Saturday, May 28, 2011

Heading Home

In just a couple of weeks I will be here. Astoria, Oregon will always be home to me and I can't wait to get back and visit.

Emma is leaving for Girl's Camp, Josh and Greg are heading out to southern Utah for the Priest Camp, so I am hitting the road and grabbing my mom and heading west to the coast. We had originally planned this little trip last fall, but when my dad fell, we had to cancel. Hopefully this year we will actually make it. We will be staying right by the bridge on the riverfront. Ahh...I can't wait to hear the fog horns right outside my hotel window from the ships as they pass by.

(In the photo above, you can see Washington state on the top right corner, the famous jetty about half way up the left hand side and the Columbia River as it enters the mouth of the Pacific Ocean on the horizon)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Am Free

About a month ago Jenni and Cordell introduced us to a show called "Prison Break". Christopher and Sam had shown it to them. It is not on TV anymore, but all four seasons are available on DVD. After a few shows, I was hooked. Okay...obsessed. Not something that I am terribly proud of, but man, it was intense. I can't tell you how many nights I went to bed and found myself running in my dreams from imaginary people who supposedly worked for the government. I recall one dream in particular where I was frantically trying to get into my childhood friend's mother's home looking for a piece of paper in her basement. I know, wierd. I just wanted the madness to stop! Hahahahaha.
I am now happy to report that I finally finished the last episode today and I feel complete. I feel like I can rest and not worry if Michael, Lincoln, Sarah, Mahone, Sucre or any of the other crazy characters will be free and have everyone believe them. The world is right again :) It feels good to be back in charge of my life once more. Perhaps I will even have a great night's sleep tonight knowing that everyone receied their just reward.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wingers Amazing Sauce Recipe

Tara showed me this amazing blog that has even more amazing recipes. It is

I found this recipe for Winger's Amazing Sauce. I made it tonight for dinner and let me tell you that we could not taste the difference from the sauce at the restaurant. It was...wait....AMAZING. It was also very simple and easy to make. When Greg has taken me out to dinner at Winger's I have often said that if it was acceptable that I would love to pick up the plate and lick it. That's right...lick it. I love that sauce. is the recipe. Enjoy!!!

Wingers Amazing Sauce

1/3 C Franks Hot Sauce (original) - Do not substitute any other hot sauce! It has to be Frank's
1 1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/4 C water

Bring to a boil and cook until sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly and serve over breaded chicken breast, wings or any other meat that you desire. I eat mine with ranch dressing on the side to cool the heat from the sauce.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Season Complete

Last week Emma's soccer team finished out their season. They did so well that they qualified for the year end "tournament" when they beat the number one ranked team twice in a row :) It was sweet. What made it even sweeter is that this team had a LOT of obnoxious coaches who were not very nice to their girls. Screaming at them constantly and not saying very kind things. It actually broke my heart a bit for the gals out there on the opposing team. What kind of parent puts up with that from their child's coach? Crazy...

Anyway...Emma's team made it to the Semi-Finals and played against a team that had only had one goal scored on them all year. Yikes. The game ended in over time with a tie score of 2-2. Overtime then ended in another tie 3-3. It then went to point kicks. We eventually lost by one goal, but hey! Our little gals scored 3 goals against a team that had only allowed one all season. Not too shabby. We were very proud of each of them.

Side Note: Emma had the flu for the last game but insisted on playing. I kind of wonder if she had been 100% if they could have taken them :) And...she felt fine later that evening. So no, I am not a horrible mother for allowing her to play. I think...

The picture above was taken by Sam at a game earlier in the season. I love how there are four defenders chasing her...that's about right...Go Emma!!! (And she did score on this drive)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Let the Graduating Season Begin!

Josh graduated last Sunday from Seminary! Way to go Joshers!!!
In this picture he is with two of his fellow ward members, Jamie and McKay. Just think, in a couple of more weeks we will be at the Marriott Center watching him walk in his cap and gown to retreive his diploma. Doesn't seem possible...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Josh Is A Senior

I can't believe that I will have another high school graduate in just a few short weeks. Four down, one to go. I am going to take a minute to brag about my boy. He is graduating with honors and with an academic letter in English. Cool.

Sam took these pictures of Josh with her nifty camera that she got for Christmas and I think that she did a pretty darn good job. A few pictures below you will notice Christopher popping out of the background. That kid will never change. I got a good laugh out of that one and had to post it. It is so Christopher.

Josh has a late birthday, so he will work for a year and go to school at LDS Business College and then head out on his mission. At least that is what he tells me the plan is. He is such a good kid and I have never really had to worry about him. He has never even had a curfew. The first of all my children to not have ever had one during their high school years. I have always told him that until he screws up, he is fine. I guess that worked.

Congratulations Josh and we are all very proud of you and love you very much!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tara & Tulips

Yesterday was Tara's 20th birthday and I have searched the past couple of days for a picture of her on the SLC temple grounds when she was around 2 years old. I can't find it. I am bummed. I hope that I just put it somewhere for safe keeping. Anyway...I wanted to post a picture with this story in honor of her birthday. Oh well, it is still a good story.

