Sunday, January 31, 2010


Since we are snowed in this weekend. Really, we are. They even canceled church and it was ward conference today. Sometimes it is funny to live in east Tennessee after growing up in Wyoming. But, since I have time today I will get back on to my goals.

I do have some updates at how I am doing, but most of them aren't for ones I've even posted about. But here they are:

I have learned a new recipe. I actually learned it at Seth and Julies. It's Cowboy Potatoes. It's just mashed potatoes and then you mash in with them steamed carrots and corn, It's really yummy and is a great alternative when there is no gravy to be had.

I'm doing pretty good at the project life. Thank goodness my phone has a pretty decent camera on it or it would be a lot harder.

So on to the next one...

I want to learn how to can. You know, preserve things in jars. I know how to make jam (yummy!) and I've even made green stuff with Grandma Loveridge, but that's it. I've seen my mom do it when I was a kid, but I've never had much of a desire to learn it for myself. Now though, I WANT to learn. There is so much wonderfully fresh produce around here that I would love, love, love to take my kids, pick a bunch and preserve it.

There is a lady in our ward who does it every year and she said I could come and help. So I'm hoping that in the next two season's I can get it figured out.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Texas Sheet Cake

This one's for my Dad.

Every time I visit him, or he visits me this is what he wants. We had this a lot growing up, I think it's a Mormon classic. I can see why he likes it so much. It is really good, and it reminds me of home. There isn't anything fancy here, just home made yumminess.

So Dad, this one's for you. Just the way I like it, step by step, with pictures. (And now I will have the recipe I like when I am out there and you want me to make it!)

Texas Sheet Cake

Preheat the oven to 400*

Spray a jelly roll (cookie) sheet with cooking spray.

Mix together in a bowl
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
Set aside.

In a saucepan boil
2 cubes (1 cup) butter or margarine
1 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa

Add flour & sugar mixture and wisk it.

Turn off heat. (To the stove, not the oven!)

Add to the saucepan
1/2 cup buttermilk (If you don't have buttermilk, add 1T lemon juice or vinegar to a liquid measuring cup then milk to make 1/2 cup. Do this when you preheat the oven. It needs a few min. to set.)
1 t soda
2 beaten eggs
1 t vanilla
1 t salt

Mix together.

Pour onto greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 400* for 15-20 min. (It's done when a toothpick or knife poked in the middle comes out clean.)


When I went to Emily's house when her daughter was born, we taste tested the 2 frostings that I have for this yummy treat. We decided that we (amazingly enough) preferred the one with cocoa and powdered sugar over the one made with chocolate chips. (Even I was surprised at that one!)

Clean out the pan that you used to mix the cake ingredients.

In the saucepan boil (stirring often.)
1 cube (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
4 T cocoa
6-8 T milk

Remove from heat.

1 t vanilla

Beat in powdered sugar. (I used about 2/3 of a bag.)

The finished frosting will be really runny. Taste it to make sure you have enough powdered sugar.

Pour it onto warm cake and spread evenly.

Wait for the cake to cool and try to hold yourself back so you don't finish the entire cake in one day!

Enjoy Dad!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Clean and organize my basement

If you've ever seen my basement you'll get this one and you will heartily agree that it needs to be done.

I often joke that I would like to do a control burn in my basement. Just get it gone!

The problem here is that when I start looking at the junk (and really, 90% of it is junk) I get all sentimental and can't bear to throw out even scraps of paper. It is ridiculous. I could toss out all of Jonathon's old stuff and only save a few things without a problem. I am not emotionally attached to most of his pre-me stuff. He is though, and so in the spirit of marital harmony I try not to toss without permission. The rest of the stuff though. The kids old stuff, my old stuff. It all has little strings that pull at me when I see them. Awww, ohhh. How could I ever even think of getting rid of that? What if I might need it some day?

I want to take the next two years, and it will probably take the entire two years to get it done.

Wish me luck. I'll need it.

How about you? Are you n the it's easy throw out the junk team or the keep the junk for 100 years team? And any of you tossers, any secrets that you want to share?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Share the Gospel

That last post I waxed a bit spiritual. I don't do that a lot here. I don't know why. The gospel is as much a part of me as the blood that runs through my veins. It really is who I am.

