Sunday, December 25, 2011

Best. Picture. Ever...

Have you ever taken a picture that speaks a thousand words?

If I could just post one picture of our Christmas, it would be this one.
LOVE.IT.
Words cannot describe how perfectly this describes my hubby and his little minnie me, Mister P.

Friday, December 23, 2011

From Me, To You...

This year I wasn't really on top of things.  Somehow family pictures and Christmas cards were lost in the shuffle of life!  I managed to snap a cute picture of my kiddos when they all happened to be dressed in reasonable clothing.  Big Boy B could care less about the camera.  He was more concerned with why I was making him stand in this dreadful white substance we call snow.  

I only sent out a few Christmas cards this year, so please do not be offended if you did not receive one.  My list grows by leaps and bounds every year, and due to budget constraints it isn't possible to send out personal greetings to everybody.  

Our love is with each and every one of you as we celebrate this most wonderful season.


This Christmas we are making it a priority in our home to really remember Christ during all of our celebrations.  Christmas presents are being kept to a minimum.  Every night during the twelve days of Christmas we have read scriptures and watched videos online about those scriptures.  We are keeping it simple.  Bringing home to our children the most important reason for celebrating.


Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


My favorite Christmas song of all time is, "O Holy Night"
(preferably when sung by Josh Groban or Il Divo)
There is just something about the lyrics that brings tears to my eyes and goose bumps to my skin every time I hear it.
They are incredibly poignant when you read them, and you can actually think about the words.
I want to share them with you tonight:

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"
Luke 2: 13-14


May peace be with you throughout this season.
Travel safely...
Eat lots and lots of goodies...
Enjoy your family and loved ones...

Merry Christmas
From my family, and my blog to yours...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Parenthood...

{thanks google images}

I am a child of God, 
And he has sent me here,
Has given me and earthly home
With parents kind and dear.

Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with Him some day.

I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows too late.

Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with Him some day

I am a child of God. 
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do His will
I'll live with Him once more.

Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with Him some day.


I just love this song.  It's so simple that even children can comprehend it's importance.
I am sure, as parents, we have all had the realization that raising children, especially in the world today, is a weighty responsibility.  There are always times when I feel that I am not doing a good enough job, that my kids just don't get it.  Then there are days like we've had lately...

~Since Sunday Mister P has been walking around singing

~Yesterday afternoon I heard Mister P teaching Big Boy B the words to
So, so stinkin' sweet!  

~Sass C has been practicing cursive by writing out the words to "I am a child of God" {above}

~At dinner the other night Mister P told me, "The resurrection was when Jesus died, but then wasn't dead anymore."

~Sass C built The Tree of Life {photo above} out of Lego's.  Complete with an iron rod.
Mister P built a temple.  Complete with an Angel Moroni.  
Wish I would have taken a picture of that!

Days like these I just know, whatever it is I am doing, I am doing it right.  
I learn from my kids everyday the true love of Christ.  They leach me things that I have tried to learn for a lifetime.  

I love you, my crazy kiddos!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering...

On a day like today, you can't help but remember.  There is something about this song that revives all the emotions that I felt that day.

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.



T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.



Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.



The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.



Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.



When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.


Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see."


We all say, Never Forget, but in so many ways we already have have. 
 I read a great article by President Thomas S. Monson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Take a moment to read it, but I wanted to share a little piece of it with you.

"It is constancy that God would have from us. Tragedies are not merely opportunities to give Him a fleeting thought, or for momentary insight to His plan for our happiness. Destruction allows us to rebuild our lives in the way He teaches us, and to become something different than we were. We can make Him the center of our thoughts and His Son, Jesus Christ, the pattern for our behavior. We may not only find faith in God in our sorrow. We may also become faithful to Him in times of calm."

Remember, Always Remember!  

These are just a bunch of jumbled thoughts, but this is what I feel today.  Much like how I felt 10 years ago.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lessons Learned, Texas Sized...

The first and most important lesson...

They ain't jokin' 'bout this one!
Bugs...
Weeds...
Sun...
Highways... Traffic... Toll Roads...
Electric Bills...
Churches...
Fried Food...
and unfortunately, People...


This sign actually exists, because down in Texas the shoulder is actually used as another lane for traffic.


Texas has a love affair with itself.  You can get anything and everything in the shape of Texas.  Including, but not limited to:
Waffle Irons
Cast Iron muffin tins
Chips
Crackers
and Sunglasses. 
(no joke, I just saw some on a lady right before we left this great state)


They love their tile down there, and it's not always the pretty kind.  I can see the practicality of it, but I am sick of cleaning grout.  I could use my entry as a bowling alley.  That is entirely too much tile!  Time to go back to hardwood!





Sunday, August 7, 2011


"If the only prayer you ever say is 'Thank You', that will be enough."
                                                                     ~Oprah


Terribly Two...



Baby B turned two on Friday.  More about that another day.

Today, however, two is not such a good thing.
Every child has to do it.  For Miss C it was nail polish.  For Mister P it was peanut butter.  Baby B's choice, wall spackle.  A whole tub of it!
He knew he was in B.I.G. trouble!  You can tell by the look on his face.

Thanks to his little adventure I got to spend my Sunday cleaning carpets, walls, counters, furniture, tile and one very spackled boy instead of going to church.  You know, because I have nothing better to do right now!

I guess he is no longer Baby B anymore.  I need to come up with a new name for him.  Suggestions?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Two Means Trouble...

A friend of mine had twin boys about a month ago.  I have been helping her out the last few days, just enough to keep her sane!  Today while she was taking a nap I took the opportunity to take a few pictures of her cuties.

Introducing...
Baby B and Baby M

Baby B

Baby M


They are the sweetest little boys.  It makes me sad that I will have to watch them grow up through pictures.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Paris, Je t'aime...

I just spent a week in Paris with my mother in-law, my nieces, my sister in-law and her mother in-law.  To say it was an amazing trip cannot even begin to describe it.  

I don't even know where to begin, so I am going to start with pictures.  These are just a few of the six hundred and some odd pictures, but these are some of my favorite.
Eiffel Tower and the Alexandre III Bridge

Alexandre III Bridge

Entrance to Sacre-Coeur

Alexandre III Bridge

Looking out from the Sacre-Coeur Dome

Eiffel Tower

I think this one is funny.  Notre Dame

Eiffel Tower from parc du Champ de Mars

Center of the Louvre Pyramid

My favorite painting at the Louvre.
"The Coronation of Napoleon"
If I remember right, one of the largest canvases in the world.

Le Louvre, from the Seine

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Versailles

Ceiling in the Louvre.  It took my breath away and gave me goose bumps.

Hall of Mirrors, Versailles

Looking out a door at Notre Dame

Versailles Gardens

This was painted on a stone wall going down some stairs in Montmartre.

I'm hoping I will get around to writing up some stories of my time there.  Right now I am just trying to get my brain wrapped around everything.  Now that I am back home, I have a hard time believing that I was ever there.  I have spent the better part of the last day and a half editing and posting pictures.  It has been nice to see them and remember everything again.  European history is my favorite subject and something I can become very passionate about.  It was overwhelming at times to be in the middle of my favorite time period in French history.  It is an experience I will never forget, and one I hope to experience with my children.  I am more motivated than ever to travel the world and experience different cultures as a family.  Just amazing...  Amazing.

And lastly.  Thanks to Marianne for including me on this trip.  It was an experience of a lifetime, and I will be forever grateful!  Love you!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Salad Bowl Saturday...

It's Wednesday, I know.
It's just been one of those weeks.

Here's your salad for last week.
Another one of my all time favorites!

from Our Best Bites


First of all, the Chicken.  Oh the chicken!  Be careful with this, you will eat it all before you make the salad.  Do yourself a favor.  Don't change the spices, and use thighs.  This is the only recipe (so far) that I don't substitute breasts for thighs.

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 2lbs 
2 t vegetable oil
Rub:
2 t granulated garlic
2 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t coriander
1 t kosher salt
1 t cumin
1/2 t 
chipotle chili powder
Glaze:
1/2 C Honey
1T Cider Vinegar
  
Combine the rub spices in bowl and mix well.

Use kitchen shears (or a pair of clean scissors) to trim off any excess fat from the chicken pieces.Pat dry. Drizzle oil over chicken and rub in with your hands to lightly coat all the pieces. Then toss chicken with the spice rub to coat all sides well. Use your hands and get in there! Grill chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through.
While chicken is cooking, warm honey in the microwave so it’s not so thick. Add the vinegar and combine well. Reserve 2T honey glaze for later. Take the rest and brush on chicken (both sides) in the final moments of grilling.
I’m gonna warn you that this can make a hot mess, literally. It’s sugar, and it’s gonna drip. But the smelly smoke is worth it for a minute or two. Just leave your grill on for a few minutes after the chicken is done to burn off any excess glaze. It’s totally worth it once you taste this stuff.
Remember how I had you reserve that extra couple tablespoons of glaze? Ya, drizzle that on top now. Your taste buds will thank you.

1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 T grated onion
1/3 C fresh orange juice
3T fre
sh lime juice
2T honey
3/4 t cumin

1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/2 C vegetable oil 


Place all ingredients in a tightly sealed jar and shake your bootie (and the jar) vigorously. Store in the fridge, and shake before dressing salad.

Spicy Honey Chicken Salad
1-2 heads Romaine or Red Leaf Lettuce
2 ripe but firm mangoes, chilled
2-3 ripe but firm avocados
optional: thinly sliced red onions
In the winter months, when mangos either aren't readily available or aren't too tasty, I use a gala apple or two and slivered almonds with the avocado.  

Enjoy!
Try not to lick the bowl out.  I dare you!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Friends, Now and Then...

This picture was taken today.  
Friends on a backyard swing.
J Dude, Miss C, Baby B, Mister P and JoJo.

This picture was taken WAY WAY WAY back when.
I can't even tell you a date.  I'm guessing I was in about Kindergarten, the age of my Mister P.
Friends on a backyard swing.
Me, my two brothers Scott and Chris, my sister Melissa and some friends of ours.


Good Times!  Good Friends!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Child Of God...


Today at church the primary kids learned about the Holy Ghost.
When we got home Mister P came up to me and said:
"I know what the Holy Ghost is.  When I woke up at night and was scared, I pray to Jesus.  The Holy Ghost told me to turn on the light, so I wasn't scared.  Then I wasn't scared.  That is the Holy Ghost."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Salad Bowl Saturday...

It's already Saturday again.  Where did that week go.
Well, here we go again...

I love this.  I've made it twice in the last couple weeks, and I am going to make it again for Memorial Day.

from Our Best Bites


{f.y.i. quinoa is pronounced 'keen-wah' and can be found in the aisle with rice and other grains.  Locally I have only found it at HEB.}

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Salad Bowl Saturday...

Because everybody asks me for my salad and dressing recipes. 
 Because my hubby says out of everything I make, he loves my salads the most.  
Because not a single one is one of my own recipes.  
Because I think everybody needs a little something healthy in their life.
And most of all, because I love salads - every Saturday I am going to post one of my favorite salad recipes.

And to start things off...

from Our Best Bites
(a.k.a. my favorite site for recipes)