Tuesday, April 29, 2008

got worms?

So last week I was planting strawberries that were given to me by our sweet neighbor, Kami, who had received a bunch from her parents' yard and had extra. The box that they came from was full of dirt and...worms! I pointed this out to Halle, who immediately was drawn to the little critters. While I planted, she dug around in the dirt for a good hour, playing with her new "friends", as she called them. She played what she described "Worm Hide & Seek"...letting them crawl into the dirt and then she'd try to find them again. She loved feeling them crawl up her arm and watch them squirm in the palm of her hand, even though she had her gardening gloves on. She named them, too! It was so cute. I must admit a part of me felt kind of sad momentarily. In the neighboring yards I could hear kids playing with each other, chasing each other, laughing, etc. And yet here was my daughter, playing alone with her new pet worms. Then I had to remind myself that she seemed perfectly content and happy, and so it didn't matter who she played with, as long as she was having a good time! Here are some pictures of my "Worm Expert"!

Friday, April 25, 2008

"The Wiz"

Here are some pictures from Halle's latest play at Rodgers Memorial Theatre, "THE WIZ". It's a version of "The Wizard of Oz" (or as I told my parents, "The Wizard of Oz" on crack). No, seriously, it's really cute. My "crack"-crack (ha ha) was a result more from the munchkins in munchkinland...they're all hippies. Anyway, Halle's part was playing "Bitty Crow" and she was so cute! Bitty Crow is the smallest little crow in a band of birds that taunt and tease the scarecrow. Halle played her with a lot of sass and spunk. Her costume was so cute. When she came out on stage and delivered her first line, you could hear the audience go, "Ahhhhhh", as in "HOW CUTE IS THAT LITTLE GIRL?!"
My parents drove out to see her Saturday performance and Brett's folks went last night. We're so blessed to have grandparents that support their granddaughter in such a big way. It may seem small to them, but it means the world to her! Brett's younger sister has a lead in the play, but she was in a different cast, so Brett went to cheer for Aunt Heidi on Tuesday night. He said Heidi did a great job and he thought she was definitely one of the best singers in the group! Halle gave a great performance last weekend and last night and has learned a lot in her theatre class. We may take a break from it next year and then go back another time, but whether we do or not, I'm sure she's got more "Rodgers" in her future! Way to go, sweetie!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

more night terrors

this is our 2nd night of frequent night-terrors (frequent is defined as nights with 3 or more). i just put him back to bed after a bad one. took him twenty minutes to fully wake up, count the number of fingers i'm holding up and to recognize me. usually when i get into his bedroom he's screaming but sitting up with his eyes open. this time he was still lying down but thrashing his body all about and his scream was more of a loud grunt, over & over & over. gotta give the kid credit for at least dishin' out some variety.
~
sorry. bad joke.
hopefully it'll be better tomorrow night.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I think I'm gonna make my blog private--here's the "key" to get in!


I am so sad it has come to this, especially since it's been fun to have people-I've-known-in-the-past-but-lost-touch-with find my blog through the Internet. It's been fun to reconnect and I hate to lose future opportunities to reconnect with others that way with whom I've lost touch. However, I have begun to receive comments on my posts from complete strangers.

Now, don't get me wrong...it doesn't bother me if a "stranger" knows someone I know, and they read something on my blog and leave a legitimately kind or contributing comment. But, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this, the comments that have bothered me have been from strangers who ultimately are trying to sell-something or just plain smell fishy. I've deleted their comments, but as an example, I received a comment saying that I was to be congratulated because my blog was "interesting" and that this "person" was going to post it on their blog. They claimed to be from Brazil. When I went to see their post, it directed me to basically a large advertisement. Obviously, I do not want my blog to be used in any such way.

So, I feel left with no other choice than to go private. If I understand blogger correctly, that means that if you were to view my blog you'd first have to log in. Common sense tells me that my blog is in no way fascinating enough that most besides close friends or family would bother taking that extra step to view my little world, but I'd like to invite all of you just the same. I have some of your emails, so I will send you an "invitation" to my blog. But for those of you for whom I do not have an email address, if you'd like to be sent an official invite (and I believe that is the only way you can "register" to view a private blog), feel free to email me your email address at brettandhope@gmail.com.
~
I plan to go private next week--I wanted to post this and give people time to read it and know what is going on.

I hope I don't lose anyone that may have read or contributed in the past in any way--that's my one apprehension about going private. It's been so fun to share our lives with you. I hope we can keep sharing with each other, despite this "high-security" world. Thanks for understanding!

