Friday, May 29, 2009

Congratulations Jane Mykleby!

Thank you for your wonderful recipe submissions. I have several but am in need for lots more. Think in terms of easy and fast to put together while preparing for an event. You know ... those recipes that we all love ... but taste and look like we've been prepping for the day!


As I received your recipes I assigned you each a number. Then just a few moments ago, I went over to my 87 year old mother and asked her to give me a number. The winner is Jane Mykleby from Collierville, TN, near Memphis! Horray ... Collierville is my old stompin' grounds where I served as a missionary for my church back in the early 70's! Anyway ... back to Jane ... cuz this is all about Jane, not me! Jane is married and has a family of two high school boys and a dog she adores. She has been rubberstmaping for as long as she can remember. She got her first stamp (her name) when she went on a field trip to the newspaper in elementary school. She also likes to scrapbook, read, make jewelry, and paint. People thinks she's really creative but she says she's not... just easily inspired by others! (I'm like Jane too!)


Anyway, Jane receives a free pass to the U Stamp with Dawn and Friends. Jane, I'll be e-mailing you with the details to obtain your pass.


Thanks to all of you for your wonderful recipes. We still need more! Please encourage your friends to submit their recipes, or feel free to submit more. One cute demo submitted 20 recipes and they all look wonderful! I'm hoping to get the book to press within a month, so keep the recipes a comin'.


Oh ... one more thing. This will make me cry thinkin' about it. A bunch of the Stampin' Up! employees got together and created the most beautiful memory book I've ever seen. Pages of me and them together and stories about our relationship. I'll have to post pics of the pages. You'll love it. I love and miss them soooo much. They have been and still are wonderful to me!


Got to run to the Doctor. There's something wrong with my heel and it's painful to flex my toes. Got to find out that it's nothing serious before my trip to London next week!


Love you all bunches and bunches!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Happy Thursday!

Well ... I pulled an all-nighter last night! We're leaving for London, England next Wednesday and I decided we needed an itinerary since we're not sure what we're doing, when, and how. What fun searching the web for deals on this and that, looking at maps, deciding what we want to see, checking on transportation and pricing. At 2:00 I decided to try and get some sleep but I tossed and turned until 4:00 so got up and began researching again. I have to be over to the Junior High at 9:00 to help with a breakfast for the ESL classes. Then my daughter Lindsey is coming over for me to help tailor a swimsuit. Then ... it's off to another funeral luncheon. Sad, sad story... a young, married girl gave birth to a full-term still-born baby boy. It was her first birth. In her grieving process she doesn't want visitors, phone calls, hugs, and 'so sorrys'. We set up for the luncheon last night and will make sure that the food arrives before the funeral party arrives, and then we'll vanish to let them have their alone time as a family. When they're finished they'll call me and we'll go over to clean up. It's going to be a full day!

Well ... the company I interviewed for still hasn't called about the job. I did find out, however, that another person got the job. I'm totally fine about it ... not sad, not mad, not really anything ... because in reality, I don't want the job just now. I worried about telling a new employer that I had a vacation planned right after being hired and then a family reunion in two weeks, as well as taking some time off for some surgery. I decided two weeks ago to pursue the speaker's circuit so my goal is to build a website and get that up and running! Wow ... I'm excited for the possibilities!

Back to the cook book! Please encourage those you know to e-mail me their recipes, photo, and bio soon. Those of you who have sent your recipes have been entered into the free pass for the U Stamp with Dawn and Friends website. The drawing will be held tomorrow and I'll notify you of the winner. I received some marvelous recipes ... some for workshop night treats and others for fast and easy dinner meals. Here's my question: Would you rather have a hard-bound cookbook that would cost you more money, or a spiral bound soft cover for less money?

Here's a marvelous gem to think about for this Happy Thursday:

"President Gordon B. Hinckley believed in the healing power of service. After the death of his wife, he provided a great example to the Church in the way he immersed himself in work and in serving others. It is told that President Hinckley remarked to one woman who had recently lost her husband, 'Work will cure your grief. Serve others.'"Those are profound words. As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness."President Lorenzo Snow expressed a similar thought: 'When you find yourselves a little gloomy, look around you and find somebody that is in a worse plight than yourself; go to him and find out what the trouble is, then try to remove it with the wisdom which the Lord bestows upon you; and the first thing you know, your gloom is gone, you feel light, the Spirit of the Lord is upon you, and everything seems illuminated' (in Conference Report, Apr. 1899, 2–3). "In today's world of pop psychology, junk TV, and feel-good self-help manuals, this advice may seem counterintuitive. We are sometimes told that the answer to our ills is to look inward, to indulge ourselves, to spend first and pay later, and to satisfy our own desires even at the expense of those around us. While there are times when it is prudent to look first to our own needs, in the long run it doesn't lead to lasting happiness."Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Happiness, Your Heritage," Ensign, Nov. 2008, 119–20

Isn't it wonderful being a woman? We have been born with the natural ability to want to help and serve others. May you brighten someone's load today while serving them and your load will become lighter!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Free Pass to UStamp With Dawn and Friends!

