Tuesday, December 29, 2009


20 December - 27 December, 2009

"Real joy comes as we show the love and compassion inspired by the Savior of the world." President Thomas Monson

#1 Our family had a wonderful Christmas. It was happy, peaceful and filled with gratitude. I am especially thankful for the help of my daughters. As we worked on opportunities for family service there was much generosity, both of money and time. Some shopped and bought. Many times someone brought home something I requested or something they found, and as I went to pay them, they said not to worry about it. They had it. They wrapped and delivered. They ran errands. We were truly a family team. Thank-you family for a great Christmas season.

#2 Christmas Eve at Grandpa and Grandma's was so nice. What a blessing family and traditions are. We had dinner, the talent show (both Layne and Logan sang "Jingle Bells"-separately. SO CUTE!) The grandchildren presented the story of Christ's birth to the adults. Santa came and did a great job. He knew all the kids names. A wonderful evening.

#3 Everyone met at our house for Christmas breakfast. It was great. I tried 4 new recipes. Sugared bacon, coconut syrup, cinnamon syrup and a Merry Berry syrup. Along with waffles (so we could try the syrup) eggnog, fruit salad and juice, we had our traditional Blueberry Pecan French Toast (a real favourite). The voting on the new recipes was funny. Everyone was thumbs down on ALL of the new ones. (Doug did like the coconut syrup.) We all thought my traditional Blueberry maple syrup was the best. I will make that for New Year's Day. (As usual,just email if you want the recipe for the make-ahead Blueberry French Toast and the blueberry maple syrup.)

#4 On the first day after Christmas I spent the day in my pajamas (as I do any day that I am not going out in the winter) making some of the fun Christmas ideas that I had run out of time to do. One of my favourite sites this season has been http://www.heartlandpaper.com/ I have enjoyed making their paper ornaments. I also found fun ideas at their store. (I am making their Peppermint Kiss Brownies for New Year's Eve.) The ornaments in my picture (left to right) are Vintage ball (Heartland), Old Fashioned Candy (Heartland), Pointed Star (Heartland), Folded Ornament (Heartland), and Teardrop (one section of snowflake-from The Book Table and Cosmo Cricket on Studio 5). The glass ones are (l to r) the pearl and button one from http://www.decoretoadore/ and one with sand and shells inside to remind you of Christ who walked the shores of Galilee (idea from local "Festival of Trees") It was a FUN after Christmas craft day.

#5 While doing my morning carpool on Wednesday I saw a car with a candy cane "topper". I LOVED IT. Doug helped (o.k. let) me find a candy cane so I could make one. Since I made it and put it on the car on Christmas Adam, I will keep it on until January 4th. (Unless the kidults complain too much.)

#6 I am so happy that Doug has been and will be home the whole week after Christmas!

#7 My slow cooker recipe this week was great! A real favourite. I cooked a turkey breast in my crock pot. It was moist and tender. I used the recipe from http://prudencepennywise.blogspot.com/ The only bad thing about this recipe is that you can buy a whole turkey for what a turkey breast costs. But, you know how it is. A whole turkey is work and this breast was not. I will watch for turkey breast sales.

#8 Our Sacrament meeting on Sunday was an excellent meeting. Both talks given were timely and well done. I felt blessed for having heard them.
#9 I am happy we have our little grandson, Logan. Sunday was his 2nd birthday. We really love him. We had his birthday dinner @ our house. Chili dogs and corn.

#10 Yea! I have 1o SUPER Followers. I will do a give-away this week-end, and announce the winner next week when I do my blog. If you are a signed in follower (and not my kidult), you are entered in the blog give-away. You will have a CHOICE between 2 prizes. (Sign in and tell me which one you think you would like to win:)

#1 K & C CO. Paper Ornaments Book-See description and pictures on 8 December blog

#2 A Star Ice Lantern Mold. This is from the Gardener"s Supply Catalouge. It is a star shaped plastic mold. You fill it with water (could include berries or boughs...) and freeze. There is a space for a candle/tea light or a fake tea light. It can

be used as part of a table scape, centre of a punch bowl or as a luminary.

I will deliver or mail the choice to the lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

Monday, December 21, 2009


"All I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world." E.B.White (and me)

13 December - 20 December, 2009

#1 I did not have everything (and I meant EVERYTHING) done by Friday night. But, by Saturday I felt like a lot was ready for Christmas. Leslie was a huge help. Most of the shopping is done, or at least planned. I think "I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something." (Jackie Mason (and me)

#2 My birthday was Saturday (and Sunday). I had a great day. Lots of siblings called and sang. My kidults called or came over on Saturday and all came for dinner on Sunday. Thank-you for my newest slow cooker, given to me early since one had died. And, my crop-a-dile is super. It was fun looking for things to punch.
I also had a nice birthday lunch @ ChinWa with Wendy and Paula. Fun gifts, too. Thank-you.

#3 I am happy my sister got the holiday spirit delivered.

#4 I tried a new recipe on Thursday night that we really liked. I have had requests for the recipe, so I will put it here with my changes (and ideas). You can find the one I stated with, here (I hope). http://ablogaboutfood2.blogspot.com/

Asian Beef and Noodles

2 packs Ramen Noodles - (Using only noodles) barely cook and drain

Heat chili oil + 1 tea. cayanne pepper & add the following 3 ingredients

12 oz. beef flank or top round -cut into bite-sized strips
1 tea. grated fresh ginger
2 cloves chopped garlic
Stir fry beef, ginger and garlic for 2-3 minutes or until beef is cooked.

Then stir in
1 cup beef broth
2 table. soy suace
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat

Add and heat thru
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup cilantro and drained noodles

The first time I made this I used hot chili sesame oil and no cayanne pepper. I also used left-over (cooked) roast, and no cilantro. It was great!! And very fast. But, the next time was better.

The next time I used a wok and
3 already cooked chickenbreasts-cut into bite-size pieces

When I put my chicken in the
hot chili sesame oil (about 2 table.) I added
red pepper flakes (to taste)
2 table. store bought bottled Panda Express Kung Pao sauce and
1 cup peanuts

After heating I added the
1 cup BEEF broth
2 table. soy sauce
I brought that to a boil and reduced heat and then added

At least 2 cups spinach with stems removed
1 cup of the pre-packaged LARGE grated (or small julienned) carrots
1 julienned zucchini
the drained noodles

It was really really good, and the colours were so bright and beautiful. But, I was still getting the same complaint. The noodles had turned too soggy. Next time I will make my adapted recipe but, instead of cooking the noodles, I will toss them uncooked into the wok when I do the little bit of steaming and warming of the vegetables. I think that might work.
Since I am only working with 1 Amish Friendship Bread (AFB), I did not make bread last week.

