Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Some of our favorite videos on YouTube...

We have spent the past week with Aunt Tara, Aunt Emily and their babies.  It was a lot of fun, but there was no blogging involved.  I'll post some more about our Easter break and family things later, but in the meantime and for your listening pleasure we'd like to leave you with this:

There are some awesome and not-so-lovely things on YouTube.  We prefer the awesome.  Here are some of our all-time favorites.

Nick Pitera's One-man Disney Movie is amazing, cute, and you see something new every time you watch!

The Muppets doing Bohemian Rhapsody.  Classic.  Animal reminds us of our mama's boy nephew Jeremiah. As a commenter said, "mama....mama? yea! mama! *sigh* mama.... MAMA. MAMA! AHHAHA! MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA! rawr! MAMA! YOO HOO? MAMA? YOO HOO MAMA?! mama? mama.... dada? DADA!" hahahhahahahahha ya'll just gotta love animal! :D

The next video is an OK Go song, This Too Shall Pass. The video features an elaborate Rube Goldberg machine. If you don't know what that is, here is the Wikipedia definition: A Rube Goldberg machine, device, or apparatus is a deliberately over-engineered machine that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion, usually including a chain reaction. The expression is named after American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg.

Our favorite parts? The Thomas the Tank Engine track, the Lego set-up, and the Plinko style board. And of course the end.

Another "How do they do that?" video is Her Morning Elegance by Oren Lavie. It's done in stop motion. Sometimes I think I must dream like this. But I don't look as good in the morning.

The last one is an old fave of ours. Love the message.  The kids and I are huge Jon McLaughlin fans.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A well-stocked pantry

In the home that we live in right now we are lucky enough to have a back-porch/utility/laundry room area that includes some upper and lower cabinets as well as another sink.  I use these cupboards for most of my canned food and "extra" food.  I buy things on sale, and if I find a good sale, pair it with a coupon, then I'm really a happy girl.

I keep extra canned food and baking items on hand and rotate them through.  When I buy something new to restock I try to move it to the back of the cupboard.  Items that I think will not be rotated as quickly I will jot down the month/year with a sharpie on the top so I know to use the oldest first.

The lower cupboards hold my canning equipment and water storage.  We fill up gallon sized water jugs, 2 liter bottles and clean juice bottles, plus a 5 gallon water tank.  I'll be adding some more water storage little by little.  We've actually had to use our water storage a couple of times when the city pumps were down for a short amount of time.  So glad we had it!  I also keep my empty bleach bottles and fill them up with water to use for household cleaning or laundry.

When I do my menu planning I take into account the items that we have stored for short-term and for long-term.  We have rice, beans, pasta, oil, sugar, flour, milk and some other basics in our long-term storage.  We also buy some fruits and vegetables in #10 cans.

This week's menu includes 3 Bean Salad made from canned beans.  I used regular rice from our storage instead of Basmati rice for the Cilantro Lime Rice from Monday night and it still had plenty of flavor.

Some things that are must-haves in our storage?  Cocoa powder, mayonnaise (I've discovered that the Kirkland brand mayonnaise from Costco is very inexpensive and pretty tasty) olive oil, Jell-0 and pudding mixes, lots of different types of canned tomatoes, and yeast for baking.

This is just a peek into how the household runs (sometimes it's a little bit touch and go!) and how we are trying to "Be Prepared".

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Old books...and bloggy inspiration

I'm a book lover. When I was growing up you would rarely find me without a book in hand, or at least close by. I read anything I could get my hands on, especially in during summer break. I'd read to the dog, the calves on the farm, and holed up in the treehouse with one of the stack of books I checked out of the library each week. Now that I am older with more responsibilities, I don't do nearly as much reading as I used to, but I still love books. I almost always look at the books at garage sales and thrift stores and I shop the Friends of the Library sale shelves at our local library.

When I saw this post on Mitzi's Collectibles Blog I thought the books she covered in sheet music were adorable. She just made slip covers for them like my kids do with paper bags for their school books. Adorable.

