Monday, September 5, 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 can I just chill and watch tv?, I feel like I am a hamster on a treadmill on high speed and even though I run and run, I seem to get nowhere!  Lately, I have been rather in awe of myself as a young mother.  I accomplished a great deal, yet still kept five rambunctious boys alive. My plants didn't fare so well, but the boys pulled through, as well as two bunnies, two birds, and too numerous to mention reptiles and other creepy things.  I am in awe because I no longer have that huge responsibility of caring for those five little boys (and their menagerie), yet I feel even busier than I did then and feel like I accomplish much less.  How is that even possible?  I wonder often how I did it all.  Yeah, yeah, most people would answer with some kind of response relating to "age".  We seem to blame age on everything.  I would tend to argue with it in this case.  It almost feels like time is moving at a more rapid pace and an hour is no longer really an hour. ☺ Absurd, I know, but that IS what it feels like.  I was thinking today how nice it would be to just have an hour to sit down and watch TV.  Do people really actually sit down and watch TV?  How?  When do they find the time?  I could no more tell you what is on TV these days or what is good or what is bad then I could fly to the moon.  But most people seem to fit it in.  My parents watch a lot of TV, but they are in the retired stage of life and so that isn't surprising to me, but those in my stage of life who find the time to do that truly amazes me.  If my TV is on, I am doing about three or four other things as well.  Do I just try to squeeze too much in my life and that is why I am feeling a bit hamster-ish?  I have the personality of wanting to do and experience so much that maybe I am a little on overload and just need to chill and enjoy sitting down once in a while and watching a show or two and RELAX!  But when?  I feel like every single minute is spoken for of every single day.  And yes, a lot is by choice.  If I wanted, I could choose to eliminate some of the things I do, but not all of them.  A lot of my time goes to others.   And that is a good thing.  I just need to find a way to bring more balance because I am starting to feel like a hamster that has been tangled in the spokes of that treadmill and is screaming for it to stop so I can get off and just breath for a bit and relax.  I think it sounds like a dream to just be able to sit down and watch TV without having the nagging feeling that I should be checking something off my to do list instead.  Does anyone else feel this way?  

dear new granola recipe, I was craving homemade granola. I looked for my tried an true recipe but couldn't find it and so I researched a bit and found one that I thought sounded good and then tweaked it to fit what I wanted.  I added a lot of healthy seeds to this one.   It turned out really good, other than I over cooked it a bit.   
Lots of healthy ingredients!
Browning in the oven.  It smells so good baking!

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2- 1 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup coconut
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup water  
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, wheat germ, flax seed meal, chia seeds, brown sugar, sunflower seeds, almonds, coconut, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, vanilla and water. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and mix until evenly blended. Spread in a11x7 inch baking pan.
  3. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, stirring every 20 minutes, or until toasted. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
    ***If you want your granola to be clumpy then add one beaten egg white to the wet ingredients and don't stir once removed from oven. 
I did a bit more research and found another recipe that I think I will like better.  I wanted clumpy granola and this one will clump.  I tweaked it quite a bit as well.  I added several things to this one such as chia seeds, flax seed, sunflower seeds, coconut oil, etc.  I haven't tried it out yet, but I am sure from the reviews it got, that it will be good.
  1. Megan's Granola

    • 8 cups rolled oats
    • 1 1/2 cups wheat germ
    • 1 1/2 cups oat bran (substitute 1 cup flax seed milled)
    • 1 cup sunflower seeds
    • 1/2 cup chia seeds
    • 1/2 cup of sesame seeds (optional)
    • 1 cup finely chopped almonds
    • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
    • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts 
    • 1 to 2 cups coconut
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 3/4 cup honey
    • 1 cup vegetable oil (substitute coconut oil or applesauce)
    • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment or aluminum foil.
    2. Combine the oats, wheat germ, oat bran, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, almonds, pecans, and walnuts in a large bowl. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, boil for a minute or two, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets.
    3. Bake in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 20 minutes. Stir once halfway through. Add coconut when 10 min left to bake. Cool, then store in an airtight container. Will crisp up as cools.
    I love to make cookies out of granola and I found this one online. I also have my own Breakfast Cookie recipe that I will post as well.  RECIPE CITY THIS WEEK!
Granola Cookies
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups flour½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2-1/2 cups granola
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Combine dry ingredients: flour, soda, salt and cinnamon. Add to the butter and sugar mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in granola and chocolate chips and combine well.
  4. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet covered with parchment or a silpat. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to wire rack

dear bear lake, I headed up to Bear Lake early on Tuesday with Karen and Barry and Sky came along too.  Dave was going to but ended up having to work even though it was his day off.  We went to check out another cabin since the owner of the other one counter offered and we aren't sure we want to accept it.  So we are looking at some others. This one was nice.  I really loved it when I saw it online but once we saw it in person, I could tell it would not be something I would enjoy.  The location was terrible. It was dead center between two major condo rental places and felt so congested and had no privacy. I do not think it would feel like "getting away" in that location.  But it was beautiful.

