Friday, May 31, 2013

Baptism--a big day for Mr J

Turning 8 is a big deal, especially in our Church.  When you turn 8 you get to be baptized into Christ's church and become an official member.  
Well, our Mr J turned 8 last week and had his baptism.  His awesome Dad was able to baptize him.  So cool!  Love this picture by Christ being baptized by John the Baptist.  Baptism is a big step to show that we want to follow Christ and be like him.

Before he was baptized they have a little program--people talk--his Nana talked about being clean and repenting, and she had Mr J help her with this awesome experiment that shows when we sin we become dirty, but then repentance can make us clean again.  Mr J said, "That was so cool!"

Then his 3 beautiful older sisters sang "I am a Child of God" as part of the program.

And then his Grandpa talked about the Holy Ghost and gave him a compass and compared the Holy Ghost to the compass and how it will always guide him and direct him in the right way.

It was a truly wonderful day with lots of family there and friends to support Mr J in his big day.  What a wonderful boy he is and what a blessing to have in our family!  We love you Mr J!  We are proud of your decision and know you will do great things!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What's up Wednesday--Blueberry muffin top cookies

So I have been reading these Josi Kilpack  books which are culinary mysteries.  They are really fun.  She will talk about making dinner, and then the recipe for her dinner is at the end of the chapter.  I love that.  Don't you always read things about what people are eating or making and think, "man, I wish they would share the recipe for that. . ." and these books do!  Love it!

I have made several of her recipes, but I think this one is my favorite--Blueberry muffin top cookies--Yum!
I love blueberries, and they had a great sale on fresh ones (which I think are always better than frozen, but frozen work all the rest of the year), so we have been loving fresh blueberries at our house.  Enjoy!
Blueberry Muffin Top Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 tes vanilla
1 1/2 tes lemon zest or 1 tes lemon juice (I used the lemon juice)
2 Tbl milk

1 1/2 tes baking powder
 2 cups flour
1/2 tes salt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries--don't thaw the frozen ones

Preheat oven to 375.  In a mixing bowl cream together the shortening, butter, egg, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest (or juice) and milk.  Add dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fold in blueberries.  
Drop by tablespoon sized balls on a greased or silpat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  
Bake 12-15 minutes until lightly golden.  Cool 2 minutes on pan before moving to rack to cool.

1 1/2 Tbl butter, melted
add 1 cup powdered sugar and 
2 Tbl lemon juice 

Mix well and drizzle over warm cookies.  Yum!


Monday, May 27, 2013

Blue Jeans Week 21

Our first official full week of summer!!!  It has been a special one.  We had a birthday and some wonderful visitors for my son's upcoming baptism into our church next weekend!  Here is a look at our week. . .

Miss E with her new (to her) trombone for middle school band next year.  She has all summer to practice :)

Our first summer project--making hangers.  This was also a family history project as these hangers were made originally by my great-grandma Nana.  So, we talked about and read about my kids' great-great-grandma Nana as we made them.

Another summer project--how big of a block tower can you make?  Miss O won and then the fan hit it right after this picture and great was the fall there of :)

Miss O reading to Mr J before bed.  She does the voices so well in his favorite picture book The Little Red Pen by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel.

Our special guests are here!!!  Grandpa and Grandma arrived today for Mr J's birthday and upcoming baptism in our church this weekend!  We are soooo excited to have them here.  Mr J and Grandma look at some photo albums together.

Grandpa is always so good to help with projects while he is here.  Ben took some time off and they worked on some house projects that needed to be done.  Miss O was their helper.

My baby boy had a birthday!  He requested a chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake (oh my, such a boy taking after his mother) and we made this one here.  Yum!!  What a special boy he is!  We sure love you Mr J!

