This weekend has been wonderful!  First we had an unexpected visit from our good friend Lauren and her darling baby girl, Madeline.  This amazing family moved away about a month ago so we miss them very much and appreciated the visit!  Madeline is one of those babies just full of personality.  Her many facial expressions keep you smiling, laughing and wanting more.  She is so smart and lovable too!  I snapped a few pictures while they were here.  I also had a video but for some reason it’s not working so enjoy these other pics too!
  This is Madi playing peek-a-boo. So cute! Here are some that Lauren sent me….talk about cheese! 🙂
Dontcha just wanna wrap that up and eat it with crackers?!!  Love this girl and love this family.  
The next excitement of the weekend was an evening with a long lost roommate who I hadn’t seen in TOO LONG! Her name is KC and she was my flat mate our first year in college when we lived in the jail cells. 🙂  We were lucky that we got each other as roommates and blessed that a life long friendship emerged from it.    I am proud of KC for her life and example to me and if you’re reading this KC I know your rolling your eyes so STOP IT!  We had a fun night of delicious dinner (compliments of my husband) and yummy dessert (compliments of KC).  BTW KC you left your ice cream here and I sense you did that on purpose you sneaky bum!  Anyway I should have snapped some photos this night because I fear it will be too long before I see her again!  I love you Roommate! 
The last adventure of the weekend was cleaning carpets!  One of the many perks of my job is we get to schedule and take the carpet cleaning van anytime we want to clean our own carpets or anyone Else’s that we want to!  So in case you didn’t know Chem-Dry is the worlds best carpet, upholstery and tile cleaning system and as such can be pretty pricey but you get what you pay for!  So it’s nice to be able to learn how to do it ourselves and have extremely clean carpets for free!  So anyway the main tool to clean the carpets is called a PowerHead.  It has a patented attachment that makes it what it is and why it does such a good job!  In a nutshell it spins and shoots out the carbonated solution (The Natural, also another thing unique to Chem-Dry) deep into your carpets and the carbonation brings the dirt up the top of the carpet!  That’s when you go back over and suck it off!  I was actually disgusted with the amount of dirt that came up out of our fairly new carpets!  It was awesome!  This PowerHead is not an easy thing to maneuver.  You lift it up to go right, down to go left, sideways to go forward and the other sideways to go backward.  Or vise versa!  If you don’t know how to do it it will go wild and hit walls and crack nearby tile!  But my brave husband gave it a shot because we wanted to learn and would you believe he learned that thing in a matter of minutes?!!  We were all impressed. That’s my baby!  I’m just glad because now we can clean carpets whenever and one of us knows how to handle it! 
This is our little neighbor, Ethan.   He is too much fun.  His parents are the experts on cleaning who taught us all we know. 🙂  Thanks guys!  Ahhhhhhhh clean carpets and clean chair.  I love you Chem-Dry and I love you Baby!  Technically our weekend isn’t over so we’ll see what more adventures we have but I say BRING IT ON!  

I think it’s time to post the famous Sherwood waffle recipe.  It’s an AMAZING alternative to the store bought stuff if you’re looking to be a little healthier.  Sure it takes a little more work but not much I promise!  The fun thing is that it is mostly protein so low carb and if you use whole wheat flour or Kamut (our favorite)  it is high fiber!  And they are so super light and fluffy!    
My hubby came up with this bit of work when he was tired of everything else out there!  So here’s what you do and believe me it’s yummy and if you’re used to the store bought stuff it might take you a while to get used to it but it grows on you!  And another perk is that it’s less expensive!  

Sherwood Waffles

Flour (we like Kamut or whole wheat, ground fresh)
Vanilla extract (the real stuff)
Take your eggs, about 2 per person depending on how many your feeding, and separate the yolks from the whites.  We use 2 old yogurt containers because we’ve discovered it’s easiest and doesn’t make a mess.  I’ll explain more later.  So once your egg whites and your egg yolks are separated get out your beaters and beat the heck out of the whites…until they are fluffy. 🙂    Put that aside for a sec and with your yolk container just add water until it looks about the same amount as the egg whites (this is also why it’s nice to have two identical containers so you can compare the volumes).   After you add your water it’s time to add your flour to make it look like waffle batter!  You can play with the consistency because different waffle irons are different but there shouldn’t be too much of a discrepancy.  Add your cinnamon and vanilla to taste and just a touch of salt.  Then you fold the egg whites and flour mixture together with a rubber spatula!  Once that is thoroughly mixed you are ready to pour it into your iron and ENJOY! MMMmmmmm they are good and sooooo healthy for you!  Nothing in these that you can’t pronounce!  🙂   
Then we usually put our homemade syrup and whip cream on them.  And recently we’ve been doing frozen berries cooked down with sugar and cornstarch.  I guess it’s another homemade type syrup.  I’m not going to post the recipes for the syrup unless someone really wants it.  It’s pretty simple I think.  🙂  
Isn’t food wonderful?!  I love it.  I can’t wait to have the time (and money) to play and make more extravagant things!  Give my amazing husband a break!! 🙂 hehe 
Happy cooking!

Almost two years ago I was in a wonderful town called Tomball, Texas.  I was busy tracting, proselyting and trying to share the gospel with the people there.  On my journey I had angels who supported me, kept me warm and my belly full.  Who gave me that special care that was needed in order for me to keep going on my very difficult mission.  Some of these angels came in the form of a family named the Hydricks; Brother and Sister Hydrick, Micah, Jasher, Malachi and Sariah.  The spirit you felt when you walked through their front door was always like a  rejuvenation for me.  It seems like just yesterday that we were there.  I remember FHE, spiritual messages, many delicious dinners, cleaning up after the Hurricane  Ike and much more!.  Always accompanied by Brother and Sisters Hydricks warm smiles and willing hands.
Well the reason I am telling you this story is because while I was there, Sister Hydrick showed us her quilt room full of her amazing projects and beautiful quilts!  I immediately fell in love with one particular quilt.  It was a Red Hats Society quilt.  If you aren’t sure what that is go here to learn more fun facts!  And ya sure, I might only be considered a ‘pink’ hatter but I can still enjoy right?! Well yesterday I received a most wonderful surprise!  I opened the box addressed to me and low and behold it was a Red Hats Society quilt!  BEAUTIFUL!  See for yourself! It’s so funny too!

The one lady says, “What is it we are supposed to be doing with this stuff?” The other one, “I don’t know dear, I haven’t a clue.”
This lady is at ‘Victorias Tell All” and one day it dawned on her that she was no longer a B-cup! hehe
The dresses are flappy!  So cute!
  I love my new quilt and I love the Hydricks!  But WAIT it gets better!  I also found out at this same time that this wonderful family is going to be moving to Utah and not only to Utah but to LOGAN! Ahhhhhhh! This cold, dreary place is going to be just a little brighter with their warm spirits and I can’t wait to see them again!  I am so grateful for the gospel and the opportunity I had to share it so I could meet wonderful people like these!  THANK YOU THANK YOU SISTER HYDRICK AND FAMILY!!  I LOVE YOU ALL! 

Pumpkin Spice Bread

In a mixing bowl thoroughly blend 
2 eggs (preferably duck eggs)
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (best if you bake your own sugar pie pumpkin face down in an inch of water for an hour or so in the oven at 350 – then scoop out the soft orange flesh and blend until smooth)
1 cup sugar (if you use a whole sugar cane sugar that did not have the molasses removed it give it a mapley flavor)
1/2 cup oil (expeller pressed of course!)

In a separate bow mix
2 cups flour (we love fresh ground whole grain Kamut)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon (sweet and spicy Vietnamese Saigon cinnamon)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (fresh ground of course)
1/4 teaspoon cloves (and yes… this is fresh ground too!  and the most important part of the whole operation).
pinch of salt (to taste… we use more than a pinch).

Gently fold the to mixtures together and bake in a bread pan at 350 until it smells done (less than an hour).

Sorry we don’t have any pictures… it disappeared to fast for our slow camera.  Contact us if you would like to donate to our cause…

The other day we took a trip to Hawaii….only in our minds of course but mostly with our taste buds!  We first cooked our shrimp in coconut and butter.  We get our coconut from the local health food store because that’s the only place we can find it where it is ‘real’ coconut not the nasty stuff that pretends to be coconut.  MMMmmm you just open the bag and it takes you to someplace far away in the tropics.  Anyway, then my husband whipped up this amazing stuff to put in with the shrimp.  It consisted of mango, pineapple, orange juice,  coconut milk (also another great find) and a mixture of fresh lemon basil and cilantro.  OH my gosh, it was like a party in my mouth!  And then of course when my hubby dresses up the plate like this, I just have to take a picture of it!  
I wish I had my camera on Thursday too!  Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful!  We weren’t able to go home (St. George) because I had to work on Black Friday.  But that’s okay because we got to spend the day with other family members!  First we stopped in North Salt Lake and saw Robby and Chels at her parents house.  I say we saw Robby and Chels but really we were there to see Lachlan and Olive!  Look at these munchkins!!
Wouldn’t you just be dying to see these little ones too?!  And there is another one on the way!  YAy!!!  Well after we said goodbye we headed to the Ehlerts where we had dinner with quite the crowd!  There was 4 Chinese exchange students, 2 big families and about 3 other small families not including our little one of course. 🙂 I am so grateful for family.  What a perfect plan that Heavenly Father set up for us!  I especially am grateful for my little family (my hubby and I).  I love him more and more each day!  I didn’t even know that was possible!  

 It’s beginning to ‘look (and feel) (and smell) a lot like Christmas’!!  Last night we saw the first signs of snow and this morning it has continued!  I love looking out my window and being able to see beautiful white flakes softly fall and it beginning to pile on the tops of the fences and tree leaves.  In church today, my hubby and I decided we were going to go make snow angels, snow mans and snow balls to throw at each other for family night. 
So not only does it really look like Christmas outside, it of course SOUNDS like Christmas!  Oh the sounds of Christmas!  There really is nothing better!  There is a special spirit that accompanies Christmas time, and why wouldn’t it?!  What would life be like if we weren’t celebrating this time of year?!  I don’t even want to think about it!  But we do have it and that is why I am so happy!  I love the feeling in the air around Christmas time.  I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my blessings and for my Savior Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful that he chose to come to the earth and fulfill the mission he was sent to do. 
The other reason it is beginning to ‘look a lot like Christmas’ is because of the smells!  This is mostly thanks to my AMAZING husband! I think I have inspired him to be in the Christmas spirit without him even knowing it. 🙂  The other day he made squash soup and yesterday he made pumpkin pie!  And yes, all from scratch of course.  How much more Christmassy can you get?!  MMmmmMmmmmm!  Our house has been filled with the yummy smells of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Gotta give thanks to our scentsy burner for that too! 
Life is good.  I am quite sure I am the happiest woman in the world.  I frequently cry tears of gratitude and happiness for no reason than just that.  I have my husband who is the most amazing creature whom I love more than I thought possible and of course my family who I love intensely as well and who love me.  I have a testimony of the gospel and a Heavenly Father and Elder Brother who loves me.  I have my health, a job, a home, food in the fridge and freedom.  
BLISS barely captures what I feel but it works for now. 🙂 
I made the mistake the other day of turning on Christmas music while on my way to work.  I did this because we woke up to a little bit of winter wonderland and I couldn’t help myself!  But now that the snow is gone and I’m realizing that it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, I probably made a mistake.  But WHO CARES!  I would personally like to know who made up the rule that you can’t listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving!  I mean I can understand that listening to it in July could cause a problem but around this time of year if you just start to feel it in your bones why ignore it just because someone said you shouldn’t!  Ah, okay I vented.  Now I’ll just sit back and listen to my Christmas music.  🙂  Hope you enjoy too!  If you’re ‘one of those’ people I apologize.  I say to you, “Where is your Christmas Spirit!?”  It has no bounds! 🙂 
I also wanted to post some more pics of our wonderful meals as of late.  And no my husband doesn’t always make each plate looks this beautiful.  Just most the time. 🙂  He’s amazing though…seriously, look at these! And it was all so yummy!

What you see is Cajun/Nutmeg shrimp around a bed of caramelized onions, rice and black beans.  Topped with avocados and some of our fresh cilantro and lime mint.
Sea Scallops cooked with butter, garlic with sour cream homemade potatoes and asparagus. Topped with lemon basil. MMMmmmm

This is what my love cooked for breakfast this morning.  His amazing waffle recipe topped with fresh strawberries and homemade whip cream!  Ya baby!
Now this part is my favorite…try not to be disgusted… 🙂

Yes, what you see is what we ate in just one evening!  A matter of a few hours actually!

We were on a Sour Cream kick so we made dark chocolate sour cream chocolate chip brownies!  I love my life!

That’s All Folks!  And may I say……MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!
This is our herb garden…well the beginnings of it anyway.  Unfortunately these pictures were taken while the ugly grow light was on but you get the idea!  These were also taken several weeks ago.  Today the garden is much more lush and flavorful!  You will see those pictures below. 
But we have been enjoying this a whole lot.  It makes cooking more fun and taste even better than it already was! 

This is our Gold Nugget Cherry Tomato plant.  It’s about one month old!  I am so excited to be picking off this one!  I’ve never had them but my husband says they are amazing!

Also, we have some Savory, Rosemary, Thyme, Lemon Basil, regular Basil, Cilantro (super excited about this one, the stuff in the store is always so gross!), Oregano, Chocolate Peppermint (yes, it really smells like chocolate!), Lime Mint, Spinach and Strawberries!!!!
So in a few more months, I’ll post some more pictures when we are even further along!  Oh man I am excited for some strawberries and tomatoes and everything else!  Life is good!  Especiallly when my husband makes stuff like this!!

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Feta Cheese and Broccoli. MMmmm!

Big Mama Calzone!  Double MMMMmMmm!

Once again….I AM SPOILED!  I love my husband so much!  I couldn’t live without him!  He is my everything!  I love you babe!

Growing our family and more