Friday, November 30, 2007


Here are the recipes that have been asked for. Enjoy.

Mashed Potatoes
check it out
I used light cream cheese. Fat free has a different funk to it. Really. And I don't think it matters if you used the fat free half and half. I didn't. But I would. I just didn't have any.

Green Beans

1 bag frozen green beans. Or fresh. Whatever
bacon bits. I use real bacon and chop it chunky.
1 garlic clove minced
onion chopped finely (add however much you like. I use lots)
chopped almonds
Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

place beans in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain and run cold water over them to keep the color. In a large skillet, heat a little olive oil and add bacon, onion, garlic, almonds, salt and pepper. Saute. Then add the green beans and stir until heated through. Place in a casserole dish and add Parmesan cheese. I like to add lots. Then enjoy!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Treadmill time!

It was good. SO good. I woke up with a little bit of self control and lost it all by 9am. Wednesday was spent cooking and preparing for the FEAST of Thursday. And totally worth it I might add.

Brooke and Cody came over and she brought some very scrumptious rolls. What would Thanksgiving be without homemade bread of some sort? And her potatoes and dessert were also extremely yummy. Thanks Brooke. And I hate you for making me eat so many good things. :)

Wednesday I made the pretzel-jello salad, coconut cream pie (thanks Jill for the step by step instructions), stuffing and also mashed potatoes., Thanks again Jill for seriously walking me through it every 30 seconds. She even answered the phone, "Gourmet cooking class" or something to that effect. Too true. :) Then on Thursday we did the turkey. I had to leave the kitchen
while Jason did his duty and removed all the parts. What the heck with all that. Does anyone really eat any of it? When they bag them up, KEEP THEM! No one wants to see it. Except Jason, who was looking at each part and talking to himself about it. THROW UP. I could never be a Dr. (For many more reasons than just that.) :) Study habits especially. But never mind all that. The turkey turned out great. At least I tell myself it did. And the mashed potatoes were divine. SOOO fattening. Which is why I loved them. Cream cheese, butter, seasonings, MORE butter. What's not to love? My sister Jill shared this recipe with me and I will keep it always. Never again the same old boring mashed potatoes. For those of you that like green beans, I have a great way of making them. My mom and dad did them this way all growing up. Which might be why I love green beans. Real quick, they have almonds, bacon, onion, garlic and Parmesan cheese. HELLO!!! Good. :)

So, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with great friends. Sorry to my mom for all the years I did NOTHING to help. I have changed my ways. My body is a little sore from standing in the kitchen for 2 days. And my husband is on call so no back rub form me. But come on, we all know what that means. . . . . .:)

Off to the treadmill I go. Or not. Chubby is growing on me. :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sugarland what?

OK, who the heck is Sugarland? And could they be any lamer? Did you all just see that performance on the American Music Awards? B-A-D!! And Beyonce? What the! That was so sick. I hated every second of it. I had to blog ASAP on it. Before I became numb to my true feelings. There. . . I feel much better.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It is over

The trips are finished. I didn't think I could be so happy just sitting at home, NOT packing to go somewhere for the weekend. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED all our little jaunts here and there. But I am ready to live out of my dresser and not my duffel bag.

We got back from Disney World and left two days later for Ann Arbor. Jason had an interview there for his fellowship. Then, we got back from An Arbor and I left two days later for New York. Such a fun girls trip. Then, we finished with a trip to Charlottesville, Virginia for another interview. And we are back. Ahhhhh. . . .. Big sigh.

Ann Arbor was super fun. We stayed with Lisa and Shawn and loved it. Truly some of our very best friends. And the cider mill was heavenly.

New York? Well, FUN FUN FUN. Delicious food, GREAT shopping and even BETTER company. It was just what I needed. Thanks Lisa, Emily and Arah. Or Debbie. I call her both. And Emily D. who lives in Manhattan and directed us to some of the best places. It was so great to see Emily D. after almost 5 years. You girls are wonderful and I had a blast with each of you. I will post pics and possibly an update about it later.

But now for your help. Where should Jason and I live for a year after Pittsburgh. We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go back to Ann Arbor, where Jason will finish his training in MSK Radiology. That has always been Jason's number one. But we also were offered the chance to go to Charlottesville for a year. Both are fantastic universities. So, what do you all think? Charlottesville was beautiful. Small. But I can do small for a year. :) Thanks to Amy and Ryan Quinn for hosting our family with great food and new friendships. I had a fun time with Amy all day getting to see the city, and eating all her pumpkin chocolate chip bread. What the heck?! I am on a diet! So, I am curious to your opinions.

It feels good to be here, sitting on my bum, in the living room, knowing I am going to our ward tomorrow and Christmas is around the corner. (That was random). :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

They're here!

