Monday, December 20, 2010

In the kitchen: Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Recipe

from Martha of course!
Another favorite of mine!

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups light-brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1 cup granulated sugar (for rolling)
1 cup confectioners' sugar (for rolling)
Making the Crinkle Cookie Dough

In a medium size bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt until well blended.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until well combined. If necessary, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure all the ingredients are well blended.
Add the melted chocolate and beat until blended.
With mixer on low speed, alternate adding flour mixture and milk until just combined.
Divide the dough into quarters, wrapping each with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 2 hours.
Baking the Crinkle Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
Remove portions of cookie dough from the refrigerator one at a time.
Divide the portion of dough into 16 1-inch balls.
Place each of the sugars in a shallow dish.
Roll each ball in granulated sugar and then in confectioners' sugar to coat completely.
Place the cookies 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
Bake, one cookie sheet at a time, until the cookies flatten and the tops form cracks, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and place the baking sheets on wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container, between layers of parchment or wax paper for up to 1 week.
This recipe yields about 5 dozen Chocolate Crinkle (Crackle) Cookies

AND since I didn't take a picture of any of these this year.... here is a little treat I made for Lucy's K Class party last week.
White Chocolate Marshmallow Snowmen.
White Chocolate Marshmallow Snowmen
Saw the idea on the internet somewhere.
Three marshmallows on a stick. Dipped in white chocolate, with some eyes and a nose. I think pretzels would be cute for arms but I didn't have any!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Spiritual Sundays

"The Christmas season is wonderful in many ways. It is a season of charitable acts of kindness and brotherly love. It is a season of being more reflective about our own lives and about the many blessings that are ours. It is a season of forgiving and being forgiven. It is a season to enjoy the music and lights, parties and presents. But the glitter of the season should never dim our sight and prevent us from truly seeing the Prince of Peace in His majesty.
Let us all make this year’s Christmas season a time of rejoicing and celebration, a time when we acknowledge the miracle that our Almighty God sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem the world!" - BY PRESIDENT DIETER F. UCHTDORF, Second Counselor in the First Presidency

Saturday, December 18, 2010

In the Kitchen: Christmas Cookies: Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti

One of mt favorites I make every year!

Makes about 4 dozen

* 1/2 cup dried cranberries
* 1/2 cup boiling water
* 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
* 3 large eggs, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Place cranberries in a small bowl; add boiling water. Let stand until plump, about 15 minutes. Drain, and set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until combined. Mix in cranberries and pistachios.
3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape each piece into a 16-by-2-inch log, and transfer to prepared baking sheet, about 3 inches apart. With the palm of your hand, flatten logs slightly. Brush beaten egg over surface of the dough logs, and sprinkle generously with sugar.
4. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until logs are slightly firm to touch, about 25 minutes. Transfer logs on parchment paper to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
5. Place logs on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut logs crosswise on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange slices, cut sides down, on rack. Bake until firm to touch, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven; let biscotti cool completely on rack. Biscotti can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Friday, December 17, 2010

In the Kitchen with Christmas Cookies: Lemonade Cookies

My SIL Jen asked for some of my favorite cookie recipes for Christmas. Soooo here's one to start.

Lemonade Cookies

Lemonade Cookies (new to me this year but I loved them!)
from Maire Barfuss
1 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs beaten
Pinch of salt
1/2 can thawed frozen lemon concentrate
3 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda

Mix margarine, sugar and eggs. Add lemonade, flour and soda. Drop onto cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. (original recipe said 400 but it seemed to high of a heat for me, so I changed it). As soon as you pull them out of the oven you brush them with more lemon concentrate and sprinkle with sugar.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winter Play

dec 9- snow play

I am in the count down until Regan comes home.
This Friday.

Friday, December 10, 2010


As we were walking in today at lunch time after picking up Alden from school.

Lucy: "Hey, who smells like Grandma Davis?"

Mom: " What does Grandma Davis smell like?"

Alden: "Potatoes!"

Mom: "Grandma Davis smells like potatoes?"

Alden: "Well she IS a gardener!"

