Monday, December 31, 2012

Tides of Change

Today today is the last day of yet another wonderful year. As I reflect on its goodness I think of things like the miracle of modern medicine. As the year started with Mr. Man having a pace-maker implanted. It made us stop and be reminded yet again about life's fragile moments. I think about gran number fourteen's birth; another wonderful miracle of life.  This was the year I got my childhood dream car; it was so worth the wait. This year was also full of fun family visits! It has not always been easy to have miles separate us; probably harder for me than them but it makes my heart burst every time we visit to receive such a warm excited welcome! I hold on to the idea that if we lived next door or in the same town their excitement to see us wouldn't be as pronounced.

As I've thought of the last 730 plus daily posts I realize that maybe it is time to change things up. For the last two years I've had some sort of monthly or daily theme; this kept me always thinking, thinking about what I would write about next. This worked for then but it is time for a change. I hope I will write most days, but I might not. But this year my thoughts will be directed to the moment I'm living in. No more themes, just stuff, my stuff.  The good.  The real.  The everyday!

So, let the New Year begin. With all its goodness. With all its potential for wonderful growth. I'm excited to ring in the New Year and be part of all that it has to offer for me!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mark 12:30

"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment."

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Generation Gap

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Friday, December 28, 2012


At family and friend get togethers a favorite thing to do is play games. One of our favorites is Mexican Train Dominos. Because after all when you play together you stay together!

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Thursday, December 27, 2012


It is no secret that I’m not a fan of cold weather or any of the things that go along with it like snow and ice and things.  So today I’m thankful to be inside.  Where the temperature is nice and toasty.  Where I can watch the grans play with their new sleds from the window!  It just works better for me that way!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Love the ahhhhhhhhhh after Christmas!  The opportunity to sit back and relax.  To just be able to enjoy the company of those you are with.  Yes, one of the best parts of Christmas is the ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Now This Is Christmas…

Luke 2:1-19

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

This is being the true meaning of Christmas.  May we remember it always!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

~~Clement Clarke Moore (1779 - 1863)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

John 12:23

"And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified."

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Did you know??


"Is a greeting used on Christmas morning, with the first person saying it traditionally receiving a gift. The custom, which has been traced back to as early as 1844, is no longer observed but 'Christmas gift!', which used to be a far more popular Christmas greeting than 'Merry Christmas!' is still heard among older people."


Friday, December 21, 2012

The Anticipation

I can’t decide which is my favorite thing.  The actual holiday or the anticipation of the holiday.  It seems the build up can be almost as exciting as the actual event.  So much to do.  So much to plan.  Such a busy time.  And then poof the day arrives and it is over.  Wow, how did that happen so fast.  The planning takes month and then we are done.  It is a toss up for me.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Thankful for the power of it,
The answers that are found,
The peace that it gives.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

These Words

"Christmas is a time for remembering the Son of God and renewing our determination to take upon us His name. It is a time to reassess our lives and examine our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Let this be a time of remembrance, of gratitude, and a time of forgiveness. Let it be a time to ponder the Atonement of Jesus Christ and its meaning for each of us personally. Let it especially be a time of renewal and recommitment to live by the word of God and to obey His commandments. By doing this, we honor Him far more than we ever could with lights, gifts, or parties."

~~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Visions of Caramel

I wasn’t kidding the other day when I said I found my mother’s caramel recipe on a scrape of paper!  Here is that paper.  Plus there is a bonus recipe also on the same paper!  Punch and Caramel!


I love her note to herself, “good” caramel candy.  She is right it is good.  And easy!

This caramel is a two part process.  Here is the recipe as I made it on Saturday.  Oh and turn off your cell phone and the TV and put the kids to bed and if the door bell rings don’t answer it.  Caramel wants your full attention, it will not tolerate interruptions. 

2 cups sugar

2 cups karo syrup (white)

Combine the sugar and syrup and cook to 244 degrees. Once everything gets mixed together well and the sugar is dissolved no more stirring is needed.  I know her recipe says 230 but I’m thinking that’s not enough; just sayin’.  I like my caramel a bit more chewy.  There is an excellent caramel tutorial here.

