Monday, November 29, 2010

small world

Yesterday I visited South Ogden. My stomping grounds until the sixth grade. As I drove by the old home and through the neighborhood, I was amazed at how small everything seems to be now. The house isn't as big as I remember it. The drive to the church where we use to go wasn't quite as far.  The hill we lived on used to be gigantic. I'm sure it has shrunk through the years. The 5th house down the street where I used to go play with Danny is a lot closer than is used to be. I swear it was further when I was 3. It's funny how things like that change through years. 

I'm realizing I lived in a small, happy world. But to someone who was only 30-48 inches tall, it was huge. 

It was fun to go to church and still recognize some familiar friendly faces. It's good to know some things don't change.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

rise and shout

O Rise, all loyal Cougars and hurl your challenge to the foe.
You will fight, day or night, rain or snow.
Loyal, Strong, and True
Wear the White and Blue.
While we sing, get set to spring.
Come on Cougars, it's up to you!
O Rise and Shout, the Cougars are out
Along the trail to fame and glory.
Rise and shout, our cheers will ring out,
As you unfold your vict'ry story.
On you go to vanquish the foe
For Alma Mater's sons and daughters.
As we join in song, in praise of you, our faith is strong.
We'll raise our colors high in the blue,
And cheer the Cougars of BYU.
It’s been a fun season, full of cheers and a few tears!!
Go Cougars!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

My brothers and sisters, do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive? Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love.
My beloved friend President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “When you walk with gratitude, you do not walk with arrogance and conceit and egotism, you walk with a spirit of thanksgiving that is becoming to you and will bless your lives.”--Thomas S. Monson
" in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which [God] doth bestow upon you.”--Alma 34:38

21 Days of Thanksgiving--Day 21 Happy Thanksgiving

On the 21st day of Thanksgiving I am thankful for God and His loving presence in my life.

21 Days of Thanksgiving--Day 19 and 20

On the 19th and 20th days of Thanksgiving I am thankful for mom and dad. I wouldn't be where I am without them. (literally and in more ways than one.) Because of them the bar came raised. They have taught me to always aim high and perform high. They have supported me through all my goals and challenges and they have provided a place for me to come back to when I need to get away and be boosted up. When I say I want to go to graduate school they say go for it. When I say I want to go to China, they say go for it. When I say I want to dye my hair purple, they say you are free, white, and over 21. (jk, I haven't said that.) I am so thankful for them and all they have taught me. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

21 Days of Thanksgiving--Day 18

On the 18th day of Thanksgiving I am thankful for Home. But this home is warm and has indoor plumbing and lights. And it protects me from the negative degree weather outside. Yes, I am truly grateful for this.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

21 days of Thanksgiving--Day 17

On the 17th day of Thanksgiving I am thankful for home. A place to go to get away from everything else. A place to go to rejuvenate. A place to laugh and play. A place to go to be loved no matter what. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

21 Days of Thanksgiving--Day 16

On the 16th day of Thanksgiving I am thankful for religious freedom. I know I already mentioned freedom, but yesterday I heard a woman talk about a man she knew that had to leave his country and everything because he was being persecuted for his beliefs and religion.This was in recent years, not in the 17th century,1830s or 1940s. I am so thankful that that I have "the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of (my) own conscience..." So wonderful. (I know I am a few days behind. Its not due to a lack of gratitude.)

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.--8th Article of Faith

Saturday, November 20, 2010

21 days of Thanksgiving—Day 15

On the 15th day of Thanksgiving I am thankful for my cousin, roommate, and one of my best friends. And lucky me, I have all three of the those combined into one great woman. Amy.

She is always willing to go out play with me, act silly with me, laugh with me, or stay up late talking with me. No one is funny quite like her. No one is stubborn quite like her. No one is as forgiving of me quite like her.  No one could take her place in my life. I love my Amy. IMG_2122

Thursday, November 18, 2010

21 days of Thanksgiving--Day 14

On the 14th day of Thanksgiving I am thankful for where I live. Wouldn't you be?

I am thankful to have a comfortable, peaceful home with family who care about me. 

favorite face

This is the face I love most that my nephew, Eli, makes. This is the smile he makes when no one is around trying to make him smile. He just smiles. I think he gets that from his dad.

21 days of Thanksgiving--Day 13

On the 13th day of Thanksgiving I am thankful for technology. It is true. As much as I dislike how much time is spent on the computer, on the cell phone, and in front of the TV. I am thankful for lights that turn on, machines that wash clothes and dishes, cars, planes, trains, boats, blenders, stoves, sewing machines, doorbells, movie theaters, medical advances, refridgerators, waffle irons, telephones, email, ipods, crockpots, driers, vacuums, cameras, christmas lights...(the list goes on and on).....and access to information and people. It is a great era to be alive.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

21 days of Thanksgiving--Day 12

On the 11th day of Thanksgiving I am thankful for... Knowledge. Knowledge that comes through reading, through experience, through observation, through study, through others, and through inspiration. I am thankful for the light that it gives us and helps us to live better lives. I thankful for the power it gives us to change our world and assist others. I am thankful for the perspective I have because of what I know. Secular and spiritual. I am thankful I have the ability and opportunity to attain more knowledge everyday. 

“There is one thing one has to have: either a soul that is cheerful by nature, or a soul made cheerful by work, love, art, and knowledge.”-- Friedrich Nietzsche

tomato-basil parmesan soup

I tried this and it was reeeeal good. Especially on a gray chilly day. 

Makes about 2 quarts

2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano
1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups chicken broth
½ bay leaf
½ cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup butter
2 cups half and half, warmed (Can be replaced with skim milk or evaporated milk.)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil (if using fresh oregano and basil, if using dried oregano and basil add it in the last hour of cooktime), and bay leaf to a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft. About an hour before serving prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for another hour until ready to serve.

This yummy find and the mastermind behind it were highlighted in the BYU Alumni magazine. Karen used her slower cooker everyday for a year to concoct different meals for her family. She blogged about it here. Check it out. You'll find a few things worth trying out. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

21 days of Thanksgiving--Day 11

On the eleventh day of Thanksgiving I am thankful for... friends. Yes, those amazing people in my life who are there no matter what. The ones who love despite all short-comings. The ones who look out for me, because lets be honest I really need it. The angels who lift me up. Those great individuals I want to be just like because I don't know where I would be without them. The ones who make life easier and happier. What would be world be like without them? Bleak and lonely. Thank you. 

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one."  — C.S. Lewis

Sunday, November 14, 2010

birthdays and other business

Here are a few things that have made me smile recently.


Singing “the wise man built his house upon the rock” with actions. 100_0335a100_0334a




  Fourteen Year Old Brothers100_0354 100_0355 More Birthdays100_0401

Two Year Olds100_0387 Benjamin’s Birthday Tent and flashing sword from the zoo.100_0404 How many people can we fit in Benjamin birthday tent?!100_0407a

Grandpa and Gracie, not sleepy.P1000352

Building marble towers!P1000351

P1000354  Birthday CakeP1000359

Did I mention 2 year olds! =) I love them. Yes he did this on his own. He’s that smart.P1000362

Benjamin playing in his birthday tent.P1000369Playing with Benjamin in his birthday tent. P1000374

Yes. There are so many reasons to smile and so many things to smile about. Life is Happy!

21 days of Thanksgiving--Day 10

On the 10th day of Thanksgiving I am thankful for Sundays. Hooray for Sundays. A day to escape the rest of the week. Enough said. 

21 days of Thanksgiving--Day 9

On the 9th day of Thanksgiving I am thankful for sunshine. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

the short end of the stick

Some Most days I really wish my hair would just dry straight by itself without any assistance from me. But no, it prefers to curl, wave, and no particular order; so either way I decide to go, curly or straight, I can't get away without assisting it in some way. Hair!! Such a daily nuance and reminder to me that life isn't fair. I was definitely blessed with the short end of the stick. All well, you just have to learn to work with what God gave you. Someday I am going to have a chat with Him about that. =)

Friday, November 12, 2010

21 days of Thanksgiving--Day 8

On the 8th day of Thanksgiving the blessing(s) I am thankful for is(are) Friday mornings. Every Thursday night I change my alarm clock and pray that it will go off the next morning, even though it means leaving the house at an obscene hour when all the stars are still shining bright as I walk out the front door...All because I would hate to miss my favorite morning of the week. Friday mornings I work at the temple. I love it. You would be surprised at the energy that is there so early in the morning. It is fantastic. 

