Friday, December 12, 2014

fun Potatoes

So in our tiny little church ward here in Swan Valley, we've had 5 funerals since the time we moved here...


Anyway, at a Mormon Funeral, the Relief Society helps put on a luncheon after the funeral to feed the family most coming from out of town.  So we send around a sign up sheet for salads, dessert and "Funeral Potatoes".(I have been signing up for the potatoes because I have so many!)  They are a deliciously rich concoction of potatoes whether sliced, diced or shredded, cream of mushroom or chicken soups (or both!), sour cream and cheese, then usually topped with pulverized corn flakes.  They are delicious, but when you live 30  minutes from the nearest grocery store and don't have sour cream on hand, there are other very delicious potato dishes that are allowed (lol) and depending on the time it takes you to open cans, maybe faster. ;)

I love potatoes au gratin--always have and even better if they are of the cheesy variety.

Here's a recipe found on the good ole internet that you might like if you want to venture out of the "funeral potato" rut or don't have any sour cream on hand.

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe

Original recipe makes 4 servings

 4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
 1 onion, sliced into rings
 salt and pepper to taste
 3 tablespoons butter
 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 2 cups milk
 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a 1 quart casserole dish.
Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with the onion slices, and add the remaining potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a medium-size saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and salt, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in milk. Cook until mixture has thickened. Stir in cheese all at once, and continue stirring until melted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese over the potatoes, and cover the dish with aluminum foil.
Bake 1 1/2 hours in the preheated oven.

So try this recipe for some FUN potatoes today!!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

He Is The Gift

He is the Gift – Christmas Video – #ShareTheGift:

A short video reminding us what this blessed season is all about.

Friday, December 5, 2014

real beauty

Lately I've been obsessed with  spending a lot of time reading nieniedialouges.  I think it's because, well obviously, she is amazing and also because I needed to draw from her story and strength.  Stephanie Nielson has faced some of the worst kinds of pain and scars and still her beauty shines through because she radiates love and hope and strength.

I have a beautiful 12 year old girl.  My sweet Savannah.  That's what I said immediately after she was born and the nurse laid her on  my chest.  It was love at first sight.  A love so big I didn't know I could feel that much.

So this August my sweetest oldest was bitten by a dog.  I said lots of bad words before I realized there were children present and then rushed her to the ER.

She received a beautiful blessing from her Grandfather while in the ER waiting to be stitched up.  She "felt the Spirit stronger than she had her whole life", she said.

So here we are a few months later and every night I hug her and kiss her on the cheek, tell her she has the softest cheeks in the whole world, she tells me that she knows that because I tell her that every night and then I tell her she is the most important thing in the whole world to me.


We tell all our kids that every night before bed (and when they leave for school and just about every time we part).  Lately, at bed time, when I tell her that she is beautiful she shakes her head no and quickly points to the scar on and above her lip.

 Breaks my heart.

Breaks it right in two.

In that moment I don't know exactly how to handle it. Do I tell her how beautiful I think she is?  Do I tell her how lucky she is that it wasn't worse?  Do I sympathize with her?  Do I tell her that the scar will fade and that soon it will be hardly even recognizable?  Do I tell her that scars do not make us ugly--or at the very least un-beautiful?  Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes . And Yes. But because it's coming from just mommy, I don't think it has much weight even though I point out the scars on my face. (Maybe I should point out my weight and that would have more weight...) (ha)

So I brought up Nie Nie on the computer and showed her.  Savannah is not unfamiliar with Nie Nie or her story.  I've followed her for a long time now.  But maybe she needed a reminder.  So I showed her again.

I think it helped.

I hope it helped.

 Buy my "Beautiful Heart" Pillow from Latter-Day Home

I want her and all girls--all people to understand that beauty comes from the inside.  It comes from being loving and kind.  It comes from being virtuous.  It comes from radiating the love and light of Christ.

When you have that light, it outshines any scar or mole or extra poundage that the world would have us think is the antithesis of beauty.

Beauty comes from within.

And you, my sweet Savannah are BEEEAU-TI-FUL!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Winter Storm Watch

I spent last Saturday in Alpine, Wyoming. I grew up in Star Valley just down the road from Alpine so it was so fun to be there.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mom guilt

Okay, so I've lost the content to this post TWICE, so let me just say that both posts were clever and funny and very telling. 


So anyyyywaaaayyy, sometimes I have mom guilt.

My sweet, smart, talented and beautiful Savannah has her first away basketball game today and I can't go.

To compensate for that guilt, I'm making her and her teammates cookies.

Easy. Cheap. Delicious.

Monday, November 17, 2014

winter wonderland

Here are a few of the views that we get to enjoy here in the winter. It may be fall (or summer) for some, but here, it's full on winter.

Pristine, country, winter, beauty.

I can almost here the sleigh bells...

Snow is glistening...

Make sure you glove up when you go walking in this winter wonderland because it's frost bite weather.

Monday, November 10, 2014

First snow...

It snowed.

So I made bread.

Internet is off and on again so that leaves laundry and cleaning and baking.

At least baking is fun...

I'm going to break out the crock pot and put some soup on to go with that delicious bread.

I guess there are a few good things about the snow...

Oh, and Happy Birthday Marine Corps!  Ooh Rah!!! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Love, Abby

My littlest has been writing a lot of love notes lately. More than ever now that she knows how to spell more and more words...

This one particularly melted my heart.

I don't think you can find a love more deep and genuine than that of my little Abby for her big step brother and sister.

I think that their love for her is equally as deep.

How lucky we are to have a blended family that works so well. I credit the twins. It'd be hard to find a more loving, helpful, kind and needs-anticipating pair of teenagers.

Yes, it's a word........

I know that there are other wonderful teenagers out there and teenagers probably get a bad wrap too often, but yours don't live with me, so yeah... lol

Her favorite part was "I know how!".

Yep, I think she's been given some divine inspiration on this one...

I love this child. I love ALL my children. Birthed by me or "because God wanted [them on my] side".

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


So I'm laying here in bed convelescing convelessing trying to get my back better (again) and realize I haven't told you about my ultimate yard sale score.
We went yard sale-ing--that's a thing where you hit several yard sales in one morning--and found a few really great things, but the score of the day was this quilt.
You want to know how much I gave for this?

*cricket cricket*

 Because there was cat urine on it. On just one corner.

"I was just gonna throw it away."
"But if you think you can get it clean you can have it."
I'll take it. :)

*trying not to act too excited*
I have a washer...
And Oxi Clean...
And a free new quilt.
Here kitty kitty...

Saturday, October 11, 2014


There is a very generous man in our community and he gives potatoes to the people in our community. Free.
I hope blessings are showered down upon him.
We have a LOT of spuds to process. i.e. bottling, bottling and more bottling.
Kids have KP duty...