Monday, January 28, 2008

Nalani's Baby Shower

As many of you know, my cousin Nalani and I are both due with baby boys this March. This past Saturday I attended her baby shower. Nalani has more friends than anyone I know so she got some great loot! Among some amazing gifts, she received a basket full of children's books from Sarah, and a "tower of books" from Missy. Check out the tower:

This is a good thing to remember, when going to a baby shower, include your favorite book with your gift. When I had my baby shower when I was pregnant with Carson, everybody brought their favorite children's book along with their baby gift. My sister-in-law put that idea on the invitations and pretty much everyone who came to the shower participated. It was a great way to start my library. To this day, some of those books I received over 7 years ago are still Carson's favorite!

One funny memory from Nalani's shower: As Nalani was opening all the cards, they were really cute and all looked homemade. A common phrase after a card was opened was "this card is adorable! Did you make it?" Then everybody would "ooh" and "ahhh" at the cuteness.
As Nalani opened my card, it looked homemade, but she didn't say a word. Somebody said "I love how Nalani knows you so well that she didn't even ASK you if you made your card!" I was like "yep, Costco special!"

I think my new motto should be "Why make it, when Costco can help you fake it?"

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Gordon B. Hinckley 1910 - 2008

I just heard on the news that President Hinckley passed away this evening. I'm devastated, but at the same time, I feel so relieved for him. Sam and I were in President Hinckley's ward from the time we were first married until we moved to West Jordan (4 years). He was a wonderful man and a great example of what it means to belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He had been the prophet of the church since March 12, 1995 (Sam's 19th birthday!). While I am going to miss him terribly, I know he is in a better place and now he is with his wife once again.

He always gave inspiring talks about doing the very best you can. I'd like to share one of my favorite quotes from a talk he gave at a Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting on January 10, 2004:

"I have been quoted as saying "Do the best you can." But I want to emphasize that it be the very best. We are too prone to be satisfied with mediocre performance. We are capable of doing so much better.
Brethren and sisters, we must get on our knees and plead with the Lord for help and strength and direction. We must then stand on our feet and move forward.
I am absolutely confident that heaven will smile upon us. The Lord will hear and answer our prayers if we will commit ourselves, giving our very best to this work.
I pray for you. I plead with heaven in your behalf. I thank you one and all for all you are doing and pray that you may have the strength to do more as we face the great, almost overwhelming challenge that comes with life in our time.
God bless you is my humble prayer as I express my love, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen."

President Hinckley will be greatly missed!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Chosen Toy

Parker chooses one toy to sleep with every night. Here is tonight's choice:

It's the sponge Sam used to wipe off the excess grout from our backsplash. What can I say...he's definitely a unique child!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

300th Posting!

This is my 300th posting. Seems like just yesterday I started this blog....I can't believe it's been over 2 years! Huh, actually 300 postings isn't that great for a blog that has been going for over 2 years, I should have at least 600 posts by now! SLACKER!

Anyways, what was I going to say....? OH brother, I'm starting a fire in my pellet stove right now because my basement is freezing. Carson just walked up to me and said "P.U. what stinks? It smells like human flesh burning!" First of all, it just smells like a fire. Second of all, how would he know what flesh burning smells like?? If he would have said "it smells like burning hair" I would have understood because last summer Sam burned his eye lashes and eye brows while we were camping...ah yes, those were good times.....

I digress...

I know I promised you a Chia Pet update, but sadly, the chia pet looked rather sad today, I think he botched his picture day on purpose! So maybe I can revive him and we'll do a picture later with "retakes" day.

Guess what I did yesterday? I went to the "Guns and Hoses" game. No, not "guns n' roses", you heard me right, "Guns and Hoses"! It's an ice hockey game between firemen and policemen and the proceeds benefit the Huntsman Cancer charity. It was tons of fun. Our friend, Chad Burnside, is a fireman and he played in the game. Chad is very soft spoken at church so I was secretly hoping to see him throw a few elbows and perhaps a nice hip-check or two, but he was just as gentlemanly in his game as he is at church. Bummer....just kidding! The fireman won big-time over the cops so good job Chad! Here he is:

After the game, Sam and my dad worked on doing the grout for our tile backsplash in our kitchen. We still don't have the border for our backsplash, but it was getting tiring not having the grout done so we decided to just do what we could now. It's only been 9 months or so since we hung the backsplash so the grout was a long time coming! :)

Here is the first section Sam did:

I really felt bad because Sam is a very positive happy person, but as he was doing the grout he kept saying "I really hate every bit of this process...." But he and my dad were troopers and got it done. We pulled the stove out so Sam could do the grout easier and I laughed at what I saw. I just love that Sam-I-Am!

Here is a picture of what the final product looked like. Real purdy. Now we just need a border...

On an unrelated topic. I am happy because Carson goes back to school on Tuesday after being off-track for an entire month. Don't get me wrong, I love Carson. I am just really excited.....well, just because! ha ha ha

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Yay, An Update!

