Thursday, December 30, 2010


Today I am grateful for:

A Bug that keeps me smiling.

A Mr. that takes care of me.

Answers to prayers (This time in the form of an attentive nurse to help me manage round two of gestational diabetes. More on that later, I'm sure.).

The a-MAZ-ing veggie sandwich that I had for lunch. I'm not kidding, it was so good, and I didn't even break my G.D. diet to eat it. Oh yum yum yum yum yum

Good friends. We had the best visit with longtime friends tonight. Wish we could see them more often.

My bed. Which, as it so happens, is calling to me right now...

Good Night, Happy New Year, and all that good stuff!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Not Dead

There has been some questioning as to whether or not I am dead. Not dead, just Christmas-ing. Christmas-ing and mommy-ing and house-trying-to-sell-ing and lots of other ings.

This week the Bug and I have been sick, sick, sick with who knows what. We're just grateful that we should be mostly out of the woods come Christmas (and praying that it doesn't take Daddy out just in time for it).

We have been partying with family. We are so blessed to be able to have such wonderful people to call relatives.

We have been making goodies (or trying at least), wrapping presents, writing cards, decorating cookies and making snowflakes. We are so thankful for this season and for all the joy that it brings.

We've been shoveling and shoveling and shoveling the 2 feet of snow we got practically overnight. We're grateful that our cul-de-sac wasn't plowed and Daddy had an excuse to stay home from work.

As you can see, he used his time off wisely.

What a happy time this is! We are ever grateful to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are grateful for what He chose to accomplish for each of us. President Gordon B. Hinckley said :
"There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter. The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection."
We hope that you are able to enjoy this time and count your blessings. Merry Christmas from our family to yours!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Portraits of Christmas

This Christmas season has been ushered in with more excitement than normal. Be it because of a Bug that is much more boisterous and aware than last year, or the fun of homemade gifts, or simply the need to have something positive to focus on at the moment, there is a little magic in the air.

I wonder, with so many people facing financial hardships and countless other trials, if there is a natural tendency to hold on tight to the joys of Christmas, or a dreading of it's coming because it won't be an 'abundant' one this year.

I hope, whatever our situation, it is a time to remember to whom we owe all that we have.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful Week

We have so much to be thankful for!

The Bug is thankful for his pacifier, his bossy cow,

his favorite book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,

his favorite song The Eensie Weensie Spider,

Kizzy, drawing, and his crazy uncles

The Mr. is thankful for heating, cars that work,

his new job, and tickets to a Jazz game with his best brother friend

The Momma is thankful for the Bug and the Mr. first and foremost,

awesome and supportive family, sleep, exercise,

a warm home, health and happiness,

music, and Christmas!

"Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings.

This is a wonderful time to be on earth. While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right and good. There are marriages that make it, parents who love their children and sacrifice for them, friends who care about us and help us, teachers who teach. Our lives are blessed in countless ways.

We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. Someone has said that “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

President Thomas S. Monson

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Thankful Tree

Well, she survived a year in storage and has come back to grace us with her presence. Who am I talking about? The Thankful Tree, of course!

It is so easy for me to let Thanksgiving come and go without really, truly thinking about all that I have to give thanks for. We started this tree last year to help us remember our blessings during the month of November. It is amazing, when we write them down, how our eyes open. The little things that we take for granted are truly gifts from a loving Heavenly Father.

So this month we give thanks for all our blessings by putting a leaf on the tree. Leave a comment about the things you are thankful for and I will put a leaf on our tree for each one.

Today I will be adding leaves for:

little helpers
amazing sunsets
the thankful tree


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bug's Eye View

Thankful Thursday from the Bug's perspective

I am thankful for:




Spinning in circles

my pacifier



the swing set


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Letter to the Kizz

Dear Kizzle,

I'm sorry that I am so lame and tried to pass a garbage can off as a dog house.

It seemed like a great idea at the time. But you hate it and would rather be pelted by marble-sized balls of hail than submit yourself to it's oscary depths.

I have since repented of my ways, and we are working on making you a house fit for a Kizz.

The Mr. has spent plenty of his precious precious time hard at work, so I suggest you thank him. He takes gratitude in the form of a 5' personal bubble.

Much appreciated,


Friday, October 29, 2010

What Matters Most

I was talking with a friend this morning about life and all the goings on these days. As I hemmed and hawed about decisions and my lack of patience and what I want but can't find, she brought me back to reality.

I was reminded by our conversation that so much of what I am currently worried about ultimately has so little to do with lasting happiness. And so, though a day late, today I am thankful for the things that matter most. I'm thankful for the Mr. and the Bug, and for the knowledge that we can be together forever. I'm thankful that I have the ability to make any house a home. I'm grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who is keenly aware of me personally.
I have been selfish and short-sighted. I have so many blessings that it feels wrong when I know so many who are going through difficult times and intense hardships. I live a wonderful life.

My little kitchen helper


Monday, October 25, 2010

Letter to The Mr.

Dear The Mr:

I miss you. The Bug does too. Remember how you left (well) before the sun came up yesterday and came home after it had gone down? The Bug wouldn't have seen you at all if we hadn't been naughty about his bedtime. I have not been a very patient mommy. I'm a little stressed out about all the decisions we have to make right now, and even more worried about the things we can't control. My head is missing a few extra hairs to be sure.

Thanks for working so hard for our family. I know this is stressful for you, too. We'll just have to pray harder. Some day soon a nice young family is going to come along and realize that this is the home of their dreams. Then we can find the home of our dreams, conveniently located at least an hour closer to your work. In the meantime we will make the best of things. We look forward to being able to see you again--the Bug is in need of a good wrestle.


The Wifey

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Thursday

I totally forgot Thankful Thursday last week! What a bum I am. I better make today's list twice as long.

Today I am grateful:

That we have had two families come and look at our house this week (I'm told that's unheard of in this market).

That we have a great Realtor (and friend) that was willing to spend
7 HOURS looking at houses yesterday. And he bought us lunch. Way awesome.

For taco soup.

For an awesome sister-in-law who made the Bug feel at home with her family while we house

For these pictures:

was 1/2 second too late. The look on his face was priceless.

For exercise

That this Autumn has been incredibly mild so far. I can't believe how warm it's been. Good weather to train for a Triathlon...sigh...

For a master bath. Apparently a lot of homes in Utah don't have them.

For life. I get frustrated some times, but it is such a gift just to be here.

Count your Blessings!


Monday, October 18, 2010


Meh. I'm not doing as well as I should be. All this preparing to sell the house and move and whatnot has thrown off my groove. Or so I shall blame. More hats!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls!!

I make THE best cinnamon rolls. I'm not kidding. I figure I can say that because it's not my recipe, so I really don't get any credit. I took a cooking class in college that required a research project. One team set out to find the perfect cinnamon roll recipe. Well, they did. I was lucky enough to snatch myself a copy.


2 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 cup 110 degree water
1 C. warm milk
2/3 C. melted butter or margarine
2 eggs-slightly beaten
2/3 C. granulated sugar
2 tsp. salt
up to 8 C. bread flour

In a small bowl dissolve yeast and 1 tsp sugar in warm water; set aside.

In a large bowl mix together milk, 2/3 C sugar, melted butter, salt, and eggs; add yeast mixture and 4 cups of bread flour to mixture; beat until smooth; stir in enough flour to form a slightly stiff dough.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 8 min.

Place dough in a large greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Roll dough out onto a floured surface into a 15x20" rectangle.

Brush 1/2 cup melted butter over dough

Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over dough:
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. white sugar
2 Tbsp. cinnamon

Tightly roll up dough and pinch edges together to seal.

Cut into 1 inch slices

Coat the bottom of a 13x9x2 baking pan with cooking spray.

Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan; cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 min.

