Sunday, December 20, 2009

Simple Sunday

Luke 1:31-33

And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name, JESUS

He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Reason for the Season

This Christmas I wanted to really focus with my family on the important parts.

Last week we attended the Christmas Devotional with the First Presidency. During that hour we heard the beautiful choir sing along with the orchestra and also messages from the prophet speak as well as the 1st and 2nd counselors. Each message was wonderful but President Monson spoke of things that seemed to be just for me. As we were driving home I talked with Charlie about re-focusing our time and energy on the more important part. He had the same feelings. We set goals to spend time each day reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas.

I recently found this great blog, LDS handouts. If you haven't heard of it you will thank me to hooking ya up! This sweet girl not only gave me a great idea of how to celebrate the season but also the sweet little handouts to go along! You can find her at:
12 Days of Christmas

Instead of giving these to a neighbor we are doing it for our little family. The intent is next year to branch out and share with a couple friends. We started with the stable and spoke about how blessed we are in our lives. How the Savior was born of such humble beginnings. We pondered how God used that simple birth as an example. How He could have provided any and all luxury for His son to be born. How there must be something for us to learn from His humble birth.

Shortly after that as I was tucking Morgan in; she asked me to read a book to her. Morgan picked "The Small One", by Alex Walsh. If you have not heard of it you should try to find it.

This story is about a young boy who lives on a farm with his family. The donkey, Small One, is old and no longer able to do his work. The boys father gives the boy the responsibility to sell Small One for 1 piece of silver. The boy spends much time trying to find a good home for his friend. The tanner offers 1 piece of silver but the boy does not want his friend to die. In the end of this sweet story Joseph buys Small One for Mary to ride. It is a lovely little story that we as a family have enjoyed for years.

Now here is the interesting part. The Small One is no longer in print. In face the original printing was in 1979 and was re-released in 1995. I remember buying this book years before I had children. I had seen it at the book store and fell in love. The publisher is Disney! Can you imagine Disney printing a book about the birth of Christ today? In fact the first page starts with a scripture: Proverbs 15:33, before honor is humility. I really was astounded reading this book tonight...couldn't help but think of just how far off track the world seems to have gotten. Today this would not be the popular choice at all. I am thankful that I bought this book before my little family started..thankful that I can share this sweet Christmas story with them.

Remember this holiday season while you are running from place to another the real reason we celebrate this holiday.

I am so very thankful this Christmas for my savior Jesus Christ. I know that it is through him that I will return to my Father in Heaven one day. I know that without his Atonement I would have no chance to achieve that! I also know that God loves me. That all good in my life comes from Him. I feel such joy and peace in that knowledge.

Monday, December 7, 2009

12 Goodies of Christmas

English Toffee??? Why English?? No Toffee in America? Anyone? Anyone?
Chad gets his spacers on Thursday and braces the following Thursday! Merry Christmas to Chad!! His request?? As much toffee, carmel, and overall chewy stuff before that day!!
So I thought why not include the recipes that will please my son!
Toffee, recipe from Wanda Wach, my sister's cute mother-in-law!
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tbls water
First of all coat a jelly roll pan with butter, not the spray kind, rub a cube all over it!! Next, put the above ingredients in a saucepan heating over medium heat. Heat until it comes to a boil, start timing from the rolling boil point. Boil for 5-7 minutes. So 5 for a more gritty dissolving kind or 6 or 7 for a more sticky kind! Spread onto pan. Then sprinkle the milk chocolate chips on top. Let sit for a minute, then spread with a spatula. Now you can put this in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Or like I do...set it on the cast iron planter hanging by your front door. Colder then the fridge but safe from the wind and snow!! Now that's resourceful!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Simple Sunday

Alma 46:15

And those who did belong to the church were faithful: yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Caramel Popcorn

So I have a clever friend who has put together a recipe group. ( I am not clever enough to think of a better name!) There is a theme for each month and she puts them all on a cute little blog. So I thought I would share what I contributed this month and add a link for ya!

Go check it out... Last month the theme was soup....who can't use more great soup recipes? I can honestly say the the Chicken Tortilla Soup is the best tortilla soup I have ever made! Use the Chipotle Chili powder!

4-6 quarts of popped popcorn (sorted to remove kernels) I pop mine in a sauce pan on my stove top. Air poppers work or you can even use a few bags of microwave popcorn!

2 2/3 Cup Pecans

1 1/3 Cup Almonds

2 Cups butter

1 Cup dark Karo syrup

2 2/3 Cup sugar

Melt together in a large sauce pan. Bring to a rolling boil. Time from that point 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 tsp Vanilla. Pour over the top of the popcorn and nuts. You can mix this in a bowl or spray your counter down with Pam and mix and spread out to ensure a even topping.

Snow Day, Almost

Is she not the cutest girl ever!
Sledding, cautiously!

Uh Oh spinning around!

And now backwards with no control, except to dig her heals in to stop!

Too tired to walk up the hill!

Chad on the steep hill!

Building speed with an intense expression!

With a one foot one hand steer!
You can see the grass sticking through the snow. A sure sign that there is not enough snow to sled. Hmmmm well maybe not for my kids! They decided today was the first good snow and they were going to take full advantage. Chad is not in as many of the pictures because well...he is 12. I threatened to upload really bad pictures of him if he didn't allow me to take some. Does that make me a bad mother?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Simple Sunday

Joshua 1:9

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy god is with thee withersoever thou goest.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More Pinwheels

I have found a new hobby since moving to Utah. It's addicting!

First I cut oodles of these little squares.

Then I sewed a bunch of squares to the triangles.

And then presto! I sewed on some borders and paid a very nice lady to machine quilt it for me! Then I stitched on the binding and tada, a very cute baby blanket. Now I just need to send it to a very pretty little baby girl!

Simple Sunday

John 1:4-7

And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darknes at all.

If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the lifht, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Simple Sunday

2 Nephi 33: 6
I glory in plainness;
I glory in truth;
I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Feelin' Spooky

While my family laid low...and tried our best to not infect everyone...this is what I worked on. Well in between caring for sick kids and taking a ridiculous amount of hot showers to drain my head! It's funny how I always want to work on stitching but never seem to have the time. I am glad I took of advantage of this house bound week to make a cute Halloween decoration!

Monday, October 12, 2009

This Little Piggy Stayed Home

Can you guess what we have?
The truth is that so far this really acts just like a regular old flu. Only the doctor says that it spreads faster. Chances are we will all get it!
Lucky us!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Contusions A Plenty

A bike accident? Car accident? Fighting at school? Bad seat mate on the bus? Gee I wonder why so many mom's hate this sport! The small ones that are fading are from practice and the big ones that are nice and dark are from today's game. But hey..he did his job and the team earned another win! Go Eagles!!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Goal! Goal! Goalllllll!!!!

Morgan has been playing soccer for about a year. She wanted to give it a try...and what do you know...she sorta rocks! This year is the first time she has played goalie. And let me tell you she is so good at it! (just to be clear...the first MacQueen who makes a Monica joke gets exlax brownies!)
Making a save
Sacrificing her cute little hands for a save

She tripped and fell and I put the camera down to make sure she was ok...she gets up and SCORES!! So no picture, darn it!

I think this is what makes her so good....she is way more aggressive then we ever thought possible. It's funny she is really very passive in normal life...but out!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Grape Day

Or: Why I am learning to love Utah!

