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Sunday, October 20, 2019

First part of fall

Back to school pictures! School always starts a bit early for me with meetings, training, and getting everything set up. I was lucky to have two of my favorite people come back to work as para-educators in my classroom and was blessed to find someone else equally wonderful. Work is so much better when I am surrounded by people I admire and can rely on. I tried once to decide how many of the things that I do in my classroom were just my idea rather than from other people inspiring me and really hardly anything came just from me.

Allison had one last hurrah with her church group and dived into student council activities and her senior year. She seems to either be working, doing homework, or helping with some school event. It keeps her busy and happy.

Robyn is in the same boat doing student council on a smaller scale at the junior high and trying out cross country this year.

With everyone so busy during school days for Labor Day we had Taylor go into respite and drove up to Mirror Lake to spend a day doing absolutely nothing. It was beautiful and awesome. And of course floaties were required.

I was able to steal my kids away for a Saturday of Timpanogous Storytelling Festival. Allison pointed out that after this year I will be down to just Robyn and Taylor. I try to explain how much I enjoy a day of laying around with family listening to stories and talking about authors but I never seem to do it justice. Nevertheless it is one of my favorite yearly traditions. The girls like it even more now that I have them bring a friend. I realized that this was our 15th year of going to this event.

Allison had Homecoming and all the events surrounding it.

Allison has had several trips down to Gunnison with her friend Evy to see friends she made at Student Council Camp. Scary moment for me was when they had a tire blow right outside of Nephi while driving on the free way. Lots of little miracles including a family who stopped to help them change the tire and followed them all the way to the tire store in Nephi to make sure they were OK. If this had happened after Nephi, they would have been out in the middle of nowhere.

Jeremy and Robyn were able to go on a trip to Lava Hot Springs with Jeremy's brother's family and his cousin's family for a weekend. And Jeremy has been able to get out on the lake with friends a couple of times. He has been working to get his bilirubin levels down. They were too high, he had to go off the drug, went back on, again his liver levels were too high so currently he is off again. Its a process, that is for sure.

Robyn has been doing assemblies with student council and having fish nibble her toes with me.

Allison turned 18 and celebrated with a family night of Panda Express and seeing the musical Thoroughly Modern Milly. Then going with a friend to Frightmares at Lagoon for the day.

The school term seems to fly by as we are just finishing up fall break. The girls gave me a family day. We put Taylor in respite and went to check out King's English bookstore (the coolest place ever), did a short hike/picnic, stocking up on treates at Trader Joe's, picked up Jeremy who just got back from the Mayo Clinic to drive the Alpine Look and do Sundance's Haunted Lift followed by checking out a new dessert place.

Then the girls left for a 24 hour Questival sponsered by Cotopaxi where they drove all over the state and even to Winnemucca for 24 hours doing challenges. They did it with their friends and friends dad and had the best time but are so tired now. The challenges ranged from eating a doughnut with a friend without hands, climbing Ensign Peak to helping out a kid you don't know in a non-creepy way.

Spencer continues to do well on his mission. He has a new companion who he loves and enjoyed being part of the General Conference Activities on temple square.

I have had a few requests for my brownie recipe so I am going to post and hopefully get a picture in later. For several years now these have been my treat of choice. I keep a stash in my freezer in individual bags that I pull out often. Kids joke that they can tell how tough a day it was by the size of the brownie. The original recipe was from but then I tweaked it a bit.

 Cookie layer:
1 c (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 c granualted sugar
3/4 c light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 c (12 oz) chocolate chips

Oreo Layer:
1 pkg double stuffed oreos (family size is slightly too many, original size is slightly too few)

Brownie Layer:

1/2 c plus 2 1/2 Tbsp butter
1/2 c cocoa
1 1/3 c sugar
3 eggs
1 1/3 c flour
1/2 c chocolate chips

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 in dish with foil and spray with Pam.
2. Make the cookie layer: Beat the butter and sugars together till creamy. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Flatten the cookie dough in the bottom of the dish.
3. Top with a layer of Oreos.
4. Make the brownie layer: Melt the butter and cocoa together on the stove. Remove from heat. Stir in the sugar and flour. When mixture has cooled slightly stir in the eggs and chocolate chips.
5. Pour the brownie mixture on top of the oreos.
6. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 25 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting.