During April 2017 I will be blogging about my Courtship Memories from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Creation and Compassion http://marcyhowes.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Creation of the Week: Olive and Cream Cheese Penguins



Ok, this has not been the most productive week writing wise. I've still been struggling with not feeling too well, and have had quite a few other obligations, many of which required cooking!


The above photo is of my finest creation of the week, one of the Cream Cheese and Olive penguins that I made for our family dinner on Sunday evening. The theme of the dinner was "Black and White". We were to dress up in our best black and white and bring pot luck "Back and White" dishes to share. I immediately thought of these cute little guys that I first saw on a friend's Pinterest board a few days ago:

I've since found them all over the internet.  Check out
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Penguin+Olives+Cream+Cheese&Form=IQFRDR
for a myriad of links to the cute little guys.  I've been looking for an excuse to bake a cheesecake ever since Christmas, so I also put together an Oreo Cookie Cheesecake.  DD1 spent hours making plenty of gorgeous white Brazilian Limeade, DD3 and her friend whipped up some crepes that they served with blackberries, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and bananas,  and DH spent hours tracking down some  black Squid Ink Fettuccine that he prepared in a delicious Alfredo sauce.   Of course there were many other fabulous black and white dishes, including a delicious cream of chicken and wild rice soup that won 1st place in the family vote.  I need to find that recipe!

Other culinary creations  from this past week have included a Triple Chocolate Cake for a friend's birthdayand the traditional Poppy Seed Chicken that I made for another friend's family on Monday. 

I also took  a couple of hours on Saturday morning to sit down and hem a few flannel recieving blankets at our church women's group's annual conference and service project.  It was quite an assembly line with a long table filled with sergers and sewing machines.   I believe we finished more than 30 blankets and had at least that many more serged and ready to be hemmed.  Others were tying quilts or crocheting hats, headbands, and hot pads, all to be donated to a local shelter.  We also wrote some notes and cards to servicemen and missionaries, then had a nice taco salad and chili lunch.

I'm grateful for opportunities to be creative and opportunities to serve!



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mascara

I have never been one to wear a whole lot of makeup.  Sometime when I was in Junior High School I started wearing a bit of mascara and sometimes some blush and lip gloss.  On special occasions I might add some brown or grey eye shadow or lipstick or even some sort of foundation, but never on a daily basis.  I would usually don the makeup for school and church and work, but over the years I have become a bit lax, especially during the stay at home Mom years. 

When I started working part time I did better, but for the past couple of years it hardly has seemed worth the bother.  I mean really, how many wrinkles and grey hairs can a bit of mascara and blush and lip gloss hide?   I confess that my eyelashes have become lighter over the years, and the mascara does help to define my eyes, so occasionally I will still take the time to put on a bit of makeup.   And guess what?  People do notice!  I have taken the effort to put on a bit of mascara several times in the past few weeks, and one of my co-workers has had a nice comment every time:

"You look really nice today.  Are you wearing make up?"

OR

"Are you wearing mascara today?  Your eyes look really pretty!"

I'm grateful for a sweet co-worker who notices when I'm trying to take a bit more care with my appearance, and I'm grateful that a bit of mascara can really make a difference.






Monday, February 25, 2013

Safe From Harm and Accident

I grew up hearing the phrase "please keep us safe from harm or accident" on a daily basis as our family would kneel together morning and night for family prayers.  "Please help us to return safely to our homes" or similar phrases were probably repeated in most prayers that I heard at church and even community gatherings all during my growing up years.  These phrases have become a permanent fixture in my own prayers, not only in my personal prayers, but when I have the opportunity to pray for a group at church or in other situations. 

So, are these oft repeated phrases trite, or "vain repetitions?  I think not.  We may at times say them without much thought, but I feel that most people who pray these phrases truly do want to petition the Lord for protection from harm and accident for themselves and for their loved ones, on a daily basis. I also believe that the Lord answers these prayers on a daily basis.  I believe that he answers them much more often than we realize.  And when we do realize that he has answered our prayers with protection, we are always very, very grateful.  We need to remember to thank him for his protection, and for answering our prayers.  I for one am very grateful for the many many times that the Lord has kept me and my loved ones safe from harm and from accident. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Opposition

For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
      2 Nephi 2:11

And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
     D&C 122:7

So, so true.  Much as we do not like it, we must face difficult things and difficult times.  Without experience with misery, evil,, pain, and death, and other bad things, we would not grow.  Without opposition and difficult times, we could not appreciate the good things in life.  I have faced bad times and opposition in my life (like the miserable cold that I have right now), but over-all my life has been good.  I may not have reached every goal on my bucket list, but I have had good opportunities and experiences, and have sampled enough of the difficult to appreciate the good that I do have.  I have a pretty darn good life.  I am grateful for my family, my home, my friends and neighbors, my country, and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Probably what gives me the greatest pain and sorrow at this point in my life is seeing the opposition that others around me are facing.  Family members, friends and acquaintances all around me are facing illness, pain, loss of loved ones, loneliness, infertility, financial problems, challenges in finding work, stressful work and school situations, difficulty in their social lives, heartache, sorrow, problems with drugs and alcohol, emotional problems, mental illness, struggles with faith and testimony, depression and sadness.  I know there are even greater problems worldwide:  war, poverty, famine, epidemics, abuse, natural disasters, and on and on and on.   It is discouraging.  What can I do to help?  Often there isn't much.  Lend a listening ear.  Pray.  Smile, encourage, and comfort.  Keep getting up and going to work.    Share my faith.  Share what little material blessings that I can.  And carry on with the faith that everything will work out.  Good will overcome evil.  Opposition and experience will bring happiness and growth.   It will all work out.  Carry on.  It will all work out. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Trash Day

Today is Trash Day.  I'm grateful today for plastic trash bags/trash can liners.  It is so nice to not have to scrub out the trash can every time it gets emptied!  I'm thankful that we have curbside trash pick-up, and curbside recycling to encourage us to recycle some of the excess packaging and paper, cardboard and plastic that we seem to generate these days.  I am grateful for much of the packaging that helps keep our food clean and vermin free and helps to cut down on food waste.

I'm thankful for the incentive that Trash Day is to me to do a bit of de-cluttering and cleaning.  This morning I was motivated to clean out the refrigerator.  I won't say how long it has been since I tackled this chore (I can't even remember exactly), but I did find a small container of leftover homemade cranberry sauce among all of the other delightful surprises that have been lurking inside the fridge.

 It appears that the family may not have been overly thrilled by all of the homemade split pea soup, beef stew and goulash that have been prepared over the past few weeks, but I am grateful that I have been able to put good and nourishing food on the table every evening.   I am grateful to have a refrigerator to keep perishables cold and edible.  Many of the people I knew when I lived in Colombia did not have the luxury of a refrigerator.  I'm grateful that I don't have to go to the market every single day in order to have fresh food available for meals.  I'm thankful for the clean glass shelves in my refrigerator that allow me to easily see where the pickle jar is and the new package of unopened yeast that was hiding behind all of the leftovers.  I wasn't extremely happy about all of the dishes that needed to be washed, but now I'm grateful for a plethora of clean dishes and storage containers that I can once again fill up with leftovers! 

Ah, the many myriad blessings of Trash Day!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chocolate Chips


I believe that chocolate chips are one of the greatest inventions ever created.
Here's the scoop on the origin of Chocolate Chips according to Wikipedia:

Chocolate chips are a required ingredient in chocolate chip cookies, which were invented in 1937 when Ruth Graves Wakefield of the Toll House Inn in the town of Whitman, Massachusetts added cut-up chunks of a semi-sweet Nestlé chocolate bar to a cookie recipe. The cookies were a huge success, and Wakefield reached an agreement in 1939 with Nestlé to add her recipe to the chocolate bar's packaging in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate. Initially, Nestlé included a small chopping tool with the chocolate bars. In 1941 Nestlé and one or more of its competitors started selling the chocolate in chip (or "morsel") form.[1] The Nestlé brand Toll House cookies is named for the inn.

How would it have been to have a lifetime supply of chocolate???   Heaven!!!

The Wikipedia article goes on to state that chocolate chips should not necessarily be substituted for baking chocolate since they are designed to hold their shape during baking and contain less cocoa butter, but, in a pinch, I have definitely made the substitution.  Granted, in a perfect world, I would always have plenty of the highest quality baking chocolate, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips on hand in the pantry.  However, due to the shrinking budget and the increasing cost of the above said items, I at times  have only one (or even, shockingly, but seldom, None) of the above goodie baking essentials on hand.  When it comes right down to it, if I must choose only one of the great chocolate baking products to have on hand, I will generally choose the chocolate chips.  While I can produce some form or another of almost any chocolaty treat or dessert with a bag of chocolate chips, I haven't yet been able to produce a chocolate chip cookie using cocoa powder. 

I have noticed that chocolate chips generally go on sale at most of my local grocery stores sometime during the months of October, November and December, so I make it a practice to stock up during those months.  This past year I was able to purchase two large bags at our local Costco in addition to several smaller bags at the other stores, so after the holiday baking was done; I still have a big unopened bag of chocolate chips in my store room.  And . . .

Guess what my wonderful DS1 and DDIL sent us for part of our Christmas present?  Another big bag of chocolate chips!!  That bag was put right to use, and maybe (I'll have to double check for sure) we still have some of those chocolate chips in the cupboard with the other baking supplies. 

Thanks Kids!  We love the chocolate chips!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Poppy Seed Chicken

DD3 spent some time at home this weekend, and yesterday she suggested that we have Poppy Seed Chicken for dinner.  Poppy Seed Chicken has been a family favorite for quite a few years, but for the past few months we have been trying to lower our sodium intake, so my first thought was "No, we can't do that.  The soup and the crackers have too much sodium."  And then I had a brilliant idea:  Why not substitute some plain Greek yogurt for the soup and the sour cream mixture that our old recipe calls for!  So we tried it.  It result didn't have much sauce, and though I can't speak for the rest of the family, I liked the newer version even better than the old favorite.  Here's what we did:

Generously butter a glass baking dish.  Place about 1 1/2 lbs.  chicken tenderloins in the bottom of the pan.   Spread about 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt over the chicken.  Melt 1/4 cup butter.  Mix butter with 1 cup cornflake crumbs and 1 Tbs. poppy seed.  Sprinkle over chicken and yogurt.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 to 60 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  Serves with rice, noodles, or potatoes.  Serves about 6.


Current Temple Recommend

On Saturday afternoon I was able to take some time to attend a temple session.  The session was absolutely full.  It makes my heart happy to be on a very full session.  I didn't really know anyone else there, but I did recognize another couple from my stake.   I didn't feel rushed and enjoyed watching everyone there with friends and loved ones.  It was happy.

A few years ago I was conversing with a very dear friend.  She is practically a saint in my eyes and does all she can to serve and help those in her family and others around her.  At this time she was going through some particularly difficult challenges, and was talking about wishing she could just go off and be alone somewhere to find some peace.  I mentioned the temple as a place of peace, a place where I go to find the peace I need to carry on, and my friend almost completely broke down as she said, "I can't go to the temple."  I'm not exactly sure why she can't go, and I didn't ask.  I do have a pretty good idea.  I understand that she no longer has a recommend, although I do know that she did at one time.  She just seemed so defeated, like it could never be a possibility again, at least not in the foreseeable future.  I wish that she didn't see it that way, that she could find the way to once again have a temple recommend and have ready access to the peace that can be found at the temple.  I do know that her life could definitely be better and happier with that simple blessing. 

I love the temple.  I'm very grateful to have a current temple recommend.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Portable DVD Player

A year or so ago DH won a portable DVD Player from some promotion at his work.  I had always thought that it would be an interesting thing to have, even though the screen is so small.  And it is.  But it is just perfect for one or two people to sit together and watch a show, and it can be easily borrowed by a child and moved from room to room, or even taken with us when we travel.  On Valentine’s Day DH was not feeling well, so he came home from work early and we rented The Iron Lady from Redbox for our Valentine’s Day Date.  Last night we rented The Bourne Legacy.  Two movie date nights in a row!  We've also enjoyed many TV Series DVD's rented from the Library or received as gifts . . . Bones, The Cosby Show, Downton Abbey, Rumpole of the Bailey, and Quantum Leap to name a few.

Now we don't watch a whole lot of TV at our house, especially not DH, but we do enjoy an occasional movie, especially on the weekends. When the children were young we did enjoy our Thursday evenings with The Cosby Show (with the kids) and Hillstreet Blues (after they were in bed).   When DS1 was about 9 years old, we realized that the kids were spending way too much time watching multiple reruns of mindless TV (Saved by the Bell and Full House to name a few) or fighting over whose turn it was to play the Nintendo.  One day it got to be too much, and DH cut the cord of the TV.  We gave it away to someone who had the cord repaired, and went without a TV for a decade.  Sometimes for important events like General Conference or an important ball game, we would go to visit Grandma, who kindly let us watch at her house.  This was the time period when DVD's were new, and occasionally we would buy or rent a movie to watch on the computer downstairs in DH's home office.  We would crowd a bunch of folding chairs in the room and some would sit on the floor.  It wasn't very comfortable, but we were able to have a home movie night!

