Monday, August 31, 2009

Sweet and Sour Chicken Skewers

I was tired of the same old burgers to grill last week, so I tried these- they are really good!! You can use whatever acceptable veggies you want, but the key is to have all of the pieces of things on your skewer the same size. I made 12 skewers, enough for 6 people, with 1 and a half chicken breasts!

Sweet and Sour Chicken Skewers
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 20 oz. can pineapple chunks, juice reserved
1 Tbs. cornstarch, mixed with 1 Tbs. water
1 red onion, cut and separated into 1" sections
1 1/2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1" chunks
Salt and Pepper
12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Put the vinegar, sugar, reserved pineapple juice and cornstarch slurry into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Reserve half of the sauce to be used for dipping. Preheat grill to medium heat. On each of the skewers, place a combination of pineapple chunks, red onion and chicken chunks. Season skewers with salt and pepper. Grill on oiled grill for 4 minutes on each side. Brush with sauce and grill 2 minutes longer per side. Serve with reserved dipping sauce.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pool Party

Peter, my college newbie, came home last night just in time for our little pool party! It was really good to see him, even if my nice clean house suddenly got louder and much more cluttered. He was very proud of the shorts he was wearing- there had been an 80's themed dance in Logan the night before, and he and his friends went to Savers for their clothes. His shorts had started out as long jeans but "some girl" had cut them off to knee-length. He was sure they made his shoulders look broader. Whatever. He came home mostly to get his bike and some "real food". Oh- and do his laundry. His forks have somehow disappeared, and he wants recipes. The 2 most requested recipes? Aunt C's Ultimate Grilled Cheese and her Fried Rice. He is staying for church today, (and dinner), then I'll start missing him all over again...

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Saturday, August 29, 2009


I've been meaning to update my pocket calendar cover, and finally got to it last week. My old one didn't even have Lindsey on it, so it was way past time! I love polka dots, don't you?

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Playground Noise Is Back!

I love playground noise! With school starting up again this past week, the playground noise has returned. When my kids were little and went to the elementary school on the other side of the grape field, I could go up to the back bedroom window and watch them play with their friends. Brian and Peter were harder to watch, since they played those boy games that involved lots of running back and forth, like Capture the Flag and soccer. Shannon and her friends were a lot more fun to watch. They played make-believe games- filled with drama and intrigue. Someone would be tied up with invisible rope or about to fall into a pit of lava, and needed to be saved. My backyard trees have grown together so it's harder to pick out kids I know over there, but I can still hear their screams and shrieks and yells. They are having so much fun! Sometimes I can hear my friend, Kathy the playground monitor, who blows her whistle and says through the megaphone, "Fourth grade, line up!"

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Temple Dedication

On Sunday, all of our meetings were canceled for the Oquirrh Mountain Temple dedication. We went at 3:00 in the afternoon. It was a really nice meeting and our whole stake center was filled with people who wanted to be there. People were calling our house all morning to get tickets from the Bishop! I was surprised to see that the man leading the choir at the dedication was one of my best friends from high school, Mark Crapo. His wife was singing in the choir too. It brought back good memories. The new temple is beautiful and we are so lucky to have temples nearby!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Great Duckie Race

To cap off a fun-filled weekend, (and wear the kids out even more!), the canoes and Bruce's "Fishslayer" were launched into the Bear River that runs through the ranch property. After a lazy 40 minute float the boats ended up at the bridge next to the ranch house. This is where we held the Rubber Duck Race. Nancy found a collection of crazy rubber ducks for us to choose from and brand with our names. Mine wore one of those propeller beanie hats and Bruce's was a French duck. The Ducks were dropped in heats from the bridge:
And were caught further downstream by the boaters:Mine came in 4th overall, with Bruce's coming in 5th. It was lots of fun!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

That Really Chaps My Hide!

After our gold mine adventure and manly breakfast, we piled into the trucks again and went target shooting. Lots of clay pigeons died that morning, and Grandma even took a turn. Mark's boys couldn't wait to blast away but David had enough when his shoulder took a beating from the shotgun. When we'd had our fill of blasting cardboard boxes, Ken's cousin met us back at the ranch with a sweet little horse that patiently took us all in circles around the corral. The kids were in heaven! Maybe it was just me, but that horse seemed to know that I sympathized with his "circus pony" plight, since he wanted to stop by me just about every time he made the circuit.

Nancy found these chaps for Amber to wear with her swimsuit- I think this is just too funny!David is listening to every word of Uncle Ken's safety lecture:Thomas had a hard time mastering the scope, but loved the empty cartridges:
Edna took a turn at shooting and at riding:Bruce looks like he's ready to take on Rocko next:Another good photo photo op:
Tomorrow's adventure- The Wild Rubber Duckie Race!

Monday, August 24, 2009

And Then We Hiked to the Gold Mine!

Day 2 of the Stratford Campout started with a pre-breakfast hike to the local "gold mine." Sorry kids, no real gold there, just gold-colored rocks! There were lots of seashore-type fossils in the rocks there and the kids, including Bruce, had fun scrambling over the steep and rocky hillside looking for the best ones.

Little Carly got to ride with the big kids in the back of the truck:
Edna points the way:This poor deer won't be looking for fossils anytime soon:
The view of the valley from the gold mine with the twisting, turning Bear River:Thomas and his treasure:Some of the fossils were pretty neat:
Bruce, Amber and Sara searching for the perfect fossil:After the hike, the men made breakfast! Men should always make breakfast. They do it so well!Tomorrow- Shootin' Guns and Ridin' them Doggies!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Flyin' Solo at the Campout

So when your kids grow up and become contributing members of society, old traditions have a way of continuing anyway. Bruce and I flew solo at the Stratford Campout this year. Bruce's sister, Nancy, organized the campout at Ken's family ranch in Randolf. We took the trailer and parked it in the grassy field behind the house. No-dirt camping is the best! Marc's family was there along with Edna, Sharon, Kelly, Alan and Ryan. Nancy and Ken brought Daniel, Rachel and Rachel's two friends. For dinner we roasted hot dogs over the fire, then burned marshmallows and Starbursts on sticks! When it got dark, Bruce brought out his dad's telescope, (we call it the Cherry Bomb!) and we were amazed at what the night sky looks like when you get away from bright city lights. It was a little wierd not to have any of our kids along, but a bit liberating at the same time!

Bruce sets up our little campsite- as far away as we could get and still be plugged in!
Our nephew, David roasting the perfect hot dog:
My typical fire-roasted dog- burned on one side, raw on the other!
Our nighttime fire:
Bruce and the Cherry Bomb:
There are lots of good photo ops on a ranch:More of our adventures tomorrow!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ah, The Spa!

Yesterday, Shannon and I used some gift certificates we had received to a local spa. We both decided on the Chakra Balancing Thalasso Bath. For those of you that don't know, your Chakra is a wheel-like vortex, believed to exist in the etheric double of our bodies. (Ya, how I didn't know all this before is beyond me.) 7 force centers, or wheels of energy whirl out from this center of our being. It's an Indian thing, as in India. Anyway, when we got to the spa, a girl took us back to a little room for our "Chakra Evaluation". One at a time, we held a 7 little vials in our right hand over our heart, and held our left hand out straight from our bodies. (See etheric double.) The girl would ask our etheric double, "Does your body need this more?", then push down on our left hand. Apparently this told her what kind of bath we needed. I needed the Crown Stress Reduction. Imagine that! My bath had a combination of lavender, tea rose, rosewood, orange blossom and clary sage. There were lavender lights in my bath too. So, after a lovely half hour hot, hot soak, I felt in balance with my force centers. Whatever they are.

It's fun to change into spa robes and use all of the spa goodies in the dressing room:

Shannon relaxing in the Relaxation Room:

My Stress-Relieving bath:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ready and Waiting

I've decided that the upstairs bedroom would be a good place to store all things scrapbook, so I've been doing a bit of clearing out. I boxed up all of Brian's mission memorabilia, took 5 garbage bags of old clothes to the DI, and scrubbed the whole room down. Now it's time to move the paper in! But I sure like this clean Spartan look...Peter Update: I've been trying to give Peter a bit more space, since apparently I called him too much on Tuesday, the day he moved up to Utah State. So yesterday I wasn't going to call or text him at all. At about 4:00 my phone rang. It was a girl who thought she was calling Peter's phone because she had just seen him out her window. I laughed, said I was Peter's mom and asked if she had HIS cell number. She did and off she went. Now, how she got MY cell number is a mystery. I'm choosing to believe it was a "Tender Mercy" for a mom to know that her youngest son was ok and had friends in his new surroundings. Wait a minute...I hope she doesn't want to be TOO close a friend. Does the worrying ever stop??

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Love Zinnias!

Now is the time of year when my Zinnias go crazy, and I love it! I have them planted along a 40 foot fence line between my yard and my neighbor's. They had a bit of a slow start with all the rain we had in June, but they are very happy now. The seeds didn't have as big of a color variation this year- about 70% of the blooms are pink. That's ok, because I like pink! The rest are red and orange with a very few white, yellow and peach thrown in. We see lots of bumblebees and hummingbirds by the Zinnias too!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Offically Empty Nesters.

Yep, as of today, Bruce and I are empty nesters. Not sure how I feel about that. It's going to be mighty quiet around here, and I hope we have enough to talk about with just the two of us. Peter is unloading his stuff at Utah State as we speak. He has been so excited to get there and I know he'll have a great time. Those growing up years go so fast...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Soggy Horse Show

We've been in Salt Lake at a horse show for the last few days. It was held at Rose Ranch, where the roses get choked by all the dust the horse stir up. There wasn't much dust yesterday, since it poured rain all morning! Shannon was supposed to ride at 9:00 in the morning, but didn't get on until 2:30, due to the ferocious downpours! They did their best to dry things out enough so that the horses wouldn't slip, even bringing in some kind of water absorbing sandy stuff. When they did that at the rainy June show, Rocko was freaked by the white piles everywhere, so I spent some quality time in the ring, mixing it into the dirt so that he wouldn't think the white mystery piles were going to kill him. When Shannon and Rocko finally did get to ride they were great, as you can see from their ribbons! Rocko was so relaxed that sometimes he was more interested in the horses who were living right outside the ring, than with what he was supposed to be doing in the ring. But, a relaxed Rocko is a good thing- much better than an excited, race horse Rocko!

I'm starting to collect Harley Davidson stickers during my travels to put on Rocko's show box. They reinforce his tough-guy image!

Still on my quest for the perfect Shannon/Rocko jumping picture- this one has potential, but I'm pretty picky:
My favorite picture of the show: