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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sometime my spring will come

Allison had her last basketball game yesterday.  The team they played against had some very, very tall 6th graders.  My favorite moment was when someone tried to take a ball away from Allison.  She hung on to it so tightly that they literally lifted her off the ground until a referee blew a whistle.  It is fun to see her get out of her shell a bit.  On Monday, Allison saw the dentist.  Her adult teeth are coming up on the bottom down below her baby teeth.  So she goes back in a few weeks to get her baby teeth pulled and a retainer glued in to move her teeth around.  She is not super thrilled about this.

Our old dishwasher left and the new dishwasher came Monday.  Jeremy spent a night installing it only to come down to find a kitchen of water.  The dishwasher worked great but the hose connection wasn't quite tight enough for when the dishwasher stopper and drained.  Jeremy had to take it apart again, not a easy thing.  But some plumbers tape and cross our fingers that everything is working so far.

Been working on my non-existent crochet skills and catching up on my quality TV this week as I worked on a rug for our bathroom.  I could not get it straight, no matter what I did.  I think I need to make it a little bigger still but I am letting us stomp on it a bit and try to flatten and even it out.

This week we had a few days of sunshine where I ran outside and blue skies were overhead.  Kids were literally giddy with spring fever.  And then we have had snow storms that have piled our driveway.  I am really, really ready for spring.  I remember every spring my mom having paper white bulbs growing in our living room.  I have started doing the same thing just to see signs that spring is coming eventually.
Robyn is working hard at her play and having fun.  On Friday night she went from school, to play practice, to a birthday party and back home to have friends over and treats while we watched Pride and Prejudice.  As a side note I have a new record for short notice on a birthday party.  Robyn was in tears for days as she tried to convince me that she really was invited to a classmate's birthday party.  My rule is, no invite, no party.  So I got the invitation at 1:30 that afternoon when I went in to teach art.  Luckily Robyn and I had decided early that week to stock up and wrap a few little girl presents just for such emergencies.  As for our Pride and Prejudice night I loved it, Allison said it was a hard to understand movie and Robyn spent 5 minutes with us before disappearing with little girls to her room.
Saturday night Jeremy and I met up with our friends for dinner at the Riverwoods and their winter festival.  We went to the waffle truck to have what Jeremy terms "Heather's type of dinner".  They make Belgian waffles and then top them.  Jeremy had a waffle with chocolate bars stuck inside and whipped cream.  Mine was spread with Biscoff, cream, strawberries and raspberries.  I was on a sugar high for hours and hoped all the shivering burned off the calories.  Then Jeremy and I were off to see a musical called The Civil War.  Not something I would ever think to see but it had some really neat songs it.
This week Spencer had a meeting where I got to go to as the stake introduced the pioneer trek this summer.  What a cool experience he will have.  I remember going as a 14 or 15 year old with my aunt Sharon and her ward.  The reason I like the name Allison so much is that one of my sisters on the trek was named Ali (who later married my trek brother Aaron) and I thought she was one of the genuinely neatest, most sincere person I have ever met.  Spencer is hesitant about the clothes and hiking in the heat in hats and long sleeved shirts.  He has been trying to get in shape and is down lifting weights or running on the treadmill almost every day.  He is excited to see a little bump on his bicep.

Taylor is doing good.  The new medication seems to keep moving things along and he has turned into a bottomless pit.  I think he is eating almost as much as Spencer right now.  It is fun to see him chirping and clapping again.  He still loves his bean bag by the fire and doesn't think he should ever leave it.

Jeremy had two photo shoots this week. One for a missionary family and one for a hair and make-up creative group.  Add in some time working on the studio floor and he has been pulling some late nights with his hobby this week. Good thing that he loves it so much.

Saturday morning we had a Stake relief Society meeting.  It was wonderful with Sandra Rogers speaking and then doing humanitarian projects.  I came away with lots of need to and should do ideas in my head.  One of my favorites was her talking of a 12 year old boy speaking on the Holy Ghost at a baptism.  "I know the Holy Ghost is real.  Last week I was doing something wrong.  The Holy Ghost told my mother and she came and found me and stopped me.  I know the Holy Ghost is real because he speaks to my mother".  I thought how awesome would it be if my kids could say they knew the Holy Ghost speaks to me.

