Sunday, May 10, 2015

Week of May 4 -10, 2015



May 4, 1974, I was baptized and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...Best. Decision. Ever!

I was able to begin Tuesday morning doing temple work for many of our ancestors. I had done some ordinance work for five relatives, and when there was not a long line, I was able to do some work for five more. I am so thankful to provide family members the opportunity of choice. I also attended the early Wednesday morning session, which was a perfect start to my day!

Dee attended the temple Thursday evening. (I had planned on going with him, but I had to crawl into the pantry to rotate the tomato quarts, and by the time I was done, I was a sweaty, stinky mess!)

Visiting Teaching - It is always a challenge to get with my companion on a day I don't have work, but we managed again this week. On the day of our scheduled visit, my companion couldn't go, but I grabbed some tomatoes and had an awesome visit with Yvonne.

On Saturday afternoon, I reached my yearly goal of indexing 2000 entries. I expected perhaps an animated Tabernacle Choir singing "Hallelujah" or images of cheering angels. Nope. All I got was "Please set your next goal". So, I decided to try for 2000 more. 


The Wilkins Family:
We loved seeing the pictures of Adam and Grace's outfits for what I assume was their school Spirit Week. Thank you so much for sharing them with us, Allison! We also loved the sweet photos of Josh and his Mother's Day gift, and of Sam totally enjoying the neighborhood splash pad!




The Ethan Rice Family:
They had a busy and fun week. Saturday was spent at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale.

 Doran Rice Family:
We visited with Doran and Amber at a rummage sale for their pet rescue group. I got a few large mouth canning jars that Amber had sweetly set aside for me! We also brought Kelsie and her friend a couple of doughnuts and some chocolate milk. Kooper was having a blast playing at Grandma Penny's house!

Dad tried to contact him via Facebook but he hasn't responded yet. However, we contacted his friend Kyle's girlfriend, who kindly shared information and pictures...and scolded him a little for not calling his mom. What an amazing 18 year old young lady! She even gave us her phone number in case we needed to contact them! He is working hard, though work has been interrupted by weather problems. They should return home next weekend.

May the fourth is a special day for Kayty. Star Wars Day. She had planned a movie marathon, and planned to force me to watch one episode, but our dvd player wouldn't play her movies...any of them, so we ended up watching David Tutera plan crazy weddings on Netflix. It was fun. She wore a Star Wars Tribute to Family Home Evening...

On her day off Wednesday, we went to SAS to get some knit fabric. She has a dress she bought that she LOVES and so she wants to make more like it. Knit is crazy expensive, so I asked my mom where to go and she reminded me of SAS. That place is amazing. Kayty got three or four pieces of fabric to use for a try out copy of the dress. I got some fleece for an adorable blanket for Annalee. Kayty worked in the evening to create a pattern of that dress. I was not much help, since Allison is WAY better at this than I am!

And "Ellie" is back and better than brand new!!

The Nathan Rice Family:
While we were relocating some rocks in the back yard, Nate called, asking for a copy of his favorite brownie recipe. He made these often before his mission (no espresso powder used in our version), and they were a decadent and heavenly treat. I thought I would share...since he LOVES it when I share his recipes! not so much!

THE Baked Brownie


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder; set aside.
In a large bowl set over simmering water, stir together chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder until completely melted and smooth. Keeping the bowl over the water, turn off the heat and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined. Remove the bowl from the pan and cool to room temperature.
Once the chocolate mixture is cool, add 3 eggs and whisk until combined. Add the remaining two eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla; stir until combined. Be sure not to overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula, fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just combined. (a bit of the flour mixture should still be visible).
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through baking time, in the center of the oven for 27-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Place the pan on a wire rack and let the brownies cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.


Nate's job started this week. He works starting at 4 am Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. He LOVES working their, operating the forklift, etc. He has accomplished a lot of work on his truck and has gotten some great deals on truck parts on ebay. He came Saturday to photograph some forms of art for one class (thank goodness for that brass zebra he bought at a yard sale years ago to melt down and make a shotput! Never had time to melt it, but it was a bronze art piece!)

Dad's work weeks are very up and down. He makes progress, or he thinks he makes progress, and then the people he convinced to go another route with problem solving revert back to their old habits. One gentleman in particular, who is the leader of the group, has been such a difficulty. It is truly apparent that is down right lies, as Dad's week started by being told that he had acted prematurely on an issue. Dad felt bad, the man practically dictated a letter of apology for  dad to write and send, and then, at the meeting later that day, it turns out Dad was right! and this guy lied about others being mad, about the issue at hand...everything! Craziness. He does say that with all this "stuff" he has to deal with, he has learned that he is often led to work with people in companies who are not the decision makers, so when a solution is found, change doesn't follow. In the future, he will push to have people in greater control on teams he works with.

Dad's Truck
He ordered parts and worked on getting the wood floor cut and varnished. It took more than one can, and the stain he used I ended up finding in our cupboard where we store odd yard sale purchases. Score!

