Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Angry snow driving woman!

Tonight I had to drive Stephen to a party and let me just tell you, I am not a happy camper!  I hate I mean hate having to drive on the snowy roads.  Well, it's not the snow so much that I hate it's when I see ice and it's all shiny and my car is sliding as I accelerate and I get paranoid and scared, and when I get scared I get mad! 

I have been having axiety all day today ...which I hate and sometimes when I feel that anxioius, insecure feeling I get angry!  Is that weird?  I have been this way since I can remember.  When I get to feeling anxious or scared sometimes it makes me angry.  It makes me want to cry or fight and it makes me say bad words! Which I dont usually do outloud so dont tell my kids.  Anyway, then I find myself cussing out my husband for not doing the driving for me even though he is not there to hear me. 

Mike is not the rescue type of personality.  He's the "ah, you can do it yourself" type which I hate at times like these.  I just want him to do the tough stuff for me...like drive Stephen to the party in the snow so I dont have to!!  Thanks to his Mom who does everything...I guess he thinks I should be just as tough, but you know what?  Sometimes I am not tough and I need to be babied! Okay?  I wonder what I would do if he did baby me....would I like it?  Or would it bug me?  I dont know.  All I know is that tonight I wanted him to baby me and drive in the snow for me so that I would not have had to drive in it all the way feeling like I was gonna get in a bad accident and die on my way home.  I told Stephen he better kiss me goodbye tonight when I dropped him off because it may be the last time I see him.  Angry! Angry!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Too many cheifs

The last couple of nights I have just wanted to stay up and enjoy the peace and quiet.  People have been cranky around here.  Do you ever notice that just by the way some people talk that it just brings you down?  That is what I have really noticed lately.  The older I get the more I just want to have quiet happy peace.  But everyone is always busy and anxious to get something done or be somewhere or do something and so the crankiness starts!  And I just get tired of it.  Everyone has their own agenda.  Maybe I just live among too many Cheifs and not enough Indians.  We also have a lot of stubborn people around here.  Mike and I are both pretty stubborn I have to admitt.  Plus the kids are home from school because of the christmas vacation so everyone is around a lot more.  I did a lot of returning and exchanging of Christmas gifts today. Now I am in the middle of cleaning and re-organizing my house.  I am gathering up all my christmas decorations little by little and packing them away.  Then I will tackle the basement and get us all organized so that when the house is finished and we finally move it isn't a big hastle.  So, I am not sure what I will be doing in a month from now.  My goal is to work on my food storage this year but I am also supposed to get my Mary Kay business up and running.  Not feeling so motivated these days.  So, we'll see how it goes.  Right now I am just gearing up for a New Year!  Yay!  I love New Years!  Love that "New" feeling that "New Start" opportunity.  So, for now I will just enjoy the week of having my kids home and try not to get too crazy with all the cheifs I live with around here.  Hope you all enjoy your week as well.
How many cheifs do you live with?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Petey's Best Christmas Ever


Well, I thought I would share with you a story that I wrote many years ago for Michael when he was 8 years old.  He never liked to visit Santa and he no longer believed in him anyway. I made up this story in hopes of putting the magic as well as the true meaning of christmas into his little heart.  Hope you enjoy it as much as he did!


Petey’s Best Christmas Ever
 
     Once there was a little boy name Petey who lived with his mother and father in a little house. They didn’t have much. His Dad worked on a farm and his Mom ironed clothes for some of the nearby neighbors. It was Christmastime. Dad wasn’t working much these days and Mom was lucky to get any ironing jobs this time of year.
    So, Christmas wasn’t looking very good this year. But Petey was 8 years old now and it seemed that the last few years were like this not to mention the kids at school were now spreading the rumor that there really was no Santa Claus anyway. So, Christmas was more about the lights and the tree and the little nativity scene that sat in their living room each year

     Mom tried to be extra nice and loving with Petey he knew she felt so badly that they didn’t have much to give. Each night for the last week before Christmas the family would sit by the Christmas tree and tell Christmas stories about people who were much more unfortunate than they were. Still Petey would dream about Santa and that one gift that he knew he would never get, the superman action figure that all the boys at school seemed to have except him. But still Petey and his family loved each other and they enjoyed singing Christmas songs and reading stories. They were together and that’s all that mattered anyway.

     On Christmas eve this year after Petey had taken his bath and put on his PJ’s he went into the living room to dream by the big Christmas tree. He loved how the bright lights twinkled and he loved the many beautiful colors of Christmas. That night as he sat there and stared at the tree he fell asleep and he had a dream. He dreamed that he woke up to see a short, chubby little old man in a red suit and white beard coming out from behind his Christmas tree, busily doing something. So, Petey asked the little man,”are you Santa?” the little man turned to look at Petey and nodded as he quickly went back to work. Then Petey asked, “what are you doing”? Petey could see that he had something in his hands that sparkled and shined and he was sprinkling it on everything!”…“Oh, I am spreading the Christmas spirit”, said the cute little man.  Petey watched him as he sprinkled the “Christmas Spirit” all over the tree, all over the Christmas decorations and especially on the nativity set that sat on the table in the living room. Then Petey watched the little old man slowly bow his head and close his eyes and just stand there.  Petey thought it was very interesting how he just stood there like that in front of that nativity set that Mom always fussed over, for what seemed like forever.  Then suddenly Santa lifted his head, opened his eyes, and walked over to the family picture and there he sprinkled the rest of the dust. Petey continued to watch Santa as he quickly hurried over to the fireplace, and then he turned to look at Petey and with a wink he was gone! Petey rubbed his eyes and wondered what happened to the cute little man. Then Petey woke up.