Preheat 1/2 cup of butter and 2 cups of whip cream.  I just put it in the microwave for a couple minutes.  You don’t want it to boil or anything you just want to warm it up.  Once the sugar mixture reaches 244 add the warmed up butter and whip cream.  Stir, stir, stir while adding the cream mixture into the hot sugar mixture.  Then once the two mixtures calm down because they will bubble up like crazy continue stirring until the mixture reaches 244 again.  This will take about 20-25 minutes to get back up to temperature.

Remove from heat and add 2 tsp. vanilla and 2 cups of chopped nuts, if you are feeling like you want nutty caramel; otherwise just pour the goodness into a buttered 13x9 glass pan.

Let cool, then cut into small pieces and wrap in wax paper.  Give it away or you’ll be wearing it on your hips for a good 3 months!

As to the cranberry punch.  I haven’t tried it but it looks tasty.  So if you try it out let me know what you think!

PS Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad where ever you are.

Monday, December 17, 2012

All over the Board

Fair warning this post is all over the board.  There could be a lot of “so’s” so there you have it.  It was the events of Friday that have filled my mind for the most part of the weekend.  My heart can’t stop aching for those families in Connecticut.  We hear it so often that life can change in a moment and I know that and try to live without regret but those events just seem so unimaginable… so tragic.  I wish more people had God in their life.

So Saturday I was doing a bit of baking and candy making.  I made some caramel.  I looked through a box that has some of my mother’s recipes; I was hoping to find her caramel recipe.  It was there on a scrape of paper.  It is strange how her handwriting invokes so many memories for me.  It would be easy to just retype her recipes and I will someday but I still like to look at her handwriting, it makes me feel like she is talking to me; I think she is.  My caramel turned out good although I did have a couple of questions for her, it has been a while since I’ve made candy but she was with me; I felt her presence.  Now I just need to wrap it.  Hope I can do that before we eat it all.  It would be easier just to eat it.

So I found myself at the computer numerous times through out my day Saturday.  I just couldn’t stop reading about Friday’s tragic events.  I was looking for answers.  I have this thing about why.  I always want to know why.  Sadly I know there is no logical why and there will be no answers.

So there is a blog I read from time to time.  And apparently not as often as I thought.  But Sunday morning I thought, I wonder what Barbara’s thoughts are on the events of Friday.  So I went to her blog only to learn she had passed away October 30th.  I couldn’t believe what I was reading; in fact at first my mind didn’t understand what I was reading.  Who died?  I just started bawling.  I know I had looked at her blog just before the election probably days before she died and now to learn this.  My heavy heart just got heavier.

This day I ache for all who mourn.  I ache for the parents and grandparents.  I ache for all who have lost hope and faith.  I ache for those whose life has changed forever.  And I pray for all of the above.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

3rd Nephi 12:16

"Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Favorite Song

Sometimes I get stuck on a song that I can’t stop listening too.  The song this year that I can’t get enough of is “Carol of the Bells.”  It has quite a history.  You can read about it here.
These artists have produced some of my Favorites:
  1. The Piano Guys
  2. Cast in Bronze
  3. George Winston
  4. Jenny Oaks Baker
  5. Jim Brickman
  6. John Tesh
  7. John Williams (Home Alone)
  8. Mannheim Steamroller
  9. Mormon Tabernacle Choir
  10. Pentatonix
  11. Barlow Girl
  12. Kenny G

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Music of Christmas

I’m thankful for the music of Christmas.  I love they way it makes me feel.  I love the spirit it brings with it.  I can’t get enough of it.

Check out tomorrow’s post for some of my favorites!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Remember all the blessings of the day;
Remember some days won’t last forever;
Remember life is too short to fill it with worry;
Remember to just believe;
Remember to be thankful;
Remember who you are and how you want to be remembered;
And always, always remember the reason for the season!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bacon Candy

Does the word bacon just make your mouth water?  Do you have visions of goodness dancing in your head?  This little bacon trick is probably nothing new to the internet world but in my world it was a fun fancy way to twist things up when serving up the goodness.

You will need some wonderful bacon.

