Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Have the Cutest Little 5-Year-Old in the Whole Wide World

Lately, Tanner has been saying and doing lots of adorable stuff. I know it's part of the plan, the one that's supposed to make me forget how he terrorized the family and home when he was 2 and 3 years old.

But that's a subject for another post, another day.

Today he said to me "Mom, I think it would be great if I had a couple more moms".
As you can imagine, this kinda stunned me, and I said "why would you want more than one mom?"

This cutie pie said "so they could do all your work. And then you could just play with me!"

So the rest of the conversation consisted of all the fun things we could do together this summer.

Moments like this make the crappy parts of being a mom all worthwhile!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

General Conference with Family, Friends, and Great Food!

A few weeks ago, we had a potluck lunch at our home on Conference Sunday. It's always such an enjoyable day, with family and friends over to enjoy the wonderful words of our prophet and leaders.

So at mealtime, which we always have in-between the morning and afternoon sessions, we all gather at my 10' dining room table, which is filled with the favorite dish or two from each of the families that join us. Our family's favorite for the GC potluck, or for any Sunday dinner, for that matter, is Chili and Cornbread.
I thought that I would share the recipe for the cornbread today.

(And another day I will post the recipe for the Chili)
(Doing both is just too much work for me today)
(I wanted to post a picture of cornbread, but none that I could find looked as yummy as this is! It is fluffy and moist and sweet!)

I call this recipe Sampson-Style Cornbread, in honor of the missionary who shared his family recipe with ours. It's super quick and easy, and so so yummy!

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
5/8 cup margarine, melted
2 cups Bisquick
4 heaping TBS corn meal
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together wet ingredients; mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl; fold in dry ingredients until just blended. Spray cooking spray in a 9 x 13 baking dish, pour in batter, and cook for 22-28 minutes. Done when a knife inserted in the middle is only slight gooey. Do not overcook!

Hope you love it like we do!

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Fun MS Fun Run; and a Letter (or two) from the Missionary in My Life!

Last Friday afternoon my friend Missy called and ask if I wanted to do the MS Fun Run with her - the next day! With such a great cause, raising money for MS research, how could I say no?

But it was with great fear in my heart that I said yes, because, even though I have been running (well, for me it's a really slow jog) for over 15 years, I have never run in 'public' like this, nor have I ever run with a partner.

Nope, just me all by my lonesome.

(So, with these fears in my brain, about being able to keep up or being embarrassed by how I look when I run, that I took the before-posted personality test. I think that's why I scored so low in the 'Openness to Experience' category)

So here's my beautiful friend Missy, and me as we started the race. (I know, I look like I just rolled out of bed. Because I did!)
The crowd that we had to navigate around before we could run!
We finished the 5 mile run in a pretty decent time, for me. So I was happy about that, and it was a good experience! The route we took was through beautiful neighborhoods with old, refurbished homes, along the waterfront of Lake Coeur d'Alene and the mansions there, and through the park that wraps around North Idaho College. It was a gorgeous run and a perfect day. I think I could do that route at least once a week.
I'm addicted.
Here are a couple of my son's latest weekly letters home. For those of you who have been living under a rock, or maybe you're just a new reader of this little ole' blog here, my son Chad is on a two-year mission for our Church. He is a long, long, way away, down in the Rancagua, Chile area.
April 20
Hey family-
I just got changed out of El Sembrador! Out of the ghetto! Now I am in a rich area called Maestransa, which I think is going to be fun. To be honest, I'm glad that I got switched. I had done a lot of work in the last area and was ready for a change, and I will miss a lot of people there, but it is a relief to leave. That’s partly because my greenie was impossibly disobedient to the rules of the mission, slept until 9 (we get up at 7) didn’t study much, didn’t want to do companion studies either, got ready to leave the house at 5 when we are supposed to leave at 3 after lunch. He wasted a lot of our time. But I have a good feeling that his next companion can change that. Kind of a relief to finally have a companion that can help me run the sector because I have spent the last 4 months working, doing all the teaching alone. Now I get a little break. But I definitely want to leave this area better than the way I found it.
My new companion’s name is Elder Hall. He has 6 months in the mission, and still has trouble speaking Spanish, has a bit of a stutter, but a lot of missionaries actually have problems with the language the whole mission. To be honest there are still a lot of things I'm still not comfortable with, and I work on the language every day. It is probably because in Spanish there are about 42 huge word changes for just the word "have" with like 50 more sub-changes relating to sentence form determined by which "have" you use. It is like doing high level math in your head at 100 words a minute. But I like my new comp a lot. Just a good humble guy. I think we are going to work great together. Also it’s cool to see that you finally sold the house! It looks nice now! I actually kind of want to live in it.