Bake rolls at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Let cinnamon rolls cool slightly and coat with desired frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/3 C. softened butter
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 drops almond extract
1/2 tsp corn syrup 1 Tbsp milk
2-4 C. powdered sugar

Powdered Sugar Frosting:

1/3 C. softened butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp milk
3 drops almond extract
2-4 C powdered sugar

*Hints: When letting the dough rise, I turn my oven on to warm. I cover the bowl with a warm, slightly wet towel, stick it in the oven and then turn the oven off. It rises twice as fast.
I cut the roll with dental floss--it works great without smashing the dough.
I cook my rolls a little under the suggested time.
I never have almond extract on hand, so I've never used in in the frosting. I usually make the powdered sugar frosting and then add 1-2 Tbsp cream cheese.



Thursday, October 14, 2010

True Courage

I don't like controversy. I hate confrontation or dispute of any kind. And yet, they are a part of life. So when these battles rear their ugly heads, we are presented with a choice. We can sit back quietly and let others proverbially 'duke it out' or we can speak up and risk being torn to pieces. Which is better? I haven't decided yet. I think it comes down to whether or not you can stand it in the ring. I'm not sure that I can. This post will undoubtedly produce some anxiety as I intent to talk about something incredibly controversial. All I ask is that any comments are respectful and uplifting.

For those who are not members of my faith, twice a year we hold a General Conference in which the leaders of our church host a world-wide meeting that is broadcast from Salt Lake via television, internet, and satellite. This past conference, a few weeks ago, one of the church leaders President Boyd K. Packer gave an address that spoke about the temptations of the world and the power to overcome them. Many were offended by his words, assuming that he was condemning individuals who experience same-sex attraction. Since this talk was given, there has been a huge amount of controversy.

Our church believes that acting in a homosexual manner is wrong. It is categorized as sexual sin, in that it is outside the bonds of marriage and that God forbids it. We do not, however, support condemnation, judgement, or ridicule of our fellow men. We do not believe that individuals who are attracted to members of the same sex are bad people. We simply believe that it is inappropriate to act on that attraction. I have shied away from this topic so many times, because it makes me really uncomfortable. I know several people who are Gay or Lesbian and I love them very much. I have not known how to balance my love for them with my feeling that their actions are inappropriate. I have not felt secure enough in my understanding of the issues, and in my understanding of God's perspective on the matter. But of the little I know, I do know that God loves His children. I also know that He will not be silent simply to avoid controversy. All throughout the Bible we see the rejection and persecution His prophets received as they proclaimed His word. They were not, to be sure, very popular.

So, as I said, I chose to remain silent about this issue until I could better understand. There are still many, many parts to this puzzle I am figuring out. This morning I saw a link to a Blog that blew me away. It is written by a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka a mormon); a man who is attracted to other men. What courage it must take for him to do so! The world needs to hear what he has to say. I have never heard the perspective of a man (or woman) struggling with these issues and living the life of the Gospel. It gives such a message of hope and faith. I feel that he reflects beautifully our Church's standing on the subject. He is not rejected, but embraced. His life is hard, and he is living in a manner that is pleasing to God. I hope to find more clarity as I read about life through his eyes.

Here are his thoughts on the talk given by President Packer. All of his posts are similarly uplifting.

I know that many of my friends have very different views than my own, and I respect that. I know that morality is not very popular these days. I am certainly not here to tell anyone how to live their life. I am here to talk about how I choose to live my life. And I believe the words that President Packer spoke. I believe that true peace and happiness come from living a clean life. I believe that it is our highest responsibility to love our fellow men. I believe that weakness of the flesh can be overcome through our Savior Jesus Christ.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Here we Go!

Stay tuned for the best cinnamon roll recipe of all time

There has been a major upset in the P. household. The Mr. was offered a new job too good to refuse. It is a huge blessing in our lives, and we know that it has come from the Lord. Because this new job will require 3 hours of commute time and an average of 10 more hours of work each week, we decided it is time to move.