Hey Everyone: I've been invited to be a Creative Crew Girl Designer for UStamp with Dawn and Friends. This is an exciting website with tons of video training and fantastic projects from artists from all over the world.

I get to give away one-free pass to UStamp with Dawn and Friends. Here's the rule to be eligible. Since I'm in the process of designing a cookbook for the busy demonstrator, you need to submit your recipe in order to be entered into a drawing for the free pass! It's as easy as that! You are welcome and encouraged to submit more than one recipe. I need you to also include a picture of you, along with a short bio about yourself. Please send the recipe as a word document and your picture as a Jpeg file, color or black and white is fine. Please e-mail me at sumatragal@gmail.com before the end of this week to be eligible for the drawing.

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day with family and friends. Lynn and I drove to Logan which is 90 miles north of Salt Lake to visit the graves of his parents. It was a lovely drive and a beautiful day. The cemetary was gorgeous. I haven't been to Logan for a few years so it was great re-visiting the place where we first lived as a young married couple. We both wish that we could retire and move to Logan or Wellsville. It's such a beautiful small town nestled in a valley between mountains.

We heard from Reese, our youngest who is at Boot Camp. He's surviving but said that it's really hard. (They haven't even started the hard part yet! This past week has been paper work and stuff.) He said that he's already submissive and willing to do all that is asked of him, but there are others in his unit who haven't quite learned that, so they all get 'smoked' when someone doesn't comply. He said that the only thing you can do while standing at attention is to breathe and blink. Some gal in his unit proceeded to apply chapstick to her lips and was taken out of line to do squats for 20 minutes. Reese said she was pulling faces at the drill sargeant behind his back. (She won't last long!) But he's happy and doing well even though it's very humid.

I've got a great recipe to share with you. It's fast and easy and delicious! I'm going to include it in our book. It comes from Paula Deen's May magazine.

Turkey Pot Pie Pasta - Makes 4 - 6 servings

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

1 pound turkey cutlets, cut in bite sized pieces

4 tablspoons butter, divided

2 cups chicken broth

3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

1/c cup reduced-fat sour cream

1 (16-ounce) package angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions and kept warm.

In a shallow dish, combine 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Dredge turkey cutlets in flour mixture.

In a large nonstick skiller, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium high heat. Add turkey, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned, in batches, if necessary. Remove from pan; set aside, and keep warm.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium heat. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons flour until mixture is smooth. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in chicken broth. Stir in vegetables; cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in sour cream, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add turkey cutlets to creamed mixture and serve over hot cooked pasta.

Enjoy! Let me know how you like it!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

When You Come to the End of a Perfect Day....!

The title to this blog is actually a song that I sang at my wedding reception. It was a perfect day back then and it was a perfect day yesterday ... good news, great friends, family, work, and cookies! I got up early and made a batch of chocolate chip cookies to take to a former co-worker. I even took beautiful pictures which I accidentally deleted this morning ... oops!


I had a wonderful phone call from a lovely demonstrator who offered me a wonderful opportunity, of which I'll let her give out the great news! I'm excited ... I have so many fun things in the works.


Right before I left to go to lunch with Jaron, Lori, Lori B., Christa, and Leslie I received some more great news! This is something I've been working on for several months. It doesn't have anything to do with a job ... it's personal. When it comes to fruition I'll share everything!


Lunch was fabulous because of the great company. We laughed and there were even some tears shed. I introduced Leslie to my straw trick. Some day I may share on You Tube ... perhaps NOT! Every time I think about it, I laugh! I know ... I'm crude!


Then I went over to the home office of Stampin' Up! to pick up a few things. It was wonderful driving back to the building, and the best part of all was being able to park in Visitor Parking, which is close to the front door! I had a wonderful visit with several of my friends. As I drove away from the building I thought, "Nothing has changed! I'm not sad, I'm not mad ... I still have the same friends that I had before I left. The only thing that has changed is that I don't work at that building anymore."


