Monday, January 31, 2011

All is well! All is well!

Life isnt always easy. At some point in our journey we may feel much as the pioneers did as they crossed Iowa. Up to our knees in mud, forced to bury some of our dreams along the way. We all face rocky ridges, with the wind in our face and winter coming on too soon. Sometimes it seems as though there is no end to the dust that stings our eyes and clouds our vision. Sharp edges of despair and discouragement jut out of the terrain to slow our passage. Occasionally we reach the top of one summit in life, as the pioneers did, only to see more mountain peaks ahead, higher and more challenging than the one we hae just traversed. Tapping unseen reservoirs of faith and enduranace, we, as did our forebears, inch ever forward toward that day when our voices can join with those of all the pioneers who have endured in faith, singing, 'All is well! All is well!
Ensign, May 1997, 61

This was a quote my sister found recently and posted. For those of you that know Cassidy, you know what's going on...or you can read about it on her blog. I love my sister and my heart breaks for what they are having to go through right now.
This past weekend my mother-in-law was taken to Calgary for major surgery. She is currently in the ICU in Calgary and stable. She will have to go back into surgery every day until they have removed all the dead tissue. There's always a risk that things could go bad at any time. Thus, we are going up to Calgary today to visit and spend some time with family.
All of this makes me think about how to explain death to my children. I am grateful for the knowledge I have of our Heavenly Father's plan and that I can be with my family forever, That no matter what happens, Heavenly Father gives us trials to make us stronger and will never give us trials that we can't handle. Ask me if you want to know more about what I believe!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Freezer meals

I love having 2 freezers. It leaves lots of room for me to make meals for the month as well as having bread, chicken, meat and veggies (and those cookies from my last post)! I'm always looking for new recipe ideas (so if you have any, please send them to me).
I often find some great ones on they post a monthly menu of breakfasts, lunches and dinners. the recipes are for 2 or 4 times the regular recipe, and they have a schedule for the cooking day. The menu is for 2 families, cook one day, split the meals and feed your family for the month. I have been doing it on my own for awhile now. I don't do all the recipes, but I choose some I think my family would like and make those. I don't always do it all on one day, sometimes I just make extra of what I'm making for dinner and freeze the leftovers. Then on days I work, or am out all day I will pull something out the night before or morning of, throw it in the crock pot or set the timer on the oven. Next month I'm getting together with a friend and we're going to pick 2 meals each, make enough for 4 meals of each recipe, and switch so we've got 4 different meals times 2. (do you understand what I'm trying to say?).

Here's a recipe I tried this month, I wasn't sure we'd like it, but it was good.

Cranberry Chicken and Rice (this makes 2 meals)
6 cups rice, cooked
1 cup apple juice
3 pounds chicken breast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 pounds fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger

place rice in 8x8 pan, pour juice over rice. nestle chicken in the rice (I used cooked, chopped chicken) sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. (adjustment) chop cranberries, mix the sugar, cinnamon, and ginger sprinkle over cranberries. put cranberries over chicken and rice (next time I think I'll use dried cranberries and reduce the amount of sugar). Freeze. To serve: thaw. uncover and bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. (because I used cooked, cubed chicken I cooked for 20-30 minutes). Enjoy!

best cookies in the world

I hate hard, crunchy cookies! cookies should be soft and chewy. There's nothing better than warm, soft cookie. I'm always looking for a great recipe. For chocolate chip I always go back to one tried and true recipe that makes a soft chewy cookie...
Chipits Chewy Milk Chocolate Cookies
(you know that recipe on the bag of Hershey's Chipits milk chocolate chips)
Beat 2/3 cup melted butter (I use soft margarine)
2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp hot water
mix well.
Stir in 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Stir in 1 package Hershey's chipits milk chocolate chips
Drop from small spoon onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

I use my pampered chef small scoop to get uniform sized cookies and cook them on my pampered chef stone. I never use regular cookie sheets anymore, there's no other way to bake cookies.

I always make a double batch of cookie dough. then, rather than baking all the cookies, I use the small scoop to make dough balls. I fit as many as I can on a cookie sheet (this is where I use my regular cookie sheets) don't leave any space and then flash freeze the balls (put them in the freezer until frozen, about an hour). Then, put them into a freezer bag and back in the freezer. That way, I can just pull out however many I want and bake them. Fresh, warm, soft, chewy cookies without the mess of making them! It's awesome.

I also tried some oatmeal raisin cookies (except I turned them into oatmeal blueberry cookies, no nuts)
Chewy Oatmeal Raisin cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt (I often use a half teaspoon, but I like more salt in my baked goods)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them.
Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes (your baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in), taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

I still haven't make up my mind about the cinnamon, but they are nice and chewy!

Thanks guys for commenting on my last post! I know there's more of you out there, but I'll let you remain anonymous for now. Thanks for reading my blog and making me feel loved.

I gave pampered chef a plug (I really do love all the pampered chef stuff I have and use it all the time).
Now for Scensty...I have been wanting to try mixing scents for awhile, but all the "recipes" I have found are for scents that I don't have. So, today I tried one on my own...Perfectly Pomegranate and Sunkissed Citrus (one to one). YUMMY!! It smells delicious! I can't wait for March 1st, plug-ins are back in Canada!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

are you there?

I have this nifty little thing on my blog that tells me when people visit my blog and where they're from. It makes me feel good that people are visiting my blog. The only problem is it only tells me where you're from, not who you are. If you're reading this, leave a comment and tell me who you are! (please, just to satisfy my curiosity) Thanks in advance! (you could leave your blog address, then I can read what you have to say!)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Ryker

5 years ago we were at home watching the World Junior's final game (Canada vs. ???). My water broke, it's wasn't a big gush, just like I had peed my pants. I wasn't feeling any contractions, so we decided to wait until the end of the hockey game (besides, the doctor wouldn't be there either, he'd be watching the game too!). Things didn't progress as expected, but by 330 Sat morning we had a beautiful baby boy! It's hard to believe that it's been 5 years already. Ryker is an amazing addition to our family.
This year the kids had to go to the sitter on his actual birthday. Ryker decided that he didn't want it to be his birthday when he had to go to the sitter's house. even when Chris dropped him off and said happy birthday, he said "we're not having my birthday today"! such a funny kid. Friday was bowling with Mom, Dad, and Ryker. then mcdonald's for dinner. tonight was dinner with family. Lots of presents, lots of fun! and now I have a 5 year old.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Just wanted to update you all on my progress. I've been working very hard on one of my goals, not so hard on the others. I have lost 5 lbs to date this year! yeah me! want to know how I did it? I got a nice little infection from Ryker, strep throat. it has taken up residence in my tonsils and refuses to leave. I am understanding why Kayla has had some trouble talking (my mother in law thought she had called the wrong number when she called yesterday). My tonsils are like smalls rocks in the back of my throat and it hurts like crazy. (Sorry Ryker for giving you such a hard time about not swallowing your spit, as gross as that is, it hurts to swallow). I have spent the past 3 days on the couch doing nothing but watch old episodes of NCIS and eating nothing but chicken noodle soup and drinking gingerale (and trying to swallow tylenol/advil/antibiotic pills). I am slowly starting to get better, but not as fast as I would like. Chris has been awesome in helping with feeding the kids and taking them to the sitter (I was supposed to work 4 days this week, that didn't happen, but they still went to the sitter otherwise the house would be in worse shape than it is). What a way to start the new year!

I did have a great idea to try project 365 (take a picture a day for a year) but that went out the window. So now I'm going to try for project 52 (a picture a week for a year) I'm sure as soon as I get going on it, it'll be a picture a day, I hope. I'll try to post them for you all here when I'm feeling better!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

new year, new me...i hope

It's the new year and I don't usually make new year's resolutions (probably because I don't tend to keep them and end up feeling worse). This year I really need to make some changes and I am hoping that by putting them out into blogger world anyone reading this will help me on my journey...
Since having 2 babies so close together I've had trouble losing that extra "baby weight". Now that my baby will be 2 in May, I need to stop blaming them and do something about it. Starting with getting a treadmill from my in-laws, I plan to use it whenever I watch TV, or when the kids watch a movie. I've been signed up for Weight Watchers Online, but not really doing anything about it...they've made some changes and I'm going to do the same.
Today I went to tell Ryker he spends too much time playing DS or iPod, then I realized that I need to be a better example...thus, I quit facebook. cold turkey, no going back, no matter what Chris says about me being back on tomorrow afternoon, if not tonight.
I've got more, but these are going to be the biggest ones. wish me luck!