Friday, November 22, 2013

Gina's Thanksgiving Missionary Package

Gina is now HALF-WAY through with her mission!

Time flies.  As this is the first, and only, Thanksgiving Gina will spend out in New York; Mom and I put together a "Thanksgiving-dinner-in-a-box" package for her.  We included:

  • Chicken flavored stuffing
  • Sweet Potatoes- in a box
  • Butter and Herb Mashed Potatoes
  • Mint M&M's (Gina asked for those)
  • and 2 mini Sparkling Ciders

Contained in the sealed envelope is the following story . . .
(Found in the November 2013 Friend magazine) 

A Helping of Gratitude By Jennifer Maddy
 Liza stared out the window as the rain drizzled against the glass. She felt as glum as the dark clouds outside. She pictured the warm beach near her grandparents’ house and how she and her cousins always went swimming in the ocean on Thanksgiving—it was their tradition. She thought about her aunts’ pies lined up on the kitchen counter, ready to be eaten. She thought about her grandparents’ big smiles when her family pulled into the driveway.
 Liza squeezed her eyes shut tight, trying not to cry. This year there wouldn’t be any of those fun things. Dad had been out of work, and even though he had just started a new job, they couldn’t afford to make the drive to Grandma and Grandpa’s. Liza’s family would be spending Thanksgiving on their own.
 “Time for dinner, everyone!” Mom’s cheerful voice called out.
 Liza turned away from the window and trudged to the dining room. She got there as Dad set a bowl of mashed potatoes on the table. Her brothers, Mike and Justin, slid into their chairs.
 “Smells great!” Mike said.
 “Yeah, those potatoes look awesome!” Justin added.
 The delicious smells of Thanksgiving dinner didn’t tempt Liza’s nose. “I don’t see what they have to be so happy about,” she grumbled to herself.
 “Liza, are you all right?” Mom asked.
 Liza shrugged. “Sure.”
 “Even though we can’t be at Grandma and Grandpa’s this year, I’m grateful we can still be together as a family,” Dad said.
 Everyone smiled—everyone except Liza.
 Dad said a prayer, and they passed the food. Justin and Mike eagerly began eating the turkey, potatoes, and stuffing they had piled onto their plates, but Liza nibbled at her yams and thought about her cousins having fun without her.
 Dad cleared his throat. “I’ve been thinking we should start a new tradition, since it’s just us this year,” he said.
 I bet it’s not as good a tradition as swimming in the ocean, Liza thought.
 “Let’s go around the table and each say something we’re thankful for,” Dad continued.
 Liza couldn’t think of anything she was thankful for right then.
 “I’m thankful I was able to find a new job,” Dad said. “I’m glad I can provide for our family. How about you, Justin?”
 Justin stopped eating his mashed potatoes long enough to say, “I’m thankful for good food!”
 Everyone laughed, and even Liza managed a small smile.
 Mom said, “I’m grateful that we all have healthy bodies and that we are able to do so many things.”
 Liza started to feel a little less gloomy, but she still couldn’t think of anything to say.
 “I’m glad I can go to college next year,” Mike said.
 Now it was Liza’s turn. She squirmed in her chair. “I don’t know. I’ll think about it.”
 During dinner Liza thought about what everyone had said. She was glad that Dad had found a new job and didn’t look worried anymore. She was grateful for the good food Mom cooked for them. She was happy that her body could run and dance and swim. And even though she would miss Mike when he went to college, she was glad he could go. Liza’s heart felt lighter. She missed being with her grandparents and cousins, and she missed the traditions they had together. But maybe new traditions were good too.
 “I’m thankful for all of you,” Liza finally said.
 “We all have wonderful things to be thankful for,” Dad said.
 “Maybe we could go around the table again,” Justin said, spooning up some more mashed potatoes. “We can always have seconds on gratitude!”

We were sure to include this story because we have the same family tradition!  We too, go around the table and say things we are thankful for, and because Gina is serving the people of New York, she will miss our family tradition this year.  We each took the time to write thank you notes, special for Gina's Thanksgiving away from home.  We wrote why we are thankful for Gina, something random we are grateful for, and lastly, why we are glad to have the gospel in our life.

And there you have it- a Thanksgiving package fit for a missionary  Peace and blessings folks!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Green Chile Enchilada Recipe

1 - 14 oz can of Green Enchilada Sauce
2 - 7oz can of chopped green chiles
1 - 8oz package of cream cheese
1 medium onion
Shredded cheese
Tortillas (Package of ten 8" tortillas)

1 - 12.5oz can of chicken breast meat
1 - Boiled, shredded and salted chicken breast

9" X 9" casserole dish
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°

(Optional:  If you plan on using fresh chicken instead of canned chicken; start by boiling the chicken until it is cooked completely, shred it, sprinkle a dash of salt over it and set aside.)

  1. Chop the onion into 1/2 inch square pieces and saute in butter on medium heat til translucent.
  2. Still on medium heat- add the package of cream cheese, stirring occasionally until melted.
  3. Combine the chopped green chiles and shredded chicken to the melted cream cheese.  mix thoroughly and heat all the way through.
  4. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  5. Spray the bottom and sides of the 9" X 9" pan and set on your left.  Gather the tortillas and place them in the middle.  The cheese above the tortillas.  Now place your saute pan on the right and BAM!- you are ready to roll.

  1. Sprinkle the desired amount of cheese horizontally down the middle of one tortilla, scoop some of the cream cheese yumminess and spread it evenly over the cheese.  Now roll up the tortilla and place it in the greased pan.

  1. Sprinkle, spread, roll and repeat until the cream cheese awesome-ness is gone or the 9" X 9" pan is full- which ever comes first.
  2. Once the pan is full pour the whole can of Green Chile sauce over the top.  Use a fork to ensure some sauce makes it's way down all four sides.
  3. Lastly, sprinkle cheese over the top, and throw it in the oven for baby and me!!
Bake for 20 - 30 minutes

(Serve with Spanish rice, refried beans, tortilla chips, lettuce, salsa and a dollop of sour cream.)

*WARNING: Be prepared to fall in love with these enchiladas!*
You will probably never be satisfied with another enchilada in your life.

Monday, November 4, 2013

"My Daddy" drawn by Samuel

October 4, 2013

See this HUGE, circular head with large, wide-spaced eyes . . . a handsome round nose and an off-centered, crooked mouth?  Topped by a squiggly patch of thinning hair on a broad, empty forehead and finished with two minuscule, and leg-less, feet spouting out the chin?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween 2013

I hate, hate, hate Halloween . . . but I love, love, LOVE dress ups.  I was not going to make the kids costumes this year- I decided extremely last minute that I would try and throw something together.

I began with Lily's gown, which started out looking like this Elizabeth Swann gown, in my head . . .

Then I decided that looked a little too grown up for my little baby, so I raised the waist line and finished with this little beauty. . .

For Samuel I thought, "Who better to pair with Elizabeth Swann than William Turner himself!", and when I saw this particular picture of Will . . . I was sold.

Honestly, it was the cape that did it, because I knew that Samuel would fall in love with a cape, and I was right.  (He insisted he was a Superman/pirate because Superman has a red cape too.)  And here is our handsome William Turner now . . .

Oh, Will and Elizabeth, you truly were meant to be together!

Look here, the suave and dashing William has found a lovely yellow blossom . . .

Oh!  What a romantic!  He has removed the thorns and is offering it to the graceful and elegant Elizabeth . . .

What a beauty, what a gem, what a lady!  She who posses such rare manners- so delicate and exquisitely polished.  See how daintily and gently she handles the fair bloom . . . 

Oh!  Elizabeth?!