Friday, March 30, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Toy.

One of the things I love about the Old Testament is all the feasts and celebrations they had.  It seemed there was a party for everything.

General Conference weekend is as good a reason for a gathering as I can think of.  Ray, Cali, Levin, and Ande (Joe is traveling on business) came over to spend the weekend and listen to the conference with us.

Calvin just finished making Cali's black powder rifle this week.  He made her one several years ago, but it was too big for her so he made her a new, lighter, and smaller version.  Here he is showing her the details.

Tonight Levin stayed home with me while the rest went to a movie.  Levin is one great toy and I can't think of anything I'd rather play with tonight than him.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Feet.

Ray often quips that Levin has my feet.  There are definitely some strong resemblances - his are thick and mine are thick, his are wide and mine are wide, he wears boy's shoes and sometimes I have to wear men's shoes, his toes look like little Vienna sausages and my toes look like little Vienna sausages, he curls his toes and I curl mine, and I swear Ray once said something about them both looking like bear pads, but now he says we both have sprinter's feet.

But that's where the resemblances end because Levin's feet are cute and mine are not, mine are calloused and his are not.

This afternoon I donated blood and the phlebotomist told me to take it easy the rest of the day, I think she meant for me to put my feet up so the blood would run back to my heart.  I thought those were the kindest instructions, so I bought a pizza, came right home, changed my clothes, and as soon as I do the supper dishes will comply.  I must, for even Abe Lincoln suggests it:  "Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm."

Did you get your grandma's feet?
Are your feet on the ground or in the air tonight?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Trash.

Sometimes I save trash and send a gift in it.  Plastic peanut butter, mayonnaise, and corn syrup jars make great little see-through shipping containers.  So do empty 3 liter pop bottles and chip, hot chocolate, or nut cans.  They're fun to fill with candy, popcorn, toothbrushes, and little toys (basically pinata guts).  All you have to do is screw the lid on, add an address label, take them to the post office, and pay an arm and a leg for postage.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Your Name.

It took me a long time to like my name when I was a little girl.  I thought Melissa would be nice.  Everybody had that name.  I also wished I had better initials.  Mine were JC.  My sister's were CC and I thought it would be very nice to have the same initials as someone as famous as Christopher Columbus.  I chewed on that disappointment for several weeks and then one day while I was riding my bike I thought, "Hey!  I've got the same initials as Jesus.  JC.  Jesus Christ.  That's a good one to match."  From then on I started to like my name because it gave me matching initials to Jesus.

How about you?  What did you wish for your name?  How long until you started to like the one you got?

Monday, March 26, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Key.

Last night we had our first family computer counsel.  It spanned three time zones. It was so great seeing and hearing everyone and getting to interact. These will now be on our monthly get-to-do list.

We started last night’s conversation by singing Happy Birthday to Abe and then Calvin had everyone give a 30 second synopsis of a highlight of their week. Next everyone had a turn to ask questions and before we knew it an hour had passed and the time was gone.

Tonight Calvin and I went to supper and a movie for family night.  We had a great time.

Home and family is a key to happiness so it only seems right there are two homes on a keyboard.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Breakfast.

Calvin, Sandy, Sonja, Donna

We had ham, strawberries, cottage cheese pancakes, and coconut syrup for breakfast this morning.  It was the finale to a great scrapbooking weekend with friends.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes
1 cup cottage cheese
6 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp sugar

Blend all things well in blender and fry on hot, greased griddle.

Coconut Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cube butter
1/2 cup coconut milk with 1 tsp lemon juice added (sometimes I just use regular milk and lemon juice)
1 tsp soda
1 tsp coconut flavoring

Bring sugar, butter, and coconut milk/lemon juice to boil in saucepan.  Boil one minute then remove from heat and cool one minute.  Add soda and flavoring.  Stir well.  Serve hot.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Moon.

". . . and in the end you are left with nothing but a bucket full of moon beams."

I don't know where that phrase came from, but I do know that it fits today's photo challenge. 

Ready for company:  towel, water bottle, poof ball, and candy in a bucket

One day about a month ago my friend Deb called and said, "Did you know that staying overnight at Neighbor Jane Payne's house is on Sonja's bucket list?"

I laughed and said, "Indeed, I did not know that."

She said, "Well it is."

Deb had already organized a scrapbooking day where those on the West side of the state would drive over and meet up with us on the East side, so we decided it was a perfect time to help Sonja cross that thing off her bucket list.

It also happens to be Deb's birthday soon so tonight we sang to her as well.  I'm not sure if hearing a chorus of scrapbookers was on Deb's bucket list, but we didn't take any chances.  

Back L-R:  Anita, Donna, Sonja, Nicole
Front L-R:  Sandy, Deb, Lexi

We have a great time together and I really love, enjoy, and admire these women . . . and their families.  I feel like I know their families well because I've seen pictures of and heard about so many of their family memories as these women scrapbook them.

One thing I love about Anita is her sense of adventure.  She loves to travel to new places, see new things, and meet new people.  She is not easily intimidated and has taught me confidence.  

One thing I love about Donna is her compassionate heart.  She takes being a friend very seriously and looks out for others.  She taught me "it's all in the packaging."

One thing I love about Sonja is how practical and efficient she is.  She is a homemaking genius and she never, ever quits.  We could talk tips for hours (and sometimes people roll their eyes at us when we do, but it doesn't deter Sonja.  No sir, because she is a treasure trove of ideas and recipes).

One thing I love about Nicole is her wit.  She has a funny quip for everything.  She's also an idea generator and has great suggestions on everything -- movies, projects, music, sewing.  (And, like her mom Donna, she laughs easily.)

One thing I love about Sandy is her sense of style with fonts, papers, containers, lay-outs, projects, patterns, embellishments.  She has hundreds of ideas and willingly shares them.  She also includes you in projects and helps you to succeed.

One thing I love about Deb is her doggedness.  If it were not for Deb these get-togethers would never take place, it it weren't for Deb's vision of preserving memories half of us wouldn't even scrapbook (make cards maybe, but not scrapbook).  I will always feel in debt to Deb.

One thing I love about Lexie is her enthusiasm and passion for whatever it is she's doing.  Right now it is being a good mother.  She puts her whole heart and soul into it.  She is also a fierce defender and I appreciate that.

I'm so glad Sonja had staying at our home on her bucket list so that we could spend these few days together. Now my bucket has more moon beam memories in it because of that.

Friday, March 23, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Animal.

A picture of Abe and Dan from last week's wiener roast

Dan started out as Abe and Grace's dog.  Calvin and I had his sister Ann, but when Abe came home from Iraq they realized that taking Dan from here where he could free-roam and putting him in a little backyard on post wasn't going to be very good for him.  So they left Dan with us and we gave Ann to Trevor.  We got the dogs as watch dogs, they're black-mouth curs and very protective.  If I was famous, I'd put Dan in my secret service entourage.

When Abe and Grace came to visit last week Dan ran out to greet them.  He never barked once.  He just wagged and wagged, licked their fingers, and occasionally pawed at their pants to tell them hello.  He remembered them and stayed by their side all week.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Kitchen Sink.

You've seen a picture of our kitchen sink countless times.  The only thing new about this morning's picture is the fresh snow outside -- a couple of inches worth.  The best feature of this sink (that you can't see) is the air vent down by the floor.  It's one of life's simple pleasures to have my hands in a sink of warm sudsy water while standing on the soft green rug with the warm air blowing on my feet.  I can stand there happily for a very long time.  Other good features of this sink is that it's not so big that you can let the dishes pile up, it ajaxes nicely, and its disposal system is a bucket under the cupboard that we fill with scraps of  bread, lettuce, fruit, etc. to feed to the chickens.

And there you have our kitchen sink.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Delicious.

It really was.  I sprinkled broken sugar cone pieces on top of a bowl of rocky road ice cream.

It might taste really delicious to dip the cone pieces in chocolate first.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Before & After.

Calvin and Abe

When Calvin served in the army he was stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado.  Abe's first post assignment was also Fort Carson, Colorado.  The other day when we went shooting Calvin and Abe pulled out their ear plugs, both issued from Fort Carson.  I couldn't believe Calvin still had his; he got them in 1973.  Abe's are from 2011.        

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Photo Challenge – A Corner of Your Home.

