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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Another Blog

I am starting another blog because of an ensign article that I read. It was about missionary work on the internet. It talked about people having blogs about the gospel. I wanted to share what I have been learning from reading the Ensign. I have had so many thoughts on the different articles I have read that now I can jot them down and share them with anyone wanting to listen. My new blog, in addition to this one, is
lds-simpletruths.blogspot.com

Go to Finding and Sharing the Gospel Online to read the whole article. It is going to take a while to get things really up and going, and I am by NO means blog savvy or extremely knowledgeable about the gospel, but I am learning and I am inspired.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Adorable Landuck!


Too Cute!


He has a Cars toy in his hand and he is every excited about it. He threw it after this was taken. He loves throwing things!



He was so excited to be able to run around! His tail went back and forth like a real duck! It was SO adorable!

Mr. Sly Face!


He organized those skittles and glow sticks!

Mint Dots!


This is what my Mint Dots look like!



Don't they look so scrumptious!! I think I might need to make some more this afternoon! This batch is already gone! click HERE for the recipe

Thursday, October 22, 2009

He Drums!



This is my wonderful Drummer!
His uncle Greg has drums and he has loved them ever since he first saw them. Landon has been getting better at them, but his time he was doing so well! Jeff took the video of this. It's from his phone, so it's not great quality, but it is amazing!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Chocolates Recipes!

All of these recipes are from an online cookbook, but I have altered them to what I like more. If you want the original recipe you can email me and I will send you the cookbook, but otherwise enjoy my recipes!

First one I tried was

"Butterfingers"

1 Cup Peanut Butter
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
bag Light Chocolate Melting Chocolate (milk chocolate)

Cook syrup, sugar, and water to 310 F. (at least. sometimes the thermometer isn't quite right and you need to wait a little longer. If you make this more than once, you'll want to experiment with the times.) Remove from heat.
Stir in warmed peanut butter (warm 30 sec. at least in microwave) until well blended. Pour into a greased (buttered) 9 X 9 pan. Score mixture into desired size bars immediately. (or they will harden and you won't get bars, you'll get chunks that you have to break with a hammer.)
When COMPLETELY cool, dip in melted milk chocolate in microwave or double boiler, (I prefer microwave because you are less likely to burn the chocolate) and set on wax paper until chocolate has hardened. They are best if kept in fridge until 10 minutes prior to serving because the chocolate tends to get soft quite fast. You can add paraffin wax to help the chocolate not to melt, but I haven't experimented with that yet. Once completely hardened you can put store them in airtight container.

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Mint Drops! (or mint patties)

1 (14−ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (I have used off brands and it turns out just as good as name brands)
1 tablespoon peppermint extract*
6 cups powdered sugar
Additional confectioners' sugar
1 to 2 bags Dark Chocolate Melting Chocolate

In large mixer bowl, combine milk, extract and. Add 6 cups sugar; beat on low speed until smooth and well blended. Turn mixture onto surface sprinkled with Powdered sugar. Knead lightly to form smooth ball. Shape into 1/2−inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on wax
paper−lined baking sheets. I keep time in ball shape, although they will flatten on the bottom so they will be more like dots (hence the name!). Let dry 1 hour, turn the over, and let them dry another hour. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave. Stir halfway through the
heating time. (I heat half a bag at a time, which takes 1 min. to melt mixing after 30 sec.) Melt thoroughly, but do not overheat. Melting the chocolate chips can also be done using a double−boiler over low heat. With a toothpick or fork, dip each patty into warm chocolate
(remove excess coating). Invert onto wax paper−lined baking sheets; put in fridge Store covered in refrigerator. Once completely hardened you can put store them in airtight container.

*you can use 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract if you only want it slightly minty. (3 teaspoons = 1 Tablespoon)

Mint Drops are my most favorite ever!
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Chocolate Carmel Shortbread Cookies (or Twix I haven't come up with any names yet.)

1 bag Kraft caramels (dots or individually wrapped squares)
2 Tablespoons water
1 box Nabisco Lorna Doone 100 calorie packs (these make bite sized cookies, which are much more fun and better for you)**
1 to 2 bags Light Chocolate Melting Chocolate (milk chocolate)

Place the shortbread cookies side by side on an wax paper-lined
pan (whatever pan will fit most cookies side by side) . Combine the caramels with the water in a small pan and melt over low heat. Spread over cookies. Refrigerate cookies until the caramel is firm. Once caramel is firm (refrigerate for at least 30 min.), use the microwave for melting the chocolate. Heat half a bar at a time. Remove the cookies from the refrigerator. Remove wax paper from pan. Cut caramel-covered cookies into squares. Rest each one on a fork and
dip it into the chocolate. (I actually use the sticks that come with the caramel to help me dip) Tap the fork or stick on the side of the pan or bowl to knock off any excess chocolate. Then place each one on a sheet of waxed paper and let them cool in the fridge. The bars will set best this way. Once completely hardened you can put store them in airtight container.

**I have also used store brand short bread cookies. They work fine too, but you do need to cut the cookies to a smaller size. This is best done with a serrated knife, slowly and softly. This works pretty well, it's just time consuming, but also cheaper.

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Square Turtles with Nougat (Snickers. Any other name ideas??)


1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar
1 bag Kraft caramels + 2 Tablespoons of water
1 cup dry−roasted unsalted peanuts
1 to 2 bags Light Chocolate Melting Chocolate (milk chocolate)

Combine the corn syrup, butter, vanilla, peanut butter, and salt until creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar. When the mixture has the consistency of dough, remove it from the bowl
with your hands and press it into a lightly greased 11 x 13−inch pan. Put in the refrigerator.

Melt the caramels and water in a small pan over low heat. When the caramel is soft, mix in the peanuts. Pour the mixture over the refrigerated nougat in the pan. Let this cool in the refrigerator.

When the refrigerated mixture is firm, melt the chocolate in a microwave. Stir halfway through cooking time. When the mixture in the pan has hardened, cut it into desired size. Set each chunk onto a fork and dip into the melted chocolate. Tap the fork against the side of the bowl or pan to knock off any excess chocolate. Then place the chunks on waxed paper. Refrigerate. Once completely hardened you can put store them in airtight container.

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Peanut Butter Cups are to follow. I'm still perfecting the recipe.

Enjoy! The hardest part of all of these recipes is dipping! It's a great stress reliever, with a nice reward at the end. Not great for diets, then again, if you make bite sized candies, you can eat a smaller amount and not have to buy a candy bar at the store and spend money! Each of these recipes make 70 to 100 + small pieces of candy depending on the size you wish. They last a least a month too!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Teaching My Baby To Read

So My parents have this book from the mid '70s that is about teaching your baby to read. It is an awesome book! Mom actually ordered a revised edition for me so it's a little more up to date. Glenn Doman is a Director of the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. (or was when the book was written. He is still alive and has written many books since then on teaching your baby math and other awesome things.) My mom and dad used it with my oldest brother. It's called How To Teach Your Baby To Read. This book is so intriguing. He talks about how a group of scientists and doctors were working with brain injured children. They found that they were able to teach them to read before the age of three! Then they posed the question, if brain injured children can learn to read this early, what about normal children? Thus bringing about more research, and discovering that the earlier a child learns to read the better and happier they are! He emphasizes that from birth to age four children learn more than they do the rest of their life combined! Think about it, they learn to crawl, walk, talk, play with toys, differentiate colors and shapes, and tons more! So why not read! I am so excited!!

On TV they have this whole system that you can buy that costs at least a hundred dollars. I'm sure it's pretty much the same method, but who wants to spend hundreds of dollars right now, when you don't need to! This is just a book! And then I printed off words that it says to use in the book, and I got poster board to put the printed words on, and what, we've spent less than 20 bucks, including the book!

The first words are mommy and daddy. They are printed in big red letters. He gets excited when I get the words out! I'll let you know the progress. I'm using a twist on the method that he says to use, because I hadn't read his instructions before I started showing Landon the first words, but generations of moms and dads have been teaching their kids to read in different, but basically the same ways, with the same results! Happier children! It's fantastic!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Completely Crafts #1

My Origami Paper Wall Hangings!!

So I am in charge of 'Completely Crafts' in my ward, which is a monthly craft night for Enrichment. The first craft was an "Origami Paper Wall Hanging". It isn't really what you first think it is. It's just a wall hanging that uses Styrofoam, mod podge, and origami paper. I took pictures of the steps so if you would like to try it, you can!
1. This is green Styrofoam board I got at Roberts. It's really expensive at JoAnn's. Green is also cheaper than white anywhere you go. The sheet I used is 12 X 36 X 1.
Materials: tissue paper (any color you want)
a cutting board/or scissors
origami paper (I would choose the color scheme before you start.
It will make things easier)
Mod Podge
a sponge brush
a paper template of the size of your cut styrofoam

2. Just as examples I cut 2 6 x 6 inch squares. I used a kitchen knife to cut it.

3. Mod Podge the Styrofoam using enough to wet the whole front side.
4. Apply the tissue and coat the top of the tissue with another layer of mod podge. This picture shows the entire block mod podged. You do not have to do the back, but the front and sides is important to do.

5. While the mod podge is setting up, get your template and origami paper out. Start cutting and arranging the BASE ONLY of your design. Trust me, it will save you a lot of time. General rule of thumb is to use 1 to 4 inch strips. Don't use bigger than that (unless you are using a very large board). Once you have the base figured out, you can mod podge it to the block. It is okay if the mod podge is still wet because you have to apply another layer if it's not. Apply another layer of mod podge on top of the paper. NOTE: It is okay if there are spaces between the colors; you will be filling them with smaller pieces.

6. Once the base is on, let the creativity flow! Fill in the spaces where the tissue is showing and add accent to the rest. The secret to having it look really nice is to mentally divide your block in 4 sections and see if there is equal color in all 4 sections. You can't really tell in this picture, but i have two colors of pink. And all four of my colors are in all four sections.
7. Cut 1 inch strips to do the sides. I also cut 1 X 2 inch strips to cover the corners.
8. Let it dry! This is the other one I was working on at the same time. If you are doing a large one, you could be doing a small one at the same time too. It helps the drying time go by faster.

**** You can use these as bulletin boards, wall hangings, picture mats, or whatever you want! That's the wonderful thing about them. They are REALLY light and can go up anywhere! You can make them any size and you can even use scrapbook paper! It's a great, simple craft the can be inexpensive if you do it with several people (the origami packs range from 5 to 10 dollars but come in 100 to 300 count packages).****

Monday, July 27, 2009

Landon my Sweet!

So my son is the cutest! We had so much fun taking his picture! My friend Leah went with me and Landon to Kiddie Kandids today and these are the result!


Adorable eyes!


I think this one is my favorite!


He looks so big in these!



My Little Sailor!



He loved that ball!

Validation

Validation

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Validation

My dad sent this to me and I just had to share it! It is kinda long (16 min.) but TOTALLY worth it!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Picture Update

Thanks to Silas' (my brother in-law) suggestion, we were able to recover some of the pictures, if not all of them that we lost. We are still figuring it out, but we are ever so greatful for the suggestion!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Picture Devastation

I just want everyone to know that I do not blame Jeff one bit.

Jeff was getting ready for his little 'vacation' from me and Landon (he's with his family in California for his mom's b-day. I chose not to go for several reasons) and decided to put our recent pictures on our back-up drive, which is where we keep them. He couldn't get into the hard drive. When he looked at the properties, it showed that everything was completely erased. Everything was a backup EXCEPT the pictures.

ALL pictures from the birth of Landon until April or May of this year. Probably a couple thousand.

Jeff had to re-format the hard drive. I don't think anything will be able to be recovered.

There is a bright side:

I printed my favorite pictures from Landon's birth until March of this year, over 23o pictures. My mom and Jeff's mom have a lot of pictures of Landon of those times and the months that I wan't able to print yet.

I am absolutely devastated by this, but it wasn't anyone's fault and I do have some of the pictures on a website to print when I want.

Obviously we made some mistakes that won't be made again if this were to happen again, but sometimes that's what you have to go through to learn lessons.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Passing Out for Fun

So Sunday, I was making a mixed berry pie. I hadn't eaten yet (it was around 2pm). I was cleaning the table off and heading to the kitchen when a chair jumped out at my toes and hit my last two toes on my right foot head on! (RUDE) I proceeded to hold my breath and curse in my head at the pain that enveloped my foot. Suddenly, I started to turn pale, according to eyewitness accounts, and I felt light-headed. The feeling wasn't going away, so I sat down on the blasted chair that had been my foot's undoing. Jeff came up to me and I told him what happened and asked my mom for a glass of milk. Then I said, "I'm going to pass out."

I was in a room with a whole bunch of people talking all at once to me when I finally heard Jeff talking to me. I opened my eyes, with a lot of difficulty. I heard muffled sounds and my eyes were heavy. My dad comes in and keeps telling me to lay town. So while I am still limp, Jeff and dad help me to the floor and put my feet on the stupid chair. Immediately the muffled sounds become clear and my eyes aren't so heavy.

Now, if you know my dad, he is very level-headed during scary moments. He started joking with me, but not because he was trying to be funny... well not ONLY for that, but to access the situation. I was laughing at everything he was saying. I still laugh thinking about all this. He was making sure I didn't need medical attention. He is a very smart man. My mom asked what I had asked for before I passed out, and I remembered. Jeff said I was out for a good 20-30 seconds.

For the first few seconds I was just limp. Then I started to convulse. Jeff had never seen that before so he was really concerned. NO WORRIES. I did that the only other time I've passed out too. That's just what I do I guess.

The rest of the day was okay, and I ate food. Moral of the story, 1. Eat 2. Don't hold your breath when you hurt yourself. I learned the hard way!



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Landon is growing up!

Landon is starting to say more words like shoe, hi, love you, and thank you. He's also mimicking us more with animal sounds and laughing and clapping whenever he hears or see it. He also LOVES dancing to anything with a beat. Even if it's dad bangin on the table! He loves showing off too. If he knows we are watching he will start fake laughing like he just did the funniest thing. Then he claps at himself. Of course, we just laugh more and, of course, he continues!
This is such a cute picture! He looks so big! he just turned 18 months old!


Landon is playing with his new friend Ezra and his mommy Brittany. It was our first play date. Mostly just a nice day to talk to another 1st time mommy. It's nice to have someone to relate to.

This was too cute! Landon is finally wanting to cuddle with us.

This used to be a ball, but got a hole in it. Jeff made it bigger and started putting it on Landon's head. He thought it was hilarious!

It even fit on dad's head!


My Birthday!

I am now 25! My insurance went down and I can actually rent a car without paying through the nose for being 'too young.'

June 5th was the big day. It was a great day!
Earlier in the day we went to 'Up'. It was a really cute movie.

Jeff made really cool baskets out of the cantaloupe and watermelon!
He made the balls too!
One of my presents!

Landon loves to splash!!


then I invited a bunch of friends over and made them sweet pork burritos and we had 'Nothing Bundt Cake' and ice cream. I opened presents and then we went swimming! It was a lot of fun!

More Texas!

Me Brooklyn and Joy after the graduation.

Joy Darin and Brooklyn after the graduation.


Joy's Family after the graduation.



Brooklyn looks like she sayin,"Sup yo"

Joy got an iphone for a graduation present so Brooklyn got her old phone. She was having fun playing with it.
I am posting more pictures on Facebook, so if you want to see more, you'll have to look on facebook!



Texas!

Joy's Graduation Cake
Brooklyn at Joy's graduation luncheon. So beautiful!
Darin at the luncheon with his camera! I want that camera!

