Wednesday, June 27, 2012

For those still reading...

...I saw this photo today and just couldn't help sharing it with whoever is still reading.

This is Chef Franz. He taught Garde Manger in Culinary School. He's Austrian. And, yes, he looks like Sam from Guess Who. He was probably one of my favorite Chefs to work with, he was silent and kind and very willing to teach. You could definitely tell he enjoyed it.  

This is Annali. She was probably my closest friend in Culinary School. She's from Southern California and went to High School with Blake Lively (pretty cool, huh). She was so funny and totally put up with my weird sense of humor. We really had some great memories, including this one...where we made a cactus ice sculpture (go figure). 

Thursday, May 31, 2012


For those of you that know me, you know i'm not very crafty. I usually don't have time to do crafts nor do I have the type of mind that allows me the freedom to craft. Well, I found something simple enough that I could wrap my head around it and do it. A book page wreath. I'm proud of it, mostly because it makes my walls look less bare. I'll have to find other things to do now that I have accomplished this.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Life's Little Lessons

Today Lucas wanted to play outside on the porch which leads directly into a patch of dirt with some bushes. I was on the computer and could keep an eye on him from where I sat. I glanced over about two minutes after he went out and saw that he had scooped a bunch of dirt out of the bushes onto our porch. I told him to put the dirt back and went back to working on the computer. I looked a couple of minutes later and he had managed to spread around the dirt that was supposed to be put back, plus add more dirt. I told him, again, to put the dirt back. I watched him this time; it was like watching a shovel clear away an avalanche. His hands were just not big enough and he just didn’t entirely know how he was going to do it. I watched him for a while, wishing I could give him further direction but knew he needed to learn how to do it. After a while he looks up at me and says “Mommy, I need help please.” I looked at him and thought about my answer. I finally told him to wait just a second while I find a tool for him. I then got our little dust broom and showed him how to use it. He then started to clean up his mess. After a while I looked out and saw that all of the dirt was cleared away save for a few patches here and there, he looked up and said, “I still need help, please”. So I went out and helped him clear off the rest of the patches so that the porch was again clean.

What an amazing experience for me to witness. I couldn’t help but think of how Heavenly father must feel about us. We make messes in our lives, he gives us prophets to tell us how to clean it up. He gives us the Atonement to help us even more. And yet, we know that that’s not enough. It’s his grace that helps us clean up the last few patches left so that we can be clean again. In viewing this experience I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to utilize the tools he gives me so that I may make myself cleaner. I am grateful for my children so I can view these little life lessons through a different perspective, and therefore grow more from it. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 19th, 2012

Darci turned 9 months old this last Saturday. It's AMAZING how fast she's grown! She LOVES playing with her brother. She follows him around everywhere. She loves that he is more often than not the first person she sees in the morning. She loves to crawl around and loves to gab. She's extremely curious which means she gets into everything. She is ambitious and fearless which can be a good thing or a bad thing. She's smart and loves to study people. She'll look at you for a while and try and figure you out. I don't know where she gets that...

After church with Nona!

In her pretty Sunday dress!

With her cute pink egg!

And her pretty pink dress from Grandma!

Hanging out with GG!

Hanging out with her favorite brother!

And snuggling with her Grandma!

And crawling into odd places!

While waiting for merry go rounds!

And just being cute!

Oh yeah. I also turned 23 on Saturday. We went and saw The Avengers and then went to Buffalo Wild Wings afterward! I love my family and I'm grateful for their generosity!

Craig's Birthday

This year Craig's birthday landed on Mother's Day so we had a hard time trying to decide what to do on his birthday. We opted for doing nothing for either of us since it would have been too hard to decide. We celebrated his birthday the Saturday before by going to Red Robin and cashing in a free burger for him and a free appetizer for Mother's Day (I know, right!). Then we came home and had home-made ice cream cake. He got a watch and Lego Harry Potter years 5-7 for his birthday. 

We're so blessed to have Craig in our lives. The first thing you notice about him is his wit. As you get to know him you find out how kind and sensitive he is. He loves being a dad and can be just as child-like as the kids. He is extremely intelligent and has grown so much through the four birthday's we've spent together. We love you, Craig!

Give Oh Give Away

Lucas has been singing this song for the last few days, he decided that it would be ok to record him singing it. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Someday Jobs

If you know me, you know I love to work and have a PLETHORA of different jobs I would love to work. For those of you who don't know me, this post will be a little more enlightening as to what kind of person I am.