We went and looked at the other one again and I think we all felt much more at peace with that one.  We will counter offer again and see what happens.  I was so grateful Sky would come with me.  I value his opinion and so do Karen and Barry and he felt the same as we all did.  He had some good ideas too. 

We stopped and ate lunch and got raspberry shakes (of course!) on the way home.  The leaves are already starting to change up there.  How can that be?!!!

I made beef and green beans (fresh from the garden!) with water chestnuts with Sky's homemade teriyaki sauce for dinner.  It was delish!  I LOVE eating our fresh produce!

dear hill repeats, I didn't have time (and I was still sore from the half marathon) and so I only got in five hill repeats.  But I felt good about it due to how stiff and sore I was.  I found a totally camouflaged penny.  It had a piece missing.  I think someone must have put it on the train track to smash it and that happened instead.  I was amazed I found it because it was hard to see and I'm sure it's been there forever.  Who else besides me gets so excited over finding a penny?!
 I love my new phone camera!  Look at the detail in that flower!

dear harp lesson, I had a good lesson and I am thoroughly enjoying this new undertaking! I got some good practice in last week and so I felt good about my lesson.

dear lunch with dawn, I met Dawn for lunch at Zupa's in Layton.  I have been craving their healthy salads.  I got a half sandwich and half salad but I should have got a full salad because they are just so good.  When I posted my zucchini bread on Facebook she mentioned she would love some zucchini and so we set up this lunch so I could deliver some to her.  Dave loaded up a basket with much  more than just zucchini, and I don't think she was not expecting that.  But I think she was happy.  We had a great time talking about many different things and I am glad it was just the two of us because we were able to talk about things that we wouldn't have if there had been others with us.  Sometimes it's nice to have some one on one. I love talking to Dawn and I feel that I could tell her anything.  She is one of those rare friends that you can trust with anything and know it will stay with just her.  
We were matchy matchy!
 Garden yumminess!  Dave is so good to share!

dear mom and dad, I dropped off a basket of peaches and some veggies to my parents as well.   My mom was being camera shy!  hah  I had a nice visit with them.  Dad said the car was looking good!  hehe

dear long run before the long run, I ran 8 miles on Thursday, the day before my 20 miler.  I am not a fan of doing that, but that is what my training plan says and so I obey!  :)  I found THREE pennies on my run!  And great news!  The road they have been working on for about six months is FINALLY done!

dear homemakers, we had our annual potluck luncheon at Beth's house this week.  We usually have it outside, but for the first time in many years, it was too hot and so we ate inside. She had it set up with her china and all her special touches.  Beth loves to entertain and we are all glad because we get the benefit of it.  She is an amazing lady and I am so grateful she is willing to still head up homemakers. I took a pasta salad made with our garden tomatoes, cukes, peppers, and onions.  Sheri brought a fresh peach pie and it was so yummy!  Everything was good!  
We played a game where we each had to tell two truths and one lie and the others had to guess the lie. For mine I said: #1- I went sky diving on my 50th birthday in Hawaii with my boys #2- I kissed a guard in London at Buckingham Palace and #3 - I have five siblings.  Karen guessed it because she knew I only have one brother. I should have made it harder but my mind went blank.  It was a fun game.  

I had to leave early to go to the dentist.  FUN FUN!  The hygienist talked about how cute my boys are and how much she enjoys talking to them when they come in.  She talked a lot about Taylor because she has worked on him more than the others.  She said she really likes him and gave him advice on dating last time he came in.  LOL 

dear torturing mr. cat, it was that time of year for Mr. Cat to get his yearly shots.  Never a fun day for the poor animal.  He was actually scheduled on Tuesday but after calling him for over an hour, I could never get him to come in.  He must have known what was up.  Today I made him stay in all day so the same thing wouldn't happen again.  I wrapped him up in a towel and he immediately knew where we were going.  He was bellowing before we even got in the car and once we did, did he ever bellow!  His deep meows sounded like they belonged in a scary movie.  I reached back and pet him and he calmed down some. It makes me laugh to see him so freaked out.  He had a good check up and we got him all taken care of.  As a soon as I put him back in the car, he was calm again.  It was sweet.  He was so relieved when we got back home.
Waiting with great fear for shots!
 He is not a fan!  It makes me laugh. Poor little guy!