Swing Kids

On Saturday we finally got our "new" swingset (new to us, at least)!!
We purchased it from our two neighbors, who together own a home they are renting out to a single woman. With the swingset being unused and needing a little "TLC", it was a win-win. We got a swingset for a smokin' deal and they got it out of the yard. It's a Rainbow set and it pretty great condition. It's just a little weathered. Needs some sanding, some staining, a new awning, and new swings. We've got the swings, so just a couple more to-do's to go and it will be like new! It fits nearly perfectly in our back yard corner (actually just barely...we are lucky it wasn't any bigger!). This morning I took Carson out to swing for the first time and he just giggled as he went back and forth! Halle and Wyatt have a blast using their imaginations up on the platform (or "CLUBHOUSE", as they proudly call it). They've been out there almost every minute, every afternoon that we've had it. In the next couple weeks we'll be laying some rubber bark down underneath it. I'm anxious to get the shed into the back yard, because then we can replace completely the fence and I'll feel like my kids are more secure, less-exposed as they play. Then I'll feel a little more free to let them go out whenever they want and not just when I am able to keep an eye on them through the kitchen window.
I also wanted to show off some picture of our concrete. It is finally complete and I can't tell you how good it feels to have a project behind you about which you feel absolutely no regrets. I mean, come on! When it comes to "home projects" how often does "NO REGRETS" happen??? Our concrete guy was just amazing. I can't recommend him enough. His name is Dave and he works for Bell Canyon Concrete. He was incredibly honest (I say incredibly because it's incredible to find someone with so much integrity) and he is serious when it comes to his reputation. He would only take on our job under the conditions that everything be done the right way and end up looking fabulous, in a way that would last for years to come. He and his guys did beautiful work, I think. They even did some extra stuff for us without charge that we hadn't even asked for, all for the sake of making their work and our yard look as good as possible. I took some pictures and I wish they showed the "red" color more, but at least you can get a good idea. I took some shots from our bedroom window upstairs, too, so you can see from a bird's-eye-view...pardon the reflection of the blinds in those shots. I don't think we'll be able to afford any plants in our back yard this year (plant-wise we're focusing on the front) but at least things are coming together. We can't wait to entertain back there--anyone up for a BBQ?
Below is the view from my bedroom window--this is the east side of the patio
And......here's the west side of the patio.
See? We've got a place to seatcha when you come over for
burgers this summer!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Said by Wyatt, this morning while eating breakfast:


"Mommy, I think everyone is beyuteeful. Really, I do. Beyuteeful."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Do you know anyone selling this or something like it? I want it!!!

I am desperately trying to find a gently used climber. It doesn't have to be exactly like this one. I've seen other versions that are different colors (like green/yellow/blue/orange) or some that look like little castles, etc. I just want something that Carson can play on in the backyard. If you know someone that might want to sell theirs, I would really appreciate you letting me know about it! I'm even willing to drive somewhere to get it if it was the right price (like Utah county, or Logan or Heber--you know...some place that isn't *too* far away!). Anyway, thanks. Just thought I'd put the word out.

"A SPRING POEM" - by Halle Taft

We like to feel the wind
And the foxes are red
And the grass is green
Birds lay eggs
And the last thing I like about spring
Is You

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Brett, having you in my life makes me...makes me the LUCKIEST

I heard this song (that should right now be playing for you) on Preston's blog and just fell in love with it. Am I the only person in America that hadn't heard it before? Naturally, the words made me think of Brett. I've often wondered how miraculous it is that someone like me was able to snag someone like HIM! Truly, "I Am The Luckiest".

(I'll post the incredible lyrics before the slideshow of my sweetheart!)
~ ~ ~
I don't get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls
Brought me here
And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it everyday

And I know
That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

What if I'd been born fifty years before you
In a house on a street where you lived?
Maybe I'd be outside as you passed on your bike
Would I know?
And in a white sea of eyesI see one pair that I recognize

And I know
That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you

Next door there's an old man who lived to his nineties
And one day passed away in his sleep
And his wife; she stayed for a couple of days
And passed away
I'm sorry, I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belong

That I know
That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

So grateful for those that aren't afraid to share their testimonies!

Click PAUSE on the playlist to the right; Click PLAY on the video below.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Weeks 2 & 3 Spreadsheet Recipes

Sorry I'm so slow posting these. They're not the "funnest" thing to type up, so I've been kind of subconsciously putting it off... By the way, I've already noticed some effective changes I could make to the spreadsheet. When I make those if you want the "new and improved" version, just let me know.