From left to right:
·        The big wooden bowl on the floor holds magazines and current reading material.  It was turned (made) by our good friend Ken and given to us several years ago.
·        The garden basket was given to me by Cali.  Inside of it is the gift of a primitive stitched pillow from my sister Marcia that says:  “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.” 
– Abraham Lincoln
·        The open 1828 Noah Webster was given to me by my sister Rachel.
·        On top of it is a pocket book called “Lincoln Devotionals” given to me by my niece Rachel.
·        The Emancipation Proclamation was given to me as a gift from Calvin.  He bought it while we were at West Point one year.  
Ty made the frame.
·        The blue chair is a gift from friends and family
·        The round basket of a home in the Philippines hanging above the door is a gift from Abe when he returned from his mission.
·        The secretary desk/bookcase was found at a yard sale and bought with birthday money.
·        Inside of the bookcase are antique quilts and a folded 3’ x 5’ (or so) hand crocheted American flag from my friend Eleesa.
·        The floor lamp was a gift from Abe and Ty
·        The couch is a hand-me-down from my sister Lila.  It’s hard to get rid of because it’s so comfortable.
·        The crocheted throw on the couch is a gift from my friend Mary.

And there you have it.  This corner is a gift in more ways than one.

I like lots of corners in our house:
  • the cookie jar corner in the kitchen
  • the pie safe corner in the dining room
  • all of the corners in the fort, but especially the one with scrapbook paper and twinery
  • the corner in the family room with the world wall map and globe on the antique wooden desk chair
  • the corner in the family room that is the laundry room with its white cupboards and enamelware buckets
  • the corner by the bookcase at the end of the hall that has two, little, wooden, children chairs sitting in it
but this corner of the living room is where I begin my day and, next to the supper table, we have the best conversations.  And to me, good conversations help make a great home.

What's your favorite corner in your house?

Friday, March 16, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Sunglasses.

Maybe you’ve noticed I’ve had to stretch the parameters of the photo challenges a bit to fit life.  Like yesterday's challenge of cars . . .  

Oh, I thought about showing you how our car is down to two hubcaps now after the last tire rotation, or the picture of the hubcap still in the trunk.  (I saw it rolling down the gravel road in the rear view mirror and went back and got it.)  But don’t you think those women making cake pops was a better picture choice than a car missing hubcaps?  Yes, me too, so I put a toy car in the picture and called it legitimate.   

Today’s challenge is similar:  sunglasses.  I could show you my first and only pair of sunglasses.  They’re functional-out-of-date-but-not-retro prescription glasses from1999. (Think goggle-like.  The prescription is no longer accurate, but it's close enough.)  

But what I really wanted to take a picture of was the sun in the stained glass window at the Columbia River Temple.  But, the Columbia River Temple is closed for maintenance this week, so Calvin, Abe, Grace, and I went to the Spokane Temple instead.  The Spokane Temple doesn't have that same sun in the glass.

Regardless, we had a wonderful, wonderful day.  And the sun shone on us and the glasses of the doors and I think that makes it legit.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Car.

Jamie, Grace, Chelsea, Amber, Kayla, Jordan, Max

Grace invited several of her friends (who, incidentally, all drove cars to get here) to make cake pops tonight.  It was a fun night.  Max came and played with the little blue car.  Can you find it in the picture?  (I always wished our family had subscribed to Highlights because it was so fun to do the seek and find pages at the dentist's office.  Did your family have a subscription?)  

Jamie, Grace, Brie, Amber, Heather

Nearly every Eastern Washingtonian has a getting-over-the-pass-to/from-Seattle-in-the-winter story.  Should you ever, ever meet Heather, you ought to ask her to tell you hers.  It rivals any I've heard. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Clouds.

Last night when I checked to see what today’s picture challenge would be, I thought, “No way.  No how.  My little point and shoot can’t delineate clouds in a gray sky.  It had a hard enough time picking out the 865,000 mile-wide sun today.  Just not gonna happen.”  And when I woke up, I was even more right than when I went to bed.  Today was overcast and it was one big, nice, gray cloud all day, which was just perfect for baking chicken pot pie and Peanut Butter Cup Cookies for supper . . .

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

1 Betty Crocker Super Moist Milk Chocolate Cake Mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 bag of miniature Reeses cups

Mix cake mix, eggs, and oil in bowl until well mixed.  Place peanut butter cup in the center of ball of dough.  Make sure the cup is completely covered.  Bake 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.  (I’ve tried other cake mixes and haven’t had as good of luck as with the BC.)

. . . but not for taking pictures.  But then I remembered there is more than one kind of cloud.  Why, there are Clouds of Glory, Clouds of Smoke, Clouds of Hope, Clouds of Change, and Word Clouds. 

Please help me out here. What is in Dan’s head?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Sign.

". . . All things bear record of me."  Moses 6:63  

Matthew 16:4  "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign . . ."

I once heard that seeking for a sign is like saying to a fire, "Give me some heat, then I'll give you some wood."  It just doesn't work that way, first we must show faith and then the Lord confirms it in His own way.  Or in other words, seeking for signs is like adultery in that you want the pleasure without the responsibility and with no intention of making the relationship lasting.

Today was one of those jam-packed days where there were more responsibilities than brain or brawn power.  Three times the Lord specifically let me know He was mindful of my responsibilities and to encourage me in my tasks.  I didn't seek the signs, but I did recognize and appreciate them.

Monday, March 12, 2012

12 on 12 of March '12

Jane - I'm participating in a photo a day for the month of March.  Today's topic:  Fork.
This is the silverware pattern I chose when we got married.  All the big people forks and spoons are long gone
so we're down to only the salad forks and knives.  The knives would make good garden markers,
but I can't think of a project that needs a dozen salad forks.  

Ty & Michelle - I made chicken cordon bleu and twice-baked potatoes (and green beans, but who really counts those?)
for dinner.  It turned out pretty good (Ty is making me type the word "amazing" and won't leave the room until I do)
for a first attempt.  P.S. Notice the forks ;-)

Ty & Michelle - Ty wanted a closer picture of the food.  He said it was Neighbor-Jane-beautiful
 and needed to be photographed.  The baby wanted to help hold it.  Look how strong
(and big!) she is!

Ty & Michelle - This is hopefully the last 12-12 picture with a pregnant Michelle in it.
Full-term the end of this week!

Calvin - "Empty Nester's" family night at Roylance's with pie for dessert.
We played a game and Brenda and Maxine were two of our teammates.  

Abe - Eating root beer cake.  Yummm.  Grace and I came to Seattle to see Ray, Cali, Levin, Joe, and Ande.  

Grace - "Yikes.  A fork."  Waiting for dinner at Ande and Joe's.

Ray and Cali - FHE and dinner with Abe, Grace, Joe, and Ande

Joe - Chewie's favorite new toy:  Lambchop

Ande - For dinner I made Indian buttered chicken and some tasty naan (pictured) with mint chutney.
It was successful and delicious.

Levin - Levin informed us all he wants to be a dentist . . . or maybe a hygienist.  He tried his hand on Uncle Abe.

Grace - Levin cleaning Aunt Grace's mouth.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Someone I talked to today.

waiting in the pick-up after the fireside:  Jordan, Abe, Grace

Not only did I talk today, I listened.  Abe was asked by a bishop in a neighboring town to speak to their youth the next time he was home.  Abe gave an incredible talk using these two scriptures as his topic:

Joshua 1:9:  "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."


Ephesians 6:11-18:  "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil . . . "

Abe showed pictures and taught about specific types of armor the military uses today and how and why it is used (he also threw in interesting Abrams tank, body armor, and Kevlar helmet trivia).  Abe made the comparison of physical protection to spiritual protection as taught by Paul in Ephesians.  It was a very powerful talk and I was grateful to have been in attendance.  I twiddled my thumbs all the way home.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Loud.

Abe, Grace, Calvin

We went to the shooting range today so that Abe could teach Grace how to use their gun.  I must still have an immature startle reflex because loud bangs still trigger it.

Calvin has always enjoyed guns.  He's very conscientious and careful in handling them and taught the kids to be the same.  Abe has also loved guns.  When he was young he would play with the same pistol shaped stick for weeks.   Then later he graduated to a broken b.b. gun.  One day he was mad at Ty and, since he couldn't have b.b.'s yet, filled the barrel with dirt and rocks and took aim at him.  When Calvin found out he took that gun and busted it over his knee right in front of Abe.  It traumatized Abe, mostly because he couldn't have a gun for quite a while after that.

While I like shooting (being outside and pulling the trigger), I do not like handling guns.  They still scare me.

When I was young Grandpa Hoops used to take us rabbit hunting.  He'd load us kids and the guns in the back of his station wagon and drive up the road a mile to the sagebrush covered hill.  There were lots and lots of jackrabbits then.  One time he had three of the big kids lined up waiting for a rabbit to jump out of the bush.  They were taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r to shoot.  They waited and aimed, and aimed and waited for a good shot.  After what seemed several minutes, I decided I had enough time to run to the other side of them before they fired.  I ran right in front of all three loaded and aimed guns.  It was almost a John Dunbar moment (Dances with Wolves) except no one mistook my act for bravery.  Grandpa yelled, and not just a little.  I also had the despise of the older kids on me.  I felt so very, very stupid.  I waited in the car after that and wished that afternoon had never come.  I still feel sick about it, except now it is for Grandpa's sake.  Can you imagine?  

A few years later I took gun safety, but I couldn't wink.  The instructors were two bachelors, brothers, and they said we had to be able to close one eye.  They also said we'd have to pay for the expensive light above the target if we missed and hit it.  I practiced and practiced winking, but I couldn't keep my eye closed.  One day I found that if I rubbed my eye real hard it would stick shut for a couple of seconds.  Later at gun safety I got down on my belly ready to shoot the rifle.  Bachelor One lay next to me and said, "Take aim and shoot."  I rubbed my eye just like I'd practiced then pulled the trigger.  Hang the bull's eye, my goal was to keep my eye shut and not hit the light.  Success.  Next round I did the same thing, but this time the Bachelor worried something was in my eye.  I hurried and shot before he could look in it.  I didn't hit the light.  Success twice.

Now I can wink . . .

 . . . and that bull's eye is mine.  Best part is I called it before the shot.  Calvin said, "Where are you aiming?" and I said that I was going for the middle of the waist.  It was my only recorded shot for the day (I shot one earlier but aimed at the wrong target, so maybe I really hit two bull's eyes =).

Friday, March 9, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Red.

Look who’s here!  Abe and Grace flew in late last night to spend a week in Washington.  Calvin went to work, but we slept in.  The three of us went on a walk and then they ran errands while I worked.  Tonight we went out to Mexican food and to see John Carter.

Kindred (so glad to have them here). Incredible (being together . . . not the movie).  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Window.

the window over the kitchen sink

I took an optimistic chance on the freezing patterns and planted pansies today.  (You can see the flat of them on the picnic table behind the rabbits.)

Looking out your window can give you an honest reflection of yourself . . .

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Something I Wore.

Today it started out clipped to my black slip, then hooked to my black sweats, and finally attached to my black hoodie.  Thanks to Jill, this little pedometer has been joined at my hip for the last two or three weeks, and now I know how many steps I take in a day.

Occasionally Jill mentioned her pedometer readings on her blog, and when I asked her about it she kindly sent me my own.  It was such a sweet gesture and I have very much appreciated the added incentive to keep moving.  Some days, like today, I move lots; other days, not so much.  My goal is to increase steps on the lesser days, and appreciate my feet every day.

I had no idea how many miles I walked in a day until this.  Do you have any clue how many steps you take?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March Photo Challenge – 5:00 PM.

Between the wind and Dan-the-dog our yard looked like a high school locker room floor.  After Calvin got home from work we spent twenty minutes and picked up the big stuff.  The tumbleweeds, leaves, and branches (. . . and wienie roast) will wait for warmer days.

Monday, March 5, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Smile.

I didn’t think I was going to find one today. Usually the postman has one but he was side-tracked and busy. Usually the Wal-Mart greeter had one but she was tired and didn’t even get off her stool.

I was wishing this challenge had been three days ago when a former student stopped by with a great big smile. He’d come straight from the orthodontist’s office to show me his new, metal-less smile. He would have loved it if I’d have taken a picture and shown it to you, too.

But just when I’d decided to go to bed and look for a good smile tomorrow, I thought of our jar of salt up in the cupboard. I keep a ping-pong ball in it as a reminder to rise above adversity and discouragement. To smile. If you turn that jar of salt upside down and bury the ping-pong ball, then shake the jar up and down, the ping-pong ball will rise to the top. E.v.e.r.y.t.i.m.e. You can’t keep it buried. It’s a good object lesson when used with a great question: “How did coat-of-many-colors-Joseph keep from being buried in fear or doubt? How did he repeatedly rise to the top even when people tried to destroy him?  How did he keep the smile on his face?” or “How did Daniel-in-the-lion’s-den rise above the challenges of his day? What kept him from becoming cynical and defeated?  How did he keep a smile on his face?”

(And just as a side note: Scientists have discovered that your body doesn’t know the difference between a fake or a real smile and will respond to your happy face as if it’s the actual thing. And, a study conducted by UC-Berkeley found that women who smiled in their college yearbook photos led happier lives, had happier marriages, and had had fewer personal setbacks in the following 30 years.

Here are a dozen ways to put a smile on someone’s face:

  1. If you know someone is going out to dinner to celebrate a special occasion, call the restaurant in advance and say you’ll pick up the cost of his dessert.
  2. Bake cookies and deliver them
  3. Look at your kids’ baby pictures
  4. Hug someone
  5. Trade your low ticket number at the deli or driver’s license bureau with someone who seems to be in a hurry or has small children
  6. Pay for the drive-through order of the car behind you
  7. Let someone have the parking spot you were both hoping to get
  8. When an elderly person is crossing the street slowly, walk alongside him at the same pace so he isn’t embarrassed by being the only person in the intersection when the light changes.
  9. Go to the zoo and watch the animals
  10. Take a box of donuts for your building’s physical maintenance staff and leave them in their break room with a thank you note
  11. Every day for a year, jot down one thing you love about your child/husband/friend (his crooked smile, her snort when she laughs,)  Give them the list at the end of the year
  12. Clip newspaper articles highlighting the achievements of young people and send it to them, their family, or grandparents

Where did you see a smile today?  Or, what made you smile?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Bedside.

If you came to visit me, this would be your room and your bedside.  Your window looks out over the front yard with the chicken coop off to the side.  You would hear the roosters crow all night long . . . for free.

The Carl Bloch painting of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane is one of my favorites of the Savior.  It is an encouraging one to wake up to because it is a reminder of the love of the Savior.  It is a humbling one to go to sleep to because it is a reminder of the price.  I feel such love for Him and from Him because of what happened in the Garden.

"And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him."  Luke 22:43 
Bruce R. McConkie said, "We know that an angel came from the courts of glory to strengthen him in his ordeal,
and we suppose it was mighty Michael, who foremost fell that mortal man might be."

Saturday, March 3, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Neighborhood.

Signing the petition to let voters decide the definition of marriage
(thanks to Cali for the great photos)

Today we met in the junior high school cafeteria for our precinct caucus meeting (to select a Republican presidential candidate).  Only two candidates, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, had supporters in our audience.  After the welcome and pledge of allegiance, the floor was opened to anyone who wanted to speak for his candidate.  After those wishing to speak had done so, the chairman opened the floor for nominations of delegates to attend the county convention that will be in April.  Calvin and I were both nominated and chosen to be delegates to represent our precinct.  We will both cast votes for Mitt Romney.

It was a great day to be in the neighborhood.

I thought this photo-a-day might be a challenge, but I didn't know that the challenge would be in choosing only one picture for the day (especially when Cali is willing to take the pictures).  Today I didn't follow the rules very well . . .


Friday, March 2, 2012

March Photo Challenge – Fruit.

Cali snapped this picture of me making orange rolls this afternoon while talking to my niece, Jenny.  Jenny is the mother of five little boys and we visit once a month or so.  Today she told me about the birthday cake she made  for their eight year old son.  She made a bowling ball and bowling pin.  She said she also made cookie dough brownies to serve after his baptism tomorrow and that was what made her think to call (we use the same recipe).  I love being an aunt.

Orange Roll Recipe

Shelly's Roll Recipe

5 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp yeast
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs

Orange filling
Mix well:
the zest of two oranges
3/4 cup melted butter
1 1/4 cup sugar

Orange frosting
juice of one orange
powdered sugar (enough to make desired consistency)
sprinkle of salt

In a mixing bowl thoroughly mix 2 cups of flour with the sugar, salt, and yeast.

Combine water, milk, and butter in a saucepan.  Heat over low heat until liquids are warm (dish water temperature).  Gradually add to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes.

Add eggs and 1/2 cup flour.  Mix well.  Add remaining flour to make a soft dough.  Knead 8-10 minutes.  Place dough in large bowl rubbed with oil, turn dough once to grease both sides.  Cover and let rest 20 minutes.  

Roll out dough on well-floured surface.  Spread orange filling over dough and roll up like you would cinnamon rolls.  Slice and place on greased baking sheet.  Let rise until double.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Frost with orange frosting.  

Any fruit in your day?