Sorry about the lack of updates. When I have time to blog, it seems like I'm choosing to lay down instead...being pregnant is getting the best of me!

Last Saturday we moved the boys room downstairs. In our cracker jack house, we have 2 bedrooms on the main floor and 2 bedrooms downstairs. We moved the boys downstairs so the baby could have the other room on the main floor. It was quite the process, it pretty much took all day. I thought the kids would be nervous about being downstairs, but you can see from their faces, they were very excited! You can also tell that Carson isn't dressed yet, from his mismatched pj's...and Parker picked out his own clothes, right down to the Walmart slippers!

It's not decorated or anything fancy yet, but here is what is looks like right now...
The boys have done great, they stay in their beds all night and because it's darker in the basement...they sleep in longer! That's a big score, until Carson goes back on track next week, then I'll be hating it. :)

On Sunday we had our monthly cousins dinner at Nalani and Jed's house. When we got there, there were tons of deer behind Nalani's house. Carson was tripping out! Can you see the deer? They got lots closer but this way, you can enjoy the view from Nalani's deck!

Our cousin dinner theme was "breakfast" and we had tons of grubbin' breakfast foods. Oddly enough, nothing normal like hash browns or bacon. We had a few French Toast casseroles, German pancakes, Orange rolls, fresh fruit...yummers! Here is a nice shot of the pregnancy bellies on Nalani and myself. Precious!

Sam's brother, Rod, is in the Army and he is going to Afghanistan for a year, starting next week. So most of the Sweet's met up at Cafe Rio for dinner in his honor last night. It was a blast, partly because my parents were kind enough to watch my kids so I was carefree!

Cute pic of my hubby and myself (and Sam's brother jeff!)

Here is Rod and his family, too bad Rod was closing his eyes...on purpose! Maybe it's "if I can't see you, I won't have to say goodbye!" It's so sad that he is leaving. I remember when the war first started he went to Bosnia for a year. Tough for his wife and daughters, but we're so grateful for his service to our country!

Well, I know that was a jumbled update of random happenings, but stay tuned because my next update is going to be amazing....the Chia pet is thriving and I'm excited to share that with everyone! I bet you can hardly wait!

If anybody needs a good laugh, you need to check out Mike and Kim's blog. Watch the video from their January 15th update titled 'Dance off'. That is my dad and he has no fear!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Late Christmas Present

A few years ago I attended the bridal shower for my nephew's fiance. One of her gifts was a recipe book her sister had compiled of all her favorite recipes. I remember being amazed at all the yummy looking recipes and I really wanted a copy! So as Sam was asking me what I wanted for Christmas about a month ago, I mentioned that he should try to get a copy of this homemade recipe book.

Apparently he was able to get an emailed copy, there were about 150+ recipes. However when he pulled up the recipes in the Word document, all the spacing had been messed up and nothing was aligned properly. He started to fix everything, but basically lost patience and ran out of time.

After Christmas, he told me about the recipe documents and he said "they are there for you to have, but you'll have to fix the spacing." I kind of forgot about it until last night. I was talking to Fern about the woes of what to make for dinner and then I remembered I had all those recipes on my computer, waiting to be fixed. I immediately opened them up and started to get to work. Because I'm so fast and amazing (ha ha ha) I had everything looking proper after about 30 minutes. Since I'm also a bit OCD, I wanted everything done last night so I printed all the recipes, put them in sheet protectors and assembled my newly updated recipe binder. I know it doesn't look like much, but there are over 200 recipes in this book, organized, tabbed, and easy to read!

Now, it's no secret that I'm not a huge fan of cooking....but at least if I get a wild hair I'll have some resources!

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a recipe with you. This recipe came from my mom and dad's friend, Helen...hence the name "Helen's Meatballs". It's one of my favorite dinners! I agree with my mom, she doubles the soup and we serve these over Egg noodles, Mashed potatoes, or rice. I don't even like meat that much but these are AMAZING!!! Try it!!

Helen’s Meatballs
(Mom & Dad’s friend, Helen Smith)

1 lb. hamburger
1 Tblsp. milk
1/2 C. cornflakes, crushed
(can substitute oatmeal)
1/2 tsp. salt/pepper
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1-2 carrots, grated
1 egg
1 onion, finely chopped
1 can cream of mushroom or chicken soup*
1 soup can of milk*

Mix all but soup and form into balls. Brown all sides in frying pan. Add can of soup and one soup can milk to drippings and balls. Simmer 20 minutes. Serve over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes.
*I usually double the soup and milk to have plenty of gravy. Using evaporated milk for half of the milk makes it more rich.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Now That's A Good Dessert!

6 adults...9X13 pan...practically licked clean in one sitting.

Cream Puff Squares

3/4 cup water
6 Tblsp butter
3/4 cup flour
3 eggs

Filling and Topping:
2 cups cold milk
2 pkgs (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding
8 oz. thawed Cool Whip
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

For crust, heat water and butter in saucepan over medium-high heat until butter is melted and mixture comes to a boil. Stir in flour all at once. Reduce heat to low and stir mixture vigorously for about 1 minute or until mixture leaves sides of pan and forms a ball. Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until mixture is smooth. Spread mixture evenly over bottom of 9X13 pan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Prick 10-12 times with a fork to release steam and continue baking for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.

For filling, pour milk into bowl. Add pudding mixes. Whisk 2 minutes until thickened. Fold in 2 cups of the Cool Whip. Spread mixture evenly over cooled crust. Refrigerate for one hour.

For topping, microwave remaining Cool Whip and 2 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips on High for 30-40 seconds. Stir until smooth. Pour chocolate mixture into a small Ziplock bag. Close bag, cut off tip of bag and garnish the dessert with drizzles of chocolate.


Saturday, January 05, 2008

Happy 2008, My Kids Are Crazy As Ever

Some people have the "after Christmas letdown" where they are so sad that the holidays are over....but not me. Don't get me wrong, I love the holidays but once they are over, I feel this huge relief and I'm so excited to start the new year all fresh (especially once the Christmas decorations are taken down!).

So, my kids are still crazy and wild and here are some pictures of what they've been up to this past week:

Parker went through a "I think I am Superman" phase:

One day Carson was sort of in my face and I needed a break. So I asked him if he would clean my closet doors, which are mirrors. He happily agreed. I then got on a phone call for about 20 minutes and I could still hear him in my room spraying Windex. OH man.... I walked into my room and it was pretty humid and damp in there because he pretty much sprayed 1/4 of a Costco size bottle of Lime Windex in my room, with the doors shut. I think he was a little 'buzzed' because then he ran outside and started cleaning my storm door. It was really cold out there! Oh well, Windex is cheap and my closet doors have never been so clean!

My kids have really been into Scooby Doo lately. For Christmas, my parents found a Shaggy Chia pet and gave it to the boys. Hopefully in 2-3 days we'll have sprouts growing out of Shaggy. Maybe next we can buy the "Clapper". That sort of falls into the same catergory as a Chia Pet, don't you think?

It's quite the process actually...Shaggy had to soak in a bowl of water for 24 hours and the seeds also had to soak with some water for the same amount of time. The seeds turn into this nasty jelly that reminded me of fish eggs. I had the privilege of smearing the fish eggs onto Shaggy's skull. Yummers!

Oh don't worry, I'll take more pictures when it starts growing!

We've been so busy lately that there hasn't been much play time/rough housing with the kids. So Sam let the kids use him as a jungle gym last night. I caught some nice shots. Sam is such a good sport! If it were me, I'd say "ouch, my back...hey, be nice!...don't touch my, go find your dad!"

Carson finally pulled his other front tooth out. I was so glad because it was hanging at a weird angle and it stuck out really far. He looked pretty hokey, and not in a good way. This is his 6th tooth he has lost so far...

And finally, tonight the kids were playing with their robotic dinosaur. Parker has worn this sweat suit all night with the hood on. I kept laughing at him because I couldn't see his whole face, just his mouth and chin area. He reminded me of that wicked Star Wars's his name? Is it the Chancellor?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Open House for Amy Curtis

Amy Curtis, who is one of my long-time friends from my ward, is moving to the Boston area to obtain her Masters Degree. While I am really excited for this new "chapter" of her life, I'll miss her and it's going to be so weird without her in the neighborhood!

Amy and Cathy put together an amazing menu of Mediterranean food and Cathy hosted an Open House in Amy's honor. The open house had the perfect blend of good friends, good food, and good conversation! My only regret was that I was only there for 3 hours. :) Here are some of my favorite pictures that Sam captured that night:

This is Lisa, Jason, and Jaden Kros. Lisa and I served with Amy in the Relief Society presidency in 2005 and 2006. They have since moved to Morgan and it was a blast getting caught up with them and just laughing about life in general!

This picture makes me laugh because it's me, talking to Ryan Patterson, who is my Bishop. I can't remember what we were talking about, but it looks like I'm giving him a piece of my mind! Bishop, sometimes you just have to tell me to "chill out!"

It's a real shame this picture is blurry. As a going away gift, Ed (Cathy's husband) gave Amy a flask. Cathy, maybe you can comment as to his explanation because I missed it! Anyway, here is Amy trying it out. She was a very good sport....I don't know, maybe she secretly was hoping for one because its contents may keep her warm in those Boston winters!

It was so thoughtful of Cathy to hold the open house on a night when the Utah Jazz were playing....I think this crew temporarily forgot why they were there that night (**hint-you are there to spend as much time as possible with Amy and to give her your best wishes).

The night was great and I'm hoping Cathy puts something on her blog about least she could list the menu and describe the food because it was definitely not your "normal" party food. We were laughing later that night because if I tried to put on an Open House for a friend I'd probably have something like corn dogs and chips. Seriously. Oh yeah, and maybe Mountain Dew!