Sunday, June 27, 2010


The lesson in Relief Society today came from Elder Hales' Conference talk titled Our Duty to God: The Mission of Parents and Leaders to the Rising Generation. We had a really great discussion. I love those kind of lessons - where we get to learn from each other rather than be lectured to. I feel like I get to relish in a wealth of wisdom, experiences, and testimonies.

One mom shared how she strikes up the "after school" conversation with her kids. Instead of just asking how was your day or how was school, she asks:

What is the best thing that happened to you today?

What is the worst thing that happened to you today?

What is the funniest thing that happened to you today?

What a great way to keep the lines of communication open! Aha moment -- specific questions require specific answers. As I make this a daily practice, I hope that the take-home message to my kids will be: I'm interested in your life, I want what is best for you, I won't judge you, I love you.

Friday, June 18, 2010

For posterity's sake...

Finally getting around to updating our already outdated pics and kids' descriptions. Before making any changes, though, I wanted to save what I have. I'll be adding Cole's newborn pics as soon as they get here. Just had them taken and ordered today!

Laci - turned 3 in August. Energizer bunny. She is the perfect juxtaposition of tomboy and princess. Her favorite color is pink, loves dressing up, painting her fingernails, and is addicted to chapstick. She also loves exploring outdoors, playing catch, and rough and tumbling with Daddy and Jacob. Fiercely independent. Laci is a wonderful helper to Mommy, and a sweet sister to Jacob. Jason and I often joke that we could stock up the pantry and leave for a week...Laci would not only survive, but she would be able to take care of Jacob, too! Cntagiously happy. Laci has a smile for everyone, and brings joy to all she meets.

Jacob - 1 year old. All boy! He loves to rough and tumble, no matter how big his opponent! Tenderhearted. Jacob loves to snuggle, and is never too far from Mommy. He loves hanging out with Daddy, just bein' one of the boys. He and Laci are best buds! Content. His calm dimeanor and mild manners bring such a sweet spirit to our home.

Wow! Reading over these again, not much has changed in the last year.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Now that the series over, we're hooked. Thanks to Netflix, we can watch them one after another and not have to wait a week between episodes.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Time for more recipes...

Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad


3 T. honey

1 1/2 T. rice wine vinegar

1/4 c. mayo

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/8 tsp. sesame oil

Blend all ingredients together in small bowl. Chill.


2/4 c. veg. oil (frying)

1 egg

1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. corn flake crumbs

1 tsp. salt

1.4 tsp. pepper

1 skinless chicken breast (I used 4 keeping the rest of the ingredients the same - and there was plenty!)

3 c. romaine lettuce, chopped

1 c. red cabbage, chopped

1 c. Napa cabbage, chopped

1/2 carrot, shredded

1 gr. onion, chopped

1 T. almonds, sliced

1/2 c. crispy chow mein noodles, optional

Preheat oven 350 degrees. In shallow bowl, beat egg and milk; mix well. In another shallow bowl, combine flour, corn flakes, salt and pepper. Cut chicken breast into strips, lengthwise. Dip each strip into egg mixture, then into flour mixture. Fry each chicken finger for about 5 minutes.

Prepare salad by tossing salad greens and carrots together. Sprinkle green onion on top of lettuce. Toast almonds in small skillet for 3-4 minutes; sprinkle over salad. Add chow mein noodles. Place chicken fingers on top of salad. Serve dressing on the side.

*I actually skipped breading and frying the chicken because I didn't have corn flakes. So, I sprinkled and rubbed in salt, pepper, & ginger on each side of the chicken breasts. Stuck them under the broiler for 7-8 minutes on each side. Ended up still really yummy without the calories of breading and frying. Although, if I had had corn flakes, I would have kept that step in because it's just so YUMMY!

My Mother-in-law made these next two recipes for us while she was up here. It is SO good!

Mushroom Rice

1 stick butter, melted

1 onion, diced

1 1/2 c. rice

3 beef bouillon cubes

3 c. water

1 can mushrooms, sliced

1/4 c. Parmesan cheese

1-2 T. rosemary leaves*

garlic to taste

Melt butter and saute rice and onions. Add water, bouillon, mushrooms, rosemary, and garlic to mixture. Sprinkle in Parmesan. Mix & cover with lid. For white rice, cook 20 minutes. For brown rice, cook 40 minutes.

