Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Soup's On!

We had a fun get together the other night and had soup, breadsticks and a whole host of appetizers to please any palate. Matt got this great crockpot soup recipe from his sister, and we've been savoring the leftovers. It's even liked by 4-year-old's, who seem to be picky about something new everyday.

Chicken Clam Chowder
1 lbs. bacon - diced
1/2 lbs. ham - diced
2 c. chopped onions
2 c. diced celery
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 c. diced potatoes
2 c. cooked, diced chicken
4 c. chicken broth
2 cans minced clams w/ juice
1 can corn w/ liquid
3/4 c. flour
4 c. milk
4 c. shredded cheddar or jack cheese
1/2 c. whipping cream
2 T. parsley

Cook bacon, dice it and return it to pan (with some of the bacon grease still in the pan). Saute bacon with ham, onion and celery. Add salt and pepper. Combine with potatoes, chicken, broth, clams and corn in slow cooker. Cook on low 6-8 hours (or high for 3-4). Whisk flour into milk. Stir in with remaining ingredients and cook for one more hour on high.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Resolutions anyone?

I love New Year's Resolutions. I wrote mine down this afternoon and feel pretty pumped about them. They're soon to be posted in a spot in my room so I'll see them everyday. I LOVE it!!! I'll just share one of them ... Review resolutions each Fast Sunday so I'll keep on top of them better:).

I love the prospect of organizing, re-committing, and a FRESH START! Oh how I need it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gratitude

It is common for this time of year to bring feelings of gratitude for family, friends, and faith, but for some reason this particular year I'm feeling it very poignantly.

I think it really started with Thanksgiving and the joy and fun we had. We live far from family and so our little family and our friends end up being a big part of our celebrations. As we were finishing out the day (Thanksgiving), Matt and I reflected on our blessings and how we are experiences so many different things - wonderful things - because of the fact that we are many, many miles from family.

Well it's happened again at Christmas, and I'm basically brim to overflowing. So let me share a little bit.

First of all, our Christmas was wonderful. Our children loved what Santa and their grandparents gave them. In fact it merited a trip to the big box store to stock up on storage bins so all the little pieces of toys will have homes, and so we can control what is out and being played with, rather than have them all over the floor, in S*'s mouth, and waiting to be sucked up by the vacuum.

We've also been partying like its 1999 ... which is frankly out of character for both Matt and me. But we've loved it. We had a party with friends and the missionaries on Christmas Eve, including a Nativity play by "four children and one cute baby". We had some friends over for a great Christmas night meal. And tonight we just cleaned up from another friends' party. It's been a great season.

As I was washing dishes, I thought that the one common thread in all of this is the Church. We have loved our time here (location shall remain nameless), and most of our great friends are from our ward. I think that's pretty common when far from family .... your ward family really does become your family.

We have a friend who did an essay about her membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (I wish I had a link here but will get one soon) on the local NPR radio station and it was so right on, as far as being a member of the church is a way of life and not just a Sunday thing. So this is a prime example ... anyway, we're just so blessed.

We miss being with family, but we're grateful for phone calls and other technology that makes it so the distance doesn't seem all that far. We couldn't have asked for a better Christmas season. We hope yours was the same.

(Camera is broken ... will be posting w/o pictures until the situation is remedied)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Shhhh!


I'm convinced my husband will know every gift I give him for Christmas this year. The reason being ... some little lady in our house can't contain her excitement and knowledge of said gifts. For example: He comes home from work today and here's the scenerio ...

Dad: Hey everybody.
(cheers and galloping to him)

Daughter: Daddy, Daddy, we have a surprise for you. It's a ___(enter gift here)___!

Me: Argghhh!

Dad: I didn't hear what she said.

(yeah, right)

Daughter (mumbling to herself because she knows she wasn't supposed to say anything): I didn't say anything ... I just said we got him a surprise. A ___(gift), and a ____(gift). I didn't say anything Mommy.

Me (blue faced and making pulling-my-hair-out motions): I give up, I GIVE UP!!!


After calming down I realize it's my fault. I should either A) shop by myself, or B) not make a big announcement like "now this is a gift for Dad, don't tell him, it's a surprise". I'm really good at setting myself up.