Here you go!

~

WEEK 2

Monday

Omelettes
Per person: 1 egg + egg substitute that is equal to 1 egg (I think it’s ¼ c.?)

Melt on each omelette 2 T. shredded cheddar cheese and top with salsa.

As far as Bacon goes, I tried turkey bacon because it’s so much healthier and I’ve gotta be honest: I hated it! I’d rather not have bacon than have that! But to each his own! However, when I put “bacon” on the spreadsheet, unless I specified turkey bacon, I meant pork bacon. Carnation makes a FF (Fat Free) Hot coco that is only 1 point. I like to add SF or FF creamer or syrup to add flavoring. (Obviously not the maple syrup. The kind of syrup you’d find for beverages down the tea/hot chocolate aisle.) Kind of spruces up the FF hot coco!

~

Tuesday

Ham & Swiss Sandwiches

6 Points Each Sandwich
Makes 10 Sandwiches

2 tubes Pillsbury French Bread Loaf
Deli-Thin Sliced Ham Lunchmeat
Reduced Fat or Thinly-sliced Swiss Cheese
Dijon Mustard (optional)

Line a cookie sheet with tin foil. Spray with non-stick spray.

Open the tubes and place the 2 pieces of dough parallel in the cookie sheet. Flatten the dough as much as possible by pressing it down with your fists. Make “slice” marks (not cutting all the way through the dough…only about halfway through), dividing each dough roll into 5 equal pieces.

Bake @ the temperature indicated on the packaging. Unfortunately, I’ve never actually timed it—I just cook it until it looks done. It seems like this takes about 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven (leave oven on) and let cool for a few minutes. Then you are going to use your “slice marks” to cut the dough into the 10 pieces. Now cut each piece across the middle (as you would to create a bun). Within each slice, place 2 pieces of cheese (one on top and one on bottom) and 5 pieces of lunchmeat. I also like to add a squirt of spicy mustard. Wrap each sandwich in its own piece of tinfoil and replace onto cookie sheet. Cook in oven until cheese is melted (about 10-15 minutes).


Applesauce

I just used canned or bottled. 1 c. = 1 point


Mixed Greens with Bacon Horseradish

When I 1st made the spreadsheet, I hadn't yet tried this recipe. I have since and honestly, we didn't love it. I don't think I'll make it again. But I'll include the recipe in case you want to try it. Maybe your tastes are different than ours.


1/6 of salad = 3 points
6 slices turkey bacon
½ c. nonfat buttermilk
2 Tbl. Nonfat mayo
1 t. prepared horseradish
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. freshly ground pepper
6 cups torn mixed salad greens
1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms

Place bacon on a microwave-safe plate lined with paper towels. Microwave 5 minutes. Crumble bacon.

Combine buttermilk and next 4 ingredients, stir well.

Combine salad greens and mushrooms. Spoon 2 Tbl. Buttermilk dressing over each 1/6 serving of salad. Sprinkle evenly with bacon and ground pepper.

~

Wednesday

Rosemary Grilled Chicken

Serves 4
1 breast = 4 points
½ c. dry white wine
2 tbl. Lemon juice
1 ½ t. dried rosemary, crushed (or try fresh!)
½ t. pepper
¼ t. salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 small skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients in lg. heavy-duty, zip-lock plastic bag. Seal bag and shake until chicken is well-coated. Marinate chicken in refrigerator at least 15 minutes.

Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Coat grill rack with pam. Place chicken on rack; Grill uncovered for 6 minutes on each side or until done.


Fruit & Yogurt Salad

I just mix FF Raspberry or Strawberry yogurt with a bowl of fruit, such as grapes, bite-size peeled apples, bananas, and strawberries or kiwi.


"Kid's Rice"

This is a packet of rice mix that you'd buy from the store. You know, the kind that come with the rice, the powdered spices/mix all inside a packet for like $1.00 that you mix up in a saucepan. My kids like the Chicken flavor or the Broccoli. We only feed this to the kids because it's HIGH in points and on our "no-no" list.

~

Thursday

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

(Don't let the strange name fool you. These are good! I don't let my kids see me add Cottage Cheese, otherwise they probably wouldn't eat them. For their sake, I call them "Cinnamon Pancakes". They aren't big and fluffy like traditional pancakes, but other than that they are a super-low-point alternative and we love them!)

1 Point Each

1 c. old-fashioned oatmeal (instant doesn't cut it)

1/2 c. low-fat cottage cheese

4 eggs

dash salt

cinnamon

nutmeg


Blend all in blender until a good pancake consistancy. Then cook like a regular pancake. I love these with SF syrup, FF vanilla yogurt, or applesauce on top!

~

Friday

Baked Potatoes with Fat Free Sour Cream

This is pretty self-explanatory, except Brett opts for FF Ranch dressing on his potato instead of sour cream. The kids like to have grated cheese.


Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 24. 2 Points per cupcake. These are sooooo moist and delicious!


1 Box of Any Instant Chocolate Cake Mix

14-oz. Pumpkin

1 T. Pumpkin Spice (Optional, depending on if you want a "pumpkin-y" flavor or not. I think it's better with.)

1 Egg White or 1 Egg-Substitute Egg

Mix all 3 ingredients until smooth. Fill Cupcake liners (trust me...these are kind of moist and sticky, so you WANT liners). Cook according to cake mix/cupcake directions (mine said 350 for 24 min). Let cool.

~

Saturday

Kitchen is closed!

~

Sunday

Sweet & Spicy Chicken

3 points per chicken breast

1/3 c. SF apricot jam

1 T. lime juice

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & finely chopped

1 dash green Tobasco (optional)

1 t. chili powder

1/2 t. salt

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1 garlic clove, pressed

1 T. fresh chopped cilantro


Place jam in small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds or until melted. Add lime juice & pepper, and if desired, tobasco. Whisk until well-blended. Set glaze aside.


Combine chili powder & salt. Flatten chicken to an even thickness with flat end of meat tenderizer. Rub garlic over chicken. Sprinkle evenly with chili powder mixture.


Heat large skillet* over med-high heat until hot. Lightly spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add chicken to skillet. Cook 5-7 minutes; turn. Cook an additional 5-7 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Brush evenly with glaze during that final cooking time. Sprinkle cilantro over chicken.


*Word of warning: once you add the glaze to the chicken in the skillet the sugars from the glaze will "burn" onto the pan, thus preventing you from cooking any more fresh chicken breasts in that pan. The first time I made this I didn't use a pan large enough for all 4 chicken breasts, and as a result had to use 2 pans (a 2nd for the 2nd "batch" of chicken breasts). I have now learned my lesson and use my biggest pan. Or at least I go into it knowing I'm going to dirty a couple pans. But this recipe really is just soooo yummy & worth it!


Twice-Baked Potato Half

3 points per half

4 large baking potatoes, scrubbed

1 garlic bulb, whole

1/2 c. low-sodium chkn broth

1/2 c. FF sour cream

1/2 t. pepper

1/4 c. grated parmesan


Preheat oven to 425. Pierce potatoes with fork several times and place on baking sheet. Wrap garlic in foil and place alongside the potatoes. Bake until potatoes are tender and garlic is softened and brown (about 50-60 minutes). Let cool about 15 minutes until comfortable to handle.


Halve the potatoes lengthwise and scoop the pulp into a bowl leaving the skins intact.


Cut the garlic bulb in half. Squeeze out the pulp and add to the potato meat. Add broth, sour cream and pepper. Stir and mash with fork to desired consistency. Spoon mixture back into the potato skins and sprinkle with cheese.


Return to baking sheet and heat until warmed through (15 minutes).


Green Salad with Dressing

Self-Explanatory. Hopefully your green salads are better than mine!


No-Bake Cookies with Splenda

I had this listed on the spreadsheet before I tried it. Yeah...don't. They were yucky enough I'd rather go without them than eat them made with splenda, and I'm a big fan of Splenda! If you find a good way to make No-Bake cookies healthier, I'd love to hear it! Or if you need a recipe for non-healthy no-bake cookies, I've got one.

~

Week 3

Monday

Try a New Recipe!

~

Tuesday

Tacos or Taco Salad

-Homemade Salsa

(1 14-oz. can petite diced tomatoes, 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes with chilies, 1 lime's juice, chopped white onion, 2 pressed garlic cloves, chopped cilantro)

-Homemade Guacamole

(3 ripe avocadoes, 1 lime's juice, 1 pressed garlic clove, optional: 1/4 c. very finely chopped red pepper)

-Browned Ground Turkey with Taco Seasoning, chopped onion, & 1 can black beans

-Chopped Lettuce

-Shredded Cheddar

-Baked Tostidos Tortilla Chips (for taco salad) or or the Wraps sold at Target (for the tacos--can't remember the brand at the moment, but they are only 1-point and they are HUGE. They are near the ice cream freezer)