I wanted to share some beautiful cards that I've received recently from Shannon West, Lisa Pope, Carrie Cudney, Cindy Major, Patty Bennett, Ngaire Anderson, Connie Milazzo, and Elizabeth Reeve. Once again, I took pictures of them lying flat and I deleted those too and I'm too lazy to go take new ones, so these will suffice.









O.K. ... I have to confess, I have a few watches thanks to my husband. He loves watches and I do too. I had 8 watches that needed batteries so I took them to my daughter's home where she popped off the backs and then I replaced the batteries. Well, all but two. The Skagen watches need a special tool to get the back on. I'm either going to have to scotch tape the back on, or buy the tool, or take it to a jewelers. I think I'll buy the tool. :)
After watching the Idol upset, I did some phone recordings for a company. That was a lot of fun. I felt so productive yesterday and so grateful for all I have.
Here's to a wonderful day! I'm doing research on our up-coming cookbook. I'll post soon what format I need you to send your recipes. We'll definitely have sections for easy workshop treats, good main dishes, soups, salads, you name it ... we can have it! Start looking through your pictures because I would like to include your picture and short bio.





Wednesday, May 20, 2009

He's in the Army Now!

Boo Hoo ... my baby leaves for Fort Jackson, South Carolina in about 17 minutes! He called me from the airport at 5:30 this morning to tell us he loved us. He was really excited, but scared. He said that they are going to 'kick his butt', because he's overweight. I think I need someone to kick my butt too to get me in shape! Hey ... since I'm not working, perhaps I ought to join Boot Camp!


This is his pretty girl friend, Laura. Hope that things work out for them when he returns home. We really love her and she's such a terrific gal!


The Mama and the Pops telling our baby good-bye!


If he passes his basic training he'll go on to advanced training at Fort Eustis, Virginia.
Tell me ... where does the time go? How did I get everything done when I worked full-time? I'm getting in a bad habit too ... I need to take a little nappy around 3:00 every day. Shame on me!
I'll tell you --- I had another funeral yesterday to attend to. An elderly gentleman in our ward passed away in his sleep. My Compassionate Service Leader and I attended to their home during the funeral. The Sisters in the ward brought lovely food over to the home for a luncheon afterwards. The kitchen was so small I wasn't sure where we were going to put all of the food. We ended up having to put the rolls in the oven because we didn't have enough counter or table space. I've had 5 funerals since last August. I have the most amazing funeral committee and Compassionate Service leader in the world. They take care of everything. I just show up and help out wherever I can. We have a sister in the ward who is legally blind and volunteers to provide the freshly baked rolls for every funeral! Isn't that amazing. And two of the sisters on the funeral committee have twins ... the one has TWO sets of twins! They're just young girls with young families and they are amazing. We have so much love and compassion in our neighborhood. It's amazing!
I've got some voice recordings to do so I'd best get busy. I'm meeting Jaron, Lori, Christa, Candy, and Lori B. for lunch this afternoon. I can't wait to see them. I've missed laughing with them! I'll have to take pics and post them on my blog.
Hey, I've been thinking about publishing a demonstrator cookbook. What do you all think? I would collect recipes from demonstrators all over the world and put them into one book. The recipes would be geared for the busy demonstrator, fairly easy and quick to put together and delish, of course! I would love to feature each demo with a small photo of her on the recipe page and a small bio. Would any one be interested? We did a recipe swap exchange about a year ago. I ended up stamping (50) 6 x 6 recipe pages and then exchanged them and placed them in page protectors and a binder. That was really neat, but I'm thinking on a larger scale here so the stamped recipes would be too hard to collate and send out. Let me know your thoughts, and get it out there so see if there is an interest.
Well, I'm off to the races. Have a marvelous day!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thanks for Your Support!

Thank-you for all of your wonderful comments in support of me calling about the interview for the new postion. I took your advice and called this morning. The boss over the department I'm interviewing for, was out of the office for three days last week. They're still in the process of interviewing and won't make a decision until some time next week. Whew ... it wasn't that bad calling and I feel better since doing so. So, many, many thanks for suggesting what I should do.