Thanks for visiting!  I hope you have a great week!  Come back often---I post

Mondays--our pictures from the week
Wednesdays--yummy recipes
Friday--whatever--crafts, thoughts, etc

I am linking up with Kleinworth Co and The Mom Creative.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Teacher thank you

So school is out--has been out for a week here.  So nice!  But I wanted to share our teacher 'thank you' that we do each year.  This is Mr. J's.  He just finished 2nd grade!  The top picture was taken in August on the first day of school.  The bottom was taken in May just a few days before the end of school.  He has grown, and he had such a wonderful teacher to help him do that!  
I thought his turned out really cute.  I just cut out a white foam sheet so it framed the pictures and then he could decorate it any way he wanted.  We glued it to a heavy piece of cardboard on the back.  Miss E also did a cute one for her 5th grade teacher, but she gave it to her teacher before I got a picture of it.  
Happy end of the school year!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What's up Wednesday--Garlic bread

So my mom has been making this "Gabby's Garlic bread" since I was little.  I think Gabby was a TV chef back in the 70's, but I am not sure.  Whoever Gabby is, I love though because of this bread.  It is  I have been eating it my whole life and can attest to that fact.  So good!
Miss E was helping me make it this week.  We were having spaghetti for dinner, and spaghetti and garlic bread just go together at our house.  

Gabby's Garlic Bread

Slice one loaf of French bread into 1" slices.

Grated Parmesan cheese

In a microwave bowl put
1/2 cup butter
2 tes green onions, chopped fine
1 tes parsley (I always use dry, but if you have fresh that is great!)
1/2 tes oregano
1/4 tes dill weed
2 garlic cloves--crushed (I just buy the big container of minced garlic and put in 1 tes of that)

Microwave (less than a minute) until butter is melted and then stir all together.  Place sliced bread onto a big aluminium foil sheet (we always have to put two sheets together by folding them in the middle)
Using a pastry brush, brush both slides of each slice of bread with the butter mix.  Spread any extra butter mix on top of bread.  Take Parmesan cheese and sprinkle in between each bread slice--like Miss E is doing above.  Wrap bread up in foil and bake at 400 for 15 minutes.  Divine--let me tell you--it is divine!  You will want to eat the whole loaf yourself!  Yum!


Monday, May 20, 2013

2013 Blue Jeans Week 20

Busy last week of school.  Summer has officially started at our house!  yeah!  It was a big last week with Mother's day and all the end of school activities, field trips, and awards assemblies not to mention the huge regional track meet.  Saturday I was so totally exhausted.  We spent the day cleaning the house and working in the yard and then Ben and I finally got a date night.  So nice.  So ready for the lazy days of summer!!!  Here is a look at our crazy busy last week of school. . .

Mother's Day--church was nice, I got a new watch I had been wanting.  Ben and the kids made a yummy dinner, and I got to relax with these two cute boys and take a nice long nap.  It was a good day! 

Last field trip!!!  I went with Mr J's class to the zoo.  Lots of fun!

President's award assembly.  Miss E and her amazing teacher!  What a great year she has had!!!

End of the year band concert--Miss O's first band concert of many.  She has only been in the band about 9 weeks.  She is playing the trombone and French horn and then the piano in the jazz band.  Band parents here we come!

Miss E had her 5th grade graduation.  Man!  Her and two cute friends.  They had a blast!

Big regional track meet.  Miss A did awesome.  She beat her personal best time in the mile and got 5th by 2 seconds.  Unfortunately only the top 4 make it to state, but that is okay.  She had an amazing varsity track season as a freshman, and we are sure proud of her!  Watch out for her next year!!!

Our yearly end of school "Toyota" jump picture.  Yeah!  School's out for the summer!!!!

Thanks for visiting!  Hope you have a great week!  Visit often.  I post Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays.  

I am linking up with Kleinworth Co and The Mom Creative

Friday, May 17, 2013

Summer plans

Welcome summer!  School is officially out, and summer is officially in!!!!  I am a list person.  Post-it notes with lists on them are my friends.  I have been working on some summer lists.  Here are some things we have planned. . .

1.  Read lots of books!
2.  Make lots of lemonade
3.  Eat lots of popsicles and ice cream (DQ visits are a must)
4.  Star gaze
5.  Stay up late (occasionally)
6.  Sleep in late (often)
7.  Have picnic lunches
8.  Go to the park lots
9.  Have the kids organize their rooms (which you know they are soooo excited about--not)
10.  Count box tops (I collect these for the school, and I have thousands that need to be counted and sorted, so I am going to put the 4 extra bodies to work counting this summer)
11.  Make birthday cards (I like to have a stash of homemade birthday cards ready, and my stash is low, and my kids make great cards!)
12. Scrapbook my kids' school year
13.  Cook with my kids, try some new recipes
14.  Count my blessings each day and enjoy the summer with my kids!!!!  Realize the amazing blessing it is to have them and to be able to have this time with them because you know sometimes when they are fighting and screaming I forget that. . .

and of course there are lots more things to do, but we are only one day into this, so we are just getting started!  Let the fun begin!

