23 February 2009

Homemade Oreos

Becca made cookies...........she is a great cook! Last week was Achievement Days (lds term for activities that help girls become better people, family members, teach life skills, etc. in a fun way! Think Scouts, the mormon way for girls.) They made Homemade Oreos. Can you say "YUM!!" any faster? The first batch almost didn't make it to the next morning so she could take some to her teacher. Sunday she made another batch with the help of her cousin, Logan. We have a new staple in our house, these will be made often!
Homemade Oreos 1 pkg. Devil's Food Cake Mix 2 eggs 2/3 cup shortening Mix together. Roll into 1-inch balls. Bake at 375 on an ungreased cookie sheet 7-8 minutes. Leave on sheet for 2 minutes and them cool on rack. Put 2 cookies together with Cream Cheese frosting. Frosting: 8 oz. cream cheese 1/2 cup butter 1 tsp. vanilla 4 1/4 - 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1. One of the batches we used one devil's cake mix and one white. Still yum!
2. I have 4 cookie sheets, so the baking can fly sooo much faster.
3. Make sure you set some aside for your husband because they will all be gone before he gets home.
Enjoy! Love, Jenn =)

20 February 2009

Fat Cyclist

My Dad & I watch the Tour de France every July. Sometimes he comes out to Spokane from St. Louis and we watch in my hot, non-AC house. It records early in the morning (3-5 am) and then after a relaxing morning watching the birds in the backyard, reading the paper, etc. we sit down with our spread sheets, computers, drinks and the remote! It's fun and enjoyable. To prepare for July, California has a race - the Tour of California. They have been racing all week. Dad sent me a funny blog entry a guy posted regarding one the prominent commentators, Bob Roll, getting his head shaved. A deal he made with his fans to raise $$$ for Lance Armstrong's cancer foundation. Very funny and I have added the link on the left, so I can check it every day. One of my hobbies, WATCHING cycling - not participating. . . . yet. I like to think about it. Love, Jenn =)

19 February 2009

Picture Tag

TAG, I'm it! My friend, Lene, over at Embrace_the_chaos did this cute entry. So, I grabbed my camera and took these pictures in 2 minutes! Be quick! Take 5 random pictures around your house, no cleaning!
Here are a few of their suggested ideas:
  • Room that stays the cleanest
  • Work in progress
  • What someone else is doing right now
  • Favorite decor or display
  • Something that represents your current life
  • Favorite relaxing spot
  • Something hand-me-down

My random pictures:

Room that stays the cleanest. . . . . Living Room My current life . . . . . This is the view, 5 hours a week, teaching piano, notice the stickers, flashcards, timer, metronome, and definitely the Kleenex this time of year.

One of my Favorite Decor. . . . . .My Salt and Pepper Collection - Disney, bears, elephants (they have magnets on the end of their trunks), Hawaii, garage sales, some from around the world (France, Amsterdam, England) that were given as gifts, I have never left the country.

Part of my current life/relaxing spot. . . . . Part of the kitchen counter, remnants of breakfast, cookbook open, and of course the warped counter from the heat of the crock pot.

Something someone else is doing . . . . . . Chloe about to get in trouble for being on the counter, Mental Note: wash new marble rolling pin before use.

TAG, YOU'RE IT!!!!! Love, Jenn =)

ps - Be sure to link back and tell me you've made a post. would love to see what everyone is doing!

17 February 2009

Favorite Quilt Book

I spent the yesterday (um, 1.5 hours?) at the church attending our Enrichment Quilt Group. We were working on a wall-hanging project with a changeable panel for each month. Ambitious, I know, but it's always nice to have goals and feel like you're accomplishing something. Pushes me a little.
So, amidst the actual sewing, you have to chat, chat, chat...... Some quilt days, I can get a TON done, and other days, I chat WAY to much and get nothing done. It was a definitely chat day. I like visiting with the sisters and hanging out while I pin, trace, cut, etc. I did get a little done, and I finished the step tonight while watching TV. One conversation included my quilt book.....
I really like this book because it has great pictures! (we all like books with pictures!) It is a great reference with step-by-step instruction, tips for everything, spiral-bound to lay flat, lots of other great things. The main reason I bought the book was the last step! The last step in quilting is the binding, the last little edge piece that frames the quilt. Joining the ends (quilt-lingo, work with me), is always confusing for me, and I always end up at my teacher's house asking, "What.....?". She has even photocopied directions and pictures for me each time.....that I lose. As I was wandering through the craft section B&N a while back I came across this great book. On pages 221-223 are great pictures, step-by-step, on how to join the ends! WooHoo!!!Worth every penny, just for those 3 pages. =)
Some of the gals wanted to see my book, so I told them I would post it. Here are the particulars: "Quilting The Complete Guide", by Darlene Zimmerman, published by krause publications. http://www.krausebooks.com/ Amazon or eBay would be great sources, plus I'm sure we could find a discount somewhere with the economy. Happy quilting! Love, Jenn =)

15 February 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

from the Morgan's
Becca was in what I call, "Project-mode". She gets an idea into her head and then bugs you until you comply, ropes you into the project, then have a total great time!
Happy you! Happy thoughts! Happy Days! May the sun shine on you today Mike bought the girls their own roses They were almost as tall as Becca!
I got the best card and my own frosted roses. That's what I call them, roses whose petals edges are a different color. Hope everyone had a great day and received a lot of extra love! And according to Mallory, why have an official day when it should be every day? I agree, remember to love always. Love, Jenn =)

12 February 2009

Mormon Commercial

I stumbled across this (you know, you wander through blogs and sites until you have no idea how you got there - and if you will ever find it again!). I thought about how many times my families imagination has gotten carried away at the dinner table. We have never gotten this extreme, but I love hearing my family laugh together. It makes me smile and I think all is right in the world today. But.......I am the one who does say, "What are you guys doing?" Love, Jenn =)

09 February 2009

Ranch Dressing

3/4 cup Mayonaise
1/4 cup Sour Cream
2 Tb. dried parsley
1 tsp. minced onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 Tb. parmesan cheese
1/2-3/4 cup buttermilk
Mix all ingredients except buttermilk in a small bowl. Slowly blend in buttermilk. Chill at least 2 hours.
1. Don't use Miracle Whip, too sour and won't taste right.
2. I use this big jar of minced garlic from Costco, 1 large tsp is perfect for me!
3. Find better light in the house for pictures!
4. Enjoy! Love, Jenn =)

Long Week......Long Post =)

Well, we have had a whirl-wind week! I was so tired, when I was finally done on Saturday I made chocolate-chip cookies and bread! Then I have had trouble uploading pictures from my camera, so......Mike has been helping me figure it out and getting ready for the coming week at the same time.
The boys have been fairly quiet this week. Jacob has been working on making his lists for his mission, running errands and such. We see him on and off, but he is pretty much taking charge (in his way). We are trying to figure out how to get everyone to SLC. Richy is being Richy, working on homework and being funny. I have to stop and consciously think, "he's teasing". He can be really funny, but sometimes it catches me off guard and I have to give him "the-LOOK", if you know what I mean. I asked him to help me with the cookies on Sat so we could spend time together, he decided it was ok to hang out with his mom!
The girls had the busiest week in a long time, and it hit them both at the same time. Mallory had an FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) competition on Wed, then was totally shocked when she won first place in a category about decision making. Wow, she was so excited! Got a plaque and everything...
She gets to go to the State competition next. Now, if we can get those awesome decision making skills applied to college, hehe. She ended up having what we are starting to call a "crash-day", happens about once every 3-4 weeks, when her body/heart/energy, etc. finally tell her brain "ENOUGH, I'M DONE" and shuts down until she gets plenty of sleep. Saturday, was the Solo and Ensemble Competition. She had 4 entries: Vocal Duet, Horn Trio, Percussion Ensemble (marimba), and a Brass Quintet. She worked very hard preparing for all of these, extra practicing after school, at our house, coordinating multiple schedules, etc. So, the results there, the Brass Quintet got a Superior rating (1) and is going on to State (after one kid forgot his music and a fiasco there). The Horn Trio also received a Superior rating (1), but are the 1st Alternate for State. The Percussion Ensemble was frustrating, you would think 16 percussionist could count? Not always, they received a 2. And her vocal duet ended up being disqualified because of song choice. She sang "For Good" from WICKED with a friend, had it approved by her band teacher, but we are not sure of the exact rules. Mr. Parker is felt really, really bad and is looking into scores, comments, etc to see what might have been. We told her to be proud of what she accomplished and that she benefited from all her preparations.
Becca had piano 4 nights this week. She usually has 1 lesson on Fridays. Her teacher is fabulous and amazing! This is the 3rd year she has had a benefit, "Around the World in 88 Keys", to raise $$$ for the Spokane Community Partners. Becca was singing in a choir with younger students. 1 night group lesson, 1 night rehearsal on stage, 1 night sound check, and one night performance. It was totally amazing the other local professionals that were there. Piano, vocal, ballet, Professors, Celtic, Thai, but after an hour and a half and just getting to Intermission? we left. Becca was so tired and she had already done her part. Good little trooper.
I have been busy with my new calling. With a huge boundary change up, there are a lot of people who don't know each other, callings have been left empty because they moved to another ward, and if you came into a new ward you don't have a calling. So, matching up callings, and organizing from scratch a Visiting Teaching/Home Teaching Route is a HUGE undertaking. I have been talking with a lot of sisters this week! I feel like I am on the phone a lot more now, too. I have missed getting on line, just too tired, checking out the mail, facebook, writing the blogs, music stuff, my favorite sites. I did find time to make a new recipe, homemade Ranch Dressing. It was yummy! Recipe in the previous post, I posted that first so it would come after. Sly aren't I?
The animals are getting along better. Zeke is still full of energy. The 3 black cats are starting to get along. Cocoa will tolerate Chloe because she is so mellow, but poor DM, Cocoa has no patience with her yet. We did catch a moment when they were all eating out of the same bowl.
Now, that is progress! Cocoa is also willing to come out into the main rooms during the day and eat, knowing that Zeke is far enough away. He tends to surprise her once in a while, but we give Cocoa the right-of-way. She is after all over 60 in cat years!
Hope fully in a few weeks, I will be able to get back in the swing of things. in the meantime, there will be random posts and news. GOT to get organized! Love, Jenn =)

02 February 2009

New Format

You can tell, I changed my format from 2 columns to 3. I think I like it, I want to like it, but needs some tweeking! (Reminds me of You've Got Mail! one of my fav movies) It wasn't hard to do, but took me most of the weekend, in between my families schedule. Let me know what you think. I'm on the fence post. Too cluttered? Or have a plain colored background? Thanks, Love, Jenn =)