Some of you have e-mailed me asking if I was serious about coming to your events to speak and to stamp. Of course I will! This would be my first love ... instead of having to go back to office work ... I'd rather be in the field with you. That is my dream job! So ... if you're interested, comment here and give me your contact information or, e-mail me. I already have some great events lined up for the Fall. Can't wait ... I'm soooo excited to see many of you!
In preparation for sending Reese off to Boot Camp tonight, we had a family gathering on Saturday. It was so much fun. The grandkids ran around my father's property all evening, carrying branches and whipping them at everything they saw. Luckily no one got injured. They climbed the walnut tree and hung out like monkeys, chased stray cats, played with Dieter until he was absolutely exhausted, and drank tons of pop. Hope they didn't wet their beds! Our eldest was in New York for work so her two oldest sons weren't able to come out until evening. They stayed overnight with Granny and it was great having them here. Spencer and Logan massaged my back and feet. It was the cutest thing. It felt just like the ole days when I used to beg their mother to rub my feet with lotion and walk on my back to make it feel better!











Last night I had the privilege of removing all of Reese's hair. It reminded me of the summer days when I used to give all the boys in the neighborhood buzz haircuts! He's running errands right now in preparation for going to Boot Camp in South Carolina. I'm excited for him! He's nervous because he says they're going to 'kick his butt!' I'm sure they will!! But it will be good for him.




















Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Angels!

Yesterday was kinda a funky day. I still hadn't received any word on the job that I interviewed for last week. I was sorta having my pity party ... feeling down, alone, no self-worth, a lot of doubt, and some discouragement. "Should I call the company?", I asked myself. And then I decided not to, because I didn't want to hear any discouraging news. So, I didn't.

I remembered a talk that Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland gave titled, "The Ministry of Angels" which gave me great comfort. Let me share:

"I testify of angels, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face. Nor will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man (or woman of child) upon the face thereof to be saved. On occassions, global, or personal, we may feel we are distanced from God, shut out from heaven, lost, alone in dark and dreary places. Often enough that distress can be of our own making, but even then the Father of us all is watching and assisting. And always there are those angels who come and go all around us, seen and unseen, known and unknown, mortal and immortal. May we all believe more readily in, and have more gratitude for, the Lord's promise as contained in one of President Monson's favorite scriptures: 'I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, ... my Spirit shall be in your heart, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up'. In the process of praying for those angels to attend us, may we all try to be a little more angelic ourselves-with a kind word, a strong arm, a declaration of faith and the covenant wherewith we have covenanted. Perhaps then we can be emissaries sent from God."

Having my pity party, while snacking on some chocolate chips, and drowning my sorrows in Wife Swap, the telephone rang. It was my son Ryan calling to see how I was doing. My angel ... always checking in daily to make sure that I'm o.k. How I needed that phone call and to hear his sweet voice of concern.
Shortly after Ryan called, Lori, my bestest bud called to see how I was doing. You can't tell me that they weren't inspired to call when they did. Lori has a gift to sense when she is needed. It makes me emotional just thinking about all the times at work how she always could sense when someone needed a listening ear and a word of encouragement. How I miss not seeing her every day. My heart is so full of gratitude for her!

Lo, and behold, I hung up the phone ... got back to my Wife Swap and my daughter Natalie from Oregon called to see how I was doing. By now, I knew that all three of these wonderful people were my angels helping me through my day. Even though Nat is my daughter I've always felt like she was much older than me in spiritual years. She's a very wise young woman and gives me such great counsel and advice. She told me to call the company ... but I still didn't do it. Perhaps I'll have the courage on Monday to call ... well, maybe! After the third phone call I decided that Wife Swap was making me even more discouraged than I was so I decided to do a little ministering of angels myself. I went to my visiting teaching reports and looked over my list of 156 women and decided to make some phone calls. I made a few changes with companionships and routes and lo and behold, I started feeling better about myself! It's amazing what happens when you start doing something for others ... you forget about yourself and your worries and problems.
Then I jumped in the shower ... well actually, I didn't jump ... I stood. :) Got my dress on and went to the temple with some of my family members. What a site to sit in the temple and look at my family members all dressed in white, knowing that they're worthy to be there. My heart was full of gratitude for my family and those angels that touched my life today.
My little boy Reese is going to Boot Camp in South Carolina Tuesday. We wanted to go to the temple as a family before he leaves. He'll be in SC for about three months, and then if he passes his basic training he'll go to Virginia for four months for advanced training. He joined the National Gaurd/Army division. I'm so excited for him. I think this will be a great experience for him. If I were his age I think I'd join too!
I'm going outside to do some much needed yard work. Ya'll have a wonderful Saturday. Thank-you for being my angels and staying in touch with me and helping me through this little bump in the road of life!



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Life in Sumatra, Montana!

I was reviewing some old, home movies yesterday and thought I'd share a little bit about my growing up years in Sumatra, Montana.

