Saturday, October 31, 2009

Oh, My (Chocolatey) Goodness!

Okay, so here's my tried and true Halloween rule:  Buy candy to give out that I do not like. 

That's it!  Easy peasy, right?  But this year my sweet husband bought two, yes two, large bags at Costco of candy that  I like.  I usually get stuff like gum or suckers, which don't really matter, at least to me.  But Stan, whom I love so much, bought chocolate.  My friends know that chocolate is one of my downfalls.  He got Hershey bars, Milky Ways, Snickers, Reese's PB Cups, and plain and peanut M&Ms. 

That would have been fine, I suppose, had we the number of kids come trick-or-treating that warranted two Costco bags of such candy, but we did not. 

Now, the sensible thing to do would be to have Stan and AJ take it to work with them and let their co-workers have at it.  But the thought makes me feel, I don't know, traiterous!  Like I would be betraying the lovely chocolate by giving it to those who don't have it's best interests at heart like I do.

I think I need therapy.

Friday, October 30, 2009


It's simple: When you haven't forgiven those who've hurt you, you turn your back against your future. When you do forgive, you start walking forward.

Tyler Perry, who forgave his abusive father,
and works the theme of forgiveness
into every play and movie he writes.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Nephew Got Married!

My nephew Eric, who is my sister Cheryl's youngest son, got married in September.  Sadly, we weren't able to be there.  My Dad finally sent me some photos of the big day, and it looks like it was a lot of fun!

Here are the happy couple.  Cheryl's husband Don built the arch they're standing under.  (The man on the right is the Bishop who married them.)

This is my sister Cheryl.  I think she looks so pretty in her lovely blue dress and pearls.  She looks very "Mother of the Groom" to me too.  And now, it's one down, one to go!  My nephew Neal gets married next summer. 

I like this picture. My nephew Eric looks so happy! His cute wife Amber looks like she's happy too. After all the work and preparation, this was a good day for everyone, I'm sure!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I got this recipe one year early in my marriage.  We had it for dinner at a Homemaking Night one Halloween, and it was so good I made it for our "holiday" dinner and it's been a tradition ever since.  Just the smell of it bubbling in the cauldron lets me know that the spooks and goblins are on their way!


1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 can chili beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can corn, drained
1 can beef broth (or use water and boullion cubes if you have on hand)
2 cups water
1 envelope taco seasoning

Garnishments: corn chips, shredded cheese, sour cream

Brown ground beef and onion until fully cooked.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, then turn down immediately and let simmer for about 45 minutes.

To serve, put handful of corn chips in bottom of bowl.  Ladle soup into bowl on top of chips.  Top with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.  Put extra corn chips on table to accompany.

The great thing about this recipe is it's easy to double, or triple, as needs be.  It's yummy!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I have a question .... what do you do when you make a biggo mistake in front of your kids? 

We splurged today and took the boys out for Chinese food for lunch.  Kevin got a fortune cookie that said that if he wanted to feel good he should make a donation to the chef.  When he read it to me I scoffed and said, "Selfish bastard!"  without even thinking. 

Oh my gosh, Kevin thought that was so funny and kept repeating it.  I tried to tell him it wasn't very nice and I was sorry I said it, but like the saying goes, you can't unring a bell.

How do you handle a flub like that?

Friday, October 23, 2009


Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.
Thomas S. Monson

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Color Me .... What??

So, what is that old saying???  Blondes have more fun.  I was a blonde from the day I was born, then for some reason my body decided to age on me.  Dang!  After that extremely fun experience called menopause, my hair darkened considerably, and my son informed me that I could no longer call myself a blonde.


So this past weekend I took the plunge.  I dyed my hair.  I went out and purchased some hair coloring that I thought looked close to what I had been when I was married twenty-one years ago, got up Saturday morning and did the deed.  Half an hour later I looked at myself in the mirror and .... YIKES!  Who was that?

Time and hormones (or perhaps the lack of such) caused the blonde hair coloring to turn my hair somewhat reddish.  Sort of a Strawberry Blonde.  Not at ALL what I was expecting.

