Indianapolis Temple

Indianapolis Temple

Never Too Late for Christmas Songs

12/29/2010 07:26:00 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
The girls loved all the songs of Christmas and, even though this post happens after Christmas, I couldn't resist posting a video of them at the zoo. You can hear Lara's voice quite clearly but if you listen carefully you'll also hear Vivi's lower more husky singing voice.

Videos Galore

12/09/2010 07:16:00 PM Edit This 3 Comments »
I am so behind on posting to this blog! It's been majorly busy as I am sure everyone's lives are. So this is full of some videos of November which includes the Marching 110 and our Branson trip!

We started out the month of November with a trip to the Ohio Theater for the Most Exciting Band in the Land, the Marching 110. The girls were excited to see all the instruments and I, of course, was excited to dress them up in Bobcat gear. The band was certainly not disappointing although we had to leave at intermission because of the lateness of the hour. They played one of my favorite current songs "Dynamite" by Taio Cruz which Lara also recognized and yelled "Hey Mom! This is one of my favorite songs! I heard it on the farm!"

We went to Branson, MO for Thanksgiving with my family and while there we visited Silver Dollar City. We had been there for Spring Break and Lara was just a little too short for some of the rides. Luckily, the day before Thanksgiving was very warm and the rides were open. She rode this ladybug ride ALL BY HERSELF and she rode her first roller coaster! Bonus for Lara, she rode the roller coaster with her hands in the air the whole time!

More videos to come.

Lara Quote

11/17/2010 04:02:00 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
Lara: What are city buses for?
Daddy: City buses are for city people to get around. Like us!
Lara: I am not a city people. I am a children of God.

What Reed is Singing to Me

11/07/2010 05:49:00 PM Edit This 4 Comments »

OK, so he's not really singing this to me but I am pregnant. Due June 18th. News travels fast thanks to having so many people in my family. :) So I figured I'd post something before everyone knows.

Stories of the Vivsters

10/26/2010 04:01:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Vivi is very entertaining these days and since this blog is partially our family journal I thought I would share some stories.

COSI- Reed took the girls to COSI on Saturday since I had meetings all day. It was quite an eventful visit, thanks mostly to Vivi. First of all, she was in love with Clifford the Big Red Dog and decided to leave the play area and chase him down the hall (unbeknownst to Reed). Near the end of the visit to COSI they took a trip to Ocean, a favorite place of Vivi's since she looooooooves water. It all went very well until a lady asked Reed if he was missing a daughter who was "swimming". Vivi had stuck her entire head into the Bell Fountains and soaked her clothes. She was not abashed or ashamed at all, just proud that she had a good time! (Later on, Lara somehow caught her finger on a screw and was bleeding all over the place. I'm not sure if Reed will ever take them to COSI by himself again.)

All Hallows Eve at Ohio Village- While I got ready to go I put Vivi in her chair to eat some dinner. As I come back into the kitchen I hear "Oh Vivi. Uh-oh" which does not mean good things. Vivi had dumped her entire bowl of soup over her head. At Ohio Village, where it was dark, Vivi was content to run with abandon down the sidewalk. The girl doesn't care who's around or not around, or who she's with or not with. She has no fear!

Rain storm today-
Notice the wet bum? Need I say more?

Smart girl- Vivi might be an early potty-trainer. She has begun telling us when she needs to poop or when she has a poopy diaper. Tonight Reed asked her if she wanted to sit on the potty, which she did for a little while. As soon as she got up... there was an accident on the floor. :) It was a grand try and I'm very proud of her. She's not a huge talker but she is super smart and with these promising signs I might try potty-training over Christmas break.

We love our Genevieve Noelle!

1 Down, 2 to Go

10/16/2010 07:13:00 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
October has been an insane month for me but, thankfully, one of the major events ended tonight.

A few months ago I accepted a stake assignment to be a co-musical director for the Stake Relief Society's presentation of Women at the Well. Women at the Well is a compilation of songs sung by women from the Bible who personally knew Christ. It's an awesome presentation and I've performed in it before and knew the songs fairly well. I was happy to accept the assignment but adding one more thing to my already busy life was tough- 1st counselor in Primary, Ward music chair, employed full-time, full-time mom, etc. The program tonight was not without technical issues but everyone sang beautifully and now it's over! I hope everyone there felt the Spirit and became closer to their Savior.

Now, on to the other 2 events in October. Next up, teaching a workshop for Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities and then the Primary Program! November is going to be such an easy month :)

Cast Your Vote

10/01/2010 04:12:00 PM Edit This 4 Comments »
The Princess Ball is coming soon and Lara is doing a great job with not sucking her thumb! So I'm in the market for a dress and she has requested a Little Mermaid dress. I've narrowed her choices to 3, one of which is not a Little Mermaid dress but I thought I'd still give her that option. All of these dresses are off of Etsy since I have no desire to actually walk into a store. Cast your votes for which one you think is the best or let me know of somewhere to buy a better dress. It's hard to find modest dresses for little girls! Sad.

The only thing I don't like about this dress are the puffy sleeves. I just can't picture Lara in puffy sleeves. But the price is right and I do like the red sash and ruffles on the bottom.
This is my top choice. I would probably need to buy her a red sweater to on the top. One con is that it looks like a summer dress and I would rather buy something she can wear this season.
I'm not totally sold on this one, it's a little shorter than I would like. But the color scheme is cute and Lara says she likes it.

Operation: Thumb-Sucking

9/18/2010 07:11:00 PM Edit This 3 Comments »
Lara started sucking her thumb when she was a few months old. At first, I was all right with it. No losing a binky, she was a great sleeper, etc. But now that she's in preschool the thumb-sucking has got to go, especially since the dentist said that she's starting to narrow her palate with it. I would rather not pay for orthodontia because of thumb-sucking. So armed with this...

2010 Princess Ball
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
Her Royal Highness Princess Tiana
Would like to cordially invite
all of the princesses
in the surrounding kingdoms
To join her and her princess friends
Saturday October 23 rd
For a Royal Celebration!

and my training in behavioral management (thanks to being a music therapist and working at Helping Hands), I put my child on a behavior plan.

