Wednesday, July 30, 2008

County Fair

The results are in! I got blue ribbons on several items: My daughter's baptism/confirmation dress, wall hanging, wheat bread, saltine toffee, and caramels.
All of my other stuff got red ribbons. Now you can ask for the recipes and know that they are winners! I think I made a total of $15.00 Wooowhoo! One of the judges pointed out a few things to me, and I'll be getting ready for next year with a vengeance.
On another note, one of my good friends won the reserves and many of the overall prizes on her stuff.. as well she should have - her needlework is exquisite! Congrats N!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Fair - Frantic and Frenetic

Last night I decided that I should enter some stuff into the county fair. I went to our food storage, and pulled out some tomatoes, peaches (2nd to last jar) and some jam and took it in along with a wall hanging I did earlier this year.
While there, I became inspired. My sister (who is hanging out for a couple of days and as crazy as I) joined forces, and starting at 10:00 last night, we kicked out toffee, caramels, fudge, almond brittle and whole wheat bread. This morning we arose very early (especially after that late night) and finished a rhubarb and a dutch apple pie.
We rushed them piping hot to the fair along with a baptism/confirmation dress I made...
Today they'll be judged and tomorrow we'll see how I did!
A nail biter indeed! :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

So to celebrate Pioneer day, we found a pioneer recipe for buttermilk donuts, and the girls had a blast making them! I was the only one that got burned!

Then after spending a couple of days working on it - I have officially finished my quilt top!! I put borders all around my squares, and then sashed them together, and then did another large border around the entire thing. It sits beautifully on my bed (size wise.) I'm excited to work on my backing and put it on the frames next week - that's the goal anyways.

We had a crazy weekend and it's almost a big sigh starting back into the week. My husband took two finals to finish up summer semester while I did some straightening up.

On to other things - I must admit that I have very nasty feet. I don't know why - they just are - and my brother will happily confirm this and tell many gross stories about me feet if you ask. A couple of years ago my friend took me for a pedicure. At first I was skeptical since I saw that show about people getting fungus and diseases from them. However, I learned that I can pay someone to touch my feet, camouflage them, scrape off all of the cracks and fissures (yes I carry the grand canyon on my heels) paint them up pretty, AND give me a massage. There it is... I've been converted. Needless to say - I spent some personal time getting my feet done while my husband studied.

Later, I played two wedding gigs (while my family went to my friend's birthday party.) Unfortunately, it was outside and a major storm hit just as they got the tent up for us (good thing I insisted on the tent!) We stood huddled in the tent for 45 minutes watching two hail storms and a deluge of water, thunder and lightening. Finally, they still decided to do the wedding when it let up for 2 minutes (only to start up again as soon as they started.) It ended up being a 7 minute ceremony - pretty crazy. I just don't get why people don't believe that they really DO need a backup plan due to erratic weather. We then rushed to another gig, where we waited a while for them to decide where they were going to have the ceremony - inside or out. We ended up staying inside the doorway and playing while they went outside...crazy people in love! It was by far one of the prettiest weddings I've seen. It was very small (maybe 12 people in the entire party) - very simple, nice, and intimate (even though it was at one of the most upscale hotels in our area.)

This week my sister and her family are hanging out with us and we are teaching some square dancing to the youth (I don't know how to square dance though) and getting ready for youth conference... I'm excited to have a husband for the next two weeks before he hits the books again!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Happy Pioneer Day!!

I generally forget those holidays and important days which would be so very cool to celebrate with my family, but I remembered this one (maybe since it is a state holiday in Utah.) We will be celebrating - just how, I'm not sure yet. Wheat mush for breakfast anyone?

I am proud to be a descendant of Mormon Pioneers. My ancestors accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ and then traveled to live with the Mormon Saints. One was a body guard to Joseph Smith and spent time with him in Liberty Jail, whereas another crossed the plains on a wooden leg, another buried his wife and a child at Martin's Cove in Wyoming, and another buried a child in Winter Quarters Nebraska. In the past several years, I have been able to visit all of these areas and have gained an increased understanding and appreciation for my ancestors! In several weeks I will be trekking with our youth to Martin's Cove to once again feel that spirit and realize and recognize the sacrifices which my ancestors made for me! What a rich heritage I am blessed to have. These people (who I did not know) suffered and sacrificed incredibly for what they believed and for their posterity (me.) I am ever so grateful! As such - we will be taking some time to celebrate them this day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer Fun

We've been keeping busy lately having lots of fun all around town. This weekend, I sat down to fix the girls' hair. They decided to take matters into their own hands. All I can say is that these girls LOVE their daddy - and it is very obvious how much he loves the only male in our home, he takes a lot of abuse! This was their favorite part of the day!