~

Wednesday

Chicken Divan

16-oz. frozen broccoli, cooked but firm, OR 2 large stalks of fresh broccoli (just the little "trees", steamed

3 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked & cut into pieces

1 can (10.75 ounces) lower fat cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup fat free mayo (we're Miracle Whip people)

1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/3 cup bread crumbs

1 cup prepared Stuffing mix (such as Stove Top)


Preheat oven to 350 ยบ. Arrange stuffing in greased 9- by 13-inch pan. In bowl, mix broccoli, chicken pieces, soup, mayo, lemon juice, curry, and cheddar. Pour on top of stuffing. Top with breadcrumbs. Bake 30 minutes. Makes 8 servings. A 4 POINT meal for Weight Watchers.


Pears/Peaches

Anytime I use this term, I am referring to canned or bottled fruit.

~

Thursday

Chicken Quesadillas

-More 1-point wraps from Target

-Grilled or Saute'd chicken breast, seasoned with garlic salt or marinated in a southwest marinade and cut into pieces

-Chopped onion & green pepper, saute'd with the chicken

-Cheese

-FF Sour Cream

-Leftover Salsa/Guacamole


On large cookie sheet, line with tin foil. Place 2-3 wraps/tortillas on the tin foil. Sprinkle 1/4 c. cheese onto each tortilla and place some chicken & onions/peppers onto tortilla. Sprinkle a little bit more cheese directly onto the chicken pieces. Top each tortilla with another tortilla. Place in oven and bake at 350 until cheese melts, most likely 5-10 minutes. Place each quesadilla on a plate and cut into sixths. At center of the circle, place a dallop of sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole.

~

Friday

Restaurant Cheese or Pepperoni Pizza

each slice is approximately 5 points

~

Saturday

Peach French Toast Bake

The Morning Before (or "night before" if you're making this for breakfast rather than dinner):

Spray bottom of rectangular casserole dish with pam. Put down 6 or so pieces of bread (we use Granny's Delight Wheat). In a bowl, mix 4 egg whites and 4 whole eggs with 1 c. Skim Milk and 2 t. Vanilla. Pour over bread. Cover the bread with 1 bag frozen peaches, sliced (or I waited until baking time and used fresh peaches). Sprinkle a little brown sugar and cinnamon. Cover & put in fridge overnight.


40 Minutes Before Mealtime:

Bake it covered for 20 minutes at 350. Uncover and bake additional 20 minutes!

These are great with maple syrup or a little FF Vanilla yogurt, or FF Cool Whip.

~

Sunday

Small Grilled Steaks

Self-Explanatory


Steamed Carrots

Self-Explanatory


Raspberry & Spinach Citrus Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
Serves about 8

1 “bag” baby spinach, washed & drained
1 small container raspberries, washed & drained
1 naval orange, each segment sliced into bite-size
triangles
½ red onion that has soaked in cold water
for ten minutes
2 heaping Teaspoons Crumbled goat cheese (optional)
Maple Grove Farms of Vermont FF Poppy Seed
Dressing (I found it at Albertsons)

Combine all ingredients except the dressing, adding the cheese and raspberries last. Let people serve themselves the dressing—coating the spinach ahead of time makes it soggy.


SF Key Lime Pie

1 Low-Fat Graham Cracker Pie Crust

1 C. Skim Milk

8 oz. FF Cream Cheese

1 small box of Sugar-Free Lime Jell-o

1 large container FF Cool Whip

a few packets Splenda (1-2.)

Whip up the cream cheese & milk until fluffy, then add the packet of gelatin (powder ONLY. Do not mix with water). Also add a few packets of splenda to suit your personal taste. Mixture will be very fluffy and green.


Next, carefully fold in 1/2 the container of softened whipped topping. Chill until set. Then top pie with remainder of topping. The juice of one real lime adds a distinctive taste, as does a t. of grated rind. Or you can garnish each slice of pie with a small slice of lime twisted into a "curl". Serves 8.


Wow! That took forever to type! Most of these recipes I just printed right off the recipe website, so with 3 or 4 exceptions, it's not like I have them in Word where I can just cut/paste or anything like that. At least I finally have them typed and hopefully you can get some use out of some of them. I'd love any feedback on recipes--which ones you felt were successul or any variations you'd have for suggestions.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Great food, Great stories, GREAT-Grandparents!

