Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Chicken N Biscuits

One of my family's favorite recipes.  I got the recipe from +Kraft Recipes, at this link.

Chicken n Biscuits

1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup

3/4 cup sour cream, divided

2 cups chopped cooked chicken

1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, green beans, peas)

1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese

1 cup all-purpose baking mix

3 Tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 375.  In a 8-inch square dish, combine soup and half of sour cream. Then add chicken, vegetables and cheese.

In a separate bowl, mix baking mix, the rest of the sour cream and milk.  Combine until you have formed a soft dough.

Spoon 6 mounds directly on top of your soup-chicken mixture.  Bake 35 minutes until biscuits are golden brown and soup-chicken mixture is bubbly.

Ok, so a few notes from me.

I use boneless skinless chicken breasts and just boil them right before I start the rest of the ingredients.  Just chop them before you put them in the pot to boil and they will cook super fast!

I double my biscuit recipe because they are seriously my family's favorite part of this meal.  Don't be tempted to make your biscuits too big, because they will not cook all the way through during the 35 minutes.  You have been warned!  The picture below is pre-baking and the big biscuit up front was not cooked all the way through.

This recipe will feed about 4 adults.  If you are feeding a crowd or a larger family, double the recipe for sure.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Porcupine Meatballs

I received this recipe for Porcupine Meatballs from an old friend when I was still in my teenage years.  We did a recipe exchange for a youth activity at church, and this was one of the recipes that she brought to share with everyone.

Porcupine Meatballs

1 lb hamburger
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup rice, uncooked
1 egg
salt and pepper
1 can tomato soup  - plus a can and a half of water

Combine hamburger, egg, rice, oatmeal, and salt and pepper (to your taste).  Create meatballs by take a portion of the meat mixture and rolling in your hands.

Meanwhile, open the can of soup and empty into a medium size sauce pan.  Add a can and a half of water and bring to a boil.  Once soup is boiling, carefully place meatballs in soup.  Simmer for 1 hour.  Serve over mashed potatoes.

Here are some tips from me for this recipe.

Use your electric mixture to combine the beef and other ingredients.  It is so fast and easy.

Don't worry if your meatballs aren't completely covered by the soup mixture..  Once it starts boiling and the meatballs start cooking you can stir them around a bit and they will all cook.

Here are my meatballs not fully covered by the soup.

And here they are once the soup returns to a boil and they begin cooking.  No worries!

When your meatballs are finished cooking, serve them over mashed potatoes.  Super yummy!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Three Things Thursday

 1. Amelia got a pair of hand-me-down pink boots from her cousin, last week.  I think she has worn them every day since.

 2. A couple of weeks ago we went for a Sunday drive to Ophir.  I'd never been to Ophir before, but it's an old mining town.  It was pretty neat.  It's basically one winding road up a narrow canyon.  Beware of snakes if you use the bathrooms.

 3. I bought a "professional greenhouse" and planted some seeds so that we can actually have a garden this year.  Hopefully the things will sprout and produce food at some point. :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Isaac's Black Eye & The Pointy-Foreheaded Kid

Last week Isaac came home from school sporting a shiner on his right eye.  I tried to get a picture, but you can't really see it that well.

Isaac, how did you get that black eye?

Some pointy-foreheaded kid hit me in the eye while we were playing football. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Evidences of God's Love

This week, while driving to work each morning, I have been trying to notice one thing that is evidence of God's love.  

I really intended to take a picture of the snow pouring out of the heavens this past Tuesday morning, but I forgot and when I remembered later that day, it had all melted.  But that was the morning it really struck me.

In our neck of the world, we've been praying for moisture.  We really need it.  I've really been struggling to pray for snow, because I don't like the cold or wet weather, but like I said - we REALLY need it.

Anyway, so driving to work that morning in what seemed like a blizzard with little visibility, it hit me.  This is an answer to many people's prayers.  This is an evidence of God's love. 

Last week, the sun was well above the mountains on my drive to work, but since the time change was earlier this week, my drive to work has been just as the sun is coming up over the mountains.  Yesterday morning, I couldn't help but notice how remarkable the sun looked peaking through Provo Canyon.  This picture doesn't even begin to do it justice... I was trying to drive and my window is dirty, but hopefully you'll get the idea. 

There was only about a mile of my drive that was filled with radiant sunlight, but boy was it glorious!

Have you noticed any evidences of God's love lately?  I'd love to hear about it.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mother Son Movie

Each year the PTA at my kids' school sponsors a mother son activity.  In year's past we have watched movies in the gym of the school, watched a bird's of prey presentation and experienced a reptile show.

This year, we all gathered at a local movie theater for a private showing of The Lego Movie.  The boys loved it and I thought it was good too.

