Friday, December 12, 2014

fun Potatoes--Homemade Potatoes Au Gratin

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

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.

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

cake mix cookies

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

Monday, November 10, 2014

First snow--Homemade bread

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...

Friday, October 3, 2014


My six year old baby girl Abby asked me yesterday what it felt like to be "old" and what it felt like to be a parent. 
She's in a phase where she wants to know what other people feel like. 
So, I told her that getting "old" means my body hurts sometimes and that she should rub my back every morning to get the old joints movin'. Okay, I didn't say that last part, but should have.  "I have some back problems and it hurts to bend sometimes", I said.  "But I know more stuff, so that's good..." But then I told her that being a parent is the best because you get to love someone more than you ever knew it was possible to love that much.
So then at dinner time when one of the children was asked to get a cold drink for Dad, Abby says, "I wish I were the parent and had lots of minions to boss around."

Well, it is a perk...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Wish list

After reading my favorite bloggers post on her new, loved robotic vacuum, I realized that I needed to start a wish list.  I needed to.  I'm always the one to say, I can do that, or I have a broom I can do that myself, or I can cut my own hair. But that's another story...

Anyway, my hubby doesn't like to give necessary items for gifts.  That is very nice.  I love that about him.  I don't think I'd really love getting a broom for Christmas or Laundry soap (I have made that myself too).  But we mom's are busy and there is so much other stuff to do that wouldn't it be nice to have something to help that doesn't roll it's eyes or have to "go to the bathroom" when it's time to help out?  Wouldn't it?  (Not talking about you B Rex.)

So this is my domestic wish list because yes I have a vacuum, but this one runs itself. 

Hey, I could have put THIS on my wish list...

No.  Instead of putting on my wish list a Vintage car  (driven by Jay Leno?) I'm asking for a much tinier vehicle that sucks up our families dirt. 

Am I crazy?  Maybe my list SHOULD have diamonds and luxury cars on it...

Or diamond cars!!!

I'd say, I little tiny robot vacuum isn't too much to ask for...

Friday, September 19, 2014


Have I mentioned that I love Swan Valley?  Idaho is one of the most beautiful places on Earth and we feel so lucky to live here.

Hubby and I went for a drive (and ice cream) last night and had to stop at the corner of Awesome and Beautiful to snap these shots...

 We couldn't get enough.  We stopped right in the road and snapped away.  We were virtually alone except for a crane that flew up from the creek.  That I didn't get a picture of because I didn't even have my camera ready, but trust me when I say, it was stunningly gorgeous.  Instead, I got cows.  They're slower...
Some of these pics, I played around on with my photo editor.  Can you tell which ones?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

hooked--Homemade Hook Board

Living in the country means that you can't just drive to the local hardware store to get everything you need to make that DIY project look Pinterest worthy. 

Sometimes that means mismatched screws and repurposed lumber for your project.  I'm just glad that I had screws and repurposed lumber that worked because I'm tired of my bags on my floor.  I need hooks!

 My floor is for my dirty laundry. 

Juuuuuuust kidding...sort of.

Here's the "new" hook board...

Mismatched screws and all...

My 9 year old son asked me if this was the new backpack rack because it had five hooks.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

welcome home

Oh my goodness, I haven't posted anything for such a long time.  Did you miss me? 



Well, do I have a LOT to learn about living in the country! 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Caribbean of the West

So you know how I've said I have always wanted to live by (or on) the beach? Well yesterday I had the chance to visit one. Our very own turquoise blue waters with sandy beaches and play in the waves. This is considered the Caribbean of the West.

  I think we were met with the wests version of a tropical storm, but yes, the turquoise water was AH-mazing! 
If you've never heard of, or experienced Bear Lake, you need to go. Just go. It's amazing. I'm not sure I would have ever made it there if I hadn't had a family reunion to attend.
We're going back when it's better weather. Maybe for mine and my hubby's birthday next month. Woot!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Where the buffalo roam...

I've always lived in one land locked western state or another.
Where I always wanted to live was on a beach somewhere...
But this place really can't be beat. Just look at this scenery...

Friday, June 27, 2014

Variation on the theme- Muffin Ma'am--Homemade Banana nut Muffins

I know I've already posted about muffins, but when two of your kids wake up and tell you they both dreamt about banana nut muffins, it's probably a sign. The only problem was that we didn't have any nuts and the closest grocery store is thirty minutes away.
But we do have chocolate covered nuts.

You know where my priorities are.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Momster keeping the summer dolrums away

I have noticed that TV watching brings out the fighting in my kids. I don't know why, but it does.
So I've banned it...(for a week)(and then we'll see)
Here's a recipe for homemade play dough that my kids love and is easy and lasts for a long time. Making it is half the fun.
Homemade Play dough:
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons Cream of tartar
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon oil
Food coloring
Directions: Cook all ingredients slowly, stirring until it forms a ball. Cool and knead until lumps are gone.
I stir with a whisk and there aren't any lumps to knead out. Also, I divide the dough into 3-4 portions, put them in zip lock bags, add food coloring and knead the color into the dough inside the baggie.
This recipe comes from the Cookin' With Home Storage cookbook, but I've seen the same recipe on the Martha Stewart show. And if it's good enough for her...


So make some homemade play dough today and keep the Momster away...

Friday, June 20, 2014


I was looking through the pics on my phone today and came across a picture that might or might not be a "sign"...

Do you see it?
 Here, let me help you see what I see...

Friday, June 13, 2014

Valley girl

Went for another drive with the hubby.

This is the most beautiful time of year in the valley. I love it here. Love love love love love it.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

big country ;)

So we've moved. 

Yep, we just up and Beverly-Hill-Billied it to rural-town U.S.A. 

We moved to "the city" six months ago, and it just didn't do it for us so we took a leap of faith and moved our family to one of the most wonderful places on the face of the earth.  Population 212.  +7

welcome gift

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Smoke Signals...Frontiersman Jerky

I am shamelessly plugging my husbands business today.

He is a hunting and fishing enthusiast and for years has made his own jerky and smoked his own fish and he's the kind of guy that likes to share.  So for years he's made jerky, shared it and for years people have been telling him he should sell his jerky.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

heavenly Rice pudding

I usually don't blog on Sunday,  but my husband created Heaven today for breakfast so I thought it was fitting. He said and I quote "That recipe just popped into my head like a magnet." 
(What the what?)
Anyway...  This is dairy free and gluten free, but certainly not sugar free unless you wanted to use honey or something else instead.  It was totally an experiment, and you all know how some of my experiments have turned out now don't ya.  Good thing this was my hubby's experiment and really, I wanted nothing to do with it.  I was going to cook oatmeal.   Ha, jokes on me.  This was a hit!  Everybody loved it....even the second bowl.
Here's the recipe:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

you are my sunshine, my only sunshine...stained glass sun catchers

My hubby and I share a love of stained glass so I would say he did pretty darn good job of Mother's day gift giving this year.
I can't wait to hang these so they catch the sun. 
I'm still not sure exactly how or where to hang them, but it's gonna be epic! :)
Leeeeeet the sun shine...
Leeeeeet the sun shine in...
It's like she's saying, Hello Darlin'.  I say she because of those lips! :) 

 Link HERE for Mae's Glass Creations Facebook page  and "like" her page.
Thanks hubby o' mine. L.O.Y.B.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

i'm famous...

I always wanted to be popular.  I sorta always wanted to be famous.  Ironic since I hate to be in the spotlight.
I'm not famous or really even popular by the worlds standards, but I'm kinda a big deal at home... to my kids anyway.   It warms the cockles of my heart when my kids clamor for my attention.  When they burst through the door after they get home from school and call out "Momma where are you?!"  When they fight to sit by me at scripture time. When my littlest needs "snuggle time". I'm popular at home and that's all that matters...
It's like I have groupies. :)
This morning my littlest came sleepily into my room and exclaimed how excited she was that tomorrow is mother's day.
Oh,  my littlest groupie,  every day is mother's day. 