Peat Pots. Who knew? I've been seeing them everywhere, so I picked a pack of peat pots up (say that 5 times fast!) for a buck and a half, and the two little boys and I busted out the paint on Saturday. Monkey pooped out after painting the blue one and went to work with the paper shredder to shred the "grass". Fez added a ribbon and paper handle to his green pot, and I went with ribbon, flowers, and buttons and added a pink tag for gift-giving. We used the medium sized pots, not the little ones.  They're the perfect size for an egg or some Cadbury mini eggs, jelly beans, or the ever-important chocolate bunny.

Joe's is the dark green pot.

Since the boys went with jewel tones, I softened the red pot with a doily tied on with w ribbon bow.

The amazingly talented Vicki Chrisman posted a picture of her peat pot Easter basket here, (Warning, she has music on her blog so turn of the speakers if the baby is asleep or you're reading this at work! Just scroll down to see it and some of her other lovelies.

Martha Stewart has an adorable Easter basket made from the small square peat pots.

I'm linking up here:

All Things Heart and Home

Monday, April 11, 2011

What's for Dinner? Week 5

Not nearly as busy of a week, thank goodness!  I roasted two chickens yesterday and we had one for dinner and will use the other for some basic chicken and bean burritos served with the yummy Cilantro Lime Rice like Chipotle has at their restaurant.  

Monday:  Chicken Burritos, Cilantro Lime Rice (Chipotle style) Green Salad

Natalia has said that she could eat pork chops and applesauce every day.  I'm thinking that we'd get pretty sick of it, though.

Tuesday:  Pork Chops and Applesauce, 3 Bean Salad, Bread

Wednesday:  Chicken Paprikash with Noodles and mixed veggies

Kelly's Chicken Paprika  This is a recipe I've used many times but instead of in a big pot I put it in the crockpot, except for the sour cream and noodles, let it cook all day, remove the chicken and add the sour cream, then cook the noodles and serve.  Recipe is from Flylady.net

  • 1 whole chicken Cut into pieces
  • 2 medium sized onions, chopped
  • 1 16 ounce can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 pound of medium Egg Noodles
In large pot over medium heat, heat oil and onions until onions are clear, add paprika and stir. Add chicken pieces and brown. Add can of tomatoes (whole can, juice and all), green pepper and spices. Reduce heat and simmer for one hour to hour and half until chicken is done. Pull chicken pieces out and let cool until you can take the bones out. (Yes you need to cook it with the bones because of the flavor that it adds to the gravy). While the chicken pieces are out add the sour cream and stir well. Add the chicken pieces back in and simmer. While Chicken is simmering, boil water and cook Egg Noodles according to package directions. Serves chicken over noodles. Makes a great meal with a loaf of french bread and a green salad.

Thursday:  Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork, German Potato Salad, Green Salad

Friday:  Homemade Pizza and veggie sticks

Treat This Week:
Un-fried Fried Ice Cream 

Linked here:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Because I have been given much...

Ever since the first time I heard Sister Beck, the Relief Society General President, speak, I've been struck by her no-nonsense yet spiritual messages. She is not afraid to tell it like it is in an inspired and knowledgeable manner.

Sister Beck recently spoke to a crowd of women at BYU-Idaho and I've been studying what she says about women, our role, and achieving balance.  The words that are in blue are from this article about that meeting.  I've highlighted and italicized the phrases that jumped out to me.

Finding Balance

Citing the Lord’s commandment in 2 Nephi 9:51 to labor not for things that cannot satisfy, Sister Beck counseled to find balance by going to the Lord, then setting boundaries and prioritizing.

  • I love how she says to go to the Lord FIRST.  Shouldn't I do that in all things? Then I'll also go to the Lord once I've thought or planned it through.
“Some days you are going to feel guilty. . . . No woman ever has enough time, enough energy, and enough strength to do all the good things that are in her mind to do,” she said.

  • I have so much that I want to do, and that I need to do, but unfortunately, the lists do not overlap.