Step One- The motivation. I got Lara really excited about attending the Princess Ball for which I bought buy one get one free tickets here (Columbus residents, I really recommend this site). This was really key since if a child isn't motivated there's no use trying to change a behavior.

Step Two- Prevention. Reed bought some Dora band-aids to put on both of her thumbs. This would help remind her of the reward and it worked like a charm. She even asked for the band-aids one day because she didn't want to suck her thumb at all and wanted the reminders.

Step Three- Replacement behaviors. We talked about all sorts of things she could do instead of suck her thumb. Sing a song, chew gum, do a fingerplay, color, anything that was more appropriate.

Step Four- The reward chart. I needed something that could easily be used for 3 weeks (3 weeks makes a habit) and could also be used at school. I decided on a necklace on which we could string beads every day. Every time someone caught her not sucking her thumb, she would get one bead to put on her necklace. Hopefully at the end of 3 weeks, she'll have a necklace full of beads.

So far, she has done an awesome job! She talks all the time about how excited she is for the Princess Ball and how she's not going to suck her thumb. I might even throw in a new fancy dress because she's done so well. It's so great to see the look of pride on her face when she tells someone about her goal. She even took a nap today without sucking her thumb, a major accomplishment! GO LARA!

Labor Day Weekend Festivities

9/12/2010 06:41:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
We had a great Labor Day Weekend with a bunch of fun activities.

Friday night- Sweet Corn Festival

Saturday- Laurelville

Monday- Pseudo Dual Ward Labor Day Party (long story)

Future Plans

9/04/2010 04:59:00 PM Edit This 5 Comments »
Just an hour east of Yellowstone there is a small town named Cody, Wyoming where we stopped for dinner. Sometimes we post things on here to make things official and also so we can look back and see if we actually did it. So here it is- Reed and I absolutely fell in love with the area so we've made it a goal to move there! As soon as we are debt-free and I don't have to work, we will be buying land out in Cody, maybe even building our own house. We, of course, will have chickens, horses, and maybe a few beef steers.

Here is one of the properties on my list of dreams-

Isn't it beautiful?


8/31/2010 06:00:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Yellowstone was an amazing place to visit this summer. I've been there before but it had been years and I don't remember being so totally amazed at what nature could do. (I do remember seeing bison but that's about all). Here's a few videos of some of the awesomeness.

Belated Videos

8/20/2010 08:23:00 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
We recently returned from a trip out to Idaho and Yellowstone with family and I have a lot of pictures to post. But before we had left there were other fun things we did like the State Fair and a work party at Galaxy Golf. Here are a few videos, mostly of Vivi but a few of Lara also!

We watched the 6-horse hitch Governor's Cup at the State Fair. It's a great thing seeing 6 draft horses pulling a cart! We were there for about 2 hours but that didn't matter to Vivi. Every single time a team pulled into the ring she was clapping and cheering. Luckily the people in front of us thought she was adorable.

We went to Galaxy Golf for Reed's end of summer work party. We played a round of mini-golf, played on the FunGym, won some tickets on the fun token games, and ate Cici's pizza! All together, a fun day!

Vivi is so independent!

Oh Vivi!

8/03/2010 06:15:00 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
Vivi has this new thing going on where she scolds herself while she's doing something that she's not supposed to be doing. Such as dumping water, throwing food, pressing buttons, etc. She is just into everything and very active. The following video illustrates her adventurous spirit. I did not in any way, shape, or form, encourage her to do this. She did this all herself!


7/25/2010 07:28:00 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
It is clear that Genevieve and Lara love each other very much although they may not like each other all the time. On those days where they seem to be at each other's throats all day I like to look at pictures like the following and remind myself why I wanted lots of kids.

Lara's Likes and Dislikes

7/19/2010 05:48:00 PM Edit This 4 Comments »
Lara likes...

She dislikes...Weird girl but we love her :)

Did you hear?

7/11/2010 02:42:00 AM Edit This 3 Comments »

I heard this report on NPR the other day about a group of scientists teaching an Alaskan Grizzly to sing. Apparently the Alaskan Grizzly has a unique mating call that almost sounds like singing, and the scientists wondered if they could develop and even enhance the tonality. From what I understand,
it's got quite a 'bear-itone' voice.

Dumbing Down Society

7/06/2010 05:32:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Dumbing Down Society

Take this with a grain of salt but I believe that most of this is true. I have tried to educate myself on health since being married and have known that there are a lot of toxins in our society. I never, however, linked those to an actual dehumanizing of people. Interesting and scary. Glad to know that I have made one step to break free from this by buying from Melaleuca!

Genevieve at 18 months

6/29/2010 06:39:00 PM Edit This 4 Comments »
I can't believe that it has been 18 months since Vivi was born! (I should say that this is a belated post. She was born on December 24th). She has grown so much just in the past few months. Yesterday, I was looking at pictures and there was such a difference between her in April and her now. Whoa.

A few Genevieve highlights:

1. Vivi is a mover and a shaker. She dances to anything! Hymns, Music Together songs, world music, Disney, etc. Her new trick- spinning around with her eyes closed. This means occasionally running into walls.

2. She loves to talk. She can talk in complete sentences, just not in a language I can understand. She has, however, mastered the words yes, eat, help, and more in sign language plus spoken.

3. She absolutely loves nursery. She went in a few weeks early, thanks to me teaching Sharing Time in June and Reed teaching the deacons. She was soooo ready. No separation anxiety trouble for that girl. She had been standing at the nursery door, knowing that there was fun inside, and me not letting her go in, for weeks. She would just stand there, knocking on the door, and crying to be let in.

4. Vivi loves her big sister, Lara, and wants to do everything Lara does. An absolute cute blessing.

5. Vivi continues to be quite the chunk. She weighs around 35 pounds, more than Lara.

6. Vivi loves to read books, especially Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Baby Bear, Baby Bear.

7. Genevieve is such a blessing in our lives. She is so cute and sweet and we know that she will be a wonderful older sister when the time comes. Genevieve, we love you!
The above picture is one from April. Below are some from June.

Love the thighs!

New Artist

6/26/2010 05:51:00 AM Edit This 2 Comments »

My friend Marlena posted about a friend of hers who is releasing an album. She said Rachel sounds like a cross between Mary Poppins and a Disney Princess, a combination that would win over Lara :) I'm all about promoting amateur artists so here is the link to her website.

Happy Father's Day

6/21/2010 04:41:00 PM Edit This 3 Comments »
I know this is a day late and that Reed, since he is away at scout camp, is not going to see this post until the end of the week... But I still wanted to brag about my wonderful husband and the amazing father he is to our girls.

This picture shows off Reed's greatest talents as a dad- the ability to get down and play with Lara and Vivi, and not care what anyone else thinks. For instance, he'll show up at the Dancing Bunnies, just off of work, with dirt caking his legs, arms, and hair, without a swimsuit, sweaty, and he's still willing to run around with the girls and play. You can tell that Lara and Vivi love their Daddy! Happy Father's Day, Reed!

5 Years

6/17/2010 07:08:00 PM Edit This 9 Comments »
Happy 5th Anniversary to us!

Love you :)

My Autism Advocacy Moment

6/11/2010 10:07:00 AM Edit This 4 Comments »

I just returned from a very fun trip with my Mom and my sister, Lindey, to Branson which I will probably post more about later. But the point of this post is to tell of an experience I had while at a water ride at Silver Dollar City.

I was waiting in line with Lindey and her friend, Shelby, when I saw one of the logs being loaded with a boy, probably around 8 years old, his little brother and his Mom. I immediately thought that the boy looked like he had autism. I've worked as a music therapist with children with autism for 4 years now and I sometimes can pick them out of a crowd. I remember being pretty impressed that this boy wasn't freaking out. Soon it was our turn to get into our log and while we were sitting waiting for the log to start out of the gate, we heard one of the ride attendants start shouting and a commotion behind us. I looked and saw that the log with the boy was returning and he was in crisis mode. He was yelling about wanting to get out and he was trying to exit the log before it got into the dock. His mom was having a hard time holding on to his flailing body. The power to the ride was quickly shut off and we were told to exit the log and wait on the landing. All the while, the ride attendant was freaking out. I think he was trying to figure out why the boy was trying to get out of the log even while being shouted at to sit down.

The boy ended up getting out of the log prematurely and walking along a side railing to the exit. The boy's mother was very distraught and apologetic and the little brother was very upset and crying, probably out of fear and because his head had been pushed down in the melee. Since we were standing on the exit platform I helped the little brother calm down while the mom went to gather the older boy who had already exited. The attendants were working on getting the other passengers off the logs coming into the dock since the power was shut off and one of them ran after the mom because a manager was coming down to talk to her. I knew she was upset and I wanted to make sure that she didn't need any help. So many people don't know anything about autism and it's hard for a parent to explain. I went and talked to her, explaining that I worked with children with autism and she was so relieved. She said that her son had gone to Disney World and Six Flags and had been on several rides. For some reason, something on this one had set him off. It could have been the heat, the water, the time of day, or several things combined. Who knows? She felt so bad about everything and I just wanted to reassure her that things would be OK. Luckily the manager was very nice and understanding. He just wanted to make sure that the boy was OK. The mom left to return to her family and I waited on the platform for the ride to start again, although I was too shaken to actually ride. I just waited for Shelby and Lindey :)

With the number of children with autism on the rise, for whatever reason (that's a whole different post), the chances of you encountering somebody with autism in public is very great. If you work in a field that work with children with special needs such as a therapy or special education, you should be looking for ways you can advocate for the parents and the children. If you don't know anything about autism, I urge you to educate yourself. is a great website with good information, or you could find a family with a child with autism or a professional who works with them. The ride attendant might have been better prepared for the shock of seeing a boy trying to get out of the log if he had known that there was a special need. I was able to talk with several people waiting outside of the ride about autism and the types of challenges they have. None of these people knew anything about autism, just there were people who existed that had this condition.

My advocacy moment is not done. I am actually going to write to the amusement park, asking if they will consider making a special needs pass for families. These passes don't have to necessarily mean that the child skips to the front of the line (although at Disney World they do) but at least if you had a special needs pass you could show it to the attendant to give them a heads-up.

OK, I am going to get off my soap box now.

Oh, the Irony

6/01/2010 04:36:00 PM Edit This 7 Comments »
Last Friday our beloved Ford Focus, Luna, bit the dust through a broken transmission. We were going to be buying a minivan anyway next year with the addition of another kid (no, I am not pregnant but I'm sure I will be sometime), so we just decided to buy one now for the same price it would have taken to fix Luna.

After 3 Craigslist scams, we decided to try some dealers instead of private sellers. We found a wholesale dealer on Stringtown Rd (Car Source Auto. Definitely recommend them and will probably be buying from them when we want a truck) with a few Honda Odyssey's for sale which is what I wanted. Today we came away with not a Honda Odyssey (maybe next time) but a 2001 Mazda MPV for a steal. KBB price- $7,800. Bought for- $4600. Nice! It felt so good to drive that van off the lot. Reed said it made him feel like a parent. :)

Fast Forward 3 minutes: So I'm driving our new van to work behind Reed who is driving our Ford Escort, Aunty Em. I call him up and tell him his car is smoking. Pulled off to the side of the road, found oil dripping in the engine, promptly unloaded Aunty Em into the Mazda, Reed dropped me off at work and spent the rest of the day figuring out what to do with the Escort and the Focus. Could Murphy have spaced his visits out a little farther apart?

We will get through this just like everything else. To end, some happy pictures of our new van!


5/26/2010 07:29:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Yay for Lee! I actually thought Crystal was going to win but I wanted Lee to win. This happened last year too. Hmmm... Maybe I should just trust my instincts.

My favorite moments + Lara's faves too:

Casey James performing with Bret Michaels. Lara was giggling and smiling like a high school girl next to her crush.

