Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Favorite Camping Meals

Works for Me Wednesday
Favorite Summer Recipes #3

We love camping. And we love eating. Combine the two and we're in heaven! One of our favorite camping meals is foil dinners. It must be some other people's favorite as well, because this old post - Foil Dinners - has the greatest number of hits for this whole blog. You can read it to find out all of our "tricks" but I'll let you in now on the number one secret - paper towels!

We also love to cook with Dutch ovens (yes, sometimes more than one) while camping. Our most memorable experience with that was in Yosemite, when someone came up to our campsite and asked how we got pizza delivered. We didn't realize the aroma carried! But, alas, there is no pizza delivery in Yosemite, we made it ourselves in the Dutch oven. Go here to find out how we did it.

Some of our other favorite meals to cook in the Dutch oven are beef stew, chili, and chicken wings. On the grill we like hamburgers or pigs in blanket. And sometimes we want the ease of the Coleman stove; spaghetti or even top ramen taste better outdoors than they do at home!

Head on over to We are THAT Family to see if anyone else posts camping meal ideas. We're always looking for new suggestions. What are some of your favorites?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Rudolph Day - Rest and Relaxation

I guess before I can start planning Christmas 2011, I need to finish wrapping up Christmas 2010! One of the extended family traditions is to forego presents and spend time together on a cruise every few years. It's a great tradition! However, this time our vacation was stuck between house-hunting trips so I never got around to posting the pictures. Now we're in the middle of the actual move, but thanks to Blogger's scheduling feature, you can still have a Rudolph Day post. We've discovered that a cruise truly is a vacation - no cooking, no cleaning, no interruptions, lots of reading and relaxing. I highly recommend it. And the scenery is gorgeous, a beautiful reminder of the wonderful world created just for us.

This time we stopped at Puerto Vallarta where we strolled along the beach/promenade and enjoyed looking at the variety of sculptures.

In Cabo San Lucas we took a water taxi to"the end of the world" and admired the beautiful rock formations while relaxing on the beach.

Don't forget the food! As usual, it was gorgeous and delicious, giving us the temptation to eat way too much. We tried to be sensible, but still had to increase the exercise time once we got home!

Of course the best part of the trip was spending time with family, and particularly my wonderful husband. Fortunately, you don't have to travel to exotic places for that to happen. I can enjoy the wonder and message of Christmas year-round in my own home. I hope you do too. Happy Rudolph Day!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

There's No Place Like Home - Clearfield

Flashback FridayA couple of weeks before David was born, we moved to an apartment in Clearfield, Utah so Wayne could start work at IOMEGA. Because we didn't know whether we were having a boy or girl, we found a three bedroom townhome. The stairs to the second level were open and without a railing, which was a bit scary, but at least they were carpeted; fortunately, they didn't cause any emergency room incidents. Because the apartment had washer and dryer hookups, we were able to buy our own; it was great not having to make the trek to a laundromat with two babies. We learned the hard way that electric heat is expensive, so one of our not-so-memorable memories of this place is being cold! We were in a ward with lots of young families in their first homes; noticing the trials caused by home repairs and large mortgages helped convince us to wait a long time before buying our own first house. One other neat thing about living in Clearfield relates to family history; my mom was born in Clearfield and attending Clearfield High School before moving to California. She was baptized in the same building where we attended church each week. And as I'd do errands, I'd drive by my great-grandmother's house. However, in spite of those fond memories, we had a terrible landlord, so when our lease was up, we started looking for a new place. By this time Weston was two and David was standing and beginning to walk.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Favorite Summer Salads

Works for Me Wednesday
Favorite Summer Salads

Summertime = Salads. Who wants to heat up the kitchen when it's already hot? A lot of our favorite salads don't really have recipes - like Chicken Caesar Salad, Taco Salad, and Chicken BLT Salad - but here are a couple that do:Spinach Tortellini Salad

Salads for dinner works for me! However, I'm always looking for new ideas. What are some of your favorite summer salads?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our Eventful (Extended) Weekend

We've had an eventful few days, and there's a lot that could be said, but I'll refrain and let the pictures do the talking.the first surprise at the airportpreparing the "welcome home" sign participating in trekexploring the beach while waiting for the next flight to arrivethe second surprise at the airporton the way to an honorable releaseeasing into life after a missionan early Father's Day surpriseone last hike in the Tampa areatrek is over - more reunions

saying good-bye to wonderful friends

Happy Father's Day!

a new elder in the family

I'm continually amazed at the number of red-letter days on our calendar; we are truly blessed. And there's still more to come. Stay tuned, but don't expect anything for a while, because the next big event includes lack of internet access for a while!

From the Mouths of Children

Happy Father's Day!

While cleaning out the file drawer, I came across a booklet that the Primary kids put together for their dads in 1998. I thought you might enjoy remembering what was said! My dad really loves to

  • read

  • do what he loves to do

  • camp

  • go to Scouts
The best time I had with my dad was

  • on a two mile hike just me and him

  • the last time I went camping

  • when he tickled me

  • on a trip
My dad's favorite food is

  • artichokes

  • salad

  • everything

  • potatoes
My dad even let me

  • know that he wanted to name Jeff Poindexter

  • have fun

  • play Nintendo and GameBoy when my chores are done

  • have gum
The funniest thing I saw my do was

  • eat a whopper egg that was in his belly button

  • put a whopper in his belly button

  • make a funny face
My dad is sooo smart he even knows

  • my name

  • how to make a back yard

  • how to fix a car
A special thing my dad taught me was

  • how to swim

  • how to work hard

  • to read books

I can hardly wait to see what wonderful things your own children say about you!

Happy Father's Day!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

There's No Place like Home - Provo #2

Flashback Friday

After a year in downtown Provo, a spot in Wymount Terrace became available and we moved to 10B-574 in North Wymount in August 1983. Our apartment was on the top floor, up a flight of concrete steps, memorable because Weston fell down them once and I felt like an absolutely terrible mother for allowing that to happen. Another day, after a rainstorm, I remember letting him play happily in the puddle at the bottom; that got quite a few comments from our neighbors, but it's a fond memory.

Here Weston had his first birthday, took his first steps, and helped us with our homework. I guess the walls were thin, because I also remember his nightly crying bothering the neighbors. It's a good thing he eventually outgrew that. After a year living here, both Wayne and I graduated and it was time to move on just after Thanksgiving in 1984. Weston had a blast "helping" move by climbing in the empty cupboards!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Welcome Home!

Another "Best Two Years of My Life" is history. Already we've had tidbits for Steven (get white flip-flops and something else I can't remember ) and we're learning the secret of how to always wash the dishes immediately (get a sink that only has hot water - you have 2 minutes before it becomes scalding). We're looking forward to a summer of story-telling and are going to enjoy the extra energy in our home!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Favorite Summer Beverages

Works for Me Wednesday
Favorite Summer Beverages

This is the first in a series of favorite summer recipes. When it gets hot, we get thirsty. One of our favorite things to fix is what we call "No Ice Cream Milk Shakes." I can't remember where I originally got the recipe, which you can find here, but it was years and years ago. This is something we have a lot! Give it a try; hopefully you'll like it too.Here's the recipe for Sherbet Punch, our staple for open house gatherings.

No pictures for the rest, but we also like either Root Beer Floats (everyone knows how to make those, right?) or Sherbet Floats (made with Sprite). Have you ever tried Orange Floats (orange soda and vanilla ice cream)? What's your favorite soda/ice cream combination?

We also like smoothies, and I don't have a real recipe for that. Basically we just put some water or milk in the blender (1-2 cups), and throw in some yogurt and some frozen fruit. I have one child who insists it's not a proper smoothie without some frozen orange juice concentrate added. Blend it all together and serve. Once again, experiment with different combinations.

Writing this post reminds me that I need to make some Orange Julius and take a picture, and also some Lemonade Slushie. (Mix up regular powdered lemonade, but do it in the blender and use ice cubes for part of the water.)