We made this for the Superbowl and all voted that it was a keeper.  I got the recipe from  I like spreading it on small pieces of sourdough baguettes but it tastes really good on crackers and chips.  We used any leftover dip to put on top of grilled steaks or porkchops before sticking them under a broiler for just a minute.  Heaven.

Jalapeno Popper Spread

2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 c. mayonnaise  DON’T use Miracle Whip
1 c. Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 4-oz. can fire roasted green chilies
1/4 of a 4-oz. can diced jalapeno peppers*, drained
8oz bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350. If using bacon, reserve 2-3 Tbs and sprinkle on top of dip before baking.  In a food processor or mixer combine cream cheese, mayo, parmesan, and garlic and mix until smooth.  Add jalapenons and green chilies.  Stir in bacon.  Spread dip into a 9″ pie plate or a small baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining bacon.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until dip is bubbly and golden brown.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Allison gave me her auto-biography this week from school.  It made me laugh and smile so I wanted to share it.  A few details are off like the fact that Jeremy's Dad was Navy not Marines but it was interesting to see how she sees things.  I definitely need to be less OCD and I would like her to like her siblings more than most of the time!

My Birth
I was born on September 28 in Utah Valley Hospital at 11:39 p.m.  I weighted 7 lbs, 3 oz and was 18 1/2 inches long.  My hair was dark, black and curly.  I had extra big eyes and would stare at everything.  People say it looked like I was trying to talk with my eyes.
After a long debate, they finally narrowed it down to two names - Allison or Rebecca.  It was my older brother, Spencer who picked it by saying, "No Rebecca!  Bad Rebecca!  Baby Allison in Mommy's tummey".  Then came the decision of my middle name.  They agreed that it would be Eileen, after my great-aunts name and my aunt's middle name.  It wasn't until then that we knew my full name was,
Allison Eileen Hall
After that I learned things quickly.  My grandmother sewed me a long, white, lace dress.  She sewed on it for a long time.  As a baby, I was extremely happy.  I loved to be cuddled inward, not outward, and often would take long naps with my mom.  When I went to bed, before I could fall asleep, I always needed my Snugly.  It was a fuzzy, green blanket, no bigger than an average sized paper.  In one corner, there was a small frog head.  At 9 months I learned to crawl.  A couple months later, I leared to talk.  My first word was UP, a word that I used often.  After that, at 13 1/2 months, I learned to walk.  Two months before, I grew my first tooth.  Even though I got my first tooth at 11 months, I was eating solids at 5 months.  At the time, my favorite solid food was dunkers.  My aunt, Mimi, was the one who introduced them to me.  A dunker is a type of cookie.  It is skinny and long.  They come in many different flavors.  Craisen white, milk chocolate and many more.  My favorite type is milk chocolate.  One side is completely covered in milk chocolate and the other side is drizzled with chocolate, chocolate chips placed randomly.
On January 3, 2002 I laughed for the first time.  Although it sometimes annoyed my mom that she was only able to get me to chuckle, my dad was always able to make me full-out laugh - you know, that big belly laugh that all babies do.  My dad would get me into a laughing fit every night.
As a baby, I was always happy and never fussy.  I am glad I was a good baby.
My Family
I was born into a family of six.  I have one sister and 2 brothers.  That makes my family equal - 3 boys and 3 girls.  Everybody in my family is different and likes different things.  Even though we have all those differences, we are all alike.
My mom was born in Mountain View, California.  She has blonde hair and bright hazel eyes.  Her family has a total of seven, with 3 boys and 2 girls.  She is the oldest of her family and her only sister is the youngest.  She is a bookworm, and also likes to sew.  She is a great listener and she is on the quieter side.  She likes to keep and have everything in order.  She is a great mom.
My dad has black hair and blue eyes.  He was born in Poulso, Washington.  He has one sister and one brother.  He is also the middle child.  His dad was part of the marines and worked on some submarines.  He is kind and like to joke a lot.  His job is with a company called, "efamily network".  The company is a computer networking company.  His favorite hobby is photography.  He is very good at it, and sometimes does it so often, it seems like it is his regular job.  He is an awesome dad.
Next is my brother Taylor, the first and the oldest.  He was brown hair and is the only one in my family with green eyes.  When he was 4 days old, he had a stroke.  The stroke damaged his brain making it so he can't see, talk and is also partially deaf.  He loves the beach, and any place warm.  His favorite position to lay is in a small ball.  Since his laugh is so contagious and sweet, we are always trying to get him to laugh.  He is a great brother.
After him, there is my brother Spencer.  He was born here in Utah.  He has black hair and blue eyes.  He is a bookworm and loves to doze.  He loves electronics and is a little computer nerd.  We usually get along.
Last but not least, is my only sister Robyn.  She is the youngest.  She has blonde hair and blue eyes.  She loves to get attention and will often watch herself in a mirror.  She loves to listen to CD's and goes into her own little world a lot.  We mostly get along.
That is all about my little family with our little perks.  I am glad to be placed in my family.
My Early Life