Mom: "I don't think Grandma smells like potatoes"

Lucy: " I think she just smells like an old lady"

Mom: "What does that smell like?"

Lucy: "ummmm bread and.... potatoes?"

dec 8- christmas reflection

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


Around our house.
Lots of puke going on.
And not a lot else!
Except looking cute :)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Lovely Links

I found some super cute things to share.

One: these camera bags oh MY I'd love one! Look at how CUTE they are!!!!!!

Two: Read this right here that the great photographer Erin Cobb wrote about taking a picture a day. I am trying to do again next year.

Three: Look at these lovely necklaces. As always classic and beautiful!

Four: Rebecca is doing some great blogging this december. I am going to be doing a post next week.

Five: Look at this GREAT idea for a gift. Love love love it! and Alden would sure love to get it! (and so would Lucy!)

Six: A fun game of Holiday Bingo we are going to play tonight that you can download and print to play with your kids.

Seven: I love these ornaments here

Eight: I love books. A LOT. A couple I've got my eye on. Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision and Vision Mongers.

Anything online caught your eye lately?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Photo Talk: Christmas Bokeh

I assume you've seen the word Bokeh before? At some point. People loooove to throw it around. Like me I do! :)

"Bokeh (derived from Japanese boke ぼã', a noun form of bokeru ぼã'ã‚‹, "become blurred or fuzzy") is a photographic term referring to the appearance of out-of-focus areas in an image produced by a camera lens using a shallow depth of field."

Sooo really it means the fuzzy stuff in the background of pictures! :) Like in this one. You can see it easily in this one. All those little circles on the left side - Bokeh!

One of the great things about Christmas lights is getting cool bokeh from your tree lights!
See this picture is pretty... but no bokeh.
the 2010 Tree

Want me to teach you how to take some bokeh? GREAT :) This is NOT going to be in photographic talk. (well unless we use the word Bokeh... but we can now since we already discussed that right! ;) )

The first thing is that you need to take off your automatic focus. It needs to be in manual. Then you put it out of focus so much that small circles appear. Then you take a picture.
small bokeh
f 9.0 1/8 ss
ISO 500
Bokeh #3
See how this one is lighter? Cause I was shooting more wide open with my aperture.
f 2.8 1/8 ss
ISO 500
Bokeh #4

Medium Bokeh
f 4.0 1/8 ss
ISO 500
Bokeh #1
This one is the same as number 2 it is just zoomed in more, and the viola bigger circles.
BIG bokeh
f 2.8 1/8 ss
ISO 500
Bokeh #2

Does that make sense??
And wanna try some and show them to me?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Spiritual Sundays

"Daughters of God know that it is the nurturing nature of women that can bring everlasting blessings, and they live to cultivate this divine attribute. Surely when a woman reverences motherhood, her children will arise up and call her blessed (see Prov. 31:28).

Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.

Oh, how we pray that every young woman will grow up to be all the wonderful things she is meant to be. We pray that her mother and father will show her the right way. May daughters of God honor the priesthood and sustain worthy priesthood holders. May they understand their own great capacity for strength in the timeless virtues that some would scoff at in a modern, liberated world for women." - Margaret D. Nadauld The Joy of Womanhood

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


1. I feel overwhelmed lately with how kind people are to me. I am undeserving but so thankful. The birthday celebrations, some one brought me a cake and another offered to make me one, people calling to watch my kids so I can have some alone time, the calls, clearing the snow from my drive way. So much more. It has all made me feel a great desire to do more for others.

2. I loved Regan's post yesterday. If you didn't read it, go read it and tell him how funny he is :) Ah i just love that guy. And I am sooooooooo excited that he is coming home for a few days tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3. I am one photoshoot away from being completely caught up on editing. And I couldn't be MORE happy about it. Recently I have taken less of my kids cause of the overwhelming amount on my plate to edit. I have edited 7 shoots in the past 2 weeks and 2 of them were weddings. That is a LOT of time in the evening doing editing. But since Reg has been gone the whole time I was alone and just hunkered down and did it!

4. Yesterday my friend took Lucy and Eli for the whole afternoon. (See #1) I went out to eat and read a book, went to the library on my own and did a whole bunch of shopping for Christmas and some for me. It was mmmmmmmarvelous. And Eli was so excited to see me when I got back that he was so happy during his normal crazy time. Loved it!

5. Today we are starting our Christmas advent tradition of reading a Christmas book each day until Christmas and doing a craft or treat or activity that coordinates. I hope to post about each one as we go along, but really I am not putting any pressure on myself about it!

6. Speaking of #5 I don't know if you've noticed but I've decided that I was putting too much pressure on myself about blogging. It is so silly. But I was trying to do it all the time just cause I said I was going to. And well, frankly it doesn't matter. Reading my scriptures before bed, more important. Hanging out with my hubby, more important. Going to be at a good time, more important. I am trying to change the part of myself that puts unrealistic expectations on me. We'll see how it goes. Not just with blogging. But with everything. It'll be a on going project. Really it has been brewing for a while and really this talk really hit home with me. Read it. I am going to work on making better choices and not just overwhelming myself with stuff, as I am sooooo good at doing!

7. I just watched some cheesey girl movie last night that reg would have HATED. I always watch shows he doesn't like when he's on call or out of town. But I'd rather have him home. (see #2)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

33 Things About Rhonda By Regan (for her birthday)


Please skip the next paragraph if you have a short attention span or think that I (Regan) am not very funny.

I have actually only known Rhonda for about 11 years so emphasis will be placed on the latter third of her life (although I do have some second hand knowledge of the previous two-thirds). Also, Rhonda probably won't like this very much, but I should say that the decision to do this was made jointly. I don't want any of Rhonda's readers, whom I assume are mostly female, to think that husbands without any prompting do this sort of thing (I have heard rumors of husbands doing this, but I can't confirm or deny whether it was done without prompting). Having said that, I agreed quickly to Rhonda's suggestion as I knew it would be easy to come up with 33 nice things about her (but I am slow writer so it might take a while). Also, I assure all the readers out there that Rhonda had no input into the content of the 33 things. There are, of course, more than 33 nice things about Rhonda but I'll try to give a good range of things.

1. When Rhonda and I were first dating she came with me to a dentist appointment (not sure why I brought her along for that) and the dentist (who was also my scout leader as a kid) told me that Rhonda has a really nice smile. I also agree that Rhonda has a nice smile, but it was good to get it validated from about the closest thing to a smile expert I know.

2. Along the topic of smiles. One of Rhonda's favorite songs is Smile (which according to wikipedia was based on an instrumental theme used in the soundtrack for the 1936 Charlie Chaplin movie Modern Times. Chaplin composed the music, while John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added the lyrics and title in 1954, it has been sung by many people and one of Rhonda's favorite versions is by Nate King Cole). When we were dating we were driving somewhere with one of Rhonda's good friends (you know who you are if you read this blog) and Rhonda had her sing the song. Rhonda does fun stuff like that, and has good friends to play along.

Sorry, I'll shorten these up, at this rate I'll never finish and if I do no one will actually read it.

3. Not only does Rhonda cook/bake great stuff she does it with lightning speed.

4. Rhonda does not like to run, but she did the Raymond 5k last year. I'll keeping working on her and I think someday she'll take to running.

5. Rhonda does not like to waterski, but she tried once. I'll keep working on her and I think someday...I'll realize that she'll never waterski.

6. Also, Rhonda is a great wife because she never says unkind things or even things that are close to unkind (if I had a broader vocabulary that would come across as an even better compliment).

7. Rhonda is good with words. She generally has interesting things to say and writes them in an interesting way (I assume you would all agree or else you wouldn't come here). She can use words to make profound points or be very humorous - a great combination.

8. Rhonda is great with pictures. Part of her skill is knowing the technical aspect of how her camera works (it has lots of buttons and knobs) but also she has a gift for seeing good pictures.

9. Another reason she's a good photographer is that she works hard at it. She doesn't just show up and take pictures, she has taken courses, reads books and studies up on things on the internet.

10. Rhonda watches America's Next Top Model. She tells me it's just so she can learn stuff about photographers, but I don't believe her.

11. Rhonda's current favorite TV shows are: Chuck, White Collar, The Good Wife, Lie to Me and probably others that I don't really pay attention to, but I know she used to watch Gilmore Girls.

12. This one's a bit random but I remember Rhonda having a conversation with one of my friends (he'll remain unnamed) about how Gilmore Girls wasn't as great after some of the writers left and new ones came. It's nice she can get along with my friends and make them feel comfortable talking about things they probably wouldn't talk about with too many people.

13. She's generally a very friendly person and has a wide circle of friends. On top of that, I've been impressed with the relationships she has with some of her closest friends. I'm sure they know who they are - some of you don't live close by, she misses you. Even still, she's good at being a good friend, even from far.

14. Every now and then Rhonda will meet people who think they know her from somewhere but they don't. She apparently just has a familiar looking face.

15. When I first met Rhonda she was wearing joggers and a baseball cap...she still caught my eye with her beautiful smile (see #1). She looked familiar to me too.

16. Rhonda is pretty tolerant of my frugal ways. Sometimes, I think she'd maybe want to spend more money on clothes and stuff but she's really good about not doing that too much. Some people will tell her to spend more money on stuff like that, but she doesn't listen to them. In the back of her mind she never thinks, "man this guy (me) needs to lighten up a bit, clothes aren't really optional and they cost money, he needs to just get over it." (I hope that made sense). She doesn't avoid telling me how much she spends on stuff more than a few times a month. I was hoping that was funny but on reading it again, I don't think it was, but after all those words I'm not going back.

17. Rhonda usually doesn't wear the first set of clothes that she tries on Sunday morning. She tries something on, doesn't seem to like it and then tries something else. I usually avoid getting involved in those decisions and she always ends up looking very nice.

18. Rhonda does an excellent job teaching the primary kids at church.

19. She cares deeply about spiritual things. She has a wonderful gift to be able to share her faith with others.

20. Rhonda also loves to share her cooking and baking with other people.

21. Rhonda has made wonderful Ukranian Christmas (it's a family tradition) dinners a few times - I think she's written on here about it before. It's quite an ordeal - but she does it very smoothly.

22. Rhonda is a wonderful daughter and sister. Rhonda talks to her mom most days and I've always been impressed by the close relationship they have.

23. Along the lines of family. It's hard to talk about Rhonda without mentioning her little sister Kelly. Most of my knowledge of Rhonda and Kelly together is second hand, but I've never doubted the impact that that Kelly has had on Rhonda. I've always admired how Rhonda has remembered her sister, since Kelly passed away. Even though their relationship is, in a sense on hold, it is always clear in Rhonda's mind that their relationship endures and will be renewed in the future.

24. Rhonda is also a wonderful mother. Our kids love her and she can always make them smile. She's does lots of crafty stuff with them, plays with them and has taught them to love books.

25. Rhonda loves to read books. Every now and then I'll ask her what her favorite book is - she usually just has a list. She likes to read John Grisham and books like that, but she more girly books too. Even though I've been married to her for over 10 years I still don't understand how or why she reads cook books, but she does. I'm not complaining, I just don't get it.

26. Speaking of things I don't get - crafting. Rhonda does lots of it - not totally sure why. She's good at it, not that I'm really qualified to say so. I can say that I'm impressed by the number of mediums she's dabbled in.

27. Rhonda likes art. We went to a famous art museum in New York. She could tell me lots of stuff about it. I enjoyed it, perhaps because it was fun to see her having such a good time.

28. Rhonda's has always wanted to go to the Louvre. I think we'll go there someday, but...see #16.

29. We're not huge travelers but Rhonda has been in all the provinces except Newfoundland (I wanted to go there) and then Montana, Idaho, Utah, California, New York and New Jersey in the US. Thanks to parents who helped make some of this travel possible (prayers that helped us pull a trailer with a Saturn across the nation - Canada) and then helped us come home, even if it was just because we had to come if they wanted to see their grandkids.

30. Rhonda does most of the planning / organizing for our trips. She has found some great deals and many fun things to do.

31. Rhonda is constantly coming up with new schemes for organizing our lives. We're not the most organized home, but she makes sure that all the important things get done.

32. Rhonda really does make sure the most important things in life get done. She can stretch herself thin at times, but she makes sure to take time for God in prayer and scripture study, for our marriage, for our kids and for her friends - in serving others and simply being with them.

33. Rhonda turns 33 today. Happy Birthday.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

MSBH Challenge Update

Soooo i've realized that my list is not up to date and I can't figure out which ones I am missing from my list. Cause I don't have that many left but my numbers don't show it. One day soon here I will figure it out. But not right now, cause I am not feeling it!

153. Pithivers
154. Baguettes
155. Fouagsse
156. Focaccia
157. Dried-Fruit Focaccia
158. Roasted- Tomato Bread
159. Buttermilk Biscuits
160. Chocolate Scones
161. Popovers
162. Brown sugar Buttercream
I'm done 171. Cause I counted the ones I have left and I thought I had less but it appears I have 37 left. But quite a few of them are recipes that you use together. So you make one and then three more go with it (ie icing fillings or curds, etc). So all in all. This weekend, I'm gonna make a bunch for my girl's night I am having on Friday night!

And since a picture always makes a post better... here are the pecan pie and Cherry-Cheese Strudel from Thanksgiving.
Pecan Pie & a Cherry Cheese Strudel
aaaaaaaand a quick one of Steff and Luke - my current editing project!
Three of them (with #2 on the way)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I read a powerful post today right here and you need to go and read it. (thanks to my friend Heather for sharing it!)

It made me think a lot. A lot a lot. About the assumptions I make about others. And the ones I wonder if people make about me. I have loved ones I'd love to hang a sign around that said "please be careful with me I'm struggling" and others.

I heard President Eyring say once that if think the people you meet are in trouble, 90% of the time you will be right.

From Melody's blog post...
"I think we should just try to imagine it………that when a friend is quiet…or not showing up to stuff she usually shows up to….or acting a little “off”….or a family member is wearing pajamas to the grocery store for weeks on end……or not answering the phone…..or the lawn is not mowed…whatever it is……….

IT IS A SIGN. It is not a sign that can be read in words and letters, but it is a sign that someone needs to be treated gently…that they need help….most of all, that they need love, understanding…and that they DEFINITELY DO NOT need to be judged.

Every time I think of this story….I want to be better…I want to do better, I don’t want any silent signs to go unread before my eyes or my heart…..I don’t want to make up my own answers to what must be going on…I don’t want to assume……….

Let’s be gentle with each other. Let’s read each other’s signs."

I think we could all give the world a little more kindness. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

On my mind

I am one day into a long stretch of Regan being gone. He is working a rotation in ICU in Calgary for a month. He'll be home for a couple nights in the middle. That is the weekend we have to get a Christmas tree and set it up, celebrate my birthday (even though it will be past it then), attend a RAS Christmas party, attend the temple, and regular ol' stuff like enjoy seeing each other and hopefully I'll get to leave the house without any kids for at least a half an hour. We'll see how it goes. Both that weekend and all the time he's gone. I just keep reminding myself... just til June and then he'll be a doctor. All done. And we can settle into a comfortable semi-schedule.

Speaking of that.... I am so unsure of what to do with the housing issue. We are going to move out to Raymond, where he will practice. Our mortgage comes to term in May. And for the last four months of residency Regan will be in Pincher Creek and gone a lot. So should we just move out there then since I'll be on my own anyways, and then the bank won't ding us? But listing a house and keeping it clean every day for showings and on all that on my own with three kids? Wow. That sounds A.W.E.S.O.M.E! hmmm not sure what to do. And finding a house to move into and can our house in Lethbridge sell?? oh my.

And on another note. I have chronic Back pain. As in Regan has diagnosed me. I have not had a day in the past 5 months (if not longer) where my back has not hurt. It hurts all the time. It has been ridiculous lately. Sometimes I have to just give up on sleeping and just get up cause I can't lay down anymore. It hurts too much. And there is not a lot to be done for it. For a few weeks I was going to weekly massages and that was making it more livable. But between having to pay for it ($55 a time) to getting my kids watched every week so I could do it- really it's just not that possible. I've been trying to be more regular in my Yoga. And that helps. But really. It just is what it is. I've been seriously considering going to try acupuncture. (someone I know does it) I have trouble sitting for too long. Or laying down. Which frankly is quite annoying. I feel like an old lady. And I'm not turning THAT old next week! :)

And on another note. I am really not feeling winter this year. In fact. I'm hating this cold windy snowy business. I feel like we never really got summer and here it is freezing cold already! mmm I sound like a grumpy pants hey?

Here's a nice picture to lighten my grumpiness.
nov 5 - Sunrise

Monday, November 22, 2010

On the Bookshelf: I read a lot

I found this one facebook and thought it was interesting... so here it is!

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. Instructions: Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D'urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch-22 - Joseph Heller

14 The Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger

19 The Time-Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Graeme

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 Emma - Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgommery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Inferno - Dante

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine St. Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

How about you?
Read many of these?
And if you like to read you should check out goodreads. You can add me as a friend and we can recommend books to each other. I like it! I look at them and then order them to the library!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Spiritual Sunday

"Elder Dallin H. Oaks, in a recent general conference, taught, “We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.”2

The search for the best things inevitably leads to the foundational principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ—the simple and beautiful truths revealed to us by a caring, eternal, and all-knowing Father in Heaven. These core doctrines and principles, though simple enough for a child to understand, provide the answers to the most complex questions of life.

There is a beauty and clarity that comes from simplicity that we sometimes do not appreciate in our thirst for intricate solutions."
- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, "Of Things That Matter Most" October 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lately Eli

is so funny.
(Last night being awake from 1 until 320 not so funny - but his talking - oh my!)

One thing that he does all the time lately. He is a total boy. And is quite taken with his farting and burping. So every time he burps he says, pointing to his mouth "in the mouth" over and over. So he was drinking pop one day and it came out his nose, so he laughing, pointing to his nose says "in the nose, in the nose". And I am sure you can guess that he says EVERY time he farts "in the bum" or sometimes he'll say "that was Ei's (Eli's) bum". It cracks us up :)

He also has become obsessed with his grandparents. He loves to talk about them. And ask when they are coming over. And when we are saying prayers when he says the things he is thankful for he always says Grandpa STEED, Grandma STEED, Grandma DABIS (davis), Grandpa DABIS (davis)" He can't just say grandparents, he has to name them all and say their names loud. It's pretty funny.

Some other things he says a lot during the day:
"I hold it" (often talking about babies in pictures or if we say Maggie's name
"Ei do it, Ei do it" He wants to do everything himself.
"GC, where is she, I can't see her" He is OBSESSED with his nursery leader (Grandma Carol). And loves loves loves her.
"where iPhone? I NEED it"
"Bob builder, yes we can" He loves to walk around singing this song
"Lucy home yet? Lucy home yet?"

He is totally at my favorite talking stage!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


1. Yes there are subway art left. I have 8x10 ($5) and 11x14($8) unframed. I have lots of all the Christmas Art left!

2. No monsters left. They sold out really well. I should have made more. Alden and Lucy both requested more. No dolls left either. Well except the one Eli has claimed and the one Lucy claimed.

3. Crayon Rolls are $5. And I totally have more!

4. The only picture I took of all the wood stuff and it doesn't even give a tiny bit of how much there was! I'll have to take some pictures of the ones I kept tomorrow to show you!
Wooden Crafts

5. Yes busy much. Glad that Fabulous Friday (craft day at the church), the craft fair, almost all my booked 2010 shoots, mom & dad's 40th wedding anniversary are all over. Now I just have to finish editing the shoots I have and get them to all the clients. And enjoy getting ready for Christmas!!

And I just wanted to add Happy Anniversary to my mom and dad. Two wonderful people whom I love! I'd add a picture of them but I couldn't find the wedding picture of them I wanted too. Just pretend it's right down below :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Craft Sale Adventure

This past weekend I made the trek to Medicine Hat with two friends Megan and Mandy. It was so fun hanging out. The crafting ahead kind of stressed me out. So next time, just a weekend away with two friends where we go shopping (or maybe we should start crafting AHEAD of two weeks before the show!
This is a pile of the stuff I made, besides the wood stuff we made together.
I made monsters based on Alden's drawings.
Crayon Rolls
Little dolls (which Eli loved and he still sleeps with one)
A felt mitten garland
Some cute bags
Piles of aprons. For moms and for girls
Christmas Art - framed or unframed
So that was about it.
Here is a picture from our booth - horrible light in there to take a picture and Mandy and Meg might hate it... but oh well :) hahahaha
The Craft Booth
No I did not sell it all.
Yes it was fun.
If I ever did it again, I'd totally do baking!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Spiritual Sunday

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember the that dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which…you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruptions such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one of other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealing with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”
- C.S. Lewis, Joyful Christianity

Monday, November 08, 2010


I realized again this week that I have different music tastes than a lot of people around me. Regan and I joke a lot about Willie Nelson, who Regan loves and I detest. Like please let me pull out ears so I don't have to listen it.)

Justin Beber, not thanks. Annoying.
Pink, drives me CRAZY. Why does she sing about being a jerk all the time.
Rihanana (did I even spell that right?) drives me even MORE crazy. She sings a song about how it's okay to be hit by your man? Really? THAT's what kids listen to?

Really I don't even know who is popular right now. I just know what I like. So I thought I'd share some of it... that is if I can find you tube videos for some of it :)
Emilie-Claire Barlow - Love her! And she's Canadian!

Jason Mraz


Matt Costa

Meaghan Smith

Mindy Gledhill

Micheal Buble (oh how I would LOVE love to go to one of his concerts!)

Ray LaMontagne

And some songs I couldn't find on Youtube but I love.... (I'm pretty sure you can find them on iTunes!)
Matthew Barber - The Little Things
Kris Allen - to make you feel my love & Falling Slowly
Joey Gian - What if I loved you
Human & Rosi Golan - Follow the Arrow
Frances England - You & Me
Holly Cole Trio
Michael Johns - Life is Okay
Zee Avi - Honey Bee
Sophie Milman - Take Love Easy
Slow Club - When I Go

I know I don't like what a lot of other people listen to and I am okay with that. :)
Ever heard of these guys? (OBVIOUSLY you've all heard of Micheal Buble, but besides him :)

Thursday, November 04, 2010


1. I think I will write Martha about the challenge. I'll have to think what to say. Perhaps I'll get all your opinions about it when I do. If you'd be up for helping me.

2. My photos of Paige and Eric's engagement were featured over here today which is pretty cool. I am quite excited to share their wedding pictures too! I've been editing them since the kids went to bed.

3. I loooove taking pictures of my kids. And i loooove this new hat, scarf, mitten combo I got for Lucy. Add them together and you get loooooooooove. :)
Goofy Smiles
Nov 2- New Hat and Scarf combo

4. I keep staying up way to late lately. I get caught up doing things after the kids are in bed and then it's late again.

5. Tomorrow I am going to take pictures of the crafts I have made for the sale. I haven't gotten as much as I wanted to. But I still have one week. And we did LOTS of cute wooden crafts!

6. I LOVE two shows right now. Chuck. And White collar. If you haven't seen them. Find them on the net. If you don't know where, I can point you to a few free sites in Canada. Love them!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

MSBH Update

It's been a while and I haven't updated this. I am soooo close to being done! And then Regan has said I need to go on a cooking light challenge. So I probably will be doing that or some variation on it :)
138. Cherry Cheese Strudel
139. Strudel Dough
140. Pecan Pie
141. Canneles
142. Lemon Madeleines
143. Pavlovas with Mixed Berries
144. Wheatmeal Shortbread Wedges
145. Prune Pinwheels
146. Prune Filling
147. Cheese Danish
148. Cheese Filling
149. Apricot Bow ties
150. Chocolate Pistachio Danish
151. Sticky Buns
152. Sugar Buns

Do you think I should write Martha and tell her I did this? Or is that just weird?

And since a post just isn't the same without a picture... some of my favorite pictures lately
Grandpa came
Hold close
The Men
The Junk Yard

Monday, November 01, 2010

Halloween 2010

First up the costumes
Alden as Batman
Alden as Batman. He was NOT into having his picture taken. He said his stomach was hurting. Could had to do with the fact that he had not eaten any normal food all day but loads of candy. (I'm of the mindset of letting him gorge himself with it all and be done with it. He can learn from a stomach ache!) He begged for this costume 2 years ago and it was WAY to big for him, but I bought it anyways, and now he has worn it twice. So I guess I got my money out of it. I had tried to convince him to go with my Toy Story theme, but at 8, he has other ideas!

Lucy as Jessie
Lucy as Jesse
I made this for her. The wig was made with yarn. I used a honeydew melon to hold a toque and then sewed and glued the hair to it. Then added a braid. The added the hat which was originally white but I covered it in red ink.

The shirt used to be a men's white silk cowboy shirt that was in our dress up box. I cut off the sleeves. Then laid one of her shirts that fit her on top of the body and cut it to fit her and sewed it back together. Added the sleeves back on after I shortened them. It was totally sketchy, but it worked.

The pants are a pair of her regular jeans that I added some homemade felt chaps. I just cut them out and sewed on the brown shapes and basted them to the pants so I could easily unpick in after. She was totally happy with it all. So I was.

Eli as Woody
Eli as Woody. His choice. Costume loaned to use from Aunty Jenn.

And he's OFF
This was most of the pictures of Eli. I wanted one of the two of them together, but he just wouldn't stay still for me. So this is as good as it gets!

Trunk or Treat
Since we don't go trick or treating on Sundays, we had our congregation at the church Saturday night and the kids went "trick or treating" to each vehicle instead. Loads of candy and fun.

We got invited to two different Halloween parties. One I never even took out my camera but the second I was more on top of things! All the kiddos at the party.
Halloween party guests
Cupcakes by Abby that I thought were totally cute!
Witchy Cupcakes

My mom ALWAYS handed out donuts for Halloween in our small town. And I have taken to that tradition. I don't hand them out to people I don't know, but if someone we know comes to the door, they get one. Some families know and come looking for them on Halloween now, just like they did to my childhood home.
And I always end up making pizza with some of the dough for our supper. So now add pizza to the tradition.
Halloween Food Tradition

I took down all the decorations Monday morning. That made Reg happy!
That sums up our Halloween, how was yours?

Monday, October 25, 2010


I have been really busy. A bit over my head in a few things. I get like that sometimes cause I have the distinct problem of never ever saying no. Sooo I haven't been blogging. Instead I've been crafting and editing and editing and editing and editing and serving and lots of other things (besides laundry which I had to do catch up on!)

I'll be back soon!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Alden's Day

was on Saturday.
His day for a photo shoot. He was totally into it.
He told me he wanted to do a pose.... and this was it :)
And yes his jacket is way to small. His pants are again way too short. The kid just keeps growth spurting. He is going to be one tall guy when he's done!
Alden's pose
He's always got a drawing on the go. He drew this one just for our little photo shoot together. He came upstairs when I was waiting at the door for him to go for his pictures with this drawing in hand. So he could hold it out and I could take his picture - like his idea totally :)
His Drawings
Another pose by him
The Lean
Lots of this face. I mean way to much. SO Alden right now. Making that goofy face with his arms a' dancing.
Lots of this face
Finally a real smile. After I started tickling him!
Oct 15: A REAL smile
And then after one of his favorite dinners of Spaghetti with garlic toast, we went up to the church and he got baptized.
Oct 16 - Baptism
It was wonderful and I am so grateful for the family (still can't believe Susie and Ryan drove down from Calgary for it! Thanks so much guys!) and friends who came to this special day for Alden!
What a sweet boy he is. I should have had Regan take a picture of the two of us, but I didn't! This week I will!

And I forgot to add.... I did a little draw and Christine you won the apron! Let me know your address so I can mail it to you!