Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Books

I've been wanting to do this for some time. Each year the kids get a book for Christmas but this year we are reading one book a night for story time. Hopefully next year I'll remember to wrap them up like presents and then we can pick one from under the tree each night.

Here's a list of some of our favorite Christmas books:

1. A Night Without Darkness: A Nephite Christmas Story by Madsen (I still cry whenever I read this)

2. An Animal's Christmas Eve by Wiersum

3. Morris' Disappearing Bag by Wells

4. Snowmen at Night by Buehner

5. My First Story of the First Christmas by Buck

6. Who Is Coming to Our House? by Slate

7. Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect by Schneider

8. The Gift of the Magi by Henry

9. The Polar Express by VanAllsburg (we watch the DVD and have hot cocoa)

10. A Christmas Dress for Ellen by Monson

11. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathon Toomey by Qojciechowski

12. The Littlest Angel by Tazewell

13. We Were There by Bunting

14. The Crippled Lamb by Lucado

15. This is the Stable by Cotten

16. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess

17. The Berenstain Bears Save Christmas by Berenstain

18. Christmas Oranges by Bethers

19. One Wintry Night by Graham

20. The Three Gifts by Orr

21. This Is the Season Beloved of the Year by Dewey (love the artwork!)

22. If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Numeroff (this feels like my life right now, LOL)

23. Grandfather's Christmas Tree by Strand

24. The Night Before Christmas by Moore. We play a game with wrapped dollar toys - whenever the word THE is said, you rotate the gift around. Then before bed we read Luke 2 from the Bible and then sing a couple of Christmas hymns acapella with only the Christmas tree lights on.

This year for myself I've read Evan's latest, "Promise Me" and I really enjoyed Freeman's "A Christ-Centered Christmas". Last year my favorite was "The Nativity" by Gaskill and a little booklet called "The Christmas Scene" by Maxwell.

What's YOUR favorite book to read at Christmas time?

November Recap

Almost every year we go down to Arizona to visit with both sides of our extended families. Thanksgiving Day is with my family and the day after is Young Thanksgiving at my SIL's house. The kids love playing with their cousins and we really enjoy the warmer weather. We've also rode in El Tour de Tucson a couple of times which is always held the weekend before Turkey Day. It's a great ride for a great cause and it's well-supported. This year I did the 40 miler and Troy did the 109 miler, and we both didn't train nearly as much as we should have, like... next to nothing. We just did not have time. But my dad convinced us to stick to it. I rode with my cousin Julie. We drove up just as the 40-milers were starting, traffic was backed up so we were late. Oops. So I put the car in reverse and drove a couple hundred yards to the closest parking lot. :) We jumped out, got on our bikes and started the race without ever going across the offical starting line. A mile into it we ran into my dad and Troy who were doing the 109 miler together. The were exhausted at that point but I had to get back to my baby ASAP so I kept going. My brother Mark was doing awesome and was quite a ways ahead and we thought for sure he'd finish first. I tried to keep up with Julie but she trained for this and was hopping on the back of people's tails to draft and I can only draft behind people I trust so she lost me after 10 miles. I kept going. Then about 15 miles from the finish I see the shirt of my brother Mark. I almost spanked him coming up from behind but didn't want him to crash into me. LOL He had gotten leg cramps and was hurting. I couldn't go much faster so we stuck together and I pulled him for 5 miles. At one point we pulled over, let our bikes down and laid down on our backs on the sidewalk. We were beat. It was fun to ride together and finish together. My dad and Troy weren't too far behind so we hung around for a picture. My cousin Julie came in first - she's amazing! She's also getting married on 1/1/11 and I couldn't be happier for her. Before she left to go home we made sure to ride our favorite bike ride - the Saguaro National Monument East Loop. It's like a Disneyland ride on a bike. I LOVE it!

Monday, December 6, 2010

October Recap

Baby K - 6 months old
E and her friends at the Fall Festival
Our Jack-o-Lanterns
Oh, and here's a short video of N saying his part for the Primary Program:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My New Baby

She sparkles in the sunlight (no, Edward is not her father)
And that new baby smell? Yep, she's got it.
She's everything I've ever dreamed of and wanted... in a car. ;)
I think I'm in love!