Sister Beck encouraged the women to seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost in prioritizing their lives and promised that the Lord accepts their personal best and will bless them for their efforts.
  • The words "personal best" obviously stood out to me.  Heavenly Father knows what I am capable of.  He knows exactly what I can accomplish in all aspects of my life.  He knows and will accept MY best and does not compare me to my sister, my neighbor, or my friend like I sometimes do.
“The Lord knows who you are because it is His work,” she said. “He will strengthen and magnify you.”

  • It is His work.  Of course He will help me to go about His work.
She testified that “the Lord has blessings for His daughters. . . . We don’t have to be worried; we just have to be faithful.”

  • I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
    Philippians 4:13
As we turn outward and serve others, we ourselves will be blessed. “The poor will always be with us,” she said, “the poor in spirit, the poor in heart, the poor in the things of the world. They’re placed there to sanctify [us]. It is as we work on the Lord’s work that we become sanctified, because the problems are bigger than we are and the solutions can come only from heaven.”

  • This was quoted a couple of times this conference weekend:  God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.
    President Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, December 1974, p.5
  • We did some service as a family recently, and the kids did not even grumble about doing it.  Manual labor, even.  They were excited!  When we serve our fellow beings we are also in the service of our God.
  • "[The Lord] has created ways to bless both those who need help and those who will give it.” —President Henry B. Eyring
Preparing to Minister
In addition to suggesting prayer, fasting, scripture study, and other ways to prepare before making a visit or teaching a lesson, Sister Beck encouraged the sisters to engage in lifelong preparation, which will make them more useful in the Lord’s hands

“The longer I am at this business, the more I feel the privilege of helping our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, in Their divine work,” she said. “This isn’t about a job . . . in the Church. This is about a calling to serve as the Lord’s hands.”

Sister Beck asked the women to become articulate in sharing their testimonies by studying the scriptures.
  • I've started a Scripture Journal, and I'm really having a good time with it.  I've jotted down scriptures and notes about them before, but this time I've got a three-ring-binder that I'm using, and I've divided it into topics. I'll share more on that later.
She encouraged them to develop their talents to be used to build up the Lord’s kingdom.
  •  God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame.  
    ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • What are talents?  God's gifts.  So much greater than any of my dreams.  Reading my Patriarchal Blessing regularly gives me a glimpse of my potential.

She urged them to seek revelation by asking questions and to share what they know.

  • Seek answers to my questions, share them, and my testimony will grow and be strengthened.
She challenged them to get over the excuses they have allowed to keep them from doing the Lord’s work.
  • There is always something that seems to be more important to do.  Always.  I can come up with a million excuses to NOT be about my Father's work.  It needs to become a habit instead of making excuses.

Because I have been given much I to must give.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It is 8:19 am and the children have left the building.

Whew.  I can take a breather.  Here were bits and pieces of my morning:

  1. Have Brian rummage around for the car keys so we can get him to seminary the customary 5 minutes late.  Seminary is 4 blocks away.
  2. Listen to Natalia yell and stomp on her way to the shower because "you didn't wake me up early enough".  One would think that an hour to get ready for school is plenty of time.
  3. Make pancakes in the shape of easter bunnies that husband says look like something unmentionable, since this is a family blog.
  4. Pack lunches into three lunch bags while piling the fourth onto the counter because the youngest is too busy to track down his lunch box.
  5. Rummage through magazines to find 10 for the oldest to take to school for extra credit.  I'm not really sure why he needs magazines, but it's a good way to purge them.
  6. Make sure everyone gets out the door with what they need for the day.
My next steps?
  1. Clean the filthy kitchen and put the meat in the crockpot to make taquitos tonight.
  2. Check that the stained up baseball pants are as clean as I can get them for another game tonight.
  3. Get ready for work. 
Achk!  I'd better get moving...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Plant a Garden! Inflation's gonna getcha.

