Friday, November 26, 2010

Friends, Family, and FOOD Equal a GREAT Thanksgiving!

I'm sure Thanksgiving was just as busy for you as it was for me. My Thanksgiving festivities started last week when I got invited to TWO Thanksgiving parties. Yes, I got invited to Thanksgiving parties. Two friends of mine that are in my programat school had invited me to a feast of turkey, trimmings, and yummy desserts. Kaitlin invited me to the first one. I've now decided that I like going to parties and meeting new people, especially people who share my love for bathroom humor... Her friends were hilarious, and just fun as can be to be around. I also had an amazing dessert/salad.
Me and Kaitlin. Enjoying that yummy salad!

Grape Salad
Lot's of red, juicy grapes
Pkg. Cream Cheese
Small Container of Sour Cream
Powder Sugar to taste/like
Brown Sugar

Directions: Clean grapes place in bowl and set aside. Cream the cheese and powder sugar to thick consistency. Mix in grapes and sprinkle with brown sugar. Enjoy!

Then next shindig was on Monday before Thanksgiving. Another friend Jaime, who is also in my same program at school, had a huge blowout party with lot's of good food, and lot's of music. She also had a tasty salad that I had to get the recipe from.
Me and Jaime partying it up at her place!

Fruit Salad
8oz. Package Sour Cream
Large can of pineapple chunks
Large can of mandarin oranges
Coconut flakes (but I won't be adding this to my salad)
1 Bag mini marshmallows

Directions: Combine fruit, sour cream and marshmallows in a large bowl and stir together. Serve, and ENJOY!

Lastly, the real Thanksgiving day was spent with my family on my Daddio's side. My Aunt Rosalie took it upon herself to be in charge and it was a huge success. We had TON'S of WAY GOOD, YUMMY, WISH I HAD LEFTOVERS FOOD! We also had a white elephant game where some funny presents were given. Uncle Ron picked two pigs "porking" it, complements of Cash and Kali, Aunt Rosalie got a hard hat which was hilarious on her, and Thayne had to open several gifts just to get to two little pooping key chains. I laughed so hard at all three of their gifts. Surprisingly their gifts were the most sought after???
I first picked a cool whip dish with five $1.00 bills, but that quickly got snatched up. I ended up with two candle stick holders. Not bad. Along with white elephants gifts and gags we played some other games for quite a while which was a lot of fun too.
It's actually not me holding Peyton...I caught this picture just at the right time. Peyton is a doll!
Cash and Kali - so CUTE!
Almost the whole fam damily...just missing a few - wish you were there!

I of course made my Grandma Roberta's Pecan Pie that is HEAVENLY - made two, and they didn't even make it home. I also tried a new pie this year from the one and only Pioneer Woman. I made her Pumpkin Cream Pie, that was also a hit! I need to give a shout out to Josh on the macaroni salad that he made. Tasted just like Granny's used too. Well done Josh, well done!

Grandma Robert's Pecan Pie
1 Unbaked Pie Shell (I use my cream cheese pie crust of course!)
2 Eggs (beaten)
1 Tsp. Vanilla
½ C. Sugar
2 T. Flour
1 C. Light Karo Syrup
2 T. Melted Butter
1 C. Pecans

Directions: Mix together eggs, vanilla, sugar, flour, and Karo syrup. Melt butter, and mix into ingredients. Pour in pecans and mix. Pour ingredients into unbaked pie shell. Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year, and I'm glad I got to spend it with my family. Have I said how grateful I am for my family? Well, I am! Yes MOTHER, I do love and appreciate my family even though I'm pain in the butt sometimes towards you all!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

An Attitude of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is upon us, and because I'm practically a BIPOLAR person according to my blog rants I am here to state what I am grateful for! I know, shocking isn't it.

Grateful For...
1. Family - yeah I really am.
2. Job. I'm so glad I get paid to do my homework! AND, I'm grateful for my new, fun, holiday job wrapping gifts at Christensen's Department Store. (That is a whole other blog post...stay tuned for that.)
3. Honda Civic - that car is the BEST, and still has many more miles to go!
4. Having a snow day - school/work got canceled because of the pending blizzard. And, I still got paid! BooYEAH!
5. Food! Need I say more!
6. School. I'm truly grateful I have the opportunity to go to school and work towards a goal...even though it may be taking longer than I want I know in the end I will be grateful for this whole experience.
7. Netflix. I have such a strong testimony of such a wonderful program. LOVE IT!
8. My bed. First, it's so cute. Second it's so COMFORTABLE!
9. A sister who does whatever I tell her to do...most of the time. ;)
10. My Mac computer. If you don't own one you need to convert - they're the best!
11. Traveling.
12. Camera - captures some of the best moments of my life.
13. Blogging - my little piece of genealogy. And, "Blogger" for giving my Blog back!
14. FRIENDS! I have some of the best friends in the whole wide world. To name all of them would take up so much. You know who you are! Thank you for being my friend.
15. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It really is a good church!
16. My calling at church. It's really making me grow and learn.
17. My plants. I'm not a single old maid with cats, BUT I have PLANTS! They are so pretty and add to the interior decorating of my place. They're so pretty.
18. Bathtubs - nothing treats a long day like a soak in hot bubbles.
19. KitchenAid Mixer...and salad spinner. Rest in Peace Salad Spinner!
20. Makeup - thank you for making me look presentable.
21. Chuck-a-Rama salad bar. SOOOOOOOOO HEAVENLY!
22. AccccccTiviaaaaaaa - keep'n it regular yo's, or in my case, slow'n it down!
23. College professors who make time to work with you. Cough, cough...Chemistry Professor really wants me to pass my class, and thinks that I can.
24. Good books that let you escape reality and go to places far away. And Edward Cullen. ;)
25. Music! Music! Music!
26. Stealing the Internet so I don't have to pay $40.00 a month. Outrageous!
27. Glee! Yes, I am a total Gleek, and PROUD OF IT! Don't go dissing on my Glee.
28. Cell Phone - keeping me connected to the ones I love. Not grateful for texting though. Okay, so I am a little...
29. Dishwasher. I don't have one, but I would be so grateful for one!
30. Airplanes that let me travel to far off lands like Alaska...even in January for my friends wedding!
31. Being Single. Yup, I love being single. From what I heard Eternity is a LONG time. Here's to Living up the single life while I still can.
32. Dating - It gives me free meals!
33. Tampons. I won't go into detail.
34. Since I'm on the subject of Tampons I'm also grateful for toilets and toilet paper.
35. Babies. Love to have them then give them back to their awesome mom's when they get fussy.
36. People who leave free magazines like Better Homes and Gardens at the post office for anyone's taking.
37. Facebook - only when people you haven't seen in years find you on the website and want to reconnect. Now that is why I like Facebook!
38. Institute. I finally get to graduate!
39. My hairstylist (and friend), Alicia. She does an awesome job on my hair and color...what am I going to do when I move far away?
40. TV shows that now come on DVD - how did we ever watch regular TV?
41. TUTORS who are very patient and want me to succeed at school.
42. Sewing machines that fix pants with holes in the croch.
43. The opportunity to serve a Mission in the Ohio Cincinnati Mission. Long live the OCM!
44. Bountiful Baskets.
45. All my experiences in life. Good and Bad!
46. Church stuff - testimony, plan of salvation, eternal marriage, temples, and stuff like that.
47. iPods. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
48. Insurance. Wow, how that stuff has helped me out of deep deer SHHH...
49. Laughing so hard I pee my pants!
50. General Conference talks.

Which leads me to the heart of this Attitude of Gratitude. President Monson gave a wonderful talk this last conference on The Divine Gift of Gratitude. Awesome - read it! After reading/watching this talk at Institute Thursday I decided to change my negative ways.

Favorite "One Liners" from his Awesome Talk
~ Do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive? Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God's love.
~ When you walk with gratitude, you do not walk with arrogance and conceit and egotism, you walk with a spirit of thanksgiving that is becoming to you and will bless your lives.
~ We have all experienced times when our focus is on what we lack rather than on our blessings. Said the Greek philosopher Epictetus, "He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."
~ Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings.
~ This is a wonderful time to be on earth. While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right and good. There are marriages that make it, parents who love their children and sacrifice for them, friends who care about us and help us, teachers who teach. Our lives are blessed in countless ways.
~ We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative through and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. Someone has said that "gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others."
~ "The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his life. Pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place. How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul, and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life, a thankful attitude toward God and man!" (Joseph F. Smith)
~ Do material possessions make us happy and grateful? Perhaps momentarily. However, those things which provide deep and lasting happiness and gratitude are the things which money cannot buy: our families, the gospel, good friends, our health, our abilities, the love we receive from those around us. Unfortunately, these are some of the things we allow ourselves to take for granted. Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.
~ We often take for granted the very people who most deserve our gratitude. Let us not wait until is too late for us to express that gratitude.
~ A grateful heart, then, comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives. This requires conscious effort--at least until we have truly learned and cultivated an attitude of gratitude. Often we feel grateful and intend to express our thanks but forget to do so or just don't get around to it. Someone has said that "feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
~ When we encounter challenges and problems in our lives, it is often difficult for us to focus on our blessings. however, if we reach deep enough and look hard enough, we will be able to feel and recognize just how much we have been given.

Let us be grateful for all that we have this Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!!! Gobble, Gobble.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Very Bad, No Good, Horrible, Longest Week EVER!

If I have ever had a bad week, this last week was the icing on the cake. I'm not trying to be dramatic, but seriously everything that could've went wrong WENT WRONG!

Monday Nov. 8 through Sunday Nov. 14, 2010
1. Drove to work freezing cold, when just as I pull into the parking lot I realize that instead of having my heater on full blast I had my air conditioning on full blast???? How on earth do I miss that?
2. Why doing yoga in the "downward facing dog" pose I did something to my heel, and am mad I don't have insurance. I guess I'll just hope that the pain works it's way out...
3. Couldn't handle the stupid college students, and got fired up with one student that wouldn't follow our rules at the testing center. (Students are suppose to bag up their stuff and take it in with them before testing - this student wouldn't, so I told him very rudely that I hope his stuff gets stolen. He then said, "Do you have a knife so you can stab me!")
4. Was so fed up with students that I left work early, and missed out on two hours of minimum wage! (Yes, I got someone to cover my time.)
5. Tried to make homemade caramel, and with one moment unattended I burnt the caramel and had to throw it all away.
6. Volunteered to make refreshments for my "older" institute class, and this was not the week to volunteer and use my time to make refreshments!
7. Had my email hacked into (and I'm hoping you were smart enough to not click on the link I was sending you).
8. Because of the email hacking I'm still debating whether I should change my email, but I don't want to have the work of switching over...
9. Again because of the "hacking" I was trying to switch email accounts and DELETED my precious blog for about thirty minutes. It was seriously GONE from the WORLD WIDE WEB for thirty minutes!!! Yes, I actually cried. However, my cry only lasted about two minutes.
10. Tried for an hour to steal the Internet from my neighbors so that I could video chat with a dear friend, to no avail I gave up and watched stupid wedding shows on TLC.
11. My one day to sleep in this week was not allowed due to working - but I made $65.00 by sitting for 3 hours, so look, my week was starting to pick up some...
12. Ripped a hole in the crotch of my favorite pair of jeans (that I only paid $1.50 for at Down East Outfitters - so it's not like I'm out a lot of money).
13. Taught my "Gospel Principles" lesson for my 4th time, and am starting to wish I wasn't. This week got WAY off topic, and I have a feeling that it's going to continue to get off topic with "these people" that "have" to come to my class each week.
14. Had to go to my 30-45 singles Fireside last night...Had to make some sort of dessert...Had nothing but cake mix, so I made the "cake box Oreo cookies." During the process I was trying to melt a stick of REAL butter and melted it all over the microwave. Ew, now that really erks me to waste a real stick of butter! Cause butta ain't cheep yo's!
15. During the process of making cookies I was washing dishes and talking on the phone, cause I'm all about multitasking! However, I dropped my phone into the sink full of dishes and soap. My phone actually is kind of water proof...but I still took it apart and placed it into a bowl of rice. (I have a strong testimony of rice drying out cell phones...I know without a shadow of a doubt it works!!!!)

I know, I know, I know. Gee's, I sure can complain a lot! But, in all that very bad, no good, horrible, longest week ever I survived, and am still here to say, BRING IT ON! I can handle just about anything these days...hope your week was a lot better than mine!

Monday, November 8, 2010


I'm not quite turning into my Mother, but I'm skipping a generation and turning into my Grandmother. Gads! I made 3 Bean Salad this weekend, and am enjoying a bowl right now for my lunch. I never in a MILLION years thought I would ever make this salad and actually enjoy eating it. But there is something about the vinegar/oil/sugar mixture with the crunch of green beans and onions that awakens my senses. After all the many years growing up spending the weekend with my Grandma, and all she ever had in her fridge to eat was 3 Bean Salad, I now like it. Who would have ever thought? I wish I would've gotten her recipe before she passed away, but thank goodness for allrecipes I was able to find a recipe and whip up this scrumptious salad. I tried to get my roommate (brother) to eat some, but I couldn't convince him. Apparently he is still stuck on the memory of Grandma always having this salad around, and always supplying it at bbq's. I was stuck on that for a while too. But, when you do Bountiful Baskets as frequent as I do, and you get a whole bunch of green beans - I think to myself, Self, what are you going to do with all these green beans? I'm going to make 3 Bean Salad just like Grandma did!
(This picture was taken with my cell phone - so it's not the best picture. You get my jist though!)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Patience - I Need to Get Some

My "older" Institute class has been studying the Living Prophets this semester. That means we take the most recent conference issue of the Ensign and study the modern day Prophets. We are using the April conference issue. I was a little skeptical because that conference just didn't strike my fancy. However, as I always seem to get humbled, I've been humbled by the wonderful words of our Living Prophets.

This last Thursday night at Institute we discussed a talk from the Priesthood session, given by Elder Uchtdorf. I never really pay attention to the Priesthood sessions, but this is one talk I am SO glad got brought to my attention. (Side note - another great talk from this conference was also from Elder Uchdorf given in the Young Women session, called Your Happily Ever After. SO, INCREDIBLE! That whole Young Women session was great.) The talk that we discussed is Continue in Patience. Apparently I need to get some patience, in all things. My teacher said this about patience, "Patience is being happy why you wait." Amen to that!

Continue in Patience
Favorite lines from his amazing talk:

~ The ability to wait--to be patient--is a key character trait that might predict later success in life.
~ Patience - the ability to put our desires on hold for a time--is a precious and rare virtue.
~ Without patience we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect.
~ Patience is a purifying process that refines understanding deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace.
~ Patience is far more than simply waiting for something to happen--patience requires actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results don't appear instantly or without effort.
~ Patience means active waiting and enduring. Staying with something and doing all that we can--working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed.
~ Patience is not simply enduring; is enduring well!
~ Never give up on anyone. And that includes not giving up on yourself.
~ Every one of us is called to wait in our own way. We wait for answers to prayers. We wait for things which at the time may appear so right and so good to us that we can't possibly imagine why Heavenly Father would delay the answer. God's promises are not always fulfilled as quickly as or in the way we might hope; they come according to His timing and in His ways.
~ We must learn that in the Lord's plan, our understanding comes "line upon line, precept upon precept." In short, knowledge and understanding come at the price of patience.
~ The deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from the mountains of our future experience. Often we can't see the Lord's hand in our lives until long after trials have passed. Often the most difficult times of our lives are essential building blocks that form the foundation of our character and pave the way to future opportunity, understanding, and happiness.
~ Patience means staying with something until the end.
~ Patience means accepting that which cannot be changed and facing it with courage, grace, and faith.
~ Ultimately, patience means being "firm and steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord" every hour of every day even when it is hard to do so.
~ Patience is a process of perfection.
~ Patience means to abide in faith, knowing that sometimes it is in the waiting rather than in the receiving that we grow the most.
~ Lessons learned from patience will cultivate our character, lift our lives, and heighten our happiness.

Wow - that was just an amazing talk on patience, and probably the best I have heard in a really long time. I so badly want to be done with school, and be on to the next chapter in my life. But, for some unknown reason I am "stuck" here. I have been stuck here too long, and am antsy to go to the next adventure. I guess I need to just be patient. Ha! Imagine that. Like my institute teacher said, "Patience is being happy why you wait." Well, why I wait I will make the best of it, and be happy.