Thursday, December 20, 2012

Drunk Pascal

We may have a problem on our hands!  Thankfully it is only Root Beer!!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sweetest Boy!

So one of my many quarks is that I LOVE being tucked in.  Marc has had to tuck me in basically every night of our marriage and because he has been doing it for so long I am pretty inept when it comes to tucking myself in.  Sometimes with our different schedules I have a hard time with getting tucked in.  On one such night Marc did the sweetest thing.  He went and made the bed for me, turned on the electric blanket, and then left me a good night message on the Kindle.  It seriously made my night!  I love that he took the time to show me just how much he loved me.  What a lucky girl I am!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Homemade Ice Cream

Melissa has been bragging about her fabulous homemade ice cream for awhile now.  I figured it really was tasty but I could just run to the store if I wanted ice cream.  I finally got over my laziness and decided to make it.  HOLY HECK!  It is so amazingly good.  I only wish that I had tried it sooner!

Here are the directions from Melissa's blog for anyone else who wants to try it.  I promise it is totally worth it!!

Ben & Jerry's Sweet Cream Base
2 large eggs                                                                        1 cup milk
2 cups heavy or whipping cream                                                3/4 cup sugar

In a bowl whisk eggs until light and fluffy, add 3/4 cup sugar in increments, whisking in between each addition.  Continue whisking eggs and sugar until combined.  Add cream and milk and whisk until combined.

From here, you can take the sweet cream base anywhere.  Two teaspoon of vanilla extract will get you a nice french vanilla.  Or peppermint extract can be the base for chocolate chip mint.  Crushed cookies for cookies-n-cream, malt powder and shaved chocolate, sprinkles, nuts, candy bar chunks, strawberries, toffee bits...the ideas are endless.

One of my favorites is my own version of mint chip.  I add 2 teaspoons of good quality Nielsen-Massey pure peppermint extract to the sweet cream base (McCormick's brand flavoring is fine too but if you are as serious about your mint ice cream as I am, you will want to invest in some of this good quality flavoring-plus it's perfect for holiday peppermint hot chocolate). Shave about 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate with a sharp knife.  Add the shavings to the liquid mixture.  I personally like the shaved chocolate texture better than the frozen chunk of a chocolate chip.

Tips (some things I've learned after making lots of batches of ice cream):
                 Use the freshest eggs you can find.  This might mean farm to table eggs from your local market or the best quality you can get at the store.  I'm using Ethiopian eggs and they are great-never had an issue.
                 If you decide against the eggs in your ice cream, you can expect to get a less rich and creamy ice cream.  It will not freeze well so you will need to eat it all at the time you make it or else you will have icy ice cream from freezing.  
                 If you are really squeamish I'd suggest sticking with a frozen yogurt or sorbet recipe.  Ice cream should be made with eggs for emulsifying the butter fat.  I feel really strongly about this.
                 Refrigerate your liquid base mixture for a few hours before putting it in your ice cream maker.  This is key.  The churning process will not freeze room temp liquids properly.  Best to start off as cold as you can.
                 For cookies, candies, nuts, or other add-in you will want to add them when the ice cream is mostly done churning in the machine.  Simply pour the add-in in the top and let it slowly mix with the paddle.  
                 Freeze your add-ins before adding them or else they will warm your churned ice cream.
                 Chocolate chips (or shaved chocolate from the bar) are fine to add to the liquid mixture before hand because they will not melt in the liquid while refrigerating.
                 Freeze your ice cream maker's freezer bowl overnight before use.  
                 Have the churning paddle inside the freezer bowl before you pour in the liquid mixture.  
                 Churn the ice cream for a good 5-10 minutes past when you think it's done.  The more air churned in the more fluffy and divine the texture once frozen.  
                 Cool your storage bowl in the freezer so the bowl is cold when you transfer the ice cream. A bowl with a air tight lid is ideal for keeping the ice cream fresh in the freezer for many days.
Make ice cream the night before you plan to serve for best frozen texture (see fluffy texture in the first photo).  We eat the ice cream the same night I make it all the time,  the texture is more like soft serve and it melts really fast.

Monday, December 17, 2012

New Tortillas

So with my new corn free diet I had to find new tortillas.  I have found the BEST tortillas ever and have completely fallen in love with them.  They are pretty tasty and Marc even prefers them.  Thankfully I can buy them in bulk and they last awhile.  Totally worth it!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012


This year for Halloween was a little bitter, sweet.  It was our first Halloween where we would have been able to hand out candy to the kiddos on our street.  However, our finances were a bit tight and I wasn't willing to spend money on candy.  I was feeling particularly cheap and couldn't bring myself to spend that much on candy.  I also discovered that our part of the street is DEAD.  So even if we had bought candy then it wouldn't have mattered because we wouldn't have had any visitors.  It was a good lesson to learn.