dear usu game, Dave text me right before I headed to the vet to see if I was okay with going to the USU game with the Davis' that night.  I thought it sounded fun and we were free, so we told them yes.  USU was playing our Alma Mater Weber State.  The sky's turned dark and we thought we were going to be caught in a downpour.  It just sprinkled a bit, but the wind was crazy!   We did get an awesome rainbow (a double one!) out of it though.  Dave and I ate Costa Vida (we shared one). I needed some carbs for my 20 miler tomorrow. 
Taylor was at the game sitting across the field from us.
It was fun.  We left before it ended because the score was 44-6!  The wind had really done a number on our backyard and a lot of trees in the city were down.

They took a panoramic photo of everyone there.  Here is the horrible shot of us haha:

A close up of it. I look windblown!  Leslie is eating, Dave is looking down, and Pres. Davis is hidden.  lol

Here is the student section with Taylor.... 

Can you find him?  Good luck!

 There he is!

dear 20 miler, I was so excited this was my last 20 miler for this training!  YIPPEE!  That thought helped get me up at the crack of insanity.  Dave drove us to Sherwood Hills and after our bush party we started out. Once again I mentally had to say we were just going 8 miles (to the dam bathrooms) and then a short  4 mile run (around the dam) and then an 8 miler home.  That way my brain doesn't figure out I am running 20 LONG torturous miles.  It really makes it feel shorter!  
Posing at Robin's sign!  I found a penny IN the canyon!  How it got there I have no idea!
It was really windy but the temp was perfect.  Robin parked her car at the bathrooms and so we had some food and water and Gatorade stashed in there which is always a bonus.  My legs were still stiff from the half. I think I pushed it too hard because they are usually shaken out by now. I had to take it slower than I like, but that's better than getting an injury.  I was just glad I wasn't having a lot of pain.  The only thing that was really hurting today was my hamstrings and glutes.  My feet were great!  On mile 17 we were running down 200 S. and Bryce and Sky drove by in Bryce's truck and honked at us.  Then Grant picked us up on Watery Lane.  What a relief to have that done!  YIPPEE Yi Oh!!!

 dear mr. cat, streeeeeeeeeeeeeetch!

The bottom left is a photo of one of the fawns.  There are three of them and they are so fun to watch. Mr. Cat thinks so too.

dear boys, Bryce worked very hard to scrape all of the paint off of the clinic fence and then repaint it.
Sky spent several hours fixing the video game controllers.  He saved us a ton of money fixing them for us. I am so glad my boys have so many skills that will benefit them in so many ways throughout their lives.  I could no more fix something electronic than fly!

dear manic manikin, just keeps getting better!

dear last minute trip to the cabin, most of our getaways are spontaneous because of Dave's schedule.  He realized he was off on Saturday and Monday and so we thought we should jump on the opportunity and run up to the cabin especially since Sky was still here.  He hasn't been to the cabin in about 10 years!  Dave had to juggle a lot of meetings on Sunday in order to go and I had to find a sub for my Sunday School class AND one for my piano job in RS.  It took me a while, but I was able to.  I really wanted to get in a run early Saturday morning, but Dave wanted to pull out at 7 a.m.  Well, he actually wanted to leave Friday night, but I couldn't get ready by then and Taylor had plans in Logan that night and so him and Bryce almost headed up and we would join them in the morning, but they decided to wait.  I was up at 5:30 and ready to roll by 7:00 a.m. but everyone kept doing other things that needed to be done. Hmm....  Dave decided the peaches needed picking on our trees because they would all be on the ground or eaten by the raccoons by the time we got home and so that delayed us a couple hours.  On the way out, we stopped at our city Farmer's Market because Waffle Love was there and Sky and Taylor hadn't tried them.

We had to go a different route because we had to pick up Taylor in Logan.  It was nice to finally be on our way.  

We stopped in Soda Springs to grab some lunch at A&W and as we were leaving Dave decided it would be fun to go past the new Star Valley temple, so we headed a completely different route.  Bad idea.  Since we were pulling the ATV's in a trailer our Escalade decided it didn't like that and overheated as we went up a hill.  It was dead.  The engine was steaming like crazy!

