Thursday, December 31, 2015

Inspiration for the New Year



My sweet and spiritually in tune bishop shared this with me this morning and I love it so much! It's just what I need as I contemplate this past year and move forward into 2016. 

Three great quotes from this short video...

1) "She probably didn't give it any consideration that the future could be better than the past."

2) "Anybody can choose to leave the past behind and move forward."

and my personal favorite...

3) "Coming to believe that what God has for me is bigger and better than what I have going on right now."


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Cherished Words from My Daughter

My daughter, Katelyn, gave me this book a few days ago. It's from my favorite latter-day apostle, Dieter F. Uchtdorf. I love listening to him talk and reading his words of encouragement (and as an added bonus...he is easy on the eyes). 



I didn't realize until after Katelyn had gone home that she wrote inside of the book.


 

Be. Still. My. Heart.

My daughter is one of the remarkable souls talked of in this book. I love you Katelyn!




Monday, December 21, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What I Wish My Teacher Knew...

While browsing through Instagram today, I came across the following photo from the first kindergarten teacher I ever worked with. She now teaches 3rd grade and was kind enough to allow me to share this on my blog. I know you're going to love it as much as I do. Prepare to laugh!


I knew that you would laugh! 

What the child meant to say was Kendamas. Mrs. C. had to have him read it to her because she had no idea. If you don't know what a Kendama is, it is a wooden skill toy that comes from Japan and is really popular with the kids right now. You can click on the link for a picture.

Thank you so much for sharing the humor with us Mrs. C. !


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Kindergarten Censored

At recess today, Mrs. C., one of the four Kindergarten teachers at our school, shared a funny story with me.

Mrs. C. has one student that she suspects may have Asperger’s Syndrome. (I’ll call him Max.) Max is REALLY smart and adorable and quirky and he did something today that is definitely blog worthy.

Mrs. C. introduced phonemic worksheets to her students yesterday and apparently she called them just that… “phonemic worksheets”.

Well….Max REALLY must have enjoyed doing his phonemic worksheet in class, because this morning he blurted out three times before Mrs. C. could stop him, “Teacher! Teacher! When are we going to do our f***ing worksheets?”

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify and manipulate the separate sounds in a word. It seems that Max is on the right track. He can certainly hear the beginning “F” sound.  

Hahahaha



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mood Changes and MS: Practical Ways to Deal with Mood Swings

Before my husband was diagnosed, I only knew two people who had Multiple Sclerosis. One was a sweet lady who went to church with us and I remember her being pushed around in a wheelchair and doted over by her sweet little husband. The other person was my school teacher and she walked, ever so painfully, with canes. To say I was ignorant of this disease would be a gross understatement, because I assumed MS only affected a person's legs.

For those of you who do not know, Multiple Sclerosis is a disease where the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged. This damage disrupts the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate, resulting in a WIDE range of signs and symptoms, including physical, mental, and sometimes psychiatric problems. 

The struggle is real and the disease is ugly, but information is liberating. The videos put out by the National MS Society are extremely helpful for people who are trying to understand the many facets of Multiple Sclerosis.


 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Easy Chicken Divan

This is such a simple, yet delicious casserole to whip up, and I'm going to share one tip that will make it even easier. Buy a rotisserie chicken from Costco or your local deli! Pick the meat off the bone (depending on the size of the bird, you should get enough white and dark meat for two or three meals), then place the shredded chicken in small freezer bags to thaw and use as needed. 



EASY CHICKEN DIVAN

Ingredients-

2-3 cups COOKED broccoli (fresh or frozen) *
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
3/4 tea. curry powder
3/4 tea. salt
dash pepper
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
1/4 cup melted butter

* If your family doesn't care for broccoli, 2 cans drained French Style Green Beans would be a good substitute.

Directions- 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook broccoli until tender. Arrange stalks in lightly greased 
9x13 baking dish. Place shredded chicken on top. In a large bowl, combine soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, curry, salt and pepper. Spoon over chicken. Combine crackers and melted butter in food processor until crushed. Sprinkle over top. 


Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until warmed through and cracker topping is golden brown.




Need more ideas of what to cook with your Costco rotisserie chicken? Try Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Roll-Ups, or Chicken Bow Tie Salad, or substitute chicken for the turkey in this Turkey Pot Pie recipe. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Walker Starts Preschool

Grandson #1 is starting preschool on Monday. He was invited to go meet his classmates and play for awhile yesterday.  I know he is going to have a fun year learning and making friends. JUST LOOK AT THIS ADORABLE FACE!




It looks like he has everything he needs in the shopping cart...a variety of healthy vegetables, an extinguisher in case he accidentally starts a fire while cooking, and a dust buster to clean up afterward. 

Walker's a smart one, I tell ya. His teachers are gonna LOVE him!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Roasted Red Pepper Linguine

The recipe for my Easy Homemade Alfredo Sauce has been such a hit on Pinterest and Yummly, that I want to share another dish, Roasted Red Pepper Linguine. By adding two simple ingredients, garlic and roasted red peppers, to the mouth-watering Alfredo Sauce, a rich roasted flavor is created. 




INGREDIENTS-

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 cup half and half 
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (12 oz.) jar Roasted Red Peppers, drained
8 oz. Linguine

DIRECTIONS-

Place drained peppers in a food processor and chop until desired consistency. (I found the brand below at Walmart, near the pickles and condiments.)

If you want to add only half of the jar of peppers, go for it!
Never be afraid to make minor changes to a recipe to suit your taste. 

In a large saucepan, saute garlic in butter. Add cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, half and half and the chopped, roasted peppers. Stir over low heat until smooth.

Cook Linguine according to package directions. Drain and combine with sauce. 

Serves: 4-6 




Saturday, August 8, 2015

Beautiful Heartbreak- Hilary Weeks

I love this video so much and I absolutely adore Hilary Weeks. Everything we go through in this life is for a reason and I just LOVE those who inspire us by making the best out of painful and/or difficult situations.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Happy Birthday Cody!

It's this dude's birthday today. This guy trusts like a child, loves unconditionally, and is doing his part to make saints out of sinners. He has proved doctors, psychologists  and educators wrong, beat the odds more times than I care to remember, and has touched the heart of each person that is lucky enough to know him, while at the same time, tested every fiber of their patience. Gosh, I love him! 

Happy 34th Birthday Cody!




Sunday, July 12, 2015

More Puppy Pics with Bonus Video

Matthew and Ruger

This is how Katelyn and Matt found Ruger this morning...
staring at the bed, just waiting for them to wake up.  


video

Monday, July 6, 2015

Golden Retriever Puppy

Like an art form, I create boards on Pinterest so I can save things that inspire me. Therefore, I have created recipe, home decor, and holiday boards, along with boards regarding subjects that I am passionate about...for example: Autism, Multiple Sclerosis, Coca-Cola, Disneyland and Puppies! My daughter, Katelyn, was quick to inform me that she didn't think I needed a puppy board, to which I rebutted, "Yes I do!" 

It didn't take long for Katelyn to come to her senses. Now that she is married, Katelyn has her own "puppy" board on Pinterest and, even more recently, she and her husband have become parents to their own living, breathing, adorable Golden Retriever puppy. 

Meet Ruger!








And yes, I am blogging about Ruger just so I can pin him on my "Mom! You Don't Need a Puppy Board." Wanna bet that Katelyn ends up pinning him on her "puppy" board too?

 J

Monday, June 29, 2015

Easy, Last Minute Gift Idea

If you need a reason to shop Bath and Body Works Semi Annual Sale, here is one. Last minute gift ideas are easy to throw together when you have a stash of lotions, body wash and other products to choose from. 


It's easy to come up with a clever phrase using the name 'Beautiful Day' AND this scent smells good too. 

There you have it...a great excuse to do some online (or in store) shopping at Bath and Body Works and get your creative juices flowing.  

J

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Gooey Lemon Blueberry Squares



Cake Layer~
1 yellow cake mix
1 egg
zest and juice of 1 lemon
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Middle Layer~
1 can blueberry pie filling

Top Layer~
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened but not melted
juice of 1 lemon
½ tea. lemon extract
½ tea. coconut extract (optional)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine cake mix, egg, zest, juice and butter in an electric mixer. Pat into a lightly greased
9 x 13  GLASS pan.



Spread blueberry pie filling over crust.

I used the Blueberry and Creme Pie Filling I had on hand in my pantry. Don't
be afraid to try a variety of pie fillings and change it up according to your taste.
 



Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth, add eggs, lemon juice, zest, vanilla and flavorings. Beat in powdered sugar, mixing well.

Spoon onto cake mixture, spreading evenly.




Bake for approximately 55 minutes. Begin checking after 45 minutes, testing with a toothpick. It should remain a little gooey in the center. 


