Tuesday, January 29

First Place!

Spencer won first place for his science fair project. His project had to do with cleaning pennies. He put a lot of work into it. He even went to the lab Zeke works at to properly weigh and measure them before and after cleaning them.

Way to go Spence!!

Sunday, January 27

Heaven is a brighter place today

President Gordon B. Hinckley died this evening. What a loss for us. What a beautiful reunion is taking place in heaven. I can't decide if I'm happy or sad. I think I'm a lot of both.

I had the opportunity to be in his presence on several occasions at conferences, firesides and devotionals. I loved his quick wit, the twinkle in his eye and his never ending faith. How blessed we were to have him at the head of our church.

Friday, January 25

Friday's Feast

Appetizer
How many times per day do you usually laugh?
I have no clue- LOTS! I laugh all the time- at work, at home, on the web. I have successfully surrounded myself with funny people. I love it!

Soup
What do your sunglasses look like?
They are just generic black sunglasses.

Salad
You win a free trip to anywhere on your continent, but you have to travel by train. Where do you go?
Alaska- I’ve heard that by train is the best way to see Alaska. I’ve never seen that part of the country and I would enjoy the train ride. Plus I’d get to see Canada on the way.

Main Course
Name one thing you consider a great quality about living in your town/city.
I’m close to everything! Target, Wal-Mart, FYE, Joann’s, Wells Fargo, Sam’s Club, Good Earth, Office Depot, and Macy’s are all within walking distance. Plus all the good restaurants are either walkable or about a 2 second car ride.

Dessert
If the sky could be another color, what color do you think would look best?

Purple, for no reason other than it’s my favorite right now.

Thursday, January 24

New and Improved!

Isn't my new design wonderful? It's all due to the brilliance of Carly. From the very beginning of my blogging life I've wanted a simple but not boring template. I've spent more time than I'm willing to admit trying to find a template that I liked. I've even tried to do it myself which was a complete joke! So when Carly said she was starting a blog design business I was all over it! She's a very gifted artist and her blog is always adorable so I knew I would be in great hands. I love it!

Thank you so much Carly!!

Check out Carly's blog design business Playful Pickles Designs. She also has an Etsy Shop that is amazing! She makes the most adorable girl clothes, plus a lot more. Stop by and be awed by her talent, you won't be sorry!

What a tragedy...

I'm so sad about the passing of Heath Ledger. He was such a gifted actor. I truly believe he had the potential to being one of the best actors of this generation. I never saw his Oscar nominated performance in Brokeback Mountain, but his other work was wonderful.

As sad as it is that his career was cut short it is so much sadder that his little girl will grow up without her father in her life. It was so obvious from every interview he gave that he adored her. My heart breaks for her and what she will miss. My prayers go out to his family in their time of mourning.

I found
this article this morning and it makes my blood boil. It says that a church group is planning on protesting at his funeral because of his role in Brokeback Mountain. That is so wrong! I don't care if you agree with the acting choices he made or not, a person's funeral is not the time to protest. The last thing his family needs is protesters. This is a time to step back and allow his family the privacy and respect they deserve.

Rest in peace Heath.

Tuesday, January 22

Spencer

Today is Spencer's 10th birthday. I can't believe he's that old! How did that happen?!?! Next thing I know he'll be graduating from high school. When I first moved to Utah I lived in Bonnie and Ken's basement for a while. Spencer wasn't even one when I moved in. I'm blown away by the fact that he's 10 now. Makes me feel old!

Spencer is the sweetest kid! He is also very mischevious. He has been from day one. He figured out at a very early age that sound travels. He was very good at getting a chair or stool across the floor without you even knowing. I learned very early on when I was tending him that if it was quiet I needed to figure out what he was up to.

Spencer is growing up into such a great young man. I'm so proud of him! He has such a tender heart and is so good with his siblings. Of course, his Mom may tell me differently but as his "aunt" I love watching him with them.