Car trouble

We waited for it to cool down and figured we could take the ATV's out of the trailer if we had to and drive to the nearest town for help or coolant or whatever.  After waiting for at good half hour, the engine cooled enough to add some water and we got it to start.  Dave decided to just coast as much as he could to the next town to be safe.  We were able to get some oil and coolant etc. and we were back in business.  
Afton antler arch

The Star Valley Temple is not open quite yet, but it looks beautiful. I hope we can come back during the open house!

Dave's parents and Scott, Carolyn and Grace were also up there this weekend.  We had fun on their new mini Segways!  What a blast!  Then Dave and I, and the boys went on a four wheel ride down the Grey's River road.  Holy, it was dusty! SO. MUCH. DUST!  I have never been covered in that much dirt since Trek!  I could feel it landing on my arms, it was so thick!  YUCK!  Dave and I rode the new Razor on the way and then we each rode our own 4 wheeler on the way back. The scenery was GORGEOUS!  Fall is making it's grand debut in Wyoming already! 

I was so excited to get back and shower!  We grilled burgers and then the boys played some games.  It was a nice relaxing evening.'s so nice to get away!!

On Sunday we headed to the church in Etna.  It's only about 15-20 minutes away.  It was packed!  Tons of cabin visitorsIt was fast and testimony meeting and it was excellent.  They have amazing members in Star Valley.  

The rest of the day we spent chilling, cooking, eating, playing a new game called Mölkky, and enjoying the gorgeous weather! It is a fun game and I highly recommend it!
Playing Mollky!  FUN GAME!
Grace had fun playing with Taylor's hair.  He won the contest with his buds for growing it out but he still hasn't let me cut it.  I think I am going to trim it while he sleeps! 

 The Segway's are so much fun!

Lots of good food!  Scott grew that watermelon I am holding for me.  It's called a Stars and Moon (or something like that) and it starts out purple!

  I made Sky some Boston Creme Pie cookies.  He helped me because they were a bit labor intensive, but so worth it because they were yummy!

On Monday, I got up early and went on a run.  As I was heading out, Grace was coming up from the old cabin on her Segway 9 Bot.  She came along with me on my run.  It was great because I had a photographer so I could get some gorgeous running shots. She pulled the Segway down a really rough part because she wanted to take me to a trail where the river through.  It was fun.   We had a good time and when we got back, breakfast was ready! Mmm....  
 Check out that scenery!
It's not often I get to run with this view!
These are a little enhanced, but so gorgeous!
The guys winterized the old cabin (it's only a quarter mile down the road) and Sky was amazed at how it now looks.  The guys have really worked hard getting it fixed up.  Scott's family slept there so we would all have room.  Lots of memories at this place!

Then we decided to try and see if we could sell some of the peaches we picked.  Dave made a sign that said Utah Peaches, but when I saw it I knew we would get more business if had our city's name on it since it is famous for peaches. It's not called Peach City for nothing!  The going rate at home was $20 for a half bushel and so that is what we sold them for.  Most people didn't want that many (only about 3 customers) and so we sold whatever amount they wanted and gave them a price according to how many they wanted.  We had a lot of business!  It was surprising! And fun!   One couple was so cute and talked to us for a long time.  He was impressed with our family and that we were doing that together and told my boys to stay close to the family because that is what it's all about.  They also lost a child, a daughter. Very fun talking to so many peeps.  We were out there for about 90 minutes.  We made $124!  Not bad!  Kinda of fun!
 Our own Farmer's Market.

The boys went fishing and I stayed at the cabin and watched The Sound of Music (probably my all time fave movie!) with Dave's mom at her request.  I love that movie! I didn't get to watch it all, because I had a few other things I was doing, but I thoroughly enjoyed just sitting down and chilling to such a great movie while I could!  She must have watched it three times or more that day.  She wanted me to watch It's a Wonderful Life with her the day before, but I was doing things with the boys so I couldn't.  But that is my second all time fave movie!

We then cleaned the cabin and Dave's folks and Scott's family headed home and we headed to Jackson Hole to Bar J.  On the way, I was cleaning the car and there was this small plastic container sitting there and I opened it to see what was inside and out jumps a million grasshoppers!  They were jumping all over me!  I let out a few blood curdling screams and was freaking out just a wee bit!  Sky and Taylor were laughing, but Dave and Bryce were not happy with my reaction!  Sheesh!  Just when I thought they had caught them all, another would suddenly jump on me!  NOT fun!  That turned into a not so pleasant discussion of me trying to defend myself for freaking out and them telling me they are just "bugs" and I shouldn't get so carried away!  Hmm...... WHAT!  EVER!  Sometimes I feel ganged up on and outnumbered with all this testosterone surrounding me.  Thankfully, Sky was on my side and stood up for me!

Scott (one of the Bar J wranglers) had saved us front row seats.  They always take such good care of us.  I was glad Sky got to see them since there is a chance they may be closing down the show due to an offer they got on the land.  It may take years and it may never happen but it is a possibility.  The food was heavenly!   The show was hilarious as always.  I could see the same show and hear the same jokes a million times with these guys and it's still so funny!  Brian is such a kill!  Sky said he would love to bring Sarah here because she would love it, especially all the cowboy boots all over decorating the place. 

It was worth coming even though it meant we had to drive home after so late.  We stopped back at the cabin on the way and hooked up the trailer and unloaded the fridge.  Pulling the trailer took us a lot longer to get home.  I can't sleep if we are driving at night and so it was a long drive!  We pulled into the driveway about 2:30 a.m.  So tired!  But a fun short trip!
dear back to school, I posted this on Facebook:
"Decided to join the throng of Back to School pictures today. Here's mine:
#theyveallgrownup #enjoythemwhilletheyreyoung #emptynestsareforthebirds"

dear flashback, someone posted a video on Facebook of my high school's 50th anniversary.  They had a bunch of old shots and low and behold looky here!  That is me!  The majorette standing at attention!  What a cool shot to have.  My parents never took any pictures of me performing at high school.  I am not sure they even came and watched. I am sure they did, I just don't remember!  haha  This was over 35 years ago!

 Facebook's"On this day...." memory generator really takes you back.  Two different friends posted these.  My MUDDY BUDDIES!

This popped up as well.  This photo makes me and my tummy happy!

dear random, 
 A couple shots from our cruise...  I may have already posted but no time to go look.

This was me and Robin absolutely losing it and I am not sure why.  I think the photographer said something and it hit my funny bone and then she couldn't stop laughing because I couldn't.  Good laughs!  Literally!
Our friend we met on our cruise posted this on Facebook.  I think we are in the Dominican Republic.

This is less than a month away!  YIKES!

Just be ewe!  Baaaaaahahahahaha!

I lost the Boston charm on my Boston Alex and Ani bracelet I got on our cruise in St. Thomas (I think), and so I wrote the company and they sent me a whole new bracelet!  I was impressed! 

Chocolate Ecstasy!  I should post this recipe on here sometime!  It's our family fave!  I made it for Dave's dad as part of his birthday present.
Your laugh of the day!
I have NO idea how this happened!  But it did!  I must have been driving by this place and somehow pocket dialed a check in?  When I saw it, I seriously almost peed my pants because I was laughing so hard!

This↓ was a thing on Facebook that I did and I thought I should save it on here.  I am not sure it's 100% accurate, but close. I may have missed one or two, but don't think so.
Put a 😊 by the states you have visited. Sitting in an airport doesn't count. The average is 8. How do you match up? Put a where you have lived.
* Alabama
* Alaska 😊
* Arizona😊
* Arkansas
* California😊 ❤️
* Colorado😊
* Connecticut
* Delaware 😊
* District of Columbia 😊
* Florida😊
* Georgia
* Hawaii😊
* Idaho😊
* Illinois😊
* Indiana 😊
* Iowa
* Kansas 😊
* Kentucky
* Louisiana
* Maine
* Maryland 😊
* Massachusetts
* Michigan
* Minnesota
* Mississippi
* Missouri😊❤️
* Montana😊
* Nebraska 😊
* Nevada😊❤️
* New Hampshire
* New Jersey 😊
* New Mexico😊
* New York 😊
* North Carolina
* North Dakota
* Ohio😊
* Oklahoma😊
* Oregon😊
* Pennsylvania
* Rhode Island
* South Carolina
* South Dakota
* Tennessee
* Texas
* Utah😊❤️
* Vermont
* Virginia
* Washington😊
* West Virginia
* Wisconsin
* Wyoming😊
Mexico 😊
Bahamas 😊
Puerto Rico😊
St. Thomas😊
Grand Turk😊
Dominican Republic😊 
Grand Cayman
Grand Canyon 
I've also visited the following countries:  Canada, Mexico, Europe (France, London, Belgium, Amsterdam)😊

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