Elder Carey
April 27
Buenos dias tontos (jk!) (can someone translate this for me?)
This week has been great. I’m liking the new area a lot. People are a lot more relaxed and treat us like human beings here, and it is great to find out the Chilean culture isn’t exactly the same as the ghetto culture. I was actually wondering if it was going to be worse, because all the people in la Pintana always say that the richer people are jerks. And I figured coming from some of the people it had to be pretty bad. But the truth is the people here are nicer, the members are more united and work harder, parents teach their children to do things, and the people complain less. So I am a very happy to be here.
On the down side, the area has been pretty hard to find people to teach but the people we do have are great! We should be having a baptism very soon, too. And we are setting goal to better the area and we have had progress so far! Normally they find maybe 1 person per week. We had 0 investigators when I got here, but we found 7 last week, and have a guy that is getting baptized as soon as possible. So things are going to get better.
My companion is cool; he is a ton of fun and diligent. He gets up 30 min early every day to study the language.
Apart from that, not to much to report this week. I’ll write more next week.
(PS I am getting a DVD ready with all my pictures from the mission, should be on the way next week)

So - I am hoping that next week I will have a fun pictorial of his mission, from January through April. Yep, it's been 4 months since I have gotten a picture from him. I think it has more to do with the area he was in than anything else.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Personality Results Are In!

The other day I posted about a little test (only 340 questions - ha! But they're quick to answer because they require no deep thinking) that could determine what type of blogger personality I have. Well, based on the questions, I don't really know how it applies to being a blogger, but the results were interesting .

To me, at least.
But you may have to stifle a yawn as you read along. . .

The questionnaire that I filled out measured my scores on five different personality dimensions collectively known as the "Big Five".

Below are my scores on each dimension based on the answers I provided, along with some interpretation. Find out more information about these personality dimensions by going to Wikipedia.

Neuroticism (sometimes also called Emotional Instability) is the tendency to experience negative emotions such as sadness or anxiety. People who score high on neuroticism are vulnerable to stress and tend to experience negative feelings more often. People who score low in neuroticism tend to be less susceptible to stress, and experience negative feelings relatively infrequently.

I scored 27 out of 50. This score is higher than 55.4% of people who have taken this test.

( I think I scored pretty average or normal here. I think that's a good thing, especially in this case.)
Or maybe it means I am neurotic only half the time.
Or only half crazy -
You take your pick

Extroversion is the tendency to experience positive emotions and seek out stimulating situations. People who score high on extroversion tend to be active, energetic, and enjoy being around other people. In contrast, people who score low on extroversion, known as introverts, tend to be quiet, low-key, and are typically less involved in the social world.

I scored 18 out of 50. This score is higher than 5.6% of people who have taken this test.

(Well, this is no surprise. I know that I am mainly an introvert. In so many ways.)

Openness to experience
Openness to experience is a general tendency to appreciate emotion, adventure, and unusual ideas or experiences. People who are open to experience are intellectually curious, appreciative of art, and sensitive to beauty. People with low scores on openness tend to have more conventional, traditional interests.
(I scored 24 out of 50. This score is higher than 2.1% of people who have taken this test.

(I do like to experience adventure - but for sure I am also very conventional, very traditional. Does this translate to very boring like I think it does?)

Conscientiousness is the tendency to show self-discipline and persistence. People who score high on conscientiousness tend to be persistent, responsible, and duty-driven, but are sometimes perceived as being overly perfectionist and concerned with order. Individuals low on conscientiousness tend to show less persistence and may have trouble seeing things through.

I scored 38 out of 50. This score is higher than 70.4% of people who have taken this test.

(Seems that I am a conscientious person. That's very true, especially when I comes to punctuation. I try to do my best)

Agreeableness is the tendency to be sympathetic and cooperative towards others. People who score high on agreeableness strive for social harmony and value getting along with others. Disagreeable people tend to be more suspicious and hostile towards others.

I scored 42 out of 50. This score is higher than 79.7% of people who have taken this test.

(So I scored as an agreeable person! That's nice to hear. . . wonder if my husband would agree)

OK, so I don't need to be the only one to take the test.
Go to this link, take the test, and post YOUR results on your blog.
Go on,
I dare ya.

Be adventurous!

It's Spring in North Idaho! Yeah!

