Saturday, January 25, 2014

One of These Things Doesn't Belong Here

What is wrong with this picture?

Casey hid a Pepsi can amidst my Coke collection ONE MONTH AGO and I am just now finding it. 

On a happy note...Look at my adorable grandson!

Baby Boy Gender Reveal Gift

Katelyn put together this little basket of treats for her best friend's gender reveal party...


"Today's Special" is a baby boy.

"Mini" Ryan (father's name) will sail...

...the "Ocean Blue" (your vagina)

I won't "Flip" out if it's a she...

...but I'll be "Extra" excited if it's a he.

Either way, when the "Secret's" out, you're having a baby! Let's scream and shout!

Turns out that they are having a GIRL. Congrats Kaitlen and Ryan.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Potty Mouth Police

When it comes to the local news, my husband likes to look at two columns in particular. Let me put it this way... I can count on him to inform me if someone I know has either passed away or been arrested. 

Annoyed and talking out loud (mostly to himself) while browsing the Internet this morning, Don said, "What did they do, change the layout of this page?! Where's the obituaries?"

Without delay, Cody reprimanded his dad and said,  "Hey! How come you call him that? That's not nice!" 

It seems that Cody thinks obituary is spelled  oh-bitch-uary and is profanity.

Maybe it's not a curse word, but it sure does sound like one. :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Priceless Moment In Time

Now that they're all adults, my children think we should go back to the Grand Canyon and reenact this photo...

What do you think? :)

See this link- A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Friday, January 17, 2014

Easy Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo Sauce is super easy to make. Instead of buying one of those dry mix packets from the market or the thick, white stuff in a jar, try making your own sauce with these 4 simple ingredients. 

Clearly, this recipe is not for those trying to lose weight or the lactose intolerant. :)

My families favorite way to eat Alfredo is over fettuccine, topped with grilled chicken strips and sauteed mushrooms, but there are more ways you can enjoy this versatile sauce. Here are a few examples...

1) Replace red sauce with Alfredo on pizza and lasagna. 
2) Pour it over angel hair pasta or ravioli. 
3) Use Alfredo as a dipping sauce for breadsticks.

Easy Homemade Alfredo Sauce Recipe

1 8oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 cup half and half (You can substitute milk instead.)

In a large saucepan, combine cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, butter and half and half. Stir over low heat until smooth.


Serves: 4

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Guest Post by Cindy Robertson Michie/ Dropping My Son with Asperger's Off at College

Cindy, a friend of mine whom I haven’t seen since high school graduation, agreed to do a guest post for me. The two of us grew up together in a small town. Our graduating class had less than 50 students, so you can imagine how close we all were. I have many good memories of Cindy. She and I were on the drill team together, we ran on the same 880 relay team, we sat next to each other in driver’s ed. (This I remember because she is left handed and we about drove each other nuts trying to write out assignments.) I also recall how she loved tomatoes and would gladly take them from friends in the cafeteria who did not. Her hamburgers always had more tomatoes than beef.  J

I reconnected with Cindy on facebook and had no idea she has a son with special needs until I saw one particular post this week. I read it. I cried. And I knew I needed to ask her if I could share her words of anguish, fear, hope and encouragement on my blog. I am so happy that she agreed and I know that her story will help many families dealing with ASD. Here is Cindy’s article…

"I was looking at the pictures we took a week ago when we dropped Jake off at BYUI. When I saw this one I thought how perfect it was. We took him to lunch before we left town and he ordered this hamburger which was larger than his head! As I look at it I realized that in a way this burger represents Jake’s life with Asperger’s. Due to his disorder, things that we take for granted are extra-large for him to tackle. But that doesn’t stop him from sitting up to the table with every intention of eating every bite! 

Dropping Jake off at college was one of the most difficult things I have done. For 20 years we have worried about this child. We had practice conversations to help him learn to communicate better with friends. We mapped out his every move because the unknown was frightening. We practicing holding eye contact with others, and rehearsed possible scenarios for school days, field trips, church activities and work. He worked on it all until he mastered it to the best of his ability. We set a goal to have no IEP by the time he graduated from high school and it came off as a junior. He set and met MANY goals. Every time I worried about a hurdle Jake simply laced his track shoes on and faced it again and again, falling over and over until he cleared it. Then with that fabulous smile you see in this picture, he would look forward to the next hurdle which was inevitably there.

After dreading for months the day we would drop our Autistic son off to fend for himself at college, he once again surprised me. We had planned to stay for two days to get him settled and after day one he graciously asked us if WE were ready to leave. I was worried that he would be unsure of his ability to take care of himself…  instead I realized that it was me that was worried. He’s totally ready. He has prepared himself for this day and like all the others, tackled it with enthusiasm. He has taken classes at JCCC for the past two years and transferred as a junior. He worked 30 hours a week and paid every penny for school and even managed to put $6,000 in the bank. He called the counselor at BYUI months ago and asked for a meeting to decide the schedule which would be right for him. He is a physics major doing school work that I could only dream of doing. I will never forget the look on his roommate’s faces when after talking to him and making some innocent preconceived opinions about him, patronizingly asked him what his major was…the look of surprise on their faces was priceless! They looked at him a little differently after that.

I remember the day we got his diagnosis and I cried out to the Lord about why he would send this child to me. I am not THAT mother. I am not good enough to be the mother of a specials needs child, one who would be different and would require patience that I didn’t have. I was certain I couldn’t do it! But what I didn’t know was that we would have the best teacher. Jake was there to teach and guide all the way along and from him I have learned soo many lessons; patience, perseverance, kindness, determination and unconditional love. We were not ready for the challenge but he is. He is anxious for this new hurdle in his life. I thank heaven for the extreme honor it is to be his mom and I look forward to the new things I will learn from this gentle giant."

Monday, January 13, 2014

Brown Sugar Banana Bread

My daughter and daughter-in-law periodically ask me questions about cooking and/or baking, so this year I am going to post more tried and true recipes along with any helpful tips that I can think of. This way, not only will my girls have easy access to favorite family dishes, but I can also share them with the rest of the world.

When I was younger, Google wasn't around to help answer all of my cooking questions, so I had to call an mother. Now my kids are doing the same thing. Even though they have smart phones with answers right at their fingertips, they still come to me for direction. And, do you know what? I'm totally okay with that!

Here is an actual text conversation I had with my daughter (a newlywed) and is the source of my inspiration. I apologize to my facebook friends who have already seen it, but it's pretty comical and worth sharing.

Katelyn- "Hi. Do you know of any crockpot recipes using ground beef that don't take more than a few hours?"

Me- "No. Make Hamburger Helper or Sloppy Joes."

Katelyn- "There's a crockpot Sloppy Joe Casserole I was going to make, but it says the hash browns need to be thawed beforehand. Do you think it's a big deal if they aren't?"

Me- "Run them under warm water in a strainer for a second to thaw them and then drain them for a bit." 

Katelyn- "You're a damn genius, I tell ya!"

So, without further adieu, here is a terrific banana bread recipe straight from the kitchen of "a damn genius".   :)

Brown Sugar Banana Bread

1 3/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/3 c. oil
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 c. mashed, ripe bananas (approximately 2)
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat eggs. Add oil, vanilla, brown sugar and mashed banana. Stir in baking soda, baking powder and salt, then gradually add flour.Mix well, but do not over beat.

Pour into a greased bread pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, testing with a toothpick. 

Brown sugar is the key ingredient and reason this bread is so delectable. Brown sugar contains molasses and is generally sweeter. When given a choice between white and brown sugar, I always opt for brown. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

My Thoughts As a Granddaughter

Don and I went to visit with my Grandma Smith (my mom’s mother) over Christmas break. While we were there, grandma said to me, “If there is anything of mine that you would like, you need to let me know." I couldn't think of anything off the top of my head, but I did tell grandma that she should write, with a Sharpie, names of the intended recipients on the bottoms of her knick knacks, etc.  I’m sure grandma has material things that I would love to have, just because they belong to her, but what I cherish most is something aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings cannot take from me...memories of her and my grandpa.

My advice for grandma to label things stems from personal events. When my Grandma Stucki (my dad’s mother) passed away years ago, I didn’t get to choose even a small trinket from her belongings. The only thing I have in my possession is a children’s book that grandma, a few years before she became sick, insisted I take home.  When I was a little girl, she and I would sit in her recliner, between the fireplace and the window, while she read stories from Little Brown Bear to me.  The book is old and torn, but the memories that flood my mind when I hold and peruse Little Brown Bear are beyond priceless.

Saying good-bye is never easy and it is all too common for extended families to crumble and go separate ways after the death of a loved one, especially if that loved one is the patriarch or matriarch of the family. What I have learned through experience is that people, family included, are unpredictable.  It is hard to say what will become of grandma’s posterity when she passes to the other side. I hope she will take my advice and spell out her intentions clearly for her children and grandchildren, because I think she would want her family to remain intact, having no hard feelings toward each other.

Friday, January 3, 2014

More Wedding Photos

It's been 7 months since Katelyn and Matthew were married. Time sure does fly by! Looking through the photos on my computer, I realize there are several more pictures that are blog and Pinterest worthy. Wedding photography is expensive, so why not share all I can, right?!

All of the photographs were taken by M. Felt Photography. Click on the link to see more of her work.

"I'm Married!" 

I love this one of Matthew and his nephews. :)

You can see more of Katelyn and Matt's wedding photos at the links below:

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