Lee Dewyze performing with Chicago. I absolutely love Chicago and so does my brother Jonathan who is on a mission right now in San Bernadino, California for two years. Before he left, he entrusted his beloved Chicago DVD to Lara for safekeeping. She remembered watching it with him and she was excited to see Uncle Jonathan's favorite band. They certainly didn't disappoint!

Janet Jackson. I don't love her as much Michael Jackson but that first song she sang tonight was beautiful.

Top 3

5/18/2010 07:09:00 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
Casey- Awwwww, Casey. I don't think Kara did you any favors picking that John Mayor song. You sang it well but it's just a boring song. And the judges were right, I liked your first song but I didn't know it, therefore I can't even remember what it was now.

Crystal- I liked you. You've just never been a favorite of mine. But good song choices all around.

Lee- I voted for you. I actually picked up the phone and voted for you. 'Nuff said.

Lara's Reading Skillz

5/17/2010 07:04:00 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
Yesterday, Lara was reading a book to her baby and Reed caught it on camera. You can tell that some of what she is saying is English but mostly, it's gibberish. :)

Top 4

5/11/2010 07:50:00 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
One thing is for certain, the duets were waaaaaaaaaay better than the solos tonight. I told Reed that when Casey comes out with an album, we're buying it. For Lara's birthday or something :)

Casey- I'm biased, but he was my favorite solo performance. He was singing to me, you know. He is an amazing musician. Most other contestants have to have the musicians from the band do the fancy guitar work. Not Casey.

Michael- He was OK and he prompted Reed to look up the I Will be There video since I said that I wanted to watch it. Nobody is as good as Michael Jackson.

Lee- Most disappointing tonight. Out-of-tune for a lot of the performance. But he was really good in his duet with Crystal.

Crystal- Also OK. I like that song and I grew up listening to Kenny Loggins so it's a sentimental favorite.

I think Michael will go home tomorrow. Ellen was right, you need to think to win not just to get into the top 3.

Happy Mommy Day, Valerie!

5/11/2010 03:02:00 AM Edit This 2 Comments »

On Sunday I (Reed) had an opportunity to give a talk in Church. Would it be a surprise that it focused on the divinity of motherhood? I am so grateful for my wife who is beautiful and wonderful in so many ways.

I know this picture is older, but I wanted all three of my girls.
(Note to self: take more pictures...)

I thought that I'd share my talk with you here. I know that it's a bit long, but it is a very small view of my love and appreciation for the special women in my life.

Brothers and Sisters, good morning and a very Happy Mother’s Day! What a blessing it is for me to speak today and give thanks and recognize the special women in my life. I am eternally grateful for my wife and for the way that she is a righteous mother to our children. I was driving around yesterday running errands, and I took the time to teach our daughters about Mother’s Day, and how we can show gratitude for our mothers. I asked our oldest daughter, Lara who is just three years old, why she loves her mother, and her response was, “I just love my mommy because she is soooo beautiful!” Smiling, I then asked, “What do you like to do with Mommy?” Lara replied, “I like to cook with her!” I then asked her what she likes to cook with Mommy, and she exclaimed with a huge smile on her face, “SHRIMP!” So, Valerie, my dear wife, I too love you because you are so beautiful, and because you make some awesome shrimp!

This is a great time of year to reflect on our Mothers and the women in our lives that make our journey on this Earth all that much better. Though we celebrate Mother’s Day only once a year, I hope that we share our appreciation for them daily! Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said that, "While women live in homes under many different circumstances—married, single, widowed, or divorced, some with children and some without—all are beloved of God, and He has a plan for His righteous daughters to receive the highest blessings of eternity. There is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood.”

Two weeks ago I replaced the brakes on my car. Thanks to an instruction book I got from the library for car repair, I followed each step and finished the project. However, unlike a car, there is no step-by-step instruction booklet showing how to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “stay-at-home moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part-or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else.

Brethren, how can we each better support our wife, the mother of our children? Elder Ballard gives some wonderful instruction for us:

First, show extra appreciation and give more validation for what your wife does every day. Notice things and say thank you—often. Schedule some evenings together, just the two of you.

Second, have a regular time to talk with your wife about each child’s needs and what you can do to help.

Third, give your wife a “day away” now and then. Just take over the household and give your wife a break from her daily responsibilities. Taking over for a while will greatly enhance your appreciation of what your wife does. You may do a lot of lifting, twisting, and bending!

Fourth, come home from work and take an active role with your family. Don’t put work, friends, or sports ahead of listening to, playing with, and teaching your children.”

Last week as my wife shared her testimony during Fast and Testimony Meeting I was quite touched by the story that she shared. She shared a dream that she had dreamed the night before. She explained that in the dream she was here at Church, enjoying a ward activity with friends, and our ward family. Then at a certain point everyone ran outside and saw that the sky was dark and the wind had turned fierce. Suddenly she heard a voice say to her “Get everyone back inside the building.” A tornado was coming, and apparently everyone else heard the voice too as we all obeyed and hurried back into the Church building. Though the tornado came, we found safety and shelter within in the Lord’s house.

Brothers and Sisters, God truly does live. He loves us. Knowing this, we also know that “it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things…” Before this world was, “An angel of God [did fall] from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil… And because he [did fall] from heaven, and [did] become miserable forever, he [seeks] also the misery of all mankind.” (2 Nephi 2:11, 17-18) This storm of misery continues to rage all around us. The adversary knows to focus the storm constantly at the places that will do the most damage – in particular, the family unit.

In an article in the Ensign in May of 2006, Elder M. Russell Ballard said, QUOTE,

When you stop and think about it from a diabolically tactical point of view, fighting the family makes sense. When Satan wants to disrupt the work of the Lord, he doesn’t poison the world’s peanut butter supply, thus bringing the Church’s missionary system to its collective knees. He doesn’t send a plague of laryngitis to afflict the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He doesn’t legislate against green Jell-O or casseroles. When Satan truly wants to disrupt the work of the Lord, he attempts to confuse gender and he attacks God’s plan for His children. He works to drive a wedge of disharmony between a father and a mother. He entices children to be disobedient to their parents. He makes family home evening and family prayer inconvenient. He suggests family scripture study is impractical. That’s all it takes, because Satan knows that the surest and most effective way to disrupt the Lord’s work is to diminish the effectiveness of the family and the sanctity of the home.