I tried to get some pictures, but I kind of failed at getting anything good.  Next time I'll have to remember to take pictures before or after the movie where it is light....

So here are the not-so-great pictures I did manage to take.  I'm not sure what I'm doing with my mouth in the first one.

Not blurry, but still a bad picture.

Love these boys!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Girl's Night 2014

My mom holds a girl's night every year in February or March.  

This year we had our activity at Color Me Mine.  Amelia loved it!  She's our little creative artist.

Here's a picture of the two of us.

Amelia was very serious about her painting and did a really great job on her doll bank.

Showing off our painted goods.  My mom painted a hippo bank for Clara since I opted to leave her with Grandpa while we went to paint.

Our whole group - we sure missed Lisa who was sick unfortunately and couldn't make it.

update March 13, 2014 -

I went and picked up our finished pieces yesterday and they turned out great.  Since Clara didn't go paint with us, this was the first time she got to see what Grandma had painted for her.  She loved it!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Two For Tuesday - Random Picture Edition

Nathan bought some Python boots a while ago, and unfortunately, they split after only a couple weeks. Recently, he contacted the company and they agreed to replace them.  Nathan received his replacement boots and they looked fantastic.  Only problem, he has wide feet and when we bought the original boots, the salesman stretched them using a little hand tool.  The new ones were not stretched at all and he was struggling to get them off.  I had to snap a picture of me trying to get his boots off.  Silly guy!

Isn't this little girl the cutest!?!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Faith and Repentance

This past Monday night, we had our Family Home Evening lesson on Faith and Repentance.  I used lesson 5, Faith and Repentance, in the Joseph Fielding Smith manual for my information.

I asked the kids what the first two principles of the gospel were, with a hint that the answer was contained in the Articles of Faith.  Isaac came up with the answer pretty quickly - from Article of Faith #4 we learn:
We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance...
So, Faith and Repentance.  I told the kids we were going to talk about these two principles. 

I put up my first visual aid. Disregard the background.  Well, don't disregard it entirely; it is after all the Young Women's theme, but look past it for the purpose intended here. I needed something to put my visual aids on and this was the only thing big enough and nearby :)

Then I read this quote from Joseph Fielding Smith:
“Faith without works is dead” [James 2:26]—in other words, it does not exist. I think James’ meaning clearly is, “You show me your faith without your works, and nothing will result; but I will show you my faith with my works, and something will be accomplished.” [See James 2:18.] Faith means action. … Faith, therefore, is stronger than belief. …
We then discussed that in order to have true faith, we must act.  I read this quote to the kids and then explained what it meant in simpler terms:
 Faith cannot be obtained by inaction or through indifference or passive belief. The mere desire to obtain faith will not bring faith any more than the desire to be skilled in music or painting will bring proficiency in these things without intelligent action.
Then I put up my next visual aid.  Faith leads to action.

We talked about the difference between faith and belief and I encouraged the kids to give me examples of believing something and having faith in something.  I also asked them to share things that they cannot become good at unless they do or act upon.

I then explained that it is the same way in the church.  Quoting again from President Smith:
… If we want to have a living, abiding faith, we must be active in the performance of every duty as members of this Church. …
Living means that is it alive.  It grows and changes and becomes stronger.  Abiding means that it has staying power; it doesn't go away.  In order to have a living, abiding faith, we must actively participate in our duties in the church!

I then shared this quote:
Repentance is the second fundamental principle of the gospel and the outgrowth of faith.
Outgrowth means that it leads to something.  When we have faith and we are working and doing and acting with faith, it will naturally lead to repentance.

I then added to our visual.  
Look at how our faith led to action which grew into repentance!

I asked if the kids thought that repentance was a happy thing or a sad thing.  They said it was a sad thing.  I agreed that most of the time when we talk about repentance it is a sad thing or an embarrassing thing, but listen to what Joseph Fielding Smith says about repentance:
Repentance is one of the most comforting and glorious principles taught in the gospel. In this principle the mercy of our Heavenly Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, is made manifest perhaps more strongly than in any other principle. What a dreadful thing it would be if there were no forgiveness of sin and no means for the remission of sin for those who are humbly repentant!
Repentance is not a bad and sad thing!  It is a wonderful GIFT from God to show us his love.

I went on to read:
The scriptures say:
“Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” [D&C 59:8.]
That means repentance.
… Repentance, according to the definition given in the dictionary, is sincere sorrow for sin with self-condemnation, and complete turning from the sin. … There can be no true repentance without sorrow and the desire to be freed from sin.
I spent a little time explaining "broken heart" and "contrite spirit" to the kids.  President Smith explains it really well, but the connection can be easy to miss.  A broken heart means that you are not sorry that you got caught or embarrassment, but real self-condemning sorrow.