My Dad and his four brothers purchased a large, spread of land in eastern Montana. Literally, it was thousands of acres. In fact the spread was so large you could stand on a hill and as far as the eye could see in any direction, was our property. We raised cattle, sheep, and horses on the ranch. The nearest large city was Billings, Montana, which was 150 miles east of the ranch. We did our major shopping there. There were smaller little towns like Melstone and Roundup that we could go to purchase small things. But if we needed major medical help it was 150 miles away. Of course there was a vet closer for the animals than a much needed people doctor!

Eastern Montana is rather barren. Not a lot of trees, just rolling hills, sagebrush, prickly pear, rattelesnakes, and antelope. Dad and his brothers took their little families to live on the ranch which was about 10 miles off the main highway. Sumatra consisted of a few homes, a post office with the only phone in town, a gas station, a church, and a couple of old hotels, one of which had been converted into the school house, and used as a Sunday meeting place for our church services.

Even though I'm not 60 years old, yet, it's amazing to tell people that I lived during a time where we had no TV, radio, or telephone. And, we generated our own electricity. In our first home we didn't have in-door plumbing, but used chamber pots which were kept under our beds, and of course the out-house. And yes ... the Sears catalog did come in handy when tissue paper wasn't handy! My least favorite chore was emptying those pots! I shudder to this day when I envision carrying that pot up the stairs and out the door, praying that nothing should spill.

School was unique. As I mentioned, our school was an old converted hotel. The downstairs had a gym and a kitchen where we ate our lunch. The middle part was the elementary and junior high. It consisted of two class rooms. One had grades 1-5 in it. And the other class room had grades 6-8 in it. The upstairs was for the highschool kids. I remember well, those old, dark, squeaky wood floors and how we would have to have drinking water brought into the school because the water in the town wasn't fit to drink. I'm not sure why... We had great wells out on the ranch and plenty of wonderful water to drink!

Going to school in the wintertime was an experience. We had a pickup truck with iron bars that ran across the back of the bed of the truck which held a canvas tarp in place. Yes, I know ... it really does sound like Little House on the Prairie. The little kids got to ride up front in the cab of the truck when it was soooo cold, and the rest of us had to brave the back. Keep in mind that winters in eastern Montana are frigid. Sometimes the weather would be 60 degrees below zero with drifts of snow covering fences and climbing half way up a power pole. To keep us from freezing our mothers would heat cinderblocks or bricks in the stove and then wrap them in gunny sacks for us to place our feet on in the back of the pickup. Then at the end of school, the cook would re-heat our bricks for us to use on the ride home.

I remember watching TV for the first time. My aunt and uncle purchased one in Billings and brought it out to the ranch. The only problem was ... there was only one channel and very poor reception. We thought it was marvelous as we made out the characters through the fuzzy, snowy picture, and watched the Mickey Mouse show. The audio was terrific. The antenna had tin foil on it and someone was in charge of touching the ears just so, so, and holding their arms high in the air, just so, so, so we could get a semi-decent picture.

We never did have telephone service. If there was an emergency we could go to the post office and have the post mistress let us use the phone.

Well ... I could go on and on about life in Montana. It was wonderful. I lived there until 9 years of age and then we moved to California.

Time is passing quickly this morning and I have grocery shopping to do today and a little bit of house cleaning. And, I think I'll play with my Big Shot too.



This is a view of the highway from Sumatra.

This and a church building and trailer home is about the only thing still standing in Sumatra. This isn't the original post office that we went to as a kid. The school house has since burned down and there's nothing remaining. Our home out on the ranch is still standing, barely. Parts of the roof are missing, and animals have been living in it. A few years ago we made the trek out to the ranch to show our kids where I grew up. It was so barren and lonely and I wondered how my mother ever learned to love it there and raise her little family. My kids thought it was neat and I have to confess amid the bustle of every day life, traffic, and people, I long for those dreamy, sunny, lazy, quiet days, where the only thing you can hear is the wind whistling in your ears, and perhaps the far-away cry of a baby calf.










Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Food, Fun, Family, and the Great Salt Lake Bake!



This is our beautiful baby daughter, Lindsey, the master baker in the family. The Mother's Day Brunch was her idea and a fantastic one. Her sweet husband, Ryan, tended the kids the night before and Lindsey came over to have a sleep-over so she could get up early in the morning to start the Blueberry French Toast Bake and Quiche.

I have three canisters in my cupboard. The small one is for salt, the medium for sugar, and the large one for flour ... The Blueberry French Toast Bake is baking in the oven, sending a sweet aroma throughout the house. My mouth is watering and I can hardly wait for the first morsel.