I've been living with it for five days now and it still startles me to look in the mirror.  So I've decided I'm going to live with this for about six weeks and then ..... I think I'll pick a different color and give it a shot again.  After all, it's not rocket science.  I can play with it and see what happens next.  Which color should I try next .....  maybe Raspberry blonde????

Monday, October 19, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: The Book Thief

THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak was recommended by several friends, and finally loaned to me by one of them. And how glad I am! This amazing book, written ostensibly for young adults, will captivate adult readers as well.

Narrated by Death and set in World War II Nazi Germany it is the story of Liesel Meminger who is brought at age nine to live with a foster family in a poor suburb of Munich. Her tough mother, who curses a blue streak, is off-set by her peaceful loving father who teaches Liesel how to read and arouses in her a love of the written word. A love, by the way, Death himself shares.

Liesel becomes the book thief when she takes a book that is abandoned on her brother’s fresh grave as she makes her way to her new home. It is this book that inspires her foster father to teach her to read, and from there she “steals” other books, one of which is rescued from a book burning to celebrate Hitler’s birthday.

The family hides a Jewish man in their basement, and Death often looks at their hardships and how it shapes them. He muses on the effects of words in our lives; how words have promoted good and evil, love and hate. And how, he questions, have words put Hitler where he is. In effect, this is a story that has shaped all of us in one way or another.

Written with a beautiful, lyrical voice, THE BOOK THIEF covers the years from the late 1930s into the 1940s. Liesel has a motley group of friends who are part of a captivating story that will live on in your memory for a long time. I would highly recommend this book, and look forward to trying out some of Zusak’s other novels.

Friday, October 16, 2009


The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.
Helen Keller

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One of Those Days

Have you ever had one of those days when you think your life couldn't possibly get any better? I'm having one of those days. My family makes my heart sing! I have the best sons and husband I could imagine.

On top of that, I have been blessed, and I do mean blessed with the finest friends a woman could have. What more could I ask for? I still have a dark chocolate Dove bar my husband gave me for my birthday, a cold Caffeine Free Diet Coke, and a good book Tara, Rachel and Sommar have all recommended and I'm LOVING it! (A book review will probably show up later!)

So there you go ... I'm counting my blessings and find I don't have enough numbers to get up that high!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Guard well within yourself that treasure—kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
George Sand

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Love a Man in Uniform!

I finally got photos of Kevin in his band uniform, and boy does he look handsome! He plays alto sax in the Sand Creek High School Scorpion Marching Band, and I love the way those uniforms look! Just had to show off .....

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Baby is 20

My baby boy turned 20 today. I am filled with a plethora of emotions. On one hand I am so proud of him! He is such an amazing young man.

On the other, I am filled with a sense of melancholy because the days of my having a little boy trotting after me and letting me play with him and cuddle him in my lap are over.

But I am SO glad I had them!

There was a time in my life when I was certain that motherhood would not be mine. It was while I was struggling with the idea of this that I met and fell in love with my husband. I was 32 when we married, and we started our family the next year. AJ came early, and he was only given 48 hours to live. But we were blessed, and here were are today.

He has brought so much joy to my life, added such richness. It was because he was such a fun and happy baby that Stan and I had Kevin so soon after. He is an excellent son, big brother, and person. He is and will continue to be a gift to everyone around him. I am lucky to have been given this blessing of being his mother.

I've always said that I believe that the Lord must truly love me to have given me AJ to care for and raise. That doesn't seem truer to me than today as we celebrate his birthday.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt
U.S. President

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pecan Praline Bars

This is a great fall recipe. And yummy too!

Pecan Praline Bars

1 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup toffee pieces
¾ cup pecans (chopped)
1 pkg milk chocolate chips (12 oz)

Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Butter a 9” x 13” pan.

Cream abutter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients well. Add ¾ cup toffee pieces and ½ cup pecans. Mix well and press into pan. Bake 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over. Allow to melt, and spread to smooth. Sprinkle with remaining toffee and nuts.