I think that the gospel is beautiful. I think it is intelligent. I think that the gospel covers everything and everyone. To me, it just makes sense.

I treasure the knowledge that I have of the plan of salvation. I know where I came from. I lived in heaven before I was born. I am a spiritual daughter of my Heavenly Father. He created me in his image. He loves me. He loves me so much that he wants me to be like him. He created the earth so that I could come to earth to gain a body (like he has) and be tested. And He loved me soooo much that he know I wouldn't pass all of the tests. I would sin and that sin would keep me from becoming like him. So he sent Jesus to atone for my sins. He knew I wouldn't make it with out Jesus. And Jesus, being my older brother loved me too. He came down to earth and suffered and died so that I could repent.

Heavenly Father knew that because I am mortal, I would die. And he had Jesus take care of that for me too. Jesus suffered and died on the cross and then he overcame death. He was resurrected. Now, because of him, I will be resurrected too.

Heavenly Father knows how much I love my family. Jonathon and my kids and everyone. He made it possible that we could be together forever. Not just until we die, but for the eternities. There is no price I wouldn't pay for this little part of the plan. None. But, it isn't a buy and sell deal. It is a gift. I just try to keep holding on to it each day.

I want to share this gospel with everyone I know. The problem is a few things. First off, Mormons aren't always looked on with kindness around here. A lot of people have been given incorrect information and when people say bad things about my beliefs it's sometimes hard not to take it personally. I'm trying to get over that part of the south. It never bothered me before. Mostly though, I don't want anyone to think that I think that they are not good enough the way that they are. That I want to "fix them." I don't. My goal is not to baptize someone. That is not my decision. I just want to share. To not feel so self conscious when the topic turns to religion that I keep quieter than I want to. To show more respect to others and their beliefs and still show the conviction that I feel for my beliefs.

Over the next two years I want to work on that. Sharing the gospel. Letting the love that I have and the testimony I have been given flow freely from my lips. Just letting it out. Not being bothered if it is mocked and rejected and doubly making sure that I don't mock or reject anyone else because of their beliefs.

How about you? How do you show what you believe in your day to day life? Have you ever been offended or offended anyone when the topic of religion came up?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Habits of righteous living

Everyone's heard of the "7 Habits" book. I read this a long time ago. I don't remember too much about it except putting your "to do" list into boxes. My life right now isn't too complicated. I don't worry too much about which box laundry goes in and which box grocery shopping goes in. Though, maybe if I did it would get them done more efficiently. But I digress. The "7 Habits" book was the first time that it stuck to me that the things you want to be doing but aren't are just habits that you haven't cultivated yet.

I used to be really good at the spiritual habits that I want and need in my life. I was one of "those" girls when I was younger. The straight and narrow just seemed to fit me. Sure I stepped a toe or two off, and I wasn't totally convinced that finishing "programs" and earning awards at church made me much better, but think I was pretty much a good girl. Maybe you would call it a "goody two shoes." I've been called that before. Julie blogged about her testimony and I loved hearing it. I love to hear how others gain their testimony. I think I was just born with mine. There is a scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants section 46. It talks about gifts of the spirit. How not everyone has all of the same gifts but everyone has some gift(s). I think that verses 13 and 14 are my verses. "To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world. To others it is given to believe on their words," I remember talking to one of Jonathon's cousins and she asked if I ever questioned things. It was the first time that I has ever vocalized it and realized that, nope, no questions. Never.

It's my gift.

And let me tell you, thank goodness for that! Really. What if I had had to find out for myself? What if, what if, what if? Let's just say I know God loves and knows me because he keeps saving me from myself time and time again.

But I digress...

We all caught on to the fact that I am a believer in God. I love my Savior and I know he died for me. So the problem is that all of those habits that "good" believers practice daily in their lives have gotten a little rusty in mine. I have 1001 excuses. And a lot of them are good ones. The thing is, I am ready to put away my excuses and start the hard work of cultivating a habit.

And what habits would I like to cultivate?

I'm sure you already know. The basics. Just the basics.

Meaningful prayer.
consistent scripture study.
Acknowledging God in my life.

Not too hard right?


Remember those 1001 excuses? Those aren't too hard. Tossing them out and doing it. And doing it, and doing it until it sticks. That is the hard part. Once it sticks it won't be too bad, but getting to that part is hard work.

So that is my goal. I want to take the next 2 years and work really hard and getting those righteous habits to stick in my life. I don't want to forget, or rationalize or complain because they will just be a part of who I am.

So, what about you? Do you have spiritual habits that stick in your life that nourish your soul? Are you still working on it? What works for you?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Project life

For my birthday, Marie got me project life. The idea of the whole thing is that you take a picture every day for a year and write a little something about it. It’s pretty simple, the hard work of matching and cutting is already done. I want to do it for a few reasons. First, it’s my journal this year. Or more like my family’s journal. It will help me to get some of my pictures developed, and recording even just a sentence a day is a lot better in the keeping a personal / family history than I have been doing in a long time.

Have any of you done this? Or done something similar? Did you make it the whole year?

Friday, January 15, 2010

New recipee

Do you ever get totally bored with the 15 or so recipes that keep popping up on your dinner table? I do. I have the staples, things like stir fry, bbq chicken, spaghetti, ham loaf and pot roast. Then there are the “fancy” things, like curry and shishkabobs and turkey. And then there is my favorite, soup.

Every week, day after day, week after week, we recycle these recipes.

And what about breakfast? How many waffles, pancakes, French toast or eggs can a person have before breakfast gets really boring?

And lunch? Mac and cheese? Chicken nuggets? Grilled Cheese? PB&J? Are you totally bored yet?

I am!

This boredom has turned to the inspiration for this next goal. I want to learn a new recipe for every meal, snack and desert in one day. That doesn’t mean that one day I will slave in the kitchen over recipe after recipe, just that I will expand my new recipe search from desserts only to include every meal of the day. When was the last time I tries a recipe for snack? I want something new, but not too complicated or fancy. I want to find a new recipe that my family will love that I can add to our family favorites, rotating them in with the waffles and stir fry and chicken nuggets.

What are your favorites? What are your go to’s? Do you want to send me a recipe and a picture of something you think we will love?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tourist in my own back yard

I have liven in Tennessee for 6 ½ years. For all of that time that I have been here, I haven’t seen very many of the sites that are so close to me. For this goal, I want to see the sites that are around me. Some that I can think of, (though this isn’t my “list”, just a brainstorm) are:

  1. Ruby falls and look out mountain
  2. Other Tennessee state parks
  3. I want to hike the Appalachian trail. Not all of it. A mile or two would be enough. But it is an hour away from me, I’ve driven over it, but my feet have never actually touched it.

What about you? What are your favorite Tennessee, or “back yard” sites?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Really, I wish that had something to do with $10,000. But it doesn't. I want to run. RUN, not walk a 10K. So, that means I gotta get in better shape than I am now. Last year I wanted to run a 5k. And I did. I ran 2 of them. But I did walk parts. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. I was just super happy that I actually did what I set out to do. But now, I really want to do something that will stretch me a bit farther. (OK, that is actually quite a bit more than a bit, but you know how it is!)

Any one have a favorite 10k? Did you finish without walking?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Write it down!

Next goal:
Write down everything I eat for a month. That's the key to eating healthier right? Being accountable for what you eat. Knowing that I am going to have to write down every piece of chocolate or stolen treat and see it there, ink on paper. That's enough to change an eating habit right there!

I want to know. Has anyone out there ever successfully done this? For how long?

Monday, January 11, 2010

snow day(s)

OK, really. It is getting just a teensey bit ridiculous. Since Dec. 18th my kids school schedule has looked like this:
Dec 18 Early out at 11:15 (went to the movies that day as a field trip)
Dec 18-Jan 4 winter break
Jan 5 2 hour delay
Jan 6 normal
Jan 7 early out at 1:30 due to "snow"
Jan 8 snow day (it really did snow for that one)
Jan 9-10 weekend
Jan 11 snow day
Jan 12 (tomorrow) snow day


No White

Several people that I know are doing this. It's the no white diet. It means no white sugar, no white flour and no white rice. The first time I heard it I thought the person was crazy. That seems to be all I DO eat. How would I ever take the white out?

After hearing more people who were doing it I started to give it more thought. Could I do it? Yes, of course I could. Do I want to do it? Not really. I like food. I like sugar. I like white! But, I think that I do eat too much of it. There was a while back when we ate a lot more whole wheat stuff and brown rice than we do now, but it's been a while.

For this goal, I want to do it for a month. 30 days is a goal I can live with. I want to see if I can do it for one thing, I want to see how I feel and if I can find a better balance than I have now. It's not a lifestyle I choose for myself or for my family forever, but it is certainly worth 30 days.

What about you? What are your favorite non white things? Any bets on how long it will really last? I'm not starting it yet. I'll let you know when I do. Probably sometime in the summer when it is easier to take a larger portion of grains our of the diet all together and replace them with fresh fruits and veggies!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


A while back I saw someones blog who had on their side bar a whole list of goals. 100 of them I think. She had set 100 goals to be accomplished in in 1000 days. I thought that was such a neat idea. There were really big ones, and there were little ones too. I've thought about it a lot since I saw that blog. The little ones give you something to accomplish while you are working on the big ones. And that way the feeling of accomplishment is stretched out. Things are continually getting crossed off the list, even while the bigger harder things are still being worked on.

Now, 100 is a really big number. Not an unreachable number, just really big. For me, since this is my list and all, I didn't think I would ever get 100 goalable things done, even given 3 years. It would be too overwhelming. So I decided to get down to a more realistic number.


Not too big, not too small. Yep, it's just about right for me.

I also figured that since I am shaving off the number of goals, I probably better shave a little off the number of days to get it all done. I'm giving myself 2 years. That should be enough time for even a procrastinator like me to get everything done that I set out to do. And if I am super quick? (not likely,) but if I am I will just add some more next January!

I know you are dying to know what my goals are. I can feel it all the way out here. (OK, so maybe you're not dying, but at least are you mildly curious?)

I set my goals under a few categories, they are

Some of the categories run into each other. Personal and family seem to a lot as well as personal and gospel.

I do want to share my goals. They just require some explanation. I am going to post one goal a day for the next 22 days. I want to know what you think of them. (well, to be honest, I only want to know if you like them. If you don't like them or think I am a nut, please don't comment.) I want to know if you've done anything similar, or what your favorite of something like I am wanting to do is.

Let the new year begin!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Early out for Snow

I got a text around noon saying that school would be letting out at 1:30 because of snow.
These are the pictures I just took, of the kids coming home from school. Do you notice anything? Or should I say a lack of anything?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


It's been 10 years!

Can you believe it? Ten whole years since that really cold day in Manti when Jonathon and I became a family of our own.

We're not doing much to celebrate today. We are just back from a really fun trip to Wisconsin to see Seth and Julie and their fun family (See Seth and Julie's blog --> for further details!) And in not even a month we are taking our anniversary trip. So, today is low key, but low key and cleaning (which is also slowly getting done) often lend time for thinking. And I've been thinking about marriage.

My new church calling is temple prep teacher. I just started a new class with a young couple who will be getting married in a month and a half. And who can resist dishing out all of the advice you have on two such accepting people? As I've looked back I see so much. Joy and heart ache. Somehow we got to where we are now. And it doesn't always feel this way, but sometimes, when I am reflecting, I feel like I must be in a fairy tale. Or an Austen book.

You see, in fairy tales and books, there is always ups and downs, misunderstandings and miscommunications. There are times when the prince and princess wonder what they've gotten themselves into, and if it is worth it. And it is those times, when the prince or princess decide that YES! It is worth it. All that hard work that you didn't think would apply to your marriage because you were the exception, is worth it. The hard looks at yourself and the hard looks at your spouse reveal glimpses of what heaven must see. You see all that can be. All that will be, if you build it. And then, along the road you get times, days, weeks or maybe just hours where you savor your "happily ever after."

10 years! Here's to 10 years and 10 years and 10 years and 10 years and 10 years and an eternity more!

I love you Jonathon!

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