Thursday, March 31, 2011

You are what you think ...

So, I am a thinking girl!  Yes, I am.  That's just me.  I think about everything.  I wake up every morning with a million thoughts going on inside my head.  I am constantly evaluating my life and what is happening and how I feel about it.  Then I head out and adjust my thinking for that day. 

In thinking about this today I realized just how much our thoughts and feelings dictate what we do each day.  I know as a young girl they dictated everything I did.  Isn't it nice to grow up and realize that you dont have to let every feeling or thought dictate your life ,or at least, you no longer have that urge to go with every thought you have?  And that in fact you actually have the power to change the course of your thoughts and feelings yourself. 

The last few nights I have been having some strange dreams and so I've been waking up with some strange thoughts in my head and along with these strange thoughts come strange feelings.  So, I have had to get those thoughts out of my head and put other ones there.  Good ones. I reflected on how what you do in the course of a day  can almost force certain thoughts in your head that otherwise would not be there.  And I realized that this is why it is so important to be reading good books, watching good things, doing and saying good things on a daily basis.  It is how we choose to spend our time and what we choose to do and say that helps to shape our character and who we are. And it is the thoughts that we have that create the actions in our lives which in turn makes us the kind of people we are.

So, this has lead me to reflect on how important it is for me to read my scriptures daily, and to watch good things and to be more thoughtful about what I say and do.
As they say, "you are what you think".

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I feel a change coming on

Have you ever felt that something was about to change?  Well, that is how I feel today.  I have felt it coming for a while now.  I'm not sure if it's just because of the weather or the seasons changing or just something inside of me, but change is coming on.

I have already started some new ventures in my life that I am hoping will pay off in the next few months.  I am also anxious to start preparing for the return of our missionary son.  So, I guess that could also be the reason for the feeling of change coming on.  It will be interesting to me to see what life will be like with Michael home again.  So many things have happened and so many things have changed about our family since he left 20 months ago! 

I have to say that I really love change.  I also love to be in the moment of each phase of life.  But change is excitng and new and another opportunity to start over make new committments and renew old ones.  I think that what we do best as human beings is "Change".  Change is a good thing and I am excited for it! So, bring it on...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Listener

This post is about my Mom.  Yep, "The Listener".  That's her!  Mom and I took a trip to Las Vegas together this past weekend to attend a wedding.  It was supposed to be 3 of us but Theresa ended up not coming so it was just me and Mom.  It was a really nice time, just the 2 of us together.  However, I realized that most of the time she just listened to me ramble on about everything in my life. Even as she was getting sleepy in the car while I drove, she nodded with her eyes closed, and just listened (I can really ramble on). And I realized something.  I realized that my relationship with my Mom has really never changed over the many years that I have been a live.  Mom has always been there for me to listen to me talk about anything and everything.  And she is really good at it.  And it seems that when a long time has past since I have shared the many happenings of my life with her...then I feel like I need to catch up and tell her EVERYTHING that is going on in my life and inside of me.  And she just LISTENS!  She is awesome like that.  Even when I was a teenager.  She was my best friend and my biggest fan and she always encouraged me to do whatever I wanted and she just listened to me talk about how I felt and what was happening in my life. She really is the best! 

Now as I am getting older.  I hope that I am doing more listening myself.  And I hope that I am listening to Mom as much as she has listened to me.  Mom is moving to Idaho tomorrow.  And yes I am driving out with her.  Regina is going too.  So, guess what?  More listening.  This time I will try to be the listener.  I will miss her while she is in Idaho.  But no fear, she will be back again in a few years.  And this time she will come to live with me again.  So, here is to my mother, the listener.  I love her so much for always being there for me.  For encouraging me and for believing in me and most of all just for Listening to me!
The Listener and Me.
I love you Mom!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sandy, Temple hopping and a trip to Moab

My good friend Sandy came out for a visit on the 11th and stayed til the 15th.  We decided that we would go visit some of the temples in Utah since I am living here now.
So we did! My mother in law has tons of names that she has researched so we were able to take family names to the temples.
The first stop was Mt. Timpanogos
and this is where we took 2 of Mom's names thru a session.

Next we stopped at the Draper Temple
Here we did 27 baptisms and confirmations, 2 of them were mine,
 one being myGreat Grandmother on my Dad's side. 
 And then 25 of my Mother in laws again.

Next we stopped at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple
Here we did the initiatories of the same 27 names.
It was a great way to spend our first and last days together.
Then we took a trip to Moab to visit Sandy's grandmother and to stop and see Mike's Aunt June.  We of course took a tour of Three Arches National Park and saw some great sights.

Behind us here is called Balancing Rock

Here I am with Sandy's cousin Kymm about to climb the arch.
I drank half a bottle of Pepsi that day.  So, I had a ton of energy!
There I go!  Sandy was freaking out! 
 She is always my protector like a big sister.
She was so afraid that I was gonna fall and Mike was gonna kill!
The 3 Nephites
This is at Castle Rock
Look at this rock when the sun was going down.  So beautiful!
We took all kinds of crazy pictures and had some great girl time!
Utah is so beautiful and there is so much to see.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patricks Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Are these cute or what?  I found this cute idea HERE!
Here's a close up of what mine looked like!
I know not as cute as the originals but still cute and fun!
(you should have seen my shirt...I had chocolate all over me!)
I packaged them like this to give to some little friends of mine!

I also made these cute gifts for my VT sisters.

Thought it was a cute idea. 

Well, I hope you have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

RS Birthday Party!

Last night we had our RS Birthday celebration.  Our committee did a great job of decorating and getting things ready while I was off
temple hopping and taking Sandy back to the
 airport to fly home after a 5 day visit.

We had a wonderful dinner of Mexican Chicken Casserole, salad and rolls
and then a lovely dessert of centerpieces!

For our centerpieces we asked sisters to make cakes!
Is this the cutest or what?

Wouldn't you love to sit at this table?

Look at this one!  Homemade with fresh flowers!
Some people are soooo talented! Just beautiful!

So fun and colorful!

We then opened the program portion of our night with a few words from
Brother Brigham Young, followed by these special guests...

Brother Joseph, Emma, Eliza R. Snow, and none other
than the Prophet's mother...Lucy Mack Smith!
And last, but certainly not least, our wonderful RS President
and my good friend, neighbor and walking buddy,
sang to us about how our hands are the hands of Heaven
and then she spoke to us about how wonderful it is to be part of this
great organization!

We had a wonderfully successful meeting...we are so very

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mexican Chicken Casserole

This is a recipe that I made many years ago.  I decided to try it again and possibly use it for our RS mid week activity this month.  I made it last night and shared it with a couple of friends and BINGO!  They loved it!  So I guess I will be serving this at our activity next week.  Here ya go!
Here are all the ingredients!
Mexican Chicken Casserole
1 Chicken cooked & cut up (used 3 full chicken breasts)
1 Bag Tortilla chips(used about half the bag)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 pint sr cream
1 large can chopped green chili’s (used a very small can)
1 med onion(used a small onion)
1 c mild salsa
1 ½ cup grated cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom of pan with crushed tortilla chips. Place chicken on top of chips. In a bowl combine soups, sr cream, onion and green chili’s. Pour over chicken & chips. With a fork poke sauce down into the chips evenly. Pour ¾ to 1cup mild salsa over the top. Cover with grated cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Obsessed or Obsessed?

Just got off the phone with my little sister.  I love her to death and we talk all the time....Obsession #1.  She brought to my attention that I am an obsessive person.  She's probably right.  However, she admitts that she is also.  The difference is that I openly vocalize my obsessions and she does not.  Which probably makes my obsession worse than her's because I am more vocal about it which makes me look more obsessed than she is....Obsession #2.  However, I do blog more than she does and that is definately....Obsession #3 but I probably do it for different reasons than she does.  And the fact that I am at all interested in these obsessions is probably ...Obsession #4. The truth is that I know that I get obsessed with things from time to time and when it starts to take control of my life and causes me to feel obsessed then I talk about it...kinda like admitting that you are an addict...and for me that helps me overcome the obsession.  Whereas if I just hid it and didn't talk about it I would probably continue with the obsessive behavior.  So, there you have obsession with obsessions! Do you have any obsessions?  Or is it just my sister?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Meat Filled Empanadas

On Saturday Mike saw on facebook that his friends The Chaparro's from Argentina were making and selling Empanadas so he called them right up and ordered some.  The following are pictures I took while we were there waiting for our order.

So, I have to tell you right off the bat that the recipe that I am posting is not the actual recipe that was used in the following pictures.  However, it is probably very close minus the fact that Estella bakes them in the oven versus cooking them on the stove.  We have yet to try this recipe but plan to soon. 

So, first she makes the bread dough and rolls them out like this.
Then she takes the meat mixture that is seasoned and starts to fill each one like this.
Then she tops it with an egg mixtures or cheese or whatever is tasty.
Then she closes it up by putting a little water around the edges to close it up
and then she begins to twist them together ...
Like this.  Pretty nifty huh?