I leave for a few days and get home to my little baby having TWO teeth. Those teeth are the cutest little things I have ever seen. I can't stop myself from feeling them and tickling her so that her mouth opens wide and I can get a good shot of them. I just had to share.

I will be posting my NYC Girls Trip as soon as the pics are emailed to me. So fun!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Disney World

We are back. After a long awaited trip to Orlando, it has come and gone already. I can't believe it. Disney World was an absolute blast. Extremely exhausting, but some of the most fun I have ever had. My entire family went, minus Ben, my brother in law and I loved spending time with all of them. It has been a long time since we have all been together at the same time.We all got to Orlando on Thursday, the 25th and checked into the resort. Jason and I were the first family to arrived and so we had a great time just discovering everything around while we waited for the rest of the family to arrive. Once we were all there, it was a late dinner to Chili's. Aunt Jocey bought my boys some fun balloon shapes and that made their night. Soon to be followed by all the kids. :)The first day was spent at the Magic Kingdom and by far was my boys FAVORITE park. Noah could ride so many things and Jackson even got to go on Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain. Too fun!!! Unfortunately we started the day on Stitche's Great Escape and that was NO GOOD for Jackson. Why don't they tell you that it is PITCH black in there with Stitch seeming to crawl and breath all over you. Needless to say, Jackson screamed bloody murder the whole time. And once the splash of water hit us, he was inconsolable. I kept wondering what would happen if someone went into labor or something in there and needed out ASAP. I panic a bit. :) But the rest of the day was a blast. We had a great time.
Day two was off to Epcot. Very fun. But onto the best for small kids. My favorite part was watching the Kohler Family compete for the Robot race. Nate won, which was no surprise. That kid is an athlete. But all the adults were screaming for their child to beat the others. We can't help it. It is in our blood. And yes, tears were shed. What is a competition without some cries from those of us that didn't come in first? :) Is that mild abuse to the kids? :) I know people say that they don't care if they win while playing games. But come on. Why play if you aren't even going to try to win. That is the point right? To win?
The biggest bummer about Epcot was not getting to ride Soarin. We were on it. Rising to the sky and the smell of Napa Valley oranges was in the air. When it went black and we were then being moved to another theater. By then, Jackson claimed to have to go potty and there was no way he was going to hold it. What do I do? Risk an accident or give up on the ride. I gave it up and we went to the bathroom. But not without a little talking to about holding it. That line took forever. Even WITH the fast pass. Oh well. There will be other times for Soarin. BUT. . . not to forget, the heavenly empanadas for lunch. My mom, Jason and I (and my kids) wandered through all the different countries in search of food. My dad was there. And then he wasn't. What did he eat? As for us, when I saw Argentina, I was set. Empanadas and dulce de leche. It took me right back to the empanadas I had on my mission. Mmmmmm!The next day was Sunday. Some went to church and some didn't. We didn't. :) Once everyone was back to the resort we all went swimming and relaxed. And to be honest, I could have done that a few other days as well. The pools were a lot of fun (pirate themed and ALL set up for kids) and my kids were able to nap. Ahhhh. . . . Sigh of relief.The day spent at MGM was wonderful. Rainy, but so fun. Jackson and Noah got to meet the Little Einsteins and go to a fun Disney's Playhouse show. They loved it. And I even got Jackson to go on Tower of Terror. He was scared, but he made it. And I even saw him laugh and smile during the ride. All the dropping made his tummy tickle. he heard the older cousins say that and he thought they said, "Made their tummy's stretch" so he kept asking me and Jason if his stomach was going to stretch. :)

Then we spent the next day at the Animal Kingdom. I loved it. We had so much fun there. It was all so new to me and very interesting. We went to some shows, (Bugs Life 3D was hilarious), rode the rides and had a great time. Expedition Everest was awesome!!!! I had no idea that it went backw
ards. :)
The Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party was super neat. All the kids got dressed up and off we went to trick or treat and see some great fireworks. But of course we got rained out. So after fighting it our for a long time, we gave into mother nature and headed home. Who wants to be dripping wet and in costumes. Ewww. That was an expensive bag of candy if I do say so myself.Out last day was spent back at the Magic Kingdom. That is where my kids could do the most and had the best time. Even little Ellie could go on rides. If you can call Winnie the Pooh a ride. :)

We headed home on Thursday and NOW we need the vacation. :) Thanks Mom and Dad for all the help every day with my family. What would my boys do without Grandma Joanie and Grandpa Ko-der? And ESPECIALLY thanks for the time shares. It's about time we all get some use from them. :) That was a wonderful vacation, filled with some very memorable times. Now for p
lanning next years big trip. How about we actually take a VACATION?! :)