A few of my favorite things about Spencer are:
~His red hair and freckles. I'm a sucker for a redhead!
~His sparkly eyes. They get this twinkle in them when he's up to something or if something amuses him. It's so cute!
~The fact that he is so well trained. He always gives me a hug without me having to prompt him. I love that! It's so sweet!
~The fact that he still tells me he loves me more than all the stars in the sky. This started way back when he was just learning to talk and he would tell me "I love you the stars." Melts my heart!

Happy Birthday Spencer!!! Love you!



Sunday, January 20

Wanna Play?


I'm totally blaming Socks for being late to church today. Everytime I walked by the bed I was attacked. Like I could resist playing along!


In his defense I was already really late when the playing started. But I did manage to make it in time for my lesson. Of course my lesson is in the last meeting, but that's not the point, I was on time for it!


Friday, January 18

Friday's Feast

AppetizerWhat is your favorite beverage?Diet Coke with a shot of vanilla in it- yum! They used to sell it with the vanilla in it but they quit making it so now I have to keep a bottle of vanilla syrup at my house.

Soup
Name 3 things that are on your computer desk at home or work.At work- multiple piles of paperwork, can of canned air, willow tree statue
At home- textbooks, pictures to be scanned, earrings I wore yesterday
SaladOn a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how honest do you think you are?
About an 8. I don’t lie about big things but sometime a little white lie can not be avoided.

Main Course
If you could change the name of one city in the world, what would you rename it and why?I honestly can’t think of one. There are a bunch of small town names here in Utah that make me wonder what they were thinking when they named them but I don’t think they need to be changed.

Dessert
What stresses you out? What calms you down?
I’m a relatively calm person. I try not to stress about things because most of the things that I could stress about are out of my control anyway. When I give into the stress it’s usually about living an unfulfilled life, being single forever, not having children, something happening to my parents or other irrational things like that.

As for calming me down- deep breathing, good music, a hot shower and chocolate are at the top of the list.

Thursday, January 17

Now that's dedication!

As I was driving to work this morning I stopped at a red light. While I was sitting there waiting to turn on to Riverdale Road a man jogged across the crosswalk. This isn't an unusual thing to witness, people exercising is an every day occurrence. What struck me was the fact that it was so cold outside and he was out running. Right after the crosswalk he jogged past one of those big marquee's in front of the car dealership and it flashed the temperature as 3 degrees! My first thought was that he must be insane!


My second thought, and the point of this rambling, was how dedicated he was. What a great amount of willpower he must have to get out of bed, get dressed and step out into that frigid air. I can't even imagine. It must be wonderful to have that kind of passion for something.


It made me wonder if there is anything in my life that I'm that dedicated to, that I have that much passion for. I couldn't really think of anything. Of course, I'm passionate about my family. I would walk through fire for them, but what is it that I'm that passionate about that is just for me? Do I have a hobby or past-time that inspires that level of dedication? It certainly isn't exercise, I struggle to get to the gym. I have to talk myself into it every time I go. I have been trying to think about things I do and enjoy to analyze this question that's been running around in my head- work, church, school, reading, movies, photography, and traveling were a few things I came up with. Dang! I'm a pretty boring person. (not that that's a newsflash or anything) The only thing on this list that even remotely comes close to running in 3 degree weather would be my love of reading. I'd rather read than do just about anything- eat, sleep, work. I'm still not sure that I'd read in 3 degrees though. I want to find something that I'm "run in 3 degrees" passionate about. Hmmmm.... I'll have to give this one some thought.

Tuesday, January 15

Why can't I quit you?

I have a problem. It's one that I think I have conquered and then every January it rears its ugly head. Hello, my name is Amy and I'm addicted to


I've been watching since the first season. I own more of AI cd's than I'm willing to admit. Some of my favorites are Kelly, Clay, Daughtry and Blake. I always swear I'm not going to watch. It's so time consuming and I get way to wrapped up in it. But once again I'm sitting here watching.
The audition shows are always good for a laugh. Seriously- do these people actually think they are talented?