During the first three years of my life, I lived in Orem, UT.  I lived in a small, red brick house.  My two brothers had to share a room and I had a closet-sized room.  While I lived there, my best friend was Mandi Sink.  Even though she was 6 inches taller and weighed about 15 pounds more than me, we had a great time togehter.  We often would play in my mom's room and we would get a hold of my mom's make-up.  My mom would get pretty mascara pictures all over her bedspread.
As a toddler, I liked many games, especially board games.  I loved to play Shoots and Ladders and would spend hours just making my player climb ladders and slide slides.  When I was little, I had a little baby doll and stroller.  I loved to go on walks and "vacations" while pushing my stroller around.  I also had a doll house about 3 feet tall with a little plastic family of dolls.  unlike most toddlers, I did not have a security blanket.  Although, I did have a bear that went many places with me.
As a little girl, I had two pets - a dog and a cat.  My cats name was Mickey.  He had black and white fur and he had green and black eyes that would almost glow in the dark.  He like to be petted, but only in the perfect way.  Even though he was a great cat, he sometimes was mean.  Next is my golden Labrador, Max.  He had long, blonde fur and blue eyes.  He was highly trained and followed every order we gave him.
When I was three years old, we moved from Orem to P.G.  While the house was being built, we live with my grandparents in California.  While we were living there, I had my third birthday.  I celebrated it in a park called Happy Hollow, an amusement park.  Also at my third birthday I got my first scooter.  I spent about a third of my birthday riding back and forth.  Shortly after my birthday, we moved into the new house.  One of my first memories is standing in the dim garage of my new house with boxes and toyw surrounding me.
At my new house I had two friends - Andra Hancock and Maryn Jolly.  We play together often and we would almost always get into mischief.  Sadly, I was not able to attend preschool with them. Fortunately, I went with another friend, Evelyn Brimhall.  We went to Miss Leesa's preschool in P.G.
As a little girl, I was obsessed with Angelina Ballerina.  I had stuffed animals of her, and I had read all of her books.  I also went to dance at the P.G. recreation center with Andra and Maryn.
As a little girl many things occurred.  I am thankful for all those things for they have helped shape what I am now.
My School Years
Throughout all of my school years, I have gone to one school - Lincoln Academy.  At Lincoln Academy all of the teachers are kind and let you excel above grade average.  During all my school years I have lived in the same house in Pleasant Grove.
My interests and likes have changed through out the years.  In first grade I liked dance and ballet music.  In second grade I like gymnastics and classical.  In third grade I liked dance again and still loved classical music.  In fourth grade I didn't really have any likes and just went with the flow.  In fifth grade I liked country music and theater.  I love to be on stage with the stage lights almost blinding me.
In my free time, I like to do many different things.  I love to create and write stories.  I also like to sew and design purses, dolls, hats etc.  Every day I play piano to help develop my talents.  I lvoe to read a good story that pulls me away from the real world for awhile.
Over the years, I have made more and more friends.  Andra, Breanne, Alena, Grace and Amber are only a few of my great friends.  Whenever I am bored, there is always someone who is available.  All of them are great listeners and loyal people.
Every other year, my mom's side of the family goes to the beach.  I get to see all of my cousins and how they have grown.  We get to feel the warm sand and the cool water.  We get a fresh supply of shells and hot sun.  All of the cousins are always running around or bogey boarding.  In my family, every single cousin has another cousin that is the same age as them.  Nobody is every left alone.  I can't wait to feel the salt water cooling my skin again.
My Future Plans
For my future life, I have many plans and expectations.  I hope to fully develope my life.
I plan to go to the Pleasant Grove junior high and take all of the honor classes.  I want to learn as much as I possibly can.  I want to take extracurricular classes before and after school.  I want to teach my sister what I have learned so she can excel in school.
I have not yet decided on what high school to attend.  But I do know what I am going to do at high school.  I plan to learn as much as possible.  I also plan to get my associates in high school.  It is the beginning to a college degree and is free in high school.  If you do it in college you have to pay.
As for my college years, I plan to attend Stanford, Harvard or BYU.  I plan to get a degree in writing and take some theater classes.
After my college years, I want to settle down.  I want to get married and have a couple of kids.  I want to raise them with the best education I can give them.  If my school years have prepared me enough, I plan to home-school them.
As for where I want to live, I will live wherever my husband's job takes us.  Just as long as I can travel back to my hometown.
As a grownup I plan to have two occupations.  I plan to, of course, be a mom.  I also plan to be a children's author and share my stories with my children.
I plan to live a long healthy life and live to see a couple of grand-children born.  I want to live at least to the age of 91.
I want my hair to slowly change from blonde to gray.  I want to get smooth, wrinkly skin.  And most of all, I want to have my eyes keep their blue shine.
Hopefully I will be able to complete all of my hopes and live a compete life.

I am going to write backwards from the great weekend to the not so great start of the week.  Valentine's Day started off with smiles in our house. The girls had their Valentine's that they had made ready to go.  I had left early that morning to sneak some doughnuts over to Jeremy's office - thank goodness for pintrest and all their cute Valentine ideas.  We had our annual waffles and strawberry breakfast:
I had made Valentine's for each of my kids to open that morning.  I am trying harder to focus on what they can become rather than what faults they are struggling with right now.  I sometimes wonder if they hear or retain what I say but its good for me to remember too so I copied them for me to reread:

Dear Spencer,
Happy Valentine’s Day!  I call you my light.  Light allows people to see things in new ways.  Light brings new perspectives to every day events.  It seeks out new things to see and experience.  Light is curious, it will make its way into dim places to explore and see what is there.  Light is courageous again the dark.  It doesn’t matter if the dark tells it to be dim, or to cover up its light, it will still shine brightly and boldly.  It shares it light freely with others.   You can reflect God’s light with your own light into some dark places.  At times light can be a bit over powering causing people to squint and have to take a step back.  But without light the world would be a dark and dim place to live.  You bring a light to our family that can never be replaced.  I love you, Mom.

Dear Allison,
Happy Valentine’s Day!  I call you my angel.  Angels are those who God works through to do his work here on this earth.  You have a gift of truly seeing those around you.  Seeing how to love them, help them and to make this world a better place everywhere you happen to be.   Angles know who they are, that God loves them and that knowledge cannot be taken away.  Angels know they are never alone and that they have an important work to do here on this earth that they cannot be distracted from.  Thank you for being the angel in our family.  I love you, Mom

Dear Robyn,
Happy Valentine’s Day!  I call you my sunshine.  Sunshine spreads warmth and light and love wherever it goes.  It has an energy and optimism that makes people smile and brightens their day.  There is even a hymn about you, “There is Sunshine in My Soul Today”. No day can be dim with you around.   Thank you for bringing a ray of sunshine into our lives.  I love you, Mom

 It was a lot to pack into the 20 minutes between getting dressed and having kids leave but it was fun, short and sweet - the best family experiences in our house are usually that way.  I got to help in Taylor's classroom in the morning with their lunch and then it was off to Robyn's class for her Valentine's party.  (Robyn was asking Spencer why he didn't get lots of Valentine's and parties and he replied that junior high doesn't do any of that fun stuff.  He was a bit depressed about it).  Robyn's teacher is having a baby in a few weeks.  So we went in a different direction with the party and the kids really seemed to like it.  A mom brought in yogurt with strawberries, granola and pink sprinkles for all the kids along with graham crackers and pink milk.  I think kids preferred this to the usual cupcakes or sugar cookies as everything was inhaled.  And then I had sewed a few baby blankets that the kids then tied and decorated butcher paper to wrap them up in.  It has been a fun experience for me to spend more time in kids' classrooms this year and to get to know their classmates better.
That evening the kids enjoyed opening some Valentine's from grandma and coming off their sugar high.  Jeremy and I got to do sealings with our ward and then visit with friends over pie.  It was a packed but fun day.

But our Valentine's wasn't over!  Friday we packed all the kids over to Jason and Kelly's house for the night.  Jason bravely took Spencer along with his son Garion on their deacons' snow camp.  Spencer was thrilled.  The girls enjoyed some quality girl time with their aunt and I even heard that Robyn ate taco salad for dinner without one word of complaint.  She believes that any meal that involves lettuce is a tragedy.  And Taylor just hung out and stayed healthy and happy.  While kids were being safely taken care of, Jeremy and I had our extended date.  We used up some of our gift certificates to go out to a nice dinner, shop for a dishwasher and attend comedy sports.  I realized what a fuddy duddy I am that I was so impressed that we stayed out till after midnight.  Saturday morning we both got apprentice massages and went out for breakfast at Kneaders before going back to buy a dishwasher.  I know that nothing says romance like buying an appliance but I was very excited at the idea of having a working dishwasher again.  It was an awesome long date.

Saturday night Jeremy had a chance to do a photo shoot with some professional make-up artists in Salt Lake.  While Taylor rested up after the weekend with Melissa the rest of us went to our high school's production of Beauty and the Beast.  Our neighbor was Gaston and he and all the cast were really, really good.  Kids were just entranced the whole time.

So the end of the week was packed with fun.  The beginning of the week was full of me getting life and household chores caught up.  I felt really tired out Sunday and Monday morning and figured it was just getting back to life and the days of not sleeping well catching up with me.  But it kept getting worse and by Tuesday morning I was miserable.  So off to the doctor and cheering when they told me that yes I had strep. It was one of those days that I felt truly awful, sitting on the couch and just wanting to cry.  It felt like it took heroic efforts to do things like grocery shopping or to put away laundry.  I thought kids should be cheering every effort I made.  Of course that is not how it works.  So I went to bed before 8 and just told kids to get to bed on time as Jeremy was gone.  I was out of commission most of Wednesday too but then the antibiotics started kicking in.  I think that next time one of my kids becomes sick that I need to be a much nicer mom.  I tend to tell them just to go to bed and don't get up until they feel better.

Spencer didn't appreciate that the pumpkin curry Wednesday night had tofu in it.  I don't think I was up to snuff yet as he and Robyn ended up going to bed right after dinner as I was done with the comments.  The next day Spencer brings home a cook book from the school library he just happened to think that I might like.  He carefully pointed out the recipes for bacon wrapped chicken tenders, garlic marinated steak etc.  Very thoughtful.  Monday, Spencer had a guitar recital at a rest home by us.  He really loves playing his guitar:

Last week we talked about Madonna's by Raphael in Allison's class for art.  The pictures they made look more like Japanese animation to me but they still turned out cool I thought:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

There is no place like HOME

Well Taylor and I are home again after spending several days back up at Primary Children's Hospital.  He has not been doing great these last two weeks and we have had to use our emergency seizure medications several times as his seizures wouldn't stop.  But it got to the point that they weren't working anymore and our pediatrician just said to take him to the ER at Primary's again.  Now bad mother that I am, I first had friends over for my dessert morning and then we left for the ER on Wednesday.  One thing I have learned that unless we have a true emergency we don't cancel or change our routines if we don't have to.  Everyone stays happier that way.