Monday, September 20, 2010

September - Baptism

E chose to be baptized and we couldn't be more proud of her. Our children receive their own set of scriptures on their baptism day as a gift from Mom and Dad. She was so excited. Afterwards we had dinner at our place. Our theme was Rainbows since her favorite song is, "I Like to Look for Rainbows" which talks about baptism. We had lots of rainbow balloons, rainbow cupcakes, rainbow jell-o salad, etc. Later than night, Grandma Y. got babyK to giggle. Too cute!

August - 8 years old

E had her 8th birthday so that meant a party with lots of friends at Incredible Pizza. She also had her summer recital which baby K loved watching. We went up to Bear Lake again for a couple day with Grandma and Grandpa - thanks for the campfire dinner and dessert! Kids went back to school. I can't believe I have a middle-schooler now. Scary!

July - summer fun

We didn't get as much done as I would've liked this summer. A new baby will do that to you. We had fun up at our cabin in Bear Lake though. Played outside a lot with our new backyard playsets. I did manage to take the kids downtown via TRAX since they begged me to. I still can't believe we all survived. What was I thinking taking 5 kids downtown by myself? I had to nurse K on the way home and no, I didn't care that the train was packed. Yes, I had a nursing cover but I still got a few strange looks. I was to tired to care though.

June - 10 years old

J’s Birthday Memories:
Ate French toast for breakfast, went to Classic Skating –Skating on blades, jungle gym, bounce area and Blast Zone, Grandma M. came when we got back from Panda Express (Oh how I hope they have Orange Chicken in heaven...), Ipod touch came after that – took 4 hours to try to get it working, got card from Grandma Y. in the mail, Rumbi for dinner, Walmart for Ipod skin, Ate poppy seed cake, then Mom slept like a baby.

May - Blessing Day

I meant to post this sooner then forgot - that seems to be happening a lot lately. Her blessing took place Memorial Weekend. We were fortunate to have so many of our family come. It was a beautiful day and we had so much fun celebrating.

Super Saturday

I love to share ideas with others so here's what our ward is planning for this year's Super Saturday - it's a wonderful day filled with crafting, learning new things and socializing with other women. We'll be having Soup and Salad Potluck for lunch . What have you done at Super Saturday that you love? I'm always looking for more good ideas!

Super Saturday Classes & Crafts

Knitting Class – taught by Valerie
Valerie will teach how to knit and pearl. You’ll learn how to make long-lasting washcloths that are perfect for home or for a gift. Please contact Valerie to find out what size needles to bring and what type of yarn will be best.

Digital Scrapbooking Class – taught by Brooke
Brooke will teach how to create a simple scrapbook layout, how to make your own Christmas card, and how to make a simple gift using Photoshop. She will also share a few photo editing tips if time permits. Bring a laptop if you have access to one. Brooke will teach using Adobe Photoshop Elements and will provide instructions on how to download a 30-day free trial. If you don’t have a laptop, come with a notebook and you can take the tips home and try them out on your desktop!

Advent Muffin Tin – taught by Cindy
Count down the days until Christmas with a treat inside each muffin cup. This craft is $6 if you bring your own mini-muffin tin and $11 if you need one. Supplies to bring with you if you have them: scissors, rubber cement, paper trimmer, corner rounder.

Family Home Evening Binder – taught by Michelle
This binder includes FHE lessons on the 6 B’s and the 10 Neglected Virtues that Will Heal our Hearts and Homes. Each lesson includes sheet music, activities, stories and additional information, including visual aids, for some lessons. $11

Mom’s Long Magnet Board – taught by Karen
27 inches x 8 inches. Display your latest snapshots on this darling magnet board with saying, “These are a few of my favorite things” $16 or $19 with extra scroll accents

His Presence Camelback Board
15 inches x 7.5 inches. Cast iron star on painted board with vinyl saying, “The magic of Christmas is not in the presents, but in His presence” $17

Decorative Frame – taught by Stefanie
Provide your own unfinished frame with a 2.5 inch flat unfinished border or pay an additional $4.50 for a 5 x 7 or $7.50 for an 8 x 10 frame.

Personalized Marshmallow Roasting Stick
The Roasting stick will be $3.00 each. 36 inches long. Please specify name for vinyl name

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Look what I made

I found a little time for myself and so I finished up this cut little number. Your lookin' at over 200 balloons, and yup, it took more time than I thought it would. I plan to hang it up whenever it's somebody's birth-week. I got the styro wreath at Hobby Lobby with a coupon, had to order the birthday wording online from Hobby Lobby and then I mounted it on red and then white cardstock and attached everything with floral pins which I got at Walmart. My daughter loved it even though it wasn't finished in time for her actual birthday. Better late than never, right? That seems to be my motto nowadays. :)

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

This summer...

My boy turned 10
My daughter turned 8
and I have a four month old already. Where did summer go? I now am the mother of a middle-schooler (scary since I remember being that age very clearly). Oh, and I discovered Nutella. How I lived without it before I'll never know. Oh wait, that's the bad news. I think I weigh more now than I did when I came home from delivering baby#5. If you haven't tried Nutella, go buy some and spread it on whole wheat bread. De-LISH!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Made me cry and I'm sorry to say- laugh- while the dad was saying the prayer. You'll see why. Enjoy!

Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chicken Pasta Salad

This recipe is one I could eat all day every day. I served it at the luncheon for our families on K's Blessing Day. It's easy to make too - gotta love that!

Chicken Pasta Salad

4 cups cooked, diced or shredded chicken (or 3 cans of chicken)
2 cups diced celery
2 cups purple grapes, cut in half
20 oz. can pineapple tidbits, drained
2 cups diced fresh apples
8 oz. box of bow-tie pasta cooked and then drained with cold water
¾ cup slivered almonds (optional)
¾ tsp pepper with a dash of Thyme
1 cup mayo
2 cups Kraft cole slaw dressing

Mix all together in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours till chilled.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I know, I know

She's a month old and I haven't posted any new pictures of her. Don't worry, I've been taking some and having some taken as well. She just loves to be held and I just love having a baby in our house again. It's like stealing a glimpse of heaven when I look at her tiny face.
Babies truly are miracles.

Honestly I don't know how I would have survived this past month without the help of wonderful friends, awesome neighbors and my dear family. I feel like the Little Caesar's ad, "Thank you, thank you!"

This weekend is not only Memorial Weekend - it will also be a Memorable Weekend for us. Little K is getting blessed. :) Check back soon and I'll have pix of that. In the meantime, here's my favorite picture I took last week. When she nurses, she almost always has her little pinky up. She KNOWS she's a princess.

"This is my good side Mommy"

Sunday, April 25, 2010

She's here!

2 days old, finally home!

Our new baby girl arrived earlier than planned. I've always had to be induced with all my other children so when I woke up at 1:3oam on Friday and didn't feel well I got up to walk around and noticed I was having regular contractions. "Am I really in labor?" I thought. After an hour they were still 3-4 minutes apart and getting stronger each time so I called my doctor and he said to go in and get checked at the hospital. I honestly thought they would check me, send me home with a pill and just tell me it was false labor. As we got there the contractions got harder though and they said I was at a 5. Guess we're having a baby! I had all these plans that day to deep clean my house before my parents came, get a pedicure, and 10 other things on my to-do list before she came. We checked in at 2:45am and she arrived at 4:38am after a few pushes. No epidural. 6 pounds 12 ounces and 20 inches long, she is definitely the tiniest baby I've ever had. It took us 2 days to name her because our list of names was long and we just couldn't decide. After awhile though I thought of a completely new name and I called Troy and he said, "Yeah, I thought of that one too this morning. I like it!" He brought the kids over later and asked how they felt about it and I quickly wrote it down on the birth papers before I could change my mind again. We had a few minor concerns with her so we had to stay 48 hours in the hospital.

During that time I thought how truly blessed I am to be a co-creator with God... How amazing pregnancy and the whole birth process is... How something so little and helpless can make your heart melt and how you can fall in love unconditionally almost immediately. It's impossible to not not believe in God when you see a newborn baby - with perfectly created bodies. Today I wish to express to the world how thankful I am to my Heavenly Father for this miraculous gift!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Our Relief Society is doing the Book of Mormon challenge again. We read the Book of Mormon in just 6 weeks - interestingly enough it ends right before I'm to be induced. This time I wanted to challenge myself a little more so for FHE a few weeks ago, I challenged our family to read together every night and it has been such a blessing. The kids stop and ask questions and we've had so many great discussions. Granted, it takes twice as long and sometimes the little ones fall asleep but it's been well worth it to take the time together to study the gospel as a family. I challenge you to read the scriptures together with your family every night and see what great blessings come from it. I find it funny that when my kids ask how many chapters we need to read that night and I say, "four", they say, "that's all?" :)

By studying the word of God we will feel the love of God in our lives. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the lesson that I gave when we issued the challenge to our RS sisters:

"Whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you. Therefore, choose only entertainment and media that uplift you. Good entertainment will help you to have good thoughts and make righteous choices. It will allow you to enjoy yourself without losing the Spirit of the Lord." ~from the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet

President Gordon B. Hinckley promised members who read the Book of Mormon that “there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God”.

Elder Holland's talk in the October General Conference was so inspiring as well. Here's the link to it: http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-1117-28,00.html It reminded me of Bruce R. McConkie's last talk when he said:

"And now, as pertaining to this perfect atonement, wrought by the shedding of the blood of God—I testify that it took place in Gethsemane and at Golgotha, and as pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that he is the Son of the Living God and was crucified for the sins of the world. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person. I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way."

Let us feel the great influence this book has to offer. It was written for us, for our day. The blessings that come from reading the Book of Mormon are too great to pass over. Let us feel the change in our lives as we read daily from it. This is my testimony and I share it with the world. ~Karen~

Friday, April 2, 2010

Only 5 more days...

...till these fabulous people come home! My parents are serving an LDS mission in Santiago Chile and after all those big earthquakes I can't WAIT for them to come home. It'll be hard to let my kids get the first hugs when we see them a few weeks later since they'll return to Arizona and I can't travel that far with a 9 month prego-body. Love you Mom and Dad!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Freezer Meals

As a pregnant mom I'm a little concerned about what we're going to be eating for dinner after the new baby comes home. You never know how the recovery will be. I'm hoping that this one will be just as easy as the last one but I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket. Instead I'm putting lots of dinners in my freezer. I've done once-a-month-cooking before and yes, it saved me time and money. However, it took a lot of time to prep and cook all those meals so I wasn't religious about it, however, I do enjoy having my freezer full. All these recipes serve at least 6 people and will last 3-6 months. The hardest part for me is remembering take out dinner the day before so it can thaw in the fridge for 24 hours. Here's the menu:

1. Chicken Enchiladas (not spicy) w/ salad
2. Black Bean Soup w/ chips and salad
3. Quicky-Sticky Chicken w/ rice & cooked carrots
4. Easy Lasagna w/ salad and crescent rolls
5. Cousin's Chicken Pot Pie w/ salad
6. Honey BBQ Ribs w/ cole slaw and baked potatoes
7. Parmesan Crusted Chicken & Rice w/ salad

8. Ham & Scalloped Potatoes w/ salad
9. Honey Lime Chicken w/ broccoli and carrots

10. Mustard Thyme Tilapia w/ mashed garlic cauliflower
11. Nana's Chicken Supreme Casserole w/ salad
12. Tator Tot Casserole w/ cooked sugar snap peas and sliced carrots
13. Annie's Corn Chowder w/ Rhodes rolls

14. Honey Apple Pork Chops w/ baked potatoes and broccoli
15. Beef and Bean Casserole with tortilla chips

If you DOUBLE each recipe then you'd have a month's worth of meals! Keep in mind that most of these are in freezer bags and if you freeze them flat, they stack quite nicely and you'll be suprised at how many you can fit in your freezer. Here are the recipes:

Karen's Chicken Enchiladas
1/4 cup chopped onion or 1-2 Tbs dehydrated onion
2 Tbs butter
4 ounce can diced green chilies
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 Tbs milk
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken

Twelve 7-inch flour tortillas
10.75 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
8 ounces sour cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup Colby Jack, Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese (pick your favorite)

Cook the onions and butter over medium heat till soft. Remove from heat and add 1 Tbs of the chilies but save the rest for later. In bowl combine cream cheese, 1 Tbs. milk and cumin. Add the onion mixture and chicken. Stir until combined. Spoon 3 Tbs. of mixture onto each tortilla then roll up and place seam-side down in greased aluminum baking dish. In another bowl combine soup, sour cream, 1 cup milk and remaining chilies. Pour this evenly over the tortillas. Cover top with freezer foil. Put grated cheese in ziploc bag and tape to top of foiled dish. Label: Let thaw overnight in fridge then cook at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with cheese. Bake another 5 minutes till cheese is melted. Serve with salad.

