Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's a girl!!! Our family is about to begin!

We went to our ultrasound appointment today, and we have exciting news ... it's a girl!!!

We were both so convinced that it was a boy! She is so active. At this moment she is poking and sliding around all over inside of me. She wakes me up early in the mornings or during naps because she'll be kicking so much and so hard. During both ultrasounds the technician had difficulty getting pictures of her because she wouldn't hold still very long. Brian and I are so excited for her to come!

Family really is what life is about when you get down to it. We Mormons are big on family, but there is a reason. It all centers on Jesus Christ. Here is a wonderful quote from the book Between Husband and Wife, pg. 10-11:

"Heavenly Father did not intend marriage between a man and a wife to last only for a few brief years of mortality. ... As death separates all husbands and wives (as few die on the same day), couples married by divine authority are not divorced upon death. After death they are reunited as a couple in the spirit world. ...

"Through Jesus Christ, resurrection restores our physical and spirit bodies in an immortal union, making it possible to continue as husband and wife forever, for as resurrected beings we cannot die again (see Alma 11:45). If we have complied with the laws of God and faithfully kept our temple covenants, we can be eligible for an eternal relationship. Our temple sealing allows us and our posterity--adults sealed to their spouses--to be part of an everlasting kingdom, dwelling together in the highest degree of celestial glory (see D&C 131: 1-4)."

I just think that is an incredible quote that kind of sums it all up. The covenants we make in the temple help us to live more like how Jesus showed us how to live. Through His resurrection, we can have mortal bodies so we can be married forever. Through His atonement, we can live the way He showed us and He will save and cleanse us so we can have those blessings for eternity. It's probably the most amazing thing ever!!

Being in a family helps us be like God. Ever notice how we call Him Father? And how it says in Romans 8:16 that the "Spirit itself beareth witness that with our spirit, that we are the children of God"? In Hebrews 12:9, it calls God the father of spirits. These are just a few references that I have found.

As we have a family, we become parents, just like Him. Of course we have a long ways to go to get to His level of perfection (thank goodness for eternity, right?), but Christ commands us to follow that path : "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matt. 5:48).

Being a parent helps us become perfect like God, probably faster than anything else in this world will. Maybe that's why it's so hard! :) It's a good hard, though. I'm excited to be a parent.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

No epidural, please!!

I read a great article on natural childbirth yesterday that I definitely recommend. I have really wanted to have my baby without an epidural, but I've been discouraged from doing that. Not only is it cheaper, but, according to this article, it can be healthier and safer.

The difference is that you have to prepare for it. Most of the preparation lies in living a healthy lifestyle. Go figure. Your body functions always work better when you do that, and this is the ultimate body function for a female. Appropriate exercise and a healthy diet are key to an easier delivery. This article suggests some good exercises.

The article also has good tips for practicing relaxation and things to do when you get to the actual delivery.

Besides, the Lord made our bodies so we could have babies. Unless you have some health challenges that are part of your mortal experience, or you just don't know how to relax, then you should be able to have it without much of a problem! :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Family trivia quiz

The blog Our Family View from Us Two posted a fun trivia quiz for people to answer about their family. I thought it would be fun. So I decided to take it, and here are my answers:

  1. What are some of your family's favorite phrases, exclamations, or sayings?  "I'm hungry!" "Oh, the one-pac! (This is an inside joke.)" "I love you!"
  2. What's the number of boys to girls in your family? In my parent's family, there are 4 boys and 3 girls. In Brian's family, there are 3 boys and 3 girls.
  3. What is your favorite tradition your family has? We have a couple. One is what we call family home evening night every Monday, where we have a spiritual lesson, an activity and a treat. The other is date night every Friday night!! :)
  4. What do you call the midday meal at your house? Lunch.
  5. Is the majority of your family morning people or night owls? We are morning people normally. Since I've been pregnant, though, I've had a hard time getting up in the morning. :)
  6. What is your favorite vacation location? The great outdoors!
  7. Are your family's weekends usually full of activities such as sports, parties, and outings, or are they more of around the house, fix-it-uppers? Usually it's full of around-the-house, fix-it-uppers. Sometimes we visit family, and on some Sunday evenings, we invite people over for dinner or a game night.
  8. What is the nationality/ies your family comes from? (i.e. Scotch, Russian, etc) Brian has lots of English and Italian, mainly, although there are other nationalities in his blood a ways back. I have mainly English and German, with a smattering of Scottish and Danish.
  9. Do you go away for holidays, or celebrate at home? We usually go to one or the other of the parents' homes.
  10. How did your parents meet? My parents met because my dad was working on my maternal grandpa's ranch. My mom came home from school and met him at dinner one night. They didn't starting dating for quite a while, and they didn't get  married until three years later, but that's where it started! :)
If you take this quiz, let me know so I can look at your answers and get to know you!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day and a good soup recipe

Happy Memorial Day! I hope you will all get a chance to visit the graves and/or learn about your ancestors or other loved ones that have passed on. I love to hear stories of my ancestors. Some of them really had a lot of character!

And some of them were just plain interesting, such as my third-great grandfather, Obadiah Anathias Tooley. He had quite a colorful, adventurous life, and was hopping trains at 80 years old to visit his children who were scattered in Washington, Idaho and Minnesota. He died of a heart attack while he was hopping a train in Pocatello, Idaho, where he was buried.

If you have any interesting stories, feel free to share them as a comment.

Today looks like it is going to be a good day to visit graves. It's sunny and pleasant. But yesterday it was still rainy and cold, so I made a soup that I haven't made in a while. It's a colonial dish that I found in a children's book about colonial cooking. My favorite part of it is the smell while it is cooking!

Philadelphia Pepper Pot

1 lb. ground beef or sausage
1 lg. onion
2 celery stalks
2 green peppers
3 lg. potatoes
1 t. parsley
5 c. water
1 t. pepper
1/2 t. cloves

Brown the meat. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 1 hour.

When it says three large potatoes, it means they need to be pretty large. I usually add another potato or two because the ones I buy are smaller. Last night I also omitted one cup of water so that the soup was more chunky and less brothy. That's a matter of personal taste, but I liked it better.
Brown the meat and onions.

While the meat is browning, cut up the other vegetables.

Here are all the ingredients mixed together and ready to boil.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Explanation of ordinances

Today is still rainy. It's been rainy since Wednesday. It's been cold, too, which has made me nervous. If the clouds clear in the night and it is this cold, it will probably freeze. It did that Wednesday night. I got up really early to go to my temple shift, and I was leaving the house at 4:30 a.m. There was thick frost everywhere! I was sure my beans were goners. But when I got back from the temple, my beans were fine! I was so glad.

My regular temple shift is on Thursday morning. I am a temple ordinance worker, and it is always a great experience. But all the shifts have to take a turn occasionally working on Saturday. Yesterday was our turn. But it was nice because we didn't have the early morning shift. We went in for the evening shift!

For those of you who aren't a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, you may be wondering what on earth I might be talking about. So I probably should explain a little. If you are familiar with the Bible, you will remember that ancient Israel built a tabernacle, and later a temple, to perform sacred ordinances. We do the same.

You may be wondering what an ordinance is. I have been asked that by people, but for some reason it is hard for me to explain. I have known what they are all my life, but you can't spill out a lifetime of learning out to someone who has never heard about them before. And I guess I'm not very good at condensing it down.

But I recently ran across one of the best explanations I've ever heard about ordinances in True to the Faith, pages 109-110:

"In the church, an ordinance is a sacred, formal act performed by the authority of the priesthood. Some ordinances are essential to our exaltation. These ordinances are called saving ordinances. They include baptism, confirmation, ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), the temple endowment, and the marriage sealing. With each of these ordinances, we enter into solemn covenants with the Lord.

"Other ordinances, such as naming and blessing children, consecrating oil, and administering to the sick and afflicted, are also performed by priesthood authority. While they are not essential to our salvation, they are important for our comfort, guidance, and encouragement.

"Ordinances and covenants help us remember who we are. They remind us of our duty to God. The Lord has provided them to help us come unto Him and receive eternal life. When we honor them, He strengthens us."

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Another Mexican dish!

I have another recipe I want to share! It's one of my favorites, and I made it last night.  My husband and my dad also like it a lot, probably because of the cumin in it. I got it from one of my mom's Country Cooking cookbooks.

Bean n' Rice Burritos

3-3 1/2 cups of cooked brown rice
1 med. green pepper, diced
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 t. minced garlic
1 T. oil
1 T. chili powder
1 t. ground cumin
1/8 t. red pepper flakes
1 15-oz can black beans, drained
8 warm flour tortillas

Saute green pepper, onion and garlic until tender. Stir in spices. Add beans and rice. Cook and stir until heated through. Serve rolled up in tortillas with your choice of toppings.


This recipe tastes so good! And you can use store-bought tortillas if you want, but I really like to make my own homemade tortillas from a recipe from my aunt:

Homemade Flour Tortillas

4 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. hot water

Mix first three ingredients. Cut in shortening. Then add hot water and mix. Knead well. Form into balls, roll out very thin, and cook on hot griddle or frying pan.

I've also used butter in place of the shortening. If you do that, you'll want to cut down or omit the salt. It makes a softer dough and a tastier tortilla. This recipe was written for white flour, but I've successfully used wheat flour in it. Using all-wheat flour makes the dough dry and the tortillas a little crumbly, but half-wheat works great!

Can you tell we like to eat? :) After being morning sick for over two months (and unable to eat hardly anything), I've really grown to appreciate good food! I liked it anyway, but I'm so grateful I can eat it!

In between cooking tortillas last night, I was also working on my wedding scrapbook. I'm not much of a scrapbooker. I don't get the thrill out of doing it that some people do. But I am excited about this project since it is about my wedding! And it is about time that I get it done.

I'm also excited about it because I really like the way it is turning out. I am using black cardstock and gold-colored letter stickers. The colors in my pictures are mostly pink, green and white, so the black and gold look really good with them. I had some other extra little odds and ends to put on the pages, but I haven't felt like I needed to. I like the simple, elegant look. I'll have to share some pictures later.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Spanish rice ... mmmm

This is a good recipe that I made a couple of days ago. It is so good! It comes from the Set for Life cookbook that my mother gave me. She gave me the book a while ago, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It has a lot of good, healthy, cheap, basic recipes.

Spanish Rice

1/2 lb extra lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 c. stewed tomatoes
1 c. uncooked brown rice
1 c. tomato juice or water
1/2 t. salt
1 t. chili powder
1/4 t. curry powder (optional)

Brown the beef with the onion and pepper. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until the rice is soft. You may need to add water if it boils out before the rice is soft.

Serves: 6

I don't use the curry powder, and since white rice is cheaper, that's what I end up using. The recipe still works fine. One of these days, after my husband graduates, we'll have enough money that I can buy brown rice! :) I also just use my home-canned tomatoes.

And speaking of extra lean beef ... I grew up on beef that my parents or grandparents raised themselves. I remember reading recipes that said to drain hamburger after cooking it, and I could never figure out why. There never seemed to be anything to drain. But since I've been married I've had to buy hamburger from the store a few times. Even if it's supposed to have less fat, it still has plenty of grease to drain off. I am so much more converted to home-grown foods.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hello again

I haven't posted in so long I almost forgot that I had this blog. It's been a couple of years. A friend recently started a blog, and it inspired me to start blogging again. This time I think the focus of my blog will be a bit different. I'm going to write about the fun, interesting things that I observe in my life. I'm going to try to post fairly regularly.

Just an update ... I've been married now for almost 10 months, and am expecting my first baby in August. We'll find out the gender on May 31 of this month.