Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Dinner

I remember as a little girl going to my grandmother's house after church for dinner.  It was fun and exciting because all of my cousins were there, the adults were busy visiting and doing dinner things so the kids were free to play.

The house smelled so good. Grandma made the most delicious roast and mashed potatoes. Her yeast rolls truly melted in your mouth. She  brought the most amazing foods forth from the most humble ingredients and surroundings. A woman to be admired for sure.

I remember watching her intently as she prepared her roast, seasoning it just so, browning it perfectly.   Over the years I  learned to make the "Sunday Roast" pretty good.  As my kids grew up and left the area I have received many telephone calls asking advice about their Sunday roast adventures.

I have learned that I like a roast the old fashioned way, slow cooked in the oven. To me the taste from the slow cooker or crock pot just wasn't the same. A mental memory needed to be met. Tradition had to be passed to the next generation.

Recently my daughter invited us for the weekend. On Sunday after church we sat down for dinner. She served the "Sunday Roast" cooked to perfection. Later she revealed that it came from the crock pot, achieved without any browning. Since then I am in love with the simple new version of grandma's recipe for family bonding around the dining room table.

Sunday Roast
2 1/2 pound beef roast
1 package powdered ranch dressing mix
1 package powdered brown gravy mix
1 package powdered Italian dressing mix

Wash off the roast and place in the slow cooker

Stir the powdered mixes together with a half cup of water and pour over the roast.  Let cook on low for 6-8 hours .

When ready to serve remove the roast, thicken the liquid left in the crock pot with some cornstarch or flour, turn to high for a few minutes. Stir and serve.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

TRASH--a card game

I have been spending quite a bit of time these last few months entertaining grandchildren.

I am always on the outlook for fun and easy games to play with multiple children of varying ages.

My daughter, Cara, introduced us to TRASH the other day, we spent the whole visit playing the game with her three children ages 3, 6 and 10.

We introduced the game to 5 of our other grand children this last weekend, and they enjoyed it as well. 

I will take the cards along when we go visiting with my parents in a few weeks, I think they will also enjoy the game.

Here are the rules.  See what you think.

2-4 players
1 deck of playing cards
SKILLS: Players should be old enough to recognize numbers and have a desire to learn to count--
This game is great practice to learn these skills and wonderful fun if you already have them.

FIRST HAND:  Deal each player 10 cards, lay them out face down in a straight line 1-10.
 Place remaining cards, face down, in center of table.

WILD CARDS:   If a KING is drawn or turned up, it is a WILD CARD and can be used for any face down card as desired.  If the numbered card for the space that the wild card is occupying comes available, it can be traded out and the KING put into a different spot, or, if at the end of this hand's play, passed on.

TO PLAY:  Youngest player starts the play by choosing a card from the center pile.
If it is a card from 1-10, put it in the proper place and turn over the card from that place. 
If it is another number card between 1-10, put it in the proper place. 
 Play for that person continues until a face card or number card that cannot be used is turned up.

TO CONTINUE PLAY:  If a QUEEN or JACK is drawn or turned up, that players turn is ended and the card is placed in the center of the table, face up, starting the TRASH PILE. 
 If a number card is turned up that cannot be used, the card is passed on to the next player that can use the card, starting with the person directly to the left.
 If there isn't a player that can use the number card it is placed in the TRASH PILE. 
 The player to the left then draws and play continues as before.

TO WIN A HAND:  The first player to have all of their card slots, 1-10 face up, wins the hand.
Play can continue WITHOUT ANY PLAYERS DRAWING, until no further plays can be made.

SECOND HAND:  Players retain face down cards on the table and turn in all cards that were face up. Those players that turned over ALL of their cards receive one less card than the previous hand
 (If the last hand was 10, this one is 9 and so on on until just 1 card is dealt)

CONTINUING PLAY:  Deal each player the number of cards needed, face down, in a row.
First player to go out the last hand is first player for current hand.