Sunday, January 13

Cheesy

I love cheese. The stinkier the better. Swiss, Parmesan, Raclette, Asiago, Brie, Gouda, Blue, the list goes on and on. Tonight's dinner choice was all because of a craving for stinky cheese. The cheese of the evening was Gruyére. Yum!
I made Baked Spätzle with Ham and Gruyére- It turned out so yummy!

Spätzle is a German egg noodle that they serve with a lot of meals. They are pretty bland but when you dress them up with gravy or stinky cheese they are delicious! A couple of Christmases ago my mom bought me my own press so that I could make my own. Isn't it pretty? (I am aware of what a dork I am by the way.)

Anyway, moving on..... Here's the recipe just in case you're feeling like you need some stinky cheese in your life-
First you have to make the Spätzle. It can be made with a ricer or a colander if you don't have a press.
3 cups flour
4 eggs
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg (optional)
1 tsp. salt

Stir flour, eggs, salt, and 2 cup of water. Beat until batter is smooth and no longer adheres to the spoon. Add water as needed. The Spätzle dough can be firm enough to be rolled and cut into slivers or soft enough to be forced through a sieve, colander or Spätzle maker with large holes.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. If you have a Spätzle press, press the dough through the press and into the boiling water. If you do not have a press, place dough on cutting board and roll out. Cut dough into tiny noodles. Add noodles to boiling water. They cook quickly and are done when they float back to the surface. As the noodles finish cooking, remove them with a slotted spoon. Do not place on paper towel as they will stick.
Spätzle Baked Ham with Gruyére
1 batch Spätzle
1large finely chopped onion
3 Cups finely diced ham
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
3 Cups milk
4 eggs
1 ½ cups shredded Gruyére cheese

Heat a medium nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add onion, cook for 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add ham and heat through. Combine Spätzle and onion and ham mixture in a 10X15 baking dish coated with cooking spray. (I mix some of the cheese into the ham/onion/spätzle mixture)

Combine salt, milk, eggs, flour, and pepper, stirring with a whisk. Pour milk mixture over Spätzle mixture. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Enjoy!

Ugh!

We just moved to 9:00 am church- YUCK! We had stake conference last week so this was our first week on the new schedule. I was late but I did get there during the opening hymn so I didn't do to bad. I'm going to have to change my Saturday night habits from now on. (yeah, right!)


I'm gonna go have a nap....

Friday, January 11

Friday's Feast



Appetizer
What is your middle name? Would you change any of your names if you could? If so, what would you like to be called?
I don’t have a middle name. It was going to be Kathleen but my grandmother got involved so I have no middle name. If you knew my grandmother you would understand! As far as changing my name, I don’t think I would. There are A LOT of Amy’s so it might be nice to have something a little more unique, but I’m kind of attached to it by now, changing it would be very difficult to adjust to.

Soup
If you were a fashion designer, which fabrics, colors, and styles would you probably use the most?
Hmmmm…. I love reds, purples, greens, blues and black. I would want everything to be uber-comfy so I would use cottons, denim and fleece. My clothing line wouldn’t be very trendy or chic but it would be oh-so-comfortable!

Salad
What is your least favorite chore, and why?
Ironing! I HATE to iron! Why? Because I’ll have the shirt/pants/skirt of for all of about 2 seconds and it will have wrinkles again! Drives me crazy!!!

Main Course
What is something that really frightens you, and can you trace it back to an event in your life?
I’m guessing this is supposed to be something deeper than my fear of snakes, right? Right at this moment I’m frightened I will fail miserably in school. There isn’t really an event in my life I can trace this fear back to, I’m just paranoid because it’s been so long since I’ve been a student.

DessertWhere are you sitting right now? Name 3 things you can see at this moment.
At my computer counter. I can see kitchen counter that needs to be cleaned desperately. It’s where everything just gets dumped and right now it’s very cluttered. I can see my clean sparkly dishes in the dish drainer that I need to put away. I can see my cat sitting on the stool next to me, wanting me to give him some attention.

Thursday, January 10

Which Austen Heroine are you?