Like I said, it's Spring in north Idaho.
Beautiful Spring flowers amidst the surprise snowfall

Hard to believe the high temperatures were in the upper 70's a couple of days ago!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Received an Invitation to Participate in a Research Study on Blogging and Personality - Did You?

I received this letter in an email this morning. It intrigues me, and if I can determine that it is legitimate, I think it might be interesting to participate.

(An assessment of my personality may be helpful for me to understand why I do the things I do and react to situations the way I do!)

(I have omitted the names of the university and the researchers to protect the innocent. Just because I thought I should. Whatever)

This is an invitation to participate in an online research study being conducted by Mr. *** ******** under the supervision of Dr. ******** ***** at ************ University in *********.

The study investigates the relation between people's personality and the content and style of their writing, and has been approved by the ********** University Human Research Protection Office. The study consists of a single personality questionnaire assessing your personality and background, as well as information about your blog (if you have one). You can choose to participate in either a short or a long version of the study, so your participation can take as little as 10 minutes or as long as 30-40 minutes.

Your participation is entirely voluntary, and you may withdraw from the study at any point after you begin. We will not ask you to reveal any information that could potentially be used to identify you, with the optional exception of the address of your blog if you maintain one. While there are no material benefits to participation, you do have the option of receiving information about your personality scores at the end of the experiment.

This is a one-time solicitation, and you will NOT receive any further e-mail from us. We obtained your e-mail address from your blog strictly for one-time use, and we will not maintain any further record of your contact information.If you'd like to participate, our study can be accessed at:

If you have any questions about the study, please don't hesitate to e-mail ************at *********@*****.edu, and you'll receive a prompt reply.

If you're not interested in participating, just ignore this e-mail and you won't hear from us again.We thank you for your time and consideration.

***** ********

What do you think? Did you receive this letter? Would YOU be interested to know why you blog about the things you do?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Chapter Closed: The Kellogg Project - Before and After

Those of you who know us well know that we bought an investment home in Kellogg, Idaho; spent 7 or 8 months completely remodeling it, and then put it on the market. Well, sell it we FINALLY did, and it just closed a few days ago.

(This type of stuff we have been doing all of our married lives - buying homes and fixing them up to sell - long long before the term 'flipping' houses was ever invented!)

But not on this magnitude. All our other home re-do projects were just mainly cosmetic fix-ups.

This home, built in 1910, was redone top to bottom, except for the studs [and wow - they don't stud them like THAT anymore. . . ] and the siding, which had been replaced in this decade and was in very good shape, except for the trim boards around the windows and doors, which we re-boarded or repainted. Top to bottom, baby.)

To celebrate, I am going to share with you all the gory Before (and During) pictures,

and let you oooh and ahhh over the After's

Just walk down memory lane with us for a minute. . .

Exterior, before we tore out part of the yard to widened the driveway (it really needed it - there is no street parking) and removed the old roof on the carport

After, all cleaned up and ready to go! New roof to the carport is also a redwood deck

This is the kitchen, after we tore out all the old cabinets and fixtures. It's actually prettier this way than before. . .lots of layers of old wallpaper. . .

The Living Room, in the midst of a mess. . . and yes, that is the original red brick, painted black. In this case; not attractive
After, with all the original built-in shelves cleaned up and painted, a new mantle,wood stove, and completely resurfaced surround and hearth. (No the carpet isn't peach or pink. Just weird lighting)

View of stairway off Living Room - The ceiling was sagging, so we installed long runners to boost that baby up!
Looking into Dining Room and Sun Room. . .
After. . . I would have loved to have dinner in there -

Sun Room, during construction. We replaced all the windows. They were beautiful, but not at all energy efficient

Now a cheery, happy place. The new owners are going to use it for a homeschooling roomOh, I almost forgot the entryway! It was so dark and ugly and easy to forget. . .

Now, Unforgettable!
Nasty little half bath became. . .

A large and comfortable main bath with laundry area (on the wall opposite the doorway) Upstairs bath, after we tore out the smelly old vanity, and the concrete shower, and borrowed space from a hallway closet that was not needed after we discovered a hidden walk-in closet. Old houses have cool surprises!
Thought this old house could use a vintage touch. . . very comfy claw-foot tub, but I only got to sit in it without the water Double vanity - we had a lot of fun picking out the perfect mirrors that go so great with the glass tile inlay - click on the pic for details. . . When we were cleaning out the rest of our tools and supplies out of the basement before the new owners took possession, I have to confess that I felt a little bit envious of the new owners getting to live there. It truly was a blessing to be able to restore this old home to it's former beauty.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What I was going to post. . .

