Wednesday, January 30, 2013


This week has been crazy! The school system continues to change days off and make life generally crazy.

Oh well. In the mean time, I've gotten hooked on a new show. Addicted.


Miss my mom's cooking. This will have to do. Can't wait for her to visit in May!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Menu Week 5

Well, with no menu for week 4 - life just got away from us. We had a night of pasta and meatballs, a pizza night and even a mac and cheese night.

oh well.

so we are back on the menu wagon this week.

Before that, let's review week 3's menu:

Loaded Baked Potato Soup: I think several members of the family enjoyed this one, although I did not. So, I am on the quest and will actually try again this week with another recipe.

Mexican Tortilla Soup: This was actually very good. I wasn't sure as I was making is a huge amount of liquid in it, and I wasn't sure how it would taste. But it was very good. I didn't put the corn tortillas in - we just let everyone add as many regular corn chips as they wanted. KEEPER

Ginger Soy BBQ Chicken: This was GREAT. I mean great. And everyone liked it. KEEPER

Chicken and Vegetable Curry: This was also really, really wonderful. Great flavor. Great color. Great! KEEPER

This week:

Curry - out a box, easy peasy.
Perfect Potato Soup
Bowtie Chicken Alfredo
Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

We've got talent show and a date night this week -- so I am going to be conservative and just do these four meals.

I'll let you know how it goes.


How much do I love this photo?


I feel so lucky to be married to such a wonderful man.

He is always kind.

He is often thoughtful.

He is truly, the best person I know. 

And he loves me.

We don't always get along.

Sometimes we fight.

And every now and then, marriage is really, really hard.

But, I know he is committed to me.

And I am committed to him.

And no matter how hard it might sometimes be, I know that we are going to stick it out.

And the sticking it out - the working it out - means that we have always been able to come back to a place where we really love each other - where we are really in love with each other.

I'm glad to be in that place today.


Tiny ninjas.


The girls tried out a ninja class today.
Seriously, nothing cuter thy those little fists of fury pumping away.

They even broke boards.

Be on the look out for these two!

Friday, January 25, 2013


Trying new things.

My new glasses came yesterday. I like them.

And I tried something new with the hair...moved my part to the other side. I like this too. It just feels crazy weird.

I'm even trying to be in a few more photos.

Crazy weird.


It snowed.

The end.


Today was a great day.

A really great day.

As you may be aware. We do not do Valentine's Day.

No we do not.

But Troy declared today to be Valentine's Day and he whisked me off to New York City...for a lovely lunch and a Broadway show.

We left early. Took the train.

It was actually kind of funny...the train we were on had to stop...about a half hour from the city. The bridge we had to cross is old and would not close.

So we could wait...or we could get off the train and get on a local transit train to take us the rest of the way into New York.

I used to be so afraid of this type of decision. What if...but thanks to Troy and his influence...I worry less and try more.

And it worked out great. The funny part was the girls we were travelling across from were taking the same trip as us...and they could not decide. So they sat on the train. And waited. But hopefully for not too long.

Once in NYC, we grabbed a subway.

And had lunch at a wonderful French Bistro.

Love NYC.

We went to see Newsies. Which was great.

And returned home.

It was a grand little adventure. And I feel blessed to be married to someone who is always willing to meet me halfway. 

Happy Valentine's Day my love.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Oh my word. This weather.

It's killing me.

Sunny 21. Feels like 8. Seriously?


Love new haircuts. The boys are getting so big.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Love our kids' friends. Good kids, goofy kids, every one of them!

Snapshots of love

My new phone has been the best gift ever!

I know I've said it before and I know I'll probably say it again.

I love it more for the camera than I do for the phone. Because having a camera means I can document. And remember.

I love this grainy photo of Troy and I. Inside a movie theater, in the dark, lit only by the light of another cell phone.

It's just a little moment. But it's a happy moment. And one filled with love.

Loved les mis.

"When you love another person you see the face of God."


I was so happy to see the sun today.

It's amazing how much you take something as simple as sunshine for granted.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Where would I be without my friends? Seriously.

Crazy. Kooky. Perfect. Each and every one of you.


This weather is killing me. Killing me. I forgot how much I needed the sun.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


One of the milestones of turning 16 is driving. Mikayla has had her permit for almost 9 months and will soon be ready to take her driving test. 

I have to say, I was really looking forward to having Mikayla drive, but I didn't realize how nervous I would be to have her actually be behind the wheel.

I can't think of anyone more responsible than Mikayla and I am happy that she will soon have a little more independence. 

But doesn't help at all! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Menu Week 3

I think i'm planning too many meals -- we are working really hard not to eat out -- and that means I need to cook. But even the best laid plans -- cause we had to have an emergency pizza night last week. lol.

To Reivew:

Baked Ziti - this was delicious. I mean really good. And a good alternative to lasagne, which is a little more time consuming. The recipe calls for this to cook at 375 for 45 minutes covered and another 10 uncovered. That was way too long! I would say cook for 20 minutes covered and another 10 uncovered.. But it was a KEEPER -- and if you weren't sure about it -- even Josh liked it!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup - Making this tonight.

Spinach and Pasta Salad - Made this for enrichment and served it to the family too. It was lovely and a super make ahead dinner. My little kids weren't big fans of this, but it is delicious.

Mexican Tortilla Soup - Making this later this week. It's totally a soup kinda week.

Man-Pleasing Chicken - This was sooo good. I mean so good. But sadly, a couple members of my family -- especially Troy -- doesn't like mustard -- which is the main ingredient of this dish. It was YUM, but not a keeper for us.

Scones -- This is fired dough. And yummy. A standard for our family! Let me know if anyone wants a dough recipe.

Week 3:

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Mexican Tortilla Soup
Ginger Soy BBQ Chicken
Chicken and Vegetable Curry
Savory Apple Chicken Sausage: Recipe from Janet:

1 large tart apple, peeled and diced (small)
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pound ground chicken

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and shape into patties like
you would hamburger patties.  Heat a large skillet and coat with cooking
spray. Cook patties over medium heat for 5 or 6 minutes on each side or
until no longer pink.  If your patties are larger than about 3 inches, you
may need more cooking time.


I am choosing. I am choosing to do better. I am choosing to be different.

And I realize that I need to get healthy and waiting until tomorrow is not an option.

I choose to go back to the gym today.

Go me. :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Full Circle

I love being a mom.

I have the best job in the whole world and feel entirely privileged that I can be a stay at home mother.

I have really good kids.

No. Seriously. I do.

And I have to remind myself of that fact each and every time they choose to use their agency in a way that drives me crazy.

Cause that never happens. lol.

I am in the middle of a struggle with a child that I love dearly, but who tries my patience in every possible way.

And I keep having to tell myself that she isn't doing it on purpose.

She is trying to live her life in the best way she knows how -- and I raised her to be thoughtful and independent  To think for herself and give life her all.

And doesn't it just rub when she does exactly that.

It's so hard when your children can't see the bigger picture.

When they think they know it all and have all the facts and believe with their whole heart that nothing bad will ever happen to them.

And they forget that it's your job as their parent to look ahead -- to see the obstacles and the guide them in the right way to go.

But so often, they feel that their limited knowledge is enough and that they are prepared for the journey.

And you can't stop the pain.

No matter how much you want to.

I miss the days when I used to be able to make it all better with a little kiss and a pat on the head -- when my kids thought I was a super hero who knew everything.

And I look forward to the day they can look back and realize that although I wasn't really a super hero -- I got it right at least some of the time.

I take great comfort in the fact that I was once this very child and I now very much appreciate the lessons my mother was trying to teach me -- even when I didn't understand them very well back then.

Here's to all the mothers out there who are doing the very best they can with what they have.

Keep on keeping on.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Sundays are a great day.

Not only because we get to go to church and be uplifted and edified.

Or, in today's situation -- when Joe gave his first talk in sacrament meeting -- when we get to be mocked and ridiculed. lol.

No, really, he did a great job and he only threw me under the bus once.

But, really, Sundays are a day of rest.

A day our whole family is home.

And a day we try and have people over and enjoy the time getting to know them better.

And of course, Troy made our guests play the piano and be generally ridiculous.

Mission accomplished. lol.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Basketball has started again. I have such a love hate relationship with church ball.

The girls really enjoy it, but it's all consuming for 3 months of Saturdays.

At least they have fun and they've gotten their friends involved.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Troy had a couple of days off -- and it was so nice.

I love the chance we have to reconnect and be together.

He is such a good man....we are so lucky to have him.

Nothing better than a lunch date with my love.


We had our first "real" camp meeting today over lunch. 

It was so great. 

I have really enjoyed this calling and felt very blessed in the decisions that we are making. 

We are going to try some new things -- it's scary to be responsible, but I am working with such good people, I can't help but feel like it's going just like it's supposed to.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I was in charge of the Relief Society meeting tonight. It was supposed to be a healthy dinner, so I made a couple of salads...but I wanted something small and simple and decadent, so I went with these triple chocolate sea salt truffles.


I am not a great candy maker, but this recipe was so simple and easy and delicious.

It's from Pioneer Woman, and you can find it here.

It calls for 8 oz each of bittersweet, semisweet and milk chocolate. I used Ghirardelli's - found right in the baking aisle. I used 9 oz each and it turned out about 50 truffles. I also bought some lovely pink himalayan sea salt from costco. The grinder is adjustable -- and I ground it thickly into a bowl to sprinkle onto the truffles. 

The only thing I would have done differently is bought more of the milk chocolate -- there wasn't quite enough to cover all the truffles easily. 

And...the meeting was fantastic. We had three really great speakers and I learned something from each of them. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Writing but Not Writing

Obviously I have made it a goal to be better about writing on the blog. So far so good.

And thank goodness for my new phone...because taking a photo and adding it to the blog has become the easiest thing in the world.

But part of the reason I fell off writing in the past was because there was often a lot to say...but no way to share it in a meaningful way without disclosing too much.

And i'm there again today.

This is our history.

A record of our journey.

And it's a pretty rosy picture isn't it?

Well...just so you know.

It isn't always rosy.

And I say this, not for your pity or your sympathy.

Because it is what it is and it will all work itself out.

But I say it because trials are a part of life.

And as hard as they are...there is always something to be gained.

And I need to remember that.

I read this morning:

There is always something to be thankful for.

Today I am thankful for tender mercies.


We woke up early to do chores and get the kids to chess club.

Becky and Josh love and work really hard to get everything done so they can get to school an hour early for the meeting.

It gives me and Katie a little mommy and me time. Too bad we missed the bus and had to drive the carpool to school.

And poor Katie. The one day she has to do carpool and Josh and Becky aren't there to help her. Luckily...she made it in the building.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Week 2 Menu

Before I get to this week's menu, I wanted to review last week's menu.

Meatloaf Muffins with BBQ Sauce - We did not love this. There is salsa in the sauce and it was not a favorite with anyone. My kids normally like meatloaf - so we will try again with a different recipe.

Corn Bacon and Potato Chowder - This was sooooo good. I really liked it. It was a really quick meal to fix -- although Josh and Katie were not fans. This was a personal favorite for me and we will be making this again. KEEPER

Chicken Alfredo Roll Ups - We actually had this tonight for dinner and it was so good. Even Josh enjoyed it -- and you know that's huge! KEEPER

Key West Grilled Chicken with Carmalized Grilled Pineapple - Oh my word - This was SOOOO GOOD. Can I say it again - SOOO GOOD. This dish was so very tasty. I more than doubled this recipe and there were no leftovers! KEEPER

There was not time for this dish last week, so we are going to try again next week.

Baked Ziti
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Spinach and Pasta Salad
Mexican Tortilla Soup
Man-Pleasing Chicken (That's what the blog calls it)
Scones -- Any bread dough will do -- although I do like to use a sweeter dough like my cinnamon roll dough


Family home evening.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Dinner. #yum

And We Farkeled

We had family dinner and a little game night.

It was both enjoyable and painful all at the same time.

Things we learned:

Katie and Josh are incredibly lucky people.

Mikayla and I : not so much.

Emma is a gambler.

Joe likes to play it safe.

Becky's in the middle.

Troy likes to think he's got mad skills -- this appears only sometimes to be true.

Sunday Musings

Church was so good today and just exactly what I needed.

I realized as I was sitting in Sacrament Meeting that I had just passed the anniversary of my baptism.

And then I really started doing the math.

25 years.


How did 25 years pass right before my eyes?

And where would I be if I had not found the gospel?

It has shaped my entire life.

It influenced my choices.

It led me to attend BYU.

It helped me find my eternal companion.

It changed my perspective on kids and family.

It has provided me with the greatest source of hope, and love and encouragement I have ever had.

These last 25 years have not been without trial and sacrifice.

And my testimony has waxed and waned.

But I feel very blessed to be in a moment where I feel very close to my Savior. And I feel the spirit often.

Even today, as I pondered on the last 25 years, the spirit was overwhelming -- telling me to get up and share what I know.

I hate that. LOL.

I'd much rather sit and listen, but I could not let the moment pass. I felt too much.

How thankful I am for all the blessings that come from believing in a Savior and a loving Heavenly Father.

Even when there are things that I don't understand -- or trials that seem to hard to bear -- I know that I can turn to God and He will help me through.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Troy and I got to spend some quality time together...driving kids around and even going on a date.

Life is so busy now. There are some days that pass when we hardly see each we are trying to make the most of the time that we have. The moments are precious and few - but they mean so much.

Snapped this photo if Troy this morning. #lovehim


Joe and Emma had to go to the orthodontist yesterday.

They weren't too keen on hurrying back to we stopped to have breakfast and spend some time talking.

I really love what amazing people they have become. They are growing up. I just want to hold on to them a little longer.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I am not a big fan of being in photos...but I spent a lot of years not being in them...and I realized that my children don't care what I look like or what I weigh...they love me and they will one day be sad that I wasn't in any photos.

So I have tried to take a few more photos of that vein...


Troy and I got to enjoy one more day of vacation without the kids.

i know!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Katie came downstairs...she was scared to go to bed because she thought the cat in the hat was going to come out of her closet.

We put Dynamite in charge of keeping her safe.


Week 1 Menu

I do much better with meals when i've got it planned out.

We hope to eat at home a lot more in 2013 -- so here's a start on that resolution.

Wednesday - Meatloaf Muffins with BBQ Sauce
Thursday - Corn Bacon and Potato Chowder
Friday - Chicken Alfredo Roll Ups
Saturday - Key West Grilled Chicken with Carmalized Grilled Pineapple
Sunday - Baked Ziti

West Virginia...Country Home

After Christmas we decided to get away someplace we could find a little snow, so we headed to West Virginia.

We took the kids sledding at Seven Springs in Pennsylvania.

It was a blast.

We also took a day trip to Pittsburgh -- which was AWESOME. We are definitely going back.

University of Pittsburgh.

at the Sport Works next to the Science Center.

I was especially excited to visit with Mendy and her family. 
This was a great trip and lots of fun family time!! 

We were very happy to take a side trip to visit with Emma's friend Mary.

Related Posts with Thumbnails