#5 I am SO happy that when Doug came home from work on Friday that he will not go back until 2010. We saved enough vacation days for him to stay home for 2 weeks. YEA!

#6 It made me happy to get all of my packages mailed. Well, close.

#7 Michael and Tracey (and girls) are having very grand adventures for me in Manhatten. They went to the Fox and Family Christmas Concert. (They won $5,ooo.oo- That part of the experience is only theirs.) They saw Kristin Chenoweth and JOSHUA BELL. JOSHUA BELL. I am so glad they call and tell me what they are doing. They were each given a Kristin C. And Joshua B. cd at the concert, so they sent Tracey's to ME. I did not have that Joshua B. one, yet. :) And we LOVE the Kristin C. Christmas cd. I was using Emily's, but now I have my own. I am so happy. "Music moves my soul." ME

#8 I had so much fun making fun blog finds this season. I made the block advent calender that I found over at http://notsoidlehands.blogspot.com/
I also really loved the pearl, crystal and button ornament from http://decortoadore.blogspot.com/ (7 December, 2009).
I had a lot of fun making the paper ornaments from the K&C Co. book for our family room tree. (There are still more that I want to make, but I was staying up WAY to late-so I grounded myself.)

#9 I have even had time to read a novel.

#10 I made Pumpkin pie cake crunch for my birthday dinner.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

6 December - 13 December, 2009

"The cool thing about having a path is that even when you get lost, it's still there waiting for you to find your way back." Earl-April 2009

#1 When I heard this quote, I thought of the gospel teachings that are always there. Always the best way, the right way and the safest way. How thankful I am that faith and testimony provide that security. BUT, I used the quote this week because I am so happy I have my super Christmas book. (Well, actually I am happy I have lots of Christmas books. I simply must add to my collection each year-and then get rid of a few. Journal thought- My very favourite Christmas story is the one from my childhood. "Davey and the First Christmas. (I actually have it memorized.) I've had a black and white copy from my childhood that I used for my children. Then, I found a REAL copy @ Savers about 10 years ago. I cried. Then, ebay came along and I have found a few more copies of my cherished favourite story.)

Back to MY Christmas book. It is an organizer/calender/notebook/idea book with pockets for reciepts/pictures/ideas... I work all year on Christmas. Being a huge fan of lists, my book makes me so happy. I have returned to the plan many times after I've finished the (fun) distracting new ideas I have found this year. (That's the reason my blog is late.)

#2 My AFB was a great hit again this week. (That's because I did a repeat of last weeks. ;) Pumpkin w/ dark chocolate chips.
My crockpot experience did not go as well. I made Sandra Lee's Mango Chipotle Pot Roast for Sunday dinner. It was only O.K. The problem with O.K. is that it needed about $5.oo of ingredients that I don't buy. And, my roast (recipe from Anne) is GREAT!! And simpler and cheaper-but cooked for 5 hours in the oven. (I still have a couple other crockpot roast recipes I will try when chuck roasts go on sale for under $2.oo a lb.)

#3 Thursday night television made me happy. So happy. I can live without the shows, but Doug rubbed my back for almost 1 1/2 hours. Thank-you so much, Honey.

#4 Doug and I had a nice date together on Friday when we went (with Leslie and Christie) to the Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert. It was very nice, but I have a video I made of last years that I watched. That was AMAZING! I will try to put it on DVD when it is rebroadcast on Christmas Eve, or I may have to buy it. I keep playing the video.

#5 I went to Paula's Christmas lunch on Friday. It was nice and fun to meet some new people and visit with old friends. We were invited to bring a special doll. I took Goldie #2 and Smiley.

(Journal thought- I love Smiley and Dog. I got Smiley when I was 1 year old and Dog soon after.I have always snuggled with Smiley when I cry. Even now I will pick him up if I am going to cry. (Smiley is the one thing that several of my children want when I die. That is how treasured he is.) (His face is plastic. I know his eyes look creepy in photos, but they are not.) Poor Dog is Smiley's best friend. They have always hung out together. He has lost both eyes and his mouth. Goldie was my sweet doll named after Goldie (the fish) on Captain Kangaroo. She had a 1 1/2 in cut in her neck. Goldie went lots of places with me, including, unfortunetly to Mormon Night @ Disneyland when I was about 8. Somehow she got lost (left?) on the Submarine ride. Honestly, I have no idea how my mom got me out of the park. My family can confirm that I am always "sure I can find it". I checked and re-checked the Sub. (I still check the Sub (O.K., Nemo's Sub, now.) I would not leave Lost & Found. I made my mom call for days. Still no Goldie. So someone (Santa? Parents? Who knows.) gave me a SIMILAR doll. She has never been Goldie, but she is o.k. My mom did make clothes for her.)

#6 I took dessert to Paula's lunch. I made Mint Truffle Brownies (recipe from Noelle who got it from Terri B.). My family loves these, so I doubled them for Sunday dessert. I also made Pumpkin Cake Pie Crunch. I made this for the first time about a month ago. After making this the 2nd time, I am changing from German Chocolate Cake to this for my birthday cake. I really like it. I got the recipe from my favourite food blog. http://www.ourbestbites.com/ They call it (the very boring) Easy Pumpkin Crumble. (I wish I knew how to put their button on my blog.)

#7 You spend years telling your chldren not to play with their food... then they grow up and entertain you? On Sunday Christie taught the kidults how to "POP" a whipped cream glob from your hand to your mouth. It hit the poppers. It hit the spectators. It hit the floor. Hilary did it the best. It makes me happy to see everyone having fun.

#8 My shower makes me happy. I so love hot showers in the dark with candles.

#9 I sold 1 of my listings on ebay. A vintage wool lamb.

#10 My goal (always has been) is to have EVERYTHING done and ready for Christmas by the night of December 18th. I am happy that it atleast feels like I will be done.

