Friday, February 29, 2008

Blue & Gold Banquet

The cub scout blue and gold banquet was last night. I've spent the better part of 4 days working on the crossing over bridge, the arrow of light award, then the food. I honestly didn't think it would take up that much of my time, but it all turned out really well, so it was worth it. I painted half the bridge in cub scout colors and the other half in boy scout colors. The arrow of light award I cut out of pine and rounded the top so that it would resemble the shape of the rays of light. Then I sanded it down and painted the whole thing, sealed it, drilled hole to hang the arrow from and attached a saw tooth hanger on the back. The arrow is not one you just buy all finished. It was a kit I had to make, which turned out to me more involved that I thought, but it looks so much better that a shiny store bought one. The arrowhead was made of flint and it was too thick to fit in the notch, so I had to grind it down till it was thin enough to fit, then lash it on. Each piece on the arrow had to be messed with and put on by hand. Then I painted marks all across the arrow for each award he had earned in cub scouts. He had earned quite a bit so it was pretty full. I'm really happy with how it came out.

The theme was Chinese New year and all the cub scouts made paper lanterns that were strung all over the room. It looked so great! For dinner they decided on Hawaiian haystacks but we changed the name to Chinese haystacks for the sake of the theme. Each scout also made a cake with a Chinese theme for the cake contest that doubled as dessert. I made the rice, the gravy and grilled the chicken. All the scouts were assigned to bring the toppings. I also bought Chinese take out boxes and chop sticks for everyone to eat with. Everyone loved it!

All the boys who earned things this past month were presented with their awards, then at the end they presented the Arrow of light award to Adam and had him thank his old leaders and cross over the bridge from a cub scout to a boy scout and sent him into the tent with some boy scouts. They were "building" a new boy scout. We had power tools, like my miter saw, cordless drill, hammer boards etc in there that they were running while Adam changed into his new boy scout uniform. It was loud. People were laughing. Some little kids looked a little worried....probably because Mark would say stuff like you better not be getting any blood in my tent. LOL! Afterwards he emerged from the tent a new boy scout and his new troop and leader welcomed him in. It was great! Afterwards, he came over and gave me flowers and a hug and thanked me for making his award. That was just so sweet and unexpected. I nearly cried right there on the spot. This is Mark's last pack meeting as cub master. They have called a new one to start next month. Even though this was "his"calling, we have both really enjoyed serving in it and will miss it quite a lot. Now he will move on to serve fully on the high council and I'm down to only serving in the young women's. (which I love) When we got home Mark gave me a box a thin mint girl scout cookies that Brek and Brittany sent home for me. They know they are my favorite.

It's just flowers and cookies...sweet simple gestures of kindness at a time when I really needed them. Just like the very sweet and supportive comments for me on my last post. You all made me feel so loved. You really have no idea how much power posting sincere words of encouragement has. It is appreciated more than you can ever know. Thank you! Yesterday was another a hard day with a couple of breakdowns, but I got through it and the day ended on a good note. I'm so glad the weekend is here. I fully intend to enjoy every bit of it. Being happy is the goal with some much needed and long over due me time! :o)

For right now I have to go wash out my eyes. They are itchy and swelling up as I type. Franky jumped up here a little bit a go and rubbed up against my face, so I got cat hair in my eyes and I'm having a not so pretty reaction to it....ick!

Have an awesome weekend!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'm in a mood...

...Not a good one. I'll be back on when I can find my smile. Maybe tomorrow...maybe not. :o(
Okay, so I should probably explain a little better. Have you ever had one of those days that nothing goes fact, everything goes wrong? I'm talking a whole lotta little things, that individually you can handle, but combined is a bit overwhelming. Well that was my day. Then last night I ran up to the store to grab some milk before going to young women's and for some reason I couldn't hold it in anymore. I sat in my car in the crowded parking lot for 30 minutes crying. I was never able to compose myself enough to even go in the store, so I cautiously drove home and went to bed. I let down the girls and the leaders. I feel terrible!
Today is a new day. I'm still not happy, but I have a lot of things I'm responsible for today, so I have to put my feelings and emotions on the back burner and suck it up for the greater good...if that's at all possible.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Happy Anniversary Brek & Brittany

sorry the pictures are so grainy and blurry...sometimes when I reduce the size to blog, they look bad.
Today is Brek and Brittany's second wedding anniversary. So much has happened in the 2 short years that they've been married. I can honestly say that they are good for each other. They truly do love each other and they get along remarkably well. They respect and admire each other and love nothing more than being together. Of course in those 2 short years they were blessed with 2 of the cutest short people I have ever seen and very proud to call my grandsons. I was planning on babysitting the boys so they could go out, but the creep and crud is at their house, so they opted for dinner in with a rented movie. I remember a few anniversaries spent the very same way when our kids were teeny. :o)
Happy Anniversary Brek and Brittany. I'm grateful for you both and those sweet boys. Continue to strive for your eternal goals. I love you guys so much!
(((big squishy hugs!)))

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mom's birthday dinner and YW lesson

The family met at Olive Garden for my mom's birthday dinner. We live the farthest, yet we are always the first to arrive, so we get a little nook of our own reserved. It was really nice. My sister Coleen couldn't come at the very last minute because one of the babies had a little fall with a little help from a bigger brother who only wanted a kiss. They took him to the hospital just to make sure he was okay. Thanks heavens he was, but we sure missed her at the dinner. We all ate too much and enjoyed each others company. My mom loved everyone's presents and more importantly just being together.

I swear one day I will be able to teach a lesson and not be totally sick to my stomach about it. It was on "Our purpose in life" I studied and prepared for days and days. I had scriptures, quotes, stories, and I got a lot of input from the young women which really seems to help them feel more apart of the lesson. I love hearing what they have to say. But still, the sick stomach and the lack of confidence. Of course I had to make cute handouts as well to go along with the lesson. They keep all of them, and that makes me feel good. The box one is filled with chocolates. I was suppose to teach them valentines week, but Tara needed to switch, so they got their valentine a little late.

The handout with the heart I love. It's so cute! The quote says...
"Do you think for one moment that Heavenly Father would have sent one of his children to the earth by accident, without the possibility of significant work to perform?"
The other side of the heart says...
How can I receive direction?
Personal Prayer
Study & Meditation
Priesthood Blessings
Patriarchal Blessing
Gift of the Holy Ghost
Anyways....the girls said it was a good lesson and they got a lot out of it even before I gave them the cute stuff, so I must be doing okay and hiding my fear better than I think I am. :o)
Ohhh...and Mark gave his first talk as a high councilor in another ward this morning. It was on obedience. I didn't have time to get down there to hear it, but he did practice on me. He put a lot of preparation into it. He had tons of compliments of what a good talk it was. Someone said, that was not a "dry council talk" LOL! Those of you that know him, know that he is very entertaining, so nobody would fall asleep during one of his talks. I'm so glad it went well for him. Can't help but love him.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mom's birthday present

***mom...if you are reading this before your birthday dinner, close your eyes and walk away.

(last page in book)'s not really a scrapbook. There are no pictures. I just wanted to compile a little book of childhood memories I have of my mother. It's important to me that she knows I DO remember lots of things about her from when I was little. I loved my childhood and while working on this book for the past 2 day, it really sank in just how much I learned from my mom. I sat here writing down my individual memories and I was thinking to myself, "holy cow, I got that from her too!" Making this book was really good for me. It made me realize even more just how grateful I am for my mother. I love her dearly and I owe her a lot. Her birthday dinner is Thursday night. I sure hope she likes it as much as I do.

Little details...It's all very simple, because I know that is what she likes. I covered a small rusty pickle chipboard album with pattern paper from Melissa Frances. I only used that brand of pattern paper through the whole thing, so that it would flow. I knew my mom would like the soft colors and pretty patterns. I used that to cover the 20 sheets of rusty pickle filler pages and punched holes to match up with their holes. All the journaling was on the computer as well as a lot of the clip art from DJ inkers. Some of the art pieces were quickutz or jellies from O Scraps. I inked all the edges with my van dyke brown ink pad and matted them with bazzill cardstock. The flowers and leaves on the front are from prima. It's all held together with clamp rings and tied off with ribbon and torn strips of fabric. I did take pictures of each individual page so that I'd remember them.

With mothers day right around the corner, you can create something like this for your mom too. It's always good to share your memories and let her know she is loved. :o) If your mom has passed, it's a good thing to make for yourself to preserve those memories.

Well, it's 3:00 and I'm still in my pajamas. Gotta get ready to head to the store. I'm in charge of the young women's activity tonight and I'm no where near ready for that.

(hope you're all having a great day!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


The creative juices are flowing! I've been working all day on a birthday present for my mom. I only have a few more hours work, then I will share. Stay tuned! :o)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Random busyness...

I don't know how this happened, but I have yet another child turn 18. I'm not old enough to have all these BIG kids. Time passes much too quickly. I still think of him as a little boy with the lightest blond curly hair. So sweet! Kyle is such a great boy. He works so hard with Mark, he goes to school, he is active in church, he is preparing to serve a mission, he has lots of friends, he is handsome with amazing blue eyes, he has such a funny sense of humor, he is responsible, he is respectful of others, he is caring, he is generous, and he still hugs his mom...willingly. I love that sweet boy! His birthday was on the 15th, but he wants to take a bunch of his friends bowling on Monday to celebrate.

Cole had his last basketball game on Saturday, but he was injured in the first quarter, so we took him home, wrapped his ankle, elevated it and iced it. He's still hobbling around here today. He wasn't happy missing the last game, but he hurt to bad to stay. Poor kid!
Yesterday Mark and I went to home depot to buy wood. We made a cub scout crossing over bridge for pack meeting this month. One of the boys is crossing over from cub scouts to boy scouts. The bridge didn't have to be big, because it's more of a symbolism. We've never built a bridge before. Mark had a plan in mind, I had my own plan in mind. Guess whose plan won? MINE! :o) I'm the one who loves wood and I love my power tools too, so he was wise to listen. Once we figured out how we were going to do it he took over my power tools and he made me his assistant. I'm going to have him sand it down then I've got to paint it. Half of it in cub scout colors and the other half in boy scout colors. It's a good joint effort. I still need to make the arrow of light award for one of the boys. I'll get that done this week too.
Random stuff...
  • Went on a motorcycle ride. It was a little cold, but fun! Also had dinner with the star riders 393 group. Such great people!
  • Valentines night I made dinner for a family in our neighborhood. The mom had a beautiful baby girl. They discovered a heart problem when she was born and had to have surgery. She is 3 weeks old and home now. I got to hold her. So sweet!
  • Mark is loving his new calling in the High Council and he has been pretty busy with it. He was released as cub master, but we are still helping with the blue and gold banquet this month and pinewood derby next month to give them time to find a replacement. The den mothers were not happy about him being released, because he does such a great job (with a little help from me) They love him and he has really enjoyed doing it.
  • All the boys got haircuts this weekend. Boy did they need it. Cody is the only one I don't have a picture of because he was at his girlfriends house all day. She is a good girl and has really helped him want to be a better person.
  • I ripped off all of my acrylic nails. It wasnt easy. Took about an hour and a half and it was very painful....still hurts. I have to do it every so often when they've been on too long, so they can get some air to my real nail bed. For now I'm stuck with really ugly stumps, of dry, cracked, torn up nail beds. It hurts to use my hands and fabric gets hooked up on them all the time. I've filed, sanded, buffed and oiled them. It's just going to take some time to heal. So gross!
  • I have to teach in young women's next Sunday on "Our purpose in life". I've been reading my lesson and studying. My stomach always hurts the whole week before. I hope it gets easier.
  • In our prayers we have asked for patience. So far Heavenly Father has given us many things to be patient about. I really wanted us to gain more patience with he things we already have on our plate, not add more. He really does have a sense of humor. Always testing us.
  • I drove a car full of kids to the youth dance on Wednesday night. I haven't been to one of those since I was a teenager. It was fun to watch my boys dance and intermingle with the youth in our ward as well as several other wards. It was a weird feeling. I felt old at the same time as thinking it sure wasn't that long ago that I was dancing at them. I have great memories of that.
  • My pillow is missing. Explain to me how it could be there one night and gone the next. I sleep with for my head and one for my legs. I've searched the house, and it's nowhere. Last night was miserable. Of course nobody around here has seen it. My guess is someone spilled something on it and they hid the evidence. All I know is I MUST find it.
  • Brittany is doing so good at keeping up her new blog. She has pointed out that I haven't updated mine all week. Sometimes life gets in the way of things. I will do better. Also, thank you all for being her blog buddy. She is really enjoying it.
  • Chad is still stuck in Bagram. He has no idea when or if they are going to send him back to his base. I don't hear from him much there. I don't like that. He is in good spirits though. He misses his base and his own belongings, but this one has pizza hut and subway, so he's been able to eat something different from the chow line. He will be home in a month and a half. He has already requested his first few meals at home. I will gladly cook him whatever he wants.
  • I am feeling so UN creative. I haven't scrapbooked in a long time and I really miss it. I need to schedule time for myself and get my creative juices flowing again.
  • Guess what? Cole just now brought me my missing pillow. It was in the laundry room. My guess is that is was being washed and dried of evidence. Either way, I am happy to have it back. YAY!
  • Gotta go get ready for church now, then we are having dinner at my inlaws house. My father in law has his 3 sisters in town, so it will be good to catch up with them.
  • Happy Sunday Everyone! :o)

