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 (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 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
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