Friday, September 23, 2011

Puppy #3 and #4

Thor is the the black puppy.  He's kind of opposite of what you would expect from a big puppy named Thor.  He likes to hide under stuff, mostly.  Sometimes he likes to bite his sister.  I picked him.

Darla is the black and white puppy.  She's not as wussy as Thor and seems to have the edge on him where intelligence comes in.  Unfortunately, Jake picked her.

They are blue healer-labs.  We met the mom.  She was a nice dog.  The dad was from another yard over the fence but he looks like a nice black lab.

Wendy called me a dog ox and my mom called to tell me she thought I was smarter than this.  I guess I'm not.  Walter is living happily in California (with Mickey Mouse, according to Noah) and I wanted another puppy.  Kind of, I wanted 2 puppies.  Apparently.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Because I love Halloween

I've already started decorating for Halloween and I taught Noah to say "boo!" to scare people or if you ask him what a ghost says.  Abbi's already changed her mind a dozen times about what costume she'd like to wear.  And I have read any Halloween magazine I've seen, I've pinterested my face off, and I created this spooky banner this weekend.  I only used paper and stuff I had at home.  In fact the ribbons I used are off of gifts or boxes I horded away.  The circles are layered cupcake papers.  I love that I had the rub on for the black edges.  I'm sure there are other things I could have used or done but what's done is done and this is most likely my best work.  Actually, I'm not a fan of the scary part of Halloween.  People wearing costumes honestly freaks me out.  Always has.  Always will.  But I do love the creative ideas for food and decor.  And I'm an October birthday girl so my mother says naturally, I love Halloween.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

One more for Grandpa

Maybe some of you don't remember, but I got married on May 13th of this very year.  While I was looking forward to being sealed in the temple on that day, I am now highly anticipating the day Jake and I are sealed for time and all eternity in the temple next May.  When Grandpa arrived at my wedding he spent a minute with me telling me how glad he was to be there.  And, he promised to be with me in the temple when Jake and I are sealed.  My heart was so full because I could see in his eyes how much he loved me.  

There were a few other times that I saw that look on his face and the tears fill his eyes as we talked about his grandchildren.  His love and pride for them overflowed.  I saw this again and again as he listened to me and other grandkids, as he asked about grandkids who weren't around right then, and as he reported on the grandkids he had heard about.  He would even tear up when we just talked about each of the grandkids' ages.

I hope that my ability to show love and pride in my family and friends can improve to show that it overflows just in the way I listen, visit, and love.  Grandpa's ability to do that was one of his many endearing characteristics.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Layered Caramel Fruit Dip

16 ounces softened cream cheese
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 jar of the thickest, richest caramel ice cream topping you can find
1 bag (11 oz.) Heath bits (or any chocolate coated toffee bits)
About 6 apples, cored and sliced

How to Make It:
1. Mix together the cream cheese and brown sugar until well blended.
2. Spread mixture out thinly on serving platter.
3. Spread caramel ice cream topping over the cream cheese layer.
4. Sprinkle toffee bits all over the caramel topping.
5. Surround dip with sliced apples and DIG IN!

How to keep the apples from turning brown:
Soak sliced apples in gingerale of lemon-lime soda for 10 minutes.  Word on the street is that apples juice works too and won't alter the taste.  After they soak you can package them in lunch size portions to send to school!

Amber was the finder, demonstrator, and teacher of this wonderful dip!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Grandpa Stone

Grandpa Stone passed away yesterday, September 8, 2011.  I'm so thankful that I have been blessed with such a good grandpa.  He was an example of every good, kind, and generous feeling there is.  He certainly wore his life out in service.  I love him and I'll miss him but I can't help but be so happy for him as he has been reunited with my wonderful grandmother, my aunt, and my uncle.

My favorite memory of him is a recurring one from my childhood.  It was when I would watch out the front window, waiting for visitors, and I would see him and Grandma pull up.  I loved that scene from the front window.

His humility made him a hero for our family.  His love and service cannot be duplicated.  Grandpa had so many interesting life experiences but he preferred to listen to his children and grandchildren share their stories instead.  I knew he loved me because of the way he would listen to me and ask me to tell more stories.

As I have lost people I love, it seems like I always want to live more like them.  I hope I can share my testimony of the gospel and my love for others more through my daily life, just like Grandpa Stone.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Someone was an ox and it wasn't me.

We celebrated Jake's birthday at my mom's house last night.  Anne and my mom decided to buy Jake a cake for convenience and so I wouldn't "be a basket case" or whatever Anne called it.  On Sunday afternoon, I was craving some batter/cake so I decided to make one anyway.  I guess you could say my craving doubled as inspiration because look what happened to the store bought cake...

It was a great chocolate cake with Thor on it and everything.  But Anne didn't use two hands to carry it.  It was the fastest slow motion I have ever seen.  Don't worry everybody.  We all still forked every piece of the dead cake as we could.

So instead of Thor cake, Jake got Superman (girl) cake.  It's Supergirl because I couldn't turn the icing red.  I swear the box said it was red.

If I can do it, you can do it.

I highly recommend this yummy and user-friendly pizza crust.  Amber gave me the recipe.  We love this pizza and the crust turns out great on Jake's big, heavy pizza pan.

Valentino's Pizza Crust
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1. stir water, sugar, and yeast together until dissolved.  add the olive oil and the salt.  stir in the flour until well blended.  let dough rest for 10 minutes.
2. pat dough into pan or on to a pizza stone using fingers dipped in olive oil.  if desired sprinkle basil, thyme or other seasonings on crust.  top with your favorite pizza toppings and bake for 15 to 20 minutes in a preheated 425 degree oven.