Monday, February 11, 2008

What a day...

***Edited at bottom***This morning I was woken up by Brek's phone call asking when I was planning on hanging up the framed pictures and shelf I had given them for Christmas. With it being mid February, I thought I'd procrastinated long enough and got dressed and headed to town. My services were not free. I had a serious desire for some pork tacos from Cafe Rio first. I don't always get what I want, but today I did. After a yummy lunch, I hung up their things so that their walls wouldn't be bare anymore. It actually looks like people live there now. I like it!Just to show you that's it's not easy to take pictures of pictures. Glare happens more often than not. A perfect example above.Mark spiked a fever after lunch, so Brittany gave him some Tylenol and put him down for a nap. He woke up covered in puke....poor boy, but oh so gross. In to the bath for him to get him smelling better.John had zonked out in the swing, so I took that time to make my exit and head home. I do not want to get sick. I can't get sick!
On the way home I stop for milk. We always seem to be out of milk. We go through 8 gallons a week. It's insane!
After I get home I had to go check to see what's up on the Making Memories Blog. Knowing that they are at CHA and me desperately wanting to see all their fun new releases. Turns out they were doing give aways and they were planning on doing ONE more today. So there I sit for a few hours, clicking refresh over and over and OVER again in hopes they would post, so I could call in speedy quick. Finally those few of us die hard fans who had been hanging out giving our fingers and ours eyes a serious workout decided that were would just chat amongst ourselves while we waited and clicked refresh just hoping we'd win a box of fabulous prizes. I did nothing productive during that time. I did begrudgingly take Cole over to basketball practice and pick him up risking a speeding ticket from a sneaky cop hiding in the dark. Thankfully I narrowly avoided his clutches. If that's not bad enough I didn't even feed my kids a real dinner. Mark and the master ramen cook Cody had ramen noodle, I had a bowl of frosted flakes, Cole had a bagel with cream cheese, Kyle has raviolis...not homemade ones...we're talking out of the can. Good old Chef Boyardee to the rescue. Pathetic! I know...I know...stop thinking that. I'm still a good mother...just one who desperately wanted to win a little piece of the Making Memories pie. However, I was not alone. There were several others that were right there with me, risking bladder infections, because they didn't want to miss it while they were in the bathroom as well as not eating. They finally came back after working a long crazy busy day to post the final chance. No, I did not win after 6 hours of trying, but I really did have a good time talking to all these fun girls about our crazy addictive hobby. They were very entertaining. Turns out a couple of them read my blog and I didn't know it. Cool, huh?! Chad got online, so I had to talk to him. He is worth not winning. He only had a little bit of time before he had to go on a mission to Bagram. I worry about that sweet boy. He can't come home soon enough in my book. My fingers hurt and my eyes burn. I WILL try again tomorrow with my clicking skills perfected and my eyes and fingers refreshed. Call me crazy, but I love Making Memories products and their talented team. Go look at their blog and see their sneak peeks. You'll see why I temporarily lost my brains and turned into a stalker. Does the term "stalker" always have to be a bad thing? I think not.
****Edited to add****...My persistance paid off. Last night I did win a jar of the highly popular noteworthy embellishments. Now I will have cute matching stuff to go with the few sheets of noteworthy paper that I was lucky enough to get my hands on at the Scrapbooks Etc store in Mesa. Best store on the planet! Thanks so much to Making Memories for making it so much fun and including so many others in the CHA experience.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

grand-babies, recipes & a new calling...

Baby Mark has learned a new skill at the tender age of 17 months. He's discovered that his spider-man chair can get him to all the places that were once out of reach and he couldn't be happier about his new found discovery.
We really have next to no pictures of the boys together because Mark wont sit still long enough to take pictures. Ya gotta be quick. Slide the baby in front of him and snap.
Don't you just love those dimples?! As we were leaving their apartment baby Mark did his quick escape. If the door opens, he runs like the wind. He loves being outside, so before we left Mark took him for a little walk around. He loved it.Does John look like Brittany or cute, even with a frowny face.Mark loves being outside more than just about anything. I'm thinking this is a good week for an outing to the zoo. Miss Brittany, if you're reading this, lets pick a day for me to come get you and the boys. Speaking of Brittany...she has joined the blogging world and just barely started her own blog. You can visit her here. Stop by and show some love and welcome her to the neighborhood. I dont know anyone who doesn't love comments....which is why you have to come back here and leave me one too. :o)
Thank you all so much for your sweet comments on my last post. You really do build up my self confidence and make me feel like I can do anything, even with being as insecure as I am at times. I see that lots of you want recipes. I try not to disappoint so here you go.
Slush punch
1 (12 oz) can of lemonade concentrate
1 (12 oz) can of orange juice concentrate
4 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
18 cups of water
4- 1 gallon ziploc bags
2 (2 liters) 7 up
Mix together everything but the 7 up. Double up the ziploc bags. Pour half in each doubled bag. Zip them up, a freeze flat overnight. You may need to flip them over in the morning to freeze evenly. Thaw out 1 hour before serving. I usually beat it with a mallet or hammer to chunk it up before I put it in the punchbowl....which is the reason I double bag well as safe guarding against a leaky bag during the freezing process. Put in punch bowl and pour 1 bottle of 7 up over the top. This recipe makes 2 bowls. Sometimes I get 3 bottles of 7 ups and use 1 1/2 in each. This stuff is awesome!
Lemon Pineapple Sheet Cake
1 box of lemon cake mix prepared as instructed on the box. Bake in a jelly roll pan at 350 for 20-25 minutes. cool, poke small holes all over the cake and dump a can of crushed pineapple on the top and spread evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Mix together a 3.4 oz box of lemon pudding with 2 cups of milk. Chill for 5 minutes until set. Add 8 oz of cool whip and spread on top of cake. Chill for a few more hours. So good...I'm honest!
Lemon Sunshine cookies
3/4 cup softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
grated peel of 1/2 of a lemon
1 teaspoon frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
thin pretzel sticks
gummy fruit slices
licorice strings
yellow food paste color
Beat sugar and butter until fluffy, add egg, beat well. Combine flour salt and lemon peel. Add to butter mixture. Stir in lemonade concentrate. Shape into round disc and refrigerate for 2 hours. Take out of fridge and put on floured surface. Let sit until until it is workable enough to roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Place on grease cookie sheet, brush each cookie with a beaten egg wash. Gently press thin pretzel sticks into cookies to resemble sunshine rays. Bake 10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks and cool completely
Lemonade royal icing
3 3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. meringue powder
6 Tbsp. frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed.
Beat all ingredients on high, add yellow food paste color and incorporate well. Put a small amount of icing in a cake decorating bag with a round tip or just cut the end off of a plastic ziploc bag and pipe a circle around the outer edge of each cookie to create a dam. Then thin out the icing with a few Tbsp of warm water at a time to a pourable, but still thick consistency. Spoon icing in the centers of the cookies staying within the outline. You could also use a ziploc bag with a bigger piece cut off the corner. Cute the fruit snacks in slices and put on cookies to look like sunglasses. Cut strips of licorice and bend into a smile shape. It called for black licorice, but Kyle said that's just gross so he got red instead. Let stand one hour until dry.
Now here are a few of my personal tips on these.
1. It says the recipe makes about 3 dozen. It lied! I doubled the recipe and I barely got 3 dozen.
2. Don't' skip sifting the powdered sugar
3. The icing needs way more liquid than it calls for. Add additional warm water in the beginning a little at a time. I didn't the first time and I burnt the motor right up on my electric mixer. My second attempt I used my kitchen aid (because I don't keep a back up hand mixer...who knew I'd need one) It really does have to mix for a long time.
4. Don't forget the egg's the glue that holds those pretzels on.
5. You can use a good sugar cookie recipe and a regular royal icing if you so choose.
Today was a special day for Mark. He got a new calling at church. He is now a stake high councilor and was ordained to the office of a High Priest. His dad came to town so that he could be the one to ordain him in his advancement in the priesthood, so that made it extra special and we are so grateful that his parents came today. Our wonderful new stake president, President Lewis set him apart for the calling and gave him a blessing as well. Mark is thrilled about this new calling and is eager to serve to the best of his abilities. I can tell that this is going to be such an amazing growing experience for him. He has a huge respect for our stake presidency and for the rest of the high council. He could feel their strong spirits and that makes him want to be an even better person. There is a lot of responsibility with this and he takes it very seriously. I know he will do an amazing job. I am so grateful to have a husband who is worthy to serve in such a position. Our family will be blessed for his willingness to serve with his whole heart.
Well it's now 1:30 in the morning. Happy Monday everyone! Do something that makes you smile today.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Let your light so shine...

Tuesday was baking day at the George house....and I mean ALL DAY! Wednesday night we had young women's and it was a special night with the theme of "Let your light so shine" I remembered seeing a lemon sunshine cookie in a little cookie bought I bought years ago so I decided to make those. They are far from perfect, but since nobody but me saw the pretty picture in the book of the "perfect" cookies, there was nothing to compare to. How can one not be happy when you look at all those smiling faces? Not only did I make these cute little things, I made 2 lemon pineapple sheet cakes and the yummiest slush punch. I'm weird about having my refreshments fit the theme. It's all in the details, ya know. :o) If anyone is interested in any of the recipies, let me know and I 'll post them when I'm not so tired.

I decorated the table with pretty things gathered from around my house as well as some sparkly yellow tulle and silky yellow sheer fabric with white twinkle lights strung in through. It looked beautiful!

Tara and Brooke decorated the front table. So sorry the picture is blurry. Don't know what happened, but I had to share it anyways because it was so pretty! I had a couple of the young women come over a few weeks ago to make the invitations, while we were at it we made the tags that are hanging from the branches. Tara attached a mini flashlight to each one and we gave them to all the girls at the end of the night. The quote says...
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our LIGHT, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be?"
-- Marianne Williamson
One sweet girl named Jodi planned the whole night as one of her 10 hour projects. She did an amazing job. The program was beautiful. All of the girls had parts. You could feel the spirit so strong as they each shared their knowledge and testimonies of the young women values. There was also a lot of focus on seeking the light of Christ as well as the inner beauty that grows as you live a life of love and service. I do know that each one of these girls are amazing and they truly do have a inner light that shines. It gets brighter and brighter the more I get to know them and the more they desire to choose the right. I love each and every one of them dearly.
(spell check is not working on blogger so excuse any typos...nevermind...ya'll know I have errors all the time, even when it's working. I'm going with "it's part of my charm." hee...hee...)