Wednesday, September 29, 2010

holiday mail for heroes

 You may not be thinking about Christmas quite yet.  (Well, I know some of you probably have your shopping all done and I have to hate you, but I digress...)  But here is a way to share the Christmas spirit with the men and women of our armed services.  You can express your support this Christmas season by sending cards to them.  Forget the spam email that tells you to send cards to Walter Reed hospital--they are not true.  But you can send cards through the Red Cross.  Here is their web site.  Be sure to click on Planning Tips to read the specific instructions.

Let's not forget those who are still fighting on our behalf.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

pears, pears, pears

I bought a box of pears through the Relief Society, and put them in the refrigerator while I was away, taking Aaron to BYU-Idaho. After two weeks of refrigeration, they were ready to be taken out to ripen and use. They all came due this week!

So I have now canned 15 quarts of pears.

Made pear-sauce in my slow-cooker, using an applesauce recipe. We had some the other night and loved it! It's also really good on hot oatmeal for breakfast.

Dried some. Dehydrated pears are chewy, but tasty as a snack.

I even found a recipe for pear pie. Can't wait to try it tonight!

I feel so domestic!

Friday, September 17, 2010

a snapshot of aberdeen, idaho

My best friend growing up, ArLynn, asked me to take a picture of Aberdeen while I was there.  So one day, I took my camera and went shooting.  I couldn't just take one picture!  I ended up taking 100.  Here, for your perusal, is a slideshow of one day in Aberdeen.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

aaron goes to byu-i

The first part of September, I took Aaron to BYU-Idaho.  On the way we stayed with my aunt and uncle in Nampa, then with my Dad and Step-mom in Aberdeen.  It was so good to see family again.  My step-mom recently spent 6 weeks in the hospital, so it was especially good to see her up and about.  And it's always wonderful to spend time with my Dad.

Here is Aaron in his new apartment:


The three cabarellos.  These guys went through Scouts together and were part of the Fab Five that got their Eagles.  Isaac and Ben subsequently moved away from Eugene and served missions as well.  Now they're back together.  I hope they're still smiling after a few months of togetherness.


The guys seem to have a good sense of self-esteem.


Aaron seems excited and happy to be at BYU-Idaho.  We had a great time.

In the evening, we attended a luau and Polynesian dancing show for new students.  So fun!  Here are a couple of clips.  (We were in the back of the auditorium, so the quality of the pictures aren't very good, but they're enough to give you an idea.  In the second one, someone walks in front of the camera towards the beginning.  Don't panic.)

Monday, August 23, 2010

"here comes the trout that must be caught with tickling"

I'm not sure whether David caught this trout by tickling it.  
He did have a good time with the Scouts on the 18th on their fishing trip.

[Apologies to William Shakespeare.]

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"my Shepherd will supply my need"

Heather sang a duet with Jenny S. in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday.  I accompanied on the piano, and Tricia B. provided a violin accompaniment as well.  It's a beautiful song.  The words are by Isaac Watts; the tune is by Joseph Funk; this arrangement is by Craig McQueen.  There was such a sweet spirit in the room.  Click on this player to hear this lovely song:


Powered by

My Shepherd will supply my need;
Jehovah is His name.
In pastures fresh He makes me feed,
Beside the living stream.
He brings my  wand'ring spirit back,
When I forsake His ways;
And leads me, for His mercy's sake,
In paths of truth and grace.

When I walk through the shades of death
Thy presence is my stay;
One word of Thy supporting breath
Drives all my fears away.
Thy hand, in sight of all my foes,
Doth still my table spread;
My cup with blessings overflows,
Thine oil anoints my head.

The sure provisions of my God
Attend me all my days;
O may Thy house be my abode,
And all my work be praise.
There would I find a settled rest,
While others go and come;
No more a stranger, nor a guest,
But like a child at home.

Friday, August 6, 2010

mr. fixit

Nelson has been one busy guy this summer.  Here is a list of things he has fixed/replaced so far:

  • replaced the rear struts on the Nova
  • installed a new dishwasher
  • stained some scratches on my old desk
  • fixed a door lock
  • replaced the hose timer
  • replaced a spray nozzle on my kitchen sink
  • taken out our old tub and installed a new one  (See post here.)

Some of these were major endeavors!  I can't imagine how much we'd have had to pay someone to do these things.  I'm so blessed to have a hubby who is handy around the house, the garage, the yard.

