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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Today's Silver Lining

Anyone who knows me shouldn't be surprised that my "silver lining" is food!

The CLOUD: sitting in the dentist chair. I'm not kidding - it's the biggest, darkest cloud EVER for me. I would rather experience natural childbirth over and over and over again. It scares me so badly that my hands and feet immediately fall asleep when they lean my chair back.
Anyway, I went in for my teeth cleaning and exam (my first in 4 years - I KNOW - don't judge me) And because it had been so long some of the plaques (GROSS ... I brush and floss at least 5 times a day! I'm a fanatic!) had gotten on my actual bone beneath my gums. HORRID. So I had to go in the next day for a deep cleaning. They completely numbed my entire mouth and jaw (a blessing for which I am extremely grateful even though the needle brought tears to my eyes and at one instance sent a shock that made my entire body jump!) then went to work. I came home SO weak from
1) not eating
2) not sleeping in anticipation
3) anxiety
and was immediately STARVING. I tried to drink water and it drizzled out my mouth like Tim Allen in "Christmas With The Kranks". So I waited and waited. Finally I found I could speak without sounding like an infant, so I thought I'd break a piece of bread into little crumbs and eat it. Didn't work. When I attempted water again, most of it went down my throat rather than my shirt so I immediately went to work preparing something more liquid than solid. After a search of the cupboards and fridge came up empty of satisfying liquids, I pulled out a Costco-sized bag of broccoli and looked up recipes. This is the one (found at I settled on, with some variations:
3 medium broccoli stalks, peeled, and florets (about 6 cups)
4 cups unsalted vegetable soup stock (recipe below) OR 4 c. water + 2 unsalted veggie bouillon cubes
1/2 cup loose chopped parsley
1/2 tsp powdered or crushed dried rosemary
1 tsp dried powdered or crushed dried thyme
2 Tbsp olive oil
Optional: 1 - 2 cloves garlic, crushed
Optional: 1/4 cup diced yellow onion
2 Tbsp chick pea flour (besan) as a gluten free low GI alternative to wheat flour
2 cups unsweetened rice milk or unsweetened plain almond milk (low GI), fortified with Vitamin B12, Calcium and Vitamin D
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
Fresh ground black pepper
Peel broccoli stems. Chop stems and florets into small pieces
Chop parsley, reserving 2 Tbsp to mince as a garnish
Place broccoli into stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender - about 5 minutes
Optional onion &; garlic: peel and crush garlic cloves, dice onion. Sauté on medium heat in 1 tsp olive oil for 10 minutes. Add to pot
Place broccoli, liquid, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and salt in blender or put solids through a foodmill, or mash and strain. Puree until smooth. Set aside
White sauce: Heat the olive oil in the soup pan. Add the flour and cook on low for ten minutes.
Stir in rice milk or almond milk with a whisk, bring to a boil then simmer till thickened, stirring constantly with the whisk (approx 10 minutes). This is important - otherwise your sauce will be lumpy. If that happens, blend it or put it through a seive
Stir in broccoli puree. Adjust salt if needed, and grate pepper in to taste
Heat gently (don't boil). Serve immediately, garnished with minced parsley
My variations:
1) I doubled everything else and dumped in the whole bag of broccoli without measuring.
2) Didn't have the herbs so I just didn't put them in
3) I just used water - no broth, but I added about 1/4 cup

4) I used my freshly ground whole wheat flour instead of chickpea flour
5) I used my homemade soymilk
I'm not a vegan, but after eating this soup I could certainly be persuaded!

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Everything's Coming Up Roses

Roses make me happy.

The smell good and they look pretty.

They remind me of people I love

"Roses bloom beneath my feet; All the earth's a garden sweet; Making life a bliss complete; When there's love at home."
(LDS Hymn Book #294)

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I haven't held a giveaway for a LONG time and WOW - I've got the perfect giveaway to offer you next week! Take a little peaksie at this touching book compiled by Lia Collings, "Choosing Motherhood".

Whether you're a mother now, will someday be a mother, or have a mother ... this book will warm your heart. More on Lia's book next week.

Speaking of mothers, two of my daughters will soon be adding children to their families! Brooke & Caci are both expecting little girls and we are all so excited! I wanted to have about a million children (not really - I only wanted 13) for several reasons:
1- I love seeing how our genes mix and what comes out :)
2- Names. Naming babies is one of the most fun activities I can think of
3- I can't seem to get enough of children. And I mean children of all ages. I love snuggling little totally dependent bundles; I love the awkward toddle and attempts at speech; I love watching curiosity turn into knowledge; I love watching the sparkle of childhood wonderment turn into a sparkle of light and testimony; I love when my children still live at home but can compete with me on any subject while debating, finally beat me at chess and other games, and when their knowledge in many areas supersedes mine and I learn from them; I love watching my adult children succeed in life.

So anyway, regarding #2 - Names. The kids have picked out names for their little girls. And I love what they picked. Before I tell you what they are, what parents name their kids is interesting to me. And all the names in a particular family seem to "fit". I think my children's names are the best, of course:
Trevor, Brooke, Bryan, Sierra, Azure
They "go", right? We thought Azure was twin boys when I was pregnant and they would have been Jex & Race. (just a side note ... am I rambling?)

Trevor & Caci already have Jace and Cali.
Their new little girl due on Cali's 2nd Birthday (also my mother's birthday!) will be Kensington. Jace's full name is Christian Jace - he's 5 and all BOY. Cali, a little princess who is almost 2 is Cali Sephora . If you knew Caci you would know this name TOTALLY fits in their family. Cali will have to move over on the throne when Kensington Dior comes!

Brooke and Steven already have 2 1/2 year old Gage who sports the same middle name as his Dad: Harrison. He has such a pure voice that when he speaks he sounds like he's singing. But don't get me wrong - Gage can keep up with Jace in the rough-n-tough category. Brooke and Steve will be welcoming in beautiful little Kelle (no middle name) very, very soon. [Kelle - rhymes with Belle ... no ie sound at the end]

So, for me the passage of time is cool in many ways. One way is that when I think of "mother" I have a flood of feelings - more each day. I feel grateful, happy, and each passing day, more understanding and in total awe of my own mother. I feel INTENSE gratitude to be a mother. And I feel proud and humbled as I watch my daughters be mothers.

You [mothers] are the real builders of the nation wherever you live, for you have created homes of strength and peace and security. These become the very sinew of any nation.” Gordon B. Hinckley

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Inspirational Quotes to Get Your Week Started!

From Featured Writer: Leslie Branch

Inspirational Quotes to Get You Through the Day

When your work is going terribly and you’ve only been in the office an hour, it can be pretty easy to lose perspective. The same goes for when your relationships are on the rocks or your health is less than you would like it to be. I always try to remind myself during these times that yes, this circumstance is in my life right now, but it isn’t my life. Here are some quotes that help me maintain this mental state.

“Do the thing we fear, and death of fear is certain.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once of America’s great transcendentalists and individualists came up with this quote, and it always struck a chord with me. It was a favorite quote of my grandfather’s, who often counseled me to look at a fear carefully in order to feel it dissolve. I find that this is true for me: when I look away from something that scares me, I give it more power.  has more information if you’re counseling someone going through a tough time or considering becoming a counselor yourself.

“And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

When I’m having a relatively good and not-so-trying day, it’s always easy to settle down into a comfortable place where I feel like I know what I’m doing and have it “figured out.” This quote helps me to even keep the easy days in life in perspective and to remind myself not to take my life so seriously.

“Take the time to write. You can do your life's work in half an hour a day.” 

-Robert Hass

I’m a writer, so this quote feels especially apt for me, but it applies to people of any vocation or calling. The quote reminds me of how much you can really accomplish if you apply yourself—even for a tiny amount of time. This can help me get off my butt when I’m procrastinating and scared to death that something I do might not be perfect.

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

-Jon Kabat-Zinn

This quote came from a book (Wherever You Go, There You Are) which I was gifted by a social worker while I was going through a rough time regarding my daughter’s health. The quote really embodies the idea that it’s up to you to safeguard your own mind and to make it a place of solace for yourself; when you do this, you’ll be surprised at the types of tough situations you can pull through. If social work is inspiring to you as a career option, check out the educational info here.


ASU (2012)

MEC (2012)

Friday, April 20, 2012

green again

Well, I know one wouldn't normally call the deserts surrounding Las Vegas green ... especially those of you blessed to live in lush, moist places (yes - you do detect a little envy there!) ... but look what the HOT weather's bringing in here!

Looks like the roses are ready to bloom, lemons will soon be gracing the upper right bush, and the grapevine I thought was dead is sporting baby-green-leaves! As always, the rosemary is threatening to take over, but my favorite: I think that's jasmine in the bottom right corner ... at least my nose tells me it's jasmine every time I slide open the porch door! I'm not a hot-weather-lover, but I have to say that I'm pleased with what it's doing to our yard!

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

a simple life vs bigger dreams

The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.
~Robert Louis Stevenson
Part of me believes this whole-heartedly. Part of me doesn't. Sometimes (like right now) I dream of a completely simple life. One that these pictures of a place actually for sale on 12 acres of land (hint hint - want to know what to get me for Christmas?!) would create.
Right now I feel like hanging laundry on the clothes line, slicing into some freshly baked bread, pulling weeds in a garden, setting the table for family dinner.....
Then other times, I'm excitedly anxious as I reach for the stars - dreams and ambitions of lofty goals .... Live my life in anticipation, because the goals I've set are propelling me onward. It's life where every moment brings a little flutter because what's next is bound to be exciting!
Ideals are like stars: you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you reach your destiny.
~Carl Schurz

So who am I? The comfortable homemaker or the ambitious achiever? I don't know.
Do you know which you are?

house photos from the others are mine :)

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

on the lighter side

Disclaimer: I have nothing against blonde hair. I think it's beautiful.

A blonde girl decides to do a puzzle so she grabs the puzzle and pours out all the peices and tries to put it together....

After a while of trying she gets frustrated and calls her boyfriend...

Her boyfriend says: Honey whats wrong

The Blonde says: Im trying to put this puzzle together but I can't do it.

Her boyfriend says: Well look at the picture in the front and tell me what it looks like.

The blonde says: Okay... well the background is blue and there is a tiger on it.

Her boyfriend says: Honey... put the cornflakes back in the box.

In the morning, a blonde enters a restaurant with a carton of orange juice. She puts the orange juice on the table and stares at it.

The store is about to close down and the blonde is still staring at the orange juice. A waiter comes and asks the blonde, "Excuse me, we are about to close for the evening, I'm afraid your going to have to leave."

"No" They blonde replies.

"Why not?" questions the waiter.

"The carton says "concentrate".

A blonde is driving down a road when she accidentally escapes a car going in the opposite direction. They both stop to inspect the damage. The blonde's car is fine but the man's has suffered a few dents. He loves his car and is furious at the blonde.
He draws a circle on the pavement and tells her she cannot step out of the circle until he tells her to.

The blonde agrees.
The man gets a baseball-bat from his car and crushes the hood of her car.
When he turns around she is giggling to herself.

"What's so funny?" the man asks.
"Nothing," the blonde replies.
The man turns around again and proceeds to smash the windows and headlights. He looks back at the blond who is now shaking with laughter.

Again, he asks, "What is so funny?"
The blonde again replies, "Nothing."

This time the man beats her car so savagely it becomes a pile of scrap metal. He looks back at the blonde again who is now rolling on the ground laughing hysterically.

This time he shouts, "I just destroyed your car to pieces and you are still laughing! What is so funny?"

The blonde gathers herself and then replies to the man, "When you weren't looking, I stepped out of the circle 3 times."


(all jokes from
That's all. Hope you all have a great day!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

scriptural thought

I was reading in The Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 17:30 the other day where Nephi is talking to his hard-hearted brothers, pleading with them to see how they have been led, just as Moses was. Nephi's family had been led by his father out of Jerusalem before it was destroyed, and thus their lives were saved. They were led to ancient America. This scripture takes place during their journey in the wilderness - they had all become discouraged, but his older brothers were really coming down hard on their father for leading them away. They mourned for their comfortable life back in Jerusalem. Nephi reminded them about Moses leading the Israelites - and how, when remembering this, it is so clear that they were being led - so hard for Nephi and his brothers to understand why, after being fed manna from heaven every day, or after seeing Moses smite a rock and have water flow from it, that the Israelites didn't always recognize that God was leading Moses. It's so clear to us and was so clear to Nephi and his brothers - that the Israelites seem foolish. As Nephi was talking to his brothers about this, I thought:
For the Israelites being led by Moses and for Lehi's family .. they were so clearly guided by the Lord, yet they continued to harden their hearts. I wonder, when generations from now people look back on our day - how are we hardening our hearts, and what is happening that will be so clear to them then, that we may not be seeing now? It is so important to stay in tune and to recognize miracles and tender mercies. This may be one reason why in recent General Conferences we are told to record them. Yes, for our posterity, but more so that we will be aware and keep soft hearts.

For those who don't know, I am a Mormon, I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As the full name of our church declares, we are Christians. Twice a year we have General Conference where the Prophet, the 12 Apostles and other leaders speak to us - to the world. I know that what we hear is the Lord's message to us. I believe in continuing revelation - that God speaks to us through prophets just as He did in Moses' time. I also know that we are each entitled to personal revelation. As we seek His guidance we can know in our minds and in our hearts what He would have us do. As I thought on this scripture in The Book of Mormon, it became clear to me that I need to constantly treasure up the words of our written scripture as well as the words of our modern prophets so that I can always recognize that we are being led. That sometimes the way may seem so easy, like when Moses held up the staff and all the Israelites had to do was LOOK, yet many would not - so easy, that if I'm not in tune I may discount it. I love the peace that comes in knowing that I am never alone. Not only do I have a personal connection to Heavenly Father through prayer, but I have access to His words through prophets.

This brings great peace.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012


I was just thinking about some of my friends. My family members are my absolute best friends, but excluding them in this post, I want to tell you some things that have stood out to me in friendships in my life.
I have a friend who lives just down the street. She's regularly popping in with something delicious - yesterday it was this bouquet of flowers. She does flowers for weddings and had a few leftovers ... so after her extremely long, tiring wedding day, instead of crashing immediately at home, she put together one more arrangement and brought it to me. That's friendship.

About 6 years ago I was going for a morning jog, stepped onto a patch of black ice and flew up in the air, landing smack on my head. Long story short, I was life-flighted with bleeding on my brain. Needless to say, I wasn't too keen on going for another jog - or even a walk for that matter. A couple of months later a very in-tune friend of mine stopped by and said, "We're going for a walk." I came up with every excuse I could think of - everything. She didn't buy any of it, and hit the nail on the head when she said, "I know you're scared. But there's no snow or ice in Totem Park. I was just there. I'll be beside you and we can link arms the whole time. Let's go." Alison got me "back on the bike" ... That's friendship.

Between the ages of 10-14 my best friend was a gorgeous redhead named Gina. I can remember playing cards on her living room floor and laughing so hard that we'd be rolling around clutching our stomachs. Two years ago Gina and I were going to be in the same town at the same time. It had been nearly 40 years since we'd seen each other, but when we got together it was like we were 12-year-olds again. This same thing has happened with my some of my other childhood and college friends - we get together and find that we're still the same. When it's not just the memories that you talk about, but you find yourself opening up and talking about everything ... well, that's friendship!

Here's one of my core beliefs: We're not on this earth to be solo travelers. We're here to link our arms with as many as possible and journey together. This life is an adventure that is meant to be joyous, but throughout this adventure, the way is filled with bumps and holes, mountains and plateaus. When we're linked together, we'll never sink and we'll never stumble so far that we can't get back up. I love my friends - all of them. And each has lifted me, hung on to me, urged me, encouraged me ... in some way - most without knowing it.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012


Ok, I admit it ... part of the reason I married Brad was because of his gloriously LONG eyelashes. And when our first child, a boy, was born already boasting long eyelashes I feared for my future daughters. But as you can see from this picture ... there was no need to worry. I guess long eyelashes are dominant because all our kids got them. Even though she's 14, I still love to watch her when she's sleeping :)

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The Perfect PICK-ME-UP

I love juicing. One of my friends got me started a couple of years ago, then I heard from another friend Stephanie about her losing a crazy 70+ pounds because of juicing! Anyway, I do it for my health, and also because juice is SO yummy. Another friend, Loa, played host to me and my daughter during spring break in California. One morning she handed us each a frosted martini glass with apple, lemon, ginger juice. It was so good that this morning I tried this:

It's the juice of a fuji apple, a bosch pear, a piece of ginger and 1/3 of a lemon. OH MAN!!!! BEST stuff ever!

So, I'd love to hear from you juicers out there: what do you juice?

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

food for thought

A couple of weekends ago our Church held its world-wide semi-annual General Conference. There were so many important and good messages that it will take me a while to digest it all. One of the talks, by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland was poignant. He talked about the way we choose to feel about other people.

He said something like: "Coveting, pouting or tearing others down does not elevate your standing." and "Even if a grievance didn't originate with you, it can end with you!:

For the next few days I'm going to work on ending grievances and rejoicing in others' successes.

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Bragging on Radishes

My husband is amazing. He lost 4 1/2 pounds last week! (It's taken me about 3 months to lose 4 1/2 pounds) So anyway, he's being very conscious of his food intake - one of his favorite snacks is the radish. And after I found out their only about 2 calories a piece, I decided to make it one of my favorite snacks too.

Here's more good news about radishes:
* High in Vitamin C
* Juice the Greens for Oodles more Vitamin C
* High in Phosphorus and Zinc, so their good for your skin!
* Reduces the risk of some cancers
* Good for your Urinary Tract
* Radishes are an anti-congestive
* Natural Breath Freshener
* Good for your Liver & Gall Bladder

I haven't tried this, but I read that they're really good sauteed and that if you sautee the greens with garlic their amazing. (That'll be tomorrow night for me!)

So eat up! At 2 calories each, enjoy!

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Sunday, April 8, 2012


Hey sweet blog friends! I've missed you! Here's a quick catch up:
You know how life gets crazy, right? work, family, life ... it just sometimes gets a little out-of-control. That's what happened with me. But I'm happy to report that I'm back in full swing. Routine is now a part of my life once again. Although I've not been great at commenting on your blogs, I've enjoyed keeping up with you.

In my life:

My son has finished his time at the Mission Training Center in Utah learning the Tagalog language and how to best serve the people. He arrived in Quezon City, Philippines early last week. And he's SO in his element. He's so happy feeling the Spirit, learning the language, loving the people.

I continue to learn and re-learn that my timetable and the Lord's are not always the same. But I DO know that He is aware of me and guides me. I also know that life is good and I can be happy even when my life's tapestry has some threads in it that I didn't expect. And that it is most likely those very threads that will make the tapestry brilliant and valuable.

My Sierra is now 18 and will be graduating this year. So she and I took a little trip to California where we shopped our hearts out in the fashion district and rode bikes from Santa Monica Pier to Venice Beach. Alone time with my children is priceless.

A couple of days ago Brad and I came upon this car at a stop light. I love vanity plates that make me laugh! I saw one that I want to copy sometime. It says: hahaha

That's it for now. See you tomorrow!

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