 I did break down the Christmas of 2001 and bought the least expensive TV that I could find so that we could watch the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.  DH wasn't very happy with me, but we still own that TV.  The reception is almost nonexistent now.  We did purchase a converter box for the TV, but without cable it still isn't very functional.  There is a VHS player hooked up to it, but we don't watch it very often.  DH did purchase another TV several years later, so our family movie nights are a bit more comfortable than they were without a TV, but the portable DVD player is still a nice option.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cast Thy Burden on The Lord

Some days a person just needs to vent.  Friends and loved ones can be good listeners, but I certainly don't want to burden them with all of my cares every day.  That's just too much for most people.  I'm grateful for the blessing of prayer.  Of course I do try to thank the Lord each day for my many blessings, but one of my blessings is the fact that He is willing to listen and comfort me and bear me up. 

In the words of an old Hymn:

How Gentle God's Commands
31243, Hymns, How Gentle God's Commands, no. 125

How gentle God's commands!
How kind his precepts are!
Come, cast your burdens on the Lord
And trust his constant care.

Beneath his watchful eye,
His Saints securely dwell;
That hand which bears all nature up
Shall guard his children well.

Why should this anxious load
Press down your weary mind?
Haste to your Heav'nly Father's throne
And sweet refreshment find.

 His goodness stands approved,
Unchanged from day to day;
I'll drop my burden at his feet
And bear a song away.

Text: Philip Doddridge, 1702-1751
Music: Hans Georg Nägeli, 1773-1836; arr. by Lowell Mason, 1792-1872

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.    1 John 5:3

 Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.  Psalm 55:22

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Parent Teacher Conference

Last night I attended my final, very last ever parent teacher conference. It went well.  Almost twenty four years ago, in the fall of 1989, DH and I attended our first ever parent teacher conference at Rolling Hills Primary School.  DS1 began kindergarten that year with a good, but stern, old school type teacher.  We have attended well over 50 parent teacher conferences for our six children since then, most of them favorable and enjoyable.  Our children have all been blessed with good intelligence and a desire to do their best. We are proud of them.

We moved away from Rolling Hills Primary School before our three youngest children began school there, and over the years we have attended parent teacher conferences at five different primary/elementary schools, one middle school, one junior high school and one high school.  Some years we had four children in the same elementary.  Later on, the years when the three oldest were in the same middle school or the same high school were definitely interesting ones.  It was always a challenge to schedule the conferences so that we could visit all of their teachers within a reasonable time frame, especially when we were spending hours standing in line in the school gym trying to see possibly eight different teachers for each of the three children.  Gratefully there were generally two or more teachers who over-lapped, so we had one less line to stand in.

I'm grateful for whoever invented parent teacher conference.  I have enjoyed getting to know my children's teachers, learning of their assessments and views of my children, and having their help and assistance in teaching my children not only the 3R's and core curriculum, but also teaching them values and expanding their horizons.  Our family has been blessed to have associated with many very dedicated public school teachers over the years.  We did not always agree with the philosophy and assessments of every teacher, but I believe that every teacher did care about the education and well being of their students. 

I love my kids, am very proud of them all, and am grateful for all of the dedicated public school teachers who have taught my children over the past 24 years.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Breakfast for Dinner

Some days there just isn't much time to fix dinner.  So what do you do when you've been running errands, you get home just at dinnertime and DD4 needs to be to her YW activity in 30 minutes?  It's waffle time!  Add some Hash Browns, oranges, milk and orange juice, then send her on her way.  Several hours later, do it all over again for DH and DD1 when they return home from work.  Add some eggs and the chocolate dipped strawberries that DD4 brought home from the YW activity and you're all set. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Job Opportunities

DS1 will soon be finishing his education and is in the job search process.  When he called this past weekend he was sharing a bit about his job search process.  Of course he has had plenty of part time and summer jobs throughout his school career, starting with his paper route when he was eleven years old,  then moving on to call center work, tutoring, consulting, and even teaching college undergraduate courses, but this is his first attempt at finding a full time job in the "real world".  We have watched as DD1, DS2, and DD2 have also gone through this process in past years with varying degrees of success.  The economy of past decade has not been a very easy one in which to find a job. 

Later on DH and I looked back over our own working careers, and I was amazed at how we have been blessed with Job Opportunities.  I have never worked full time, but I can only remember interviewing for 1 part time job during college where I was not offered the job, and I had at least 6 different jobs, including summer jobs, during my college career.  After I graduated from college, I stayed at home with my children until DD4 entered 1st grade.  At that time I started looking for part-time work.  I interviewed with one company and was offered the job, but decided that it was not for me and turned it down.  Shortly thereafter DH and I were in the temple and stopped in for lunch at the Temple Cafeteria after our stake temple session and ended up sharing a table with our over the fence neighbors who both happened to work at our local community college.  DH shared that I was looking for part time work, and I was invited over to the college the following week, and have been working there regularly ever since.  DD4 is now a senior in high school.

DH has had similar success in his working career.   He had several different part-time jobs during high school and college that gave him good experience in his field of study.  At the time he graduated from college, he was already working full time.  This full time job led to a very lucrative (for the time) job offer from a small family owned company in New Jersey that included the offer to pay for his graduate school education.  That job blessed our family greatly and we could have stayed there for many years, but in the economy of the late eighties and early nineties there were many companies desperate for good help, and "head hunters" or recruiters would often call DH with unsolicited offers to come and interview with various different companies.  He ended up working for three different companies in the East before taking up the offer from his father to return home and work in the family business, which is where we have been for the past eighteen years.  Unfortunately the economy of the past few years has forced DH to also seek additional full time employment elsewhere so that we can afford to pay our portion of our health insurance premiums.  Granted, he did need to seek out this current job, and has continued to apply to other jobs in the effort to find employment more compatible to his interests and skills, but over the course of our working lives, we have truly been blessed with wonderful job opportunities.  Life hasn't always been one easy, and we are not wealthy, but we have been blessed to be able to provide for our family.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Tech Savy Kids

Yesterday at work one of the IT Department guru's stopped by to see how things were going, and in the process showed us a new trick or two that he has discovered with the New MS Office 2010 that was recently installed on our computers.  As we were thanking him for sharing his knowledge with us, he mentioned how his 15 year old daughter is continually teaching him new things and how she is the go to person for their family in figuring out how to work new gadgets and technology.   

My own DH has a degree in Computer Science, but it is usually our children that I go to for help in figuring out new technology, and it has been this way for years.  Granted, my dear sons have degrees in Math and Computer Engineering, but my daughters are also there to help out with questions and problems.  DD2 was the one to spur me on to learn to text several years ago, and DD4 is the one I go to for help with switching from one component to another on the TV.  All of my daughters are more proficient than I with the MS Office Suite and almost anything web or computer related.  Let's face it, I'm very dependent upon my Tech Savy Kids, and am very much not looking forward to the day (coming very soon) when they have all left the nest.  Thank goodness they will usually be just an email, text message, or facebook post away!

Yes,  I do love my Tech Savy Kids!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Graham Crackers

The original Graham Crackers were invented in New Jersey in 1829 by Sylvester Graham.  They were made from mildly sweetened whole wheat graham flour, and meant to be a healthy snack or breakfast food.  Today's graham crackers are undoubtedly sweeter and contain less whole wheat flour than the original product, but they are still a relatively healthy snack.  And I love them.  They store well, go great with milk, applesauce, peanut butter, chocolate frosting, nutella, and many other foods.  They are a main ingredient in the traditional campfire treat, smores.  They also make an awesome crust for desserts such as cheesecake and 7 layer bars.  Graham Crackers played a major food role in my childhood, my college years, and throughout my life.  Today I'm still grateful to have them in my kitchen, my store room, and my diet.  Especially as a bedtime snack!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I Can Read!

It is very hard for me to imagine life without being able to read.  Reading is one of my favorite pastimes and is one way that I nourish my soul.  I do remember when I could not read. I was blessed as a child. My mother was a second grade teacher before she married and began raising her family, and she read to me regularly.  My father also read to me.  My mother taught me my ABC's before I began kindergarten at the ripe old age of 4 years and 10 months old.  However, I could not really read for myself until I was well into first grade.  I remember the yearning that I had to learn to read, and since I learned and began reading, I have rarely stopped.  Granted, I probably read more than I should, using the time that should/could be spent in cleaning, sewing, quilting, yard work, excercising, and finding ways to serve others.  Granted, I should probably be a bit more selective in my reading material, (for my latest reads, check out my Goodreads profile) but then, what fun is that? 

Speaking of ABC's, I have signed up for and accepted the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for this coming April.  I will be posting daily Monday through Saturday on my Creation and Compassion blog, using the letters from A to Z to determine my topics.  If you're interested in joining up, check it out here.

I'm grateful for parents who read to me.  I'm grateful that I can read good books for relaxation and pleasure.  I'm grateful that I can write, and blog, and read the blogs of others.   I'm grateful for my education. But most of all, I am very thankful that I have access to the word of God.  That I can read scripture and learn of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Here is a verse that "spoke" to me just this morning:

Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen. 

2 Nephi 4:35


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Comforter

Some days are just pretty darn discouraging.  The weather definitely does not help.  Cold, fog, smog, and inversion air just don't do much towards lifting spirits and inspiring happy days.  Bad news often surrounds us.  Every day brings news of someone else who is ill, in pain, has lost a job, has had an accident, is in jail, or who has some other form of grief and pain, and about all that I can do is pray.  Sometimes I just feel so helpless and worthless.  Somedays the only source of comfort is The Holy Ghost, The Comforter.   He helps me to know that I do have worth.   I am a child of God.  I am basically good.  He loves me.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
John 14:16

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

FHE

Family Home Evening.  It has evolved and changed throughout the years at our house.  We try to gather together as a family one evening every week to have a song and a lesson, sometimes an activity or game and a treat, and always a family prayer.  Some nights have been less than perfect and others quite wonderful.  The best part of Family Home Evening is when the family is reluctant to leave, when we stay together and talk . . . about just whatever . . . math, science, books, school, life . . . the conversations are varied and several can be going on at the same time.  It doesn't really matter.  What matters is that we are together, and that we love one another.  And that we like to gab.

Monday, February 4, 2013

DSIL and Scrapbook Supplies

One of my Dear Sister in Laws is a sales rep for several scrapbooking supply companies.  Of course she has a lot of samples to show to her customers, and what does she do when the samples become outdated?  She shares them!

Last night said DSIL invited us over for the evening, to watch the super bowl game if we so desired, to share some goodies, and to go through her latest culling of scrapbooking supplies.  The crowd was small (not a crowd at all since most of the children/cousins are now young adults and had other places to be last night) so we had a nice, lazy evening sitting in the other room and chatting and sorting through paper and other paraphernalia.  We brought home a couple of boxes of "scrapbook crap" and had a very nice evening.  Some of the kids watched some or most of the game, but I maybe saw parts of a couple of commercials and looked at the score a couple of times.  And that, folks, is how we spent the Super Bowl Sunday evening.  If there are any wondermous commercials I missed, please let me know . . .

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fresh Strawberries in Winter

I like strawberries.  Growing up, having fresh strawberries was a special summer time treat, when they were in season.  In our world today, fresh strawberries are available to us almost year around in our grocery stores, and I love having them out on the counter ready and available for snacking. Of course, we also occasionally use them in salads and desserts and jam.  Strawberries have been fairly expensive the past few months, so we've resorted to the typical apples and oranges and bananas for our fresh fruit.  Yesterday I found fresh strawberries from California on sale, so I bought a pound.  They're sweet and juicy and wonderful!  Even in cold February we can enjoy fresh strawberries!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Kindle Fire



For my last birthday, my family presented me with a new Kindle Fire and a new handbag with a special protective pocket to carry it in.  Granted, I had looked at e-readers occasionally while out shopping, but had no great plans of getting one in the foreseeable future, and really was not aware of everything that I would be able to do with this wonderful device.  DH downloaded the LDS scriptures for me, I found lots of free books and games and even some movies that came with my free month of membership in Amazon Prime.  Many authors also offer free e-copies of their books occasionally n their blogs.  DD4 helped me navigate borrowing books from the county library and downloading free music from the library too.  The kids have taken turns borrowing my kindle to play games, I have read several good books, listened to music, wasted time playing games (I never have been much of a game player, but I especially like Free Flow, it's somewhat addicting!) I have used it a lot to check my email, browse facebook, and read my favorite blogs while DD4 is using the computer.   I even took the kindle to church last Sunday where I was able to quickly switch from scriptures to Conference Report to other references and even use it as a hymn book.  Yes, though definitely not a necessity, the Kindle has been one of the best gifts ever!

Thank You Dear Family!!  ♥♥♥