Thursday, December 30, 2010

Take a tour of Tyler and Karen's apartment!

Tyler and Karen's mystery Christmas gift finally arrived yesterday! Hurray!! 
First, the letter:

Well yesterday when it came, it was not exactly Christmas morning, but that made no difference to us! 
To say I was excited to finally see what I had only heard about all of these years (the BYU campus, their jobs, the roads, the landmarks, etc) is an understatement. And I love the fact that these FOUR would go to all this work just for ME! What a sweet, sweet surprise!

Today, I would like to show you a part of this video, "Tyler and Karen's apartment."

Oh, and in this video you will see the desk Tyler bought for know, the one he had to CARRY SEVEN BLOCKS to get it home!

(If you missed the tour of  McKay and McKenna's apartment go here. )

Monday, December 27, 2010

Don't forget to roast your vegetables.

Winter time is the best for this. SO easy.

Just cut them up in bite sized pieces, toss with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.  (I like lemon pepper.)

Put in a 400' oven and roast for about 30-45 minutes.
Root vegetables of all kinds are so available now. 
You can just do simply carrots, potatoes and onions if that's what you have. 

I made this tray last week and I think there were carrots, a sweet potato, onions, beets, kholrabi, and yellow pepper.
This week we had a combination of squash, rutabagas, fennel, and onions.
I've never tried a combination of vegetables that doesn't taste good.

Sorry about the ugly pan
We had tilapia and rolls with this, and these were the only vegetables left after dinner for the 2 of us. 
They are that good!

And the hot oven warms up the house.

Book Club Books for 2011

Just got this list. 
My question: Have you read any of these?
If so, do you recommend them, or not?
I'd really like to know.

I've read March's selection and could hardly put it down.
I started January's selection a few weeks ago...half way through and LOVING it!
The other 9 books I don't have a clue about yet, that's why I'm asking you.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Look what our kids gave us for Christmas!

Creative gifts from the heart.
Take a look, but we are not including names.

In random order:

The picture I took of these does not do justice. LOVE them (the pictures and the people in them!)  
So excited to receive these!

This was delivered to our home a few hours before leaving for the Christmas Eve Party.
So we were able to bring this and share. Plus we had more to share the next day.

The DVD below is outstanding. Very professional looking. 
And of course everyone knows we love the pictures! We will keep this forever.
and just so you'll know, they have already given us DVDs of Cami.

Are these not the prettiest flowers and scarves you have ever seen?
All handmade just for me!

Another PRICELESS gift.
This is a gorgeous book filled with pictures of the past year of this family.
Next time you are at our house you will enjoy looking through it. 
I tried to show you a sampling of a few pages but they would only appear sideways on this blog. 

I have never been to one of these, have you?
Can hardly wait!!!!!!!  Den says he wants to go to so I wonder if they will let men in?

Dennis was in tears after reading the personal letter to him inside one of these books. 
He will love reading these. For sure. For sure.

Tyler and Karen were both SO SO SAD that their gift did not make it in time for Christmas. 
They sent it priority and in plenty of time, but it still is in mail land somewhere. 
I will be hunting down the mailman tomorrow!

We feel so blessed to have such THOUGHTFUL children.

And just have to include one of my favorite pictures of Christmas 2010.
Cousins, Campbell and Jonas, getting into the fridge. 
They came out with Cam eating an apple, 
and Jonas holding an orange trying to figure out how to break into it!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

To those who could not be with us last night...

So many did NOT want the camera on them. I'm the same way so what can I say.

Also, keep in mind the house just closed escrow the day before, so there was nothing in the house except for the party essentials.
(Thanks to my brother Scott and to his wife Kim for letting us party on!)

That's my niece Natalie at the end. I was SO HOPING she would pop into town and she did!

Friday, December 24, 2010

6 Things

6 random thoughts this Christmas week:

1. This week Hailey wrote Santa a letter, the first line read,
"I know this is a lot to ask you but I know you can do it." 

2. I got a new kitchen sink and I am so excited!!!  For the first time in 20 years I can actually soak my dishes. Even when we moved into this house new 20 years ago, the sink stopper never worked. We bought numerous stoppers through the years, but nothing would keep that water from going right back down the drain. 

3. When the checker lady at Traders asked us about our family we started talking about our soon to be 18th grandchild. She gave us the oddest she just could not figure out why we were so happy about that. Then another lady standing behind us winked and smiled as if to say, "I get it even if she doesn't." I love people who wink and smile!

4. A dear friend at church put a book in my hand a few weeks ago and said, "Read this, you'll like it." I read to chapter 5 when I got busy. Den saw it, read the whole thing and LOVED IT. With that advertisement, and because I had an infected toe, I read the rest of it. Den said it reminded him of both the good, and disappointment of Christmas past. We both saw it as a story on overcoming trials and thinking beyond ones self. 

 5. Amy and Logan and the 7 kids have been in Arizona this past week visiting Logan's grandparents. They left at 4:15 this morning just so they could be here tonight for our family Christmas Eve party! Fearing for their safety, I kept telling Amy "this is just a party" but she insisted they not miss it! They had to take 2 cars so it's not like Amy and Logan can have a break in driving. I wonder if they will ever be able to get the twins back into car seats after this trip, but last I heard Austin said the babies have been great little travelers, as long as they keep the movie machine going.

6. I want to wish you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Yes, YOU.
Thank you for reading, even on this very special busy day.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The easiest way ever to open a pomegranate

Incredible. Who would have thought!
Go here and watch how Martha does this. 

(I haven't tried this yet, but we can trust Martha, right?) 

I give credit to THIS BLOG. Thank you Lindsay!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The family who lives in a hospital

This family has never been home for Christmas.
They spend Christmas each year in the hospital with their little girl.
As well as every weekend. And every Tuesday.
As I understand it, little Piper has never been home. 
The hospital is her home.
Piper's mom is amazingly upbeat and happy.
Reading her blog every day is a sweet and humbling experience for me.

Perhaps you read it, too. Many do.
If not, you can find it at

Monday, December 20, 2010

How are you with wrapping gifts?

Do you enjoy it?
I don't. 

As soon as my boys knew how to use scotch tape, they would wrap their brothers' gifts for me. This was even before they knew how to cut! But when Dennis entered the family 11 years ago he took over! Bless him! 

McKay's old bedroom has become Christmas central.
You're doing a great job honey!

How about you? 
Do you wrap your gifts? Do you enjoy it?

Here's a gift I received in 1985. TYLER! 
I didn't wrap this one either, but I did deliver it.
The best Christmas ever.
Baby Tyler's face looks so squishy. Good thing he outgrew that.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas

From Paul Cardall.
Once I got past the makeup worn in the stable, I love this. 
Hope I didn't ruin it for you by saying that, but I think it helps to just acknowledge that and move on. 
Cardall writes such spiritual beautiful music.  And what expressions captured in those eyes.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Logan was excited to receive in the mail today a present he had ordered to give at Christmas. 
So he opens it and look what happens!

From what I am hearing, unfortunately, this is common place this year. 
UPS is having a similar problem I've been told.

Friday, December 17, 2010

This made my day

When I brought our granddaughter Campbell into school this morning, 
her little classmate Emma said to me, "Hi Miss Grandma."

Then again as I left, Emma said, "Bye Miss Grandma."

Something about that name makes me happy.
I think putting Miss before Grandma, makes me feel a tad bit younger.
Thank you Miss Emma.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Trader Joes Seeded Rolls


Sorry if you live in Utah because I know there is no TJs,
but for those of you who have Trader Joes in your city, these rolls are worth going for.

Not the cheapest, but right now, they are our favorite. $3.49 for a pkg of 6.
Don't look in the bakery section....they are with the frozen foods.

I find their bags entertaining.

Don't be afraid by how they look, or that they contain things like spelt flour and sesame seeds. 
They really are GOOD tasting. 
Fully cooked, so just warm and serve. 
Has anyone tried these? 
Do you love them as much as we do?

TJs is having a hard time keeping them in stock!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

So you don't have a Christmas table cloth?

Worry no more, we found a solution.

Dennis practiced tonight and took some wrapping paper and just taped it to our table. 

I got the idea from my daughter in law Karen's Aunt Mar's blog. 

See how classy her table is. To quote Aunt Mar:  
 "I always wrap our kitchen table in wrapping paper along with a big bow (of course!).  I like the festive look and the ability to transform the table it is easy clean-up after a party!  Throughout the month, if I need to change the paper or want to change it, I's as easy as wrapping a gift.  :)"

Like Den said this evening, "We don't have any presents wrapped, but the table is covered!"

Monday, December 13, 2010

A hungry but honest boy

Ever had an experience where something happens that seems so insignificant that you hardly notice it? And then later you find yourself thinking about it, like it just stays on your mind? 

Case in point: Chandler, our grandson. About a week or so ago, we heard him say to his mother at the dinner table, "Mom, I've had 3 rolls, can I have another one?"

Most kids would leave out the part about already having 3 rolls.

 Not the best picture, but this was taken just as he was finishing his 4th roll. 
Chandler is on the far left, or part of him is.

 Good kid he is! 
They all are, but this post is about him.
Chandler, Logan, Jonas, Austin

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Is it possible to make a DVD from Youtube?

My sister Robin teaches early morning seminary, and loves it by the way. Occasionally she finds a special little video on Youtube that she would like to share with her class that has to do with her lesson. Maybe it is not even possible to copy a Youtube onto a dvd...but then again, maybe it is. Does anyone know??

For those of you who are not familiar with seminary...It's a class our teenagers attend from 9th through 12th grade, every morning before school. A few weeks ago she gave a lesson on not following the crowd, "just because everyone else is doing it."  She found this old Candid Camera clip that would have been perfect, but she couldn't figure out a way to show it to them...since there is no internet in our church building.

So we are hoping someone out there can either tell us how to do this, or tell us where to go for help.

Meanwhile, here is the Candid Camera clip she couldn't show them, but wanted to. 
Not sure when this was made...1960?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Even little guys have minds of their own

Den stood in line at 'Tuesday Morning' at 8am (last Tuesday of course) 
so he could buy this tent for our grandchildren.

Jonas however was not too sure about it all. 
He would not go inside, even with Grandpa showing him how.
Don't be surprised if the picture above disappears after Den finds out I put it on here.

Grandpa finally talked him into going inside, but then attempted to coax him into trying the tunnel. No way.

Jonas found a way to solve this problem. Just disconnect the tunnel from the tent.

Buddy will do whatever it takes to get that tunnel out of his life. 

Next he went to work on squashing the tent.
No one is going to tell this baby what he has to play with.

Meanwhile, his sister is having problems of her own.
She pulled the plant onto the floor which made her Grandma Honey scream. 
It's a reflex in me when I think someone may be in danger. Den says it's part of my DNA.

She clings to Grandpa for comfort.

The tears just won't stop. She cries and points, "Tree!" 
Téa just can't get over it. 
Grandpa is saying as I'm taking this picture, "She has the same DNA as you."
(I guess meaning I don't get over things easily either)

Maybe we just need to get away from our problems and go outside. 
Let's make a run for it.

Must be nice going through life with a little partner.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Do you own any Sears major appliances?

If so, then read on.
If not, you might want to consider buying from them next time. I'll tell you why.

The soap dispenser broke in our dishwasher a few weeks ago and I noticed the dishes were not getting as clean.  So I finally called Sears and asked how much it would be for them to come out and replace it. I was told it would be $139. to drive here which includes labor, plus there would be an additional charge for the part. I asked how much a soap dispenser would cost. The man I talked to kept telling me he had no idea. So I said,  "Well can't you find out for me?" So he put me on hold. I didn't mind waiting, as I always like to know what we are getting ourselves into before we schedule.

So he comes back and says the part I would need cost $36. So for a total of $175. I could have my dishwasher fixed. Then I asked, "But what if while here, the tech finds other things wrong with my dishwasher?" So then he asks if I was interested in their $200. plan. I said, probably not, but go ahead and tell me about it. 

If I were to pay $200. not only would this particular repair be covered, but all repairs for the next year. The so called "catch" to this, if any of the repairs are over $500. then I could opt for a $500. voucher for a new dishwasher...because Sears would only pay up to $500. per service call (under this $200. a year plan).

