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 :*)
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