When Tara was two years old we lived next to the nicest lady, Sister Lee. Her hubby was the bishop in our ward and they were just a neat older couple. When Tara was small, she LOVED anything girly or pretty. You know, like flowers. Tulips. Bright red tulips. Sister Lee had the most beautiful flower beds in her front yard stuffed with the most amazing tulips.

One morning the kids went out the to yard to play. I was watching them through the window as I completed my morning chores. I could not always see what they were up to, but I thought I had them all accounted for. After a few minutes, Tara came in the front door with a large (giant) bouquet of beautiful tulips. Yep, she had picked Sister Lee's tulips...every. single. one. Yikes! My heart hit the floor when I saw that bright red bouquet for I instantly knew where my sweet little girl had been. I explained to her that while Sister Lee's flowers were indeed beautiful, we were not supposed to pick them because they were not ours. I then took Tara by the hand and we slowly marched up to Sister Lee's front door to confess her transgression.

Sweet Sister Lee. I will never forget the look on her face when she discovered that the tulips Tara was holding were indeed from her garden. I can only imagine the pain and distraught feelings that filled her heart, but she put on a brave face and told Tara is was okay and that she was proud of her for telling the truth. She never once scolded her or even acted disappointed in the least. She was amazing.

We now laugh about this experience. Yet Sister Lee taught me (and hopefully Tara) a great lesson that day. She showed us what was really important. Thanks Sister Lee. And Happy Birthday Tara :) Next time you come to visit, don't pick my tulips!

More Funny Stuff

Yesterday we were driving back home from a family gathering. We were just entering AF when the following conversation occured:

Josh: What are they building next to Chick-Fil-A?
Greg: A strip mall.
Emma: A strip mall???!!! You mean they take their clothes off in there?????
Greg: No, they shop in there. It is just called a strip mall because of the way it is built. No stripping.
Emma: Thank goodness, that could have been awkward.

Silly girl :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Gift

Today Greg gave me the best Mother's Day gift ever. He had to work this morning and when he got home he told me that he was starving. I asked him why and he then proceeded to tell me that he had purchased a lunch at his work (they have a full-time chef staffed and amazing food for cheap available to all the employees) and had every intention of eating it. He went outside and was heading for his car (he likes to get away from the building and think during lunch time) when he noticed a homeless man carrying a duffle bag along the road. He told me that he walked over to him and asked if he was hungry and the gentlemen said "Yes". Greg then gave him his lunch, knowing that he would not eat until he came home. What a great guy.

And if that was not enough, there is more. This afternoon I had to run some errands and Greg came with me. We were bagging our groceries in WinnCo when we noticed a lady in the line beside us that was disabled and obviously struggling trying to bag her food. Greg offered to help her and then proceeded to go to her car and load her bags for her. The lady was so sweet and kept saying over and over again, "Thank-You".

Melt my heart. This is the stuff that life is made of...helping others. No wonder President Monson has asked each of us to do some small act of service in celebration of his birthday each year. Flowers die, candy gets eaten but these small acts live in the hearts of those they touch. The best part is that it does not cost a penny...just time and a willing heart. Thanks Greg for making this Mother's Day a memorable one.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Happy Mother's Day To Me

Tara and Austin surprised me today with this little number. Sweettttttt. They bought it for me for Mother's Day and gave it to me early. I have been wanting one of these for a very long time. I am so excited to start chopping, mixing and grating. I have been dying to try a recipe I saw for chicken lettuce wraps that call for ground chicken that you grind in a food processor. Now I can do it!

Thanks Tara and Austin! You made my dream come true :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Thursday Emma's school held their annual Walk-A-Thon. This is about the only fund raiser at the school that I really get behind. I like that they are out exercising and having fun...not peddling cookie dough or wrapping paper.

They hold it at the park across from our home, so I ran over and took some random pictures of the kids while they were walking. This is picture of Emma and many of her friends. They are really a good, fun group.

Sixth Grade Tradition

Last week wrapped up Emma's sixth grade class Renaissance Fair at her school. Every sixth grader participates. They have to make a booth for the fair, obtain 100 items totally no more than $10.00 to sell to the other students/teachers/families at the school and dress in something close to the era. This was a follow up to the banner that we posted earlier.

Emma asked me to come help her group paint her booth one day at school. Can I just tell you how much fun we had? Ashlee's mom came too and she was the engineer behind the building part and I helped guide the gals in painting. I think they did a pretty good job. Jenni even came up and helped out. They were assigned the Apothecary (medicine) booth. They sold candy thermometers, skittles pills, crayon hearts and many more cute, creative items. It was really a fun morning and the last time I will have this opportunity...EVER.

Kittens Anyone???

This is Charlie. He used to be Daisy, but then we discovered that SHE was a HE. In the event that we perhaps made a mistake again, we decided to start calling him Charlie. Charlie can be either a boy OR a girls name...pretty sneaky, huh?

Jack must have been running around when I snapped this photo. Those two kitties are running all over the house and getting very frisky. They are fun and it will be sad to tell them goodbye here shortly. Jack already has a home and we are about to let him go off on his new adventure. However, we still have one more darling feline. So...if you know anyone looking for an adorable, frisky, lively kitten, send them our way.