Addison and I are making cinnamon sticks from the left-over pie crust. I took from the cupboard the small canister of what I thought was sugar to the counter and suddenly exclaimed, "Oh my ... I almost put salt on the pie crust instead of sugar!"




All of a sudden Lindsey gets this strange look on her face and says, "Is that small canister salt?" "Yes", I reply. "Well, I just put salt on the Blueberry French Toast!", she said, with a sick look on her face. "Oh, perhaps you didn't ... maybe you used the sugar instead," I reassured her. The oven timer beeped and we took the beautiful Blueberry French Toast out of the oven. It smelled divine. But just in case Lindsey used salt instead of sugar, we sprinkled a generous amount of sugar over the top before tasting. I volunteered to be the first taste tester. Gingerly I scooped my spoon into the warm crusty concoction and put it into my mouth. I immediately tasted the warm pecans and juicy blueberrys and then the salt hit my taste buds. Oooooh Eeeeee .... salty! I asked Lindsey, "How much salt did you put in this?" She replied, "Oh ... only 4 Tablespoons!" I tried to console her with my words of hope by saying, "It's really good if you can just ignore the salt!" Needless to say, we had a good laugh and one less entree for the morning.


Here's the recipe. Just make sure to use sugar instead of salt.

Blueberry French Toast Bake

*You could use frozen raspberries in this super simple brunch recipe too.
*Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

· 1/2 cup flour
· 1-1/2 cups whole milk
· 2 Tbsp. sugar
· 1 tsp. vanilla
· 6 eggs
· 10 slices french bread, cut into 1" cubes
· 3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, diced
· 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (if frozen, do not thaw)
· 1/2 cup chopped nuts
· 2 Tbsp. sugar
· 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preparation:
Generously grease 13x9" glass baking dish. Beat flour, milk, 2 Tbsp. sugar, vanilla and eggs in large bowl until smooth. Stir in bread cubes until well coated, then pour bread mixture into prepared pan.Top evenly with cream cheese cubes and blueberries.

In small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp. sugar, cinnamon, and nuts and toss to mix. Sprinkle over blueberries and cream cheese. Cover casserole tightly and refrigerate up to 24 hours.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bake casserole, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Serves 8

Yummy ... Laurel made the fruit pizza. It was delish! And Lindsey made a wonderful Quiche with fresh mushrooms and artichoke hearts. I made the pie crust and Camie made Sweet Sunrise for the drink. Divine!

My dear sweet parents joined us for the brunch.
I'm not sure how my 91 year old Dad enjoyed the girly food, but he ate most of it. :) He's a real cowboy from Montana who thinks breakfast should be steak, eggs, and potatoes.

Later that evening Angie and the boys came to visit. Between all of the kids and Lynn, I received enough flowers to plant in 18 pots. My deck is beautiful with hanging flowers and potted plants everywhere.

Mothers Day was a busy day. Isn't that the way it usually is? My church meetings started at 7:30 a.m. and I didn't get home until 2:30 p.m. It was a looong day. My compassionate service leader and I spent 2 1/2 hours delivering geraniums to those sisters in the neighborhood who weren't at church. But it was a good experience getting to meet a lot of sisters whom I've never met before. Nice, nice women!

Then yesterday was another special day! Shannon and Shiloh from Stampin' Up! met me for lunch. Left to right, back row, Bonnie, me, Shannon ... front row ... Carrie, Shiloh, and Jaime. I miss these dear sweet women, but getting together at least once a week for lunch has made the parting much dearer!

Shannon surprised me with one of the most wonderful gifts I've ever received! I've been admiring her Jasmine sandals for weeks and wanted a pair just like hers, but they were too pricey for my budget. Yep ... she bought them for me and delivered them with a big hug and a kiss. I still can't believe I'm the proud owner of these gorgeous sandals. I wanted to sleep in them, they are soooo comfortable and beautiful! Thanks, Shanny ... I love you!

She also delivered some wonderful gifts from one of the most generous, sweet, and caring people I've ever met, Ngaire from Australia. Ngaire sent me some Australian candy and the sweetest children's book which was made in Australia. Ngaire doesn't know this, but I adore children's books. Hugs and kisses sent to you too, Ngaire!

A few of you have wanted to know what's happening in the world of job hunting. As you all know I had a job interview last week. I will hear from them sometime this week. I would love working for the company. So, I'll keep you posted when I hear.

Got a busy day today ... Relief Society Enrichment this morning and a meeting tonight.

Have a wonderful Tuesday! Love to you all!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wow ... What a Day!

