Thursday, January 31, 2013


Wednesday during the snow storm we decided to get outside, get some fresh air, and shovel the driveway.   The boys were so happy especially considering how cold it way.
Throwing snowballs at mom.
We belong to an HOA that shovels our driveway and steps, so we don't go out very often to shovel them.
It was the perfect 'project' for us so we just might be doing it more often!
I can not get over how big Bodie looks in this picture shoveling snow.
And of course there was lots of eating snow.
After we shoveled the steps and the driveway we decided to make a snowman.  I forgot how much fun playing in the snow can be.
"Once there was a snowman"
This morning the much needed sun {vitamin D} came out and it has done wonders for my spirit - January can be so long and cold.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Daniel and the Lions Den.

Last night for Family Home Evening Truman told us the entire story of Daniel and the Lions Den - he said his primary teachers told it to him.  He get out his plastic lions, tigers, and white tigers and put them in a circle, he was Daniel in the middle of the den!
Love Primary, love his teachers, love that Grandma Lynn is one of his teachers.

Then he sang "I am a Child of God" all by himself {and let me make a recording of it}.

{sorry its so dark, it was late}
Truman at 3 1/2 - or as he likes to say "a little bit 5"

Monday, January 28, 2013


This little 22-month old came waltzing up the stairs at 8:00 AM this morning with a very proud look on his face!
He climbed out of his crib by himself,
came out of his bedroom slamming the door behind him and found me.

"All by myself"

He was so proud of himself, now what do I do?!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Book Club.

Today was book club.
It seemed like such a long time since the last book club, that is because we take December off and I missed November.  It was so fun to be back together as a group - we had a great turnout. 

We read "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand and everyone agreed that it was fantastic.  It is a story about a young man and his childhood journey, Olympic dreams, fighting in World Ward II, surviving, forgiving, finding God, and living a really great life.

Laura served an amazing imitation Magleby's french toast and syrup with fresh fruit and orange juice.  I have included the recipe below because it is that good!
Thank you Laura - as always, it was so classy.
I defiantly recommend this book.  Five stars!

Next we are reading "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot

Magleby's French Toast and Syrup.

Magleby’s French Toast and Syrup

2 eggs
½ cup french vanilla creamer
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cube butter
1 cup sugar
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon karol syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Melt Butter, add sugar, buttermilk, and karol syrup to boil.  Add vanilla and soda then take off heat (make in medium size pot - the syrup foams up high when soda is added.)

This recipe will make about 6-8 pieces of toast.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Midway Morning.

Midway Morning | taken from my deck.
Freezing cold but beautiful.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Homemade Chicken Noodle.

My in-laws have been deathly ill with pneumonia so we took them dinner tonight.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Camille Simons (taught to me by my Grandma Quinn)

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
8-10 cups chicken broth
3 bay leafs
1 tomato, left whole (for color and flavor)
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic in olive oil until translucent in color (best smell ever!).  Add chicken broth, tomato, bay leafs and uncooked chicken.  Cook on low for several hours.  Once the chicken is cooked, take it out and shred it then return it to the pot.  You may need to add more chicken broth.  Add salt and pepper to taste and let simmer.

Homemade Noodles
Camille Simons (taught to me by my Grandma Quinn)

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 beaten egg yokes
1 beaten egg
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon cooking oil

Mix all dry ingredients together.  Make a hold in the center of the dry ingredients where you can add the wet ingredients.  Mix together with a fork and your hands.  Roll the noodles out in a noodle maker.  Let them dry out on the counter top for a few hours.  Add them to the boiling pot of soup - boil for 20-30 minutes, until they are cooked threw.  Enjoy!

Easy Garlic Bread-sticks
Karen Lambert (in my ward)

1 batch of your favorite bread dough (or frozen dough)
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons garlic
Parmesan cheese
Schillings salad supreme spice

Prepare baking sheet by spreading butter on bottom.  Sprinkle with corn meal and the add pepper.  Set aside.

Pat or roll out dough about 1/2 inch thick.  With a pizza cutter, cut dough crosswise in 1/2" pieces.  Pull dough out into long, thin pieces.  Dip each piece of dough in melter butter that hs been seasoned with garlic then in the parmesan cheese - lay them in place on the baking sheet and then sprinkle with salad supreme.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until brown.

*For the bread sticks pictured above I soaked a large skewer in water and then rolled a dough ball around the skewer a few times pitching at the top and bottom (imitating a bread stick from the Pizza Factory).   Let rise a few hours.  To bake them I balanced each skewer across a 9x13 pan.  Great presentation and so fun to eat!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Beard.

Yes, the beard deserves its own blog post.  
Three weeks post tonsillectomy.

Monday, January 21, 2013


A little over a year ago a photographer I admire challenged me to take photos of objects in nature that look like letters in the alphabet.  He said it would help me be a more creative photographer.

I immediately wanted to do it - but didn't get past "A" - I guess I am not that creative!!!
Now that Truman is in school and more aware of his letters he has been pointing them out whenever he sees one.  I figured it was a good time to really take the challenge.

So, with Truman's help we are going to try and take pictures of all the letters in the alphabet as we see them in nature.  Join in with the challenge if you would like.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cafe Rio Dinner.

We love Cafe Rio - who doesn't?
Over the years I have collected several "cafe rio" recipes so I decided I wanted to widdle them down to my favorites.  This was the perfect weekend to make a big meal - McKay got his wisdom teeth out so we needed to fill him up before going under.
Cafe Rio Pork
(easy quick recipe)
3 pounds Pork Roast
1 8 ounce can Dr. Pepper (don't use diet)
1 cup brown sugar
16 ounces salsa

Put it in a crock pot over night 10-12 hours on low.  Shred with a fork and allow it to sit in the juices until you are ready to eat it.

Cafe Rio Pork
(Sweet Pork Barbacoa)
4 pounds pork roast
2 8 ounce cans tomato sauce (or catchup)
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups Dr. Pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-2 teaspoons cumin (optional - I am not a huge cumin fan so I put very little in)
red taco sauce

Lime Rice
2 cups Jasmine Rice
2 tablespoons butter
2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon salt
Juice of 2 limes
Zest of 1 lime
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Tomatillo Ranch Dressing
1 package Ranch dressing
1 cup sour cream (I used plain yogurt - or you can do half mayo half sour cream)
1 cup buttermilk
5 tomatillos husked, cleaned and chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1 jalapeno (or some green Tabasco sauce, yummy!)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Use a food processor to blend all ingredients together and refrigerate (its better if you make it a day early)

* I am a huge fan of this dressing at the restaurant but this recipe makes a TON of dressing - I always end up throwing a bunch out - I think I have decided its not worth making (and mine is always a little runny)

Green Enchilada Sauce

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, minced
5-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 green peppers, chopped
1-2 jalapenos, seeded and membranes removed
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked and quartered
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
4 cups chicken broth
2-3 teaspoons sugar

Just buy this stuff, its amazing!

Pico de gallo
(I love this stuff)

6 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 to 4 fresh serranos or jalapeno
garlic powder
salt to taste
Crock-Pot Black Beans
(this is my own recipe)

2 cups black beans (about 1 pound)
8 cups water
3-4 bay leafs
Kosher salt

Soak the bean in the water over night, covered in your crock pot.  In the morning turn them on high and add the bay leafs, salt and garlic. I think I cook them about 4 hours on high, then turn them to low or warm until ready to serve.  Best flavor ever!
(if you don't eat them all you can then make black-bean soup or mash them up for a great baby food)

Homemade Tortillas

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons backing powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4-6 tablespoons shortening
about 1 1/4 cups warm water

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, add shortening.  Use a folk or a pastry cutter to cut in the shortening.  Next add the warm water - knead the dough for a few minutes.

Form about 12 small dough balls and let them rest for about 10 minutes.  Roll them to desired size/thickness and cook.
*Tonight was my first time making my own tortillas and I didn't think they were that great.  They tasted to floury to me and I couldn't get them thin enough.  Now that you can buy the pre made tortillas that you can cook fresh, I am not sure I would ever make them from scratch again (and besides, I can't roll out a circle to save my life).
Camille's Homemade Guacamole*
Avocados perfectly ripe
plain yogurt or sour cream  (I almost always used yogurt, now the secret is out)
tomatoes, thinly diced
yellow onion
red tabasco sauce (although I am kind of obsessed with the green tabasco sauce right now)
worchestire sauce
garlic salt
garlic, minced
lime or lemon juice (I like the flavour of lemon better in gucamole)
salt (Kosher or sea)

* I have been making this guacamole for years.  I don't know any measurements because I just make it based on flavor and that is what real cooks do! But now my secret is out, so you can make it too.
Bodie enjoying sitting up to the table like a big kid (love his highchair) and McKay filling up before starting his fast before surgery.

Dallin came up from Provo for the feast - not sure why we look so 'stiff' in this photo
I really dislike one o'clock church.  Bodie maxed out tonight - no nap today, and he has been taking TWO naps a day!  I was trying to change him from his church clothes to his pajama's when he freaked out about having his clothes taken off.  He proceeded to take off his diaper, throw a fit, and fall asleep in the middle of the great room.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

In Pursuit of Elegance.

My dad recommend this book and I really liked it - it is a quick easy read.
I had Gregg read it and now I think my sister-in-law Sharon has it.
I find these kinds of books/subjects very interesting.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lion House Rolls.

Lion House Rolls

2 cups warm water
2/3 cups nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons dry yeast
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup shortening (butter or margarine)
1 egg
5 ½ cups flour, all purpose

In a large bowl combine water and milk powder and stir so the milk dissolves.  Add the yeast to this mixture then the sugar, salt, shortening, egg and 2 cups of flour.  Mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then turn to medium speed and mix for 2 minutes. 

Stop the mixer and add 2 more cups of flour and mix again.  The dough will be getting stiff and you may need to remove the bowl from the mixer and mix in the remaining flour by hand.  Add approximately ½ cup flour at a time.   The dough should be soft, not overly sticky and not stiff.  Scrape the dough off the sides of the bowl and pour approximately one tablespoon of vegertable oil all around the sides of the bowl.  Turn the dough over in the bowl so it is covered in oil.  This helps prevent the dough from drying out.

Cover with plastic and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.  Sprinkle a cutting board with flour and put the dough on the flour.  It is now ready to roll out and cut into desired shape and size.  Place on greased baking pans.  Let rise in a warm place until the rolls are double in size.   Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are browned to your satisfaction.  Brush with melted butter while hot.  Yields 2 to 2 ½ dozen rolls

*I didn’t have nonfat dry milk so I used 2/3 cups milk and reduced the water to 1 1/3 cup – my rolls turned our perfect. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013


A new year brings new callings I guess.
Gregg was released as a Primary teacher - he has been serving as a primary teacher for almost six years!  He was a great teacher, and loved it.
His new calling is the 11-year old scout leader.  He is an eagle scout, so he understands the scouting program and is excited to get back at it.

 I have been serving as a Relief Society teacher since I was released from Young Woman's last spring.  I really like it - but with the new year they released all the teachers.
For the last few months I have also been serving as the 'ward communications specials'.
Ward Gossip?!  Just kidding.  It's kind of a made-up calling that is evolving as we go.  Basically we have a huge ward (600+ members) that is very diverse - we got a new bishopric this fall and they are trying to unit the ward, so I was called to somehow figure out how to do that.

So far we have really vamped up our use of {infact, we are trying to train all ward members to go there for any and all information}.  I help teach people how to download the LDS apps and log-in.

I have spend the last few months creating and updating calendars so that they are accurate for ward members at  I attend ward council each month and do all the calendaring and scheduling for the ward.

We have been working really hard to get pictures of each person in our ward uploaded to so everyone in our ward has picture next to their name.  We also use the 'Newsletter' and 'Lesson Scheduler' on  The newsletter tab is pretty cool - its like a ward web page or blog.  I upload pictures of events, the Sunday bulletin each week and any information for any organization.
{here is a screen shot of what the ward newsletter page looks like}

The 'lesson scheduler' tab is new and very cool.  I have put in all the lessons for every class and auxiliary for our ward and who is teaching.  When a ward member looks on-line they can see what lesson is being taught and get a direct link to read the lesson or talk, and they can see who is teaching. 

At the request of the bishopric I also help write and email a monthly ward newsletter.  We are luck to have the talented Dean Hughes {click here to see a list of the books he has written} in our ward who was called to do this.  I get to help by interviewing one family a month and writing about them, and then of course I am responsible for emailing the newsletter to everyone in the ward.

And finally {for now anyway}, I have reworked the layout for the Sunday bulletin {again at the request of the bishopric, see I told you we are making up the responsibilities of this calling as we go!}.  I think it is pretty cool - complete with QR readers.

With your smart phone or tablet you can take a picture of those black and white squares {on the far right hand side} and one will take you directly to the ward calendar online and the other will take you to the ward web page.

And ... today I got another calling!
{I actually volunteered/begged/pleaded/ for this calling in ward council}
I get to do music / singing time in both nurseries.  It is a blast.  I go into both junior and senior nursery for about 15 minutes and do songs with the kids.  It is perfect because I get to sing with Bodie and the kids love it!  And I still get to go to most of Sunday School {and sit with Gregg which I have not been able to do for the past 6 years that he has been in Primary} and I don't miss any Relief Society.  It really is the perfect Sunday calling!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Enoch's Birthday.

We went to Herriman to help celebrate Enoch's birthday today {actual birthday way yesterday}
 Such a cute kid!
 Bodie perched on top of the table like he is the king.
The princess of the party! 
Enoch lost his first tooth on his birthday so the tooth-fairy left him a special dollar.
That is the best looking camo-cake I have seen - can you guess what kind of party my boys want to have now for their birthdays?!