These are not in any order of things that make/made me happy. I am thankful for home and family. I am thankful for Jesus Christ and the gift given to us by Him and our Heavenly Father. I am thankful for the stability and security that the gospel offers if we follow the examples set for us.

As always, you are guaranteed a spot on my blog if you scrub my kitchen floor. Be sure to check last weeks blog for details on my first blog Give-Away.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

29 November - 6 December, 2009

"Cherish all your happy moments: they make a fine cushion for old age."
Booth Tarkington

I am late blogging this week because I spent too much time yesterday looking for a blog reference. UGH!

#1 I love Christmas crafts and advent calenders. (I think I only have 7 advents up so far this year, but I have a few more ideas.) Anyway, while bloghopping I found an easy and inexpensive advent. I found the numbered scrapbook paper at Heartfelt Creations scrapbook store. The numbered paper is made by Adornit. I used magnets to put it up on the fridge (see 1 1/2), took a picture, BUT CANNOT FIND THE BLOG I SAW IT ON. I spent a couple of hours yesterday checking all my favourites-with no luck. If you find it, please let me know where so I can give them credit. This is a copied idea. But cute:)
#1 1/2 My fridge makes me happy. (And all magnet boards). They are like my own personal billboards.

#2 Words make me happy. (Two of my favourite words are concierge and renegade. My favourite name to say is Mariska Hargitay. Weird, I know.) Another of my favourite words is JOY. I always hve it displayed somewhere in our home. It reminds me to try and remember that joy comes when I think first of Jesus, then Others and then Yourself. But, the thing that made me decide to write about words, is that for about the last month I have savoured the word, "Abundance". It is such a full and powerful word. It is so closely related to gratitude. It is in my heart this year especially.

#3 Lists make me happy. (Lists, clocks, calenders... Detail orientented?) I was (am) happy that I have an Amazing Thanksgiving Master List. Grocery lists, menus and recipes, Christmas prep... Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. It opens the gratitude doors for the Holy Christmas season.

#4 AFB makes me happy, week after week. This was my very best week, yet! (I might even write an AFB booklet.) I used a white chocolate pudding (small box) and then divided my batch in half. Why? I love fruitcake, and no one else does. In my 1/2 I put about 2 cups of the glazed/candied fruit (from bulk area @ Winco) and some walnuts. It was SO good. My very favourite, so far. I loved it so much that I decided to post a picture. (I know, the colouring looks weird.)

In the other 1/2 of the batter I put 1 cup of pumpkin (Remember to really stir your pumpkin well before using it.) and a cup of dark chocolate chips. I put in 1/8 tea. pumpkin pie seasoning and 1/8 tea. cinnamon. Huge hit. Doug and Mark both think it is their favourite. (Atleast until next week;) Alas, because of all the holiday stuff going on, I let 1 of my starts go. Just not enough time to make it every 5 days.

#5 I think that I have created the soup recipe I have been working on. Mark even called me while I was Christmas shopping to tell me how good it was. I really did not have time to sit and have a bowl, but I think this is it. (I have been trying to create a chicken pot pie/creamy herb chicken soup similar to what Sweet Tomatoes serves in November and December.)

#6 Book Club makes me happy. It makes me stop everything-and relax. It is a treat to me. And I so enjoy the women in the book club. They are good examples to me.
"There is more treasure in books, than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." Walt Disney :-D (Happy Birthday, Walt.)

#7 I am always happy to hear "Silver Bells". (For that matter, "Little Drummer Boy, too. Those are "my" songs, and I get a point each time I hear 1 of them.) "Silver Bells" is THE Christmas song of my childhood. From Kindergarten to 3rd grade I lived in Antigo, Wisconsin. Christmas time was cold. (So cold that often cars would not start. And extra cold with the windchill factor.) Although I did not walk 5 miles to school, up hill both ways, there were no carpools in those days. I would walk to school (probably about 2-4 blocks) singing this song at the top of my lungs. Why? (Well for one thing I am always singing.) Because I lived on main street in a small town in the mid 60s. We had lights strung across the streets and lamp posts decorated. The whole small town look. It was the scene of all the old (and wonderful ) Christmas movies. It was wonderful. The stuff of great memories. I still sing out when "Silver Bells" starts. And I go back.

(Journal memory- I often walked to school with Mick, the mailman-just to the corner when I would turn. He must have really been a kind man to listen to the chatter of a 5 year old. In those days we could not wear pants to school, so in the winter we wore stretch pants under our dresses and took them off in the coat room. One cold winter day I walked thru the very deep snow in the front yards on my way home. About 3 houses from home, the snow sucked off my boot. I looked for a bit, but it was too cold. So I walked home-shoeless and bootless. We found them in the spring. Too late. It is funny how clearly I can see my house and school and town (Mr. Winter's Market, Red Owl Supermarket and my beloved library) , but when I tried to google earth it, it looked so different. Except for the library which is now the county building.

#8 I am a bit sad that I will be released from the nursery soon. But, it will be nice to not have all the stuff in our closet. I am getting somethings ready to be passed on, and somethings back in the correct file. I am happy to get my closet back.

#9 I am happy (read very thankful) that some of my neighbors have snow blowers-and do my shoveling sometimes. Snow. So pretty, but stressful when people are out driving.

#10 I loved the Tabernacle Choir music during the LDS First Presidency Christmas Devotional on Sunday. It made me really happy that we have tickets to the Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert. I love Christmas music. I love Christmas.

As soon as I have 1o followers I will have a drawing for this "K & C Company Paper Ornaments " book. It is illustrated by Brenda Walton and hass 88 ornaments. At least that is what the cover says. I am makeing a set for my family room tree and have finished about 15 so far. They can also be gift toopers. (Don't worry. Even though my kidults are followers, they are not eligable to win :*)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

22 November - 29 November, 2009

"You never forget what your Kodak (journal/blog) remembers."
Old Kodak slogan

#1 Thanksgiving makes me happy. So happy. How can you not find joy in a holiday that is based on gratitude and family. The one that brings everyone home and together and officially lasts 4 days- not counting left-overs.
We met at Grandma and Grandpa's (Mom and Dad's) for a grand afternoon and evening. Everything looked so nice, and then all the food was set out. There were about 5o people there, yet it was comfortable and peaceful. Mom planned appitizers and Dad planned the football game. Both were fully participated in.
After a wonderful dinner and dessert, the females stated the annual Black Friday preparation. Everyone had their ads and computers and lists... Grandpa had games going on and Grandma had "UP" for the younger ones.
@ 1o:oo p.m. I went with Kristin to Toys-R-Us. It was fun, cold and a bit stressful as we counted and worried about whether we would be in the first 1oo that would get to buy what we came for. The adventure was a rousing success since we DID get it-very barely, as well as other things on her list.