Turned out that Taylor was constipated again.  I know people wonder how I could not know that as this happened before at the end of August.  But he has been pooping and on laxatives this whole time!  But it turns out that his intestinal muscles don't have much tone anymore so we are adding in Senna to his medication regime and am hoping to avoid another "clean-out" visit for awhile.   With everything going on in his gut, getting 3 GALLONS of laxatives put into his system through an NG tube and hosptial enemas (an entire IV bag put into you know where), his seizures went even more hay-wire with seizures every two to three minutes.  So he was put on atavan to knock him out several times and keep the seizures down while he got his system back to normal.  He developed a gastric bleed from all the trauma so he is currently on antacids to help his gut heal back up.  But he is home today and is happily curled up in his bean bag.  After 5 days of not eating and drinking he is having a hard time getting his appetite back but he will do a few sips or bites of food at a meal now.  The pediatrician told me that this is a common problem that hits kids with CP in their teenage years and then just gets worse.  I hope this won't be a common experience for him.

I stayed up at the hospital with Taylor and then came home Thursday and Friday afternoons to shower, help out at the kids' school, do homework, clean up etc before heading back up but the majority of the work feel onto Jeremy's shoulders as he kept home life running.  On Saturday Jeremy took publicity photos of Allison and a few of her cast members for the school play Annie:
He had some drama this weekend with a person helpfully painting over their brand new studio floor they put in.  So he has been busy helping the person try to fix his mistake and scrape off all the paint.  Knee pads and a willingness to shake his head and smile has stood him in good stead.

I appreciate all the prayers on our behalf this week.  And I am glad to be home and am so looking forward to sleeping in my own bed and not opening my eyes for more than an hour at a stretch!

Other news of the week is that we had a fun Super Bowl get together with Jason's family as he made trays of wings for us all to over indulge in.  Our dishwasher bit the dust and Jeremy manfully performed CPR on it, taking everything apart completely, cleaning it and putting it back together.  It worked but now it is dead again so I think we will be dishwasher shopping again.

The most touching moment this week for me is having the kids call me to be part of family prayer and hearing them pray for Taylor.  Finding out that Allison had chosen to fast Thursday for Taylor just brought tears to my eyes as I was eating my chocolate stash in my purse.  Somethings you realize you didn't teach your kids, they just came blessed with those attributes and it makes you grateful.

I sadly said good-bye to my parents Monday morning at the airport, and drove through an unplowed foot of snow street to console myself at Trader Joe's for a shopping trip.  We got dumped on with snow Tuesday and Wednesday.  We shoveled constantly.  Kids made snow forts.  I got stuck in parking lots and cancelled any unnecessary appointments.  Then Thursday and 40 degrees came and it felt like spring was here.  I also learned that I should always shovel out my gutters on the street if I don't want Lake Hall to reappear.

January was meat free till my parents came as everyone agreed my dad who lives in a predominately vegetarian household would appreciate it.  But sugar free ended for me on my birthday.  I don't think anyone else really stuck it out with me this year but it was a good reminder that desserts shouldn't be an everyday occurrence and I don't need to always bake with chocolate chips.  Only problem is that I go a bit overboard when my birthday hits!

I had a great last celebration of being young, although I have been told that you don't truly become middle-aged at 40 that its more 60 these days.  I spent the morning getting my hair done and then met Jeremy for a lunch at P.F. Changs where he arrived with flowers and chocolate.  Could my day have gotten any better?!  I post-poned any household jobs and spent any free time reading my latest young adult brainless book.  That night Jeremy brought home a cheesecake and a few friends came over to visit and eat cake.  I got to visit with some family.  It was my version of a perfect birthday.  Spencer came up to me with a big grin and played and sang Happy Birthday to me with his guitar - he had been practicing.  Allison kept finding reasons to give me chocolate as in my breakfast in bed was a chocolate kiss and a hug.  Robyn kept putting up posters proclaiming that I was 39.  So it was a really good day and I went to bed with the sugar buzz and shakes of a sugar addict.