Nate helped him get some stored parts out of the attic and he grit blasted and painted those. Holes need to be drilled in the wood, and those parts help him accurately drill the holes.

He also ordered some parts that are now on their way.

Dad's Garden
Tomatoes are coming steadily

and I spent the early days of the week deciding whether to can or roast. Wednesday turned into canning tomato day, and I canned 11 quarts of tomatoes.

I filled all those jars and only had 1/2 of a small jelly jar extra!

Then, on Friday, I roasted tomatoes to make tomato sauce.

We had SO many eggs, so I froze some. I broke four eggs into a cup, stirred them up a bit - to break the yolks - and put them in a labeled freezer bag. I should have ready made measurements of egg for future cupcakes and cookies.

I pick every morning and every evening. I am starting to call what I do "Tomato Yoga", since I have to bend and climb and go though quite the contortions to get those tomatoes!

So far from this garden, we have picked 298 tomatoes!

Other highlights:
Our week began with rain! Now, I could grumble that I began a run thinking that the rain was just a sprinkle, but when I got only a few houses away and my hair was soaked, I had to return home, and that Grandma Liza got a beautiful weather week, while I seem to always get the molten lava weather weeks, OR, I could just be thankful that I can get more outdoor work done on these beautiful weather days, so it is good that the weather weeks work out this way!

I had time to buy extra chicken breasts, grind, and package ten packages of meat for future use.

Cinco de Mayo was celebrated with both beef green chili burros and chicken green chili burros.

I ran five times, and each time, I had to wear my jacket longer and longer. On Saturday, I was in sweats and a hoodie! You can bet that won't happen again!

I spent each night moving furniture, mopping and then sealing the floor. I still have a bit of a walkway to do.

Nano had her first cataract surgery on Thursday and is doing well.

Happy Mothers' Day to all!

Thanks to my mom for all you have done for me...for my kids...all these years. You are one tough and talented lady! You and dad worked hard to raise Scott, Sharynn and I, and even with Dad's health problems, a stroke requiring you to re enter the work force, and his passing away when I was a high school senior and they were younger, you made sure we were in baseball, softball, band, chorus, school dances, plays, and were cute little trick or treaters! Thanks for sewing, for cooking, and for showing all of us what it means to make adversities into triumphs!

Thank you, Dorrie, for raising my sweet husband! He always shares wonderful memories of growing up and doing things with you. Thank you for your meat loaf, your potatoes and cheese, your "heartburn candy", your divinity (Dee LIVES for that divinity!), your loving care of our grandchildren!!

Thank you, Allison, for being my first miracle, and giving birth to our first miracle, and for bringing four precious miracles into the world. Getting those sweet little ones to this earth was never easy, and you never let on how hard it was. Thank you for KNOWING each of your children and what they need to be the best they can be. Thank you for studying the scriptures with them. Thank you for giving them the opportunity to serve.

Thank you, Cameo, for loving one of my sons, and for sweet Miss Kaylee. You take such tender care to make sure she has everything she needs. I love sitting in the next room as you work on her hair. Such tenderness and love! (Ask Allison and Kayty...I was sometimes not so tender! ) Thank you for giving her chances to experience so many things!

Thank you, Amber, for loving another of my sons, and for bringing Kelsie into our lives! We cannot imagine our family without that lively little spark of fun! And Kooper is the happiest and most wonderful treasure! He carries on his daddy's "Mr. Happy" name, since that little guy is always smiling!

Thank you, Jessica, for supporting and loving my last son, and for the magic of a new little granddaughter, Annalee, you will bring into our family. Thank you for helping Nate be the best he can be, and to make it through these tough college years. Thank you for enduring Idaho, the place he loves so much.
 My Mothers' Day was awesome! I got to use the computer all I wanted! I got to wear my "crown jewels"
I wear all the jewelry from my kids that has survived. (A few things disintegrated...noodle necklaces) Plus, I enjoyed the lovely orchid Ethan, Cameo and Kaylee got me.
At church, we had a great lesson in relief society, and then we adjourned early and went to the cultural hall, where our sweet new bishopric had chairs set in circles and cheesecake. I held another sister's sleeping baby so she could eat, and we all got to visit! What a treasure!!! Our bishopric is amazing.

Dee made me a wonderful dinner.

Nate and Jess came by.

Doran called.

Ethan, Cameo and Kaylee stopped by.

We took some tomatoes and bread to mom and visited a little.

And I celebrated another wonderful Facebook free holiday!

Not so highlights:

While Dad was grit blasting on Saturday,  when a dust devil came by, and he glanced up to see our awning/sand tent lifted high up in the sky, spin, and drop in the next subdivision. We jumped into the
jeep immediately and saved it. It was folded up by a wall, and a van was coming behind us...probably to take it with them! (We arrived within moments of it happening!) Ethan helped Dad put it back up on Sunday night. With some bending and replacement of a plastic corner piece, it should be fine.

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