"snuggle time"

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Photo editor

I have a good friend who is a photographer.  A real photographer.  He hates photo shop and I'm guessing all the other versions of it,  but I'm here to tell you that for me,  I love it!
I am an amateur (at best) click-it-from-my-phone kind of photographer.  I have family members who are really good photographers so it should be in my genes right?  Yeah,  not so much.  So until I get good at it,  (or at least better) I will use my photo editor and I'll tell you why.  When I see something beautiful and have to take a picture of it (with my phone) it doesn't usually turn out as vibrant as how I see it,  so I spruce it up a bit...
How my phone sees it...

How I see it...

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Breakfast smoothies

It's a smoothie kind of morning.
Do you ever wake up full of hope, looking forward to the future,  having feelings of child like excitement?  Well, that was my morning.  And after yesterday, *sigh* it is a much needed and welcome feeling.
So to celebrate,  we made smoothies! :)  We meaning me and my sweet five year old sweetheart Abby-girl.  She climbed in bed with me in the middle of the night and slept in (how would that be?!) and woke up with rosey cheeks so I thought smoothies were just what the doctor ordered!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


I think the term ''fashionably late'' doesn't apply to always being slow to take up new things.  :/
Regardless of how long it took,  I'm now on Instagram.  It should surely improve my photography skills. ;)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Old things

My hubby and I were kid-less for Easter so we went for a drive to Antelope Island just west of 
the Salt Lake valley.  
Beautiful,  serene,  quiet. 
Wish you were there. 

While my hubby was more interested in the wildlife,  I was totally into the old stuff. 
The old ranch there is open to visitors and I snapped like a few hundred photos, but I'll just share a few of my most favorites. 
(slide show alert)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jeans up cycle

It's that time of year...
...that time of year when my kids have outgrown their jeans that I bought them at the first of the school year.  Thankfully, it's also getting warmer so that means you can turn high waters into cute Capri pants (for the girls at least.)
So after my 11 1/2  year old girl had a  semi-melt down this morning over jeans not fitting anymore, I felt much compassion for her and "sprung" into action.
I'm a six foot tall woman and know intimately the woes of pants that are not long enough anymore...
Here's a tutorial x 3 if you also want/need to up cycle jeans into Capri pants.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Peach blossoms

Posting from my phone today. 
So I'm a slow bloomer,  but so happy to have found this app.  :)
I'm so loving the peach blossoms in our back yard.

Friday, April 11, 2014

birthday boy

Yesterday we celebrated Ian's 9th  birthday.

He put in his request for Krispy Kreme donuts for his class and to have a party at Chuck E Cheese.   Now being the cheapskate that I am, I was reluctant because I was thinking about all the other ways we could do it and save money, but my hubby talked me into doing what Ian wanted.   Ian said it was the "best birthday ever!" 

So let that be a lesson to me. 

Sometimes it's not about the money.  Sometimes it's about letting your hair down and having fun.  And besides, I love air hockey.  Who doesn't love a good game of air hockey?  Especially when you win.  But honestly, I tried to let him win...

back in the saddle again

I booked the party online and it was a piece of cake. To make things even easier, I didn't even make one...  I bought bakery cupcakes and ice cream cups.  Sometimes you just need to make life easy on yourself...even if it's not the same quality as homemade.

The day was so good for him that he didn't even get down when we found out that his SVT isn't gone.  What a kid.  Maybe it didn't come as such a big surprise because he had a dream a few nights ago that he had to have another ablation

Bless his heart...

I think he's holding up better than his momma... but hey, it's not the money that matters it's the boy.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

granola girl-homemade (simple easy) granola

I have a child that would eat granola for every meal if I let her.  And let's be honest, sometimes I could too...

Yesterday I was feeling domestic,  but tired so I made a batch of granola.  Simple granola.  The most very basic recipe I could find. Nothing fancy schmancy...

Friday, March 21, 2014

showin' some leg -- chair slipcover

We have a new member of the family.

She has beautiful arms and gorgeous curvy legs.

I made her a white linen top and a skirt.

A mini skirt.

To show off her legs...