Look at what he accomplishes when he does that. Couples unhappy in their marriages tend not to give appropriate gospel instruction in the home. They are less likely to be committed to gospel principles in their own lives. Some drift from the Church. Apathy can overcome even active members, keeping them away from the temple and weakening their capacity to be effective leaders and teachers—thus leaving countless lives untouched and slowing the Lord’s work. And the Internet when not properly used is a vicious influence in the home. So we know, without question, Lucifer is the enemy of the family!” END QUOTE

Brothers and Sisters, is it any wonder that as a church we are more focused than ever in supporting and strengthening the family? We cannot afford to be caught in the storm that surrounds us. Let us never do anything that would open the door to the tempest.

In The Family: A Proclamation to the World we have been counseled that:

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. ‘Children are an heritage of the Lord’ (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.”

“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”

I have read and studied this proclamation many times, but never have I read “It is always the Mother’s responsibility to have dinner ready when the Father comes home from a long day of work.” Or, “If the Father has changed two diapers in a row, it is the Mother’s turn.” Rather, I have read that “fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.” While “mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children,” “On a day-to-day basis, fathers can and should help with the essential nurturing and bonding associated with feeding, playing, storytelling, loving, and all the rest of the activities that make up family life.”

After a long day of travel from Capernaum to the coasts of Judaea, and without a chance to rest, Christ was bid to teach the people. The Pharisees came to him, tempting him in an attempt, I believe, to catch him off guard, being weary from travel. Then after dealing with the Pharisees, the people “brought their young children to him, that he should touch them.” His disciples knew that He was tired and in need of rest, and I am sure that they had good intentions when they tried to send them away. “But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:13-14) As husbands and fathers entrusted with the Holy Priesthood of God, we must strive to follow the Lord’s example and make time to teach and lead our families in love and righteousness.

Brothers and Sisters, in closing I’d like to refer again to a warning issued to us in The Family: A Proclamation to the World. “We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.” May we treat the special women in our lives right. Let us remember that “the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World”). The scriptures and the teachings of the prophets and apostles help all family members to prepare together now to be together through all eternity. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Melaleuca Product of the Week: CranBarrier

5/07/2010 06:48:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »

Lara has a very teeny bladder. I mean, she's a very little girl but still I think going 3 times in 20 minutes is a bit excessive. I chalked it up to her being Lara and thought nothing of it until one day she all of a sudden started having accidents which is totally unlike her. I can't remember the last time she's had accidents. And she would act like she would really have to go and it would be a tiny trickle. I talked to my Mom and my sister about it and they suggested that Lara might have a urinary tract infection. I've never had a UTI but I thought that UTI's always burned. But apparently they don't and Lara had other signs. So I started giving Lara CranBarrier which must taste good because she didn't complain at all. The next day, she went back to just regular bathroom breaks and the accidents completely stopped. I feel safe giving her CranBarrier because I know that that the ingredients are all non-toxic and without the sugar that might come in regular cranberry juice or cocktail. Plus, she loves it :)

What Makes It Different?
CranBarrier delivers the benefits of cranberry juice without the calories. Plus, it includes a proprietary blend of blueberry and uva-ursi (bearberry).

Why Is That Important?
The phytonutrients in cranberries help flush bacteria from your system. In addition, Blueberries and uva ursi contain phytonutrients similar to cranberries. CranBarrier gives you 3-in-1 urinary tract protection—without excess calories or carbs.*

It Works Because…
Researchers recommend 1,000 mg as the optimal therapeutic serving of cranberry phytonutrients. Two CranBarrier chewables contain 1,000 mg of cranberry extract—plus a proprietary blend of blueberry and uva-ursi.
Take a strong, proactive approach to your urinary tract health with CranBarrier.

Top 5

5/05/2010 05:37:00 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
I finally caught up on all the performances, thanks to YouTube, a half hour before the results show. So I'm still going to post :)

Best- Lee Dewyze
The most comfortable out from behind his guitar- Lee Dewyze
Don't really know what the judges problem was with- Crystal Bowersox
Better than last week- Michael Lynche
Was not good but I will still be sad if he's gone tonight- Casey James

American Idol Woes

5/04/2010 07:37:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Pressed record on the VCR. Found out later the tape wasn't rewound. Missed all of American Idol except for Aaron Kelly. Missed the first 15 minutes of Glee. Not a good night.

Nightmares Sometimes Last Forever

5/01/2010 06:47:00 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
Recently I was driving home from work and was listening to the radio when Billy Joel's song For the Longest Time started playing. I cringed as shivers ran down my spine and I immediately switched to a different station. I felt very foolish doing this but I've had a strong dislike of that song for many years. Let me explain.

I don't remember how old I was but I know I was little, between the ages of 7 and 10. I had a dream that I was in a hot tub and a man was standing in a doorway singing For the Longest Time. He was dressed in a dark blue button down shirt, dark jeans, and had shoulder length curly blonde hair. In fact, now that I think about it, he looked a lot like Casey James. Except I like Casey and I did not, in my dream, appreciate this guy singing to me. At times during the dream my view would switch angles and I would be behind the man so that I could see my face. Sometimes my expression would be pure annoyance and sometimes it would be absolutely terrified. I didn't wake up screaming or anything but I vividly remember that dream every time I hear that song. Therefore, I cannot listen to it even though it's really a silly fear for an almost 27-year-old to have. I'm sure we all have fears like that. At least, I hope I'm not the only one.

Instead of posting that horrific song, I will post my favorite Billy Joel song.

Top 6

4/27/2010 07:30:00 PM Edit This 3 Comments »
I didn't know how good of a songwriter Shania Twain was until tonight. I like her music but I never knew that good songs could be sung any style and still sound good.