. . . was a Before and After
of a HUGE project

that my hub and I worked on . . .

but it is going to be a HUGE post,

and I am out of time and energy. . .


Even though

Easter 2009 is Over. . .
(someone just emailed it to me yesterday. . . I don't know the source, but it you do, please thank them for me. . .)

I am going to

Post This:


Don't put all of your eggs in one basket
Walk softly and carry a big carrot
Everyone needs a friend who is all ears
There's no such thing as too much candy
All work and no play can make you a basket case
A cute little tail attracts a lot of attention
Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day
Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits
Some body parts should be floppy
Keep your paws off other people's jellybeans
Good things come in small sugarcoated packages
The grass is always greener in someone else's basket
An Easter bonnet can tame even the wildest hare
To show your true colors you have to come out of your shell
The best things in life are still sweet and gooey

Monday, April 13, 2009

The recipe for 'Monkey Brains'

Noelle mentioned that she had 'Monkey Brains' at our General Conference potluck.

(She also mentioned that we cleaned 'all morning' beforehand - really all we did was a final cleanup before 9 am, so how much 'work' could that be?)

For those of you who were horrified that I would set such a dish on my table to feed my family and friends, let me assure you that-

A. I didn't make them.

B. A Friend brought them
and lastly

C. The recipe she was talking about was 'Monkey Bread' which you may or may not be familiar with.

If not, here's the scoop on how to make these delicious pull-aparts, courtesy of

4 cans refrigerated biscuits
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
chopped nuts
(the last two ingredients are optional, it's great with or without them)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & butter a 9-10 inch tube pan (or you can use a 9x13 baking pan, just adjust baking time and layering accordingly)
2. Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut the biscuits into quarters and place six to eight biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix in a plastic bag. Shake well.
3. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the greased pan. Continue layering until all the biscuit pieces are coated and in the pan. If you are using raisins, place them among the biscuit pieces as you are layering.
4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the layered biscuits.
5. Bake for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Let cool, then pull apart and enjoy!


1/2 pound cream cheese
1/2 pound butter
1 pound powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1.Allow cream cheese and butter to get to room temperature.
2. Beat butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl with a mixer.
3. Slowly add in the pound of powdered sugar.
4. After all the powdered sugar is added, mix for 12 minutes.
5. When almost done, add in the extract and lemon juice.
Enjoy them!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Weekend Wafts of Wackiness

Happy Easter!
(This post is by Noelle. Who am I and why do it write it? Click here)

Sorry I didn't post last week! I never got to it on Saturday(as usual, I'm such a procrastinator) and Sunday I was cleaning all morning for general conference and watching it then after I HAD to read or I would have died. I can not go very long not reading something and still stay sane.

At General Conference we had a big pot luck lunch as usual, and it was delicious! Monkey brains, cookies, chili, corn bread. I told myself afterwards " I am never going to eat again." Funny, I ate the next day.

Today was Easter so naturally we had a big dinner. I told myself again, "I am never going to eat again." Sure enough, about 1 or 2 hours ( I can't be quite sure because I read for awhile after dinner) later I was eating Easter candy. :) Come on, admit it, You would have to.

Not much excitement has happened around here. hmmm... think blogger... (ha ha, memories)

Crazy Frog!

I must be really desperate for something to write about. Let's see... school, boring. home, nada. I don't really know what to write about. That's sad considering I'm writing about 2 weeks this time. Spring break, I didn't go anywhere, because it snowed all week, so I just read.

(OK this is Noelle's mom. . . Noelle played with the babies, went to the Pinewood Derby, and also the baptisms. She also colored the easter eggs (check out the pictures in my previous post) and she had an awesome Easter lesson in Sharing Time today. Then she also hunted for Easter Eggs. For a smart girl, she sure has selective memories. I should ground her from books! . . . That's all she can think about! JK)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Crazy Busy Easter Weekend

This weekend so far we have:

Watched the Grand-babies. . .

This little boy can sleep anywhere. One minute, he's playing, and the next, (silence)
Riding in the car on the way to. .

Cheering Isaac on at his first Pinewood Derby. . .

uniform check
Sorry, someone else took these fuzzy pictures - but you get the idea
Went to two youth Baptisms . . .
(not our kids this time)

Did some finish-up and clean-up work on our investment property in Kellogg. . .

(what the heck's a pop-off valve, anyway? Good thing Mark knows!)

And Colored Easter Eggs. . .

their egg-nificent masterpieces!

this is what happens when I try to get Noelle to pose. . .

And that was only Friday and Saturday!

Have a Wonderful Easter, Everyone!