     Petey ran into his parents bedroom as he could see the sun just starting to come up. He had a feeling of excitement and his heart skipped a beat as he exclaimed “It’s Christmas, wake up!” He ran into the living room with a big grin on his face and his parents followed behind him. Petey was so excited as he handed his parents some paper made gifts he had made at school and they smiled with pride at his hard work. Petey did get some much needed new socks and a clean white t-shirt that made his old ones look brown. The family hugged as they each expressed their love for each other. Petey felt warm inside and felt a special feeling unlike any other he had felt on Christmas in years past. Then Petey had a great idea, so he asked his Mom and Dad if he could gather up all of his old toys and clothes so that they could give it away to someone in need. His parents happily agreed and they agreed to go after breakfast. After quickly eating Petey went into his bedroom to change his clothes. As Petey took off his pj’s he noticed something very strange…some kind of sparkling, shining dust fell from them and he wondered…was it really a dream?

     Now Petey was even more excited as he hurried to find his old toys and gather his old clothes that he was anxious to give away. He put everything in a big bag and ran to meet his parents in the living room once again to leave for the shelter where the needy children lived. But as they went to walk out the door, something caught Petey’s eye ..there was one more gift sitting under the tree that he had not noticed before and it had his name on it. It said to: Petey from: Santa. The little boy ran over and picked up the gift and quickly opened it and his eyes opened wide with delight when he saw the superman action figure that he had only dreamed of getting. Petey hugged the toy and then gently placed it back under the tree. Then without hesitation, he and his parents left with the big bag of toys and clothes that Petey couldn’t wait to give away to the needy children.

As the family left for the shelter a long glow of “Christmas Spirit” trailed behind them. This was the best Christmas ever!
Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

How deeply do you feel?

Okay, so this is just something that I've been thinking about a lot lately.  I am interested in getting some feed back from some of you abou it.  Since we can only feel what we individually feel then how can we really know?  What I am talking about is if some people feel things more deeply than others. It seems that in my lifetime I have been surrounded at times by people who feel things very deeply and then by others who do not feel things so intensely.  So, what is it?  Do people actually feel things more intensely  than others or are some people just more expressive or emotional?  What do you think?  I know when I compare myself to my husband I definately feel like when I feel things they are more intense than when he does.  However, I am a woman and he is a man and that in and of itself explains a lot.  But when it comes to people in general...do some people actually feel things deeper than others? And why?  And what are we supposed to do about that?  Are we to learn to control those intense emotions or feelings or are we supposed to let them cause us to take action in our lives.  I know this may be just a weird thing to think about but, every once in a while I do think about this kind of thing.  Maybe it just depends on the situation.  Maybe some people feel more deeply about certain things.  But then there seem to be the kind of people who just feel deeply about everything.  Is it our experience that causes this to be so or are we just born this way? Maybe I am answering my own question.  Maybe there is just not one straight answer for this deep feeling thing.  I just wonder why it is I guess.  I guess it is a good thing that Mike doesnt feel as deeply about things as I do because he is often the voice of reason or the calm in the storm for me.  I think that is a good thing...right?
On the other hand, I wonder sometimes if I went with some of my intense feelings, would I have accomplished more in my personal life?  I have always kind of been a person who plays it safe, so maybe Mike helps me keep that "safe" place that deep down I want to stay in.  Okay, now I am getting too carried away with this subject.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Inspiration....Just follow it!

     So, this morning I woke up with an important thought and I went with it.  And then I realized that this was "inspiration".  As I thought on that I realized that I get it all the time.  And in fact, I think that the older I get the more clear or maybe the better able I am to recognize it when it comes.  In fact, I think that anytime we have good positive thoughts that require us to take action it is INSPIRATION.  Have you ever thought about that?  Well, maybe you have and I'm the only one who hasn't but, over the last year I have had so many thoughts such as this that I just had to share.  My friend did a post on what she will not do in 2011 and so this is a post on what I will do in 2011.  And that is. "I will make it a point to follow the inspiration I recieve".
It makes me wonder how many times the spirit has tried to tell me something and I just let it go in one ear and out the other.  I mean I have definately had times when I have had clear messages, but  It has taken me so many years to finally feel confident in recognizing that inspiration and so now I need to embrace it and follow it whenever I get it.  Plus, I always feel better when I do.  I honestly think that we as women get this kind of inspiration all the time.  I believe it is what we as women do best.  So, let's not let it go to waste!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tale of the Three Trees