Thank you, Sweetie!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

the home of lost pens and pencils

You know how you get a phone call and you need a pen or pencil to take a message and you can never find a one and you wonder where they all disappear to?  

Well, I think I know...

I think they come to my house.  

I don't even know where half--make that 90%-- of these came from!  I am always sending pens and pencils with Nelson to school.  Either they are multiplying in my pencil holder or they are coming by way of a black hole from your place to mine...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

rub-a-dub-dub. i see a new tub

For my birthday, Nelson made me this card, and proceeded to go to work:

Here is why we needed a new one:


We had refinished it ourselves a couple of years ago.  But now great flakes of paint were peeling up.  Disgusting.

Nelson hard at work.  He did everything himself:  removed the old caulking, took off a row of tile, removed the old tub, put in the new tub, put in the new tile, caulking, etc.


And here is the result of all his hard work!  A sparkly, lovely bathtub I'd even like to take a bath in.


Aren't I lucky/blessed to have a guy who can do this?

Monday, July 26, 2010


Early this month, we took a much-needed vacation to Disneyland!  Nelson and I took David and his friend Kyle.  (Aaron and Heather stayed home for work.)  We flew out of Eugene the evening of the 4th, which was fun, because as we flew into LAX, we saw neighborhood fireworks all over the city!  We saw more fireworks as our shuttle took us to our motel, which was only a couple of blocks from the resort.  The weather was perfect:  overcast and a little cool, which is perfect Disneyland weather in my book.  We got to spend 3-1/2 days in the parks (Disneyland and California Adventures.)  My feet and back wore out, but it was still a lot of fun.  We flew back to hotter weather than we left!

That's kind of a weird place to leave the slideshow, but you can get your money back at the gate, if you wish. 

Nelson and the boys did Splash Mountain.  Funny thing:  I was standing watching the final splashdown, waiting for them because I don't do Splash Mountain.  As each car made the plunge, you would hear this high-pitched "e-e-e-e-e-e!"  When our guys came down, all I could hear was Nelson's deep "A-A-A-A-A-GH"!"  The lady next to me laughed and said, "That was good."  Here's the video.  (Something funny with the sound though; it sounds too high.)

One of our favorite attractions is the barbershop quartet, The Dapper Dans.  Here's a fun clip:

One thing I love about Disneyland is how the characters interact with the public.  More of the Dapper Dans:

We saw them again on our last morning at the park.  I didn't get pictures of World of Color (over-rated), or of Small World (although the song stayed in my head for a long time), or of Fantasmic, or of some other stuff.  But sometimes you have to decide whether to look at the park behind a camera lens or just go with the flow and enjoy it.

All in all, it was a great trip!

Friday, July 16, 2010

"stop, thief!"

Had a mini-adventure at Win-Co yesterday. Got out of the car and saw someone run past me through the parking lot. An elderly lady was following the person, saying, "Stop! Come back!" but not very loudly. Then I noticed the runner had a purse. I knew I couldn't chase the thief, but I could yell.

"Stop, thief! Stop that runner!" I yelled. "He's got a lady's purse. Stop that runner!" I actually yelled several times.

I think my shouting attracted some attention, because this big guy went tearing after the runner and caught her. (It was a gal in a baseball cap.) He held by her arm and took the purse and gave it to the elderly lady, who had come up to them. The thief looked like she was high. The catcher settled her down and had her sit on the curb while he called 9-1-1.

The elderly lady walked off, so I did too. Whew! I was so glad the purse snatcher didn't get away!

It took a while for my heart to quit pounding and my adrenaline to settle back down.

So, you never know when you'll be in the midst of a mini-adventure, even going grocery shopping. The best kind have happy endings.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stake Pioneer Trek--June 23-26, 2010

This summer, our stake sponsored its first pioneer handcart trek for the youth. David turned 12 this spring, so he could go. He invited his friend Kyle to go too. Nelson and I went as base camp volunteers, where we helped with food, program, and other behind-the-scenes things. We went to the Bing Canyon Pioneer Camp in southeastern Washington State. The temperatures were in the 90s most every day, although the nights cooled down nicely. I think the trekkers learned that they could do things they never thought they could do. We all came away with a greater appreciation for the pioneers and all they did. We also came to appreciate nice beds and hot and cold running water. Here is a slide show of some of the highlights:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

everything's just ducky!