This is actually a great deal for an older dishwasher (6 1/2 years) because this is about the age they start falling apart, especially if they are used as much as I use mine. I can't lose with this plan. (He even said I could cancel the plan within 60 days.)

So I agreed to the $200. plan. The guy came out yesterday and discovered I needed THREE things replaced and fixed. He mentioned that the motor is sounding rough and loud and it may need to be replaced soon, although he thinks it is fine for now. No problem for me, now that I have this warranty.  I can have as many repair appts as needed throughout this year, and owe nothing more.

Den asked how can Sears afford this? The tech told us they are really trying to focus on customer service. Well I'm sold, but I admit I have liked Sears appliances and policies for over 30 years. Who else would let me buy a "warranty" 6 1/2 years after the purchase?

Oh and the tech told me he didn't think I would have been offered the $200. plan had I not asked questions. If I had just called and said, "My dishwasher is not working well. When can I have a repair man come?" ...they would have come out and told me about the 3 repairs needed, and the possibility of the motor going out in the near which time I would have said it's not worth it, we will just buy a new dishwasher...which is something I do not want to do right now.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My mother's words

I prayed about this post. 

My mother has been gone over 3 years now. Today is her 81st birthday. What words would she want us to know? Late this afternoon I found them.

She wrote these words to me in a letter in 1980.

Our parents' children 

Our parents' 50 anniversary

I think about her every single day.
Happy Birthday Mom.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A very moody little man

 and I don't mean Dennis.
If I could only get this grouchy little guy to watch the video below, he would feel so much better.

I think even he would love it. 
I wish I knew how they got this little girl to do this. It sounds like she is speaking right from her heart. 

A note to Elora's Great Grandparents in Arizona

I know you can't watch our news here, so I wanted to let you know I added an additional video for you on yesterday's post.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Parts of Elora's news interview

Here are a few clips of video from my camera.
It starts with the camera guy asking Elora if she felt scared making the 911 call when her little sister was having a seizure.

I have pictures to download, but I'm not getting a lot done today with my husband home, as sweet as he is. I can see that I am going to have to learn to focus. Otherwise I will just spend every day, all day, talking to him!

If you are local, watch the news tonight

All 4 of our TV stations here, plus the Fresno Bee, plus a few radio stations did a segment on our granddaughter Elora today. It's about the 911 call she made on behalf of her little sister.I'll try to be back with a video clip and pictures.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Progressive Dinner

Last Wednesday we had a Progressive Dinner for the young women in our church.

I was too excited, so forgot to take pictures of the appetizers at my house until after we ate most of them. 

Sorry, not the best picture....but hold on, it gets better.

One of the girls asked me before we left my house, "Are we suppose to bring our plate with us to the next house?"
I just thought that was the cutest question!

So house #2 we had the main dish. One girl looked at the tables and said, "This is the fanciest dinner I have ever been to." 

Wonderful chicken, pasta and crockpot carrots. Seriously good.

The conversation was the best. I sat with the 12 and 13 year old girls and wondered what they talk about over dinner?

So one of the girls asked if we knew that the shortest man in the world is only 12 inches tall. The girls looked concerned, and one sympathetically said, "I hope the other kids didn't make fun of him when he was in high school."

I said, "I really don't think he attended high school."

At this point,  3 of the girls opened their mouths, and their jaws dropped as if they were thinking...'you mean being short is reason enough not to go to school?' Trying to break the shock, I said, "Look, if he is only 12 inches, he would not be much bigger than this candle here on the table. I can't see someone 12 inches tall walking the halls of a high school. He'd get run over."
For some reason I was the only one who felt like laughing. But I didn't. Not till I got home.

Then finally house #3, The Albas, for dessert
But I got so taken in by the retro lights on her tree that I forgot to take pictures of all the cookies!
Dessert, then charades.

Such sweet, sweet girls. I know there couldn't possibly be a 12 inch man...right? But I was so taken in by the concern our girls had for him. This little guy who doesn't exist (I googled looking for him) but they think he their worry over his high school days was real. I love our girls. They have such big sweet hearts.