Then she lines them all in a large pan like this and spreads
an egg batter over the top of them before she puts them in the oven.
Here they are about to come out of the oven.
They were delicioso!
Sorry I dont have her actual recipe but it is her specialty and
 I didnt want to steal it from her. 
 Maricio and Estella made over 300 Empanadas that day!



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large Spanish onions, minced
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup canned, peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup green cocktail olives (pimento filled), whole
  • 1/4 cup black currants

Empanada Dough:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine


Empanada Dough: Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Cut in shortening, mixture should be sandy. Add the egg and wine, pulse until dough comes together in a ball. The dough should be pliable; if not add more wine.
Assembly: Separate the dough into 3 balls. Roll the first ball out until it is 1/4 inch thick. With a 6-inch round cutter, cut circles out of all the dough. Remove the edges and save for the next roll. Fill each circle with about 2 1/2 tablespoons in the center of the dough.
Dip a small brush in room temperature water, run the brush around the edge of the dough. Close 1 side to the other forming a half moon shape. Close the edges pressing lightly with the back of a fork.
In a deep saute pan, heat 4 to 5 inches of canola oil on medium high heat to 360 degrees F. Add the empanadas turn over constantly until golden. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Build - Your -Own Shish Kabobs

On Saturday when we celebrated Mike's birthday, we made
Shrimp, Steak and Chicken Shish Kabobs. This is my niece Devyn in the green
and Camry, Jordan's girlfriend, in the brown, helping put them together.
They were very delicious and each had a separate marinade. Then we added all the vegies which also had a separate marinade.  Mike likes to make big recipe's for his I usually end up spending the entire afternoon and evening in the kitchen preparing and cooking! Exhausting, but it's all for a good cause right?
So, here goes...


Meats for Kabobs:

Dijon-Rosemary Steak:

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, stemmed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch cubes

Citrus-Tarragon Chicken:

  • 1 orange, zested, then juiced, remainder discarded
  • 1 lemon, zested, then juiced, remainder discarded
  • 1 lime, zested, then juiced, remainder discarded
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
  • 2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 pound (16 to 20 count) shrimp, shelled and deveined

Veggies For Kabobs:

  • Bell peppers
  • Onions
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Italian squash
  • Baby potatoes, boiled until cooked through
  • Corn on the cob, husked and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds

Balsamic Basting Vinaigrette for Veggies:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for 1 hour to retard charring.


Whisk together all of the Dijon-rosemary steak ingredients (except the steak) in a bowl. Toss the steak in the mixture until evenly coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Whisk together all of the citrus-tarragon chicken ingredients (except the chicken) in a bowl. Toss the chicken in the mixture until evenly coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Whisk together all of the lemon garlic shrimp ingredients (except the shrimp) in a bowl. Toss the shrimp in the mixture until evenly coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Cut vegetables into bite-size pieces.
Puree balsamic basting vinaigrette ingredients in a blender for 30 seconds.
Place meats, shrimp, and veggies in individual bowls and set out buffet style. Instruct your guests to skewer their own kabobs and baste veggies with balsamic vinaigrette.
Grill kabobs directly over heat source for about 10 to 15 minutes, turning 1/4 rotation every 2 to 3 minutes, or until the meat and/or fish is cooked throughout


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Abuse I tell ya!

Okay, so I have been thinking about this for a little while now.  When I was in college I had a class where I had to do volunteer work at the local Children's Recieving home in Sacramento.  But before we could start working with the children there, we had to take a short training course.  One section of the course was on the awareness of Child Abuse.  It was so interesting to learn about.  One of the most interesting things that I learned during the course was that the most common form of child abuse is "Neglect".  I was surprised to hear this.  I had never considered neglect as being a form of abuse.  That just made me see the world so much more differently than I ever had before.

So, lately I have been thinking about my body and how I have been neglecting it and even abusing it by just putting whatever I have felt like putting into it without any thought about how good it is for me.  And how I have been neglecting to try and treat it as though it is something special, something beautiful and something worth investing time in.
And the other night the thought came to my mind...."ABUSE"!  That is when it hit me, I have been abusing my body and that is just not nice!  So, I am trying to be nicer to my body again and treat it kindly, and not be so hard on it, and love it, and talk nice about it, and just be good to eating better, exercizing and getting plenty of sleep.  So, yesterday was my first day of exercizing and eating better and guess what I noticed?  I had soooo much more energy last night before I finally wound down to go to bed.  I was able to clean the house and get things in order for the next day!  Not something I was expecting to happen but this morning I feel so much more ready and in control to tackle another day.

No more Abuse I tell ya!  It's just not good and it has to stop!!