Monday, December 28, 2009

New Stuff

I finally posted some new stuff on my craft blog. Cruise on over and check it out. Or not...either way.


My Newest Project

I found this book at Goodwill and thought that it looked interesting. Why not learn all the secrets and be one of those happy people? Not that I'm not happy, but maybe there are things I could be doing to be even more happy. So I read through it. I read it really fast actually. It was easy to read and had a lot of good information. It got me to thinking... some of these things I do already, but how can I work on these other things?

So I came up with this plan. Make it my project or experiment, if you will, to go through each of these "simple secrets" and focus on them one at a time. And so I thought, how am I going to do that? This is my solution.

There are 52 weeks in the year and so if I focused on 2 secrets every week I would be a happier person before next Christmas. So starting next week I am going to post what the next 2 secrets are and go into a little depth to explain them. And then that week really try and do what they say.

I recommend getting this book. You can get it on Amazon for a couple bucks, unless you're lucky like me to find it for a couple cents at Goodwill. Then if you want to join me in this experiment you can read all of what I don't post about.

Wish me luck and think happy thoughts.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to All...

I just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I am so grateful for all of my family and friends. I hope that you are all well and that this next year brings with it wonderful things. I am also grateful for a tiny baby born in a stable, who grew up into a man that was willing to sacrifice his life that I might return to my Heavenly Father again. What a wonderful reason to celebrate.

Thanks for being a part of my life.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pumpkin Cake Roll

I took pictures while I was making the Pumpkin Cake Roll for Thanksgiving so I'm going to do a tutorial of sorts starting off with the ingredient list and then explain the rest of the recipe with pictures. Here goes:

3 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar, divided
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 cup confectioner's sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Line a 15x10x1 in. baking pan with waxed paper, grease the paper and set aside. ( I tried it with the wax paper and then tried it just greasing the pan itself and the latter worked better for me. But if you want to use wax paper, that is up to you.)

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks on high speed until thick and lemon-colored. (Of course you have to separate the eggs first.)

And this is what it means by "lemon-colored".

Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and pumpkin, beating on high until sugar is almost dissolved.

In a small mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.

Here is an example of "soft peaks".

Gradually add remaining sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.

Voila! Stiff peaks.

Fold into egg yolk mixture.

Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Gently fold into pumpkin mixture.

Spread into prepared pan.

Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes.

Turn cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioner's sugar. If you used wax paper you peel it off now.

Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on wire rack. (I usually put mine in the fridge to speed things up a bit.)

In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, confectioner's sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Unroll cake; spread filling evenly to within 1/2 inch of edges.

Roll up again. Cover and freeze until firm.

May be frozen for up to 3 months. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before cutting. Dust with confectioner's sugar if desired.

Hope you enjoy making it. I love this recipe. I've found that if I get the big can of pumpkin I can make 3 of these and one pumpkin swirl cheesecake, which will be my next tutorial. I've also heard that you can use the same amount of banana instead of pumpkin and make it the same way for something different. I'll have to try that.

Let me know what you think!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Yesterday was our 5th Anniversary. Five years ago we promised each other that we would love and honor one another for time and all eternity. I won't lie and say that these have been the happiest and most wonderful 5 years of my life. These have been happy years, don't get me wrong, but they have been hard and trying and exciting and great all at the same time. A whole lot has happened in those 5 years. And I wouldn't trade them for anything.

Evan is an extraordinary husband. Last year I listed things that make me love him. That list still stands true and continues to go on and on. Every day he gives me a new reason to love him. For instance, yesterday he was supposed to leave on a campout for the scouts. Just an overnighter. No big deal. I admit I was a little sad that it had to be on our anniversary and we agreed to celebrate on another day. He left to go on the campout. Or so I thought. A few minutes later, he walks in the door. I thought he had forgotten something and asked him what he was doing. He pulled two movie tickets out of his wallet and said the babysitter would be here and he was taking me to dinner and a movie. What a guy!

So he took me to a restaurant I've always wanted to try, La Vecchia, and I was not dissappointed. It was amazing! I got the handmade pumpkin and ricotta stuffed raviolis and Evan got the spaghettini. Both very very good. Then we went and got some ice cream and headed to the theater. We watched A Christmas Carol in 3D. I liked it. Jim Carrey makes a very good Scrooge.

And to top it all off he got me some needed kitchen things like towels and pans and instead of flowers he got me the new Dan Brown book The Lost Symbol. Isn't he the greatest? Oh and I almost forgot... he also got an electric blanket. Of course it's the kind that has two controls, 'cause he is always burning up and I am freezing, so he will never actually use it, but I love it. I love being warm and cozy. He is so thoughtful.

All in all it was a great anniversary. Especially for me planning on him being gone. I just want to declare once again that I love Evan with all my heart and I appreciate all he does for me and our family. I would be nothing without him.

Happy Anniversary!

Thanksgiving goodies

I just found this on Family Fun and thought it was a good idea. The TV is usually going all day on Thanksgiving so you might as well make it fun.

I am getting really excited for Thanksgiving this year. My whole family is getting together. It's been about two years since we've all got to see each other. Allison was pregnant with her third and this time she'll be pregnant with her fourth! ( I can't wait to finally meet Brett.) It's always a good time with lots of food and LOTS of laughing. It'll also be a good chance to take some good family photos. We've grown into quite a large family over the years.

I'll be making my delicious Pumpkin Cake Rolls and Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake. I'll post the recipe and pictures after I get them made. They are both VERY yummy.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Part 2...

First of all I wanted to say Happy Birthday to my little man, Donevan. This year has flown by. I am amazed at how big he is getting. He weighed in at 23 lbs 6 oz and is now 31 inches tall. He is such a boy! His favorite things are:

getting into everything
closing things in books
his blue blanket
his daddy
chasing his sister
banging on things like a drum
chewing on anything
shoving things into other things (like shoving his blanket into the cupboard)
playing in dirt
eating dirt
opening and closing drawers

These are just a few things that make me love him so much. He starting to talk a little and says "Hi Dad" whenever he sees Evan. He can say "more" in sign language and is starting to blow kisses. I haven't loaded any of the pictures from his birthday on the computer yet, but when I do I will put them on. I love my little Bubba.

Here he is in his monkey costume that I made for Halloween. I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. And he was so cute in it.

This is Iris's costume. She was a giraffe this year. I can't say I made it. We borrowed this one from my sister, Meghan. She loved wearing it around, and was so cute waddling around in it.

Speaking of Halloween, Iris was totally obsessed with anything Halloween this year. Pumpkins, bats, spiders, witches, ghosts, you name it she loved it. We got this bat hand puppet at Ikea.

I had mentioned that I used those cookie cutters a lot. As long as it was in the shape of a spider, bat, pumpkin, etc. Iris would eat it. So those have come in very handy.

I just love when the leaves start to change color. This was on our way to Sacramento. The blue sky makes it even more beautiful.

Also on our way to Sacramento, they were so cute holding hands in the back. I had to snap a picture. Mostly so I can use it in the future to prove that they do like each other and can get along.

This is what happens when you play really hard all morning and eat a good lunch (probably of spiders and bats). You just fall asleep standing up. This shocked me 'cause she is not the kind of kid that just falls asleep anywhere. So cute though.

Some more fun pics from the Harvest Festival. That was so much fun. I'm really glad we went.

Another of Donevan's favorite things is to push things around. This little walker car thing is his first choice. He throws his blanket on top and off he goes.

Just a few random pics of some really cute faces.

Is this a mischievous smile or what? Heart melting.

Well that does it for this installment of photos. Stay tuned for the next episode.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Playing Catch-Up

First things first...Happy Nevada Day (yesterday) to those of you who hail from this wonderful state. I sang a little round of "Home Means Nevada" for all of you. usual overload of photos. I think I might break it up a bit and post some every couple days so as not to overdo it.

The promised picture of the delicious drumstick as I was eating it. I really wish I had one right now. That sounds so good.

These are pictures of my crazy little ragamuffin princess. She got all dolled up in her princess get-up (crooked tiara and all) and then wanted to take her tools and help dad outside. Too cute.

She concentrates like her mom...with her tongue sticking out.

And her big-girl bed. She loves it. This was before the menagerie of stuffed animals and the bed rail were added.

A few of the Halloween cookies we made. Iris LOVED Halloween this year. She is crazy for anything that has anything to do with spiders, bats, pumpkins, ghosts, etc. These cookie cutters have been used for more than just cookies too. I'll post some pictures on that later.

I just love it when they are actually sharing with each other and giving hugs rather than pushing or screaming at each other. But I'm sure all of you don't know anything about pushing and screaming kids and your kids share and give hugs all the time. I'm just glad I captured this moment.

A few of the pears I got canned this year. Aren't they beautiful?

Sometimes she is just too raggedy for words. But I love her.

When Evan told her to smile so he could take a picture of her and mommy this is what she did. What a goof!

We went to Corley Ranch in Gardnerville to the Harvest Festival. It was kinda windy that day but so much fun. I'll be posting more pictures of that later too. But here are a few really cute ones of the kids with the pumpkins.

So that's all I'm gonna do for right now. I have a lot more to post so keep checking to see new ones.