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!
You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.

Funny thing is, this doesn't surprise me at all. It's pretty accurate. She's probably who I would have picked even without taking the quiz.

Wednesday, January 9

Wordless Wednesday

Surveying his kingdom

Politically Correct?

This is from today's Deseret News. He makes an very good point. I'm not saying that Mitt needs to be our next president but let's take religion out of the game, either that or open up the other candidates to the same level of scrutiny.

Better Duck- if you're Mormon
-Doug Robinson
I missed the memo that said it's A-OK to make disparaging and often erroneous statements about Mormons.
Apparently, they are fair game.
Sure, these are hypersensitive times, when name-calling or perceived bias against any group will get you the Don Imus treatment, but you get a free shot with Mormons. You can say what you want about them with impunity.

If you denigrate a racial group, you're racist.
If you denigrate women, you're sexist.
If you denigrate Mormons, you're hip.
No one would openly suggest that you shouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton because a woman can't lead the country, especially an ornery one.
Nobody would dare say that you shouldn't vote for Barack Hussein Obama because he's black, or of Muslim descent, or because he has a name that sounds like a terrorist. One Clinton worker even apologized for alluding to Obama's use of drugs as a youth, so apparently it's wrong to disparage former drug users, too.
But nobody is shy about saying you shouldn't vote for Romney simply because he's a Mormon. It doesn't even register on the PC-O-Meter.


Read the whole article...

Monday, January 7

I'm fine, really....

Do you remember this conversation from The Italian Job?
John Bridger: How are you?
Charlie Croker: [shrugging] I'm fine.
John Bridger: Fine? You know what "fine" stands for, don't you?
Charlie Croker: Unfortunately, yeah.
John Bridger: Freaked out...
Charlie Croker: Insecure...
John Bridger: Neurotic...Charlie Croker: And Emotional.

That's how I'm feeling right now- FINE. I am starting school again tonight after about a 6 year absence, and then I was a part time student. I haven't been a full time student for as long as I can remember. I think it was when I lived in Cedar City in the mid 90's and my main reason for being there was school. Now I'm jumping back in full time and I'm having some serious anxiety! I can't believe I'm so freaked out about it. I'm not even quite sure why I'm so nervous but I have an upset stomach, knots in my neck, and I'm pretty sure I was clenching my jaw in my sleep last night because it is sore this morning. Aaaack!

I've been trying to figure out why I'm so nervous about the whole thing, I'm an adult for crying out loud, I shouldn't be this jittery! Obviously I'm worried about doing well. My study habits are a bit rusty so there is that to consider. I have never been really good at managing my time so I'm worried about working full time and being in school full time. I have also been very spoiled in the fact that I have had my leisure time to do what I want, when I want. I'm not going to have that anymore. That is going to be really hard for me.

Ok, I'm rambling..... I'll just do some deep breathing and try to relax.

Sunday, January 6

I should be sleeping...

Ok, it's 1:08 am and here I sit blogging. Why you ask? Several reasons- 1. It's Saturday and I slept in so I'm not really ready for bed. 2. I had Diet Coke later than I should have. 3. My sheets are in the dryer so I can't go to bed even if I wanted to. So I decided to do this ipod meme, which was actually an email I got but I decided to post here instead.

Here are the instructions:
1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. Press forward for each question.
3. Use the song title as the answer to the question.
4. NO CHEATING.

