Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Do Words Ever Escape You?

When I look around my house, it is seldom ever clean to the point that I would like it to be.  I would love to have a clutter-free life.  I can't watch "Hoarders" because it literally gives me a panic attack.  There was a store in the town I grew up in called "Odds n Ends."  I entered that store once.  I could barely catch my breath.  It was a mess and nothing made sense.  Things did not have a place they were supposed to be in, it appeared.  I never went in the store again, I couldn't handle it.

But, with that being said, sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with gratitude.  I am so blessed to have my four children.  They light up my life.  They are generally the cause of the clutter or disorderliness of my house, but I will absolutely take them over a clean house any day of the week.

I was told a couple years before I was married that I would never have children with help from a fertility specialist.  That was probably one of the worst days of my life.  I remember leaving the doctor's office and just crying.  I wasn't even sure that I wanted to go home ever again.  I couldn't imagine never being a mommy.  I am so thankful that our Heavenly Father knows a lot more than the doctor.  I am thankful that he blessed me with them. 

I have been blessed with wonderful parents.  I am so thankful that they managed to find each other, get married, and have six children.  My parents have sacrificed so much for us.  They would do whatever they could to make sure we would have those things that we needed.  We didn't always get things we wanted, but we always had the things we needed.  They showed us how to love others and each other.  They taught us the things that we needed to know.  They raised us to be best friends.  I was raised with my best friends. 

I am thankful that they love our Heavenly Father.  I am thankful that they taught us about our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I am sure it was not easy to get six children up and ready for church, since I know how it is to get four children up and ready to go to church.  You know, words escape me because to say I am thankful doesn't seem to express the way I actually feel.  I don't know that there are words that can do that. 

I love to hear the sounds of my children laughing together.  I love to see them playing with each other.  I love having time as a family to spend together.  During this time of Thanksgiving, I think it is important to ponder what matters most in life.  To me, that is my family, including my husband and children, my parents, siblings, their spouses and children, and the rest of my extended family.  It also includes my friends, both old and new.  I am especially thankful to Heavenly Father and Jesus, for allowing me to have all of these people in my life.  There is not a day that goes by that I do not know that I am loved.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Snickers Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust

Today I made this recipe.  It was absolutely to die for.  I found it at this website, following this link...  http://blahnikbaker.com/2013/10/snickers-peanut-butter-cheesecake/.   The only variations I made was the following:

  • I used a graham cracker crust instead of Oreos.  The crust was 2 c. graham cracker crumbs and 1/2 c. salted butter.
  • I made the cheesecake in a 10 inch springform pan instead of a 9 inch.
  • I let the cheesecake cool at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours, then I put it in the freezer for 1 hour to hurry the cooling process.  
  • I drizzled it with Hershey's caramel syrup instead of making a homemade caramel sauce. 
One thing to remember, you will need a roasting pan.  After I made the crust, and poured the filling in, I realized that I needed to fill a roasting pan with hot water, so it would cover halfway up the outside of the springform pan.  

The worst thing about this recipe, you don't want to share it, but if you don't you will likely regret it!  I gave all of it away, except for 1/4 of it.  I ate 1/4 of the 1/4 that I had left, then had my husband put it outside in the refrigerator in the garage. 

Here is a picture of my daughter holding the final product.  I guess I should have gotten a close up :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sitting Here Thinking About Different Things

I can't believe how fast each year passes by.  Last year, I was gearing up for family to come here and stay for Thanksgiving.  This year, Thanksgiving is going to be so many fewer people.  Last year, I had 16 people, not counting the six of us, staying here for several days around Thanksgiving.  On Thanksgiving day, there were 25 of us, that is counting the six of us.  I felt so blessed to be surrounded by people that I love.  Almost all of these family members were here, and then there have been a couple additions added since then :)  The ones in the photo that weren't here were truly missed!

This year, it looks like there might be a total of eight of us hear for Thanksgiving.  I have a 20 pound turkey, so I am expecting there are going to be a lot of leftovers for sandwiches.  I am still hoping that some family members might surprise me and be able to be here, but we will see.

I can't believe that I have a 2, 5, 9 and 10 year-old.  If you had told me 11 1/2 years ago that I would have four children running around the house, I don't know if I would have believed it.  I have been so blessed to be able to be at home and see them grow.   They are good little kiddos.  I love every minute of being their mom.  Watching them grow from infants, to toddlers, to school age children has been a blast.  I love seeing their personalities get stronger.  I think, for the most part, you can tell what your child's personality will be from infancy.  It just gets stronger and better defined.

Last night was Parent-Teacher Conference at the school.  I have three children in the school, so I was there for about 1 1/2 hours.  It was wonderful to hear the good things about my children.  I am proud of them for being willing to help other children.  It is nice to know the things that I have to work on with my kindergartener.  We work with him but it is good to know what we should be concentrating on.

On Veteran's Day, my brother posted how glad he was that my father had been a Marine.  I have always been thankful for the service he provided for our country. When I read his post, I realized how GLAD I was that he had been a Marine.  If he hadn't been a Marine, my parents would have likely never met. 

My mom was from a small town in California called Bridgeport.  My dad was from a small town in New York called West Valley.  My dad was transferred to Mountain Warfare Training Center when he was a Marine, which is in the mountains near Bridgeport.  He was getting an ice cream cone one day and looked in the bakery window next door.  My mom was working in my Grandpa's bakery and Dad saw her.  He went in, they met, and had their first date a few days later.  Yes, I am GLAD that my Dad was a Marine.

I will be starting a job at the very end of this month.  My heart breaks thinking about leaving my children for several hours, but I am so thankful that it is a job that I will be working when my husband is home from work.  We will not have to get a babysitter, except for during my two weeks of training, and that will only be for a few hours a day.

I am thankful that many years ago, my senior year of high school, I thought I should take a keyboarding class.  The reason behind the keyboarding class was so when I was in college I would be "okay" at typing papers.  I wanted to learn how to type without needing to chicken peck the keys and take forever.  That decision has led to most of the jobs in my life.

When I was in college, I was blessed to work as a data entry operator for Vector Marketing in Olean.  There was a lot of use of the ten-key number pad to the right of the computer keyboard.  I didn't even have the foggiest idea how to use that.  I would always be using the numbers across the top of the keyboard.  One day, one of my supervisors there saw how I was typing the numbers.  He told me that I should start using the number pad.  Since I like to listen to what my supervisors tell me, I tried.  It came quite naturally to me.

Because of my ability to use the number pad, I have had several other jobs.  I am good at data entry, and I enjoy it.  I don't like talking on the phone, so straight data entry is good, and that is what I will be doing.  I have worked for the IRS and my next position will be for the United States Postal Service.  My 9 year-old was excited, she thought we could get free stamps.  It is funny how a lot of jobs will give you a discount or something free if they are known for selling things.  The IRS didn't do that for me and neither will the USPS.

I believe our Heavenly Father has a hand in all things.  I don't really think that it was just me that wanted to take a keyboarding class.  Who really wants to add another class to their schedule anyway?  I know that my parents wouldn't have met without our Heavenly Father having a hand in where they were that day.  I know that our Heavenly Father has blessed me with each of my children.  I am so thankful for the love I feel everyday from a kind, loving Heavenly Father.  I hope that I can always realize His hand in all things.  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Why, Oh Why, Must the White Stuff Come from the Sky?

That is how I felt this morning when I woke up!  Yesterday was so a beautiful day.  I went for a run in the morning and went for a walk with my husband and kids in the evening.  It was the best fall day I could think of. 

I am never a fan of the white stuff.  I have always lovingly referred to it as the "white crap."  Yes, that isn't a kind nickname or even a name that makes it shorter, but it describes things as I see it.  By the time church was over, the white stuff was gone for the most part.  I am thankful for that! 

I am hoping to not wake up to more of the white stuff tomorrow.  I wouldn't mind not waking up to the white stuff again for several years.  If the weather would stay at a temperature from between 68 and 72 degrees all year, things would be great :)  I live in Utah, not in Hawaii, so I guess that is very unlikely.  One can dream though :)

Today I got to go to all my church meetings.  It was a good day as far as that goes.  I enjoyed being there for all three meetings.  My toddler stayed in nursery until 10 minutes before church got over.  By that point, she was having a serious meltdown, so one of the leaders came to get me. 

My five year-old read a scripture in sharing time today, my older son helped him since he can't read.  It was sweet to see.  They did a great job!  In a couple of weeks they will be having their primary presentation.  I always look forward to that!

Right now my puppy is acting like she drank a full can of Jolt soda.  She is running around like a crazy girl.  She got her third set of shots yesterday, so it was a hard day for her.  She is always in a huge amount of pain when she gets her shots.  It is good to see her running around and playing again. 

In other news, I joined Weight Watchers a month ago.  I lost about four pounds in that month.  I would love to lose 30 more, at least.  I think I would feel much better about myself, both physically and mentally.  I wish that it was as easy to lose weight as it is to gain it.  I think I am going to plan to start running at least two miles a day, except for Sundays.  I don't think that is too far, so I should be able to run daily.