Last night I went to welcome our wards newest Mia Maid. Mormon talk for 14-15 yr old girls! Well....Kaelin was a bit delayed getting home so her father invited us in. As we were visiting he asked me if I would like to try one of the grapes from his vines. Of course I said yes....Oh My Gosh!!! The sweetest grapes I have ever tasted....EVER!!! He had 4 buckets full. I asked him what he did with the grapes. Here in Utah you USE what you grow. You can, put up, dehydrate or freeze. It is so cool. Well he said they make juice from the grapes. Being a city girl I had no idea how that worked, but being a curious city girl I asked. He showed me this steamer like pot that has a small tube attached to the front, where the juice comes out. Duhhh?? Then offered to let me borrow their steamer and gave me 4 buckets of grapes! How cool is that? So today I have been making juice. And you know what? It feels perfect. Just the right thing to do today, uncomplicated, no thinking involved, and man of man does my house smell good!
Now, how's that for healthy recipes...huh Sarah? Not a lick of sugar added!

Fresh grapes

Steamer thing

Steamed grapes

Yummy juice!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Simple Sunday

3 Nephi 11:33

And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Big Sister

Tamra Kaye Chapman
June 26, 1964 - September 4, 2009
I am not able to put into words all the thoughts running through my mind. The thoughts running through my heart are even more tangled. I have countless memories of my oldest sister. Too many to count. Some too precious to share.
Tami was diagnosed with breast cancer 13 years ago. She fought it. About 11 and 1/2 years ago it had spread to her lungs, then her brain. She fought it. 5 months ago she found another lump in her breast. She fought it. She fought and fought until her poor tired beautiful body could no longer withstand the treatment. Still she fought. It was not until her husband Mark told her it was OK to stop fighting that she passed away.
I honestly had no idea how terrible it would feel to see her succumb to this horrible disease. My heart aches for her husband and children. My heart aches for our mother. My heart aches for my kids who loved their Aunt Tami so.
My heart aches.
2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
This scripture describes perfectly my sister. I miss her terribly.
I thank my Father in heaven for providing a way for me to return to him. Where I will be greeted by my grandmother, father, and now my big sister. Who forever has blazed the trail for the rest of the family, the first to do everything.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A New Look

We have lived here, in this house, in Utah, cold cold Utah....for FIVE years! That is the very longest we have lived anywhere! Crazy!!!! Back to my point!!! So my door was a lovely tan color...but it started to fade in the blazing hot Utah sun. I painted it my new favorite color. I don't even know the name!
Here is my question....What color should I paint the lovely....insert sarcasm here.....BRASS kickplate door and lock? Please weigh in. I am leaning towards black, or nickel, or silver...but the problem is that there is brass IN BETWEEN THE GLASS!!!! I can not get to that! HELP!!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Simple Sunday

Matthew 6:19-21
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
But Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back In the Saddle Again

Now that school is back in session it's time to re-start the weekly treat recipe! And let's start with the best cupcake EVER!!!
The Batter

The Cupcake

The Perfect Treat

These cupcakes are the most heavenly cupcakes ever!!!

1 box yellow or chocolate cake mix
1 4oz vanilla or chocolate pudding
4 eggs
1 C sour cream
1/2 C water
1/2 C oil

Mix together with a wooden spoon. Batter is very thick. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes

I frosted them with homemade buttercream frosting. I googled the recipe and found this on

1 Cube butter, softened
1/4 C. + 2 tbls cocoa powder
1/4 mile

1 tsp vanilla
16 oz bag of powdered sugar

cream butter add cocoa. To that add milk and sugar, ending with vanilla.


Monday, August 24, 2009

No! No! No! No! NO!!!

I am not happy that my kids are THIS big now!!! I do not feel good about this at all!
Except that I do. I am so amazed at the incredible people my children are becoming! I just had a moment of shock this morning watching my children go off for their first day of school this year!
Now the party can begin!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Simple Sunday

Photo credit: Liz Lemon Swindle
2 Nephi 25:26
We talk of Christ, we rejoice in christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Simple Sunday

John 17:15-17
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Sanctify them through thy truth: they word is truth.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Real Deal

Do you ever feel like you are lost? Not physically lost..but you know not sure where the old you is? I have been feeling that often lately. I thought it was because my house is a mess. Nothing new there. Because I fat.....nothing new there either! Because I am so busy.....nope not new! OK so you see the problem. If there is no new issue then where am I?
Funny it took a trip to my favorite thinking spot to figure it out. As I sat on the beach watching the waves I realized I had been slipping. Becoming a person I don't like. The girl who worries what others think about how she looks. Who is concerned about her messy house more then concerned for their friend who is ill. Who is insecure and unhappy. This is not the real me!
So, as I sat watching my son learn to surf I noticed a lady taking pictures of her son learning to surf. She had the grown-up version of my camera, with a butt kicking zoom lens! I walked over to ask her about her camera and lens. She said "here try my other lens see if you like it". Who does that? A $900 lens I feel the need to point out. Well I loved it and her. I visited with her awhile and was reminded of the old me. The one who liked who she was. The one who was generous with others.
It started me thinking about a few questions.
1. Who am I now?
2. Who do I want to be?
3. What made me forget in the first place?
I know that I am first and foremost, a child of God. I know that He loves me. This without a doubt I know. Then if God made me and thought I was good why do I not act that way? I am strong, healthy, smart, and sometimes even fun. I want to be more. I want to be less concerned with my fat and more concerned with my heart. I want to be the person who sees others in need and responds. I want to be the person who keeps my unkind thoughts to myself and one day to not have them at all! Why did I get so off track? Well frankly I struggle to be my authentic self here. I am not overly concerned with having a perfect house, car, clothes or furniture. That is not the norm here. I found myself getting in stuck in the mire. No more. Holly the cute picture taker helped me see that. Not through any conversation but rather just by watching her.
Now about the picture....Holly took this of me while I was gathering shells with Morgan and Trevor, my nephew. First I am always the one taking the pictures. Second in case you didn't notice...I am wearing a swimsuit. Third I am actually posting it. So try not to focus so much on how I look and instead look past that to what I am doing; enjoying my family! This is who I am. The real me. I am going to try to remember that more fully!

Can You Say Squash??

I have been forced to ask myself a question: What in the world can I do with all this zucchini? Last year we planted one plant and got ZERO zucchini! This year we planted 4 just to be safe. FYI if you plant a zucchini plant right in front of your compost bin you get ENORMOUS plants!!! With an abundant amount of squash!
This picture shows some of the baby squash!

While speaking with my very good friend, Sandy, who happens to live on a farm! OK not really but what do you call it when you have 10 chickens, a rooster, 3-4 ducks, 2 rabbits, a cat, a frog, and a SNAKE! Yes Sandy, I know about the snake, thanks for not asking me to feed that! GROSS!! AND an orchard with a huge successfully producing garden!
Is that not a farm?

Back to the conversation...what the heck to do with all this squash? Well you make zucchini pie she replies!! Okey Dokey, Sandy! It is so yummy!!! A huge hit! The original recipe was good on its own...but you know me! We can make it better! I will post both recipes! I promise your family will enjoy it!

Pretty huh??? This pie is with my additions!

A slice of the original recipe!

Zucchini Pie
preheat oven to 375
in a pie pan spread 1 container crescent rolls, making a crust of sorts, set aside
4 cups sliced zucchini
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 butter
melt butter in a large skillet, saute zucchini and onion until tender
to that add
1 tbls oregano
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
stir well and ten add to the skillet
2 cups mozzarella cheese
2 eggs, beaten
stir together and dump it in the pie pan!! Bake for 20 minutes then let sit for 10 more! Slice and eat.
For my variation:
Do it all the same, expect I caramelized the onions and zucchini a bit! AND added 1 garden fresh tomato chopped (yep that would be from my garden) and swiss instead or mozzarella! I swear it was even better! Honestly this will be a summer favorite for a long time to come!
And that's good because we have a ton of squash left!