*Great tip she gave me: use a metal tea-steeper for the rosemary leaves. Leave it in while it bakes, and take it out when ready to serve. That way, you have all the flavory without having to bite into twigs.

Parmesan Chicken

1 c. bread crumbs, Italian seasoned

1/4 c. parsley leaves

1/4 c. parmesan cheese, canned

1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

In shallow dish, mix together the bread crumbs, parsley, parmesan, salt and pepper. Set aside.

1/3 c. butter

8-10 chicken breasts

Melt butter. Roll chicken in butter, then in bread crumb mixture. Place in casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Cover; reduce heat 275 degrees and bake for 1 hour.

ENJOY! (I know I did!)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

chilhood crush?

So, the family we sat behind at church has a little boy in Laci's primary class. When he turned around to say hi to Laci, she gave him a big hug, which isn't rare for Laci. She loves everyone and always hugs her friends when she sees them. It's just who she is, ya know? He stayed turned around smiling at her then asked me, "Is Laci in a new class now?" I explained to him that Laci had been home with us for a few weeks until we were ready to bring the new baby to church, but that she was still in the same class. Apparently, he had really missed her because he never turned back around - for the entire meeting - and just stared at Laci. At one point, I leaned over to Jason and whispered, "Do you think someone has a little crush?" And, he thought I was talking about Laci because she certainly wasn't ignoring his attention.

At the close of the meeting, this little boy leaned over our bench and said quite timidly to Jason, hesitating between each word, "Can -- you -- tell -- Laci -- that" (pause)

Jason encouraged, "Yes?"

(quite emphatically) "she's BEAUTIFUL!"

Meanwhile, Laci walked around to his bench, grabbed his hand and said, "Come on, let's go!" And, off they went to primary, hand-in-hand!

Monday, June 7, 2010

recent - and not so recent - adventures

Yesterday was our first Sunday back to church since Cole was born. (I figured since it's not cold/flu season, it's safe to bring him out at 4 weeks.)
Here he is in his church clothes.
These were Jacob's church clothes, too. As I was dressing Cole in them, I remembered that a little old lady at church came to look at Jacob and scolded me for dressing him "so grown up and not like a baby." I think she was a little miffed that she misguessed his age.
We are told to dress in our Sunday best, are we not? Baby girls get to wear big poofy dresses, tights, and flowers in their hair. Why do baby boys get treated differently?
Frankly, I don't care what anyone says, I think he looks so cute!
(Oh, and how's this for your first Sunday back? We weren't there for more than 10 minutes and one of the bishopric members asked us to speak in two weeks! We're actually really excited because they gave us a really great topic: covenants. Welcome back...)

Spencer and Hilary recently moved to UT. This is their 4-month-old baby girl, Blayke. She is a beauty!

The pictures just don't do her justice. And, no matter how many times I tried to turn his head, Cole insisted on giving us a profile at the last second.

Laci loves EVERY minute of being a big sister to a new baby!

So does Jacob.

Here we are at the Living Aquarium in Sandy. We went here when Jason's mom and sisters were here. It's been two weeks and I'm finally posting about their visit!

The kids LOVED the penguins - though, I think they didn't enjoy having to pose for pictures every few minutes.

This one looks like he's getting ready to take flight. We thought maybe he was going to dive in. Apparently not, because he stood like this for about 15 minutes! (You'd think his wings would get tired.)

It was so fun getting to see penguins this close up!

Here we are in the frog section. The kids also LOVED this area. They thought it was such a blast being bale to climb on a giant frog. (Jacob kept yelling out, "Princess and the Frog!", his new Disney favorite.)
And, here's more of what we got to see there...

Boa Constrictor

There was also a shark tank and sting rey petting exhibit. I just didn't get pictures of those.
This was a fun area, too. The kids got to climb through make-believe tunnels of coral and sea animals.

I don't think Jacob was supposed to climb up here, but it still made a cute picture!

Hiding in a coral-reef cave.

From left to right: Holly with her son, Guess; Jacob, (yes, dressed in pink); Laci, Ashley, Cole, and Baba.
We had SO much fun with the Denham's here. (We really missed Papa and Sarah!) This is all I have pictures of, but we had a nail & Twilight party, visited Temple Square, and played LOTS of games. Great memories.


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