Monday, January 31, 2011

excited for valentines day

Got these super cute placemats for my kitchen bar top today!
Got them at Joann's...just couldnt resist and had to show you.
I've been seeing so many cute valentine goody holders on different blogs so that gave me the itch to make some of my own.

Made these with #10 cans left over from canning,
and used my Cricut to cut out our initials.
Cant wait to fill them!

Are these cute or what?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Family Tree

I heard this song yesterday for like the upteenth time and this time as I listened to the words it really touched me like never before...hope you like it too!

...And God tends the broken branches of this tree
He keeps His watchful eye on every tiny leaf
And their love is a circle in ways that only God can see
As He tends the broken branches of this family tree

And in the end I don't know how it will all be sorted out
All I know is that the circle won't be broken
There will be hands to hold, and there will be love unfeigned
And it will bridge the gaps between all the things we can't explain
But in the meantime

God will tend the broken branches of the trees
And as eternity goes on this will be
Because our love is a circle in this human family
And God can mend the broken branches
And He will tend the broken branches
Because He loves all the branches
Of His family tree

by Cherie Call

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

One lucky girl

 Well, valentines day is coming!  I've been thinking a lot about my valentine and how lucky I am to have him in my life.  I mean seriously, I've been thinking "how did I get so lucky?"  When I met "My Man" I was 25 years old.  It is a good thing I didnt meet him before then, for I needed at least that amount of time to do some growing up. 
I had done a lot of dating by then and I had come to an important conclusion.  I had decided for me that the kind of man that I wanted for my "Valentine" was a man who would put me second, yes, second only to God!  I had to know that he would always choose God's way even over mine.  I knew that if I found a man like this I could not go wrong.  Why? Because there was only one person I could truly count on and who would never hurt me or lead me astray and that was God.  So, i figured that if I found a man who put God first then I would know that he was the Man I could trust with my life.  And guess what?  I found him!  I found him! 
  So, right now I just want to appreciate how blessed I am.  I am married to a good, good man!  Yes, he is good.  Now, I didnt say "perfect", I said "good" and that is saying so much more these days.  He is true, he is faithful, he is tender, he is honest, and he is good!  Most importantly he is true to God.  That makes all the difference in the world to me and to our relationship. Yes, I am one lucky girl, and I know it...and I am thankful to God!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mother and Daughter Temple Day

On Friday, Mom, Theresa and I took a trip to the Oquirrh Mountain temple together. It is a gorgeous temple by the way.
It was so nice to be there with them.  As I sat there thinking about what it must be like for my mother to be attending the temple with 2 of her daughters, I thought about how awesome it was to be in the temple with Michael before he went on his mission. I look forward to someday being there with all my boys! I pray that day will come.  I only have 3 children. Mom had 8 and raised them pretty much on her own. 
 She has 6 that have been married and sealed in the temple now. 
That is pretty dang good odds if you ask me.  Mom is a wonder! 

I just love being with my little sister.  She and I have been so close for so long now.  Even when we were little and fighting like cats and dogs, I think we both knew deep down inside that we would never be able to stay away from eachother.  She is so special to me.  I love her like crazy (even though she has a hard time being quiet even in the temple....always cracking jokes;).  Luckily Mom didnt pinch us to get us to behave like she used to do in Sacrament meeting when we were little girls. ( I guess we have learned to tone it down...I dont think she even noticed). I just really wish Regina could have been there.  So, next trip will be to the Draper Temple with Regina too.  Cant wait. We are going to make this a monthly tradition for us girls! 
 I love living in Utah, so close to family and so many temples.  
And now that I am working on my grandmothers family history, we will be able to take those names with us to do their work. 
 So exciting!
I love to see the temple I'm going there someday...again....soon!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How quickly we forget...

I would have to say that I am as content and happier than I think I have ever been in my life up to this point.  I have finally reached that age where I dont feel "too young" and I dont feel terribly old either.  But I have learned many things that now I can look back on and say, "I'm glad that happened", or "I am thankful that is over with", and, "boy did I learn a lot from that experience".  However, one of the most important things I think I am learning as I get older is that I can't forget the most important things that happened very early on in my life that have made all the difference in my life today.  I am mainly thinking about something that seems so long ago to me now but has made a huge difference in my life and where I am today.

This is something that at the time I know was not an easy thing to this person who had to make some very important decisions, however, she affected the lives of so many others including myself because of her decisions.  This person is my mother.  She made 2 very significant choices in her life that have made all the difference in mine.  #1 My mother chose to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints when she was a young divorced mother of 6.  I know at the time this was a very hard thing for her to do because she was brought up Catholic and this religion was very much a part of her mexican culture.  Her mother threatened to disown her if she would do this.  This was a scary decision for her all the way up until the moment she took that step and then her life and the life of her children took on a different purpose from then on.  She married again and had 2 more children.  Life was not easy but then she made another very important decision that again changed the course of so many lives including mine.  #2 She chose to leave a harmful situation and free herself as well as her children from an unhappy and painful life.

