Monday, March 31, 2008

Easter Weekend

I know I am a little slow but I wanted to post about Easter. I really didn't feel like it could possibly be Easter because we still have snow on the ground. I cannot remember off the top of my head when they said the last time Easter was this early but they did say those of us who say Easter early this year will not be alive to see Easter this early ever again in their lifetime. All I have to say to that is Hallelujah! However, despite the crumby weather we still had a very nice weekend.

Saturday morning we attend the community Easter Egg Hunt. However, there was no egg hunt. They usually hold this event on the baseball diamonds behind the high school. However, there is still alot of snow on the ground so they held it in the parking lot of the high school. I thought it was very nice. We were in and out within five minutes. The only problem is it wasn't really an egg hunt. They had a line and then at the front of the line they had about five adults handing out candy. I have pictures of all my kids but Logan. Bryon already had him done and loaded back in the car! After going to the "egg hunt" we went to Idaho Falls. Sam needed a pair of pants to wear to church and a tie. So we went down to get a little shopping done. We usually have a nice Easter picnic because of the cold weather, we settled for lunch out at Johnny Carino's. When we got home, we dyed two dozen eggs.

Sunday morning we have church at 8:30 and so we didn't have time to do the whole Easter Egg Hunt and baskets before church. That's okay because the Easter Bunny left a note saying he would try to come back while we were at church. The kids looked so adorable in their Easter outfits. When we got home from Church we found the Easter Bunny had been here and hid the two dozen eggs and filled the kids' Easter baskets. They got candy, bubbles, some Play-Do, and they each got a Church game. Sunday afternoon we went down to Idaho Falls for Easter dinner. We had dinner at Bryon's brother Bruce's. Bryon's mom has been busy taking care of her dad who is sick with kidney and heart problems. So Bryn (Bruce's wife) and I volunteered to make the dinner. It was delicious. We had ham, funeral potatoes, deviled eggs, homemade orange rolls, asparagus, and a Jell-O. Bryn had made a cute Easter cake for dessert.

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Recipes

What a weekend for new recipes. On Friday we had a pork tenderloin. I had bought the pork tenderloin a while ago to go with another recipe. Since that time, I lost the recipe and had this tenderloin that I had thawed out that I needed to use. My friend, Linda, mentioned her sister-in-law had a really good recipe. She got me the recipe and I decided to give it a try. It was delicious. My family loved it. It also happened that my in-laws came up to pick up a prescription that we had picked up for Bryon's grandpa. Long story short, I made them a t.v. tray with this pork tenderloin on. They loved it. So here is the recipe:

Maple Spiced Pork Tenderloin
1 1/2 Pounds of Pork Tenderloin
1 1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Coarse Ground Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
Maple Syrup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees or the grill. We used toe oven. Combine the spices together and coat tenderloin. Let marinade overnight if possible. I put it on that morning and let it marinade all day.

Brush the tenderloin with oil. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes. Brush with maple syrup and bake until meat registers 155 degrees with a meat thermometer. Let stand 10 minutes, slice thin to serve. Serves 4.

Then Saturday night we went to an adult dinner for our ward. They had different couples host the dinner at their house. We went to a house that decided on a Mexican theme for dinner. She made this delicious salsa. I have had bottled salsa and I also have a recipe for really good fresh salsa. This recipe is for "fresh" salsa but uses stewed tomatoes.

Yummy Salsa
Mix in the food procesor:
3-4 Halapeno Chilies, Diced
3-4 Yellow Chilies, Diced
3-4 Long Green Chilies
1/3 of a Bunch of Cilantro
1 Bunch of Green Onions
1 Small Cann Diced Green Chilies
1 Small White Onion
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Oregano
2 Heaps Teaspoon Chili Powder
1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Heaps Pepper

Then add: 1 #10 can crushed (not stewed) tomatoes. The amount of tomatoes you are supposed to add is 6 Pounds 9 oz. She had it cooking in a crock pot to let all the spices and peppers mix. This makes a huge batch. It makes about one gallon.

Then Sunday I made a delicious sauce to cook the Easter Ham in. I used a Bone-In Ham. I think they have better flavors.

In a Saucepan heat
2 Cups Brown Sugar
2 Cans Chunked Pineapple
2 Bottles Marachino Cherries
3 or 4 Cloves
1 Can of Orange Pop

I cooked it until the brown sugar melts. Then you pour it over the ham and cook your ham. It adds a delicious flavor to your ham. If you want you can then thicken the juice and serve it over your ham.

