Sunday, March 18, 2018

5 special things about yesterday

Cami's annual Birthday Ball Party yesterday was 
extra special to me for 5 reasons:

1. Soon after I arrived, Cami spotted me and was just beaming as 
she stood there looking up to me. She makes me feel like the most 
important person ever. AND she is a teenager now....13! 


2. I was SO surprised to see my 2 nieces, Lindsay and Whitney at 
the ball party! I had no idea they were even in town. 
(They are the youngest daughters of my brother Richard, and Wendy.

And here's my best attempt to get all 8 of them in one picture...
 Bret, Jay, Kit, Whitney, Lindsay, Leigh, Gard, and Winnie.

I had a hard time keeping Winnie in the frame
(Would you believe Whitney is 6 months pregnant in this picture?)

3. I'm loving Violet's new golden dress, and boots and glasses. And 
I love that her 2nd cousin Winnie is next to her here.

4. My Dad asked Elora who she was. 
And no, he is not losing his memory. 
Elora has changed a lot lately! 
What was Elora's response to her Great Grandpa saying that?
"Puberty is a magical thing."

Just have to say here...
NO ONE in my entire life has said anything about puberty being magical. 
But good for you Elora for thinking so!

5. And one more note here, 
or rather something I noticed, that I never noticed before. 

My niece Whitney resembles my cousin Kristine. 
(Kristine is the daughter of my Dad's sister Ann.)

Can you see it too?

And also, I notice that baby Leigh below,
 looks a lot like my brother Richard. 

Happy Happy Birthday to Cami!

We are all better people because she is in our family! 

Friday, March 16, 2018

She looks like an actress from 1927

I've been keeping this movie on our bedroom dresser 
since Christmas....

My sister Heidi gave it to me. 
I thought, how nice, I will watch this! 

Then the next day I picked it up, and did a double take. 

Why does the actress on the cover of this look just like 
our granddaughter Elora!

And seriously, Elora looks more like the actress in person 
than she does in this picture!

So a few days later (this is still December), Elora's parents were 
over playing games with Karen and Tyler, and I showed them!

And no, that look on Erin's face right there was not the moment 
when I showed her the movie cover. 

Instead, Erin pretty much had the look below when I showed her....
(although this was a different day)

And Elora pretty much acted like her look above, when her Mom 
sent her a text of the movie cover.

In other words, Elora could not see the resemblance at all!

The rest of us, are still amazed!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Juliet and Karen

Our 2 year old granddaughter knows what she wants to sing!
(And, yes, Karen is always that patient.)

I like how right after the ABC song, just by Juliet looking at her 
Mom, she can tell what the next song will be. Must be a mother-
daughter thing.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

My Mom knows how we feel today

I've been typing up my Mom's old journals. This week I'm on 1980. I think we may be able to relate
what she said, especially today:

April 28, 1980
Daylight Savings yesterday and I am shot. Stayed up too late. 
Richard came by this morning and said he finally understands 
my thoughts on D.S.T. He couldn't get his kids to bed last night 

And then this one, just because I like it:

Feb 25, 1980
We had a nice FHE about personal prayer. I am really gaining 
a testimony of it. We have to be real dummies not to take 
advantage of such a wonderful source of help and strength.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Our Dinners for February

For some reason I got it in my head to keep track of our 
dinners each month. This has actually proved to be helpful to 
me as I can go back for ideas that I may have otherwise 

Not sure anyone will read this but me, but that's okay.  :)

(But if you decide to keep track of your own dinners, I would 
sure love to see your list!)

Feb 1: (appetizer: carrot sticks), Salmon croquettes, kobacha squash with butter and brown sugar, 
asparagus, baked yukons, grapefruit

Feb 2leftover turkey/veg soup, toast, and grapefruit for Dennis. I had a frozen GF chicken pot 
pie, and a red pepper, carrot, some kidney beans and 5 pecans (somedays just gotta eat what 
sounds good)

Feb 3: Cafe Rio…this time I not only told them to skip the rice but asked for 2 scoops of the 
pinto beans and it was great.

Feb 4: Crockpot Apricot Chicken, Brown Rice, broccoli, Crockpot Acorn Squash

Feb 5: It was neighborhood book club at our house tonight…so all 8 ladies brought a dish to 
share. Chili, and lots of salads, and quiche, and brownies, and Valentine candy. Stacey, Beth, 
Danielle, Cindy, Lora, Kathleen, Vicki, and me. Den fixed himself a plate from our buffet…I was so 

Feb 6: Den ate same dinner i made for another family: Baked Teriyaki Chicken, pilaf, corn, salad, 
and choc chip cookies. (After he packed up and delivered theirs) 
I had lentil soup (that I had saved in the freezer) and some Trader Joe’s Cauliflower. 
Just have to share Den's great packing abilities:

Feb 7: honey roasted red potatoes, turkey burgers, broccoli, acorn squash in crockpot, salad 
leftover from last night, grapefruit…By the way, LOVED those potatoes!!

Feb 8:  Loaded Baked White Sweet Potatoes….I made up this recipe last month, but thanks to 
keeping track, I could remember it plus I could go back and find it. So white sweet potatoes with 
black beans, guac, cooked peas, sautéed mushrooms and red onions, ground turkey meat. 
Sautéed arugula on the side, Grapefruit.

Feb 9: GF fish sticks (I have literally not had these in YEARS, probably decades.) GF Tator Tots, 
bacon strips, peas, cauliflower, Red pepper slices, grapefruit (An odd combo of food but it’s just 
what I felt like eating and Den is always up to anything.)

Verdict on the dinner: Fish Sticks are history forever. Never again. Good thing I had bacon on our
plate. Every once in a while I put bacon on Den’s plate because it makes him so happy. But
tonight, I actually ate a piece myself.
Feb 10: at Denny’s I had that hot plate of salmon, potatoes, broccoli, and mushrooms. Why is it
that Denny’s salmon is wild, but all the other more expensive restaurants only have the farmed
raised salmon? Den had his usual breakfast.
Feb 11: DINNER: Campfire Chicken Foil Packets, AND Lori’s Campfire Potatoes
(don’t put the potatoes in the Chicken Foil Packets if you are going to make the delicious Lori's
Campfire Potatoes. Instead put 3 sliced carrots in instead…not chunks but slices)

Everything cooked in foil on a baking sheet. Done in 45 minutes. (marinated everything earlier in
the day) As the day went on this did not sound good to me. But I went ahead and baked it
anyway. Loved it. Great flavor between the thyme, olive oil, lemon juice and vegetables and
chicken. I hope I don’t forget about this one because it really is an easy to put together earlier in
the day and bake just before dinner time. 
I halved both recipes above. But used a bit more olive oil than 1/2. I thought it would taste
lemony and I wasn’t in the mood for lemon tonight, but it didn’t. 
Feb 12: DINNER: Baked Teriyaki Chicken and pilaf (it makes alot, so we gave 1/2 the chicken and
pilaf to another family), brown rice, broccolini, red and yellow fresh peppers, apple slices
Feb 13: salmon burger, asparagus, white sweet potatoes, green salad with carrots and red
Feb 14:  Minestrone soup I made that wasn’t all that great. Kind of sad since it was Valentine’s
Day. But the movie we watched at home tonight well made up for it. I can’t remember when we
both loved a movie as much as this one. It was from 2016 called LION. I kept passing the kleenex
to Dennis. He loved it as much as I did. 
Feb 15: Taco Salad (ground turkey, guac, olives, tortilla chips , cheese, salad, cabbage, red
onions) grapefruit
Feb 16: DINNER: Denny’s with 2 little people.
I had the salmon-potato, mushroom, tomato-spinach-broccoli dinner
Den had breakfast, as always.