Life has been quite busy as we prepare the house to go on the market.
We hope and pray that the house will sell quickly and for a good price. This is not the market to be selling. It is, however, a good market for buying, so we will just choose to see the glass half full, right? As tedious as the whole process is, it is kind of fun--for now, anyway. I enjoy watching the house transform as we prep each room and stuff most of it's contents under the house so that it looks less cluttered.

We are sad to leave our home, our friends, our ward, and yes, even Payson. We have grown to love it here. The cities up North seem so busy and overwhelming to me now. I really am a small town girl at heart. I am confident, though, that we will find what we need. What an adventure we are going to have!

Yay for a clean kitchen! And now to keep it that way...


Rise and Shout

So we scored some tickets to a football game at our alma mater last weekend. It was fun to go back and sit in that stadium again. We took the Bug. I know, risky. We were worried about him bugging everyone around us. He did surprisingly well. I'm not saying he kept to himself. He begged for candy from strangers. He gave "stones" to a kid sitting next to me. He drove his car on the knee of the guy behind me. He wiped Sugar Daddy drool on the girl in front of me. Everyone loved him. That kid probably had more sugar than he's ever had because people just kept feeding him.

I turned to the Mr. and said "He's like a magic key. You could open any door with this kid." And it's true. The little punk has no inhibitions. He has no concept of social boundaries. No one told him that age, race, dress, hairstyle or gender makes a difference; that some people might be too
cool to smile at him. So what does he do? He doesn't quit until he gets a smile. There were times I almost stopped him because I thought someone would be put off by him. And then they were playing games together. If you don't look at him he will put his face right up in yours until you do.

Why aren't we more like that? He's so real! He doesn't try to hide what he's thinking or feeling. He doesn't judge. He just enjoys everybody. Maybe that's why Christ tells us to be like a little child.

I would, however, not recommend wiping your drool on a stranger.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thankful Thankful

This week I am thankful for:

New Opportunities

Evenings with nothing to do (can't remember when I had one, hence the appreciation)

Canning buddies

The Gift of the Holy Ghost, and the ability to receive Personal Revelation

A clean house (once again my gratitude comes from a current lacking)

Short Hair

The Temple


The Mr.

And my little Astronaut Man


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Another Day Another...


I know, I know, I just barely got it cut. And it wasn't the right cut for what I needed. As it so happens, this cut is what I need. It looks a little boy-ish under a hat, so I've had to make some of them a little more feminine. The good news is that I touch my hair WAY less with it this short, so I've been getting by with some nifty headbands I've whipped up which is a refreshing break from the daily hat.

I'm pretty serious about this getting-rid-of-Trich thing. I've decided I've got too many other things I need to work on to keep dealing with this problem. Usually I try to fix everything at once, and I end up in a frustrated heap having accomplished nothing. I am going to beat this. And, when I have, I will lick the next thing on my list. Until then I've got to be patient and just deal with my other shortcomings.

But, I have to say, I'm kind of having fun.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Canning Fool

Am I allowed to say that I like canning?

Cause I do.

Call me crazy.

There's just something about planting a seed

Watching it grow

Reaping the fruit

Peeling and boiling and processing

And finally storing it away for winter like a silly little chipmunk

This year:

Tomatoes---11 Quarts, 14 Pints
Salsa---21 Pints
Peaches--16 Quarts
Pears---9 Quarts
Apricots---6 Quarts

Still Left to do:
More Pears
Grandma's Chili Sauce

Something tells me it will be a little less enjoyable when I am trying to sustain a family of seven. But hopefully by then many hands will make light work :)


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gianna Jessen Part 1

I am so impressed with this woman and her message. It's a long clip, and it's worth your time. I couldn't locate the entire recording and I am a little inept on Blogger, so I had to post it in two separate posts. You should find the second part of her speech in the previous post.

Gianna Jessen Part 2

Grateful Grump

Some days you just don't want to be grateful. I guess those are the most important ones.