Cool completely and cut into squares.



*Adapted recipe was inspired by Mary Ellen at That's My Home 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Father's Day Cards 2015

Here are the EXTREMELY fitting Father's Day cards Don received from the kids this year...

This first one is from Katelyn and Matt-




The card below, that WILL NOT OPEN, is from Casey...





and this more serious card is from Chase (aka Superman) and Talitha...





Thursday, June 11, 2015

Family Vacation Gone Terribly Wrong


My son, Chase, his wife and two children set out on a much anticipated vacation Saturday. About half way to their destination, it began to sprinkle, quickly turning into a hard rain. Talitha, my daughter-in-law, was driving when their Chevy Blazer hydroplaned, sending the vehicle sideways down the left hand side of the freeway, then rolling two and a half times, landing on the driver's side in the median. Chase climbed out of the passenger window and pulled the windshield off with his bare hands to get to his wife, who was bleeding and had a huge cut from her eyebrow to the top of her scalp. Many people stopped to help, including two nurses and one EMT in training, but Chase, in his adrenaline rushing haste, didn't think anyone was getting his kids out of the car fast enough, so he climbed to the bottom of the Blazer, opened the door and unbuckled his four year old, while a Good Samaritan went in for their toddler. 

Two ambulances came, one for Talitha and another for Chase and the kids. They spent six hours in the hospital, getting glass out of wounds and stitching up Talitha and Chase. Amazingly, their little boys were uninjured!






The fact that Chase and his little family came out of this accident alive, without even so much as a broken bone, is indeed a miracle. 



Many of you have asked how you can be of assistance. What Chase and his family REALLY need is another vehicle. Please click on the red link below for an explanation and opportunity to help. NO AMOUNT OF MONEY IS TOO SMALL. We sincerely appreciate ANYTHING that you can do!


Monday, May 25, 2015

Game Night/ Would You Rather...?

The first week of May, I found the game WOULD YOU RATHER at Deseret Industries (for those of you who are unfamiliar with Deseret Industries, it's a thrift store similar to Goodwill). The game was clearance priced at Target for $7.48, but I picked it up, still wrapped in plastic, for $2.00.

This weekend, my son, daughter-in-law, and I opened the game and played. It was so much fun!


The object of the game is to stimulate entertaining, ridiculous, and thought provoking conversation with "would you rather" questions as the ice breakers. For example, "Would you rather age only from the neck up OR from the neck down?" and "Would you rather, as a man, have your grandmother's first name OR her haircut?" As fun as this was, we thought the BEST part of the game was the challenge cards.


When someone lands on a challenge space on the board, they must pull a challenge card and perform one of the Do It challenges. 


Chase (my son) had to let Talitha (his wife) draw  glasses on his face with lipstick and stay that way for the remainder of the game. 


This is Asher wondering what in the world his mom is doing to his dad.  :)

Here he is again with a look of astonishment. 


Talitha had to perform a 30 second dance solo with only her own humming as music. Be sure to turn up your volume. ;)

video



One of the things I had to do was lap up water from a bowl like a cat. Talitha videoed  it on her phone and we are trying to figure out how to get it uploaded to the blog. 


In the photo below, Walker and grandpa are playing their own game with the Bristle Blocks. 


I can hardly wait to get all of my kids together, so we can play WOULD YOU RATHER as a large group. Oh, the memories we will make!!  

Friday, May 22, 2015

Kindergarten 2014-2015/ Part Two

Here's a look at the end of year gifts I received from students, parents, and Mrs. Johnson's (OEK) class...


The OEK children wrote thank you notes to me on flower pedals. Pretty cute idea, huh?!
OEK stands for Optional Extended Day Kindergarten. It's in place to help children who are low and need the extra assistance. I spent an hour each day helping these kids learn their sight words, letters and sounds and writing skills. It was amazing to see each child's progress. 

Here is the "POLISHing us up so we can shine" part.  


I love, love, love my job! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Kindergarten 2014-2015/ Part One

Another school year is over and I am feeling the love! Just take a look at the thoughtful gifts I received from Mrs. B. today...

I'm not going anywhere, but Mrs. B. is retiring.

She gave me this Coca-Cola tin sign... 

...and wrote me the sweetest letter. 

This is what I gave to Mrs. B., along with a clever card that I forgot to take a picture of (ugh).





I sure am going to miss working with her!

I will share some of the thoughtful gifts I received from students in my Kindergarten 2014-2015/ Part Two post.   :)

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