A contrite spirit means that you turn from the sin.  You don't want to do the wrong thing anymore.  You have a desire to be free from the sin forever.

Moving on, we read this quote and talked about procrastination.  (Again, I needed to explain what the word meant.)
Procrastination, as it may be applied to gospel principles, is the thief of eternal life, which is life in the presence of the Father and the Son.
At this point, my kids became concerned that they would be kept from eternal life because of sins they had committed, not repented for and then had forgotten about.  This was a perfect opportunity to teach them that is why daily prayer and self-evaluation is so important.  It is much easier to remember the things we do wrong and can try to be better at if we are looking back over one day's time instead of a week or two weeks.  

I briefly summarized a program outlined by Elder David A Bednar from a talk entitled, Pray Always, which I will copy at the bottom of this post for reference.

In closing, I challenged them, and myself, to be more diligent about daily personal prayers as a way of increasing our faith and also becoming better people trough repentance.
Consider this example. There may be things in our character, in our behavior, or concerning our spiritual growth about which we need to counsel with Heavenly Father in morning prayer. After expressing appropriate thanks for blessings received, we plead for understanding, direction, and help to do the things we cannot do in our own strength alone. For example, as we pray, we might:
    Reflect on those occasions when we have spoken harshly or inappropriately to those we love the most.
    Recognize that we know better than this, but we do not always act in accordance with what we know.
    Express remorse for our weaknesses and for not putting off the natural man more earnestly.
    Determine to pattern our life after the Savior more completely.
    Plead for greater strength to do and to become better.
Such a prayer is a key part of the spiritual preparation for our day.
During the course of the day, we keep a prayer in our heart for continued assistance and guidance—even as Alma suggested: “Let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord” (Alma 37:36).
We notice during this particular day that there are occasions where normally we would have a tendency to speak harshly, and we do not; or we might be inclined to anger, but we are not. We discern heavenly help and strength and humbly recognize answers to our prayer. Even in that moment of recognition, we offer a silent prayer of gratitude.
At the end of our day, we kneel again and report back to our Father. We review the events of the day and express heartfelt thanks for the blessings and the help we received. We repent and, with the assistance of the Spirit of the Lord, identify ways we can do and become better tomorrow. Thus our evening prayer builds upon and is a continuation of our morning prayer. And our evening prayer also is a preparation for meaningful morning prayer.
Morning and evening prayers—and all of the prayers in between—are not unrelated, discrete events; rather, they are linked together each day and across days, weeks, months, and even years. This is in part how we fulfill the scriptural admonition to “pray always” (Luke 21:363 Nephi 18:15, 18;D&C 31:12). Such meaningful prayers are instrumental in obtaining the highest blessings God holds in store for His faithful children.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Quick Trip to the Grocery Store

This past Saturday, Jared ran to the grocery store with me to pick up just a couple things.  As we walked in I could hear a ton of change jingling in his pockets.

Why did you bring all that change? I asked him.  "I'm going to buy us some ice cream!" was his reply.

What a sweet boy!  Normally, I would have been all over that, but I had just eaten lunch and was feeling pretty full.  I know, I know.  Who am I and what have I done with myself!?!

So he bought himself some ice cream and he loved it!

I also came home with these little gems for that guy I married.  I might have opened them before he got home.  I needed to make sure they weren't poisoned.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

An Angry Bird Cake

For the Blue and Gold Banquet this year, Isaac and I needed to make and bring a cake.  The theme was "Angry Birds" and my friend Collette gave us a great idea.

Our cake's theme was "The unseen dangers of Angry Birds"

First, we made a sling shot out of bamboo skewers and a rubber band.  We printed out some angry bird cupcake toppers that I got here and attached them to toothpicks.

Then using some white frosting and brown sprinkles, I made some bird poop.  We just made blobs on wax paper and put it in the freezer.

After the cake was baked and frosted with chocolate frosting, we began decorating.  For the big yellow bird, I just made one of the birds really big and had Isaac cut it out.  We attached that to a bamboo skewer also. Isaac loved the cake.  It was right up his alley - remember his Valentine box?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Daddy Daughter Dance 2014

Amelia has been counting down the days to the Daddy Daughter Dance this year.  This past Friday was finally the day.  This year was a formal theme (last year was a country theme).

Amelia wore one of her favorite dresses and I even put some make-up on her.

I also made her a little corsage out of tissue paper.

AHHH!  She looks so grown up.  No more make-up for her for a while!

 Amelia and her daddy - Nathan wore his green tie so that they would match.

They had a great time.


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