So, many years ago when Mike and I were just newly married and starting our family, my sister in law gave me 3 trees similar to these and along with it was the Tale of the Three Trees.(Go here to read a version of the story.)  I loved those 3 trees and have put them out every year in a group as one of our favorite christmas decorations.  Then when the kids were getting a little bigger and could sit and listen to stories, I started to read this story on Christmas eve.
We get the 3 trees out and sit on the floor with the story and we turn out all the lights and light candles all throughout the house.  Why?  Just because it makes it more fun and the kids love it. 
Anyway, this is just one of our Christmas traditons.  So, this year I could not find my Trees!  I think they must still be in California.  So, I went shopping for some more.  And I found these.  So, I decided that I would give a few of these trees to some others who are very special and just starting out their families this year.  And this is how I will package them.
Each tree is individually wrapped in tissue paper and then placed in this sack.  Along with a rolled up copy of the story of the Three Trees. I love gifts that help us remember the Savior!  I was excited to get these trees and I am so excited to give them!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Each act of kindness

I always love listening to the Christmas devotional given by the First Presidency each year.  This year we didnt get a chance to watch it on Sunday so today I finally watched it for the first time thru the internet.  Every talk given by our first presidency was amazing! But one thing that President Eyring said really hit me this year.  He said "each act of kindness to anyone becomes a kindness to Him, because he loves all of his chilren..."

The thing that came to my mind is the love I have for my own children!  And whenever anyone does anything kind for my children it is like they are doing it to me.  I have felt this much in my life as I have watched others (friends as well as family) bless the lives of my children. This is especially true when it comes to our extended families, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.  Because we have not always lived near family, my children have not been able to spend a lot of time developing relationships with some of them.  Therefore, when any of them does or says something kind to my children it is as if they are showing me their love.  And I get it!  I get how much it must make our Father in Heaven so happy when we do for eachother...simply because we love him whose children they are.   I am especially grateful to our extended family who have helped us out with Michael's mission for several months this past year. 
They have been there for him when we could not. 
I can only imagine how our Heavenly Father feels when we help out our fellow brothers and sisters in his behalf. 
 This truly is what Christmas is all about!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Cookie Exchange

Had a great time at my sister's Cookie Exchange on Saturday!
Before we exchanged our cookies, Regina talked a bit about
Christmas Traditions and how important traditions are. 
 She then gave each of the girls the Christmas Traditions journals
that I made last week for her. 

 Then we exchanged our cookies and other goodies! 
Here are all the different assortment of cookies I came home with.
I was able to make up 12 of these yummy plates!

And then Regina and I each recieved one of these!
This has got to be one of the most beautiful Christmas decorations I have ever recieved!
This came from our friend Cricket who manages
Anastasia's Attic at Gardner Villiage.
It's mistletoe!  Thank you Cricket!  I absolutely love it!

It's hanging here in my entryway.
It will be fun to tease people about standing under the mistletoe this month!
It was a really fun day and I am excited to continue the Chirstmas Cookie exchange in future years!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Hope she doesnt mind

Well, now that we are living in Utah I am getting into the swing of all of the traditions that have been going on without me in years past here.  So, my sister Regina is having her annual Christmas Cookie exchange party at her home in West Jordan tomorrow morning.  So, today it is my job to make 12 dozen cookies to bring!  Can you belive that?  Well, after the first batch I just got bored so I invited my 3 year old nephew Reese, over to make the rest.  He got the hang of it right away, I think... sure hope she doesnt mind:)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Defined By Christ


I am not much of a reader as I have stated before.  However, when I find books such as this I cant get enough.  This book was given to me, as a thank you gift, by my good friend Christin and another sister for speaking in her ward in Ogden last month.  It is a fantastic book!  At least I think so.  This book is written for those who struggle with feeling their divine worth!  It is filled with examples, experiences and doctrine about who we are as children or our Heavenly Father, that helps the reader to really truly get their worth!
I personally have struggled with this issue much in my lifetime..I have come to understand that sometimes this is the only way the adversary can get to us and boy does he use the lie that we are not smart enough, capable enough, good enough or worthy enough to deserve all the blessings that our father in heaven has for us in this life.  And that what we have to give is just not good enough.  I have felt that so much in my lifetieme off and on and I assume that others too have felt the same way. 

Here are just a few quotes from the book:

"What certain others think of us may matter in some ways, but the opinions of others, no matter who they are, should not define us. Christ is the audience for whom we perform." 

"We are not told to understand.  We are told to remember.  That can only mean one thing: at some point we knew our worth in the sight of God."


"Everyone on this earth stuggles--even those who seem to have all the advantages.  It's part of God's plan.  It's how we come to the realization that we have to rely on Him instead of on our own strength.  And it brings us to a realization of His mericful plan.  Regardless of any disadvantage we face, our Heavenly Father can fill any void and can make up for all that we lack.  He knows us better than we know ourselves, and His perfect plan can catch us when we fall and redeem us when we sell ourselves short."  I love this one because I have come to know for myself that he can fill all the void in our lives...we just have to learn to give our life to Him.

"We cannot trust others to determine our worth.  We can't even trust ourselves to determine our worth.  We have to train ourselves to listen, believe, and act on the only voice that matters--Christ's voice."


" He says, "Come follow me." If we do that, we will end up where He is.  Think about it!..."