Couldn't sleep last night ... kept thinking about the job interview and coulda, wishta, shoulda said but didn't. Oh well ... if it's to be, it will be. I've got to stop worrying about it. There's a way to tell about yourself in 30 seconds or less, and I've got to learn how to do that. I'm a doofus when it comes to selling myself. I totally can do everything they needed, and I would be such a help to the company. Oh well ... I stopped thinking about it around 1:00 a.m. this morning, because Dieter has been sequestered from the bedroom because he jumps on us in the night and hogs the bed ... and he's hot and lays his little back right against mine and I can't turn over. I have power surges anyway and he doesn't help the situation any! So after scratching on my bedroom door a zillion times last night I finally got up and put him in the laundry room. He's going in there again tonight. Think I'll buy a crate for him tomorrow!

Had a great day! Got up early this morning and went to the church welfare square to help bottle strawberry jam. The services that we provide touch people all over the world. It's quite a system. I can't remember how many thousands of bottles of jam we put up today, but it was a lot. I should have taken my camera. I thought about it too late. You would have died laughing looking at me in my hair net and white lab coat and blue rubber gloves! My job was to take the empty glass jars off the pallet jacks, empty them upside down, right them again and place them on a spinner that automatically puts them onto a conveyer belt where they're taken into the sanitizer. I even got to operate the pallet jack and lower and raise the lift. I felt pretty sweet about that. I was feeling pretty cocky until I accidentally swung my arm around and knocked off about 4 jars onto the cement floor. Yes, of course they shattered! Yes ... I was embarrassed. A cute little German worker said, "In Germany, it means good luck if you break a glass!" I said hopefully I won't break anymore ... and I didn't!

After loading thousands of bottles, I traded places with a cute little gal and made boxes and then put the little divider things inside for the strawberry jam to be packed. That was easy. I was taller than she, so it was easier for me.

After working for 4 hours I drove and picked up my grandaughter and tended her for the rest of the afternoon while her Mom went to see the baby doctor. We're getting a new one in November! Since we've been having sooo much fun she decided to sleep over, and my youngest daughter Lindsey is here for a sleep over too. Lindsey organized a mother's day brunch for all of us mothers and she's the master baker in the family so she wanted to be here so she can get an early start on the fixins. We're going to have a fun sleep-over.

More later .... Happy Mothers Day to all of you!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I SURVIVED!

Who would have thought a few weeks ago that I would be interviewing for a new position? Not I...! But I had my first job interview this morning. Don't ask how it went! I honestly have no idea what I said. I was very comfortable with the panel and they were delightful! Oh well ... if I don't get the position at least it was a great experience for many more interviews, I'm sure.

Other than getting up early, cutting my own hair, giving myself a manicure and a pedicure, ironing my clothes and putting on the ritz, I haven't done a dang thing. I think the interview kinda took some of the oomph outa me. I'm tired!

Our dear, sweet Lori just accepted a position teaching the 6th grade. She's a wonderful teacher and I'm happy for those little kids that are getting her for their teacher. Geez, I miss her! That was one of the best parts of my job at Stampin' Up! ... getting to sit in between her and Jaron. Sometimes they would call each other on the phone, while they were at their desks, because they couldn't see over me to carry on their conversation. They're both kinda small people. :)

And that Jaron ... who can make me laugh more than him? He's going to have an offer at a company shortly. Let's hope we both get snatched up quickly. I just wish that Lori and Jaron and I could be working together!

If you want to see the great watercolor technique that Patty Bennett taught, click on her link on the right side of my blog page. You won't have to go back too far to watch it. I'll get out my camera to see if I can video tape it and post it on my blog too. But you're right, I embossed the image in white and then did a wash with ink refills, let it dry just a little, and then came back in with darker colors around the edges and in the center.

Hmmm ... I'm feeling like workiing in the yard. Perhaps I should go pull some weeds, but cute, little Paula Deen is calling to me. I loooove watching her cook! Isn't she delightful? And her recipes are fabulous. I promise I'll post the chicken and biscuit and gravy recipe. But like I mentioned last night, it's a heart attack wating to happen. I don't make it often because I have to watch my weight, you know! I'm getting it out there, so I can watch it!! Hahahaha!

Later, baby!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Little Bit of Stampin' Always Clears Away the Blues!