The graduate!


Me and Brooklyn before the graduation started.









Friday, May 29, 2009

I went to Texas a couple of weeks ago and had a BLAST! It wasn't very long, but it was great! I went because Joy received her Masters Degree! It was great to see Darin and Joy and Brooklyn! I had tons of fun. Brooklyn and I made homemade Butterfingers! Yum! We went out to lunch with Joy's family and went to a movie. The graduation was nice and the rest of the weekend was just enjoyable! I missed them from the moment I got on the plane! If only I could go back more often!

Landon and dad had a fun, but stressful weekend without me. Jeff was definitely glad to have me home again! It was a good bonding time for them though. Landon seems closer to his daddy. Of course, when I got home he had changed! I'll be posting pictures soon!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Cooking!

So obviously, I've been cooking a lot more lately with different things, and have been enjoying it a lot. It hasn't been easy because I have a picky husband, I admit, I am picky, but I also can't eat some things because my body doesn't process it, so it has been challenging, but enjoyable!

If you want to share any recipes, I wouldn't mind!

Sweet Pork!

So I have been wanting to find a good recipe for Sweet Pork to make some burritos at home. I looked on several websites and even blogs and someone, I don't know who, suggested a recipe that is so much simpler than all the others that I have seen! I tried it and LOVED it! (So did my family!) So I thought that I would share it with all of you too!

Sweet Pork

3 lbs Pork (can be roast, shoulder, or butt)
1 can enchilada sauce (any kind)
1 to 1 1/2 Cups brown sugar
water

In a crock pot, add as much water that will cover half of the pork. Cook for 5 hours on high, or 8 hours on low. Take out pork. Drain water from crock pot. Shread pork with fork and take off bones and fat.
In a mixing bowl, add enchilada sauce and brown sugar.
combine pork and mix and return to crock pot.
Cook for additional 2 to 3 hours. Enjoy!
(doesn't smell sweet at first, but after an hour or two will smell and taste divine!)


I also bought green enchilada sauce, back beans, and mozzarella and made rice to add to the burrito, which made it even better!

For the rice, I just put 1 cup rice with 2 cups chicken broth (or 2 cups warm water with 2 dissolved bouillon cubes in it) and cooked it in my rice cooker. Yummy on it's own too!

Try it! You'll like it!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Dam and The Strip

Tuesday night Sam and Chris (her boyfriend) came to Vegas. They stayed til this morning, then left for Missouri to begin their travels around the world. I got to have Sam here for a whole day yesterday! It was really great!
(Chris making a weird face and Sam being her beautiful self)
We all slept in (even Landon) and we decided to go to Hoover Dam. That was really cool. We didn't pay for the tour or parking, so we just walked around and took pictures. There is a suspension bridge going up to bypass the dam and it looks way crazy!
(below is a picture. To put it into perspective, we are at the top of the dam looking west toward it and it is several hundred feet above that. There were working on there too! It was scary!)



It's also really sad because the water level is so low behind the dam. It makes me sad. I have never been to the dam (except to cross it when we went to Arizona to visit Annette and Jana. Fun times!)
(the white is where the water level used to be... really sad!)

After we go home we all relaxed for a while. Then Mike (Jeff and my long time best friend) hung out with us. We went to Claim Jumpers and then to the strip. I am depressed to say that I forgot my camera! :( We didn't leave until around midnight but we had fun! We looked at the gardens at the Bellagio, and saw the water show, and went to the Mirage to watch the 'volcano' errupt. (it was revamped, but the old one was better.)
We walked over 3 miles yesterday! We all zonked out pretty much as soon as we got home. It was a long but glorious day with friends! Jeff was able to hang out with us all day and wouldn't have otherwise, so that is positive thing about him not having work right now. So I told him that Wednesday was a good day for him not to have work, but that someone could hire him and he could start work next week and I would be a happy wife... what can I say, I'm a positive thinker!
(Jeff, Landon and me with the dam in the background)