Anyway, it is a really, really good book and it's short.  But it's one that you will want to savor because it makes you feel and know how loved and how special you truly are.  I highly suggest it!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Traditions


This is what I've been doing all morning!  I'm done...except for one or two that need ribbon!
Each one is covered both on the front and back as well as in the inside front and back. Each has a big ribbon and also a special Christmas decal.

Here are a couple close up.  I have been making them for my sister.  They are just those compositon books again.  These were made to be used as Christmas Traditions Journals.  She will be giving them as gifts.
I made a total of 12 and I think they turned out pretty cute...dont you?

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Sweet Sophia

Oh Sophia, Sophia!  Well, those of you who know me, know about Sophia!
She is the daughter we never had but always wanted...but then seriously, who wouldn't want this girl?
However, I was the lucky one whom not only she but her mother chose to allow me to be her mentor and her friend, who trusts me to teach her to guide her and to love her.  I am very blessed.
This may sound crazy but I always knew that one day a young girl such as Sophia would come into my life and would be like a daughter to me. 

I met Sophia when she moved into our ward just after I had been called to be the 2nd counselor in the Young Women's program over the Beehives in our ward in Sacramento.  She and I hit it off right away and have been so close ever since.
She usually spent every Sunday in our home and any other time that we could get her with us.  Mike adores her and my boys love her like a sister.  She and Stephen are the same age but seriously act like brother and sister.  In fact they refer to eachother as such and they argue like it too. 

When we announced that we were moving, she and I cried our eyes out!  But she came to be with us just a couple of weeks later and just made her second trip here for Thanksgiving.  Whenever Sophia is with us it is so easy and comfortable that it is just like our daughter is home again.  She is an extremely sweet, loving, helpful and regular girl with a sweet tender spiritual nature that just melts everyone she meets.  Heavenly Father sure made this girl a blessing to so many lives.  It is especially nice for me to have another girl around who only brings the best out in me as a mother.  I finally get to share who I am as a woman with this sweet girl who longs to be taught.  She is like a sponge. So, smart, so eager, so willing to learn and grow.  It doesn't get much better than that now does it?  Funny thing though is that she still calls me Sister Nelson (yw's titles just stick) but she calls Mike "Dad"...so cute!

This past week just flew by way too fast. There were so many things we still wanted to do, but I guess they will have to wait til next time. 
We did have a great visit to Temple Square for Music and the Spoken Word, shopping, Harry Potter, cooking, singing, and just running around together.  She also got to hang out with Stephen and his friends and I think we probably have a couple of boys who are now in love...or at least their families are in love...I'm sure!

So, now back to my life of Men.  But that's okay, my boys love me and I get to Mommy them to death and then when I see Sophia again...I will share it all with her!

I miss my sweet Sophia!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


Today I cant think of anything better than a family that makes me smile all the time!
I am truly blessed and so Thankful for my family!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful for work

My Man grew up in Utah and California.  He attended and graduated from Spanish Fork HS while he lived in Salem and Woodland Hills, here in Utah and later left for his mission from there.  So, he knows all about these cold winters. He also worked in Montana during the dead of winter in order to earn the money to serve his mission.  However, after living in Northern California for the past 22 years he has had absolutely no desire to move back to Utah (mainly due to the winter weather conditions) to work in the construction field doing what he has been doing and loves doing and that is "building".

I, on the other hand, grew up in California but have been watching so many of our family members move to Utah over the past several years and have longed to move here as well.  But, My Man continued to tell me how he did not want to go back to Utah.  However, after the rough couple of years we have had since the economy crashed, we finally had the opportunity to seriously consider it.  Thankfully we did decide that we better take full advantage of the oppotunity to move back to Utah as my in-laws could help us out until we could get back on our feet. 

 Since we've been in Utah life has been so great!  All though My Man has continued to be out of work.  In the meantime I have been so enjoying Utah living.  I have been cooking and and creating and just enjoying being home with my family.  But, then my father in law decided to start building our new home and to sell the home we are now living in.  The intent was that My Man would be working by his dad's side building our home and so I knew that I would have to give up staying at home and go out to find a fulltime job to feed our family at this time.  I really did not want to do this so I prayed hard about it and I finally got to a point where I felt so good about the desire to assist My Man at this time in our lives, and found myself rarin' to go and get out there and work.  I knew that I could do it.  I felt more confident and ready to tackle that full-time working Mom status than I ever had before.  Then suddenly My Man got a call back from a company he had applied at, (just at the 11th hour. Isnt that always the way it goes?)  Anyway, to make a long story short, he got a great job and I did not have to go back to work full time afterall.  

So, now where does this all leave us?  We have learned so much over the past 2 years!  We have learned things that have really nothing to do with whether or not we have jobs.  We learned to have a deeper committment to the Lord, and a greater appreciation for his ways and his commandments, and most of all we have learned to have a greater trust in him.
Faith that is the bottom line for us. And My Man?  As far as working out in this cold weather? 
 Well, he is just thankful to be working!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I am Thankful for Beautiful Music!

Today I am extremely thankful for music in my life!  I have always been a lover of music and a variety of it.  I especially love music which brings me closer to my Savior.  Last Sunday we took the kids to Salt Lake in order to attend the Thanksgiving special of "Music and the Spoken word" presented by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  It was sucha beautiful performance!  They had, I believe it was, 28 bell ringers there playing all different kinds of  bells during their songs of Thankfulness.  The kids loved the experience and of course Sophia and I sat there and cried as the spirit was so very strong in that room.  After the recording of their broadcast,( which we had to be extremely quiet during),  the audience then stood up and aplauded for them.  After which the choir then sang to us..."God be with you".  Mike looked at me with tears in his eyes.  It was very moving and very beautiful to say the least.  I am so very thankful for music in my life that helps me to celebrate and express the love in my heart for this beautiful life I have been so blessed with!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankful for Inspiration

Today I am thankful for Inspiration.  I woke up the other morning with a strong impression that I would be recieiving a certain calling in my future.  I wasnt sure how near or far.  So, I told Mike about it and then let it go.  Mike and I have been working on the Activities Committee and I guess that calling is being disolved.  I have also been working as the Acitivity Days assistant and I have really loved being with the girls.  They are so fun and cute.  But yesterday Mike and I were called into the Bishops office and I was extended that certain calling that I had felt impressed about earlier in the week.  Mike and I just looked at eachother and Mike said, "yep, I guess you were inspired".  So, I am grateful for inspiration because knowing that this was coming helps me feel at ease about it.  I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows what we need and helps us to know when we are in the right place doing the right things because heaven's knows I need him on my side as much as possible in my life. 


Inspiration is one of the Lord's tender mercies in our lives and I am so thankful for so many tender mercies that he has blessed me with in the last couple of years.  And I know so much of it has come because of Michael's service in the mission field.  We have been so greatly blessed while Michael has been serving.  And not in the ways that we thought we would have been, but in the ways we have needed to be.  Isnt that the way is usually goes?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thankful for my missionary



Today I am so thankful for our sweet missionary son who is serving in Sydney Australia.
I am in the middle of putting a Christmas package together for him.  I wanted to send him something yummy from home and so I made these family favorite cookies this morning.

Raspberry Jam Strips
(And here is the story behind how they became a family traditon)

When Mike and I were just a very young couple and Mike was still in school, we were invited to a cookie exchange one year and we didnt know what to make and we didnt have many ingredients nor did we have much money to buy ingredients.
So, we found this simple cookie recipe in a christmas cookbook that we had.
They made 5 dozen cookies a batch and they were so easy to make and delicious not to mention festive looking. They have been a family Chritsmas tradition ever since.
   Here's how you make them.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup margarine or butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup raspberry jam
Almond Glaze (below)
Mix margarine ( I only use real butter), sugars, egg and vanilla.  Stir in flour and baking powder.  (If dough is soft, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Divide dough into 8 equal parts.


Shape each part into a strip, 8x1 1/2 inches, on ungreased cookie sheet.  Make a slight indentation down the center of each with handle of wooden spoon; fill with about 1 1/2 teaspoons jam. 


BAke until edges are light brown, 10 to 12 minutes.  Cool slightly. 
Drizzle with Almond Glaze.
Cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces.  About 5 dozen bars.
Almond Glaze
Beat 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract and 2 to 3 teaspoons water until smooth and of desired consistency.


I was able to fit a dozen of these yummy cookies in this little box by layering them 3 times like this.
I hope they make it in one piece! 
So, thankful for Elder Nelson and for sweet family traditions!



Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful for Chocolate!!

Today I am thankful for Chocolate!  Yesterday I was craving it big time, and isn't it wonderful when you are craving chocolate, that you can come up with something as wonderful as this to eat!  It was delicious, mouth watering, moist, and chocolatly goodness!

Chocolate Pudding fudge Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
4 eggs
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Greese and floura 10 inch Bundt pan.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, milk , oil, water and eggs.  Beat for 4 minutes, then mix in 2 cups chocolate chips.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool evenly.
To make the glaze: Melt the butter and 1 cup chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave oven.  Stir until smooth and drizzle over cake.

OMG!  THIS IS TO DIE FOR CAKE!

SO THANKFUL FOR CHOCOLATE!!!





Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving countdown

 
There are 9 days left until Thanksgiving and there is sooo much to be thankful for.  So, for me today I am thankful for 2 things.



1.  I am thankful for fleece!  Yes, you heard me right I said "FLEECE"  It is so warm and cozy and it makes
     me feel like I am being cuddled when I wear it.


2.  I am thankful for Choice.  Yep, my freedom to choose      whatever I want in my life.  What to wear, what
     to eat, what to do with my time, how I want to worship and who, and because I can choose, I get to 
     discover for myself the great blessings that come to me from a loving Heavenly Father.


What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mary who?


Yesterday I became a Mary Kay Consultant!  Can you believe that?  I can't even believe it.  I know it sounds sudden but it really wasnt.  Since we moved here I have been thinking about it because I have still been purchasing my skin care from a friend in California.  I did not know anyone here who sold it and I love it!  So, I have been thinking about becoming a consultant for a while.  However, I was planning to get a full time job so that idea was put on the back burner.  Well, when Mike got his job I thouhgt, hey, I need to jump on this now.  So, I did...yesterday!  And I am really excited about it.  I am attending a meeting tonight to help me get started.  In the meantime.  I have this cool website for you to see or possibly order something so go HERE and check it out!  I am just starting and learning so, we'll see how it goes.  Love the idea of working from home! 

