that this comment definitely has a negative undertone to it. And there's always the, "You do know where babies come from, don't you?" comment which is even more insensitive and insulting. (My mom said that she got that comment a lot when she was having kids.) What's wrong with wanting a large family? Some people actually like having lots of kids!

I obviously don't have any children of my own, but if I were married and in the business of starting a family, I would want a large family. I've always known that I wanted to be a mom, and when I was a teenager and thought about having a family, I wanted three or four kids. A few years later when I was 20, 21, 22-ish, I thought it would be nice to have four or five kids. At my current age of 26 I think I would want to have at least five kids, but maybe six, assuming I was healthy enough and assuming my husband was on board.

Maybe my feelings stem from coming from a large family (seven girls), because I can't imagine having or wanting a small family. Lots of people think that two kids -- a boy and a girl, for example -- is perfect. Not me! It makes me sad to think of only having one sibling. Of course I understand that some people have a hard time having kids, and they might not be able to have as many kids as they would like, but I can't imagine only wanting two kids. I would want my kids to have several siblings to grow up with, like I did.

To each his own, of course, but I'm a huge supporter of large families!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Barbecue in the Park

I had a barbecue in the park with some family and friends this past weekend. It was a great day and the weather wasn't nearly as hot and humid as it's been lately. We were at Cliff Cave Park, which is a great park to be at if you are planning on having a barbecue or picnic. There's a huge pavilion with picnic tables and electricity. There weren't very many people at the park, so we were able to do our thing without having to worry about other people getting in our way. Here are some pictures:

What a great day! I love being outside, eating good food and spending time with family and friends!

Friday, August 6, 2010


In the past two months I've spent $850 on new clothes at Old Navy. Hear me out before you raise your eyebrows! I like to do a lot of my shopping online because it's a lot easier to buy things while sitting in my recliner then it is to go to the actual store. There are no tight corners to maneuver my wheelchair around and no large racks of clothing impeding my path. I can see all of my options just by saying, "mouse click."

As I've already written, I've spent hundreds of dollars shopping at Old Navy in recent weeks. The reason these online shopping excursions have been so expensive is because I usually buy two sizes in everything I buy so that I have a better chance of getting something that fits. Ultimately, a significant portion of what I buy ends up getting returned to the store.

Regardless if I shop online or in an actual store, I always spend a lot of money due to the fact that I can't try anything on until I'm at home and in my bed. Since I'm in a wheelchair and unable to get out of it at the store (in addition to the fact that other people have to dress me) it just makes sense to buy a lot and then return it after I've tried it on at home.

When all is said and done, my tab of $850 won't end up being near as much! Thank goodness for computers, the internet and online shopping!

All Breaks Are Not Created Equal

I've always been under the impression that if you break your neck/back then you're doomed to be paralyzed. Not so! I'm often amazed at how many people break their necks or their backs, and they literally walk away from the accident unscathed. Or, sometimes people damage their spinal cords and they might be paralyzed for a short while, but then are able to regain most if not all of their movement after only a few short months of rehab. Truly, I've heard many stories about people who to damage their spinal cords and don't become paralyzed. The extent of the damage definitely depends on a case-by-case basis.

When you damage your spinal cord you'll most likely become a quadriplegic or a paraplegic depending on where the damage occurs. If someone breaks their neck at one of the top vertebrae on the spinal column (like me) they're going to have a lot less mobility than someone whose break occurs at a vertebrae further down on the neck where they're going to have a lot more mobility. I know that this is kind of confusing for someone who isn't familiar with spinal cord injuries to understand, so to clarify, you're considered a quadriplegic if you don't have full dexterity of your fingers. You might be a quadriplegic who's paralyzed from the neck down, or you might be a quadriplegic who has full use of your arms, just not the ability to straighten their fingers out. Regardless of whether you're the former, the latter or somewhere in between, you're considered a quadriplegic unless you can straighten your fingers. (There's just a big difference in the abilities of quadriplegics.) How'd I do? Does that make sense?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Welcoming Amy!

I have another new niece! My younger sister Laura had her first baby on Tuesday, August 3, at 10:02 pm. Amy Rebekah Minster was 6 lbs. 11 oz. and 20 inches long. Laura and her husband Brett live in town, so my mom was able to go to the delivery. Even though this was my Mom's 16th grandchild, it was the first time she was actually able to be in the delivery room to witness the birth . (The reason for this is that my four older sisters live all over the place.)

My mom, my older sister Kristin (who just moved to the area) and I went to the hospital to visit Laura and Amy yesterday afternoon. (For the record, I love being the visitor and not the visitee!) Laura looked great and Amy was so cute! She was quiet alert and not nearly as red and mashed as some newborns are.

Here are some pictures that my mom took directly after the delivery:
Right before the doctor arrived... get ready to push!:

I'm now up to 10 nieces and six nephews. My family is growing so quickly and I love it
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