Last Thursday night we squeezed in a fun visit with Grandma and Grandpa Bauerle. We had planned to go out to dinner together, but Grandma wasn't feeling quite up to going out, so instead, we brought dinner to them. Grandma is a big fan of Wendy's hamburgers! It's fun to watch her eat them because she so thoroughly seems to enjoy them!
Being away from them while we lived in AZ made us truly appreciate what they bring into our lives. Since moving back we had a strong desire to visit them on a regular basis but of course weren't the best at prioritizing sometimes and didn't do it like we'd thought we would. Then in December Grandma had a nasty fall and ended up with a new hip and a broken arm. She spent a couple months in a rehabilitation center where she could receive 24-hour care as she healed. The Bauerle family organized an online calendar where the entire family worked together as a team, signing up for days to ensure that nearly every day Grandpa had a ride over to the rehab center and also so Grandma would have frequent visitors. It began to be a habit for us to plan our Thursday afternoons around these highly-anticipated visits. The kids even started understanding...Wednesday night typically found either Halle or Wyatt asking me, "Are we going to see Grandma B. tomorrow?" I realized how beneficial these regular visits were to everyone involved and I promised myself I would continue in our commitment in nurturing this important relationship between all of us, even after Grandma was able to move back home with Grandpa at Heritage Place. We don't make it every single week like we did before, but my goal is to go at least every other week, if not more, and so far I am happy to report that we've made it a priority and I've never regretted it. Not once! How could I?
~
I love watching my kids interact with their Great-Grandparents. Sometimes children can feel shy around older adults, or even uninterested. The fact that Halle, Wyatt, and Carson adore (and I do mean ADORE) Hugo and LaRee so much is a testament, I think, to the kind of people Brett's grandparents are. My children genuinely look forward to spending time with them and I know they always walk away feeling as though they are truly loved and valued by their great-grandma and great-grandpa! It warms my heart with a bit of pride, I admit, also to see my kids express their love to them and see how it brightens their grandparents' faces.
Like many grandmothers, LaRee has a number of beautiful (but breakable) knick-knacks decorating her home. We've found it's in everyone's best interest to keep Carson strapped down in his stroller during our visits!

Friday, April 4, 2008

"Reflections of Christ"

Our cousin Annie emailed this to me and I just had to share it (thanks, Annie!). Watch it during a quiet moment. It is a beautiful way to bring our thoughts to Christ in preparation for General Conference this weekend.

http://www.eastvalleyproductions.com/blog.cfm?postID=31

The above link will take you to "Reflections of Christ" that is currently being shown at the Mesa Temple Visitors Center.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Missing G.N.O.

This is just one of many pictures taken during an Arizona Girl's Night. So it's been nearly a year since we left Arizona, and today I've been thinking a lot about "my girls". A group of about 15 girlfriends that got together one Friday a month for Girl's Night Out. It was always low-key and low-pressure. I really liked that about it. If you couldn't make it one month, or even for two months, it was no big deal. It's not that I didn't want to commit to it. It was something I did make a priority in my life, but sometimes things get in the way and you just can't fit everything into your schedule. I never felt guilty if I couldn't go. But if you did go, you could count on a few hours of great food, fun stories, and lots (and lots and LOTS) of laughter!!! It was fun to try new restaurants together, typically trying to order as many different dishes as we could so that we could all sample each one. It was also not unusual for us to stay so long that the restaurant employees were beginning to clean up in order to give this huge group of estrogen the hint to GET OUT ALREADY! So girls, if you're reading this, just know that I still think of you often and miss my monthly outings with you--you were good for my soul! Maybe I'll have to start one out here...
~
Actually, that's not a bad idea.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Click "pause" on my playlist on the right. Then click "play" on the video below.

Thanks to Ramanda, I FINALLY know how to post a video (now that I know, it's kind of like, um..."duh"). Anyway, I really, really wanted all of you to listen to this song. I don't know if you already did from my earlier post, but seriously...if you haven't, you NEED to. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the end. It's so good! As soon as I can, it's going straight to my playlist!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Gotta give credit where credit is due!


Like my new look? Well, it's all thanks to my spectacular friend Mandy! (Or as Hugh Grant would say, "BELTacular!") I asked her if she'd help me spruce up my blog a little. Boy, did she go the extra mile! A mondo-sized THANKS to Mandy and her generous friend Stephanie for making my blog "cute and scrapbook-y"! It's even better than if I'd actually physically made a scrapbook page for it. Thanks a million girls! I love it! Mandy, you were right: "It's WICKED!"
"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."



Thomas Jefferson