Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I finally finished the next book that I picked up for $1. It was this: Now, I'm not sure I believe all angels have wings, however, the cover is a lovely picture. There are 12 short stories of people who have experienced an angel in their lives - usually during a time of their life being in danger. Really good. The kind of good that gives you goosebumps at the end of each story. I highly recommend it. And it's available from me if anyone in my area wants to read it. I am still in the 'slow' reading of President Monson's book. It seems like I'll never get through it, but I do enjoy the book during the times I'm reading it. Saturday I cleaned out my game cupboard - or cupboards/closets - I should say. We have a small stand up cupboard in our dining room area. This is where we store our 'more' played games. Next to the cupboard on the floor, is a pile that grows every few weeks, of games that I buy at my local thrift stores for $1 (okay, sometimes I splurge and spend $2 or $3 or even $4). These are games that I want to 'try' out on the fam, to see if we like them and to see if they will replace a game located in the coveted spot of the dining room game cupboard. Most of the time they don't and so they get taken to the first bedrooms closet shelves. And when I run out of room there, then the games get taken down to the family room cupboard. This is where the 'sort of liked games' are stored, but probably won't be played much - if at all. But I figure that if I only spend less than $4 on ANY game, we can play it once or twice and then return it to Goodwill. One of our favorite new games is this: I did not buy this one at the thrift store, I actually paid good money for this at Target and luckily it is worthy of a dining room cupboard spot. I think it was about $15. So after sorting through the games I offered them to my kids.....Jason and Stacey picking first, Kevin picking next and Katie with Brandon were last. Jason and Kevin (Kevin's pile next to his bed now) each took about 7 and Katie took 2. So, believe it or not, here is what was left over and they will NOT be returning to their cupboard, but they will be the lucky ones heading to Goodwill and then to a new home. Lucky because they will not be left in a dark lonely cupboard never to be seen or played with. They should feel honored that they were in our home!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Recipe turnouts....

Here's what I woke up to this morning.....Sometime during the hours of 3-4am they found their way to my bed. Can you see the small sliver of bed I had to sleep on? No wonder I couldn't pull the covers over my whole body. Yeah, and they are both a little on the 'cloggy-nose ' sick side so I'm taking Vitamin C and echinacia like crazy. I'm gonna have to wash my sheets and pillowcases.......great.

Our party was great last night - lots of food, less of people, but what we did have was the perfect amount for playing a few of our favorite games. One of them being: Sort it Out. Play it with us next time your over.

Now on to the conclusion of yesterdays blog.

Here is the picture of what I was trying to make:

Here is mine: I will have to roll mine out thinner next time and maybe use strawberry jam instead of raspberry - but all in all, they turned out good and they got compliments of 'goodness'. As you can see I took liberty to 'criss-cross' mine because I had extra chocolate. I thought I had the instructions completely right in my mind, but one of the steps I goofed on - baking them first instead of spreading the cream cheese filling and stacking them together and then baking - but I hurried and put the cream cheese on the warm baked ones then stacked them and they turned out super fine.

Now, what was I going to do with the left over dough?...

as you can see, I had no problem finding a solution... Treyson really liked it. I hope his mom didn't see him eat more than just one piece!

Here are a few of my favorite things when baking -My Bosch-

Stackable magnetic measuring spoons -And my sugar holder - a small explanation of my sugar container: My mom worked at Sambo's Restaurant when I was getting married and for one of my shower gifts (I think) she gave me tons of kitchen items and this was the one to hold my sugar. It was a pickle holder or mayonnaise container from Sambo's. I know there were other large ones but this sugar one has been with me since my bridal shower! I think Mom wins for the most used and useful gift of all!!! The writing of the word Sugar has rubbed off over the years, but my kids have known nothing but this as our sugar jar.

My next recipe was Dill Dip. It too was very good and I loved the cottage cheese in it (I wasn't sure I would). I would, however, add only half of the dill. It was a bit too dilly for me. It looked just like it was supposed to. Phew!

