Friday, November 26, 2010

Fun for the Day, and Temple Lights At Night

When we go visit the grandbabies, Allison is so wonderful about planning things that are fun to do. We have seen some of the best parks. We have been to their favorite library. It's fun for us to see what they do for fun, and we get to have a great time too. So, when we had our next day with them, we wanted to have time at home to play, and also do something fun.

Some fun things we did here at Papa and Grammy's house:

Grace and Grammy had a puppet show. The best part, singing the song "I Know That My Savior Loves Me" with her!!! (The following Sunday at church, I got to lead the opening/closing music. Heidi had selected that song for the opening, and the closing. I didn't get through it once without crying...such a great song, and to sing it with my granddaughter...heaven!) She and I had a fun time, even though we only had a few puppets, and a zebra came and attacked us! Next yard sale quest: puppets, and then to sew something to make a theater.

 Adam and his Zebra attack by ground.

 Then came the Air Attack by baby Joshy, assisted by Uncle Doran.

Joshy riding on his new birthday toy. pics, but I made ham and sweet potatoes, just like Grampa Ethan (Allison's favorite) used to make on new years.

I had originally planned on going to Glendale Glitters, a fun celebration in downtown Glendale during which they light the main street area. I had never been, so it sounded fun. We could get a shuttle and go a few miles down. Then, we had a cold spell. (Now, I know it's not cold like Denver or anything, but it was chilly for here!) I was worried babies would get cold and we would have to wait for a shuttle. So, we decided to go out to Mesa and visit the temple. They decorate the whole outside area with lights and they were going to light it that night. We piled into our van, drove and picked up Dorrie, Cam and Liz, and trekked out to there. We arrived just in the nick of time, and were there for the initial lighting. They were beautiful, and we got to take our time and look at everything.
All of us in the van

 Grace and Aunt Danyel made homemade chocolate chip cookies for a treat for all of us. They were so yummy!
 The whole group.

Doesn't Nathan take a "lovely" picture! Thank goodness Jessica is so lovely and is the focal point.

Highlights for adults: lights, temple, visitor's center, hot cocoa
Highlights for kids: lights, trailer potty's, hot cocoa

Son Doran is a photographer, and I gave him the camera, since it was HIS lens that could capture great pics in the dark. He did a great job, though I had to explain that I don't take any scenery pics ever! People have to be in pics in my book! He is an artist, and a lover of lights...I'm just a pic taker!

It was great to all be together and kick off our holiday season.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Thanksgiving was a wonderful event...full of great family and friends, wonderful food, fun, and just being together. This year, we celebrated at Ethan and Cameo's house...doesn't that sound just so good!!! They purchased their own house...and it's the home Cameo was raised in: already full of wonderful memories, and more memories to be made.

We brought...a roast turkey...

 New recipe: I mixed chopped fresh rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper, rubbed it inside the turkey, as well as under the skin. I roasted it, without a bag - a first, and basted it every hour. I thought it tasted great...and Ethan smoked a turkey, which was awesome.

Cranberry Salad
Dee is my official heavy cream whipper every Thanksgiving. Sorry, we were busy with the turkey at the end, so no pic of the salad.   But, here is the recipe:

Christmas Cranberry Salad
1 pound fresh cranberries, finely ground
1 cup white sugar (recipe called for 2, but my daughter did it with less, and it tasted great)
1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple
1 package (16 oz) miniature marshmallows
1 pint whipping cream, beaten stiff with a little powdered sugar

1. Mix together the cranberries and sugar; cover and refrigerate overnight
2. The next day, combine marshmallows with the whipped cream and refrigerate, covered.
3. Right before serving, mix drained pineapple and cranberry/sugar mixture. Then add whipped cream/marshmallow mixture. Pour into bowl and refrigerate till ready to use.
4. You can add walnuts or pecans to this. The walnuts are awesome with the cranberries. (I have two kids with walnut allergies, so no walnuts here!)

Nate's Pumpkin Pie

Nate started making the pumpkin pies years ago. First we bought a sugar pumpkin. Then, one year, the crop was bad, so he used canned. Last year, he grew the pumpkins...ended up costing about 50 bucks per pumpkin! This year, we got one at Food City...Here is his recipe...
Pampered Pie Pumpkin
Cut pumpkin in half without stem. Scoop out the seeds and strings. Place, cut side down, on foil lined baking sheets. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees F. til tender - about an hour to an hour and a half. Cool. Scoop out flesh and mash with potato masher or food processor until smooth. Drain if too watery. 
Beat together until just smooth: 
1 1/3 cup smooth pumpkin
1 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (Nate used fat free...tasted great)
1 egg (fresh from our chickens)
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (ours came right from India...we think it's the best...thank you Mike Ferrell!)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup hot water
Beat together all together until smooth. Pour into a 9" pie shell. Bake at 375 degrees for 55 to 65 minutes. (Center will still move slightly) Cool and enjoy!

Nate did this ALL BY HIMSELF this year! Dad and I were on our annual hike (I call it the "turkey trek". In fact, he had some extra pumpkin, so he filled in with canned pumpkin and made two!

We met at their home...assembled our contributions, and said a prayer of gratitude, and then dug in!

 Ethan's "man cave" ...Cam gave it her own special touch!
 That's root beer my son is drinking.

It was sooooo wonderful.

We sat after dinner, moaning, looked at ads for the Black Friday Sales, played video games (Ethan and Cam have the PERFECT set up!) and even, later, watched "Toy Story 3" (they have an AWESOME set up to watch a movie too!
 Jade, Liz, and Cameo. 
We were talking at on the subject of pregnancy...Liz said she ate liver throughout her pregnancy. Sure looks like liver makes for some beautiful babies!

There are so many things to be thankful, safety, a beautiful family, jobs, food on the table, cars that work, rooves over our heads...Thank you, dearest Heavenly Father, for the many, many bounteous blessings!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Celebrating 51 Weeks!

My sweet daughter, son in law, and grandbabies came to Phoenix for Thanksgiving. And, since they are SOOOOOOOOOOOOO popular...the most sought after guests at any gathering (plus, Mike's family is almost all living here as well) we have to "share custody". Rice Family got Wednesday, Wilkins' get Wednesday night, Thanksgiving, Rices get Friday. There were too many things going on to have a big birthday celebration for Joshy with ALL the family here, and we couldn't go to Vegas ON his birthday, and Great Granny and Nano were, we celebrated Joshua's 51 week birthday.

We played at the park...
 Papa and Grace and Adam fished....

Uncles fished...
 Doran DID fish...after he slid, or tried to slide in! The sides were muddy and wet, and he had flip flops on. Mud and flip flops...not a good mix!
Ethan WAS here...with Tracker...I guess he just evaded my lens! He had a nice set up for Cameo. She fished as well, but, we ALL know how Nate gets if she dares to catch a fish...he can't be lived wtih!

We ate...

We sang "happy birthday"...

We swang...

We had a blast!!!

It was such a miracle...for ALMOST ALL of us could be there! (We missed you, Morgan...guess Seattle is a bit of a commute!) Ethan and Cam, Doran and Danyel, Kayty, Nathan, Great Granny, Nano, Papa, Grammy...It was awesome!

Happy Birthday, oops...51 weeks, Joshua. We love you so much and are so very thankful Heavenly Father sent YOU to be a part of our family!