I love their skin care...what do you use?

p.s.  I'm getting my hair cut today....are we having fun yet?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Girls just wanna have fun!

Today I feel like celebrating and just having fun!  And here are the reasons why...

1. First of all my husband finally landed a great job!

2.  I accomplished something last week that I didnt think I would be able to do but I did it and I
     am so proud of myself!

3.  I got to visit a young friend last week who lives here in Utah whom I love and havent seen
      in ages and is like daughter and a great friend to me. It was so awesome to be reunited
      with her again!

4.  I am finally getting my hair cut!  After letting it grow out for months I am finally gonna change 
     it and I dont even know how....just gonna let her do it!  Can't wait!

5.  I am signing up to be a Mary Kay consultant today...always wanted to sell Mary Kay...
     love the stuff! 

6.  The holidays are coming and we have lots of fun parties and get togethers planned.

7.  Because of the holidays I get to spend more time with my mom and my sisters and that 
      means a whole lot of fun!
   
8.  My sweet Sophia is coming for a week to celebrate Thanksgiving with us! Yay! Cant wait to
      spoil her!

9. Just because life is good....(and because I felt like I needed 10 things...lol!)

10. I just love being a girl....don't you? 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mexican Two Bean Chicken Chili

This is a family favorite that is easy, light and tastey! 
Thought you might want to try it on this cold fall Sunday.
It's yummy for your tummy....promise!  Enjoy your day:)

Mexican Two Bean Chicken Chili

1 medium zucchini, coarslely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (8 3/4 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) chicken broth
1 jar (16 oz) thick and chunky mild salsa
1 can (8 oz) tomato sause
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 1/2-2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin

Optional toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, crushed corn tortilla chips, sliced green onions and fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

1.  Chop zucchini.
Drain and rinse beans. Drain corn

2.  Combine chicken broth, salsa and tomato sauce.  Add zucchini, beans, corn, chicken, pressed garlic, chili powder and cumin.

3.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

4.  Ladle chili into soup bowls.  Top with desire toppings.

Yield: 6 servings (10 cups)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Success!

Had a wonderful time in Ogden on wednesday with my sweet friend Christin speaking at her ward Relief Society meeing.  The topic she gave me was "An Attitude of Gratitude"...My specific topic was "Gratitude even in the face of adversity".  It was basically a summary of my life up til this point and some specific experiences I have had that have blessed my life with the ability to see and feel gratitude for those things that are the real blessings in life. Anyway, I did it!...I guess you could call it a success...
 I had a great time speaking and an even better time visiting with Christin and her beautiful family!

 
She has 3 extrememly adorable and fun loving little boys herself and one very cute sweet baby girl!
 Christin is an awesome Mom, just like we all knew she would be.  She is selfless, tender, loving, patient and oh so much fun to be around! I was in heaven with these cute little guys.  I was amazed how they took to me right away. Christin had prepped them on my family, so they knew all about me and my big boys....they were just adorable enough to eat I tell ya!


I just have to show you this.  I saw this hanging up above the door in their dinning room.  I thought it was a little strange to see all of these shotgun shells framed and I didnt remember either of them having anything to do with shooting or guns or anything and the closer I looked I noticed that it said "Choose the right".  So, I finally mentioned to Christin that I had just noticed what it said and she said,"do you know what that is"...of couse I said, "no" and she said , "those are all the guys I dated with their signatures on each one of those shells.  When my dates would come pick me up, my dad would tell them to take good care of me and  have them sign their name to a shell, just in case they didn't"!     I thought that was hilarious!  So, I had to get a picture of it! Of course Simon's is the one above and in the center.
Christin sure chose the right one!
What I have always loved most about Christin, which still holds true today,
is her Eternal perspective on life.
She has always and still does Inspire me!
See this cute family here?  Now this is my idea of Success!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Feeling like Don Taylor

Today I woke up feeling like Don Taylor!  Not that I feel like shaving one leg,
nor do I feel like sneaking into a movie and I am certainly not in the mood to dance provocatively,
nor do I have a sudden urge to watch eternal episodes of "Cheers".
No, the reason I feel like Don Taylor is because tomorrow I am leaving
Springville to travel to Ogden on a public speaking invitation.

Yes, this is Don or it was Don... about 20 something or so years ago.  Some of you might know Don Taylor especially if you are from the Sacramento area.  I met Don when I was barely a teenager.  We lived in Auburn California for about 4 years and Don left to serve a mission from same ward.  Then our family moved to Roseville and Don moved there also after he had returned from serving a mission.  He hung out with his best buddy at that time Tom Neff.  Those 2 were a comedy show.  Especially Don.  They befriended my brother David who had joined the Army at 17 and then had come home at age 21 and now decided to go on mission.  Don and Tom had already served missions and were now home.  So, Don and Tom and some of the other return missionaries from there at that time would come over quite often and just hang out or Mom would let them throw parties at the house.  I was just a young 15 year old girl and I loved seeing all of these good- looking return missionaries come to my home.  Well, we really hit it off and so they would invite me to go to the YSA dances.....I know, I know, a big NO NO!  But I was too young to know any better and  Mom trusted that these guys would look out for me and they did.

And here he is again.  If I remember right this picture was taken at the airport when we were meeting my brother David home from his mission.  Of course he is wearing a "Raiders" jersey... they were all die-hard fans of that football team and I would venture to say that he still is today. I remember this picture because  Don said "Lisa, take a picture of me coming out of the bathroom"...always a Goof-Ball that Don Taylor!  And there he is walking with none other than Tom Neff. (Just like Michael and Adam)

So, as many of you know by now I am a very sentimental girl.  I have very fond memories of some very special people who made a big difference in my life.  Don is one of those people for sure!
Don was a mentor to me.  He was an example to me.  He and I would sit and talk about many spiritual things often.  He believed in me and would encourage me to be a righteous young woman.  He would sometimes take me on his speaking assignments in different wards and I would listen to him and idolize him.  He was very popular amoung his peers because he was so funny and inspiring!  You could not hold a conversation with him without laughing because he was always telling jokes. People loved hearing him speak.

I will never forget one very important thing that Don said to me when I was about 18 years old.  It has stayed with me all my life and I have used it many times.  It was after graduation and we were driving down the road and we were having this conversation about the possibility of me going on a mission.  I remember having a desire to go but I didnt think it would be possible.  However, I also expressed my desire to find the right person who would take me to the temple and then help me raise a righteous family.  Then Don said this to me..."Lisa, dont worry so much about finding the right person, worry more about being the right person.  If you work on being the kind of person that you would want to marry then you will naturally be attracted to eachother".  I will never forget that.  That stayed with me and was a motto I lived by for many many years.  And so I was blessed with the opportuity to serve a mission, as I was so influenced by so many great return missionaries in my life including Don Taylor.

So, today I am thankful for people like Don Taylor who had a significant influence in my life as a young girl and whom I admire and respect because of the choices they have made in their lives and especially for their belief in me.

Well, wish me luck tomorrow as I try to be like Don Taylor...minus the jokes:/

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gratitude

...to express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven."

-President Thomas S. Monson

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Women need Women

Okay, so I love my husband and I am thankful I married him.  He is a good man, a great father and even a trusted friend.  However, he is NOT a woman! 

Lately I have been overwhelmed by the love of the women in my life and have come to realize just how very important it is for me to have other women in my life.  You know I love Dr. Laura (not always, but usually) and last night I found her latest blog entry titled "Ya gotta have friends", in my inbox and thought it was interesting how she was thinking along the same lines as I was yesterday go HERE to read it. 

So, on Wednesday we had Activity Days with the 8-11 year old girls.  I work with our Stake President's wife who is the leader and we take turns conducting our meetings.  So, this month is on service and we have a very active bunch of girls. We had 12 on wednesday.  So, durning our opening exercises we got to talking about just how much heavenly father loves us and I started to get a little emotional and the girls got really quiet.  Then we each started talking about sharing the gospel and the girls kept raising their hands and just wanted to share and share.  This went on for some time.  And if I didnt stop them it would have gone into our activity time..so we finally stopped.  Then one of the girls asked me "why were you crying when we first started talking about this"?  So, we talked about the Holy Ghost and love and about how sensitive we Women are.  The girls got all cozy and loving with eachother and agreed that we women are sensitive and feel love so deeply that sometimes it makes us cry.  That was such a sweet special moment with these girls.


Yesterday  I came home to another package from my bff and in it she put a card and a gift to our family...just because...who does things like this other than women?  And what greater gift can a person give another than this great book!  Now we have it on CD!  I've always wanted to have it on CD.  Love that girl!

Then I got a sweet message from a young friend of mine who is struggling and striving to put her life in order right now and she wanted to share with me some good news about her success and I thought "wow"! How lucky am I to be able to be a part of this sweet girl's triumphs! 

Then last night I had the awesome privilege to attend a gathering for a sweet girl from home who dated our oldest son a few years ago who is now going to BYU and just recieved her mission call.  Mike and I were  the only "Old Foggie's" there...and I felt so excited to be a part of that great event as she opened her call.  Of course I cried like a baby and hugged her tight for her Mama, who I am sure was dieing that she could not be there in person.  We took a picture with the 2 of us crying ...women and their crying ...ya gotta love em!

Then there is another sweet young friend who lives in Ogden who is also from Sacramento who is now married with her own little sweet family.  She has invited me to come and speak to her RS sisters at a meeting next week.  Can I just say that I feel honored and privileged and at the same time....nervous as all get out!  But for her I would do anything..she is like a daughter to me...So I will try my best...

And then I have another sweet woman friend whom I have never met in person.  She may not know it but she is very special to me.  She is often the only person who makes comments on some of my silly entries both on fb as well as in the blog world. She is kind and dear, she is real and she is uplifting and inspiring.  She is a sweet friend and I love her.

And then there is my sweet Sophia whom I miss desparatley!  She is an angel and we get to have her here for Thanksgiving.  She is a ray of sunshine and love in our lives and how lucky am I to be able to be such a special part of her life..thanks to her sweet mother!