Taylor has had a rougher week again.  His seizures get out of control and keep him out of it all day.  So he doesn't eat or drink and gets weaker.  Then he has a good day where he eats constantly and is happy.  And then its back to horrible seizures.  Not sure what is going on with him yet.

I had Taylor's IEP this week.  We are going to work on him signaling yes or no with tapping with his right hand for yes and left hand for no.  He already taps very emphatically with his right hand when he wants more food or drink or attention so I can see it being a possibility.  Because next year he turns 18 they had to read Taylor his rights that he will get when he is an adult and have him sign the form.  Pretty ridiculous but they managed to do it with a straight face.  And then strongly encouraged me to get guardianship of him next year.

Saturday night Allison was the only kid who took me up on the offer to join Jeremy and me for date night.  She enjoyed picking up her free Krispy Kreme doughnuts with her report card of A's, going to the bike store to pick out clips for me, getting nachos with Jeremy and cheering at the BYU volleyball game. Considering she had spent the afternoon playing her basketball game too, it was a full and happy day for our little angel.

Robyn had a q&u wedding this week.  The first graders dress up for the day.  There is a q bride and a u groom and they promise to always spell words together etc as they get married by the principle.  One of the parents caters weddings so she went over the top a little bit with the decor.  Robyn was in heaven.  And of course you always end with cake and blowing bubbles on the happy couple.

Allison had New Beginnings this week as she turns 12 this fall.  She was sad to look at the Young Women calendar they passed out as she realized she was missing camp, trek, and all the other adventures this summer.  It still amazes me that our little girl is going to be in young women's but boy she can hardly wait.

Spencer for young men's this week spent a few hours shoveling out driveways.  He loved it and I was so proud of his attitude as he raced out the door to be there early and shovel some extra snow.  And then I was shaking my head at the 13 year old who along with half the deacons spent the whole time shoveling without gloves on.  He couldn't feel his icicle of a hand for a long time after he finished.  Friday, Spencer had a melt down over some broken head phones.  I forgot how bad those can get.  I can either be grateful he has things under such better control now that its becoming a infrequent thing or I can cry that he still has them.  He has been learning how to play Thou Font of Every Blessing for me as I told him it was one of my favorite hymns.  Keeps me from killing him sometimes...

This weekend we had the cousins sleep over while Jason and Kelly had an overnight date. They really enjoy playing together. And since it was perfect timing we watched Groundhog Day for our movie night. I forgot how much I enjoy that movie and it was fun to talk about what we do with all the time in the world. (In case anyone else wants to watch it with kids there is one scene we skipped - not too bad but definitely not what my 6 year old needs to see).

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mango Lime Chicken and Rice

This is one of my new favorite dishes.  I marinate the chicken the morning before, and cook the chicken and rice the night before when I am making dinner.  Then I just have to throw everything together in the pan the next day for dinner.  I got this recipe from  You don't have to make the tomatillo dressing to drizzle on top but it elevates it to a new state of deliciousness.

Mango Lime Chicken and Rice

2 pounds of chicken breasts marinated in:
 (put marinade ingredients all into the blender, blend and then pour it on top of chicken)
3/4 c vegetable oil
Juice and zest of 2 limes
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 c cilantro

Marinate for a few hours and then grill chicken.  Cut the chicken into bite size pieces

Cook 1 c uncooked rice with 1 c water, 2 c chicken broth.  When cooked, stir in 1 Tbsp lime juice, 2 tsp sugar and 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro.

Layer in a 9 x 13 pan:

  1. All the rice
  2. All the chicken
  3. Most of a 16 ounce container of sour cream.
  4. 2 c of mango salsa (I just get the Costco brand)
  5. 2 c of shredded pepperjack cheese

Bake at 350 degrees until heated through about 20 - 30 minutes.  The cheese should crisp up a little bit.
Serve with tomatillo dressing drizzled on top.

Tomatillo dressing:
Put all ingredients into a blender and blend till smooth and then chill for at least 2 hours:
1 c mayonnaise
1 pkg buttermilk dressing mix
1/2 c buttermilk
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 c cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic
3 tomatillos