Thursday, March 31, 2016

Food 4 Thought Friday

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Food 4 Thought Friday!

A little feast without the calories!!

Feel free to play along for some yummy fun! I will post a new one each Thursday night. JOIN IN!!!

Food 4 Thought Friday ~ This week's questions:

Breakfast ~ If you had to enter a competition for the "Most Uselessly Unique Talent", what would your talent be?
Lunch ~ What do you think is the best feeling in the world?
Dinner ~ Can you comfortably eat in a restaurant by yourself? Go to a movie?  
Midnight Snack ~ What punctuation mark best describes your personality and why?
Recipe for the Week ~ (instead of your recipe for life, what is it just for the week?)


Breakfast ~ If you had to enter a competition for the "Most Uselessly Unique Talent", what would your talent be? I think it would have to be backing up into cars that are parked behind me.  I have just brushed up on this talent a few weeks ago ($750 later) and it keeps improving with each performance!

Lunch ~ What do you think is the best feeling in the world? I had a hard time deciding between the feelings of: 
  • Being loved back by someone you deeply love
  • Hearing the words, "I love you Mom!"
  • Being able to let go of something you have held onto forever
  • When you have truly changed someone's life for the better
  • When you have given service to someone in need
  • When you are sad and someone shows you they truly care about you
  • Being able to sleep all night and wake up feeling refreshed
  • Getting good news about something you've been worried sick over
  • That first bite of food after fast Sunday
  • When the chute opens while sky diving
  • Being able to scratch that itch
  • Crossing the finish line of a full marathon 
  • Seeing storm clouds and then it starts to rain
  • Looking at a room after you have just dejunked it 
  • Accomplishing something you never thought you could    
And I can only imagine how hearing the words, "You're going to be a grandma!" would make me feel!  But I think the best feeling in the world might just be:

Dinner ~ Can you comfortably eat in a restaurant by yourself? Go to a movie?  No! To both!  I feel very self conscious if I am in either place by myself.  I feel like everyone is looking at me and thinking, "Oh that poor loner!"

Midnight Snack ~ What punctuation mark best describes your personality and why? I would have to answer this with a "!".  Only because I have people tell me all the time that I do everything a little over the top.  I agree that I do have a tendency to do that with most things, but there are some things that I am more of a "-" (dash) when I have a hard time deciding on things.

Recipe for the Week ~ (instead of your recipe for life, what is it just for the week?)
When you have a big goal to accomplish - instead of letting it overwhelm you, just take baby steps towards it and eventually you will accomplish it.  Even taking that first step to BEGIN feels you with energy to help move you forward.

Monday, March 28, 2016

*Monday Memos*


 (If pictures are too small, just click to enlarge) 
Weekly recap of my rather crazy, insane, but fun and rewarding life!

dear first day of the week, (dear monday sounded too boring- hehe)  When I headed out on my run it was very cold but by the time I was home it had turned into a pretty nice day.  I spent the day finishing up organizing the drawers in my bathroom, cleaning, practicing the harp, catching up on McKay's blog, and trying out a new recipe called Frito Pie Crescent Roll Ring.  It was pretty tasty.  The recipe is below the picture:

Frito Pie Crescent Roll Ring 

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder (I think it needed another 1/2 Tbl)
  • 1 can tomatoes, juices drained (I used our homemade canned tomatoes but didn't drain them before cooking - I would drain the excess after cooking)
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained (I used black beans)
  • 2 tubes crescent roll dough
  • 1/2 c. shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1 small bag Fritos (or other corn chips)
  • 1 egg, beaten

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. As it heats, place ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add oregano, garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder. Use a wooden spoon to break up meat and mix in seasonings. Cook until browned and drain excess juices (I didn't do this and it made it way too runny and messy).
  2. Add tomatoes and pinto beans and mix to combine. Set aside.
  3. Unroll crescent roll dough, separating each triangle. Arrange in a sunburst pattern, with pointy ends of the triangles facing outward (the base of the triangles should overlap).
  4. Spread ground beef mixture over triangle bases, forming a ring. Sprinkle cheese on top of meat, then top with crumbled Fritos.
  5. Fold triangle tips over filling (there will be gaps where meat and cheese peeks out between crescent roll triangles). Brush the top of dough with beaten egg.
  6. Bake until dough has turned lightly golden and cheese has melted, about 20 minutes.