I am also blessed to have a wonderful mother, mother in law and 4 sisters and sisters in law who are always there for me who teach me so much and support me in all that I do. I used to think that I was missing out not haveing had daughters myself.  However, I honestly do not think I have missed out at all.  Women are so very important in our lives!  They enrich, they touch, they inspire, they listen and they love..in a special way that men do not.  Men, you cant live with them, and you cant live without them.  Women?  You just cant live WITHOUT!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lumpia's


Stephen has been wanting to have his football player friends over for lunch and I have been putting it off and putting it off for weeks now.  So, I finally decided I better feed those boys!  Heaven's knows their Mom's feed Stephen often enough.  So, we decided on Lumpia's.  Well, there are 6 hungry football players coming for lunch today but I will be gone so I got up early and made 40 Lumpia's and a pot of rice.  
  Here's my recipe...
The ingredients you see here is all you need.
Ground beef, cabbage, carrots, soy sauce, egg roll wraps and plum sauce.

1.Brown your groud beef in a skillet.

2.Grate 1 carrot per pound of beef and chop up 1/4 of head of cabbage per pound also.
3.Add to beef after draining beef and cook down vegies.

4. Add soy sauce and cook in to taste

5. Start filling and wrapping egg roll wraps (about 20 to a package)

6. Fill bottom of skillet with oil, olive oil, canola, or vegetable oil and begin frying both sides

They will look like this, fry on medium low heat.  Be careful, they cook quick
and will burn easily if you're not careful.

7. Layer on paper towels to soak up extra oil. 
And WHALA!
Delicioso! 
 Eat them with plum sauce (found in your asian food section)
Your kids will devour them....promise!

Now I'm tired and I need a NAP!ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Just a little further....

     When I met Mike, one of the things I loved most about him is that he really encouraged me to do things on my own.  He liked the idea of me developing my talents and just doing what I wanted to do.  He never coddled me in any way and always encouraged me and believed in me even when I did not believe in myself. 

     Well, last night Mike and I went  for an evening walk and as usual he made me walk further than I wanted to.  Okay, so this has been a pet peeve of mine for many years.  Mike and I have been married for over 21 years now.  And from day one he has always tried to push me to do more than I wanted to do at the time.  This angers me greatly!! Why?  I dont know.  It may be because I don't like to be told what to do.  It may be because I dont like to do anything I don't WANT to do at the time.  It may be because it wasnt MY idea or it may be because I dont think I will make it.  Or maybe I am just stubborn...okay, okay, there's no maybe about that....Anyway, I dont know, but whatever the reason, it really gets on my nerves and I always find myself getting more and more upset with him as he tries harder and harder to calm me down and defuse my anger.

     So, as we were walking down the road at 7:00 last night and it was getting darker and darker outside, he talks me into going just to the top of the hill where Springville runs into Mapleton.  He say's "there's a house there that I want to show you".  So, I relunctantly agree and as we get closer I notice that it is now pitch black out and we still have to walk up this hill.  As we finally get to the top, I feel releived that we will see this house and then be able to turn around and go back.  Well, as we finally get to the top and I am complaining about walking that far, he then tells me that it is just around the corner and down the street!!! DANG IT!  He did it again!  I thouhgt we were just walking to the top of the hill but NO, we are walking to the top, around the corner and down the street!  As I am whinning and complaining, and Mike is trying to calm me, I am cracking up inside!  I am thinking about how funny we would sound to a stranger listening to us and just how silly this whole situation actually is.  Then I turn around to look at how far we had gone.  And do you know what??? The view was absolutely beautiful!  It was breath taking.  And once I was there, I didnt mind at all.  I love where we live there is just so much beauty all around us.

     So, I got to thinking about how thankful I am for my "pushy husband".  He really is a motivator.  I may not always like the way he goes about it but he always encourages me to do more.  Never letting me settle for mediocrity.  Like I said, sometimes he really gets on my nerves with his "you can do more" attitude.  But, you know what?  Heavenly Father knows me SO WELL.  He certainly knew me when he sent me Mike.  He is the same with our boys and I look at what great young men they have turned out to be and I think...Man it is a good thing I married this man.  He has always been like a steady river...always determined to keep going and to make it up the mountain...even when the mountain has a whiner like me climbing it!
So, from now on I am going to try to not whine so much about going "just a little further".....

Monday, November 1, 2010

Easy Microwave Carmel Popcorn

We've been craving carmel popcorn lately!
So, I made some last night.This is always a hit with the kids!
Mix 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup karo syrup, 1/4 cup butter in a pyrex bowl
and heat on high for 1 1/2 minutes.

Take out and stir til bubbles are gone.
 Put back in and cook on high again for 2 minutes more.
Take out and stir again and then add 1 tsp of baking soda and stir.

This is how it will look when after you stir in your baking soda.

Use 7 cups of regular popped popcorn in a brown paper bag

Pour the carmel mixture all over the popcorn in the bag

Stir quickly and thuroughly with a big spoon.
Put back into microwave and cook again for 2 minutes more

Take out and shake the bag well.
Then throw out onto wax paper on the counter top and let sit for just a sec.. 
and then EAT LIKE CRAZY before it's gone!
Yummy for my tummy!