So that's what works for us currently. Of course, especially now that summer's here, we're always looking for additional ways to keep us hydrated and cool. What works for you?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Graduation - The 1980 Version

Memorable Monday Moments
High School Graduation

Technically this event occurred on a Friday, but today is Monday, and today is the anniversary of this definitely memorable event. We've been planning for and celebrating Steven's high school graduation. It was inevitable that I'd recall my own. One of the advantages of trying to go through old boxes is that you find treasures; these pictures were hidden away in the back of my closet. I thought it was fitting that I discovered them the week that Steven got to give his valedictory. I had the same opportunity 31 years ago. (It doesn't seem possible that it's been that long!)

San Benito Joint Union High School

Hollister, California

13 June 1980

1 - giving my speech 2 - standing by the flag during the processional
3 - receiving my diploma 4 - after the ceremony

Friday, June 10, 2011

There's No Place Like Home - #1

Flashback Friday
Our Homes - #1

Because this summer we're moving again, I thought it would be a neat Friday Flashback series to remember each of the places we've lived. Our first apartment was in Provo on the corner of 500 North and 500 West, a little bit of a walk to the BYU campus, but still definitely do-able. We had an end unit on the middle floor. Trying to find someplace to live was one of our first challenges as a couple; this was before the days of internet research, or even inexpensive long-distance phone calls. My mom and I took one day out of our family vacation to Utah and did all the legwork to choose this one-bedroom apartment. It didn't have air conditioning (which led to our receiving the gift of a "necessary luxury" - a fan), but it did have running water. During the year we lived here, we went to school, worked, started our family traditions and welcomed our first baby. Needless to say, it was an eventful year and we have a lot of fond memories of the time spent here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Graduation - The 2011 Version

It's official! We have another high school graduate. We're so proud of Steven. We wish you all lived a little closer so you could celebrate with us. I tried all day yesterday (in between all the other chores and activities) to upload the video of him walking across the stage. Blogger didn't cooperate. (It was shorter than the last video I uploaded, so I'm confused.) Anyway, here are a few of the pictures we took to commemorate the day. Before the ceremony
During the ceremony After the ceremony

Congratulations Class of 2011!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Works for Me Wednesday

Works for Me Wednesday
Planning ahead We're going to be having a busy few weeks, yet I still want to participate in Works for Me Wednesday. So, I'm planning ahead and am going to take advantage of Blogger's "scheduling" feature. In case you aren't familiar with it, it's a wonderful tool. At the bottom of each "new post" window there's a button labeled "post options." When you click on it, the window expands to show the "post date and time." You can change the current setting to some time in the future. Then click to publish the post. It will show up in your posting list as "scheduled" and it will automatically post when that scheduled time is reached. Isn't that amazing?

So, for the next few weeks I'll be sharing some summer recipes that work for me, yet I can choose them all right now. And THAT works for me. I hope it works for you too :) Don't forget to hop on over to We are THAT Family for more ideas to help make your life easier.

P.S. For my sister: this explains why a post can be labeled as being written at 3:00 AM. I'm really not awake at that early hour!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Another Red Letter Day!

This will definitely be a day to remember.

Reason #1

Reason #2

(I wanted to post a couple of videos, but it's taking too long and it's bedtime. I'll try again tomorrow.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Have I Done Any Good?

Memorable Monday Moments
A Lesson on Service

This evening our lesson was to fulfill a Personal Progress "Good Works" assignment, and the source material came from President Eyring's conference talk, "Opportunities to Do Good." We had a great discussion on the topic of service.

Principles to guide us in service:

  • People are happier when they are able to provide for themselves and also reach out to others.

  • There is a power in unity that brings blessings.

  • Work together as a family to serve.

  • It's a commandment to seek out the poor and needy.
Although we are often stirred with feelings of sympathy that cause us to act, we decided another emotion that can be a catalyst for acts of service is gratitude. And since it's the end of the school year, we ended by writing thank you notes to teachers. Oh, and we didn't forget the perfect closing hymn: "Have I Done Any Good?"

I'm so grateful for Duty to God and Personal Progress; they make planning and preparing for family night a lot easier!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Golden Spike National Monument

Flashback Friday
A Memorial Day Trip

Was Memorial Day really just this week? I'm having a hard time believing it. It may only be June 3rd, but May seems a long time ago! Anyway, our son and his wife decided to spend their Memorial Day at the Golden Spike National Historic Site in northern Utah. We were trying to figure out how old he was when we took him. We checked our Family Almanac and found that we went on the Memorial Day (I guess that's a good time of year to visit!) when he was 6 months old. There's no way he could have remembered the experience, yet he thought he did. Guess what? Today I was flipping through the photo albums and discovered that we took a second trip to the site. That time he would have been 6; that's old enough to remember. Yay for family photo albums! May 1991 - Golden Spike Monument - The site where the transcontinental railroads met on May 10, 1869

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"Mom, I'm Bored!"

Works for Me WednesdayThe Annual "Mom, I'm Bored!" Edition

Actually, my kids knew they weren't allowed to use that phrase in my presence, but the idea of having plans in place to prevent it is a sound one. I love all the ideas that everyone shares, and hope mine are helpful to someone. Be sure to check out "We are THAT Family!" for a plethora of possibilities for a productive summer!

If you don't have time to visit a lot of blogs, I'd recommend this one for sure - "My Mix of Six" - her ideas are fantastic, and reminiscent of things we've tried doing over the years.

Maybe it caught my eye because of the Dr. Seuss reference; that's what I was going to suggest for this summer's "boredom buster" tip. (Sauna had lists titled "Oh, the Food we will Eat" or "Oh, the Crafts we will Make" along with "Oh, the Places we'll Go!") My titles in previous years weren't quite so creative; simply a list of fives - five books to read or recipes to try or letters to write or movies to watch.

I love to read! Summer's the perfect time to curl up in a cool place, or relax on the beach, with a good book. I love to have a list to guide my reading choices. A couple of weeks ago, Steven's teacher presented him with the book "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss, a book I've never read. One evening Michelle was annoying him while he worked on an assignment, and I tried to distract her by sitting on the couch and reading this book together. It worked! And it was so enjoyable that we decided we'd read ALL of Dr. Seuss' books, something we've never done.

Here's the list we're using:
  • And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street

  • The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins

  • The King's Stilts

  • Horton Hatches the Egg

  • McElligot's Pool

  • Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose

  • Bartholomew and the Oobleck

  • If I Ran the Zoo

  • Scrambled Eggs Super!

  • Horton Hears a Who!

  • On Beyond Zebra!

  • If I Ran the Circus

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

  • The Cat in the Hat

  • The Cat in the Hat Comes Back

  • Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories

  • Happy Birthday to You!

  • Green Eggs and Ham

  • One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

  • The Sneetches and Other Stories

  • Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book

  • Dr. Seuss's ABC

  • Fox in Socks

  • Hop on Pop

  • I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew

  • The Cat in the Hat Song Book

  • The Foot Book

  • I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! and Other Stories

  • My Book About Me

  • I Can Draw It Myself

  • Mr. Brown can Moo, can You?

  • The Lorax

  • Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!

  • Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

  • The Shape of Me and Other Stuff

  • Great Day for Up

  • There's a Wocket in My Pocket

  • Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!

  • The Cat's Quizzer

  • I Can Read with My Eyes Shut?

  • Oh Say Can You Say?

  • The Butter Battle Book

  • You're Only Old Once!

  • Oh, the Places You'll Go!

  • Daisy-Head Mayzie

  • My Many Colored Days

  • Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!
So that's our goal for this summer, along with moving and getting settled. I don't think there will be any time to be bored! What are you doing to make your summer memorable? Whatever it is, have fun!!

And if you're still looking for ideas, here are my previous posts on the subject: 2010 (I just realized that I never completed some of my "bucket list" plans; I guess there's more to add to this year's list!)/2009/2003