Black Bean Soup
1/3 cup dehydrated onion or 1/2 cup diced fresh onion
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 cup Red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
14.5 oz. can Diced Tomatoes, NOT drained
4 oz. can Diced Green Chiles (use half if you don't want it spicy)
¾ cup Dehydrated Carrots or 1.5 cups sliced, cooked carrots

1.5 tsp. Ground cumin
3 cups Chicken Broth
Four 15 oz. cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar

Heat oil in large, deep saucepan. Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic until tender. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool and place in freezer gallon bag being sure to get out all the air. Place that bag inside another bag to prevent freezer burn. Label: To serve, thaw overnight then just dump in your crockpot on warm to low all day or simmer in a pot on your stove until heated thru. Serve with tortilla chips.

Quicky-Sticky Chicken
8-12 Chicken tenders
2 Cups Apricot Jam
2 Cups Bar-B-Q Sauce (we love Tony Roma’s Carolina Honey)
2 Packets Lipton Onion Soup Mix

Pour a small amount of olive oil in a skillet and begin browning the chicken. Mix together the remaining ingredients and then pour over the chicken. Let cook until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce is thick and bubbly. Put in gallon freezer bag then freeze. Label: Thaw overnight in fridge and then heat till warmed thru or place in crockpot on warm/low setting all day. Serve over rice and with cooked carrots.

Easy Lasagna
1 pkg. uncooked penne pasta
1 lb. cooked ground turkey with a little seasoning salt, drain the fat and let cool
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

½ cup real parmesan cheese and add more on top later if you'd like

Place all ingredients in gallon freezer bag. Label: Pour into 9x13 pan. Cook at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Serve with crescent rolls. (See? Totally easy. I know it's not really lasagna but it tastes similar so that's what I call it.)

Cousin's Chicken Pot Pie
1 lb. cubed chicken
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
Two 9-inch unbaked pie crusts

In saucepan combine chicken, carrots, peas and celery. Add water to cover. Add 3 chicken boullon cubes and some seasoning salt. Stir and let boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain into colander over bowl and set aside - you want to reserve 1/2 cup broth. In another saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft. Stir in flour, S&P, and garlic. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over low heat until thick. Remove from heat and add the 1/2 cup reserved broth. Let chicken and liquid mixtures cool, then place into freezer gallon bag. Label: To serve, thaw overnight. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Warm mixture in microwave or on stovetop. Place mixture in bottom pie crust (you won't use all of it, it won't fit). Cover with top crust, seal edges and cut away excess dough. Make several slits on top to allow steam to escape. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. (You may wish to cover with foil after 20 minutes so it won't brown too much.) Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve with salad.

Honey BBQ Ribs
3 lbs boneless pork ribs
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
2 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tbl liquid smoke

Place pork ribs in bottom of slow cooker. Cover and cook on High for 3 hours. Drain and discard liquid. Reduce heat to Low. In a bowl, combine garlic salt, pepper, ketchup, brown sugar, honey, spicy brown mustard, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Mix well. Pour over ribs in slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 3 hours. Remove from slow cooker and allow to cool. Place in freezer bag. Label and freeze. To serve: Thaw overnight in fridge. Heat until hot throughout. Serve w/ coleslaw and baked potatoes.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken and Rice
1 pound chicken breasts seasoned with S&P
2.5 cups cooked rice

1 pound broccoli, steamed (buying frozen usually cost less)
2 cans (10¾ ounces each) cream of chicken soup
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/4 cup milk

1 can chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 package crushed buttery crackers (such as Ritz)
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons parsley
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Bake chicken in oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour covered with foil. Cut chicken into cubes. Reserve broth and mix with the sauce ingredients, blending well. Put this in fridge until ready to use. Cook rice. Cook broccoli in microwave for 8 minutes, stirring after 4 minutes. Spread cooked rice in the bottom of 9 x 13-inch aluminum freezer pan. Pour half the sauce over the rice. Top the sauce with broccoli, then chicken, and then the remaining sauce. Mix topping in a plastic bag and sprinkle on top of casserole. Wrap casserole with foil and freeze. Label: Bake covered at 350ºF for 30 minutes then uncover and cook another 10 minutes till lightly browned. Serve with salad.

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes
Two 5 oz. boxes scalloped potato mix (Betty Crocker)
4 cups boiling water
4 T butter
¾ cup milk
2 cups cubed ham
12 oz. bag frozen French green beans
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Stir sauce mix from scalloped potatoes package into large pot of boiling water with butter. Pour over potatoes. Stir in milk, ham, green beans and cheese. Place in freezer bag, squeeze out air and seal. Label and freeze. To serve: Thaw. Place in greased baking dish. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes at 400 degrees. Uncover and top with more shredded cheddar cheese. Return to oven until cheese melts. Serve with salad.