So, four recipes, four thumbs up. Meaning, I would make them all again. One of the things I love about this book is little information on most of the pages. Here is the 'roasting your own red peppers" page I told you about earlier....and here is a little tidbit about 'spooning' flour into your measuring cups and not smashing it down in the cup to get your measurements right. I hear Doug jackhammering our downstairs bathroom floor again. I think that is my clue to 'Honey - come and help me', without the words actually being spoken. More recipes to come.

Oh, dress shopping was a success! I didn't take a picture but Katie has one on her phone. Text her if you want to see it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Our Best Bites and now mine too!

I have been 'devouring' (pun intended) my new book purchase of 'Our Best Bites'. I found it at Costco and I think I paid around $15. The two recipes I have tried, Almond Poppy Seed Bread and Roasted Red Pepper Dip, I have loved. And the 'homemaker' in me, actually roasted my own red peppers because the instructions were on the page right before the actual dip recipe. I would love to start at page 1 and complete each recipe through the whole book. Yes, I did see Julie & Julia. The recipe on page one, actually page 4 with all of the introduction stuff...., is Dill Dip. Tonight we have an old peoples game night at a home in our ward, so I might make it and take it there. That way if it's not good I'll conveniently leave it there and if it's in a throw away bowl they won't even know who brought it! Brilliant! But then I also thought......if I just start from the front of the book - appetizers - I might get bored and would end up not doing the rest of the recipes so I have decided to add a desert to the 'party list' for tonight. I was thinking about starting from the LAST recipe of the dessert section which is Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn - sounds yummy but not so great for older folks who might have teeth dysfunctions......yeah, you know what I mean. So the next recipe was Stovetop Kettle Corn....hmmm...nope and the one before that is Easy Pretzel Turtles. Wow, all nut/kernel infested recipes. I will have to start with the first dessert recipe which is boring....Sugar Cookies. Looking here at the recipe though it does have almond extract, which I have learned from my moms 'DELISH' cookies, is the winner ingredient for sugar cookies. BUT because sugar cookies is slightly boring I looked at the next recipe and it is Jam-Filled Cookies. It still uses the sugar cookie dough recipe, but has jam, cream cheese (a component in recipes I can rarely pass up) and then a melted chocolate chip drizzle. That's the one I'll make. I guess I better go then to get these recipes done. I'll try to remember to take pictures and post tomorrow but Katie and I are wedding dress shopping today so my mind might be elsewhere!!!! Oh, I also scanned the roasted red pepper page to download here but it is not letting me add them - a copier malfunction I guess.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Birthday/Anniversary wall.......

Many of you have seen my birthday/anniversary 'calendar', if you want to call it that, here on my living room wall. I love it. I'm not sure exactly where I might have seen something similar but I came up with the idea a few years ago and went to a 'late-night' scrapbook night (stays open till 11pm or something crazy like that) at our local scrapbook store with my sister-in-law, Julie. While others, meaning everyone else, were making their 12x12 scrapbook pages, I was doing these little 4x6 monthly frames. Believe or not, they were challenging! When I first finished the project, I think I had my at least 4 grandkids, but when I decided to have their pictures underneath there were 5 by then.
Today, a few years later, we have an updated wall:
Same angled view:

and a straight-on view!
I love it as much today as I did when I first made it. As you notice with the holes in the wall, I've had to move the pictures down because of the month of May and July. I think next time I rearrange the pictures will go on top!