These 2 choices made by my mother changed the course of my life for good!  For one, I can not imagine my life without the Gospel of Jesus Christ and all of the many blessings it has brought me.  And two, my mother set me personally free of physical and emotional pain.  What more could this sweet young mother do to save a soul like me?  I cant think of any 2 things more important that have affected the course of my life. 

It is interesting that as we get older and set in our ways, we forget the simple acts of love and devotion that our parents do for us and we can get so caught up in those things that we now take for granted.  We forget that our parents aren't us.  (thank goodness... because we just have it way easier than they did in so many ways) Parents aren't perfect, heavens knows I am not.  I am sure someday my children will have the advantage of taking for granted those things that my husband and I have worked so hard to give them.  However, I hope that I can teach my children in some small way to not lose sight of, or appreciation for, the truly important and simple sacrifices made for them when they were young. 

I am ashamed of the times when I was judgmental about how my mother could have done this or that better or that she didn't understand what I do today about raising kids and blah blah blah.  She had her set of trials and struggles in her time and we have ours today.  So what if she doesnt see things my way? So what if she may not understand what I always think I need? She is who she is and only she knows what it took to struggle and survive all that she had to go thru in her life.

Because of her, my life will be much different when I am her age.  I will not have the same kinds of struggles but I am sure they will feel just as real as hers do to her.  However, I hope and pray that even then I will never forget the important decisions she made early in my life that afford me to have a different set of trials, and that have also brought so much joy into my life today.  Yes, I have been truly blessed by my dear sweet mother. How quickly we forget how blessed we are because of those who went before us,who paved the way for us to have a better life...and oh how blessed I am because of my dear sweet mother!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Emergency preparedness

It's that time again!  Along with all my organizing and preparing we pulled these out last night. These are our 72 hr kits. I need to buy one for Michael...
not sure what happened to his.
A couple of years ago we put these bags together for our 72 hr food kits.
This year we are going to do something different.  Go HERE to see what  we're gonna do.  I have been researching different site that have suggested lists for kits for food, and for your car.  Check out the sites under 72 hour food kits blogs.

D&C 88:119
Time to get organized and prepared!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Lately I have found myself being distracted by outside forces that seem to take up so much of my thought and time that the things that are more important seem to fall by the wayside.  Not good!  I can see how the adversary works on me by putting these distractions in my life in order to keep me from being truly happy and accomplishing those things in my life that are most important and will make a difference. 

I think it is interesting how the general authorities have been speaking so much on this subject it seems over the last few years.  This life is so full of so many things that we can get caught up in that it is just scary!  I was talking to a friend who is going thru some hard times and she said she did not know if she had the faith to handle this situation.  I have felt the same way many times.  But I told her and myself that this is the time that we are being tested and this is the time that we can show the Lord and ourselves what we are made of.  Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to let go.  Let go of the distractions....whatever they are.  That is when we will win and that is when our faith will be strengthened.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

organizing finds

This is the year that I finally get my files, pictures and scrapbooks organized and up to date.  Mom came over on Tuesday and helped me get going on my family history again.  She helped me label my binders and get them organized so that it will be easy to work on each side of my family. (the flowered binder in the middle is my "Treasures of Truth" binder from my YW days). There is lots of work to do but it's a start and it feels good!  This book shelf has my photo albums on the second shelf, my family history binders on the third shelf and then scrapbooks on the bottom shelf.  I have lots to do but now at least I have it all in one place.
In going thru a binder full of handouts and talks that we have collected over the years, I found this cute hand out.  I thought it was very interesting and funny!

Well, back to my organizing!

Friday, January 14, 2011

To sleep or not to sleep?

Lately I have been having really really weird sleep patterns.  I am tired by 9:00 at night and so I go to bed between 9:00 and 10:00 but then I wake up in the middle of the night at about 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and my mind starts to whirl with things and I am wide awake!  So, I will get up for a while maybe an hour and then I will go back to bed and just as I am good and tired again Mike's alarm wakes me up but there is no way that I am going to get up then.  So, I just stay in bed and I end up falling asleep for another hour and then I am up for the day.  Lately when I wake up I start thinking about organizing!  Yep! Organizing!  Can you believe that?  I know it is just sick.  I think about how I am going to put things a certain way in order to be better organized or how I am going to finally tackle that one area in my house that needs tackling.  It is just too weird.  I mean who wakes up in the middle of the night thinking about organizing?  To sleep or not to sleep, that is the question!:)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A goal for 2011

See these sad empty shelves?  Well, this is one of my goals for the early part of this new year.  To get these shelves full of food! 
We cant just go to the cannery and can what we want there because I have a picky husband and he likes certain brands of certain foods. So, we usually go to Costco and buy some items in bulk there and then rent the canner from the cannery and bring it home to can our food.  For example this is a 25lb. bag of Jasmine Rice.