dear rainy tuesday, my friend needed a ride to work and so I couldn't go on my run when I had planned.  After I dropped her off, it had started to pour and was very cold.  I decided that I would take today as my day off since I can run on Thursday this week (which is my usual day off).  So instead of running, I went to Kent's and bought DONUTS!  They should be probably called DONOTS to remind me to NOT eat them!  I really went in to get a little cake for McKay (which I did) but the donuts smelled so good and they had these yummy chocolate cake ones with mint icing.  Seriously WHO could resist that??  Not ME!  I bought those delectable looking things and came home and ate almost an entire one. I didn't feel too guilty because it was my breakfast.  That justifies it in MY mind.  I am a lover of sweets.  What can I say?  I did find a cute little cake and had them write Happy Birthday McKay on it.  Speaking of sweets, can I just say that I LOVE cake.  All things cake.  That is why those cake donuts became breakfast.  Whoever began the tradition of having cake on your birthday was a genius.  I do believe of all the sweets in the world, cake is my most favorite thing.  I really love cake!  We are besties!  I think it is my greatest weakness.  Probably even more so than chocolate (as in candy)....but chocolate (as in cake) makes me weak in the knees.  I could eat cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Especially if I wanted to be a two ton Tilly and feel sick every day.  I love all flavors.  I really love white cake with white icing. And chocolate with white icing.  And chocolate with chocolate icing.  And....pretty much ANY kind!  However, Carrabba's Dream Cake may be the world's most perfect food!

dear mckay's 19th birthday!  My baby is turning 19 in Russia today!  Whaaaaat!???  In case you haven't experienced having a missionary out, let me tell you that it is tough to have them clear across the world on their birthdays!  Mine is in outer Siberia. Now that sounds FAR! Because it IS! So in order to make it seem like he is less far away, I decided to have our own little celebration in his honor.   
 Here is what I posted on Facebook:

ː̗̤̣̀̈̇ː̖́.[̲̅̅H̲̅][̲̅̅A̲̅][̲̅̅P̲̅][̲̅̅P̲̅][̲̅̅Y̲̅].ː̗̤̣̀̈̇ːː̗̤̣̀̈̇ː̖́.[̲̅̅B̲̅][̲̅̅I̲̅][̲̅̅R̲̅][̲̅̅T̲̅][̲̅̅H̲̅][̲̅̅D̲̅][̲̅̅A̲̅][̲̅̅Y̲̅ː̗̤̣̀̈̇ː̖́. to my baby McKay (Elder Wilding) who turns 19 today!!! Crazy to think he is celebrating clear across the world in Russia without his family. But we are going to celebrate anyway without him with lunch at Panda Express (his favorite place)....and of course, with a birthday cake! We always need an excuse for cake! He has prepared himself his entire life to be where he is right now. This kid is an amazing missionary and there is no place he would rather be at this moment than serving the Lord and the people he has come to love in Russia. ‪#‎proudofmybaby‬ ‪#‎wemightevensingtohim‬ ‪#‎happybirthdaymckster‬

I met my Mom and Dad at Panda Express for lunch.  That is McKay's favorite place in the world to eat.  He really loves it.  That is where he wanted to go for his last meal before his two year mission.  And I am 100% positive it will be the first place he will want to go to when he returns.
He ALWAYS orders the Orange Chicken and Beijing Beef.  So that is what I ordered!  I plan to send him these pictures as well.  If I could ship it to him express I would.  It IS called Panda "Express" so maybe????  ;)
I also took the cake I bought for him.  This is the very first cake I have ever bought for his birthday. I have always made him one.  But since he wasn't here and wasn't going to eat any of it I figured he would be totally fine with a store bought one. LOL
And it was tasty!  I could've eaten that whole thing by myself!  Did I mention I love cake?  :) We had candles on it and we even sang Happy Birthday to him.  We actually whisper sang it.  I was laughing so hard at the sight of us whisper singing Happy Birthday to someone that isn't even there, I nearly wet my pants!  The place was packed (you can't tell by the photos but there was a line 14 people long the entire time we were there) and so we didn't want to belt it out.  Now IF McKay had been present, we most likely WOULD have!  
 My parents are crack ups!  I have so much fun with them.  I was hoping Bryce was going to make it, but he couldn't and neither could Dave.

This is where he spent his 17th birthday two years the Junior Prom.  With the Prom Queen.  Hard to believe that has been two years! 

dear crazy messed up world, OK… I am losing faith in humanity! I saw this poor older guy (he looked like an Indian) begging for money on the side of the road and I usually won't give them money anymore because I've heard so many stories that they are scam artists etc., but this guy had no teeth basically.  And he looked very needy... legitimately needy… and my heart just went out to him!  I seriously thought he was legit. So I turned around and drove back to gave him a $20 bill which is something I usually never do. I will give them a five, at the most, but he just looked so sad and downtrodden.  Anyway, as I'm driving off I see another guy across the street - also an Indian, I believeSo I was little a suspicious thinking they are probably in a group which is not a good thing because they are probably working for someone and won't get the money. Then as I was leaving from my stop at a store I saw those two and another one walking together.  The third one looked like he was telling them what to do (probably the boss) and I realized I just basically threw my money away! And now I'm even more skeptical than I was before! It really is sad that they take advantage of people like that.  But the really sad thing is that the poor guy I gave the money to, really does need the money (that was very obvious) and I bet he doesn't get any of it!  I am praying that he will get at least something and that my deed was not totally to just pad the wallet of his boss. 

Then today there was a terrorist attack (bombing) in Brussels.  Three LDS missionaries were injured in the blast. All three are in the hospital.  One unconscious.  When things like this happen when you have a son out in the world on a mission, it really hits home.  I have been praying a lot harder this week for his and all the other missionaries safety.  As a mother, you just pray you never get one of those phone calls.  I have been worried sick just thinking about all the crazies out there.  But then I have to refocus and remind myself that fear and faith cannot exist at the same time and I have to strengthen my faith and forget the fear.  Not easy, but necessary to keep my sanity.

I have been to Belgium and in Brussels and it seemed like such a peaceful little country.  Not somewhere you would ever expect something like this to happen.

dear caucus meeting, I attended my very first caucus meeting this week.  Well, actually I believe I attended one years ago in someone's house...but it was forever ago.  Dave was encouraged to go but the only reason he did is because he is obedient.  He really is not a fan of politics or politicians or anything political.  He was supposed to be to a pickleball group at 8 pm but ended up going late to that because the caucus took longer than planned.  It was packed!  Apparently this year was a record in attendees.  No surprise considering the presidential candidates this election. 

Ours was held at the high school with most of the rest of the city.  We had to wait in a huge line outside the school to just get inside.  It was crazy.   I found it all very interesting!  They started the nominations and called for nominees for the Chair position.  I was just sitting there minding my own business when I heard, "I nominate Jodi (and my last name) for Chair".  Excuse me.  What?  I didn't even know what the Chair did!  I unhesitatingly declined!  (But thank you Linda anyway!  I do appreciate your confidence in me!) Then the current chairman said something about it being a civic duty and I immediately felt a little guilty.  I seriously had no idea what that would involve and later when I found out, I was glad I declined.  I would have, however, gladly accepted a nomination to be a state delegate or the secretary or treasurer.  Maybe I will consider that next time.  I truly would be happy to fulfill my civic duty by being involved that way especially now that I know a little more about it.  It's not like it's a full time job after all and I do enjoy doing that kind of thing.  Dave on the other hand, would rather have a root canal.  As we were leaving one of our neighbors made me feel even more guilty as she said that I could give up one of my runs to find the time.  Agreed, but I didn't decline due to lack of time, only because I was a beginner to this whole thing.  I would actually love doing it.  Next time.  I DID sign up to work the polls on election day though! 

dear wednesday, today I bagged my hill repeats and just ran a normal route.  I did try to incorporate some tempo running but mainly because I was in a hurry to get home because I had to go visiting teaching.  We got two of our three sisters done.  One of them we met at Subway because she works at Walmart and the only time we could catch her was on her lunch break.  I came home and made banana bread because I had quite a few of over ripe bananas.   
Then I really tried to get in some good harp practice.  I am nervous for my group lesson tomorrow!  I made a binder of all of my recital songs. I then fell asleep trying to get my chapters of Jesus the Christ read before my study group tomorrow.  I feel like I am always just barely making deadlines for everything and lately, I'm not meeting them in time. 

dear mr. cat, here you are laying by me and doing the same thing I ended up doing while studying for my Jesus the Christ group.......Zzzzzzzzz's.

Here you are laying by me on my bed at night.  Is that not the cutest face?

Too tuckered to move off the stairs.  I have felt that way lately myself!

dear thursday run, I got out early and it was very cold.  Today I saw the coolest thing and I went to take a photo but my phone had no memory space.  That happens so much lately!  I need a new phone with more memory!  There was two train cars that had actually come off the train track and had turned over on their side.  It was a cool sight!  I really wanted a picture!   
dear study group, I was so happy I could attend this month because my harp lesson is at night instead of in the morning this week.  We met at Julie's house and got through chapter 27 and 28.  Well at least we tried.   27 had a LOT to cover in it and so we barely touched on 28.  I enjoy going to these and I always learn so much.  I am determined to finish the book.  It has been a testimony builder for me.  I came home and practiced for my harp lesson and then had lunch with Dave that he brought home from the clinic (a rare occurrence now days).
dear harp group lesson, I was very nervous about this first real group lesson.  We started at six and ended at seven.  There were four others besides me.  All were women except one girl who was about 10.  We are all on different levels.  I was the newest beginner and then there was one who has taken for six months, one for two years, one for five years, and the girl for about a year and a half.  We played our own parts on the songs we are doing for the recital.  Some of them had the same part as I did on one or two of them.  I was very intimidated at first, but then I started to feel like I was doing okay, with the exception of the song I just got last week.  It definitely needs much practice.  One of the ladies is our teacher's mom.  She was so cute.  She had a stroke a year ago and started taking to help her with her hand coordination.  She said when she first started to take lessons she cried every single lesson because it was so hard.  That made me feel better. lol   I really enjoyed watching the others play and I learned a lot.  I look forward to more of these in the future!

dear friday run, today was Good Friday.  Not much from my run today coordinated with the name of the day. I started out west and ended up needing to go back home to get something I forgot and then just ran from home.  Some runs are just crappy runs.  That's all there is to it.
dear family lunch at maddox, Julie (Dave's sister) was in town with her family for a few days and so she sent out a group text to invite everyone to Maddox on Friday.  Amazingly 26 of us showed up!  Sometimes last minute things are the most successful.  Kevin and his family happened to be in town too.  Dave got stuck at work and Bryce had to work, so I was the only one representing my family.  
Most of those who came...
Isaac and Zan.  These two are adorable!
 It also happened to be Carolyn's birthday.  We sang very loud to her!  No whisper singing with this bunch!  I'm still trying to decided if I am going to Vegas with Karen and her girls next week.  I can't find a good deal on a flight and I have some other conflicts so I am leaning towards not going.
A panoramic shot....↓
dear date night, for our date this week we hit the school play at the Jr. High because we knew several kids in it and Kathryn got us tickets for it.  Allie was in it and she was fab.  It was High School Musical.  It was cute.

dear long run, Robin and I were going to meet early for our long run but she ended up having to stick around until her new table was delivered.  She told me to go and she would drive to meet me once it came.  After I had gone five miles she text me to tell me she was still waiting for them.   I happened to be right at Pioneer Park at the time right in the middle of the Easter Egg Hunt!  We used to take our boys to it every year.  It is a big city event.  I stopped to take a few photos and look who I ran into!
The Easter Bunny himself!
My selfie with him!  He was looking a little stressed, so I didn't want to bother him for a real selfie... what ya gonna do?  He was hopping busy!
I tried to swipe a piece of chocolate (haha) out of a stray egg but the eggs were empty.  The kids had to gather them then stand in line and exchange them for candy.  Hmm..... Okay..... 
Robin never made it.  I finished 10 miles alone.  It wasn't too bad. I ran to the high school parking lot again and found these↓ 
The Shepherd's were out running and saw me bend over to grab a penny and yelled, "Hey put that penny down!"  lol  I stopped and chatted with them for a bit, then I rushed back home.
dear general women's meeting, Dave had to sit on the stand for the opening and so I went with him.  It was a great meeting.  I wish I would have taken my notebook to take notes.  Usually the internet is full of memes with the quotes by now, but I haven't been able to find any this time.  It was focused on serving others and every talk was fabulous.  Here are a few of the quotes from the speakers that I stole from a friend:
What does the Savior do? He nurtures and loves.
To mother is to give life.
Don't think of your task as a burden but as an opportunity to learn what love is.
Who in my circle of influence can I help today?
Love is making space in your life for someone else.
Love truth fearlessly.
What if your story was my story?
"She hath wrought a good work... she had done what she could. "
More holiness give me.

dear easter,  
 (Sorry about the double spacing - it used to be easy to fix but now it's almost impossible!  The HTML has gone crazy!  If anyone knows how to fix, let me know in comments.)

The Easter Bunny came to our house, but since I didn't color any eggs because I don't think it's fun to do alone and since everyone was off doing their thing, I just didn't do it.  I do believe this is the third year in a row that I haven't colored eggs.  Hmmm.....  I think I will just do it next year by myself anyway.  Taylor was off to a pre-med conference all day, Dave and Bryce were working, and so Mr. Bunny had none to hide.  
I really need grandkids! But, when I start to complain about not having any grandkids, I have to stop myself and remember that I am in a very unique place right now and I need to enjoy my freedom.  I know it's not going to last long.  So I am trying to focus on getting things done that I may not be able to later.

Anyway, since we had to get to church, they candy didn't get picked up until later.
Bryce got most of it picked up before the sun came in and melted all the chocolate -  thank goodness. 

Dave spoke in church today about McKay's mission.  Those are always my favorite sacrament meetings.  He did a really good job.  He said how hard it is on the mom to send a son to Russia...that was the understatement of the day!  lol  But he talked about how McKay is such a strong kid and how he had handled the cold (-40) so well and how positive he always is.  He told a story of how he was homesick the first week in the MTC and then how he prayed and within a few days it completely left.  Dave read the part of his letter where he wrote, "Thanks for giving me the kind of life that is hard to leave."  He read the poem "Who Are You Boy?" and that had me in tears!  And many others as well.  It puts it all in perspective of why we send these young kids out there at such a great sacrifice.  I will post it at the bottom of the page.  He talked about how he loves the people and how he is grateful he was taught to do hard things.

After church, we had our Easter Feaster of ham, funeral potatoes (I am now calling them Resurrection Potatoes!), fresh garden carrots, a pineapple sauce my neighbor brought over, biscuits, etc. Pretty simple and lay back actually. 
Then I made our fave "Strawberry Danish Delight". It's my Mom's recipe and it is so yummy!  I love when strawberries are in season!  
I felt like I was in the kitchen all day even though Dave made the ham and potatoes.  No down time today.  Our home teachers came and I shared some of it with them.  They deserve a treat for being such amazing home teachers!  They never miss a month.  We enjoy their visits and Bro. Packer's great stories.  He is a riot

We got a few photos outside... 

I am truly grateful for this amazing holiday.  It may be the most important one we celebrate when you consider all that it means.  Without the Savior's resurrection and atonement, we would not be able to live with Him and our Father again or any of our loved ones.  I will never be able to express my deep gratitude for all the Savior did for me.  It means I will see my Tyson again.  Nothing can compare with that kind of gratefulness.

 These ↓ popped up on my FB memories.  Two years ago, I made panoramic Easter eggs.  I still have this one in my curio cabinet.  They are so fun to make, but Eater snuck up on me this year way too fast!

dear mckay, thanks for the pictures of your birthday presents.  Well, two of them anyway.  (Panther PJ's and socks). You're killing that hat.  (Not a birthday present).
The BIRTHDAY BOY!!!  19!!!
Their way nice meal (his description) -  Birthday gifts -  Ussuriysk Tiger
McKay's District
Gotta love his hat! 

dear random, OH MY GOSH! This picture kills me!  It was taken when we visited Dave's sister Julie when we picked up Sky from his mission in Indiana and she lived in St. Louis.  She had all these dress up wigs and they had a great time with them!  I need to frame this one!  Makes me laugh!

Dear Mr. Chia thing... it's not an official chia thing, but looks kinda like one.  I got this at Target and I have loved it!  Check out how fast his hair grows!  Wish mine did!

  The turks have been partying in our backyard again.
This guy is getting impressive!

dear quotes, 

This is so me!

That's all you need to do!

And they keep jumping into my brownies as well!

Who Are You, Boy?

Poem to Missionaries from Russian Convert, circa 2000

Who are you boy? For a boy you are,
Journeyed to this land of ours, 
This land where I've endured my days. 
And felt oppression kill my soul 
And force me into some tight mold. 
And teach me that I should not hope,
Unless I care to smell the smoke of dreams that the Red Army tamed.

Who are you boy? 
From this land of plenty, 
Teaching God, if there is any. 
You have all; we have none. 
Do you know what that feels like, son? 
And yet, you ask me to believe in something that I cannot see; 
Some force you say will bring me joy. 
Do you know what that feels like, boy? 
Where you're from, faith is free, 
But it has a price for me. 
When I have pain, I have my bottle. 
Hurt dies quick when you down it with Vodka. 
That's enough to warm my soul. 
I work, I sleep, the days go by--
I'm waiting for the day I die. 
You don't understand this place. 
You say believe, obey, have faith, 
Live life well, serve and give. 
Here in Russia, we just live.

Who are you, boy? 
Why did you come? 
To save a soul who once was numb. 
To teach a wretched, hateful, man who cursed your help, refused your hand. 
I thought that we were worlds apart. 
So how is it that you knew my heart? 
A fraction my age, you calmed my rage; 
Mercy paid my generous wage. 
I should have been left behind. 
It is hard to love my kind. 
Hope in your heart, power in your hands, 
Why did you come to this distant land? 
I know now, it was for me. 
The Red Curtain fell, but I was not free. 
Until a boy from nations away brought me my Lord. 
I bless the day. He led me to weep at my Master's feet. The American boy I met on the street--
New and naive, still in his teens, with a message to bring the world to its knees. 
I thought that the truth would come from another--I did not know
This boy was my brother.


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