2011-12-02 16.30.47-2

And some of these things:

2011-12-02 16.33.36

And then you will go like this:

2011-12-02 16.34.09

And then you will do this:

2011-12-02 16.34.53

And then you will have a whole pan that looks like this:

2011-12-02 16.32.09

Then just bake these babies for about 25-30 minutes at 400 or until your deserved doneness.  I’m a crispy bacon girl. 

And if you really want to enhance the goodness of the bacon, dredge each slice in a mixture of brown sugar (1/2 cup) and chili powder (4 teaspoons) this amount will cover a pound of bacon.  I did and it was better than candy.  Sadly in my excitement for the goodness of the bacon candy, I dredged it, rolled it, baked it and ate it and forgot to take pictures of it. 

It was heaven!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Game Changer

It is interesting to me the influences of marriage.  The union of two people, full of love for each other, willing to please the other; well at least in the beginning of the marriage!  These compromises can really be game changers in life.   This memory surrounds not just game changers but team changers.  Last night we were watching football; the Detroit – Green Bay Game.  Growing up Mr. Man was a Green Bay fan.  The poor boy grow up in a state without any professional sports teams.  That was foreign to me.  He was drawn to the Packers because he didn’t like the Cowboys; both the big name teams of the day.  Plus a player on the Green Bay team had played for the University of Idaho.  So it was  natural for him to love Green Bay.  Then marriage came and that changed everything; it was a game team changer for sure!  Today Mr. Man is a proud fan of the Red and Gold of the 49’ers!  And that’s how it happened.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Luke 12:9

"But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God."

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Where did it go…..

This day got a way.  I wouldn’t call it a blur, it was actually quite wonderful.  But slip away it did!!2012-11-30 19.59.37

Friday, December 7, 2012


Simply put my favorite lights are the lights of Christmas and appreciate all those who go the extra mile to light up my world!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Our Home

I’m thankful to come home each night to our home.  I’m thankful for a roof over our head.  For all the walls that surround us.  For its warmth and comfort. It is our perfect home and each day I’m thankful for it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


This time of year there is a definite excitement in the air.  It is full of energy and delight.  Every where you turn there is evidence of the Christmas season.  Each year I try to be a bit more prepared than the last.  This year I started my planning and preparing back in September.  I was excited about my ideas and things I wanted to do.  And so I proceeded with my plan.  The thing is now it is December and the planning and preparing is done; not the wrapping, something has to wait for December right?  But after all is said and done I feel like I have lost some of the excitement.   When I was younger Christmas wasn’t even thought of until after Thanksgiving.  We didn’t decorate until December 10th or was it the 5th.  Either way now I think why go to all that work of decorating only 15 or 20 days before Christmas.  So I’m working on getting the excitement I felt back in September back in my life. Because as my Dad always said, (no matter the time of the year)

“Christmas is Coming!”

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

If it ain’t broke…

……there is no need to fix it!  I just love how the internet intertwines the world. You jump here, you jump there and in all that jumping you can find some really good stuff.  So as you know I’m a great lover of the potato, it’s just not a secret!  So when I found this recipe for potato goodness I thought why re-invent the wheel.  Just follow the link to goodness!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Grandma Great

Yesterday I received an email from one of my SIL’s.  She was announcing the birth of her great-granddaughter.  What, I have a SIL that is a great-grandmother!  That is crazy to me.  But it got me to thinking about my own maternal grandmother; I don’t really have any memories of my great-grandmothers.  But my grandmother, yes many memories of her.  So what really popped into my mind is what my children called my grandmother.  She was known to them as Grandma Great!  This then set my mind to thinking.  So I’m not much of a fan of being called “grandma” and therefore I’m not known as one.  So then what would I wish to be called?  I believe if I live to see that day I would like to be known as GG!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hebrews 12:2

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Real Fall

Although the calendar said the first day of fall was September 22nd, here in California we really don’t see fall until the temperature really drops and the rains come.  And generally in our neck of the woods the big rains don’t appear until January and February.  This year it has been different.  The rain, rain everywhere has started.  Last night we came home to this, along with some minor flooding in the garage:2011-12-01 08.42.48-1

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And this little tree was full of bright red, yellow and orange leaves just 5 days ago.  But then the rains came.  Now that is fall!!