For the past three days, our backyard has hosted a pair of mallards. In fact, on Sunday, there were three, then four ducks: this pair and two additional drakes. One drake seemed especially interested in the little duck, even though she has a limp. He would sit off to the side, then slowly try to sneak over to her. But this drake (with the saucy little feather sticking out) chased any would-be wooers away with much flapping of wings and lowering of beak and much general bravery.

They let David get amazingly close with his bread crumbs. The duck was more interested than the drake. The drake seemed concerned, so if the duck got too close, he would nip her on her behind.

"I am one brave duck, no? You don't mess with my woman!"

"Here's quacking at you, kid!"
(What a flirt!)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Zuppa Toscana *updated*

By popular demand:
Zuppa Toscana

1-1/2 C. spicy sausage
2 med. potatoes, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/4-inch slices
3/4 C. onions, diced
6 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
1-1/4 tsp. minced garlic
2 C. kale leaves, cut in half then sliced
2 Tbsp. chicken base
1 quart water
1/3 C. heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 300°. Spead sausage onto large baking sheet and bake for 25 min.

Place onions and bacon into large saucepan and cook over medium heat until onions are almost clear. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add chicken base, water and potatoes and simmer 15 minutes. Add sausage, kale and cream and simmer 4 more minutes.

Serves 5.

Disclaimer: I haven't made this yet, so I can't personally vouch for the recipe. But with bacon and cream, it sounds promising!

*UPDATE* We had this soup last night, and it was AMAZING! Everyone loved it. I used a whole pound of Italian sausage, which turned out to be 2 cups. (Who wants to mess around with a half a cup of leftover sausage?) Baking it in the oven was interesting. I'm wondering if I could just fry it up in my electric skillet. Kale turns out to be pretty tasty. Try this soup!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Greens Challenged

Nelson tasted a marvelous soup at school on Thursday. (They were having teacher appreciation week.) He was so excited about it that he got the recipe from the gal who made it. Turns out it's Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana. Nelson had to have it this week!

So Friday I go to WinCo to do my regular shopping and I get to the produce department, because one of the ingredients is kale. I'm standing there in front of all these green ... things ... all in neat piles. WinCo plasters the signs about what costs how much all over, with no rhyme or reason or coordination with what in in the bins below. And suddenly it hits me:

I don't know what kale looks like!

Oh, dear! ... That's probably red chard because of the red lines going through it. That looks like some kind of cabbage. Maybe? This looks a lot like the cabbage, but it has fewer leaves and more stem. I pick that up and tentatively put it in the bag. A little voice says that is not kale. I take it back out. All kinds of knowledgeable people are confidently picking up greens and putting them in their bags. I stand there. Do I look like Rachel Ray pondering the possibilities? Only I know that I am greens challenged. ... I know those are leeks, so that's good. What's that curly stuff? Is any of this labeled on those twistie thingies they put on them? Not that one... Hmmm..... There's one labeled "collards." Fortunately, I look again at the curly stuff and it has a twistie thingie that says "kale" upside down. Hurrah! I can make Zuppa Toscana!

And now I know what kale looks like.

In case you're interested:

Then again, you're probably not greens challenged.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

welcome home, elder farrier!

Monday, February 1, Aaron returned home from his mission in the Monterrey Mexico East Mission. At first, he was scheduled to arrive at 8:15 pm. Then he called to say he'd missed his connecting flight in Portland and would arrive at 11:00 pm. Yikes! Super late. Then he called again to say he'd been rerouted and would arrive at 10:30. Almost on the dot, his plane arrived and he made his way down the stairs.

David made this fun sign to welcome him.
I especially like the little Mexican missionary in the middle.

Some wonderful friends from the ward were there to meet him. Some even beat us to the airport! And they came back when he was delayed. They brought little children. They were so supportive. It was a bit overwhelming for the newly-returned missionary, who wasn't quite sure what to do or to say. But it made him very happy. Thank you, Everyone!

Aaron brought back a sombrero for David,
and belts for David and for Dad.
It's a cool look for them both, don't you think?

More photos are to be seen on my facebook page. Check them out here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

my pioneer son

Last night was the Pioneer Trek Fashion Show. David looked great in his workman's smock!

Here he is with his pioneer buddy, Ryan: