Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 in 12 Photos

Thanks to Christine making me aware of this link party; I decided I'd jump on board.  Here's a photo recap of highlights of my year:

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful: Christmas Edition

Cooking, baking, sewing, wrapping.  Hugging, laughing, singing, playing.  I'm nearly to ten and I haven't even started the list.  This Christmas week has been exhaustingly, wonderfully fun!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Baking Yesterday, Sewing Today

Fudge, gingerbread, shortbread, candied nuts, caramel turtles, candy cane hearts. . . . I had a productive day in the kitchen yesterday.  Now to move on to sewing!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful: It's Almost Christmas Edition

Normally, I am a fairly organized person.  "Normally" being defined as "back when I was a student."  I love order and organization, but seem to be on an endless quest to return to my formerly-organized state.  This week, many of my thankfuls bring me a glimmer of the me-who-I-know-is-still-in-there-somewhere.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Joshua Tree Down

As I looked outside today, I noticed a once-tall Joshua tree lying on the ground.  No longer will my photos be able to feature its interesting shape.  It was my go-to foreground for all sky shots:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Animal Kingdom

Florida in December can be a bit chilly.  Such was the case the day my sister and I visited Disney's Animal Kingdom.  Some of the animals stayed inside, hidden from view.  Others, however, ventured outside:

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I'm thankful for animals.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Snowman Spa

This requires no recipe, and is more festive than mini-marshmallows:

Now don't you want to give a snowman Peep a nice hot cocoa jacuzzi treatment?

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Thanks for hot chocolate, and a good use for Peeps.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful: Disney World Edition

When my little sister asked me months ago if I wanted to build a snowman, I quickly answered yes.  We live on opposite sides of the country, and don't see each other nearly often enough.  Instead of building a snowman, though, we decided to go play at Disney World.  I'm back home now, and linking up late in a jet-lagged, but very thankful state.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Candy Cane Hearts

As I mentioned on my Ten Things of Thankful post this past weekend, I made a bunch of candy cane hearts last week.  My friend found the idea from pinterest, and taught us how to make the treats at Relief Society.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful: Rainy Christmas Season Edition

The Thanksgiving weekend is over, family members have returned to their various homes, and the busy Christmas season is upon us. The tasks to do exceed the capacity of my brain to remember them, but the overlying feeling of the week isn't really one of stress.  I'm thankful.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December 2014 Visiting Teaching Message

Appropriately for the month of December, the visiting teaching message is "The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ:  Prince of Peace."  I love the idea that even during challenging times, I can have personal peace as I remember the Savior. 

Thankful Thought:  Thanks for Jesus Christ and the peace He brings.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Monday Morning in the Kitchen: After Thanksgiving Turkey Salad

Though I first ate this salad in May, I've saved the post to publish now, when everyone is trying to figure out what to do with pounds and pounds of turkey leftovers.  This recipe not only will help use up the turkey, it provides a bit of a lighter fare than typically is found during the holiday season.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful: Thanksgiving Edition

It is a bit ironic that I don't post as much on my blog, Thankful Me, during the week of Thanksgiving.  Don't let my lack of new posts lead you to believe I'm ungrateful, though.  My week has been full of gratitude, as I've been surrounded by family for the holiday.

1. Youngest son arrived home first.  While we were out running errands, I asked him to try to get some photos of the jet planes that were flying.  As soon as I asked him, it seemed like the planes stopped flying.  However, he was very proud of this image and wanted to make sure I posted it on the blog.  I'm thankful for him, and the encouragement he gives me.

 2.  One of the errands we ran was suit shopping.  Youngest son was a groomsman in his roommate's wedding this week.  I'm thankful for the good friends my children have, and for the fact my son just needed a suit, not a tuxedo.

3.  I'm thankful for the safety everyone had while traveling here.  In addition to youngest son, John's parents, John's brother and sister-in-law, oldest son and daughter-in-law, and a niece and nephew stayed with us for the weekend.  Middle daughter and her children and boyfriend came for Thanksgiving dinner.  Everyone arrived without incident.

4.  I'm thankful for the hoppin' good time everyone had.  Literally, in the case of my granddaughters. 

5.  I'm thankful that the older "kids" had fun, too.  (I volunteered for the very important role of spinner for this particular game.)

6.  I'm thankful that the lights that John put up years ago for a backyard open house after oldest son's wedding are still up, and provide light for things like croquet games. 

7.  I'm thankful for the volunteers who jumped in and helped with  dishes without being asked.  Although the house is full of people, it isn't a burden.  Many hands really do make light work.  

8.  I'm thankful for the fact that even though some family members couldn't make it here for Thanksgiving, we have means to communicate easily.  Thanks to Twitter, I knew exactly how oldest daughter's first turkey was doing.  Thanks to e-mail, I knew that even though my grandma had another fall, she didn't break anything this time and didn't seem in pain.  Thanks to Facebook, I knew that my cousin's cancer is in remission, and that there are 15 good potential matches for a bone marrow transplant!

9.  I'm thankful for Thanksgivings past, that roll into Thanksgiving present, and will continue in Thanksgiving future.  The food, the laughter, the football, the conversations, the games, the putting away of leftovers--the rhythm of the holiday weaves a tradition that binds the family.  When I see someone picking the meat off the turkey carcass, I think of my grandma on my Dad's side.  She's gone, but she's present.  Thanksgiving traditions connect me to relatives, whether or not they are physically in my home. 

10.  I'm thankful for John.  Twenty-eight years ago, we went on a picnic the day after Thanksgiving.  It was remarkably beautiful weather for a November day in Utah.  We shared turkey sandwiches and sparkling cider, and threw a frisbee around.  That evening, John walked me to the door of my apartment, and we had our first kiss.  We don't always get a chance to have a picnic after Thanksgiving now, but we do at least give a nod to that wonderful date so long ago. 

I hope your week was wonderful, too.  Let me know what you are thankful for! 

Ten Things of Thankful

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful: Big Things, Small Things, All Things Edition

I love reading the posts that join the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop.  I love the fact that the things that are mentioned can be deep, tug-on-your-heartstrings things, or frivolous, doesn't-really-matter-but-it-makes-me-smile things.  They can be bittersweet, silver-linings things, or outright sunshiny things.  No matter what the things are, the underlying attitude is one of thankfulness.  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful: Anticipation Builds

Oh, boy, oh, boy!  For the rest of 2014, it's just one thing after another.  This week has been one of preparation and excitement for the upcoming events.  I'm afraid this week's TToT post will be one big jumbled mess, but since I don't have time to sort my thoughts out well, I'll just spit them out and hope for the best.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Veterans of Yesteryear

In honor of Veterans Day this week, I thought I would share some photos of my grandpa, great-grandpa, and great-uncle in their uniforms.  

Grandpa in his WWII Navy uniform

Grandpa was allowed to come home on leave for the birth of my uncle.

The inscription reads, "To my little Pardner.  Fair weather on your voyages, son" and is signed, "Daddy"

My great-grandpa in his WWI uniform

My great-uncle in his WWII Navy uniform

 I'm thankful for those who serve. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy birthday, Drexel!

It's hard to believe that Drexel is only two years old.  Drexel came to us from Guide Dogs for the Blind as a young puppy.  We were raising him to be a guide dog, but he had other plans.  He "career-changed" due to scent distraction.  He just couldn't seem to keep his mind on working when there was a smell to distract him.  We were asked if we wanted to keep him as a pet, and we readily agreed.  He is a wonderful family dog.  

Here's a look back over the past couple of years:

meeting Drexel for the first time

There's a reason we call him "Drexel the Adorable."

at one year old
Though Drexel learned basic obedience (and more advanced commands in his formal training), he did have his puppy moments:

styling in his working gear

Returning (on Valentine's Day!) for formal guide dog training


Flying off the puppy truck to return home to stay

Now Drexel helps other Guide Dog puppies learn good house manners.
Happy birthday, Drexel!  May you have many more to come!

Thankful thought:  I'm thankful for Drexel, and for the Guide Dog for the Blind organization.  

80 Pounds of Chicken, 2 Ice Chests, and a KitchenAid

Last week, on John's birthday, the Zaycon order arrived.  (That wasn't the original plan; the chicken had been scheduled to come in October, but the delivery was delayed.)  At the time, I was still without a large working refrigerator (I had a mini-fridge).  Fortunately, I also had a big freezer.  I kept the chicken cool in ice chests as I worked to transform 80 pounds of chicken breasts into freezer meals. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

October 2014 General Conference Handouts for Visiting Teaching

General Conference is always such a treat! I love reading back over the talks; I can always find thoughts that stand out to me.  I've taken a few of those gems and made handouts that I might use for visiting teaching.  Feel free to print up any that you would like.  I've sized the images to print nicely on 4x6 paper.  You should be able to right-click to print.  

This first handout would go well with a little umbrella.  I found umbrellas recently at the 99-Cent Store.  

I'm thankful for words of living prophets, who follow the pattern of prophets of ancient times by providing guidance. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful: Catalina Edition

I'm a bit late joining the hop this week.  John and I just returned from Catalina Island, so this post will be much like the vacation slide shows of old.  First, though, I have to mention something from the home front. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Birthday to John!

Today is John's birthday!  It is also the day that Zaycon Foods is having their chicken delivery in our area.  (This delivery got rescheduled; I wasn't planning on spending John's birthday in the kitchen dealing with 80 pounds of chicken breasts.)  Anyway, I thought a birthday post was called for, and if something is worth saying once, it's worth repeating, right? This originally posted last year, but if anything, I mean it even more this year than last.  Happy birthday, John; I love you!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful: Trick or Treat!

Trick-or-treat!  It's been a tricky sort of week for me, but we're heading into November--the month of Thanksgiving--so we'll focus on treats today.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful: Yes, There are Things I am Thankful for in the Desert

It's easy for me to find things to love about green, moist places.  Plants grow abundantly and I find beauty everywhere I look.  Although finding beauty in the desert does not come instinctively to me, there are things about living here that make me smile everytime I see them.  For this week's TToT, I'm sharing with you my desert thankfuls.  I've shared some of these photos and videos before, but I hope you don't mind the repeat.  It's good for me to have a handy list of what is appealing about the desert. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

My Friend Dyanne Must Have Prompted This

So, in her Ten Things of Thankful post this weekend, my friend Dyanne mentioned that one of the children in her preschool class announced during circle time that she (the child, though I assume it applied to Dyanne, too) was wearing underwear.  Dyanne later asked her blog readers, "What are you thankful for this week? How's your hair? Wearing underwear?"

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful: Verdict's In; I'm a Year Older

I don't particularly want to blog about the details of my week, as I spent my week on jury duty.  I will say that I found the process interesting, even if it did mean I spent my birthday in deliberations. The verdict is in, though, and I am another year older.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: Cute Kids

When you are not quite 2 years old, your favorite attractions at Disneyland are the Jungle Cruise, the Tiki Room, and the "goggies" at the Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo.

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Thanks for grandchildren and goats. 

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