The canner is so easy to use we like to let the kids do the sealing.  It is fun and gives them something useful to do. 

What kinds of foods does your family like?
What would you fill these shelves up with if you could?
Share, share!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Real Cook in my house

The real cook in my house is my husband! 
Just look at this bread he made the other night after 3 days of letting it rise and fall. 
And it was delicious!
On Tuesday I had a meeting at 2:00pm and it lasted until 6:00pm.  I had every intention of coming home and making dinner.  But when I got home this lovely meal of Salmon and herbed rice along with the home made bread that My Man made for us was on it's way.  We sat down at about 7:00 to eat and we all just died at how absolutely delicious it was!  Mike likes to try new things all the time. He says life is too short to not try something different every day.  Now believe me, we do not try something new everyday but if Mike had his wish we would. 

I have to really watch him because he will go crazy on fresh ingredients and foods and unfortunately that is just not in the budget.  Not to metion the humungous mess that is usually left for yours truly.  But, I have to admitt that man can cook!! (not to mention he is pretty dang cute!:)  

Glazed Salmon with Braised Fennel


Braised Fennel:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 bulbs fennel, cut into wedge
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves


  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Grapeseed oil, to sear
  • 4 (8-ounce) boneless and skinless salmon fillets
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Braised Fennel:
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the butter. Add the fennel and sugar and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the fennel caramelizes. Add the cider, stock and thyme. Cook until the fennel is tender and liquid is reduced, about 10 minutes Season the fennel with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the parsley and mix well. Remove from the heat and cover.
In a small saucepan, add the cider, cayenne and brown sugar and cook over medium heat until 1/2 cup of liquid remains. Set aside.
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the oil. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper, to taste, and sear for 4 minutes in the hot oil. Remove from the pan and put, seared side up, on a quarter sheet tray with a rack. Spoon the glaze over the top of each fillet and bake until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove from the oven to a serving platter and serve with the braised fennel alongside.

on a side note...Mike said he used some fennel and added sweet onion to it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Basement organized!

Yesterday I was stuck home so I stayed downstairs watching "Lie to Me" and working on cleaning and organizing this section of the basement!  Doesnt it look great?
Now to get the rest of my life organized...:/

Monday, January 3, 2011

Getting Organized...I love it!

Okay, so I have to admitt that my favorite part of the New Year is getting organized!  I love it!  I know, I'm sick.  But, I just love being able to get everything in order again, making new goals and starting over with a clean slate...literally! 

So, today I am starting with my office and then I will be tackling my basement later this week.  That is my project for this month as I want to take advantage of all the space I have down there.  That is definately one big plus to living in Utah...Basements! 

Well, I hope you are gettin organized too and taking the opportunity to make a fresh new start to this new year of 2011! 

Happy Organizing!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Beginnings

Happy New Year Everyone!  I love New Years, I really do. I love to wake up New Years Day with all my Christmas put away!  I love that New Beginnings feeling.  I guess I always need a reason to start over, review my priorities, look back at what I've learned and recommit to the life I want to live.  So, here we are and I am so glad we're here again.  This year will be a real start over time for me because my son is coming home from his mission this year.  So much has happened since he left I feel like he will be coming home to a new family and a new Mother!  We will also finish building our home here in Springville and move into it about the end of summer this year and moving into a new home is always an opportunity to start over.

 I am so thankful that we were able to move to Utah this past year.  It has been a dream of mine for sometime and I know that it was the right thing to do at the right time because we have been blessed in so many ways since.  I am especially excited to have another year to love and serve my family while my children are still in my home.  I can see them growing up so quickly and becoming their own people and that is exciting and sad at the same time.  So, I will committ to being a better Mother to these awesome boys of mine.  I also want to be a better wife to a man who is my rock in so many ways.  He is a good man thru and thru and those are hard to come by these days.  So, I committ to showing more appreciation to my sweet husband.  I am also so excited to finally be in a place where I can spend time with my sisters and my mother again so I will committ to making time regularly to be with them. 

2010 was a good year.  It was another year of growing and learning.  It was a year of adventure and change....and I am the better for I thank 2010 for all that it brought with it and and I welcome in 2011 and all that it has in store!  I am very blessed.  Happy New Year!