Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year in Blog Land

Well here goes!  I'm going to take up with Musings of a Housewife, throw caution to the wind and look back over the year and share the first line of the first post of each month.  (I know, take a moment to digest will help.)  So here goes:
(If I have a current comment it will be in parenthesis) 

1.  January:  We carried on our new tradition of having a Christmas Tea at the Grand America in SLC.
                   (Really love, love, love this tradition)

2.  February:  Mom celebrated her 85th birthday this week and we all got together to celebrate the day! 

3.  March:  One thing I have always wanted to do is to attend the annual Spring Colors Festival at the Hare Krishna Temple in Salem Utah!
(You have to look at the pictures of this it is so much fun!)

4.  April:  I think I am the only one in our family who LOVES April Fool's Day.

5.  May:  This is taken from the Daily Om.
(I don't usually repost entire articles but a few of these from the Daily OM were so good that I wanted to remember them.)

6.  June:   
   (Well that's what happens when you are a novice blogger, didn't post a thing in June!)

7.  July:  In all of our planning meetings it never occurred to me that feeding 400 people at a time would be any different than feeding 50 or so at girl's camp or that one stint we had of feeding the masses on a Stake Youth Trek.
(The thrills and woes of belonging to a church that believes in service!)

8.  August:  We took a guided hike this morning to the Petrified Sand Dunes in Snow Canyon. 
(Okay, not my first post in August just one of my favorites)

9.  September:  Sadhana is one of my favorite Sanskrit words.
(Again, not my first post but it had to be this one.)

10.  October:  Our fall break is to the big island of Hawaii! 
(If you want to see a really cool video of the lava flow look here.)

11.  November:  
(Once again no post, sigh....)

12.  December:  Blogging is a really fun outlet for me.  
(Perhaps this was not one of my best blogging moments.....but there are just some days....I know you know what I mean.)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Joseph! J-O-S-E-P-H! We love you!

My nephew Joseph Perry is heading off on a mission to Norway!  We got to spend one of his last days in the states with him as a family.  We all went to the temple with him this morning!  It was really fun to attend the temple with family....loved it!  Afterward we all met for lunch at a cute little Mexican Restaurant, picked out by Jeanette!  Very fun, we had a great time visiting with everyone and wishing this handsome young man a "Bon Voyage" on his next adventure for two years!  Joseph we love you and know you are going to make a great can you miss with all the great advice Aaron was giving you at the other end of the table!  May God bless and protect you on your journey!

Me, kicking Amanda out of my solo picture with Joseph!

My really cute solo picture with Joesph!

The Steagles Poising it up with, yep, you guessed it J-O-S-E-P-H!  (And cute Courtney!)

The Third Annual Christmas Tea

Jeanette and I have started a tradition of taking our girls out for a formal Christmas Tea Date during the Christmas holiday.  Well this year was very special because we got to include Brad's mom on our adventure.  The sad part was we couldn't actually get in for the tea because they were booked up and so we did lunch at the Grand America Hotel instead and then stopped for special treats at the little bakery next door afterward.  It was our lesson in being flexible and going with the flow.  It all worked out and we had a great time.  Dorothy (Brad's Mom) regaled us with the story of when she was a Radio City Rockette dancer at the young age of 15!  She told us how she auditioned to be a dancer and had to learn how to dance on top of these big balls that were painted to look like easter eggs.  She said one of the girls fell and broke her leg when the ball ran over it.  She also said sometime she would sleep over at the theater when it was too late to take the train back to New Jersey.  We loved hearing this exciting story about her life!

After ward we walked through the gingerbread forest and the christmas decorated windows.  The hotel is beautiful and especially at Christmas time.  I apologize for the lack of pictures but I guess we were just not in the mood to stop and pose so much!

Picture a the Beagles!

We had a lovely Christmas this December 2010 at the Beagles.  The kids are growing up and it seems not quite as fun to run around purchasing items for them....since they seem to have every little thing that they need already.  And so I decided to do a "Hand-made Christmas" for everyone.  I have to admit it was difficult and although every item I gave was handmade, not every item was handmade by me!  But never fear it all worked out!

Brad is always a puzzle for me to buy for since he gets whatever he wants, when he wants it but I stumbled upon this lovely little site called Etsy and purchased two things for him.  This lovely set of handmade cufflinks...bonus that they came from Sweden (my family roots).

And this lovely set of Vintage Fuerstenberg Composer Plates made in Germany.  I just thought they were adorable and luckily he loved them too.  It was one of those things that could have been a big hit or a big never know!

For Brad's Dad I made some really swell journals out of composition books.  I liked them so much I am going to make some for me!  And his mom got a framed printable that I thought was really cute and also a really cute little plate that my friend makes out of different things and gluing them together.  

Liz's present was the most fun to make, it was a pair of fingerless mittens and some how I didn't get a picture so I will take one and insert it later.  She loved them and I loved making them, I learned so much about knitting that I didn't know.....and I thought I knew a lot!  

Amanda's was not technically made by me but it was handmade and so cute.  It is a jewelry frame to hang her earrings and necklaces from.  Super cute!  

Mackay's and Chris' were super fun for me to make, they were blankets made out of that super soft Minky fabric.  I didn't get a picture of Chris', had to send that to Georgia, from the feed back it was a big hit!  Mackay liked his.....see the big smile?

We had a lovely Christmas Eve Dinner by Brad and of course pajamas!  Suhweet Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Dunkley/Steagles Christmas Party 2010

Wow, can you believe that once again it is time for the famous Dunkley Steagles Christmas Party!  We made the trek over the river and through the woods to Benj & Nalene's house!  Such a perfect place for a party!  The traditional gathering entails lots of good food and what we have come to find out is a main essential element......the DoLLaR Gifts!

Jeanette was all festive as usual! She told me not to post this picture on face book.....this is NOT facebook!

Here's a little video clip just so you can enjoy and be a part of the Dunkley Steagles Christmas Party! Merry Christmas!

Stay Tuned for the Video  Blogger is being weird and I can't load it today but I will load it tomorrow!

A Very Special Christmas Date Night

We had a very special date night last friday and two lucky boys got to come along.  We had tickets to the Christmas Performance at the Conference Center, featuring David Archuleta.  We had two extra tickets and so we decided to take Mackay and his best cousin Jacob along.  It was quite a special night out for me to be on a date with 3 good looking guys.

First stop was a real guy place, Rich's Burgers in Salt Lake.  Nothing but burgers and fries and smothered burgers and fries........oh, I did have some sauted zuchinni that was nice.   There was only one very busy girl working there and so it took a long while to get our food which made us late and made Brad very cranky.  From there we caught tracks, along with all of the other five thousand people who were heading to the conference center.  Then we got to stand in a really long line to get in to the building.  Luckily they started to really shuffle us all in fast by was CoLd!
At Rich's Burgers
The concert was very nice and very Christmasy!  David sang great and so did all the others....I was really coveting those dancers outfits, the ones that looked like old time carollers.  They were cool!
The walk through Temple Square!

The Caramel Sundae...YUM!
After the concert we walked through Temple Square to see the lights......and I DO mean WalKed a very fast pace.  Remember I am with 3 guys here!  No need to stop and look at the lights, a walk through is good.  We were all feeling a little hungry as we had not quite been able to finish our burgers earlier and so we decided to head to The New Yorker for dessert and maybe a little bite.  Good call, it was just the ticket.  A lovely Mandarin Salad and yummy Pecan Caramel Sundae and we were all smiling!  So fed warm and happy we headed home from our very fun date night plus two!  Love you Jake and are the best dates in town!  I'll keep it on the down low......wouldn't want the girls flocking around!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bearing one another's burdens

Book of Mormon Mosiah 18:8-9
8And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are adesirous to come into the bfold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

 9Yea, and are awilling to mourn with those that bmourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand ascwitnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the dfirst resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—

I have had two very clear examples of this very scripture happen in my life lately and I wanted to stop and write down my thoughts about it, as it has been on my mind a lot lately.  

I was having a really hard time a few months ago.  Without going into details we have had some really tough issues in our family for a couple of years now.  I have at times felt like the little engine that could and I have just kept chugging up the hill, knowing that I could do it, that it would get easier, if I could just make it over the next rise.  When I would get down I knew that all I had to do was just climb into my bed at night and when I woke up in the morning things would look different, it would be better, I would be happy again.  Most of the time this works for me......I have always said that is the one great thing about me,  I ALWAYS wake up happy!  Unfortunately there came a day when it just didn't work any more.  Things looked really bad no matter how I looked at them.  I knew that I needed someone to talk to but it just so happened that my trusted therapist and long time friend had died earlier this year and so that was not an option.  I couldn't talk to my husband or my kids and I couldn't even talk to my sister, my best friend in the world.  Things looked really dismal and hopeless.  

I do a lot of  yoga and meditation and even that did not bring me the relief that I needed.  I would feel great after a session of it but then when I would have to go back to the real world it almost made it harder.  I could see no relief, no comfort, no help in sight.  I went to the Temple and did a lot of praying during this time and though some of these things would help for a time, I knew that I needed something....but I didn't know what.

I had been in touch with a good friend Sally who I met from yoga.   Our friendship had deepened through many wonderful shared experiences taking yoga seminars together and practicing yoga at the same studio.  We had both certified as teachers together and then in the following years had each began teaching in our homes and so we no longer saw each other on a regular basis.   Well, it just so happened that we ended up going to lunch together this weekend that I was having such a hard time emotionally.  

When I came in to the Cafe to meet her I was already crying.  Oh my goodness I was a wreck!  I just could not hold it together, not even for a minute.  We ordered lunch and sat down to talk and in the next few hours my sad story poured out of me like water.  It just so happened that she had experienced everything that I was in the middle of going through.  Everything!  She was the perfect one for me to talk to because she had been through it.....was still going through some of it.  She offered me a unique point of view and shared with me the upside and the downside of all that I was experiencing.  She gave me a perspective that I just couldn't find on my own.  We probably spent about three hours together and by the time I got up to leave I felt so much better.  However, it wasn't until I got home that I had a big AHA moment.  I no longer felt burdened.  I literally felt lighter.   I immediately thought of this scripture in Mosiah 18:8-9 and I knew that she had truly borne my burdens and because of it I felt good again.  Not that anything in my life had changed, it was all still there but I was able to bear it more easily because of my friend.  Thank you Sally, I love you so much.

Another more simple example happened today.  It was Sunday and I had been at church most of the morning.  When I got home the house just looked like a wreck to me, kitchen a mess, stuff everywhere......the usual.  I decided to try and print my labels for christmas cards and as usual the technology had me wrapped up in stitches and I spent hours on something that should have taken 15 minutes.  Then just as I got the mail merge to work the printer gave out and said it needed a new drum......sigh.   So with half the envelopes printed I switched to another task and called my Activity Day partner to try and organize our December activity.  While talking to her I confessed to my complete feeling of overwhelm today.  With Christmas looming and the house a wreck and it just seemed nothing was going my way.  She commiserated with me and confessed to her own times of overwhelm, and then something magical began to happen.  As I talked to her I started to clean my kitchen and before I knew it I had loaded the dishwasher and swept the floor and I even organized my pantry all without even noticing.  I was so engaged in the conversation that I didn't even think about what I was doing and it just happened.  By the time we hung up I was totally rejuvenated and my burden had been lifted once again.  

I am so grateful for good friends who are willing to "bear one another's burdens".  I hope I can be that kind of a friend.  Namaste.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cinnamon Ice Cream.....a first for me!

I just finished making my first ever batch of cinnamon ice cream.  I was inspired by a video of the Green Smoothie Girl and her friend Desiree making it on you tube.  I had purchased ice cream made with coconut milk and agave from the store but I had never attempted to make it.  They made it look easy and so I decided to give it a go.

Almond Milk....straight from almonds!

I didn't have any almond milk and so I made it.  That was a first for me too and again it was so easy!  I learned how by watching, yep, another video by the Green Smoothie Girl.  Yeah for the Green Smoothie Girl.....she's been teaching me a lot lately.

I used a Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream Maker

Mmmmm the Cinnamon is key!

The finished product!  So yummy!
Loved the Cinnamon Ice Cream......loved learning how to make almond and coconut milk!  I think I will go and have one more little spoonful before bed!  Try it, you might like it too!

Cinnamon Ice Cream
Dairy Free, Sugar Free

2 cups Almond Milk
2 cups Coconut Milk
2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup Agave, try less I thought this was pretty sweet

Mix together and freeze in your favorite ice cream maker.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Blogging My Guilt

Blogging is a really fun outlet for me.  Leave it to the world to take something that is supposed to be fun and turn it in to a big old guilt trip.  I don't know if you have noticed but blogging has become the new outlet for women.  Okay I stand corrected, I just read a list of the top 50 bloggers in the world and they are mostly men. It has become a profession for many and you can find people to design your blog, get great gift ideas and even get your house organized....all over the internet.  What I mean about the guilt trip is that I only blog for fun and to create a history, with pictures and video for my family, but I now receive emails from bloggers who blog every single stinking day.  So everyday I am reminded that I haven't blogged that day, week or month.  SIGH!  I'm also consumed with their cute little blogs that have probably cost big bucks to design.  I covet their cute little buttons and smartly organized content.  It is just a daily reminder of how far behind I am on the "techni-train", with no hope of catching up in this life time.

Oh well, I think I will just kick back with my cup of peppermint tea, cosy up to my fireplace and take another look at etsy, my new favorite shopping spot with no lines.

In the mean time you can enjoy a peek at my top five favorite blogging sites:

1.  Oh Amanda
2.  Giving Up on Perfect
3.  The Unconventional Kitchen
4.  The Green Smoothie Girl
5.  I am an age old tree
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