Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Girls Camp

Sisters....Strong In Spirit, Tied in Righteousness!!I was lucky enough to spend a fun filled week with these cute girls up at Girls Camp last week. I forgot how much energy young women have from early morning until LATE at night. They were singing camp songs at 6:00 a.m. as we were just waiting to load the cars to leave Tuesday Morning. But what a darling bunch of girls we have in our ward!! It was such a great week! Besides all of the dirt, ticks, heat, cold nights, and little sleep we had, it was a blast all being together!
Not only do we have AWESOME young women in our ward but I serve with the BEST Leaders in the world! I truly feel lucky to call them all my friends!

Debbie, Our Awesome YW President had her hip come out while crossing a rope on an obstacle Course. She used this stick to help her get around the best she could.

One of my favorite parts of camp is just hanging out, relaxing and TALKING!!!

Cute Jean was one of my favorites at Camp. President Doman asked her to swing across the rope swing over this water with her eyes closed. As you can tell she didn't quite make it and ripped the skin right off her hands. It was so sore!!! She was a great sport. I called her Sister Google because she knows everything about anything!!! When I was suppose to be certifying my girls I would have no idea what I was teaching them. I can't remember how to use a compass, tie those fancy knots, or start a fire without matches. I would have to ask Jean something every 5 seconds and of course she knew! She built the best fires everynight and had the funniest stories I have ever heard!

We made these cute little dolls to send over to the children in Africa.

We had to tie our legs together in threes for our hike. I'd have to say that our threesome was pretty fast!!

We did obstacle courses, climbed the rock wall, rode horses, learned how to drive a backhoe, went down the zip line, swam in the lake and canoed.

Cathy taught us all how to give a manicure.

We played cards.

We made some cute crafts. And had fabulous food! Wendy Bentley was the perfect camp cook!!

Check out their cute shades they did for a craft. Thanks for the fun week girls!
I love you all!!


Jason went with the Priests in our ward to Havasupai. He loved every second of it and as you can tell it looks like they had a little bit of fun. Jason made it sound like it was going to be this hard backpacking scouting trip but by the looks of the pictures I think they were more on a Caribbean vacation. Jason loves the young men in our ward and fits right in!

My Tarzan. Look at those strong arms!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Our Family Pets

I have been telling my kids for years that there is no need to get any pets because we have so many animals that live right out the back of our house. Years ago we named one of the squirrels that lived in our back rocks Caroline and I would let the kids feed her. When they fill out papers at school that asks them if they have a pet I always remind them about "our" pet squirrel. Besides there are always hundreds of deer that come down the mountain each night and walk right back behind our house. One year we even had a big Moose walk right through our back yard. This morning I saw a mother deer and two tiny baby deer walk right behind our house. Emilee told me that she thought they were just born this morning because we have never seen deer so small. This year we have been lucky enough to have two bird nests in our trees in the back yard and have had so much fun watching the mother birds coming and going as they have taken care of the eggs and now her new little babies. We can see the little babies eating right from their mothers beaks and can hear their cute little chirping all day long. Well tonight we found a few more pets just making their way through our grass. YIKES!

Jason and the kids saw this not so little snake just slithering around in our back yard. Jason went to get something to catch it in and when he got back it had worked it's way right into our rock wall.

We tried everything we could think of to force it out of the rocks. I tried the hose, bug spray, scaring it with a shovel but it was staying put.

After a lot of waiting and persistence by Jason we got him to crawl back out. If you know Jason he does NOT like snakes!! When we lived in our old house he saw a couple of garden snakes in our yard and put our house for sell. Little did he know he would be dealing with a lot bigger snake problem here.

The kids sat and waited on high ground because they were too scared to walk on the grass.

Once it slithered it's way out of the rocks Jason pinned it with his hoe and Emilee called Dillon McSpadden to bring down his pellet gun for back up. Thank heaven's he did! Darrin and Truxston came too as well as some cousins. As soon as they walked on to our grass the nearly stepped on another snake. We were scared with the one snake but I was petrified when I saw that there were TWO big snakes in yard at the same time. Jason and Dillon's uncle wrangled up the first snake while Darrin took on the second snake by himself with a little hand shovel.

We gathered quite a crowd with all the excitement. We went and disposed of the snakes and were happy to be heading home snake free! So we thought.....

The McSpaddens were just heading back home to continue with their family barbecue when lo and behold Jason spotted another huge snake, right in the rock wall where the first one was caught. I thought he was kidding. Luckily the McSpaddens weren't too far away and came back for round 3. Darrin and his brother in law used their snake catching skills and took care of him too. I am still in shock that we had 3 snakes in our yard all at the same time. Thanks to the Mcspaddens they are gone now. (At least those 3) We are hoping we don't see more anytime soon! There have been so many snake sitings lately including a rattle snake in our neighbors garage today. And a kid in our stake has been at Primary Children's all week because he has been bitten by a rattlesnake. So everyone keep your eyes out for snakes! I know I will! My kids say they are never playing outside again and I definitely will not be weeding my rock wall in the back ever again! !

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Em's Summer Cook Off Challenge

Emilee, This is my attempt of two new "Summer" Recipes! Let's keep cooking together this summer and trying new things. I love you!

Grilled Marinated Shrimp
"This makes the best shrimp! Remove from skewers and serve on a bed of pasta with sauce for a great meal." I think it is awesome just as is!
30 Min
10 Min
2 Hrs 40 Min
Original recipe yield: 6 servings

1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails attached
In a mixing bowl, mix together olive oil, parsley, lemon juice, hot sauce, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Reserve a small amount for basting later. Pour remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag with shrimp. Seal, and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Preheat grill for medium-low heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade.
Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp for 5 minutes per side, or until opaque, basting frequently with reserved marinade.

Oprah's Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger
I saw this on Oprah and have been wanting to try it. I had never tried a turkey burger before so last night Emilee and I decided to give it a whirl. I actually like it and thought it was good to try something new. Of course my kids were wimpy and had just regular hamburgers but I did get Jason to try it with me.

Oprah's Top Picks for Summer
Serves 6
Oprah found a new favorite food when she tried this turkey burger at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump's private club in Palm Beach. "I believe [it] may be the best turkey burger in the entire world," she says. The Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger will be permanently available at the Trump Bar and Grille in Trump Tower in New York City, open to the public for lunch and dinner. It will also be served during lunch in Chicago at Sixteen, the Trump International Hotel restaurant.
1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
1/8 cup canola oil
4 pounds ground turkey breast
2 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. black pepper
2 tsp. chipotle Tabasco™
1 lemon, juice and grated zest
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup Major Grey's Chutney, pureed Sauté the scallions, celery and apples in the canola oil until tender. Let cool. Place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add sautéed items and the remaining ingredients. Shape into eight 8-ounce burgers. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Season the turkey burgers with salt and pepper. Place on a preheated, lightly oiled grill. Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked. Let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with a side of Mar-a-Lago Pear Chutney and your favorite toasted bread, pita or hamburger roll.

Mar-a-Lago Pear Chutney
Recipe courtesy of Jeff O'Neill
From the show Oprah's Top Picks for Summer
Serves 6
This pear chutney topping is the key to giving the Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger that extra zing.
1 Anjou pear, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 cups Major Grey's Chutney
1/4 cup dried currants or raisins Preheat oven to 350°. Toss the diced pears with the cinnamon and salt. Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Cool and mix with the chutney and currants or raisins.

Emilee, I loved your Summer Avalanche Smoothie. Keep posting the recipes.!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Where has the time gone? Abbie is on her way to first grade. She has had the best year and has truly loved Kindergarten. I don't know what I will do next year without my lunch partner. Abbie you are the cutest Kindergartner I have ever seen!!!
Look who surprised us and came to the big event. Abbie was thrilled!

Abbie just LOVED Miss Howell!

Her best school buddies- Elle, Abbie, & Aleysa

Monday, June 2, 2008

What Time is it?

Schools Out Scream & Shout!
We had our Annual neighborhood Food Fight this year to kick off the first day of
Summer Vacation!
Our kids look forward to it every year!!!

Our Awesome neighbors the Yarros host the event and know how to really have FUN!
The food included Jello, pudding, colored instant mashed potatoes, whipped cream, marshmallows, powdered sugar, & soda.
The fight began with Mentos being dropped into diet coke for an explosion. Then the food began to fly. As you can see Emilee took some abuse. She was right in the middle of all the action and loved every second of it!

After all the fun is over the kids get hosed down. Thanks Colett & Matt! We will be looking forward to it again next year!