Day 2- (#2)I slept in. @ 11:oo we all (about 15 of us) met @ Britton's for breakfast. Annual tradition. Moms and shopping cousins only. We trade what we got for each other and talk, talk, talk. Kate (Michael) paid for all of us. Thank-you very much. After breakfast Hilary, Leslie and Lindsay got pedicures. ((Their new tradition. They had been shopping since 4:oo a.m. I spent my afternoon shopping with them, and most of the evening putting up my Christmas. I went to bed at 1:oo with the house a DISASTER.

Day 3 (#3) Saturday- Slept in! Got up and started the decorating again. At 1:oo everyone headed south for the big game. We were pleased with the results. While almost everyone was gone I went to the DI for a very short visit and to a scrapbook store with Hilary. I got most of Christmas up and the disaster resolved. I also got a lot of food ready for Sunday. Happy Day for me!

Day 4 (#4) I am always happy to cook a whole Thanksgiving dinner at my house. I did appetizers, a turkey and ham. Two kinds of smashed potatoes, 3 jello salads, frozen fruit salad, 2 kinds of stuffing, 9 pies..... I enjoyed it. Everyone came, plus our cousin Krista Lynn. There were 17 of us. It was a very nice day/evening.
I am so thankful for our 4 day family and friend holiday.
#4 1/2 Leslie is awarded my Biggest Helper/Go To Girl/Right-Hand Man award for all of her help on Sunday. She was really a major help. Major, major. Mark is a ((distant) runner-up. Everyone helped. Thank-you family and Christy.

#5 Doug was home the whole week on vacation. PLUS, he/we saved enough vacation days for 2 (TWO) weeks off in December. I love it when we can do things together.

#6 I am so happy that Michael, Tracey, Jenna and Tashina went to Manhatten and watched Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from right in front of the Lion King Theatre. I am happy they called me right before it started so I could think about them being there. Maybe I will spend next Thanksgiving with them???? Will they go to the lighting of the tree @ Rockefeller Center????

#7 I crock potted several things this week and tried several new recipes. I combined 3 recipes for a pumpkin dip that I served with darling gingerbread boys. It looked nice, but could not compete with the big boys of Thanksgiving desserts. I think Thanksgiving has a pretty perfect menu. Next week? Back to experimenting.

#8 Each year I pick a theme for myself. Something that will help me grow through the year. This year my theme is "Hunger and Thirst after rightousness." This is the 4th year I have done this.
Picking THE theme is hard. Sometimes I do not find it until January. I am happy that I already have my theme for 2010.

#9 I am happy I can pay Lindsay to decorate my living room Christmas tree.

#10 I have to iron this week. I am happy that when I ironed 40 something things a few blogs ago, it kept me from a major ironing day for all of October AND November. (I still had to spray iron.)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

15 November - 22 November, 2009

"I plead with you not to let the important things in life pass you by, planning instead for that illusive and non-existent future day when you'll have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey- now." President Thomas S. Monson

I really had a super week. I will have a really hard time with just 1o.

#1 Doug rubbed my back for almost 1 hour. Plus, he did last week, too. (I would watch any game/sport/tv show with him for his backrubs :-) I love Doug and he always makes me happy. I am also happy he took me to the Draper temple on Wednesday. (Just combined 2 happy things. Did it work?)

#2 Lindsay makes me happy. Mark takes my car to work every day, so if I (we) have errands/shopping, Lindsay is wonderful about driving. Thank-you, Lindsay.
(2 1/2) This week she drove me over 1oo miles (and gave me about 5 1/2 hours) to find and buy all the "UP" dvds that I wanted for gift giving. Yea! I got all 16. (2 more combined.)

#3 I am so happy. Our kids all bought a new crock-pot for me, for my birthday. It is not for awhile, BUT I GET IT NOW :-D It is a 7 quart and will be great to have for Thanksgiving.
I did 2 crock pot recipes this week. One was desperation, as I was behind schedule. I (embarassed) made hot chocolate. Actually it was great. The chocolate stayed warm and did not settle to the bottom, until I turned it off. I love squirt whipped cream (it is low fat and sooo good) on top. Then we sprinkle it with those sweet (sugar) coloured sprinkles. Boy does that make it good. The 2nd recipe I made was granola. I got it a bit too done (forgot to set the timer for stirring it), but we really liked the flavour. It uses lots of little bits of nuts and fruits and seeds and Winco had everything I wanted. And at great prices. (The flax seeds were 2 cents.) I loved my AFB this week. I made white chocolate with white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. The I spread a bit of white chocolate on top. One of my favourites. I know some of you have gotten starts, but each week I get rid of 1-2 baby starts. Please let me know if you want one.


#5 I am happy Michael is the new Bishop in his ward. He will be great. I am especially happy it is not my husband.

#6 I am happy I won the "lottery" this week. I signed up online (by myself) for tickets to the Tabernacle Choir's Christmas Concert. And, tickets showed up in the mail this week. YEA!!! Doug and I enjoy going to their concerts. Plus, we got them for the night I most wanted. We got 4, so we are doing a drawing with the kidults.

#7 I am happy I sold the item I listed on KSL.com. (It was an aluminum Christmas tree and colour wheel.) I will list a few more things this week.

#8 I started a new little daily routine. I call it "5 x 5". Five times a day I take five minutes to do something. Something I have been putting off, or "too busy" to do. I have been happy with what I can get done in those bites of time. Some of them included, read an ENSIGN article, read the newspaper, got toothpaste from the basement, spray ironed a shirt...

#9 I am happy Doug and I had pesto pizza on Monday. (I am not being random. I love this recipe that I got from Lindsay, who got it from her sister-in-law, Melanie.)

#10 I am happy to decorate for Christmas. I know. Thankgiving is first. I love Thanksgiving. It is my favourite holiday. I love it so much, that I want Christmas up by it. Thanksgiving with family and friends, good food and traditions, Chritmas music and Christmas decorations. What could make me more happy. (O.K. peace on earth..., but I am so thankful for all the blessings that are mine and my family's this season. (No, not winter.))

"O Lord, that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness." William Shakespeare

Monday, November 16, 2009

8 November - 15 November, 2009

"Moments are the molecules that make up eternity"
Neal Maxwell October 2000

#1 Tuesday was our 31st anniversary. I am so thankful for Doug. I am thankful for our marriage and our family. Doug took Wednesday off and we spent the day together. What did we do? Got the yard and house ready for winter. (We are so practical.) "Be careful about criticizing your spouse's faults. If it were not for them, your mate may have found someone better than you." Jay Trachman

#2 I am SO happy Emily has been off-track. She did my morning car pool ALL WEEK. (O.K. So 2 of the 4 days you don't drive, but she was the one who got up.) YEA! Thank-you, Emily. It was a nice week off.

#3 Happy Birthday, Charles. We are happy we have you :-)

#4 My new recipes this week had some big hits- and some misses. But first, a moment of silence for my favourite crock pot. (My big green oval one.) It died in the middle of baking a loaf of AFB (Amish Friendship Bread). The two worst things about it breaking now? THANKSGIVING!!! And, no yard sales.

#4 1/2 My AFB this week was a split decision. The bread was an eggnog vanilla bread. Boring. But, even though I had to switch crock pots, bread can be done in a crock pot. I probably won't do it again. (You can only cook 1 at a time, and my recipe makes 2.)
I made a crock pot pork chop recipe that I will do again. I made pumpkin pancakes for breakfast on our anniversary. They were great. This week I made crock pot chicken pot pie soup. The soup was not quite right (this is try #2), but I think the next try will be IT. AND, the new biscuit recipe was GREAT. My favourite new recipe this week was crock pot smashed potaoes. They worked great. (I made them ahead of time.) A big winner. The soup ideas, biscuits and smashed potaoes more than made up for the boring eggnog AFB. I have some fun new recipes on my list for next week. It is fun to enjoy cooking experiences again. Maybe this thought from President Gordon B. Hinckley expresses my joys best. "Women for the most part, see their greatest fulfillment, their greatest happiness in home and family." Thank- you, Leslie and Cristy for helping with Sunday dinner.

#5 I had some great visits with Debbie. Plus, they had a good (great?) week.

#6 Karyn makes me happy. She is so sweet and generous. She put together a crew (Kirsten, Micheal +) to pack up Grandma Endter's house in Long Beach, and drive it in a rented truck to mom's apartment in Fresno. Thank-you so much, Karyn.

#7 (sad, happy, sad) Charles moved his office into my garage to cut his business expenses (sad-no more garage parking :-( Well, it turned out that a fridge was one of the things from the office (happy- boy can I use another fridge), but wait, the freezer did not work (so sad-I really needed the freezer). It won't go below 20*.

#8 I am happy I get to go to play date with Logan, Layne and Annie (Leslie's nannie girl). This week we went to the farm on a very nice warm Wednesday. Emily brought lunch and Lincoln, Ari and Kenna. Then we went to the apple farm on Thursday and saw apples being pressed into juice. Fun.

#9 We are having fun making a nativity advent calender. Each Sunday night we all make a few more pieces. I hope we will all be finished by the first of December. (There are 8 of us making them.)

#10 I actually listed something For Sale" on KSL.com I am happy I did it. (Not sold, yet.)

Monday, November 2, 2009

1 November, 2009 - 8 November, 2009

Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote her first novel when she was 65. She did it she said because she wanted to record "the pictures that hung in my memory".

#1 My first happy moment came when my Monday morning boys (and thus my carpool) were cancelled. I got to sleep in. Well, I could have if I had stayed in bed. Oh well. Then, I got Thursday morning off, too. (One of the boys had a fever.)

#2 My AFB was a big hit this week. I came up with a chocolate banana bread with dark chocolate chips. Both Doug and Leslie said it was their favourite yet.
I am happy I tried a new chicken crock pot recipe this week, but the recipe did not not make me happy. (Chicken, peaches and packaged onion soup mix. Thumbs down.)
I tried a great new pumpkin dessert recipe for this Sunday dinner. It was a big hit. Doug said it would definately make HIS TOP 10 for the week. Hilary really helped me get Sunday dinner put together.

#3 I got a migrain (not happy-stupid sinus') on Thursday. I am so happy (read thankful) for my children. We had Logan, Layne, Lincoln and Annie at the house for a fun playday (It was in the 70's and a park lunch was planned.) Lindsay and Leslie took care of everything while I slept. Leslie did lunch and Lindsay played with the boys the rest of the day. Doug did a pick-up and ate left-overs, Emily got me something cold for dinner and loaded the dishwasher, and Mark and Hilary pitched in. Everyone kept the house dark and quiet. I am so thankful that my family works and plays as a team. There is such a peace in knowing we are all there for each other.

#4 Some of our family watches Biggest Loser. This week it was so fun to see them in Washington D.C. I am so happy that I have been to Washington D.C. Several times. I love that city. Thank-you so much mom and dad for all the travel opportunities that you have given to our family. I am also so happy that I have been to New York City. More than once. Thank-you mom and dad. And Michael and Tracey and Jenna and Tashina. I love that city. Big cities make me happy. Especially New York City :- D

-#4 (from last week- We lost (temporarily?) the garage parking. :o( (I was sad that I did not have my garage, but then I thought about people with broken cars. Lindsay and David got theirs fixed. Christy gets hers back on Monday.)

#5 YEA!!! KOSY 106.5 stated playing Christmas music on Friday evening. The Christmas Song Contest has started. Enough said!!

#6 On Saturday everyone was watching the BYU football game on TV. Doug said, "I want hamburgers for dinner." How could that NOT make me happy? Someone giving me an idea for dinner. And an easy one even. Plus I had everything. And he grilled them for me.
#6 1/2 I am happy with the new EARTHGRAINS 1oo% multi-grain buns. (1oo calories, 1.5 grms fat, 4 fibres and 5 proteins) I use these for sandwiches, but, they made great hamburger buns.