One of my favorite "posts" of my shift is when I get to sit by the front door and greet people as they come in or leave. So much fun to talk with the people coming to the temple, chat with the temple presidency as they go by, smile at people as they come in, watch the herds of missionaries, watch the line into the temple go out the doors and down the sidewalk. Such a great place to be. Yup, I am blessed.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


This semester I hardly get to see my MPA friends because most of the classes I am taking are MBA classes. But I have really enjoyed associating with MBA students. They are great people and they have been fabulous to work with. There is a fun culture in the MBA program that is perpetuated by their fun sense of humor and positive, friendly attitude. At the end of every class the MBA students give their teachers a round of applause. If a lecture is especially good they give a standing ovation. I like it. On several occasions I have passed or sat down next to someone I haven't met and they already knew my name. Today a group of them (guys) made me blush. First time in a long time. It's good to know that there are some great people going out into the business world.

21 days of Thanksgiving--Day 7

On the 7th day of Thanksgiving the blessing I am thankful for is...Freedom. I am thankful for the founding fathers and the vision and inspiration they had to establish this country they way they did. I am thankful to those that have served and continue to serve to protect us and our freedom. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

21 days of Thanksgiving--Day 6

On the 6th day of Thanksgiving the blessing I am thankful for The end.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

in the spirit of Thanksgiving

21 days of Thanksgiving--Day 5

On the 5th day of Thanksgiving the blessing I am thankful for is music. It cheers me when I am down. It calms my anxious moments. It gets me up and moving. It makes me think and contemplate. I love lyrics that inspire and praise. I love the moments when my family gathers around the piano to sing together. I love rocking out to the tunes in the car.I love dancing to it. 

If thou art merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing, and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving. --D&C 136:28   

Monday, November 8, 2010

21 days of thanksgiving--Day 4

On the fourth day of the Thanksgiving the blessing I am thankful for...Brothers. They are great to have around to push and push back. They are really great at reaching things on the top shelf and opening the jars after I've already loosened them. I am blessed X3 because I have 3, including my brother-in-law.

It was nice growing up with someone like you - someone to lean on, someone to count on... 
someone to tell on!
-- Author Unknown

Sunday, November 7, 2010

21 days of Thanksgiving--Day 3

On the 3rd day of the Thanksgiving the blessing(s) I am thankful for are sisters. They are good at listening and making me laugh at myself. The extra wardrobes are handy when I have nothing to wear. I am extra blessed because I have 5 sisters, including my sister-in-law!

How do people make it through life without a sister?
-- Sara Corpening

Friday, November 5, 2010

21 days of Thanksgiving--Day 2

On the second day of Thanksgiving I am thankful for...A+++ health. For sure, definitely not something that I take for granted. I am so thankful for good health and that I have never had any major illness. I've never had surgery. I've never seen the inside of a hospital, except to visit others. The last doctor who maybe knew my name was my pediatrician. I've never taken medication for over 10 days. I've never had allergies. I can eat anything. No broken bones. No bee stings. Stitches once. I maybe get a cold once a year. There is nothing that keeps me from running and being active.(except for a lack of time.) I probably have one of the shortest and most boring medical records on the planet. (knock on wood) Sure, I have a few scars, but those are just proof that I've lived. I am super blessed. 

PS. What are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

21 days of thanksgiving

On the first day of Thanksgiving I am thankful Yes, I am. I love learning. I love the association with all my professors and classmates. I love the challenge. I love the university atmosphere. I am thankful I have the opportunity to further my formal education. I know learning is a life-long quest and I plan to keep it up after April, but I am really thankful I am here, in school, at this school, at this time. Seriously, huge blessing for me now and in the future!!
PS. Happy Birthday Benjamin!

Little Mr. turns 2 today!!!