Friday, August 19, 2011


Howdy everyone! Yesterday, Allan decided to go Friday night to Mesa Highs 'Howdy Hero Hop'. This is the first official 'kind of silly' dance where you can get to know the new kids in school. After much thought and a few family concerns, he opted to go as Nacho Libre and not AquaMan or Wonder Woman, which were up for serious consideration. For those of you who have never heard of or seen the movie - here is the movie poster. Yeah, it's gonna take a little work to get this hero look. So, Thursday after school I took Allan to his Improv' class which is held in Scottsdale (I can't wait for it to be over.... 2 more weeks...) On the way we stopped by a Goodwill, which of course being Thursday, was dollar day. Orange tags, $1.00. So we found these great old ladies blue poly-pants that even have a little texture to them, a ladies pair of red exercise shorts, a body (kind of) colored t-shirt, all of which were a dollar each! Hello...SCORE!...and a red tablecloth that was $2.99. (We ended up NOT using the tablecloth because of it's 'stiffy' material and I dug deep in my material bins and found a 'flowy' red cloth that we had used for an Eagle Scout event decoration.) So, the two things missing was a wig - hmm....I have one of those....and boots. I went to Deseret Industries today (Friday) and found some great ones - black, size 10 1/2 (Allan's size) for a few dollars more than I wanted to spend, but I was desperate. So, I spray painted them red, left them out in the sun to dry for a few hours but they seemed to be quite tacky so I put them in front of my fan for the last few hours. Oh, that on the chair is my old lady wig that we sprayed brown (even though it is hard to tell in this picture). This was the old lady pants that I had to cut and sew the 'bell bottom' legs to a tight fit so we could tuck them into the red boots and then add the knee patches. Here are a few pictures of 'our' Nacho Libre....

Brown and gray eyeliner pencils filled in a pretty good mustache and brows. It might really look like Allan's tummy here, but it's just a tee shirt with some 'titters' colored on with a marker.

I think his buttocks are clenched in this photo. And for those of you who saw the movie, I know you just chuckled. One last pose before the dance.

Now, I'm going to go back to Thursday for a second. While we were out shopping - a dust storm was coming our way. I know this picture does NOT do it justice, but this cloud was amazing! It looked like it was exploding out of itself. It was great. And then we saw the sun covered with the dust cloud and it was amazing too. I tried to get a picture but it was while I was driving and the photos turned out terrible. Just imagine it. Beautiful, right?

Okay, now back to this morning, Friday. Another beautiful set of clouds - These were as I dropped the kids off for A-hour, 6:45am. I love cloudy, stormy days. Nothing could be better.


For those of you in my family who haven't had the chance to meet Brandon, Katie's fiance', here he is helping Katie with some painting. We love him!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

This morning I read my newspaper - cut out my coupons - made 6 loaves of Almond Poppy Bread - roasted some red bell peppers for a recipe later today - started my pork roast (no beef roasts at Fry's last night) - washed tons of dishes - showered - read some of President Monson's book - scanned the sale ad's - been up and down the stairs probably 10 times - helped Shannon find 'hair' for a school project - cut Kevin's hair - tried on two outfits -did 2 batches of laundry and ate 3 bowls of Multi-Grain Cheerios. Whew....I think I'm gonna sleep during church!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Off to school

Today was sweet. I know I should be a little sad, but I'm not. I sent my youngest kid off to Mesa High School today. He will be my last and 6th child to graduate from Mesa and with that you get special privileges. During his graduating ceremony, Doug and I will be allowed to sit out on the football field and they will announce our name! With 2 Westwood 'Warriors', Carolyn and Brian, the rest will forever be Mesa 'Jackrabbits' and they are now, or have been, overruled on which school is best.

Here was Allan preparing for school time........ Yeah, facebook probably. And here was Shannon's first outfit that she 'modeled' for us last night making sure we all liked it.

Here they are leaving the house at 8am. Here he is twirling going to the car. We do a carpool with our friends the Hancocks. Wednesdays will be a day they call late start - but it really is just missing their a-hour and then making up for it the other 4 days, which will begin at 6:45am! Yeah, I'm a little nervous about how that's all going to go down. Tomorrow will be interesting.

So now you ask - 'Becky, what will you be doing during your stay at home time?' Um..I'm seriously thinking of getting a job earning money (thus, preventing me from spending money). With 3 weddings/receptions coming up, we need all the money we can get - right? But today I am going to go through my coupons, read my mail, check out some of the stories in the newspapers and of course get my crossword puzzles torn out of them. Also, we have to get a bathroom remodeled ASAP. That will have to happen before I get a job I suppose, because we will have guests here for a few weeks.

But then I think, maybe I should take a few more classes. That would keep my from spending some money, at least on frivolous things, but with the cost of books and supplies it can add up to a lot of money as well but I am getting an education.