Anyway, I thought I would share. I love baking and cooking and trying new recipes (especially if they turn out fabulous)! I would love to try any of your favorite recipes.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Favorite Things Thursday

My Favorite Thing this week is going to be a little self-indulgent. I have recently rediscovered my love of reading. However, finding a good book that is hard to put down also helps. I went to the library a couple of weeks ago and found a book that I just couldn't put down. I had previously read two books from this same author and really enjoyed them so I decided to read another one. This one was wonderful. Karen, the author, is a Christian author and so her books are very clean. This book was called, "Like Dandelion Dust." It's the emotional story of an adoptive couple that tragically learns that the birth mother who gave up her son four years earlier has changed her mind. A forged signature on the paperwork makes it seem possible that they will lose their son, Joey, maybe forever. Like Dandelion Dust is the story of a mother's passion, and the lengths a couple is willing to go to, all for the love of a child. As an adoptive mother myself, I wasn't quite sure what I would think of the book, but I LOVED IT!! I highly recommend if you are looking for a good read to pick this one up. This morning when I was on the author's website looking for a picture of the book, I noticed that they are making a movie of this book. I am now anxiously awaiting this movie to come to theaters.

While I was reading, "Like Dandelion Dust," I noticed the author had written a book about true life adoption stories. I went to the library that day and checked out that book. Monday night I finished "Like Dandelion Dust" shortly after dinner. Then after putting the kids to bed, I did something I don't think I have ever done, I read a whole book in one night. I started it about 8:30 and finished just before 11:00. I loved this book. Every chapter is a new adoption story. They are all true stories. Every chapter shows how God's hand is in every adoption. The author is an adoptive mother herself and her story is the last chapter of the book. It was an awesome book. I think sometimes adoption gets a bad rap in the media but this was book was so positive and uplifting. It was also a very quick read. I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It's A Good Thing

Okay so last night at 5:00, it was one of those nights where I am beginning to question what is for dinner. That is a rare thing around here as I make a month worth of menus and then buy groceries to go with those menus. But it is getting close to payday, I have been out of town for the weekend, and I failed to get any meat out of the freezer. Bryon really wanted me to make Taco Soup. Sorry Bryon! Had it just two weeks ago and since then I have had tacos twice. Not that I didn't love the tacos we had but I just wasn't in the mood for any more Mexican dishes. So I am racking my brain as to what to have that would be fast and wouldn't require meat. My family loves pasta! I decided to make a family favorite: Fettuccine Alfredo. I have had a recipe that I have made for a couple of years. I have even passed it on to my sister Lori. I know it has been a hit because her husband is a picky eater and mentioned it would be one of the meals he woud request if he were dying. However, you cook the sauce and lately I can't get the sauce to thicken just right. However, I have found a new recipe that is fast and so easy and my family likes it as well as the other. I actually didn't think they knew the difference but last night Sam asked where the "green things" were. The other Fettuccine calls for parsley and other seasonings and that is what Sam was referring to. So here is my latest fast delicious Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe:

1/4 Pound Fettuccine, Cooked
3/4 Cup Whipping Cream at Room Temperature
3/4 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (Do not use the kind in the green can)
1/3 Cup Softened Butter (Do not use Margarine)
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Teaspoon White Pepper

Immediately after draining fettuccine noodles, combine with butter. Toss until the butter is melted. Add one half of the cream and toss well. Add one half of the Parmesan cheese and toss well. Add the remaining cream and toss well. Add the remaining cheese, salt and pepper and toss. Serve immediately.

I served it up with a green salad and Garlic Bread and we were eating dinner within 30 minutes! It's a Good Thing!

Favorite Things

I know I missed posting last week about my Favorite Things Thursday. So although today is not Thursday, I just wanted to post a favorite thing.

I took Sam and Conner to the movies two weeks ago. We went to see the movie "Enchanted". I had heard it was good but was actually looking more forward to eating the popcorn at the movie than actually watching the movie itself. I was surprised to find that I liked the movie as much as I did. I actually loved it. My boys really liked it too. I highly recommend watching this movie if you get a chance. At our house we give it a six thumbs up!

Pass The Torch Tuesday

So I never did get a Pass the Torch Tuesday done last week. Oh, the joys of having a sick child! I mentioned that I was going to try to post a little late for last week. At this point, I am not going to worry about backtracking. So with that this Tuesday I want to honor my little girl Natalie. I took the kids home to my parents house for the weekend. My sister that lives in Jerome, couldn't come over until Saturday afternoon but asked if I would watch her little girl Alice. I agreed. My kids were so excited to spend time with their cousin. Alice was so excited to play with Sam and Conner but spent most of her time playing with Logan and Natalie. On Saturday, my mom pulled out a bin of clothes that she has bought on sale and was going through it to see what she had. She had a little book about a mermaid. The pictures were actually little puzzles. Alice was so excited to play with this book. The only problem with this book was there was only one of them and there were two little girls who really wanted to play with it. Alice had had it for quite a while before Natalie decided she wanted it. My dad who happened to walk through the room at just the right time, noticed a little squabble between Alice and Natalie. He decides to try to reason with Alice. He asks Alice if it would be alright to let Natalie look at the book because she is just a baby and then in a little bit she could have the book back. Natalie now had the book and had gone into the living room and was sitting on a chair looking at the book. Alice pitches the biggest temper tantrum, throwing herself on the floor and crying. Natalie immediately goes over to her and gives her the book and tries to cheer up Alice.

Way to go Natalie. I am so proud of you!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wordless Wednesday -- A Few Days Late

With my week, I think I missed Wednesday all together. Whenever I talk to my sisters or parents they tell me they don't have any snow. Even last Sunday when we were down in Idaho Falls, they seemed to have significant less than we do. These pictures are proof that I am not exagerating about how much snow we still have. I took these pictures today. The sad thing is, it has still snowed the past few days. I know we need the moisture but couldn't we get it in the form of rain now?!?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

We Are Still Alive But Just Barely

My blog seems real lonely and sad. We have had the crud at our house this past week. I have had a sore throat but haven't felt extremely bad. I do not know if that is a good or bad thing. Good because I have been well enough to take care of everyone else that is sick and yet bad because I don't have an excuse to sit down and relax. Conner has been sick for almost a week. Last night he started complaining of a sore throat. So this morning I broke down and took him to the doctor. Wouldn't you know it, his fever broke and he acted more like himself just before we went in. Just a bad cold is what the doctor told us. So no prespcription and the doctor really thinks he is on the downside of this. Then like three hours after getting home, his fever gets worse and he is sick in bed tonight. I feel so bad for him. Bryon is at the store as we speak getting new batteries for our thermometer and more pain reliever. If he isn't better by morning, we will be calling the doctor again! Logan and Natalie are participating in some testing for BYU-Idaho this week and so it seems to have taken every spare minute I have working with them and meeting with college students. So this week has been hairy scary to say the least.

I have failed to post anything this week and I am so sorry! I have a billion things I want to say and add to my blog. Before I leave town tomorrow, I am hoping to post Pass the Torch Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, and Favorite Things Thursday. They might not be in that order but I will get them posted shortly.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Favorite Things Thursday

Okay this is something that Bryon and I shared last week and I have been dying to post about it. My parents told me a while ago about a movie that was a must see: The Bucket List. It came to the cheap show last week. It is only playing at 9:15 for now and so last Friday night, Bryon and I got a babysitter and went to the late night show. This show is a must see.

Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman star as two terminally ill cancer patients who decide to live their last days to the fullest. Though initially the pair seems to have nothing in common, conversation gradually reveals that both men have a long list of goals they wish to accomplish before they kick the bucket, and an unrealized desire to discover what kind of men they really are. But one can't accomplish such lofty objectives from the confines of a hospital bed, so now, in order to live their lives to the absolute fullest, Edward and Carter will have to make a break for it. These two terminally ill men will do their best to fit a lifetime of experience into their last remaining days while forging an unlikely, but truly remarkable, friendship.

I really thought this movie was going to sappy and a real chick flick. I was quite surprised to find that it had it was as funny as it was sappy. I found the whole movie to be heartwarming and uplifting. So if you haven't yet, I highly recommend watching, The Bucket List.

Wordless Wednesday -- All Grown Up!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

8 Things About Miss Natalie

Natalie was "tagged" by her twin Brooklyn. I say twin because I think they share a birthdate (November 13, 2005).

1. Natalie came to our home when she was two and a half months old. She had been released from the hospital to another foster home. When she and her brother came to stay with us, they were only supposed to stay for 30 days. It's funny how things just work out like they are supposed to!

2. How Natalie's name came to be -- I am from a family of all girls. My mom always wanted to name one of us Natalie. I know Jennifer, Lori, and Alyson are a far cry from the name Natalie. I always said that if I ever had a girl, I would name her Natalie in honor of my mom. Natalie's middle name is Ann. We chose it because her Grandma Dorothy's middle name is Ann, her Grandma Roskelley's middle name is Ann. Also, Natalie came to us with the name Annie. So her middle name is after her two grandmas and a reminder of her past.