Hand-stamped by Linda Lou
Copyright Stampin' Up!
So ... I finally did it. Got out the stamps and supplies and made a few cards yesterday. What a great feeling. There's just something wonderful that happens when you create a beautiful card from a piece of a paper, some stamps, ink, and a few embellishments. I know, I know ... the DSP is retired, kind of like being laid off ... but just because it's retired doesn't mean I don't like it or don't want to use it. Kinda like me.... I took Patty Bennett's watercoloring idea, only used the Whisper White card stock. Because it's not coated like the Shimmery White, you have to use the water sparingly and work fast ... kinda do a light wash over the entire rose and then come back in with your darker colors. I thought it turned out pretty. The real test is to put it on your desk, at night, and then look at it the first thing in the morning when you get up. If it still looks as pretty as you thought it did the night before, then that's the true test of a great card!
Bought some tomato plants today and some Weed and Feed. Looks like it's time for me to get outside to do some yard work. Ugh ... I'd rather be stamping.
Got a big day planned tomorrow. Have a great one!
I've got a GREAT recipe for Fried Chicken and Biscuits and Gravy. Made it tonight and it's a heart attack waiting to happen. I'll share the recipe later.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes!

This is my 'other' Reese. I have a son named Reese and my daughter loved the name so much she named her youngest daughter Reese, as well as naming her second daughter, Ginger Reese. It gets a little confusing at times. Reese is a family name. It was my husband's mother's maiden name and he shares the same middle name.


If any of you know me well enough, you know that I'm not a caffeine drinker, and that includes caffeinated sodas. I've taught my children well, but apparantly not to all of my grandchildren. :)

At church Sunday, Reese saw the deacons passing around the sacrament water, and yelled out, "Coke Please!"


Speaking of deacons passing the sacrament in church. You know how they line up in the back after passing the sacrament to all of the members? Well, the bishop's little daughter stood up on the bench and hollered out, "Ready, set, go!"


I think one of the funniest times I witnessed during sacrament service was in the mission field. It was very quiet and reverent and a little guy sitting in front of us had a cap gun, which his mother didn't know. Right during the service he pulled the trigger back and there was a loud explosion with a blue puff of smoke circling their heads. I thought the mother was going to strangle him. Of course we were trying to stifle our laughter by stuffing our fists in our mouths!


Bitter sweet little note came in the mail the other day from my sweet Katie who lives in Oregon. She's six. She was anxiously awaiting my arrival in Seattle for the Regional Seminar, which I didn't go to because of the lay-off. They were going to room with me at the hotel. They decided to go to Seattle anyway for the weekend. Upon her arrival at the hotel she got out the paper and pen and wrote me this note. If you look closely at the spelling she writes, "I am sorry you got fired." Isn't that the cutest message? I think I told you that my Logan (9 yrs.) told me he was sorry that I lost my job but that's o.k. because there's lots of jobs out there and I could always work at 7/11!


Ginny is the one in the front, in pink, on the right.

Here is Ginny's dinner prayer the other night...
(keep in mind it's DINNER prayer)
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank thee for this food.
Please help us grow healthy and strong.
Bless Brayden and BrieAnn that they will be safe (aunt and uncle missionaries).
Bless Daddy that he will be safe at work.
Bless Tay that she will be safe at school tomorrow, and me too.
Please bless all of the animals in the whole world.
Bless us that we won't get the swine flu.
Bless all of the people in the world who don't have swine flu, that they won't get it.
Please bless everyone that has the swine flu, that they will get better.
And we say these things.....
Well, that's about all for today. It's been a good day. Not much done, but I feel great!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Just Another Monday!

Happy Monday Everyone!

It just dawned on me that this is the first time in 36 years that I've been alone, by myself, during the day. I've always had either a husband or children with me. I don't think Dieter counts as a body! It's strange being alone.

It's been a nice 2 1/2 weeks. I feel like I've been on vacation. I'm rested, refreshed, and now ready to go back to work. Well ... maybe after getting my yard in shape and some dining room curtains made. I bought some fabric a few months ago and haven't had the time to sew them up. Now I do!

I'm still waiting to hear about my interview. In the mean time, I do have a little job to do some transcribing and then some voice recordings for the phone system. I've been gone from Franklin Covey for almost 9 years and when you call the Franklin office, you'll still hear my voice.

Had a pretty laid back weekend. It rained or should I say poured all day Saturday, and rained on and off yesterday. If the lawn dries out some I may go mow. I really need to do some weeding too.

Picked up my other two pairs of glasses. You could say that I love glasses as much as I love shoes and purses. I now am the proud owner of 5 pairs of designer glasses. It would have been 6 pair, but my favorite pink ones were in my purse that was stolen. BOOOO! I still have hope that one day a package will show up in the mail and it will be my purse. Wouldn't that be soooo neat?

Well -- best get to work. Make it a great Monday!