Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gingerbread Houses

My family has had a tradition every year for as long as I can remember to make gingerbread houses for Thanksgiving. And our rule is we can't eat any of the candy until Christmas. Well, since my parents are in Utah for Thanksgiving since my sister is blessing her baby, we did our houses a little bit early this year. Here are some photos to enjoy:

Here's my crazy dad having some fun with ice cream cones.

Here Scott is hard at work.

Here are my parents working on their houses.
The finished products....

My dad's house

My mom's house

My house

Scott's house
Here we are with each of our houses:

My dad

My mom



Paint Rock

Scott and I had the opportunity to go with his Archeology class to a little town called Paint Rock. It is about 20 miles outside of San Angelo. We had a lot of fun. We were able to meet some great people who live on this property that have Indian paintings. It was an amazing learning experience. Here are some photos of our trip:

Before I show these pictures I will give you the background story on these. We were sitting in the building that you first come to and the husband of the wife that owns the land was giving his speech on the Indian paintings. Then his wife comes in and says that their broom is standing straight up in the hallway by itself. They graciously let us in their house so we could see it ourselves and take pictures. This can happen during the equinox.

Here's an egg and a broom standing on the table without any help

Here is the owner of the property acting like a witch so it looks
like her broom is being held up by her powers.

Here is the broom standing up all by itself. If you look closely you
can see that the broom doesn't completely touch the ground.

The following pictures are examples of some of the Indian paintings we were able to see.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Christmas Poem

I got an email from work the other day that had this poem in it. I thought I would share it with all of you because I think it is so true. I know it is only November, but it is getting close enough to Christmas that I thought this was a good one. I hope we all remember this season the true meaning of Christmas.

*Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*
*See the PC Police had taken away,*
*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*
*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*
*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*
*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*
* December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.*
*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*
*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*
*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*
*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*
*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*
*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*
*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*
*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*
*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*
* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*
*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*
*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*
*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*
*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*
not Happy Holiday !*
Please, all Christians join together and
wish everyone you meet during the
holidays a
Christ is The Reason for the Christ-mas Season!

Friday, November 6, 2009

New Recipe!

So every once in a while, I get an email from Eat Better America. I got one yesterday and it had a recipe for "Healthified" Chicken Tortilla Casserole. After looking it over, I thought it sounded really good so we tried it last night. Scott and I both liked it and it will definitely be added to the recipe book for the future. Here's the recipe just in case any of you want to try it:

Prep Time:20 min
Start to Finish:1 hr 15 min
makes:8 servings

1 can (10 3/4 oz) 98% fat free 45% less sodium condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
1 container (8 oz) fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup fat-free (skim) milk
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
8 yellow corn tortillas (6 or 7 inch), torn into bite-size pieces
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
1 large tomato, chopped (1 cup)
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend (6 oz)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix soup, chiles, sour cream, milk, chili powder and cumin until blended. Stir in chicken, tortillas and bell pepper. Stir in tomato and 1 cup of the cheese. Spoon and spread mixture in baking dish.
2. Cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake uncovered 5 to 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes.

Also, I did change the recipe up a little bit. Instead of worrying about chopping up all the vegetables, I just bought a can of Rotel and used that. And depending on how hot you want the dish you can get either mild or hot. We just used mild this time. I thought it turned out well and it definitely cuts your prep time down. Another thing that will cut the prep time down is if you have canned chicken. Then all you have to do is drain the juice shred the chicken and mix it in. It makes it so much easier.

This dish last night was accompanied with spanish rice. It all tasted so good. If any of you want the recipe for the rice let me know. For those who try it I hope you like it as much as we did.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

October Craziness!

It is crazy to think that it is November already! So much has happened this passed month it is crazy. The beginning of October was General Conference of course which was wonderful as always. Then that following Monday my sister had her baby. He is so precious!! I can't wait to meet her little one. Then we had some sickness in my brother's family plus my little niece having to go into surgery twice. Then it was nice having my mom come back from Utah. Then before we knew it, it was Halloween. Halloween day Scott and I went over to my parents and decorated cookies. It was a lot of fun spending time with my parents doing things that we love. Then later that night we got to go to the ward Trunk-or-Treat. It was fun seeing all the costumes everyone had on. The only sad part about it all is that we got so busy we missed out with carving pumpkins and roasting the seeds. I guess better planning next time right!?! But overall we still had a lot of fun!

Thank You!

We just want to thank everyone that had my little niece in their prayers as she went through surgery this past weekend. Everything ending up going really well. The doctors at first were only planning on taking 10% of her kidney, but when they went in, they saw it was worse then they originally thought. They ended up taking 2/3 of her kidney out. But the doctors are glad that they made the decision to remove the kidney now rather than later. The best part of it all is that she was able to go home within 24 hours of the surgery. We are so proud of how brave she has been throughout all of this. We are all hoping this will be the last surgery she will have. Again thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.