3. Natalie loves to have her hair done. She will sit still forever for me to do her hair. Just Friday night, I got this hair-brained idea (no punn intended). I decided to put Natalie's hair in all these little braids so her hair would be kinky the next day. It took me over one hour to put all those braids in and she sat still the whole time!

4. She is 100% Girl! Not only does she love having her hair done but she always hast to be dressed. The other day I sat her on the toilet and walked away. I kind of forgot about her. She comes walking out with her pants pulled up. I then realized that I had sat her on the toilet. So I went and grabbed a pull-up and pulled down her pants only to realize she already had a pull-up on. She had gone into her bedroom put on her pull-up and put her pants back on. On top of always being dressed, she always has to wear her "pretties." She got her ears pierced when she was about eighteen months. Ever since then, she will bring me her earring tree every morning so she can have earrings to match her outfit. She also loves having her fingernails painted. She also loves purses and hauls a purse everywhere we go!

5. She LOVES shoes. I think she got this love from her Grandma Roskelley. She always has to have shoes on her feet. She will also bring shoes to anyone that doesn't have shoes on her feet. This fall she went to the toddler lab up on the campus of BYU-Idaho. I had also bought her these really cute brown boots. One day when I went to pick her up from school, they commented about how she really couldn't get around in her brown boots. When she would fall in them, she couldn't get back up. She also couldn't walk in them. She was basically banned from wearing her brown boots to school! One day, Bryon was home and he went to pick her up. The commented about her not wearing her brown boots anymore and they said they hardly recognized Natalie without her brown boots. She currently has seven pair of shoes up in her drawer. (Almost as many as her Grandma Roskelley!) I love it. If I can't find the boys shoes, we always do this mad dash around the house in search of shoes. If Natalie is missing a shoe, we simply pick out a different shoe.
6. She LOVES her doll. She got a doll for Christmas. She hauls this doll all over. She is rarely seen without her doll. She has even tried to take her doll to church and therapy with her. She is always feeding her baby a bottle, giving it loves, and dropping it off for her dad or me to babysit. Just recently she has started sitting the doll in the high chair for it to pretend to eat.

7. She is a blankie girl. She hauls her blanket all over the house and can often be found sitting down holding her blanket and sucking her thumb. She knows she is not allowed to have her blanket unless she is going to bed. So recently she has said cold as an excuse to take it out of her room. She will also point to her doll, meaning she needs it for her doll. Yeah Right!

8. She has the most adorable smile. Everywhere we go, everyone always comments about how she is always smiling. She really is a happy girl (as long as you don't tell her no!).

Natalie tags her cousin Cidney.

Pass the Torch Tuesday

Today is Pass the Torch Tuesday. I have been so excited for this one. Today I am honoring my oldest son, Sam.

Bryon and I are firm believers in not letting our children get up and bare their testimonies until they can do it on their own. Sam turned eight last April. Bryon and I really started encouraging him to bare his testimony in Sacrament Meeting on Fast Sunday around his eighth birthday. We had not been able to convince him. I was beginning to wonder if Bryon and I had done the right thing. Now he is old enough to do it and won't because it is something he hasn't practiced. We have held countless family home evenings on baring your testimony and I have even had his primary teacher encourage him but to no avail. Sunday when we got to church, Sam went in the bench first. After the Sacrament, he started inching his way to the other end of the bench. I could see the determination on his face to get up and bare his testimony but as soon as he had the courage, someone else would get up. He finally made his way up to the front and bore his testimony.

His testimony was so simple but yet so beautiful. He said, "I want to bear my testimony. I know the church is true. I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet. I know Joseph Smith. . ." Then he paused. He paused for what seemed like forever. I wish I could describe the expressions on his face. It was so funny. The guy sitting behind me leaned over and whispered, "He is waiting for revelation." I don't think Sam was waiting on revelation as much as he was trying to come up with the word translated. He never could find the word he was looking for so he finally said, "I know Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

When Sam got back to our bench he could not hold still. He was alsmot "giddy". I kept telling him to sit still. He kept telling me he couldn't. I know that he was feeling the Spirit that we each feel when we have done something good.
As a mom I find it a huge reward when your children are able to feel the Holy Ghost and recognize it as such. I know Sam recognized it as the Holy Ghost because he wrote about it later in his journal.
So today Sam, I want you to know how proud I am of you. I know how hard it was for you to get up and bear your testimony. I am so proud of you!