GOAL OF THE GAME: To be eligible to go onto the next step
 (from 10 to 9 cards. etc.) all cards must be face up.  
At the end of the hand, any remaining face down cards remain on the table and are counted toward the number of cards needed for the next hand.
Only those players with ALL of their cards face up can receive one less card.
Players with ANY cards left FACE DOWN will stay on the same step as the last hand.
(Example:  for the first hand 2 cards remained face down, turn in the 8 face up cards and receive 8 new cards to place face down with the original 2 making 10 cards face down for the second hand,
 while those who had all 10 cards face up receive only 9 cards )

 The first player to successfully reach 1 card, face up, is the winner.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Even More Whiteness

As I have been helping my son whiten his clothes, we have also been working on underarm stains.

Again...don't know why his clothes seem to have this problem and ours don't--same machines and products, yet different outcomes.

Along with the super whitening, I found this recipe for underarm stains that also works great.


1 part Dawn dish washing liquid
2 parts hydrogen peroxide
some baking soda

mix together

using a brush apply liquid to affected areas
let stand for about an hour
If needed, brush more peroxide to affected areas, wait awhile longer
rinse clothes out before washing as usual.

Some of the shirts we treated cleaned up with the first application, some needed more peroxide, scrubbing and time.

All of the shirts came out clean and white, you could almost see it working before your very eyes.

I love clean laundry.  

PS...I put my liquid fabric softener into a clear glass iced tea jar with a spout, it looks so nice sitting on the shelf in my laundry room.  I like the clean lines.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bright White

My son's white clothes have been looking a bit dingy lately.

He does his laundry in our machines, with our same products, yet the outcome is quite different.

I've been on a quest to help him return to bright white, and I am winning.

I have been making my own laundry detergent for a number of years now, and it works great.

I just found a recipe for super whitening, and it works great, too.  Say good-bye to dingy, off white undies, and hello to bright whites once again.

Bring 2 large pots of water to a boil

1/4 to 1/2 cups laundry detergent
1/2 cup powdered dishwasher detergent
 **1/2 cup bleach
1/4 cup borax
Place boiling water and cleaners into a large bucket.
Add clothes, one at a time.
Let soak a few hours, or overnight.
Dump bucket full into washer.
Wash on hottest setting--no extra detergent is necessary.
If possible--dry in the sun.
Works best on cottons.
**If synthetics need whitening--omit the bleach--
Substitute 1/2 cup peroxide and 2 tablespoons lemon juice-- proceed as before.

The results have been wonderful, hope it works as well for you.

White clothes should be white, not dingy grey--right?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Family Motto

We just had a family reunion.


Family drama, chaos, joy, laughter, fun and bonding

We have been planning this reunion for 3 years with the finishing details over the last 6 months

In April we sent a formal invitation and included this scripture from 4th Nephi and titled it:


10 And now, behold, it came to pass that the people of [David] did wax strong, and did multiply exceedingly fast, and became an exceedingly fair and delightsome people.
11 And they were married, and given in marriage, and were blessed according to the multitude of the promises which the Lord had made unto them.
15 And it came to pass that there was no contention in the [family], because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.
16 ... and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.
17 There were no...ites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.
18 And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings; yea, even they were blessed and prospered.

Too soon our children grow and leave home.  My heart fills with joy when I can be with any of them and fills to overflowing when they come to our home.  To have all of my family in one place at one time is becoming a rare experience to be cherished .  I am deeply blessed.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


The lesson in Relief Society today was on a subject I have been thinking about lately.


The teacher made some points that deserve some thinking time.

1.  Kindness is a habit

2.  A kind person finds good in everyone

3.  A kind person is forgiving

4.  We should all nurture the spirit of love and kindness

5.  A kind person has a positive outlook

 By being kind, patient and forgiving 
we help soften hearts,
and encourage others to live righteously

Thank you Shelly for a great lesson.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Moving trucks and a little bit of chaos

For the fourth time in 9 months a moving truck has been loaded up with all earthly possessions and driven off to a new address filled with hope and expectation. Two of our sons and one of our daughters moved last fall. Today another daughter's household was boxed up and moved out upsetting her 5 little children, creating chaos in the family.

Our oldest daughter and her family live in Europe. We try to get to see them about once a year. 5 little grandchildren far away from extended family pull at my heart strings. We always have a wonderful time whenever we visit our grandchildren no matter where they live. We usually march along to their every day lives, pre school, church meetings, the grocery store. Visiting in Europe is quite the adventure just going to the grocery store where a picture on the package is priceless.