So instead we spent the night getting ready for our home visit that would be at the end of the week.  It was a wonderful night of working together and getting our house remarkably clean.  It was so nice to be home after that!  Next year we will have to participate in our ward's trunk or treat so that we can celebrate Halloween like adults but for this year it was nice to spend it cleaning... I guess also like adults.

All of this adultness was particularly ironic because I was dressed up as a kid for Halloween.  I sent a picture to Melis to show the kiddos and after seeing the photo Kaelen said "I love her!"  I responded back that I loved him as well and he responded with a sneeze.  I guess the poor kiddo was fighting a cold!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Seriously Flagstaff?

Only around Halloween time do things like this appear but really?  Was this entirely necessary???

Friday, December 14, 2012

Squash Vs. Cilantro

When in Utah, it became fairly clear that this story would have to be journaled.  I mean if my "zero losers" still is talked about years later than this one can be as well.

One morning Eric and Marc were making breakfast and were chopping up veggies to go into an omelet.  Eric made the mistake of calling a squash cilantro but then made the bigger mistake of calling a red pepper a tomato.  It was the funniest thing to poor Marc and he would tell this story to anyone that would listen.  In fact he told this story at the Court of Honor itself.  I love that these two can tease each other and goof off.  It was so much fun to see them interact.  Hopefully our next trip will be sooner!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Only in Utah

We were able to go up to Utah for Eric's Court of Honor and it was a long overdue trip.  It was so nice to see everyone again and to see Marc interact in his natural habitat.  He certainly enjoys being back home again.  But I will embarrass Eric in my next post but in this post I am going to mock Utah.

Only in Utah do you have billboards for the MTC & local temples....

Only in Utah do you have Ogden signs for pioneer day all year long...

Only in Utah do you use wagon wheels as decoration....

Only in Utah do you use the 10 commandment tablets as decoration....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Watching Movies

So we will watch movies or tv shows periodically and the animals never seem to pay much attention.  Kiara isn't fond of certain types of music and will lay her ears back flat and stalk out of the room but that is about it.  When Madagascar 3 came out Marc and I sat down to watch it together.  The only difference was that Pascal sat down to watch it too.  It was the weirdest thing!  She watched the movie (completely entranced) for almost 30 minutes.  It was amazing to see!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

No More Bread!

Carmel is obsessed with bread.  It is ridiculous!  In fact, if there is any sort of bread product on the counter then he will eat through the plastic wrap to eat the whole thing!  This plate of bread & cookie goodies were no exception.  What am I going to do with him?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Some Changes

So once again it is time to change my diet.  At this moment, my body seems to be very anti-corn.  It reacts similar to a gluten allergy but is based off of eating corn and not wheat.  Really, this is a harder change than going gluten free.  Corn is in EVERYTHING!  It is amazing when you start reading packages.  Marc is really good at reading everything but I am still getting used to the whole thing.  I only seem to forget with food already in my home.  Thankfully, Marc has taken it upon himself to eat anything and everything that has corn in it.  So pretty soon there won't be anything left but I still should probably keep checking because it is much better to be safe then sorry!

Some of the saddest things to have corn are: hot chocolate (except for the diet stuff), caramel, many sodas and drink mixes, egg nog (minus one brand), and red vines (along with many candies).  Whatever is a girl to do?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dogs Improving

Every once in a while we can see that the dogs are improving and becoming more obedient.  One such day happened a few weeks ago.  Kovu is really good at running away and if you give him an inch then you will be running a mile to catch him again.  I know from experience just how much fun that whole process can be and Marc has done his fair share of catching him again.  Anyway, it happened that Kovu got off of the run and Max did a great job of telling on him and just kept barking until Marc went to see what was wrong.  As soon as he realized that Kovu was gone he ran to the front yard and there was Kovu.  Now this part of the story isn’t unusual but when Marc went outside the Kovu didn’t bolt down the road.  In fact not only did he not run but he came to Marc when he called him.  What a good boy!!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Camp Verde Parade

While Mikkel was here it was our privilege to take him to the Camp Verde Parade to perform.  His marching band met us there and after wander for awhile we finally found the band.  It was getting to the point that I was ready to give up and head home!  We would find the parade but no band.  Luckily we didn't give up and we were able to take LOTS of photos.  I realize I took too many but it was so nice to be able to take pictures again.  I loved it!  And on a positive note the band sounded good and Marc and I took some family photos!  As anyone can see, we LOVE having Mikkel come and this trip was no exception!  When are you coming again Bud?

No parade is complete without cute kiddos, dogs, horses, flags, ancient cars, unique ones, and even bugs!  Oh and of course don't forget spiders attacking people!

I love these photos of the wood.  It was fun to just play!

Isn't he so handsome??

And he has some mad, ninja catching skills!

And our family photos both cute and silly!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


In an attempt to build Mikkel's confidence in ASL, I taught Mikkel who to play Clue.  This is an easy game to switch to ASL and allows people the opportunity to practice while they play.  Mikkel pretended to be Melis playing "Go Fish" and brought the blanket out.  It didn't take too long before we were all having fun and goofing off.  It was awesome!  Though it might have been the quietest game of Clue ever!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


On Mikkel's visit our game of choice was Settlers of Zarahemla.  This is the Mormon version of Settlers of Catan.  It was fun to torture the boys and make all the cards be gone & the temple built regardless of the 12 point rule.  They would agree that it was torture but it was fun to play with them!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Sometimes I forget that the Deaf community can be a little intimidating.  Really ANY community that you are unfamiliar with has the potential to be intimidating.  Especially if you are trying to be culturally sensitive and not offend anyone.  Mikkel's visit was one of those times.  Looking back, I should have done a better job helping Mikkel feel more comfortable and next time I will do it right.  As we left that night I was so sad that it didn't go as planned.  Mikkel needed and deserved a good experience and I didn't give him that.  I worried about the rules and not the person.  I will work on that and hopefully our next experience will be better!!

Monday, December 3, 2012


NAU decided to put on the play "Mother Hicks" this fall.  It is a play about accepting people for who they are and to not be judgmental.  I found out about this play because it had a Deaf character and they would use sign language in the play through a story teller.  I won't go into the politics that came with this play because that isn't something I got involved with but not everyone was excited about this play.

What I will say about my experience is how much courage that storyteller had to have to even attempt to sign.  I will also say that when Mikkel saw it, he was excited to see new signs and walked away with a very positive attitude.  I think the play offended some and inspired others.  It just depends on which person you were and what your perspective was.  I am so glad that Mikkel took the stance that he did.  It was a joy to go with him!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

New Decorations

With Mikkel's visit coming up it meant my parent's were coming to visit too.  Not only did I get to enjoy their company and go to lunch with them but I got a new decoration for my house.  What originally started as a dog bed is now a beautiful wall hanging.  This is an original, one-of-a-kind type thing.  My Dad made it out of lassos that he melted together.  Isn't it gorgeous?  I love it & I am so glad they hung it because it is heavy and would have done some major damage if done incorrectly.  I am such a lucky duck.  THANKS DAD!!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Kiara Bear

Our little Kiara has become quite the snuggle bug & I couldn't be happier.  I can tell when she has a rough day because she will snuggle next to me but I also have the same reward when I have a rough day.  One night I awoke from a nightmare & was having problems going back to sleep.  Little Kiara came and tucked me back in and stayed by me until I fell asleep again.  It is moments like that when I know she was heaven sent!  I am so lucky to have someone who loves me so much!

Friday, November 30, 2012

John Bytheway

Marc & I have been on a John Bytheway kick lately.  I feel like I listen to him all the time now.  I find myself wanted to be a better person after listening to him and I like that.

I have also started listening to the Mormon Channel app on my phone.  Lately I have been listening to the October General Conference talks & talk about power!  Wow!  I also use it as a way to "read" my scriptures.  I find this is a tool in my life that brings me happiness and peace.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Walking By the Temple

As Marc & I took our fake anniversary weekend we took some time to walk around the temple grounds.  I always love the peace that exists there but on that night it was filed with rowdy, silly teenagers.  We wished that they could understand that they were on sacred ground and though there is a time for silliness that this wasn't it.  I am sure at their age I would have been guilty of the same thing but it broke my heart to see this holy site being treated that way.

On this same trip though, we learned about the symbolism that exists in the carvings on the temple.  We kept trying to guess what each panel represented and finally we looked it up.  Feel free to check out this link here and then take some time the next time you are there to look at them in person!

I also spent some time in the visitor's center.  With my upcoming Jerusalem trip the display meant so much more and will again when I get back.  I was reminded looking at the display that you don't have to walk where Jesus walked to know him.  How grateful I am for that!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Our Anniversary

I have always said that even though we were married in February that I want to celebrate our anniversary in the fall.  Then I don't have to compete with Valentine's Day and I get a day to celebrate our marriage.  Plus then I get an excuse to run away every fall and it is cheaper than competing with all the craziness of Valentine's.  

So this year we went off to celebrate 2 1/2 years of marriage.  We stayed in a hotel in Mesa that was within walking distance of the temple and I loved it!  We wanted to go back to the Valley because that is were our first year happened.  It is where a lot of our big changes occurred and a lot of memories are tied there as well.  Even though we were within walking distance we weren't able to do a session because it was conference weekend.  However, we did enjoy the visitor's center and the grounds.

This weekend was the perfect little getaway and exactly what we needed!  We escaped from the world and got to just spend time together.  There wasn't a schedule but we did a lot and could afford to be lazy as well.  We enjoyed some classics like Bahama Bucks & some new treasures like the firefighter memorial.

I am sol lucky to be married to such a great man and I can't wait to see what this year brings!