Q: What does next year have in store for you? My Happy Ending by Avril Lavigne
Q: What does your love life look like next year? Extraordinary by Liz Phair
Q: What do you say when life gets hard? Footloose by Kenny Loggins
Q: Song that reminds you of good times? Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
Q: What do you think when you get up in the morning? Raise the Roof by Peter Cincotti
Q: What song will you dance to at your wedding? Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
Q: Song that reminds you of your first kiss? Breathless by The Corrs
Q: Your favourite saying? I'm Not that Girl from the Wicked Soundtrack
Q: Favourite place? Lullaby by Josh Groban
Q: Most Missed Memory? Eternal by William Joseph
Q: What song describes your best friend? Eight Days A Week by The Beatles
Q: What song describes your ex? Chains of Love by Erasure
Q: Where would you go on a first date? Maneater by Nelly Furtado
Q: Drug of choice? Now or Never by Josh Groban
Q: What song describes yourself? Lost & Found by Will Smith
Q: What is the thing you like doing most? I've Got the World on a String by Michael Buble
Q: The song that best describes the president? Machine by Josh Groban
Q: Where will you be in 10 years? The Sweet Escape by Gwen Stefani
Q: Your love life right now? Bad Medicine by Bon Jovi
Q: What is your state of mind like at the moment? Serious by Colors
Q: How will you die? Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something

That was fun! I snorted out loud a couple of times with what my ipod came up with. Now my sheets are dry so I can go make my bed and snuggle in for the night. Good night all!

Friday, January 4

Friday's Feast

AppetizerWhen was the last time you received a surprise in the mail, and what was it?I honestly can’t remember the last time I got a surprise in the mail unless you count my dentist bill. It was a surprise how much my insurance was not going to cover of my root canal!!!
SoupIf you could have a summer and/or winter home, where would you want it to be?Heidelberg, Germany is one of my favorite places on earth. It’s in a little valley with a river running through it. It has a beautiful castle that sits on the hill. The hills are full of hiking paths. Downtown Heidelberg is full of wonderful shops and restaurants. It’s a magical place. I would love to have a summer or winter home there! Of course I would also need a private jet to get me there any time I want.
SaladPick one: pineapple, orange, banana, apple, cherry.
mmmm…. I actually love all of these but if I have to choose just one it would be pineapple. I can eat it until I have an upset stomach and cankers on my tongue. It’s so good!

Main Course
Describe the nicest piece of clothing that you own.
I can’t really think of a particularly nice piece of clothing, at least anything more superior to any other piece in my closet. I guess my Irish wool sweater could be considered the nicest piece of clothing I own. My Mom bought it for me when she and Dad were in Ireland for their anniversary. It’s gorgeous! It’s soft, not too itchy and really, really warm. It’s great for snuggling up and watching a good movie.
DessertIf you could forget one whole day from your life, which day would you choose to wipe from your memory?Of the days that come to mind I don’t think I would choose to forget any of them. I value the lessons I learned those days too much to erase them.

Thursday, January 3

New Year's Party

I'm a bit slow getting this posted but I've been distracted as proven by me posting my Wordless Wednesday on Tuesday.

Anyway- we gathered at Amanda and Andy's for a night of food, games, food, silliness and more food. The kids all tried to stay up until midnight but they didn't all make it. Heck, I'm surprised all the adults made it. Ken did have a little nap under the pool table, so I guess I can't actually say that all the adults made it.

Bonnie brought Christmas Crackers, which are a English/Scottish tradition. Bonnie served a mission in Scotland so when she saw them here she bought them and brought them to share with us. Each one contained a paper crown (see pictures) and a toy like a top or a whistle. They were fun.

Here are a few pictures of our evening.

Wednesday, January 2

Why?

Why do I have to pay outrageous amounts of money to have someone give me a big shot in the mouth, drill around in there, and then feel like a freak for several hours afterwards because I can't speak clearly due to the numbness??? Adding insult to injury is the fact that now I can speak clearly but now my mouth is throbbing and it hurts!

It's a good thing my dentist is cute! He may be married and have 4 kids but he's still cute and kind of funny.

I'm taking some drugs and going to bed.

Laugh out loud funny!

My friend Georgia made my day brighter with this little clip. It brought tears to my eyes. I've never seen the movie but this is hysterical!!!!! Enjoy!!

Tuesday, January 1

Wordless Wednesday

Happy New Year!
**I realized last night as I was drifting to sleep that I had posted my Wordless Wednesday on Tuesday. I'm so special! I'm blaming it on the holidays. I have had such a weird schedule at work I can't remember what day it is!!! Oh well!**