This visit we have been helping prepare for an international move. There are 4 parts to this move. One part slow boat, another part air freight. A third part the items needed for a summer in the states, the 4th part, trying to keep up with all of the furniture the Embassy provides that needs to stay here in perfect condition.  The biggest trick is keeping under the 7000 pound weight limit.

WOW!  What a week. The truck pulled out this afternoon. We have furniture inspection on Friday. Our flight is next Tuesday, theirs is over that weekend.  We have a birthday celebration in the middle of it all.

A move across town is difficult. A move across country is more difficult. In the first 10 years we were married we moved 13 times. I know how to move. The current house we are living in is the longest I have lived in any house in my entire life.  An international move is a new experience for me. I am thankful for the opportunity to help my children make changes in their lives.  We have had an enjoyable visit and look forward to visiting again when they are settled in their new home, wherever that might be.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cake vs Oranges

Every now and then something comes out of your mouth that you never thought you would say.  That recently happened when our grandson was visiting and this is what I said:

You may not have an orange, have some cake instead.

Now use your imagination and come up with a reason to say THAT to a 4 year old.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


We have grandchildren staying with us this week. 

We have had a great time together.

We have been to the park, museum, and lake.

We searched for colored eggs and ate a feast.

Church was more fun with 3 little ones to share it with.

We tried to go to the Zoo earlier in the week, but were turned away?!?!?

The schedule opened up to try again today.

The weather report said clouds early in the day and rain this evening.

We set out on the hour drive,

Half an hour later the first drops appeared on the windhield.

The phone rang and there were reports of hail at home, still we pressed on.

A quick stop to procure some rain panchos and we were ready.

The zebras and lions were still.

The gorillas and chimpanzees were active and happy, showing off for the few who ventured forth to visit.

It was cold and wet, yet we stayed dry and warm.

It was worth our effort to go.

We had a great day.

No one melted even though they were all so sweet.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Anniversary

We recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.

We have 6 kids who have chosen their spouses well and are all happily married

We have 17 grand children who are a delight, with a new one expected early this fall

We have weathered lifes storms and have come out on top.

Love is a Gift of God 

A good marriage is worth nurturing, worth looking the other way at times, worth biting your tongue.

A good marriage is worth working for.  

I am happily married to a good man.

I am blessed.   

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Sometimes life hands us a few challenges we were not expecting.  This is a quote I found that gives perspective:

Adversity will give us experience
 and shall be for our good

 Every day is another opportunity to gain experience and grow. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Special Day

This week my parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

They have had a happy life

They love each other very much

They have weathered the storms of life with joy and strength

I am a lucky girl to be their daughter

They have taught me well

Thank you Mom and Dad for giving me a great life

I love you

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Me and My House

I love to go to church.  

When my family was young I loved sitting on the church pew with them.

One of my favorite scripture passages has always been Joshua 24:15

"...As for me and my house, We will serve the Lord"

I am blessed to have a wonderful family.

My children have all grown up and they are all happily married.

They are working hard to teach my 17 grandchildren truths

I love family scripture study.

I love family prayer.

I enjoyed family home evening.

I thought game night and family dinners were the best.

I was thankful when Sunday came around and we could have a family day without interuptions.

Life was not always perfect.  We made mistakes, but we did not give up.

Now I watch as my children try to keep going in their own homes,

and pass on the traditions that my mother and father taught me, my grand parents taught them...

Back 4 generations and forward 2 more.

Life is good.....

......I am blessed

Every day we choose whom we will serve...



Thursday, February 28, 2013


I attended a church class last week where the women got together and discussed a talk from a recent conference.

The subject was family love.

One of my friends made this statement:

 It is difficult to speak in an angry tone
 with a smile on your face.

How true.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I  know I have been absent for a while, sorry. 
Between home improvement projects, travel and holidays,
not to mention family, time has gotten away from me.  

I am not sure my time obligation will improve,
but a short something will have to do and I think I have a few.

Today's food for thought is printed and framed in my home.

I found it out in my stash of framed artwork a few weeks ago
and have been thinking about it eversince.

Today I hung it on the wall to give me inspiration

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass,
It's about learning to DANCE IN THE RAIN

It is a wet and stormy day here today
Cold wet days in February can get anybody down

It may be time to put on some dancing shoes