After this, Daddy asked for a haircut!

During the day, I played for a wedding (and got bit by deer flies and ants,) meanwhile everyone else went fishing. They were skunked, but had a great time! After I got back home we all headed to a concert in the park. We missed the blue grass band, but were able to see James Otto, and finally JoDee Messina. It was a blast!

On Monday, we had some family come into town - we love visits! We spent some time in a couple of beautiful alpine parks, and then went to one of the nearby resort villages. As the rain cleared up we wandered around. We bumped into one of my friends who works as a caricature artist and had family caricatures done. As always, we ended up in the wading river looking for gold nuggets and splashing around. We ended the day with some wings at our favorite place and then a ping pong tournament. Thanks for the visit - we had a blast!

Yesterday we had a HUGE rainstorm complete with a great lightening show and it rained almost all night and really cooled things down. (Yes - there I did it again - sorry about the weather again!)

Monday, July 21, 2008

A couple of recipes I recently received requests for

Pumpkin Pie Bars
1 1/3 c. flour
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 c. granulated sugar, divided
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter
1 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. pecans
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese softened
3 eggs
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 T. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350. Line 13x9 inch pan with foil and grease.
Mix flour, brown sugar and 1/4 c. of the granulated sugar in medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats and pecans. Reserve 1 cup of the oat mixture; press remaining mixture onto bottom of pan. Bake 15 min.
Beat cream cheese, remaining 1/2 c. sugar, eggs, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice in smal bowl with mixer on medium speed until well blended. Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
Bake 25 min. Lift from pan using foil handles; cool completely. Cut into 24 bars.

Notes: If you can't find pumpkin pie spice, combine 1 tsp each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
Nuts may be toasted in oven at *350 for 5-7 minutes or in microwave on a plate on high for 2 minutes, stir, then continue cooking 1-2 minutes until nuts are fragrant and toasted to taste.
C/O Kraft

Cheese 'n Ham Spirals
1 egg
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (thawed)
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese (divided)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
8 slices shaved smoked or brown sugar ham

Preheat oven to 400*. Beat egg and 1 Tbsp. water with wire whisk until blended: set aside. Unfold pastry on lightly floured surface. Roll into 14x10 inch rectangle; cut in half lengthwise. Brush both pastry halves lightly with some of the egg mixture.
Sprinkle 3 Tbsp of the chesse and the pepper evenly over 1 of the pastry pieces: cover with ham slices. Place remaining pasty piece, egg side down, over ham. Brush with additional egg ixture. Roll gently with rolling pin to seal. Roll in jelly-roll fashion to make a 14 inch log. Cut into 24 equal slices. Place, cut side down, on parchment - covered baking sheet. Brush with remaining egg mixture; sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp cheese.
Bake 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This appetizer can be made weeks in advance. Just prepare, wrap securely and freeze. Defrost and bake as directed, prior to serving.
C/O Kraft

Pecan Pie Bars
3 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 c. cold butter (no substitutes)

4 eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. corn syrup
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 1/2 t. vanilla
2.5 c. chopped pecans

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 15x10 inch pan. Bake at 350* for 18-22 minutes or until crust edges are beginning to brown and bottom is set.
For filling, combine the eggs, sugar, corn syrup, butter and vanilla in a large bowl; mix well. Stir in pecans. Pour over crust. Bake 25-30 minutes longer or until edges are firm and center is almost set. Cool on wire racks. Cut into bars. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 3-4 dozen
C/O Taste of Home

Sunday, July 20, 2008


I am SO excited!! I just finished my last border on my last block of the 12 blocks I've been working on (I'm talking about quilting here) since last fall! I hand embroidered each border which has been fairly time consuming - but I finished all of the blocks.
Despite my euphoria, my husband was quick to point out that I'm only about 1/10th of the way finished. I now have to do all of my sashing and borders, and then get it quilted and then bind it. However, I have all of my material, and I have a plan for finishing it. Once I find our camera (that someone used this weekend) I'll post a quick picture of the 12 finished blocks and keep posting as I go!
Yes - small victories keep me going!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Memory Lane Tag

I hope you will play along. Here are the directions:
1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another Children's Museum


On Monday my mom convinced us that we should go to the children's museum. While there, I was chatting with my daughter who was making me a treat in the make believe kitchen, when my cousin approached me. Although she was also in town just visiting, and although we haven't seen each other for YEARS, she had recognized my voice! Her kids are almost the exact same ages as mine, so they were pretty excited to meet some new cousins.. What do you call your cousins kids in relation to your own?
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Annual Family Reunion

On the spur of the moment, and since my husband had to study, the girls and I decided to take a quick trip (ahem.. quick?)for the family reunion which we previously hadn't planned on attending.

I thank my sister in law for this photo I pirated from her website.
Among other games, we played water kickball - here I am sliding into home - and yes, my backside is brown from slipping in the mud at second.

The annual gunny sack race and hula hoop contests

My daughter and this particular uncle have a little water fight feud which was a carry over from last year. However, just before she left, she added an additional uncle to the "revenge list" for next year - she's already scheming!

The survivors - those who were still hanging out once everything was cleaned up and most had left.

On our way home, we drove past some of our favorite college haunts (ie the fishing river) Here is the light post where we first met, and where my husband later proposed to me.

Here is the 'Track House,' where he impressed me with his culinary (aka spaghetti) skills.

While visiting with the in-laws this weekend I managed to get this photo of their NEW WHEELS. Congratulations!! (Okay - actually, it broke down right there - but what a photo - too bad I dropped my camera right after and didn't get a good one with them right next to it)

Last Week

We spent some time in one of our favorite local places last week. We hung out at the children's theater, (check out their enraptured faces) and then at the children's museum. Of course, we couldn't leave without playing in the water, searching for little gold nuggets and just splashing around.

As always - we could have stayed there for hours...but the last minute trip came up right about then so we took off!
Thanks to our friends for hanging out with us - my kids have ever so much fun with them!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Movie Star

Yes - it is true. I've been on TV twice in the past 2 months. I'll be signing a deal any day now - I can't wait!

Okay - so maybe not the deal part but I've started becoming a regular at the county commissioner meetings. Two months ago our HOA board presented an issue to the county was televised and someone I know even saw me! Then, last night, we had a public hearing, and I got to speak a couple of times. I made my buddy go, and now she is famous too. She's so lucky to have such a cool friend! :)

I looked out my window and what did I see?

My baby in a blue car smiling at me!

Yes - we decided it was time for a new car. We originally looked for a Civic, but couldn't find one. After a VERY long night we are excited to have a reliable car that is new and blue and oh so sporty, and clean, and well, I guess I should stop. Needless to say, I'm excited to not have to take my husband to and from the shuttle anymore.

Here are some pics of our old car which we loved. I bought it from a friend right after I got home from my mission - at that point it only had 60K on it. We were a single car family for several years - we used it while we dated, it moved with us, we brought our first baby home from the hospital in it and my husband has stoically used it to commute (yes the pink car) for the past 6 years. What a great car - no major breakdowns, no major problems. We tried to trade it in at the dealers - they wouldn't take it. I think they didn't want it because it was a decorator's edition. I has grafitti on it which matches the driveway (and previously the house.) And it still gets 43 miles to the gallon.

If you enlarge this one, you may glimpse the decorators edition.

Fourth of July


It seems there are always celebrations in our area. We did the America concert on Wednesday the 2nd, went out for wings and had a really fun night. The next day (July 3rd) we went to the park. We met most of our old branch there and hung out by the lake for about three hours. We listened to live performances by Derringer and Black Hawk - they also had lots of vendors and a great play area for the kids etc. Our kids just had a blast playing with friends and digging in the sand. We saw a spectacular fireworks display and finally got home about 11:30. The next day (yes the fourth finally) we had a ward breakfast that always turns into a ward waterfight. No one went home dry except my husband who'd hid inside the church to study for the 3 hour exam he had to take later that day. I cleaned house for the rest of the day, and then we had several friends over for a barbeque and did our own fireworks as well as watched our town's fireworks from our front yard. I think the kids liked our own much better than watching the town's. They kept asking when it would be over so we could get back to ours! A friend even made his famous dutch oven pineapple upside down cake!
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When It Rains


Amazingly, July is our wettest month - it rains almost every single afternoon. Last week was no exception when we had a cloud burst. The kids loved it!
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Kids that dress themselves

I love it when my kids show up in totally awesome outfits. Theoretically, most of the colors ARE actually in those pants, but I'm not thinking that the outfit is workin...