#7 Ashley found and bought her wedding dress. :-)

#8 I am really enjoying the "books on cd" thing. Leslie put the cds on the computer, and then the book on to my Zune (Boy, does my Zune make me happy!). Then I can plug the Zune into my clock and "read" a book while I clean, do laundry, iron or just fall asleep.

#9 The weather last week was wonderful. I thought a storm was coming in this week-end, but then I found out this next week will be really nice, too. Nice weather makes me happy.

#10 Debbie and David are re-modeling their bathroom. I loved doing our house. (O.K. It was so much work, and so much money and so stressful and boy do I feel great about what we did!) Anyway, I am happy thinking about their project and talking about their project and trying to think of things to help with their project.

As always, no wagering. And I am certainly willing to be bribed for a spot on my list.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

25 October, 2009 - 1 November, 2009

An old Chinese proverb says, "The faintest ink is better than the strongest memory.". (I heard this on a favourite tv show last week.) I think that is a great reason to write my happy things.

#1 I had a very fun week "blog hopping". I was looking for some holiday recipes and ideas, and found a bunch. Other things I learned is that there are a really lot of food blogs. Also, I came across some great blog titles (I wrote them down.). This fun "blog hopping" game reminded me of the "6 degrees to Kevin Bacon" game. One quoted another, who quoted someone else, who knows... So fun. Is 1 hour blog hopping a waste of time if you only get 1 idea? (I got 1 idea that (I think) was worth 6 HOURS of blog hopping.

#2 I really enjoyed the recipes I tried this week. Eight new ones in all. I made lemon poppy seed AFB with a lemon glaze. It was great, but better than that, I also used 2 cups of starter and made pancakes. We really liked the flavour and texture. A good reason to not cut my starters in half.
I tried a new pumpkin seed recipe (a keeper), and pumpkin pie milkshakes (date night with Doug-very good). On Halloween I made pumpkin cornbread (will make when it is not even Halloween), created a pumpkin chili (I counted the chili as my new crock pot recipe.) and pumpkin cheesecake brownies (will make the chili, a lot, will make the brownies in the fall). A fun experimenting week. Thanks family for testing and reviewing. Everyone came for Halloween dinner.

#3 YEA! Christmas music. I LOVE CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!! (I actually started during my morning carpool last week. (I could not help it. There was a Bing tape in the car.) It can now be officially listened to. And I have been. (Even with all the Halloween decor still up.) Our family radio contest started on Sunday.

#4 After more than a year, we can (very barely) fit a car in the garage. That makes me very very happy. (I park there on Sundays and Tuesdays (I have carpool on Monday and Wednesday) and Doug gets all the other nights-so he will not have to scrape in the morning.... Which leads me to #5. (and also #6.)

#5 I am so happy (read "thankful") for Doug-and his job. He gets up every morning and goes to work with never a complaint. When I tell him I'm sorry he can't sleep in or stay home, he says he does'nt mind. Convincingly! I am so thankful that he has let me be a stay at home mom, and grandma. I am thankful for the security (hopefully) of his job. Especially now as there is so much financial turmoil.

#6 All of my children got together to get a new garage door opener for us for Christmas this year. THANK-YOU. They said we could have it now. I am really happy we have our sweet David. He spent many hours (over several days and evenings) installing it. (It does not work, yet, but that is another matter.) Thank-you so much, David for all the projects and repairs you do for our "duct tape" family. We really appreciate you and love you.

#7 I am happy that I am a grandma. Logan went trick or treating at grandpa's office on Friday. They are such good friends. Logan performed great. Everyone could tell he loved grandpa. And boy does Logan love Layne. He wants to go play at Layne's house (in the same apartment building), call Layne, copy Layne, climb on Layne... And boy is Layne great with Logan. Such a kind, sweet cousin. I love them both.

#8 I am so happy Mark got a good job. He was hired on Friday and starts training to be teller on Wednesday. YEA!!! WHOO HOO!!! (I will miss him being in and out between school and jobs.)

#9 TRADITION! I love all our family traditions. We have great Halloween traditions at Grandma and Grandpa's house. We start with dinner, a big variety of soups. (I took Emily's Amazing (food storage) Taco Soup and "gwoss guacamole dip". (A healthy dip based an a Martha Stewart idea.) The big, anticipated event is the spook alley in the basement. This year Grandpa (the Grandmaster) out did himself. (This is their first Halloween at home since they returned from living in Washington D.C.) This year there were 3 (THREE) spook alleys. Each one was scarier than the last. (Since I startle easy I only went to #1-WITH lights on, and with the junior cast. It was great.) #1 was in the basement. #2 was outside in the back yard. #3 was across the street from Grandpa's house in Homer's old, now empty, under renovation, big, old house. In the dark. It sounded scary from across the street. Grandpa (and Grandma) really did a great job this year. THANK-YOU.

#10 Fast Sunday really makes me happy. (Except for the headache.) I am so thankful for a special day that I can ask Heavenly Father for those things that are closest to my heart.

As always, not in order. And, this is a really condensed list. I wanted to do atleast 14 Things That Made Me Happy This Week! Michelle

Saturday, October 24, 2009

19 October - 25 October, 2oo9

#1 My number 8 from last week is my #1 this week. Mark bought a ring for Ashley.

#2 Number 1 this week is easily overshadowed by #2. Mark and Ashley got engaged on Saturday. Yea!
Ashley's mom gave Mark the idea of asking her at Disneyland. She took care of their flights (She works for Jet Blue.). Thank-you so much, Angela.
I called Aunt Carol, and she picked them up at the airport and took them to Disneyland. She went back to Disneyland to pick them up and take them back to the airport. They were flying standby - and the flight had filled up. They knew that could happen, and planned on just sleeping at the airport. Ashley felt a little nervous about that. Aunt Carol invited them to spend the night, and she took them to the airport early Sunday morning. THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, Aunt Carol.
YEA! Ashley will be in our family :0D

I usually try to list "10 things that made me happy" in the order they happened in the week. (Hence the "not in any particular order".) But this week, number 1 and 2 were pretty important.

#3 After having sinus headaches for the last month +, I got a cold. Yea! The cold is getting better, but my sinus' are feeling a lot better. Better than I have in a month :O)

#4 My recipes this week were both great. I made lemon coconut AFB (Amish friendship bread). I love the lemon pudding flavour best , so far. On Monday I am going to use the AFB to make waffles.
My crock pot recipe this week was great. I made creamy herb chicken. It is low in fat, and I have several ways to expand on the recipe.