I'm thankful that this life is a process. I'm thankful that even though there are rotten days there are really good days, too. I'm thankful that my son is forgiving, because Heaven knows I could be a better mom. I'm thankful that my husband is patient because I need it. I am thankful that I get to be at home and raise my child. I'm grateful for good health. I am blessed to get a full night's sleep almost every night. The Mr.'s job meets our financial needs. The Bug is healthy. We had a good garden this year. We are close to family. The church is true. Conference is this weekend. There must be a message that I really need to hear because Satan is sure trying hard to get me down.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Again?

Which means another progress report on pulling. Well, I've been doing loads better than usual. That being said, I have been slacking a bit. Funny, that reminds me of Sister Beck's talk in Regional Conference. Her message was: "You're doing better than you think you are. And, we can do better." Comforting and inspiring at the same time. I love that woman.

So, this week I'll be better at wearing my hat all the time, not just most, and careful around transitions (bedtime). Ready, go.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Stephanie's Salsa

The past two years I've canned salsa with my sister-in-law and it is good! Here is the recipe she uses:

1 Gallon Diced Tomatoes
2 Large Green Peppers
4 Jalapeno Peppers
1 1/3 C. White Vinegar or Lime Juice
2 12-oz cans Tomato Paste
1 T. Sugar
3 T. Salt
1 1/2 T. Garlic Powder

Blanch and peel tomatoes. Dice or puree ingredients to desired consistency. Mix together and warm in pot. Ladle into heated jars. Steam bath for 20 minutes.

I prefer the white vinegar to the lime juice myself, and I usually don't use all the jalapenos. NOTE: use gloves when you're cutting the jalapenos! I spent several hours with my fingers in buttermilk last year. Just trust me--it BURNS! If you don't like your salsa very spicy, remove all the insides, especially seeds, before adding to the salsa.

Thanks Stephanie!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010


This week, among many other things, I am thankful for:

Good Sales

Generous friends and family. We have been so blessed lately by the graciousness of others.

Coconut Vanilla scented lotion

This guy

Skin, and all it protects. I'm sure glad it's washable, too!

Exercise partners

Naptime. Oh, naptime, how I love thee.

Second chances. And third, and fourth, and...

Cooler weather

Good neighbors

This guy

Tis the season to be thankful! Only a few more weeks until we pull out the thankful tree. It's a tradition. Since last year, anyway.


Stocking Up

Twice a year our local grocery store has a case lot sale. All of their "bulk" food storage items go on sale and we try to stock up on things that we use consistently. We have been counseled by our church leaders to store food for emergencies. But we're not talking 72-hour kits here.

"Acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life. . . . As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year's supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness."
L. Tom Perry

Since we've been married, the Mr. and I have tried to accumulate what food storage we can here and there; pulling a year's worth of food out of nowhere costs a pretty penny, so we've had to do it slowly.

I've always been a bit overwhelmed by it all; knowing what and how much to buy, how to store it, and especially how to rotate it so that we actually use what we buy. For my birthday this year my Mom got me this book:

I love it! No, I am not being paid to endorse this book. I wish. At the front of the book is a list of all the food you need for a one-year supply, and how much of each you need per adult in your family. So I wrote out a list, did a quick inventory, and figured out what we still needed for the very basics. We actually had a lot more than I thought. I then went to my handy-dandy Macey's case lot sale with some moolah we set aside for this sort of thing and went nuts. Well, half nuts, really. That's all that would fit in the cart. Then I did my normal grocery shopping, and filled up another cart. And next week I'll do it again.

I'm grateful for inspired leaders. Now if:

-The Mr. ever lost his job
-There was a local natural disaster
-There was a world-wide disaster
-Food prices spiked
-Use your imagination

We would be a little better off. That Joseph in Egypt really knew what he was doing (If you don't know what I'm talking about, see the musical. Or, you know, read the Bible).

Plus, the salt containers make great building blocks. Just sayin'.


Monday, September 20, 2010

The New 'Do

I figured it didn't make much sense to have long hair if I was just throwing it under a hat every day, so I bit the bullet and chopped it off. I'm not in love with it, and I don't think I picked the right cut for hat wearing, but it is what it is. Hopefully it helps.

Everything in this picture is second-hand. Even the dog. Love it.