Feb 17:   turkey burgers, honey roasted potatoes (see Feb 7th), sautéed arugula, kobacha 
squash, grapefruit….I don’t know if I was just overly hungry or what, but this dinner was excellent. 
Den loved it too. Right smack in the middle of it we found out we were missing Violet’s 7 year old 
birthday party! We thought it was TOMORROW night, since that is her actual birthday. So we 
hurried and got dressed, wrapped her doll stroller up, and flew out the door. We made it ½ hour 
late. Everyone was so forgiving. When we got back 90 minutes later we finished our dinner.

Feb 18:  crockpot apricot chicken, brown rice, zucchini swirls, leftover kobacha squash, grapefruit

Feb 19:  Cafe Rio….As we were going through the line the girl rings me up then looks at Dennis 
and says, “Vegan right?” And he said no, not anymore. Then I said, “I can’t believe you 
remembered he was vegan last summer.” So I go get us a table while Den asks her, “So tell me, 
how did you remember that?” And she said, “You remember the ones who are really nice to 
you.” I was happy someone thinks we are nice…even the cute little checker girl at Cafe Rio.

Feb 20  Boy Scout dinner baked in oven (turkey burger, carrots, yukons, japanese white potatoes, 
red peppers, purple cabbage…green salad

Feb 21  Crockpot Salsa verde chicken over brown rice, corn, grapefruit

Feb 22:  cod, white sweet potato, peas, green salad with romaine, parsley, carrots, purple 
cabbage, celery. Grapefruit

Feb 23: Turkey soup: ground turkey, fresh parsley, broccoli, yellow pepper, red pepper, red 
onion, 2 carrots, celery,. Then we topped it with brown rice and sautéed mushrooms.

Feb 24: I had leftover turkey/vegetable soup from last night. But the 3 grand girls plus Dennis 
had Trader Joes mini tacos, corn and fresh cut up apples. Chocolate chip cookies for dessert. The 
dinner made them all happy so I guess it was okay :) Cami also had a banana and an extra apple 
plus the tacos and corn and THREE choc chip cookies and she was asking for more! She was extra 

Feb 25:  Big Taco salad (ground turkey, dark lettuce, kidney beans, carrots, purple cabbage,
tortilla chips, olive oil, dairy less ranch…ate half of it before going home teaching with Dennis,
and the rest afterwards. 
Feb 26: out to Sequoia Sandwich…I thought it would be easier to just go out tonight since we
were gone alot today. But right before we were to leave I got SO hungry that I ate some yogurt,
pecans, a smoothie, steamed cauliflower and broccoli dipped in hummus, and then half a can of
green beans. Den kept laughing at all I was eating but I couldn’t help it. When hunger hits me it
hits hard. So I hardly touched the salad and potato I ordered. (I served it to Dennis the next day
for lunch.) He had a bowl of chili at Sequoia. He’s so simple and easy. And I’m so not.
Feb 27: Easy Baked Chicken, Brown Rice, Butternut Squash, Broccoli, orange cauliflower,
Feb 28: salmon croquettes, asparagus, leftover butternut squash, Japanese sweet potatoes
Dinner Out this month: 5 times

For a few days I actually kept track of everything I ate all day long, 
but that was crazy. I eat way too much and way too often to write 
all that down. 

We are already eating our way through March. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

He can be the bad example.

So Dennis let me off here the other night so I could start shopping 
while he parked the car....

Usually he comes right in, and sits in a chair by the entrance.

I kept looking for him in his usual spot, but he wasn't there. 

Finally I thought...oh he must have just decided to wait in the car 
this time and listen to the game. (I always assume there's a game.)

I didn't think much of it. 

Until about 20 minutes later he suddenly appeared behind me as I 
was looking at lamps...and I heard him say, "Am I dripping any 

I quickly turned around and gasped. His poor ear looked all cut up 
and he had a small gash in his neck. 

"WHAT happened to you?!!" 

All these thoughts were rushing through my mind like, why didn't I 
go looking for him? Why did I just assume he was staying in the 

He said he ran into a sign as he was walking towards the store.  

"A sign? What sign??" 

He was holding a bunch of bloody Kleenex. But I assured him the 
bleeding seemed to have stopped as I didn't see any dripping on his 

He then says to me, "You know those bushes we use to walk 
through from the parking lot, until they put up that sign?"