Happy Summer!!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What's up Wednesday--BBQ chicken (crock pot)

Mother's Day was a very good day.  Church was great.  I had to teach the lesson in young women's, but it went well.  We had yummy left over homemade pizza for lunch, and then I relaxed with some really cute boys (see above picture :) and took a nice long nap while everyone else made dinner.  I think we need to do that more often, not just once a year :)  So, Ben and the kids cooked dinner.  They made BBQ chicken which was appropriate for Mother's Day because it is my amazing mother-in-law's recipe, and it is so good!  No picture of the actual dinner, so take my word for it--it is super yummy, very easy, and you will definitely want to make it this week!  We serve it over rice.

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

3/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbl. brown sugar
1 1/2 tes salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped onion or 1 Tbl dehydrated dry onion
2-3 Tbl. vinegar
1 Tbl. chili powder (I never put this much in, I put in a little less, adjust to how much heat you like, this is really more sweet than spicy which is how I like anything)
1 Tbl. Worcestershire sauce

Mix all the above ingredients well.  

Place 3-4 large boneless,skinless chicken breasts in the crock pot and cover with sauce.  Cook on low 6-8 hours or high for about 4.  It is done when you can shred the chicken easily.  Take the chicken out and shred then put back into the sauce and stir.  Serve over rice.  


Monday, May 13, 2013

2013 Blue Jeans week 19

Another birthday week--field trips, end of school concerts, league track meet, and just general craziness.  School is out in 4 days!!!  Yippee!  Let the summer begin!

Miss O made everyone at Sunday dinner a duck tape bracelet.  She does amazing stuff with that tape!

Miss E's birthday!  She wanted an Oreo cheesecake for her birthday cake--a child after my own heart!  

Field trip day!  Ben went with Miss E on her school field trip to the state capitol.  Fun!

Miss A's end of school choir concert.  She had a solo and did awesome!

I went to get into bed one night this week and was meet by this in my bed.  My little boy still loves his trains which makes me happy, and I don't mind having trains in my bed because it means I have a wonderful little boy in my home!

League track meet and Miss A broke 2 records, won 2 golds and a silver and helped her team place 2nd!  She is amazing! This next week is regionals, and only the top 4 make it to state, so we are keeping our fingers crossed.  She is only a freshman, so watch out!

Had a lunch date with a really cute boy today!

Miss E had a friend party for her birthday, and she wanted to take them skating.  These girls had fun!  

Thanks for visiting and hope you all have a great week!  I post Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays, so visit often!

I am linking up with Kleinworth Co and The Mom Creative.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Life doesn't come with a manual, it comes with a mother

I love that quote from this video! Enjoy!
Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful women who have mothered me!  Thank you!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What's up Wednesday--French toast

I love breakfast food--waffles, pancakes, omelets, but French toast really wasn't my fave until I made this recipe.  I think the key to really good French toast is the bread.  When I had made it before I had just used my regular sandwich bread, and that always goes soggy, and the Ben didn't like the egg globs on it :)  French toast really wasn't our favorite until. . .
I found this bread at Costco--a dense, crusty, thick French bread--the package comes with 2 loaves.  I buy a package about once a month when I am in the city and just freeze the bread so I always have it on hand.  Then I found Pioneer Woman's French toast recipe that only uses egg yolks, and not the whole egg.  Man, what a difference that makes!  We now love French toast (Ben included)!!!!  The mix blends up perfectly, and you don't have egg globs.  It is so good!  I adapted her recipe a little (she uses half and half, and I just use milk), and we all love it!

We had it for dinner last night.  Love breakfast for dinner!  Enjoy the French toast!

