Tuesday, November 23, 2010

in honor of the "blizzard storm" that's supposed to hit Northern Utah later today...

a little snowman (or should I say snowwoman humor?):

I think my snowcones have melted...they're pretty droopy these days.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it."

From the time I was a young girl sharing this special story with my mother, I have looked forward to the day I would be able to share it with my daughter! That day came after Halle and I finished reading Anne of Green Gables together. We cuddled on the couch and side-by-side watched all of the movie (just the Green Gables, not the Avonlea part yet). It was so neat to see the Halle loves Anne-with-an-E as much as I do! I'm anxious to read more of L.M. Montgomery's character so we can move onto the next DVD and see if Anne and Gilbert can ever learn to get along and let themselves fall in love!

I've asked Halle to hop on my blog and share her thoughts about the characters in the book/movie. Without further adieu, let me introduce my "guest blogger", Halle:

Marilla: I liked at the end how she tells Anne how she really feels how she really feels about her. I did not like how she was so strict. She is important to the story cause we can learn a lesson from her, do not judge someone as fast.

Matthew: I like Matthew because he was so dear and kind to others. There is nothing I hate about him. He is important to the story because Marilla would have not kept Anne.
Josie Pye: I did not like Josie. But she is important to the story because she helped Gilbert Blythe realize what he did not like and what he liked about girls. And help Gilbert like Anne.
Rachel Lynde: I liked how she changed her opinion about Anne later. She was important to the story because she had a place in her heart where she loved everyone she saw.
Ms. Stacy: She was an awesome teacher. She helped everyone be on task without being strict.
Diana Barry: Is cute and loveable. There is nothing I dislike about her. She is important to the story because who else would Anne have for bosum friend?
Gilbert Blythe: Oh him - I adored him. He is so handsome. He is important because without him I wouldn't be able to kiss the screen.
Favorite moment: When Gil called Anne CARROTS. And at the very end Anne and Gilbert Blythe hugged. BUT I expected them to kiss. Oh that would be so romantic.
Hope you comment on all of this, expesally my romantic Gilbert Blythe. -Halle

Friday, November 19, 2010

Breakfast, courtesy of Ruth; Fall Splendor, courtesy of Mother Nature.

A few Saturdays ago I woke up with a hankerin' for Ruth's Diner. I hadn't been there since way back in the dating days, which is a real shame. I love Ruth's Diner. I love the location up Emigration Canyon and the fun and spunky history that goes along with the restaurant. If you've never been there, treat yourself to breakfast some summer or fall morning - take a jacket because if the weather's not too cold, you'll want to sit on the patio in the back (trust me on this!).
Halle got a kick out of the old phone booth in the foyer.

When we came out after eating, it was a treat
to see a whole row of vintage cars in the parking lot!

I don't want to be the kind of person who only gets culture in her life by eating yogurt...

Last month we had an exciting opportunity to take Halle and her BFF Lauren to the Utah Symphony. I was especially looking forward to exposing Halle to the talents of Conrad Tao, who at only 16 years old performed Rachmaninoff's unforgettably romantic Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. It was breathtakingly beautiful - the compilation of his talent combined with the strings and woodwinds of the Utah Symphony actually brought tears to my eyes.
I know there were moments when it was challenging for our two little ladies to sit still, and dare I say they even got a bit bored (gasp!) towards the end (it was almost two hours of music), but in all they did a fantastic job in playing the role of refined and gracious symphony patrons, and hopefully they walked away with a better appreciation of what might go into making performances like that one so successful and entertaining!

Hope Sig1

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Low-Fat (no fat?) Sugar-Free Banana Walnut Muffins...Yummy (no, seriously)

TASTY BANANA NUT MUFFINS (oh yeah, and they're healthy, too...)

1 c. white flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour (I used just a smidgen less wheat flour and added 1/8 c. ground flax)
3/4 c. splenda
1 1/4 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
2 egg whites
2 to 2 1/2 mashed ripe bananas
1/4 c. applesauce
walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Grease WELL a muffin tin (12). These muffins stick badly to liners so I would NOT recommend using paper liners.

Mix wet ingredients well. In separate bowl, mix dry ingredients (except walnuts). Add dry to wet and mix just until blended. Fold in nuts.

Using about 1/3 c. measuring cup, fill the muffin tin cups. Bake 15-18 minutes (16 min. was perfect at my house). I froze mine and we'll use them on Sunday mornings (I had tripled the recipe).

These really are guilt-free and very TASTY! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

it's a matter of simple math, really...


Diggin' the Tim Tam Slam,
Explorin' different varieties of
Tim Tams & Hot Cocoa combos...
Hope Sig1

Monday, November 8, 2010

S'no kidding, this is what he wants for his birthday...

Like most 3 year olds who have yet to grasp a concept of time, months, years, etc. Carson has bugged us for a while to help him understand when his birthday is (December). For a long time I told him, "When it's cold and snowy outside, then it's your birthday". Then I got smart and changed it to, "When I get the Christmas decorations out, then you'll know it's time for your birthday."
So today, when the rain turned into snow for a brief period, what did he remember to announce to the Target parking lot? "Hey! It's snowing! It's my BIRTHDAY!"
On the way home, he tells me he wants a Snow Machine for his birthday present, so that it can be his birthday everyday.
This kid's no dummy. Ain't nothin' gettin' past him!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Marvelous Halloween packed with a Rodent, an Oo-la-la lady, and a Kung Fu Kick!

Fancy Nancy, Kung Fu Panda, and a Black Rat
(chosen in an effort to "scare all the moms")
This year the kids picked their costumes, which were homemade (learned my lesson there -- spent nearly as much as I would have had I purchased them already made and would have spared myself several trips to the store and time I'll never get back!). However, they turned out okay in the end and the kids were thrilled with them, which is all that really matters, right?
We enjoyed carving pumpkins with Grandma and Grandpa Taft -
especially when Grandpa John whipped out the drill to speed things along!

Of course we had to have a UTES pumpkin with a red light!

This is MJ, our YW Secretary and her daughter, Chantelle, one of the beautiful young women I get to work with at church! MJ had come over asking for a hula hoop the night before but the costume she was making was top secret and she wouldn't spill even one bean. She left me wondering until the ward Trunk or Treat when I discovered her adorable CUPCAKE outfit!

All the Taft grandkids
(back) Mack (Anikin -sp?), Utes Cheerleader Avaree, Halle, Wyatt
(front) Dragon Jace, Carson, and Yoda Mason
This is trick-or-treating in STYLE!
Thanks to Grandpa's Ranger and Golf Cart we were able to cruise through the RAIN and hit a couple houses before we too drenched to go any further!
It was so fun to t-or-t at the home of one
of our VERY favorite babysitters, Sequoia!
Of course we had to hit the McSwain house
where Hailey brought out the bucket of goods!
And then the rains REALLY came
But we'll do ANYTHING for
Grandma Connie's caramel popcorn balls!
We saved our favorite stop for the last one of the night:
Grandma B.!

"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