December 7, 2017

Thought For The Day

"As we extend our hands and hearts towards others in Christlike love, something wonderful happens to us. Our own spirits become healed, more refined, and stronger. We become happier, more peaceful, and more receptive to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit."

- Dieter F. Uchtdorf

October 15, 2017

Pumpkin Party

Earlier this year we participated in a parenting group. All of our little ones will be or have turned one recently so we decided to have a party to celebrate. We had a potluck at the pumpkin patch. It was so much fun to get together and see everyone! It was so cute to watch our little ones interact with each other!

October 14, 2017

A Beacon Of Hope

This past week our family was able to spend some much needed time out at the coast. One day while out exploring, we came upon this lighthouse. This lighthouse was once a beacon of hope to those out at sea. I couldn’t help but notice that this lighthouse no longer had a light, it was worn and beat up. This lighthouse caused me to pause and reflect on life.

Each of us has the light of Christ. Those we come in contact with see that light, that light is a beacon of hope. Just like that lighthouse, if we don’t make righteous choices and nourish ourselves spiritually our light can go out, we can become worn and beat up. My challenge to each of you is to take a moment, pause and evaluate where you on the path of righteousness. Do you need to make some changes? Is there room for improvement? If so, start now to make those changes. Add oil to your lamp so your light can continue to shine bright.

October 5, 2017

Trust In The Lord

We found out today that Andy will be getting laid off in March. This all feels very surreal right now, I feel as though I am in a state of shock. Am I surprised by what is going on? Not at all. I am calm. I am nervous to take a step into the dark, to wander on an unknown path and to travel to someplace I have never been. Is it scary? Yes! But the scriptures say, "If ye are prepared ye shall not fear." (D&C 38:30). We have been preparing for this day for a long time, I am just surprised that it is actually here. We have prepared as much as we can and now it is time to put our trust in the Lord. Because with God, all things are possible.

October 2, 2017

Life's Adventures

This week was a week of tears, Bubba. You cried a lot! One day you puked all over your clothes, the crib, the crib bumper and the carpet. A day or so later the diarrhea started and it has been going on ever since. I felt really bad because I knew you didn't feel very well and there was only so much I could do. The only thing that seemed to calm you down was being outside, but some days you didn't want to be outside and you would continue to cry.

I'm cute, even when I puke on myself.

We tried to watch General Conference on Saturday but quickly gave up, it was too hard with all of the crying. Sunday you seemed to feel a little bit better and we were able to watch both sessions of General Conference.

Story time at the library.

I love my bat!

After General Conference we decided to go walk on one of our favorite trails. We didn't make it very far before I noticed some yellow/brown colored stuff coming out of your ear. I called the doctors office to see if I could get you in the following morning and the nurse I spoke with advised me to take you to urgent care. We turned around, got in the car and headed to urgent care.

We walk way almost daily and the sidewalk was so covered with ivy it was becoming impassable. We were so surprised to see the city cleaning it up!

We came across this snake one afternoon while walking.

Nature's beauty!

My hunch was right, you had an ear infection and your ear drum had ruptured. The doctor gave us a prescription for antibiotics and told us to run across the street to the pharmacy to get your filled as the pharmacy was to close in twenty minutes. We were able to get your prescription filled and start you on your medicine. I sure hope you start feeling better soon! Being sick is never fun!

Waiting to be seen at urgent care.

The funny thing about all of this is you never had a fever and you never pulled on our ears. We didn't know you had an ear infection until we saw the nastiness coming out of your ear.

I love my veggies!

In other news, you have really begun pulling yourself up. You frequently pull yourself up in your crib.

September 25, 2017

Date Night Gone Wrong: Rock Climbing

One day while attempting to put you down for a nap, I couldn't help but notice that you were trying to pull yourself up in your crib. Daddy lowered your mattress and his timing couldn't have been better, two days later I caught you standing up in your crib. As soon as I walked in the door, you fell over and hit your head of the crib. I'm sorry I startled you.

Wednesday night you hung out with the Crooks so Daddy and I could go on a date. You enjoyed your time at the Crooks and we mostly enjoyed our date. We decided to go rock climbing, it had been years since we climbed so we took a refresher course and then hit the wall. Daddy made a final trip up the wall and as I was belaying him down my hand got caught in the belay device.

I felt the pain instantly and knew what had happened. The pain was so intense that I couldn't call out or look down at my hand. I tried to yank hard on the rope to get some slack in the line, but it didn't work. Luckily one of the employees saw what had happened and she ran over and yanked on the rope. It took two employees yanking on the rope to get my hand out. I lost several layers of skin, my hand swelled up, it bled and it bruised. I cried a little bit, but that is to be expected. I am so grateful that the injury wasn't worse and that I didn't have to make a trip to the hospital. More importantly, I grateful I still have my hand.

You started saying "Mama" on Thursday night while we were at the consignment sale we like to go to every six months. Yay! You know my name.

That face.

You hate the swings. Every time I put you in the swing you scream bloody murder.

Saturday, we spent the day working on projects around the house. We made a trip across the street to visit the neighbors and their dog Marnie (this is something we do almost daily). To my surprise you started saying "Og" I think that is your way of saying dog. You said "Og" about four times, each time we were either near Marnie or going to see Marnie. Your face lights up every time you see her, I think she is your adopted puppy dog. She gets so excited each time she sees you too!

Riding in your hamper car.

You just love that bat.

Mommy!!!! (Yes, you were crying and I took a picture)

First time seeing bubbles.

Sunday morning we went on a family walk before hopping in the car and heading to Dallas. My cousin Cooper came home from his mission in Alaska and we went up to hear his homecoming talk. You did so good during church! It was so good to see family and catch up! I can't believe it has been two years since Cooper left, I remember going to his farewell like it was yesterday. It's crazy how fast time passes.

September 22, 2017

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

I don't know about you, but I struggle when it comes to meal planning. For me, meal planning feels too restrictive. What if what I planned to make for dinner that day doesn't sound good? What about my leftovers? When will they get eaten?

Another thing I struggle with is wasting food- I hate to waste food! I hardly ever throw food out, I manage to find a way to use everything. On the rare occasion that something doesn't get eaten in time, we feed it to the chickens.

And, I only go grocery shopping twice a month. The exception to this rule is making a milk run (we only have one fridge).

At this point you might be scratching your head wondering what we eat. Honestly, we eat a lot of whole grains, lean meats and A LOT of fruits and vegetables.

On more than one occasion Andy has suggested that I should blog about what I make with "nothing" in the fridge. While it's a good idea, I'm not sure it would help very much, since what is in my fridge is probably different from what is in your fridge.  

I guess I should get back on track-- this post is supposed to be about chili. About a year ago my sister gave me an awesome chili recipe, I changed a few things in it, entered the chili in a couple of chili cook offs and won. Since it's chili season again I thought I would share the recipe with you.

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

1 Medium Yellow Onion, diced
4 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1.75-2 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
2 (15 Ounce) White Beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15 Ounce) Cans Diced Tomatoes
2 (4 Ounce) Cans Green Chilies
1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
8 Ounces Neufchatel Cheese (found next to the cream cheese at the store)
1 Tablespoon Oregano Leaves
2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Chopped Cilantro, for topping
Shredded Cheese, for topping
Corn Tortilla Chips, for topping

Place the onions and garlic on the bottom of your slow cooker. Place chicken on top in a single layer. Add the beans, tomatoes, chilies, chicken broth, neufchatel cheese, oregano, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper and cover. Cook for 8-10 hours on low or until chicken is very tender. Remove chicken and shred with a fork. Once shredded stir the chicken back into the soup and season with salt and pepper as needed. Ladle into bowls and serve topped with cilantro, cheese and tortilla chips.  Serves 6-8

While the photos are not the prettiest, this chili is the tastiest! Your belly will thank you for eating it. I took some chili to my neighbors this evening and they came running outside asking for the recipe-- it's that good! Enjoy!

September 21, 2017

Bubba At 10 Months

My sweet little boy, how has it been 10 months already? It's hard to believe how fast you are growing up. It seems like you learn something new almost daily. You can roll, and crawl, and sit yourself up. You have two cute little bottom teeth now. You have started eating "real food" like pancakes and Cheerios. You love green beans! I'm not sure when you decided you likes them, but that's been a positive change. You make different noises when you want different things. And you giggle when delight when you are excited!

We love you so very much! Our lives wouldn't be complete without you!