Honey Lime Chicken
2 lbs chicken tenders
1/2 Tbl garlic salt
1 Tbl peanut oil
20 oz can pineapple rings
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbl lime juice
2 Tbl soy sauce
1 Tbl cornstarch

Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt. Brown saucepan with small amount of oil. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add one fourth of the pineapple juice to skillet (save the rest for later). Cover and simmer 6 to 8 minutes until chicken is golden. Remove chicken. Add honey, lime juice, soy sauce, cornstarch and remainder of pineapple juice. Bring to boil. Cook and stir until thick and clear, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Allow to cool. Place chicken, pineapple rings and sauce in freezer bag. Label and freeze. To serve: Thaw overnight in fridge. Heat until sauce is hot and bubbly and chicken is heated through. Serve with cooked broccoli and carrots.

Mustard Thyme Tilapia
In a mixing bowl combine:
3 Tbs parsley
3 Tbs white wine vinegar
3 tsp Dijon mustard
1.5 tsp thyme
1.5 cups chopped onion
1.5 Tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
In a gallon-size freezer bag, add:
6 fresh or frozen tilapia fillets

Pour marinade over the fish, seal the bag then shake to coat evenly. Force any air out of the bag and re-seal. To prevent freezer burn, place inside another freezer gallon size bag. Label: Thaw overnight in fridge. Remove fish from marinade bag throw away bag and marinade. Grill or broil fish for about 7-8 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily. Serve with mashed garlic cauliflower.

Nana's Chicken Supreme Casserole
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips or cubes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 pkg. frozen broccoli florets
2 large carrots cut in strips
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 cup grated cheese

Place chicken halves in single layer in large casserole dish. Place carrots and celery in also. Season with salt & pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. When warm, drain broth and save for later. Make sauce with soup, mayo, lemon juice, ½ of reserved broth and grated cheese. Mix. Cook broccoli just under time. Pour everything into a gallon freezer bag and freeze. Label: To serve, thaw overnight and pour into 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes uncovered. You can top with additional grated cheese if you'd like for the last 5 minutes. Serve with salad.

Tator Tot Casserole (adapted from the Duggar family's recipe)
1 lb. ground turkey, cooked, seasoned with Lawry's seasoning salt and drained
3 lb. bag tator tots
2 cans cream of broccoli and cheese (my change to the recipe)
1 can evaporated milk

Mix soup and milk in small mixing bowl. Put all ingredients into a gallon freezer bag, squeeze out air, seal and freeze. Label: Thaw overnight in fridge then bake at 350 degrees in 9x13 pan for one hour uncovered. Serve with cooked sugar snap peas and carrots.

Annie's Corn Chowder

(My friend Annie made this when I was sick and now it cures me like Chicken Noodle Soup)

Combine and cook till tender:
2 cups boiling water
2 cups peeled and chopped potatoes
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cups diced ham
1.5 tsp pepper

In a different pan combine and stir until smooth and thick:
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk

Then add:
1 cup grated cheese
1 can corn, drained
1 can creamed corn

Add this mixture to the vegetables. Let cool then place in gallon freezer bag, squeezing out any air. Label and freeze. To serve: Thaw overnight then put in warm crockpot on low all day or on cook on stovetop till warmed thru. Serve with Rhodes rolls - these are delicious freezer rolls found only in Utah! Serve Creamies or Fat Boys for dessert if you're a true Utahn.

Honey Apple Pork Chops
1 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup apple jelly
4 Tbs ketchup
4 Tbs water
4 Tbs. chopped onion
4 tsp brown sugar
3 tsp sweet pickle relish
2 tsp yellow mustard
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Whisk ingredients together. Divide mixture in half. Place half of it into a quart size freezer bag and seal. In a gallon size freezer bag place 8 boneless pork chops and the remaining half of marinade. Squeeze out air and seal bag. Place this bag and the quart bag of marinade into another gallon freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. Label: Thaw overnight in fridge. Heat over to 400 degrees. Remove chops from marinade place in baking dish, discarding marinade and plastic bag the chops were in. Place in oven and baste with remaining marinade as needed. Bake for 30-45 minutes until done. Serve with baked potatoes and broccoli.

Beef and Bean Casserole
1 lb. Sautéed ground beef, drained and cooled
½ c minced onion
½ c diced celery
6 oz. can tomato paste

1/8 tsp. garlic salt
½ c water
2 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. thyme
1 Tbs. brown sugar
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
32 oz. can pork & beans
salt & pepper to taste
*Later: 1 cup Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese, shredded

Add all prepared ingredients together in a gallon-size freezer bag. Seal and place inside another freezer bag. Place shredded cheese into a sandwich bag and place inside the 2nd freezer bag as well. Freeze. Label: Thaw overnight, then pour into casserole dish and bake in oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. *Top with cheese and bake another 5 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Emergency Car Kit

Another list? Yep, I love lists and I love checking them off. Sometimes I'll start a to-do list and even write things I've already done that day so I feel like I've accomplished more that day. LOL Silly, I know. Anyway, my parents were in Chile during the 8.8 earthquake (they are serving a mission in Santiago for our church and come back next month) and that got me seriously motivated to double-check all our food storage/emergency preparedness and I found myself lacking in the car. I used to just throw extra food from the 72 hour kits in there, a thing of TP and some water. Jumper cables are in there... somewhere. You get the point. So I came up with this detailed list and now I know that wherever we go, we'll be prepared for almost any disaster that may happen.

Emergency Car Kit Contents

Water in 2 liter bottles, 1 per person for 3 days
3600 calorie bars, 1 per person for 3 days
(these can withstand extreme temperature changes & last 5 years)
Wool blanket and space blankets 1 per person
Emergency tube tent
First aid kit
Breathing masks
Multi-tool and work gloves
Jumper cables
Tire pressure checker and inflator
Light sticks
Hot packs/warmers
Emergency ponchos
Portable radio/charger/flashlight combo -no batteries required
Map of local area
Whistle with matches inside and compass
Duct tape
Container for it all – heavy duty with lid and clearly marked with this list
TP, diapers, baby wipes, baby carrier
Trash bags heavy duty
Hard candy
Playing cards
Mini Book of Mormon

P.S. Everything but the water fit nicely into a large 18 gallon sterilite container. I was able to get most of the items at Emergency Essentials which is close by (see http://emergencyessentials.com/), the rest at Walmart and Dollar Tree.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Free Hair Bow Tutorials!


If you have girls or know someone who does and would like to make some hair bows, I just found the best free tutorials for how to make all sorts of hairbows. Check out the link above and their prices are great for the supplies you'll need to make the bows. I know what I'm going to be busy doing next Craft Night!

I made myself a (little) 20 page booklet with Word so I won't have to sit in front of the computer to make the bows. LOL These bows would look cute on those crochet headbands or nylon headbands and for older girls, attached to hair clips. Can you tell I'm a little excited?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Roasted Veggie Penne Dish

This delicious dish serves 12 hungry people and tastes great served with garlic parmesan bread. We had fresh strawberries for dessert. Yummmm!

16 oz. pkg. penne pasta
24 oz. bag frozen California blend vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower & carrots)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 onion, peeled and cut into cubes
1-2 tsp. garlic powder or you could do a couple of pressed cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups diced ham
shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In large bowl combine all vegetables with olive oil, garlic powder and S&P to taste. Toss to coat then pour on a large baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes in oven till roasted. While this is cooking, boil some water and cook the penne according to directions on package. Then dice your ham and prep the garlic bread. Once the veggies and pasta are done, combine it all in a very large bowl with your ham and it will be a huge mound in a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Toast the garlic bread for 5 minutes in the same temperature oven. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hospital Packing List

Let's be honest - nobody likes to wear those thin hospital gowns and nobody looks good in them. So I whipped up this cut little number to cheer me up when I go to deliver #5. I got the free pattern online from http://www.lazygirldesigns.com/hospitalgown.php I lengthened it a bit. This would make a great gift for anyone who has to spend time in the hospital. Below is my list of things to take for delivery. LMK if you think there's anything I should add.

Hospital Packing List

Infant Car Seat (leave in car)
Nursing pillow
Extra pillow

In diaper bag:
baby shampoo, lotion & powder
2 receiving blankets (I know they provide these but don't you hate how all your kid's newborn hospital pictures look exactly the same?)
4 burp cloths
baby hat
baby nail clippers
baby wipes and diapers
2 onesies & socks
2 sleeping gowns/outfits for baby
going home outfit for baby & hair bows

In Rolling Suitcase:
robe & slippers
2 pair undergarments & socks
menstrual pads cause the hospital's are awful
nursing & sleeping bra
homemade hospital gown for delivery
2 pairs comfortable pants & tops
going home outfit for me
Charged cell phone
Camera and extra batteries
Video camera and charger
Purse with I.D. & insurance card
Baby journal/scrapbook for footprints
Books - Nursing Mother's Companion & Book of Mormon
Activities – card games, knitting book/kit by Klutz (I've always wanted to learn)
Snacks – fruit leather, etc.
Breath mints and gum

In Toiletry Bag:
face wash stuff
shampoo & conditioner & body wash
washcloth and towel cuz I don't like thin, bleached, rough towels
razor and lotion
toothbrush and toothpaste
nursing cream
hair brush, bands, clips & hairspray
hairdryer & curling iron
chapstick & makeup
nail clippers and nail file
prenatal vitamins
dirty clothes bag
MP3 player - last time this was how I got thru labor w/o an epidural. My OB thought I was listening to Enya - nope, Van Halen! He got a good laugh out of that.

Presents from baby to kids such as a new book and a gift card to their favorite fast food place.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Baby Sewing Projects UPDATE

Did you know you can go to JoAnn's and use a JoAnn's coupon on fabric, a Robert's coupon on thread and a Michael's coupon on a pattern or any other non-fabric item? And all in the same transaction! I love it... *sigh* Anyway, here are a few pictures of the baby sewing projects I've been wanting to finish:

*Girly Mei Tai (pronounced may-tie). The hood flap is made of that super soft bubbly fabric and can be used to cover up baby's face when she's sleeping. This can be forward/rear facing and you can do a front carry or back carry. It's lightweight and my favorite way to carry babies. The wrap is the most comfortable for longer treks though. I'll post a picture of that once baby comes since it's just a really long piece of stretchy fabric with a middle panel for decoration. Wrapping it is the tricky part.

*Fleece pouch - I had enough leftover to make another one to keep in the car and a scarf for E and later a baby hat (not sure what size to make it so I'm waiting) Cost for each pouch = $5. Maybe in the summer I'll make a reversible cotton one with a cute pattern but fleece is just so easy to use and it took me less than 10 minutes to cut & sew these 2 pouches using a french seam.

*I love the double-crochet lavendar afghan I made but I always wanted to make a Granny-Square one so I chose pink and did a scalloped edge again.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Healthy Breakfast

Here's another one of my favorite recipes to make - Healthy Granola! I like to add Craisins, cinnamon and sometimes coconut. We eat it as a breakfast with milk and never as a snack - I've seen people do that but it seems too messy. We try to have this once a week. Remember to store it in an airtight container or heavy ziploc bag. I made some this afternoon and my kids thought I was making cookies because it smells so good. Enjoy!

In a very large bowl combine:
8 cups old fashioned oats
6 cups crispy rice cereal
2 cups wheat germ (found on the top shelf by the boxes of instant oatmeal)

In a separate medium bowl combine and mix:
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil (I prefer canola)
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup honey (local is best since it will help with your allergies, cool huh?)
2 tsp salt
1 Tbs vanilla (I love the real stuff we got in Mexico)
2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Pour this over the dry mixture then toss till everything's nice and coated. Spread onto 2 cookie sheets and cook at 225 degrees for 1 hour, then use a spatula to stir it up and spread out again. Bake for another hour. Let cool then add:
2 handfuls of Craisins per pan
2 handfuls of shredded, sweetened coconut per pan
1 handful of crushed nuts like almonds or pecans per pan

Monday, February 15, 2010


Our oldest turned 12 recently so we had a big party at Classic Skating. Grandma Young and Troy's sister and most of her family made the trek from Arizona to be here for the special occasion. The cousins had so much fun playing together, especially the 2 girls.

In our church, when the boys turn 12 they have the opportunity to receive the Aaronic priesthood. It's a big honor. Besides holding the priesthood, they collect fast offerings, pass the sacrament, help take care of the church building and for more info you can go to http://www.lds.org/ to learn more about it and what it means. Here are a few pictures we took:

In the money machine at Classic

I have 2 priesthood holders in my house now!
Note: I'm 7 1/2 months pregnant- hence the crop-job

It was fun having family come and visit

Last Saturday we got to take him to the temple to do baptisms for the dead with some family file names. After they were stamping the date on our cards, I realized, "Hey, it's Grandpa Young's birthday!" Grandpa would have been 86 this year. We miss you and love you Grandpa!