#5 WinCo did not disappoint me. The bulk section was all that I remembered. Mark picked up sesame seeds and poppy seeds (for lemon poppy seed AFB) when he and friends went one night. During my 3 visits last week (What can I say, chicken breasts were 98 cents a pound, bananas were 18 cents...) their coupons and ad prices were very good. The store was a very crowded zoo, but very fully staffed and polite. I got the ad in the mail. I will at least keep going for their bulk as I watch the overall prices and sales.

#6 Leslie checked out 2 books on tape (oops, cd) for me, and then loaded them onto my Zune. Thank-you, Leslie.

#7 I saw a fun play at Hale Centre Theatre with Leslie and Christy. It was "CURTAINS", a musical mystery. I had never seen it before and really enjoyed it. Probably my favourite this season. Also, the last production of the season.

#8 Emily and Hilary have been working on a long term project that has stressed them out a bit. I am so happy the project is completed :-D
#9 I am very happy to have a main floor laundry room. I can not believe how much easier it is. I am always happy that we have a washer and dryer, that work. What a great time to be alive. There are so many things that make my life easier, and/or fun.

#10 I found out that my niece, Krista Lynn (Wood) is going to school in Orem. So is her cousin, Sarah (my cousin, Roy's daughter). With Cristopher, that gives me 3 relatives plus Christy there. More people to invite to Sunday dinner. I don't like the work before Sunday dinner, but, I love Sunday dinner with family.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

 12 October - 18 October, 2009

#1 Karyn came to stay with us for the week. I had a very nice visit with her. Mark gave her his room, and he slept at Justin's house. (Mark has not missed one class since school started.)
While Karyn was here we went D.I. shopping, to a movie and to the canyons to see the fall colours. We went to Sam's Club for a jacket for Karyn and to Kohl's. We went to Lindsay and David's on Monday for dinner (Hilary did pizza) and "Heros". We watched several movies at my house, and Leslie gave us pedicures.
Christopher came up from Provo on Wednesday for dinner and to visit.

#2- Termeers are in New york City with Michael's family this week. I wish I was there. Or at least that I knew all the details. BUT, from the limited chats that we have had, things seem to be going well. That really makes me happy. :0) :0)

#3-My Amish friendship breads are doing great. This week I made an island bread. (It was supposed to be pina colada, but I could not find the coconut pudding. So I did banana pudding and pineapple and -hey, who finished the coconut? I called a neighbor who gave me some that she had borrowed from another (now moved) neighbor. Thank-you Elaine AND Noelle.) For my crock pot recipe this week I did a rerun for a big family dinner on Wednesday. I made a favourite, cream cheese chicken with rice and/or noodles. Still a favourite of everyone, except Elana who does not like cassaroles or "white chicken".

#4- Charles, Elana and Layne moved this week. They live in the same building as Lindsay, David and Logan, now. Elana has done a great job getting it all put together.

#5 Since Charlie and Elana moved, we could take their washer and dryer anmd desk out of the garage, and to their new apartment. When Christopher came to visit, he took the things we stored for him over the summer. My garage is now emptier. Yea! My goal is to be able to put my car in the garage by Halloween (first time since we started the addition :-)

#6 We had stake conference at the Conference Centre today. It was so relaxing. We left at 9:oo, and did not have nursery. I love nursery, but some days it really wears us out, and since most of us have a little cold, it was nice.
thank-you .

#7 Sweet potato fries make me happy. They are quite healthy (baked with a bit of olive oil and spices) and so flavourful. Too bad they have to cook in a single layer. It cuts down on quantity. The odd thing is that my kids don't like sweet potatoes, but they love my fries.

#8 ?????More about this one later!!!!!

#9 WinCo opens in Midvale tomorrow morning. I first met WinCo in Oregon when we went to pick up Leslie at the end of her mission. We loved the grind your own peanut butter and the H U G E bulk department. I will be really happy if WinCo is the same as the one I went to.

#10 Leslie did almost all of Sunday dinner today. Thank-you, Leslie and Christy. I got a Sunday nap.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

5 October, 2oo9 - 11 October, 2oo9

Ahh, good week.

As always these 1o things that made me happy are not in order of importance. There are many things and moments that made me happy or feel blessed, but I can just pick 1o.

#1.I love my fleece sheets - still. Thank-you, Wendy C. for telling me about them. (If one of my children help me I will include a picture of my bed made with my fleece sheets.)

#2.I made banana bread with my Amish friendship bread this week. Good banana bread. I got my first start from Jean D. about 2 months ago. Last Sunday she brought over another start so that I will be able to make the bread every 5 days (about). I enjoy working on it every day, and trying new variations. Thank-you, Jean. (My new crock pot recipe this week was chicken, stuffing and gravy.)

#3. Snow White came out on DVD. Leslie got a $10.00 coupon on line. She was able to print 6 for me. Since Wal-mart had it on sale for $2o.oo, I GOT IT FOR $1o.oo!!!! Not only that, but it hadthe DVD and BLU-RAY discs together. (thinking Christmas:0)

#4. Great Harvest 9 grain bread makes me happy. It is low in fat, high in fibre and protien, and tastes wonderful. Especially toasted. Emily (and sometimes Hilary) brings home a loaf for us about every 5 days. Thank-you, thank-you.

#5. My girls are great team players. We pick things up for each other all the time. Hilary found something I had been wanting and she surprised me with it. But, the bottom line is, that is a story for another day.

#6. I have a really hard time falling asleep. A really hard time. About 2 years ago I saw a movie called, "Ladies in Lavender". The movie was o.k. The music/soundtrack was amazing. I was moved each time I heard certain pieces. I love the violin pieces. For atleast a year I have listened to it almost every night as I (try to) fall asleep. It is so relaxing to me. I love the "Ladies in Lavender" soundtrack.

#7. This week-end there was an antique show. I went with Wendy. Some people like going to movies, or out to lunch. My idea of great fun and entertainment is an antique show. I saw a fireplace surround from the early 19oo's. I want it. Since my addition is complete and decorated, there are lots of things that I like, but don't need to buy. There is not a place for the very nice fireplace, so I could leave without it.

#8. Saturday was a wonderful day. Our sweet Lincoln was baptised. I sure love him and his family. His dad, Abraham, baptised him. Doug was one of the witnesses. Madison, McKenna and Ari sang. Madison played the piano. It was a special day. We went to Lincoln's house for a great lunch, afterwards.

#9. Karyn came to visit us for the week. Mark and I picked her up at the train station at 3:45 a.m. Good thing we were on time. We could not find her, and "they" kept telling us everyone that was getting off, was off. O.K. We'll look again. Nope, not here. Turned out that she was still asleep in the sleeper car ;0) They woke her up and she barely made it off before the train left. It will be fun having her visit us.

#10. "AMAZING RACE". It is a fun "race around the world" show. We sort of watch it together. We are together, and we sort of watch it. Just a fun time that we are all together. We pick teams, have dessert , (sometimes dinner and/or dessert are related to the country of the week) and visit. I like family time.

As always, no wagering as to what will be on my list, and you can earn a place here ;0)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

September 28-October 4, 2009

I am doing this by myself, since there is no one here:0)
As always, these are not in order of importance.

1. Doug took a vacation day on Monday. We did not spend much of the day together. I had carpools and a Dr. appt. ((Stupid cholestrol. Not something that made me happy.) Doug mowed the lawns and worked in the garden. Doug took Monday off because he knew he would be working all day Saturday and Sunday on year-end reports. So sad. Thursday night Doug rubbed my back for 30 mins. Thank-you, honey.

2. I love our fleece sheets. This week turned cold (at least cool), so when I changed the sheets-I put the fleece ones on. Not too hot (like flannel). Not too cold (like cotton). Just right!

3. I love Downey Wrinkle Release. Tuesday was ironing day. I got 46 things ironed. About 15 of those ironed were just sprayed and stretched. Ta da.

4. I had book club at my house this week. I tried 2 new recipes from mom Johnson. I made her Asian Salad with bok choy and Napa cabbage, and a Key Lime Margarita pie. They both were great. Mark scrubbed the kitchen floor for book club :0)

5. Since book club was at my house, I got most of my Hallowwen decorations out, and up.

6. We celebrated Lincoln's birthday this week. At midnight on his birthday we went to Denny's. He sat in his booster seat on the way there, but not the way home. On Friday we met his family at Pirate's Island (in Orem) for a birthday dinner. The place was quite fun. We will go back there. We also saw our cousin, Christopher leaving as we went in. Fun.

7. After Lincoln's birthday dinner Hilary, Logan and I drove Emily and Lindsay over to the BYU game. (We won.) Anyway, the thing that made me happy was that Hilary took Logan shopping at Big Lots while I went to the Provo D.I. I did not go to the D.I. at all in September. (Yea for me.) The thing that really made me was that I found a 2 hole punch. I have really really been wanting one. Debbie, you do not need to have David find one for me.) Also, I only spent $4.oo at the D.I.

8. Leslie came home from her cruise. Hilary and I picked her up at the airport Friday night. Well, we got to the airport on Friday night. We waited in the parking lot for 2+ hours. (Her flight was delayed until "Saturday":( I am glad she is back.)

9. I love my family room. It worked great for General Conference Week-end. It is a real holiday for our family. Emily and Hilary had all their beads in the family for everyone to make bracelets. (They have TONS.) They were so generous. Leslie made a glow-in-the-dark Halloween bracelet for me, and Hilary made 2 bracelets for me. Everyone enjoyed the week-end project. Which brings me to...

10. ...General Conference Week-end. I love it. I love that we can spend the week-end hearing the words of our Prophet and leaders-in jammies. I especially love our family traditions. The men go to Priesthood and then we have ice cream after. This year Emily and Hilary bought tickets for everyone to see both Toy Story movies in 3-D. My very favourite part is omelets on Sunday after the morning session. There were 14 of us. Every single family member, except for Doug-at work, was there. (+ Lincoln and Ari) (We count Ashley as family already.) (Layne got to come this time, too.) YEA! I am so happy everyone could, and would, come. Thank-you family for a great week-end. WAIT! We still have Monday off. More about that next week;0)

I decided to record "10 things that made me happy" each week as journal entries. I hear sad things from family and friends, and I know happiness and blessings need to be looked for, acknowleged and gratitude expressed. I mentioned it to my sister, Debbie, and she told me about her friend, Ashlee's 10 things list. Thank-you Debbie (and Ashlee).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September 21-September 27, 2009

1. I got my magnet board painted and hung in my laundry room.

2. I am having lots of fun finding new crockpot recipes and cooking in my crockpot. This week I tried pumpkin pie pudding and baked potato soup. Mmm!

3. I used a coupon and bought an egg hard boiler at Bed, Bath and Beyond. It works great!

4. I had a wonderful time swimming Saturday morning with Leslie and Lincoln, at Michael and Kate's pool. I love their pool. They are so generous. (Unfortunately, last swim of the season. There is a storm coming in this Wednesday.)

5. Wednesday playdate at the farm was so much fun! Lindsay and Logan, Elana and Layne, Leslie and Annie, and I all enjoyed the animals. (See Lindsay's blog for pictures.)

6. While at the farm, I took the "D" picture to finish a photo project I started in New York City. It's done now and hanging in my bedroom.

7. I love taking care of and making Amish bread. This week I made pumpkin, and got 15 new variations to try. (Unfortunately, none of them were for a crockpot :0)

8. Paula and Wendy called me Friday morning to tell me it was the Wesley Bell Ringer Church Sale. This is one of my favorite semi-annual events. Since I don't need anything, I didn't go! Yay for me!

9. I watch two boys in the morning and then take them to school. I GOT INTO A CARPOOL!! Now I only drive Mondays and Wednesdays. I love carpools!

10. Sunday was Jordan's farewell. He did a great job on his talk. I will really miss him. He is a great team player, and so supportive of all of our family activities. We had a nice dinner at the Sumner's afterwards.

11. My 10 things that make me happy will always include my addition. I am thankful for my bathroom, my bedroom, my laundry room, and my family room.

Please no wagering. These are in no particular order. You can make it to my 10 happy things list by, sweeping and scrubbing the kitchen floor, or a half hour back rub (with a five minute break).
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