My personal favorite and I think the best- Casey James. Lara will be so happy when she watches it tomorrow.
I missed- Siobhan. Too bad, I look forward to her performances and it sounded like it was a good one tonight.
Boring- Michael. *snore*
Didn't agree with the judges- Crystal. I especially liked the mandolin :)
Still thinks he should go home tomorrow- Aaron Kelly. Really, it's time.

HHC Video

4/25/2010 04:53:00 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
I was recently reminded of this video that was put together a few years ago for Helping Hands Center's annual fundraiser (the first one). I'm mostly posting it here on my blog so that I can always remember it :) But hey, it's also a great way for all of you to see at what a great place I work! A new video is being put together for this year's fundraiser and I hope to post that too. Look for me leading our children's choir while playing the guitar.

Top 7

4/21/2010 03:45:00 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Best: Most would say Crystal but I actually liked Lee's better.
Most Disappointing: Casey. I didn't like that song at all and, it is true, he needs to do something without the guitar even though he is great at it.
Worst Song Choice: This is a toss-up between Siobhan and Aaron. Aaron has an awesome voice, he just lacks training and experience. He will be a great artist in a few years.

I think Aaron's time has come to an end.

The Prince called Samuel

4/17/2010 05:56:00 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
Lara received a Little People's Princess Castle from Grandma Piano for her birthday. She loves playing with the prince and princess and making them dance together, etc. Recently we got it out to play with and she promptly placed the prince on top of the castle and said "This is Samuel. Repent! Jesus is coming!" You can tell where we have been reading in the Book of Mormon.

Top 9 (again)

4/13/2010 06:56:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I think it's ironic that our children's choir at Helping Hands start rehearsal tomorrow for our Elvis-themed concert. And I'm in charge of it. I've been listening to a lot of Elvis lately because he was not an artist I grew up with.

There were a lot of ties in my book tonight.
Best- Crystal or Lee
Weakest- Aaron or Andrew. I really liked Andrew's arrangement but he was a little out-of-tune in places and just not energetic enough.
Needs to not play guitar- Michael. I loved the vocals but his guitar playing was distracting because it was so boring and I was wondering if he was truly playing.

I think Aaron and Andrew will be going home tomorrow. I'm disappointed about Andrew, I had high hopes from the auditions. But he just hasn't grown as an artist, probably no thanks to the judges, and he has started looking really awkward and uncomfortable onstage.

Adam Lambert was the best mentor to date. Why can't other celebrity mentors be so honest? It obviously helped the contestants this week. I'm sure my sister, Lindey, can't wait for his performance tomorrow night. :)

Easter with the Robinsons

4/11/2010 05:57:00 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
I debated whether or not to do baskets for the girls this year. I hadn't had time to make one for Vivi and neither of them really knew what was going on. But while shopping at Meijer's I saw some cute little knick-knacks so I gave in. :) When I was a teenager my parents decided that they wanted Easter Sunday to emphasize Christ rather than the Easter Bunny. So the Easter Bunny took a permanent vacation and became the Spring Bunny who comes and visits the Saturday before Easter. We've decided to keep that tradition in our family therefore the girls are not in their Easter dresses, they are in new spring outfits for their basket (which they shared).

I was really excited for the girls to wear their Easter dresses this year. Mostly because I bought them for a steal from Strasburg Children and I love having the girls wear dresses that I pay almost nothing for. :) They were soooooo cute in them! To top it off, flower bows that I found through a friend's blog and bought them on Etsy. I love Etsy. I ordered them the Monday before Easter so I'm glad they got here in time! I just read that the BOWdacious bows is doing a giveaway. Go here for details! We had an Easter egg hunt at Grandma Piano and Grandpa Wally's house before conference. Both the girls had a lot of fun! We had a purple-themed Easter- the girls had new purple dresses, I bought Reed a new lavender shirt, and I also had a purple shirt. Not new, but I had it.

Speaking of conference, I love conference. We've been singing Follow the Prophet a lot lately because it was March's primary song and we had been talking to Lara a lot about our prophet, Thomas S. Monson. She was so excited to see him speak during conference and for days afterward she would ask where Thomas S. Monson was and how much she wanted to see him. She even made up her own verse of follow the prophet- Thomas S. Monson was a prophet... and the rest sounds exactly like the original Adam verse. :) I am so grateful for a little girl who reminds us how important the prophet is and displays such a love for the gospel.

Top 9

4/06/2010 06:52:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Before I talk about my thoughts here's a story about Lara. She loves Casey James and was excited to watch American Idol tonight so that she could see him. She was sooooo tired after a long day hiking and playing and Casey was one of the later singers. But she stayed up to watch him and was beside herself when he finally sang. And then, when the judges were giving Casey feedback, she fell asleep. :)

Best- Casey James. Looooved it just like Lara.
My personal favorite- Tim Urban. I like that song anyways and he did a really good job with the guitar. By the way, what's up with all the guitar players this year? It's getting kind of old to see guitars every week but Tim did a good job anyways.
Biggest WHAT????? moment- Lee Dewyze. I love bagpipes but that was kind of weird. Still I like him.
Still not a fan- Katie Stevens.
Worst- Aaron Kelly. Either of them could leave tomorrow and I would be fine.

So close...

4/06/2010 08:43:00 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
I picked West Virginia to win the tournament this year. It was actually a mistake, I think that I actually had wanted to pick Kansas but when I entered my bracket I accidentally picked West Virginia. So when Kansas lost I was pretty happy! I was sooooo close to winning which would have made my spring break even better. Sadly, West Virginia lost in the Final Four. :( Ah well, there's always next year. I love March Madness!

Top 10

3/30/2010 07:27:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Due to helping my Dad jump his car, I missed the first hour of American Idol so this is just based on what I saw. I'll go back and watch the others another time.