I want to be...

A therapist
A mailman
An ultrasound tech
A Papa Murphey's pizza maker
A grocery store clerk
An art historian
A librarian
A maid
A personal chef
A personal assistant
A personal shopper
A secret shopper
A crossing guard
A cake decorator
A baker
A school nurse
An oceanographer
A dental assistant
A dental hygienist
An actress
A book on tape reader
A restaurant critic
A concert pianist
A dog walker
A pet groomer
A veterinarian 
A pizza deliverer
A horse trainer/ border
A tap dancer
A fencing instructor
A Disneyland character
An interpreter
A show bartender
A stage hand
An Edible Arrangements arranger
A florist
A mascot
A stunt driver

I'm pretty sure there are more...we'll see if I add in some more later.

....and just because they're cute.


We're still trying to figure out Easter traditions for our family. This year we may have found them. On Saturday we went on a picnic with my sister Leah and her boyfriend Zach. She decided to put together an Easter egg hunt for Lucas. He loved it. He still doesn't believe in the Easter bunny but goes along with the fun, anyways. We had fun with all of our picnic food and feeding the not-very-hungry ducks. The next morning the Easter Bunny came and we went off to church in our Easter Sunday best. We had fun explaining Easter to him and then him in turn talking about it for about a week afterward. We are grateful for this time of year to remind us of how lucky we are. 

He found one! And there's one right behind him...

Isn't she adorable!

Easter, guys. Easter.

Lucas' Birthday

Lucas is a big three year old now! We had a friend birthday party on March 17th and then celebrated with Nona on their actual birthday, March 22nd. When I was asking him what kind of a birthday party he wanted he said he wanted a My Little Pony party. So I ran through a few of his other favorite cartoons to make sure that really was what he wanted and he decided to switch it to a Mickey Mouse party. Everyone came and we all had a blast! 

She's all ready for the party!

 He got a cane and baton! Now he's a legit Fred Astair.

The Cupcake.

He's been dreaming of this moment for months.

Can you tell?

To me this is the classic party picture. At least one kid crying and only one kid looking at the camera. Classic.

Birthday morning presents!

With Birthday Breakfast Cereal!

And German Chocolate cake with Nona! Yum.

Brooke and Sarah (my cousins) joined us and gave Lucas some Star Wars finger puppets. They're adorable. 

Lucas is a funny man now. He loves to dance and sing, he loves his friends and his family. His favorite stuffed animals are all of them, however, he still carries Elmo and Mickey around the most. He likes to tell stories and act them out. He loves playing with Darci and loves that she loves him too. He can count to twenty, sing his ABCs and has even been practicing writing them with what he calls his "Ipad" (which is really magnetic drawing board). He loves animals and says he wants a kitty and a puppy someday. We'll see. We love him so much and are very grateful for him and the flavor he adds to this family. 

(p.s. while I was writing this post he kept singing "Happy Birthday" to himself.)

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Mouths of Babes

So I have been searching for this video for the past five or six years of my life. I love it. Children are adorable and so often have the correct attitude about the gospel that us adults seem to forget. I know it's a long one, but it is well worth your time. I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Thought for Today

I don't know what brought me to this thought. Going to culinary school to me is like saying you served in the military. When you tell people they're generally impressed and you're pretty proud of yourself for attending. Then you think back at some of the memories and some are good, but there are some that you would much rather forget. There's really no way to explain to other people how hard it is because they don't understand, they've never been through it. There are nights that you wake up because of the memories or your inability to take that part of you out.

Now I'm not undermining the Military or those that serve, because the horrors they face are completely different from culinary school and have more lasting consequences. I'm only saying the stress that they cause have similar reactions.

Just some food for thought...

My class. Chef said serious, half of us got the memo.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Darci Laughing

This didn't make it into the last post because it was in a different format so here you go!

What can I say, she's a giggly girl!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Whole Hearts Cereal

So I found this and decided to be festive and get it. Lucas calls it "Heart Cereal". I'm hoping it lasts past Valentine's Day because it is way good. Lightly sweetened oat cereal...can't go wrong.


Baby Darci

Darci's a toot. We love her and she's growing really fast. We can't believe that it will be six months in just a couple of weeks since she's been in our lives. She has a great sense of humor. She's super cuddly. She loves her stuffies and she most especially loves her brother (who loves her just as much in return, surprisingly). She's a toot and we love her.

Lucas was kind enough to share his lightsaber with her


...HAPPY BABIES (oh and Daddies too I guess).

Grandpa's Buddies

So my Grandpa Drake was Italian, right? So he loved these homemade chicken tortellini his mom would make (hence why he called them his buddies). So he decided to figure out Great Grandma Lechene's recipe for his favorite dinner. It took a couple of calls to my mother to clarify some things but I was able to make them as well. They're delicious and I love them on a cold day.

This is what Grandpa wrote in his history as recorded by his own voice:

Take six eggs in a bowl and beat with 3 cups of flour and one teaspoon of salt. Beat eggs and flour. You may need to add flour to have it roll out well. Leave it out for one hour while preparing the filling.

 Boil one chicken, save the broth, and bone the chicken. Grind the chicken with 3 pieces of celery, one onion, one beat up egg, one cup of cracker crumbs, two tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt, poultry seasoning, and sage. Roll out dough. Add 1/2 teaspoon of stuffing to every 2 inch square of dough. Cut and fold. Let stand in refrigerator until dry. Cook in chicken broth until tender/ May be frozen for later use.

There were a couple of corrections my mom told me to make because she remembers when he made it he would use Progresso Italian Breadcrumbs instead of cracker crumbs. Also I would like to add when combining the egg and flour, add a little flour at a time until you get a stiff dough. One more thing, I added some chicken broth to the water saved for the soup so that it would have a more chicken flavor. My mom suggests doing the same because my grandpa would leave the bones in the water for quite some time so unless you have a lot of time on your hands, I would use either a boullion cube or some chicken broth.Other than that, everything was great.

I didn't really know my Grandpa Drake, he died shortly after I was born. I have only one picture with him. I wish I could have known him more. Cooking makes me feel closer to him and most especially, when cooking his Buddies.

Add flour slowly to the eggs then let sit for an hour while preparing the stuffing.

Boil the chicken and save the broth.

Let Chicken rest a while before digging in and pulling it apart, it is very hot!

Shred the chicken so the food processor doesn't die trying to grind up the chicken

Chicken onion and celery are to be ground together in a food processor. If you have one of those old timey food grinders...I wouldn't suggest would take forever and your arm would hurt afterwards.

Then mix the grindings with the egg parmesan, breadcrumbs and seasonings.

Now it's time to roll out the dough. I tried to keep it fairly rectangular so I didn't have a ton of waste.

I measured my squares because i'm a nut and require things to be on the more organized side. (Dad would be proud)

And then the final may not be pretty but OH MAN is it good.

Boil these suckers in the reserved broth (I strained my broth so it would look prettier) and then you're ready to enjoy. 

We were just so excited to eat them by the time we got done they were gone and we didn't get a picture. But rest assured it was beautiful, especially with a loaf of Italian Bread on the side. 


She's adorable. Such a proud mama. Ignore the commentary...

The Breakup Artist by Shannen Crane Camp

So a friend of mine wrote a book and got it published! She's always been a talented writer and is working on a couple more books including a series. I got this book for Christmas from my brother because he wanted to support her too. I finally sat down and read it before school started and it was fun! Definitely meant for a younger audience, but I enjoyed the adolescence and most especially her character development. She does a fantastic job developing her protagonist and helping the reader see through her eyes. I enjoyed it and if you're looking for a quick read, take a look. Her book is sold through Barnes and Nobles and Amazon.

Here is what the back of the book says:

"Breaking up with someone is a major pain-unless you hire someone to do it for you. Known by her clients as 'The High School Heartbreaker,' Amelia Marie Bedford is the perfect picture of a social chameleon and the number one breakup artist in multiple schools. She demands top dollar for her professional breakup services, and there are more than enough girls willing to pay, especially right before Prom.

Everything's business as usual until David, one of the boys she's been hired to dump, throws her for a loop by showing genuine interest in something other than her looks. With clients piling up, Amelia must decide if David's intentions are honest, or if there's something else going on behind his gorgeous green eyes."

Its quirky and fun and definitely cheesy. She worked hard on it and I am so proud of her for getting published. It's a fantastic accomplishment and I can't wait to see what else she does.

She even signed my book for me!