"Oh, so you walked through them anyway?"

Turns out as he was going through the bushes, he tripped and his 
head and neck fell into the sign.

On our way home I told him his story could be the bad example in 
teaching children to follow the rules. 

Blood will always get their attention.

Den requested no pictures, but thankfully he is healing up just fine!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The 31 Day Challenge

My grandkids love Storyline Online.

They just came out with this new one....
So go find someone little and they will read this story to them...
And to you, too. (this will give you a 7 minute break)

And you may even want to take their 
31 Day Challenge beginning today!

Have them read a story to your child every day this month
They have the stories all ready to go. 
Take a look. And it's all free. 

Storyline Online gets over 100 million views each year from 
children all over the world. And they have received many awards!
Just making sure you know about it.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

She asked for the recipe 19 years later.

My niece Natalie texted me last week asking for my recipe of 
Taco Salad...
"the one you used to bring to family potlucks" 

I DO remember throwing that salad together years ago,
 and bringing it to the family potluck. 

I guess I made it a time or two, maybe three, 
but that was about it.

So I went to the Salad recipe book that I started in 1999...
and there it was on the 4th page.

Oh my, NINETEEN years ago.

Natalie and I both remember it also had ground beef in it!

Made my day she still remembered it!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

15 things I learned at church last week

Here's what I learned, or re-learned, at church last week. 
Most of these aren't exact quotes because I can’t write that 
fast, but they should be pretty close:
  1. From the opening song, Improve the Shining Moments:
    “…Promptings bringeth softly blessings rich and pure.” 
  2. “We cannot be grateful and envious at the same time.”
  3. “Instead of scrolling, look around and notice who needs a hug or to be noticed or needs
  4. “We are all given only so much time in this life. We need to cut down on distractions so
    we can better serve the Lord by better serving the people around us.” 
  5. A suggestion was made during the first talk in Sacrament meeting…."if you are say,
    searching for a recipe on the internet, set the timer for 5 minutes. If you have not found
    it when it goes off, set it for another 5 minutes. I guess this keeps one focused on the
    task and will keep us from becoming distracted elsewhere on the net with no real
  6. "We need to remember that 'We’re all just walking each other home.”
  7. “Potential is God’s gift to us. What we do with it, is our gift to Him.” 
  8. “I think we will be surprised when we get to heaven at how familiar our Heavenly
    Father’s face is to us. It won’t be the first time we have seen Him, because of course
    we knew Him well before we came to earth.”
  9. “When we pray to Heavenly Father try to envision Him and look into His face as if we are
    having a conversation with Him, because we are.”
  10. “Heavenly Father knows each of us so well that He knows how to speak to us.” (This one
    in particular I've thought of lots since I heard it. He knows how to get our attention.)
  11. A comment during one of our lessons: “I really believe Satan holds councils and says
    things like “Donna is going to church again today, is there anything we can do about
  12. “Heavenly Father knows our limitations, but he helps us always to accomplish our
  13. “We want our bishop and our stake president to be perfect. We want all our church
    leaders to be perfect. We want Joseph Smith to be perfect. But they aren’t. Heavenly
    Father has always had imperfect people to work with.”
  14. “Following the Savior removes barriers from you, and the help Heavenly Father wants to
    give to you. 
  15. And this last one is a direct quote from President Dieter F. Utchdorf from our last
    General Conference, as it was read in our last meeting of the day:

    “On your journey back to Heavenly Father you will soon realize that this journey 
    isn’t just about focusing on your own life. No, this path inevitably leads you to 
    become a blessing in the lives of God’s other children—your brothers and sisters. 
    And the interesting thing about the journey is that as you serve God, and as you 
    care for and help your fellowmen, you will see great progress in your own life, in 
    ways you could never imagine.”

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The 8 year old saved the 7 year old

My Dad called to tell us about an 8 year old 
saving his classmate from choking on a gummy bear.

It happened on Valentine's Day in Fresno, 
a town 5 minutes from us.

I especially thought it was sweet that my 
Dad wanted to share this with us: