Monday, August 30, 2010

Delicious Nutritious Zucchini Bread

Sorry, I forgot to take a picture. I adapted a zucchini bread recipe I found online, and we like it a lot.

3 eggs
1/3 C. vegetable oil
2/3 C. applesauce
1 C. packed brown sugar
2 C. grated zucchini
2 tsp vanilla
1 C. all-purpose flour
1 C. whole wheat flour
1/4 C. oats
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C. raisins

In a large bowl combine moist ingredients. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and stir. Add raisins.

Bake at 350 for 1 hr or until a toothpick comes out clean.

*I doubled the recipe--it doesn't make very much, and who only needs to get rid of two cups of zucchini at a time? Also, we put the batter in a cake/casserole pan and it turned out really moist and nice. Check halfway through; it only took 30 minutes to bake.



Friday, August 27, 2010

As I Have Loved You

"The Savior revealed the perfect priorities for our lives, our homes, our wards, our communities, and our nations when He spoke of love as the great commandment upon which “hang all the law and the prophets." We can spend our days obsessing about the finest details of life, the law, and long lists of things to do; but should we neglect the great commandments, we are missing the point and we are clouds without water, drifting in the winds, and trees without fruit...

As we contemplate with reverence and awe how our Savior embraces us, comforts us, and heals us, let us commit to become His hands, that others through us may feel His loving embrace"

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Kiz

This is Kizzy, the family dog. Well, I don't know if you could consider her a family dog--The Mr. certainly wouldn't claim her. She's really my dog. Only she doesn't listen to me. So maybe she's The Bug's dog. Right, so this is Kizzy. I love Kizzy. I also hate Kizzy. You could, in fact, say that we have a love-hate relationship.

As a kiddo I was nuts about animals. We're talking obsessed. I almost liked animals as much as I liked boys. Almost. My mom could tell you--she has more than one letter explaining to her why I absolutely must have a maltese, bunny, a llama...complete with diagrams and charts showing costs and how exactly I was going to cover them, needed supplies, living quarters, etc. Occasionally the response I got was: when you are married and have a house of your own you can have whatever animals you want.

Enter the Mr. He did not draw diagrams of llama pens and hamster breeding quarters. He did not beg for a little doggy that would lick his face and sleep in his bed. And, he most certainly did not ask for a wife who wanted those things. Luckily, we were madly in love and the seven hundred and sixty-two things we had going for us weighed against this one biggie and we decided to tie the knot anyway.

Let's skip ahead a year or two and just say that I am overly persistent and the Mr. is very sweet and possibly a glutton for punishment. I got a dog. And, he was right. She does everything he was afraid she would do. She poops all over the yard. She licks the Mr. (he hates that!), and just likes him in general. SHE.EATS.EVERYTHING. We're talking wood, we're talking weeds, we're talking branches, $30 shrubs we had planted the fall before, writing utensils, eating utensils, paper towels, sketchy-looking berries, plastic bags, rubber bands, and her favorite: The Bug's clothes. I have come outside to find nothing left but a 1" square of a shirt. She has eaten swim shorts, a hat, a shirt...who knows what else. Those are the days I want to kill her.

In fact, the first four months I think I went into a depression trying to decide on a daily basis whether I should keep her or pass her on. I didn't want to do it, but she was such a struggle for me. It is interesting, though. God knows the lessons I need to learn and my goodness, is he ever teaching me through this dog.

Patience has been the biggest lesson for sure. But, eight months later, she is almost well behaved. She drives me nuts sometimes, but I love her. I know she'll make a good dog. And she has saved me so much grief. Every afternoon as I start dinner, I say to the Bug: "Go outside and play with Kizzy." And he does, and that clumsy, oblivious, bowling ball of a dog is as careful as you can believe with my little boy. And even The Mr. likes that.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Grilled Zucchini

I have spent a lot of time working on this recipe--perfecting the measurements, ingredients, and cooking time, so do enjoy.

Slice zucchini length-wise. Marinade in italian dressing for 30 min to several hours. Cook on the grill until it's done.

What's that? I should put out a recipe book? Oh yes, my friends, all in good time.


Thursday, August 19, 2010


Today I am thankful for:


Bobby pins

My car

The Bug's giggle

A comfy bed



New babies (Congratulations Becky & BJ!)

The Mr.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Heart of Parenting

I have recently started reading a book that I think every parent should read. It is written by John Gottman. He is well known in the marriage and family arena, and I studied a lot of his work while in school. He really seems to get what makes families work, and what is important.

This book talks about the importance of helping our children learn to process their emotions. He cites all kinds of studies showing that when children can deal with their feelings appropriately, they are less anxious, less angry, and more resilient in general.

So, how do we teach our kids this awesome ability? We be there. We talk to them, we teach them. Get it. Read it. Do it.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Homemade Yogurt

Warm a quart of milk on the stove, until it is almost boiling. Allow it to cool until lukewarm. Add two to three tablespoons of starter (you can buy this at a health food store, but it is easier to just use store-bought yogurt. Make sure it has active cultures in it. I like use Activia) and mix gently. Cover, wrap tightly in a towel, and leave in a warm place for 8 hours.

I usually just leave the yogurt in my oven overnight. I'll heat it up and then turn it off before I put the yogurt in. The yogurt will be a little soft-set. I use skim milk, and I think it would be thicker with 1 or 2%. It's a great way to have yogurt without the ridiculous amount of sugar and additives.



Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Good Things

Today I am grateful for:

Orange carrot cookies



A healthy little boy (96% in height at his check-up today!)

A budget

"Blow" money built into said budget

My husband

Community theater


Old people


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nom Nom

So yesterday I decided to can some apricots. The Mr. brought some home after he ran his crazy 1/2 marathon on Saturday (straight up a mountain. What a man.). I don't know what I was thinking trying to do it while The Bug was awake. It had the potential to be a ginormous disaster.

In fact, however, it turned out to be really fun. At first I tried shoeing him outside to play with the dog. That only worked for a few minutes; he wanted to know what I was doing. So, I
showed him what I was doing. And then he helped. First I would hand him the apricot halves and he would put them in the jar. Then he wanted to half the apricots, and he had his own way of doing it, too. He would basically smash the apricot until he could see the pit and then he'd pull it out. You can tell which jars he filled himself, because they look more like jam and less like apricot halves.

I have to say, I am surprised at how much he understood, how well he followed directions, and how delightful it was to work with him. Even if it added a teeny tiny bit more stress and some extra cleanup time, it was totally worth it. Besides, it's not really about canning apricots, is it?


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Pull-Free Winter

For Katie

I am in the process of devising some sort of scheme to get over this hair-pulling thing once and for all. I know what you're thinking. Okay, Shawna, what's new? You're always coming up with some sure-fire way, and, well, you're still pulling your hair, aren't you? Well, yes, I am. That's why I'm going to try even harder and come up with an even better plan. I'll let you know when I come up with it...

So I haven't figured out much so far, except for the fact that I'm going to do it, whatever
it is. Brilliant, I know. At this point, I am guessing it will involve lots of cute hats, glasses, gloves, and tape. The goal is to create a situation where it would be difficult for me to pull. I have a theory that if I can go long enough without pulling (a few months maybe?), the desire to do so will decrease, and my awareness will increase.

We tried something new today. Last night I asked The Mr. to tape my fingers right when I woke up. One of my biggest problems is being aware enough to take precautionary measures. I think it is going to be a good thing.

Another thing that I think is going to be part of my winter plan (shall we call it the PFWP?) is just basic self maintenance. I have found that my pulling is a lot worse on days that I don't look as nice. I want to have a goal to get up every morning and do my hair and makeup before I start the day (but after I exercise, and then there's breakfast before the Mr. leaves for work, and I couldn't ever put hair and makeup before scripture studies and morning prayer! Besides, most days it's just me and the Bug. What's the point of looking good? Do you see why I struggle with this?).

So, that's as far as I've gotten. Any suggestions, ideas, positive energy would be graciously received.


Friday, August 6, 2010

What Really Matters

"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.

I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the tires from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing Sister Schenk's lawn. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor's children.

I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.

I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived."

Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Love this woman. LOVE this quote.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

August's Abundance

This week I am thankful for:

The Bug. He has been so stinking cute lately! He has been listening better, too. I just love him.

The Mr. How I made out with such a good man I will never know. I am so thankful to have a husband who believes what I believe, and wants what I want. This morning he was reading the scriptures to me while I made breakfast. It just so happened that he was in 2 Nephi, and this was what he read:
"Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me."
Which makes me grateful for:

The scriptures. It sure is nice to hear that a prophet of God was struggling with the same feelings as me. It gives me hope.

Hats, glasses, and athletic tape. My hair follicles thank you.

Really, really dark chocolate. Kind of. It's a love-hate thing.

Good to the core people with awesome attitudes that bring my life into perspective.

What are you grateful for?


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Story Time

Once upon a time there was a girl who didn't ever feel like blogging, because her blog was suppose to be uplifting and she didn't feel she had anything uplifting to say. The End. Just kidding, it's not the end, but it is a true story.

I like to be perfect. Of course, I am nowhere near perfect, so I tend to be in a state of frustration most of the time. I forget that perfection is a journey, and it's not all up, nor is it intended to be.

If I did have any loyal readers (hypothetically speaking, of course, because I know that if I did have readers they would comment once in awhile so that I would know that I had readers :), they might notice that I haven't been blogging much on Tuesdays, my 'Trich' day. Hmm. Must just be a really busy summer. Well, that, and that fact that no one wants to write about how they're failing miserably to master something they are trying desperately to master. Especially on a blog that is suppose to be uplifting. Get what I'm saying?

I gave a lesson in Relief Society on Sunday about progression and setting goals (because, as we all know, the lesson is really for the instructor and not the class). Here is a quote that I found:

"For my part, I have concluded that the quality which sets one man apart from another--the factor which lifts one man to every acheivement to which he reasonably aspires while the other is caught in the slaugh of mediocrity for all the years of his life--is not talent, nor formal education, nor luck, nor intellectual brilliance, but is rather the successful man's greater capacity for self-discipline."

Benjamin N. Woodson

Oh that hyphenated word. It's the bane of my existence, that word! I could use a little more of it. Or a whole heck of a lot. Luckily, it's not one of those things you're either born with or you're not--it's something that can be developed. My husband is my hero. That man has more self-control than four of me put together...wait a minute...

So, I commence with my goal setting in an effort to develop more of this self-discipline stuff. As I don't really like failing at things, when I slip up I tend to fall farther than I was before I even set the goal. But this is me getting back up, because I know it will come. After all, the good man Spencer W. Kimball said:

"Success should not necessarily be gauged by always reaching the goal set, but by progress and attainment."

Well said, well said.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Pasta Primavera

I just tried this recipe for the first time last week, and we loved it. Lots of veggies, good sauce. There isn't much sauce, though, so ration carefully if you're trying to be healthy. If you don't care about being healthy, just make double! The pasta in the picture ishalf regular and half wheat because, well, that's what we had. Once again, I got the recipe from this great site.


    1/2 cup broccoli florets (small tips)
    1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
    1/2 cup sliced zucchini or yellow squash
    1/2 cup sliced red or green peppers
    1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 teaspoon butter
    1 cup evaporated fat-free milk
    3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    16 ounces thin pasta (angel-hair or spaghetti)
    1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley


In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring about 1 inch of water to boil. Add the broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, peppers and peas. Cover and steam until tender-crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pot.

In large saucepan, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium-high heat. Add the steamed vegetables and stir or shake to coat the vegetables with the garlic and oil. Remove from heat but keep warm.

In another large saucepan, heat the butter, evaporated milk and Parmesan cheese. Stir over moderate heat until somewhat thickened and heated through. Stir continuously and don't scald. Remove from heat but keep warm.

Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender), about 10 to 12 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain the pasta thoroughly.

Divide the pasta evenly among individual plates. Top with vegetables and pour the sauce over the vegetables and pasta. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.