I was listening to the news today, and one of the news items was that the CEO of Wal-Mart has said that inflation is going to be serious.  He said that Wal-Mart has "already seen price increases among dairy and cotton productions, and that more increases are coming in transportation-related products like paper."  He said "inflation could start to affect the retailer later in the year."  In June we will really be seeing the prices go up, even more so than they already have.  We've seen the prices on milk go up 35cents a gallon, and the other dairy will soon follow.  Gas prices are hovering right around $4 per gallon.  Gulp.

I don't know about you, but we have NO leeway or room in our budget to pay more for ANythING.  

The beautiful Missouri sky~perfect gardening conditions.
One of the things that has always helped us is eating the produce that we have grown ourselves.  There have been summers that we've basically lived on tomatoes, basil and zucchini!  The kids were so tired of zucchini, since we had it in bread, as fried as pancakes, sauteed with dinner, in brownies, and even in cookies.  I am really going to miss my grandpa and dad's garden this year, let me tell you.  We've got plans for a garden here, and some pots on the porch, too.  We are also going to try these home-made topsy-turvy planters for some tomato plants on our front porch.  (for other tutorials just google it, there are tons!)  There is nothing like eating tomatoes picked from your own garden.

Rare Seeds has a huge variety of heirloom seeds, and they are very inexpensive.  Especially if you order with a friend or two and split the packs.

We've started basil and oregano in eggshells.  I just cracked the top off, emptied the shells to use, filled with starting soil, and popped in some seeds.  Monkey helped with that part.  We've been keeping them watered and have little one-inch sprouts.  I've also cut water bottles off about three inches from the bottom.  We're using the bottom cup part to plant more seeds in for starting, zucchini and cucumbers, nothing exotic.

So, for just a few dollars, some recycled containers, and time (then patience to wait for the growing plants) we've got our garden started.  I'll do a post with pictures later since I have a camera with dead batteries.

Get your garden planned and planted, and you'll be pleased as punch!

Monday, April 4, 2011

What's for dinner? Week 4

I'm back after being away all weekend visiting family and watching Conference and driving.  Just love those long drives.  Not.

Since I am working 3 days, dinners this week will mostly be from the crockpot, or pot-luck elsewhere.  We also have 4, yes, 4! softball and baseball games, Mutual on Tuesday, Mario's play and Scouts on Wednesday, and a Cake and Service Auction on Friday for Scout and Young Women's Camp.  Whew.  I can't even think about Saturday!

Saucy Country Style Pork Ribs in the Crockpot  (Enough for two meals)

1 onion, sliced and quartered
2 small sweet potatoes, sliced and quartered

3-4 lbs. country style pork ribs, cut in half
1 jar of prepared spaghetti sauce

Layer everything in the order listed into a crockpot sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Slightly shred and season with salt and pepper if needed.  Serve over pasta.


Leftovers from Monday turned into shredded pork on a bun with coleslaw.

Pot-luck at the school after Mario's "Stone Soup" play performance.  I'm contributing a pasta salad and a dessert.  Probably these yummy Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Bars  They're kind of like blonde brownies with chocolate chips.

{Baked}Chipotle Beef Taquitos
I'll cook the roast ahead of time in the crockpot and make extra Taquitos for another meal.

Dinner at church with dessert auction.  I have no clue what my two teenagers are going to make for this.  Guess they better get some brainstorming done!

I'm linking here:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Party Time!

Ultimate Blog Party 2011+

Yep, it's that time again! If you're here visiting from the Ultimate Blog Party, let me introduce myself.

Hi, I'm Annie. Nice to meetcha! I'm married to Andy and we have 4 kids, from 7 to 16, and a lot of what I write about has to do with them! {Click on the "Who Am I" tab right above here to read a bit more.}

I started blogging in 2007 to keep family and friends up-to-date while we were living in Missouri. Since then we have moved back to California. My blog is also where I keep track of things our family has done and said. The blogname Savor This Moment is a reminder to me to live in the moment, and to really be there.

I also blog about scrapbooking, {which I adore!} and share some of my pages and other projects here.

Since I have to cook for my family anyway, and we love to eat, you'll find quite a few recipes here, too.

Leave a comment! I love finding other blogs to read, and I can't wait to visit YOU!
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