French toast

4 egg yolks
2 cups milk
1 Tbl sugar
2 tes vanilla
zest of one lemon

Mix well all of the above. 

a large loaf or two small loaves of a good crusty bread (I use both loaves of the Costco bread with this recipe) 

Slice bread and soak in milk/egg mixture on both sides and cook on a hot griddle or skillet turning once until done.  Serve with butter, syrup, strawberries and whipped cream or however you like your toast!

And I have actually been cooking this week, so some other yumminess to share. . .

Bowtie Chicken Alfredo:  I am a pasta lover and an Alfredo lover, so when I saw this, I knew it was right up my alley.  Everyone in my family loves it, even Ben (who is not a big pasta lover) had 3rds, so you know it is good!

Kansas City Sue's Chicken (slow cooker):  I think I have posted this before, but we love it.  So easy, love crock pot recipes.  The recipe bears repeating!  We served it over brown rice which even made the brown rice good.  I am so not a fan of brown rice, but I am trying. . .

Oatmeal coconut chews:  I always try to have cookies made and in the freezer for lunches and snacks.  I was out yesterday, and I whipped these up.  They are one of our family's favorite cookies.  Yum!  They don't last very long in our freezer :)

Oreo Cheesecake:  We have 2 birthdays in one week--Miss O's and Miss E's.  Miss E wanted this for her birthday cake.  She helped me make it.  So yum!

What yummy stuff have you been eating?

Monday, May 6, 2013

2013 Blue Jeans Week 18

Birthday week!  I am now officially the mother of 2 teenage girls!  Heaven help me. . .  In other news we have 9 days of school left and 3 big track meets--hopefully 4 if we make it to state.  Crazy busy end of the year stuff.  2 field trips this week--one next.  I am ready for summer!  Here is a look at our week!
Miss O turned 13 this week!  Ben made her a German Chocolate cake--yum!

And she got lots and lots of duck tape!  She loves creating stuff with that.  

After school smoothies by Miss O are a highlight at our house

After school activities--Miss E reading the paper and Mr J doing his homework.

Miss O decorating her cupcakes for her friend party.  My kids get a friend party every other year on odd birthdays :)  and you can see our ever present post-it notes on the kitchen cupboard--such a part of our lives.

Miss O and her cute friends--we went roller skating for her party.

Our whole family went too.  It was Mr J's first time roller skating at a rink.  He wasn't too sure he like it, but by the end of the night, he was a pro.  

Thanks for visiting and hope your week goes well!

I am linking up with Kleinworth Co and the Mom Creative.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Consider your blessings

     "We live in a unique time in the world's history.  We are blessed with so very much.  And yet it is sometimes difficult to view the problems and permissiveness around us and not become discouraged.  I have found that, rather than dwelling on the negative, if we will take a step back and consider the blessings in our lives, including seemingly small, sometimes overlooked blessings, we can find greater happiness.
     ". . .take an inventory of our life and look specifically for the blessings, large and small, you have received."
President Thomas S. Monson

The above quotes are the inspiration for our daily blessings/gratitude journals and for 2013 to be our year of Gratitude.  It has helped me a lot so far this year to look for my blessings especially when I become discouraged.  I am so grateful for this inspired counsel and for all the blessings, large and small, that I have received.  

Consider your blessings.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What's up Wednesday--burrito skillet

So I have to admit, not a lot of cooking going on here the last 2 weeks.  I was gone a week and with all the crazy of spring and track meets--we haven't had a lot of sit down dinners.  But I did cook one day (ha, ha,) and got a picture of the process, but not the finished product.  This burrito skillet is easy and yummy and a good meal kids can help with.  The tortillas need to be cut into small squares, and my kids are always happy to help with that, and my kids are excellent cheese graters.  A pizza cutter is a good way to cut the tortillas.   Mr J was my helper today.
Burrito Skillet

1 lb hamburger
1 package taco seasoning
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup salsa
1 cup water
4 flour tortillas cut into 1 1/2 in squares
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese you like)

Brown meat in large skillet, drain.  Add seasoning mix, beans, salsa and water.  Stir.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 5 minutes.

Stir in tortillas pieces and then top with cheese.  Cover and let stand 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Top with sour cream.  

Yum!  Enjoy!