Best comeback- Andrew Garcia. Finally! I loved it!
My personal favorite- Lee Dewyze. Haven't really liked him until now. Awesome song.
Made the biggest mistake- Katie Stevens. I totally get what Simon was saying. Although I should say that after I watched the review of all the singers at the end of the show, this title might go to Didi Benami. But I won't know for sure until I see her whole performance.
Gave it a good try but he's still only 16- Aaron Kelly. He's got a great voice. I just think he needs more training and more experience to be awesome.

Usher has been the best mentor so far. :) He gave great constructive feedback and seems so nice, I wouldn't mind singing for him. All in all, I'm getting tired of Katie. I think she should leave tomorrow.

Melaeuca Product of the Week: MelaMagic

3/29/2010 07:44:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »

A few weeks before Vivi was born I had the sudden urge to scrub our kitchen floor. I hate scrubbing floors. So after that night I bought a WetJet. Bad thing about a wet jet is that the cleaner is full of toxic chemicals, aka bleach. But my mother-in-law had found a way to refill the bottles using Melaleuca products. The best one for floors and other grimy surfaces is MelaMagic. The following is a list from the catalog about the virtues of MelaMagic. :)

    • Naturally derived, biodegradable ingredients
    • No ammonia, phosphates, or chlorine bleach
    • Cleans floors, barbecues, range tops, and more
    • Tackles tough grease and grime indoors and out
    • Now even more concentrated to save money and reduce plastic waste

Top 11

3/23/2010 07:02:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Really quick post...

Best: Crystal Bowersox
Didn't agree with Simon on: Casey and Didi
Worst: Paige. I actually felt like I couldn't watch that performance. Too embarrassing and a case study for "pitchiness."
Most annoying: Gum-chomping Miley Cyrus. Really, you can chew with your mouth closed.

Top 12

3/16/2010 07:30:00 PM Edit This 3 Comments »
Season 9 of American Idol is back on which means that my Tuesday and Wednesday nights are full :) Lara is getting into the show also, calling it "The Music Show". I think she has a crush on Casey James.

Most improved performance- Aaron Kelly
Best performance- Siobhan Magnus. If she becomes a recording artist she should just go by her first name.
Most disappointing performance- Andrew Garcia
Most likely to be kicked off tomorrow- Lacey Brown. She never wowed me.


3/12/2010 05:42:00 PM Edit This 5 Comments »
Lately Vivi and Lara have been at each other's throats over every little thing. Vivi has finally realized that she can dish out what she's been taking. *sigh*

But there are glimmers of sisterly sunshine that happen every once in a while. Like today when we were having dinner. Lara wanted scrambled eggs and she specifically said she wanted to share with Vivi. Not only did she want to share but she insisted on spoon feeding Vivi herself! It was the cutest picture- Vivi with her mouth wide open and Lara giving her eggs, all the while making Vivi sign "more" and saying things like "Oh, that's such a good girl."

I just think my girls are beautiful :)

Melaleuca Product of the Week: Nicole Miller's Facial Cleanser

3/03/2010 06:45:00 PM Edit This 1 Comment »

I had not heard about Nicole Miller until I joined Melaleuca and then I began to see her stuff everywhere. Of course. I believe that Nicole Miller approached Melaleuca to help develop and market her make-up line. You can only buy her cosmetic line through Melaleuca and at her boutiques. Cool!

I originally just stuck to the Melaleuca family bath and body line but I decided that I needed to branch out and try some Nicole Miller. So I recently purchased the hydrating cleanser and I love it. I can definitely feel a difference in my skin tone and clarity. The Nicole Miller line has 3 different types of cleansers and moisturizers for different skin types. I decided that I have combination skin so that's why I bought the hydrating cleanser. Next up, I'm going to get the cleanser. Formula includes aloe, ginseng, and peptides.

Lara is 3!

2/22/2010 06:30:00 PM Edit This 3 Comments »

3 years ago Lara joined our family and we celebrated by going to the Princess and the Frog in the dollar theater. She had a lot of fun with her friend, Alaina, and all the aunts and uncles. I can't believe that my baby girl is now 3 and will be attending preschool in the summer! She has grown so much and it's wonderful to see her develop talents. Lara is very gifted musically, and I'm not just saying that because she's my daughter. She can sing in tune, in different tonalities, and in different meters and she does it ALL the time.

She is also a budding artist which she gets from her daddy. I can't draw. Anyways, she recently received a compliment by one of the art teachers at school, saying that she could trace and paint better than some of her older peers. She also can "write" her name on lined paper, staying in the lines!

Lara is always giving us some cute quotes and making us laugh. Here are a few...

Lara: Mommy, I want to change babies.
Me: What do you mean?
Pointing to cousin Kaelyn (2 months), Lara: I want that one.

Pulling out my debit card: Just what I need!

After wrestling with her Uncle Jared: I want to see my daddy.
Uncle Jared: Why would you want that?
Lara: Because... I really like him!

Me: Lara, are you tired? If you're not, you need to take your thumb out of your mouth.
Lara: OK, I'm going to suck my finger instead.

We love you, Lara!

Lara's (and my) thoughts on the Olympics

2/14/2010 07:48:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
One thing I love about the Olympics is that I don't necessarily root for my home country.

For example, in the men's freestyle moguls I was happy when this guy won the first Canadian gold on home soil.
And in pair skating, I will be rooting for Shen and Zhao.

Don't worry, I am not anti-American. I am hoping that Davis and White will be coming away with the gold for ice dancing!

Lara, after watching the men's freestyle moguls: Mommy, I want to do that.
Me: Oh, really? It does look fun.
Lara: Yeah, I want to do it tomorrow. Do you want to come with me?

I Married a Saint

2/10/2010 03:49:00 PM Edit This 3 Comments »
Sometimes I find this very annoying because he's always reminding me, through his example, about how to be more charitable.

We have this lady who lives a few doors down who is, for lack of a better word, crazy. The kind of crazy who doesn't drive, has 500 animals, complains about everything, including how the chemicals in the grass is giving her dog cancer (might be true, but still?), who has been evicted 8 times before (red flag there), possibly slightly schizophrenic, and altogether just gives off the loopy vibe. There is a reason why I did not go work in a psych setting. I just can't take this kind of crazy.

A few days ago this lady received a note on her door from the sheriff saying she had 5 days to leave the premises- she was being evicted. I've never known anyone who was evicted but don't you think that if you were given 5 days to leave, 5 days means 5 days? Today her days were up and the repossession guys came and put all of her stuff in the middle of the parking lot. In the snow. She didn't even act really upset or scared. Just mad. Saying things like "All this because I complained about my dog's cancer." I think there's more to being evicted than a complaint even if you are crazy. Things like signing a contract saying you'll be out in January and now it's February. Things like not paying your rent.

Reed ended up helping her call movers, let her and her animals sit in our car to keep warm, helped the movers load her stuff, drove her to CVS to buy a calling card, unloaded her stuff at the storage facility, and is now driving her to her new apartment which somebody helped her find. All of this has taken about 5 1/2 hours. He even missed his class for this.

Just a reminder to me of what a wonderful man I married.

Lara Cuteness

2/06/2010 10:44:00 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
Reed: Lara, it's time for scriptures.
Lara: And it came to pass?

Reed: Look, Lara! We made a snowman!
Lara: No, Daddy! It's a snow GIRL!

Melaleuca Product of the Week: Melagel

2/04/2010 11:27:00 AM Edit This 0 Comments »

Melaleuca has awesome first aid products, Melagel being one of them. It comes in two forms, tube or disk, each having a different consistency. I've been using this product a lot lately because Vivi has very sensitive skin and she's chubby. Not a good combination. When she eats, food and drink gets in the folds of her skin and, no matter how hard I try, it never gets fully clean and dry. Plus she's teething now so she's a heavy drooler. Her poor chin and neck get red and sore-looking spots where the wetness has irritated the skin. I put Melagel on in the morning and try to keep some on during the day. It has really helped to protect her skin from the drool and has helped the healing process.

Melagel also helps to minimize scarring. My mom sliced her hand pretty bad once and now there's just a small scar where the huge gash used to be. I'm using it now on my incisions from surgery! Melagel contains Melaleuca Oil, of course, but because it is a solid it can help to keep straight Melaleuca Oil in a wound. This aids the healing process and helps it to heal faster. I'm all for that.

Avatar Musings

1/26/2010 06:08:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
We went to Avatar last week and I absolutely loved it. Possibly the best movie I've seen since the new Star Trek. Here are a few reasons why I liked it.

1. It was beautiful. My favorite color is blue so I loved watching a world full of blue and purple hues. Loved the plants that collapsed when touched and all the ground cover that glowed if you walked on it. Even the weird black creatures were strangely beautiful.

2. I am really into Native Americans. When I was an adolescent my girl scout troop went to see the outdoor drama "Tecumseh" and we also went behind the scenes. For years afterwards I would read everything I could get my hands on about Native Americans. Tecumseh continues to be one of my heroes. Avatar definitely had Native American influence, albeit some of the romanticized ideals but Native American nonetheless. I loved the Tecumseh-like story when Jake Sully united the clans. *tear*.

3. I love good special effects. "Nuff said.

So, another movie that I need on DVD. Special Edition, of course.

Happy 101

1/23/2010 05:08:00 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
We were given the Happy 101 by our friend, Susette. We will list 10 things that make us happy and then tag a few blogs to give the Happy 101. They MUST, and I say MUST, list 10 things that make them happy and then pass it on. So here goes in descending order.

10- Star Trek
9- Vacations anywhere
8- Chocolate
7- When Reed puts away his clothes without me asking :)
6- Playing Settlers of Catan with family
5- Going to Rita's (Can't wait for Summer!)
4- Getting great deals on anything
3- Going to the temple
2- Music. Especially when Lara sings with me.
1- Lara and Vivi. Face it, they are cute!

We tag the following blogs:
Aaron and Marly
Brown and Serve
Monkey Business
The Bowman Family
A Work in Progress

Happy Thoughts!

My Surgery plus Cute Videos

1/15/2010 07:15:00 AM Edit This 2 Comments »
I had surgery yesterday. I'm not going into detail but if you want to know what I had removed you can go here. The reason I'm blogging about the surgery is that while I was waiting to go into pre-op I was watching a news show. The big news story, besides Haiti, was Heidi Montag's 10 cosmetic surgeries in one day. First of all, why something so superficial would be mentioned in the same minute as such a catastrophe in Haiti is beyond my understanding. Second, after going through just one surgery and undergoing the recovery right now I would like to know why in the world would somebody voluntarily choose to have 10 stupid surgeries done in one day???? The newsperson mentioned that this must be a form of self hatred and, since she is obviously troubled, instead of seeing a plastic surgeon for help she should see a psychologist. Bingo! Maybe she's addicted to the pain pills... I haven't had to take perscription pain killers yet but I only had 1 surgery. She had 10.

All right, on to something that makes sense. Vivi is cute. She has learned to walk and it's her chosen way to get around. I was going to post a video but I've tried all day and it won't load. So I'll have Reed work on it and post it later.

She is also developing her musical skills just like her big sister Lara. Here Vivi is singing with her Daddy. :)

Melaleuca Product of the Week: MelaPower

1/05/2010 05:55:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »

I've been really bad at posting these lately but, hey, it's a new year and there's time to improve!

The one huge difference for me between one child and two is the amount of laundry I get to do every week. Oh... my... gosh. I used to be able to get away with only doing laundry once every week and a halfish. Now, I have to do it every 2 days!!!! Anyways, at least I know that my clothes are getting good treatment from my laundry detergent.

Did you know that most laundry detergents actually burn your clothes? Because of all the caustic chemicals that are used in regular detergents, the fibers are broken down and actually disintegrate. If you tried to hold some Tide powder in your hand for more than 5 minutes, it would actually start burning your skin. Yuck. MelaPower contains naturally derived ingredients and is pH-neutral making it very gentle on clothes. MelaPower is also 2x concentrated so instead of paying for extra water, I'm only paying for detergent! And, mmmmmm, it smells nice- fresh scent or unscented (which still smells clean).