Friday, November 28, 2008

Dagoks and Cabops

Lee picked dinner tonight because both Dad and Mom were stumped on ideas. He picked his favorites: Dagoks and Cabops!

Baby Annalisa

Our little girl is getting so cute! Her hair sticks up straight in the back. She has big blue eyes that she loves to open wide to take in the whole world. She is incredibly observant and is a very good baby.


Yesterday we went to Cody's family shindig for Thanksgiving day. It was a hoot. I have to say that my favorite were Kami's rolls, though all the food was tasty and the company unbeatable. I'm hoping Kami will also send me some pictures, because my poor camera remained safely unremembered in my car the whole time. :'( It was incredible to have the whole family there, even Crystal and Jared who just recently moved back to Utah, and Raychel and Paul (Raychel is GREAT with child). Lee adored playing with his cousins. They just swallowed him up with "Cousin Meetings" and other entertainment.

On the way to and from the party, on our 2 hour car ride, Lee wanted to sing songs. He would say "I want to sing song, please." Then we'd ask him what song he wanted to sing, and he'd pick one. "Twinkle, Star" "Moon" "Head-toes" "Quick Run!" "Wheels bus waa waa" "Cookie Monster" and "Bells" are all big favorites. Then we'd sing it. He is getting so incredibly smart! Now he asks us "What does a doggy say?" He really likes telling us what a tractor says.

If someone sends me pictures from T-day point two, I'll post them. If not, there you have it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Kathy and Lee love popcorn! (Lee calls her Aunt Kakee)

Grandpa, you're silly.

Serving up T-day dinner

Sara has eaten too much. :)

Like I said, we're now in the midst of party-dom! Last night was our Thanksgiving.1, and there's more to come. We gorged on both roast and smoked turkey, I made a new green bean casserole (no french fried onions and cream of mushroom soup around here!), and ended with tasty pies that were all GF. Mom and I are making the gluten-full ones today.

I love Thanksgiving time, and here's why:
-It is a time to reflect upon all the Lord has given me. I truly am very, very blessed.
-I adore cooking. For me, the days of preparation for the 15 minutes of eating isn't a chore: it's the best part of all!
-We all get together in the kitchen and work, both before and after the meal.
-It's the start of the whole holiday season, and I am gearing up for a month plus of parties. I love parties!

Friday, November 21, 2008

My goodness, Lee

Lee just came walking in and said "Hat." He's wearing a tortilla on his head.

Here's an adventure he had this afternoon while my visiting teachers were here:

Finally, a good night!

We've had 3 really bad sleeping nights in a row, and finally, last night was decent again. We still all were awake by 6:45, but that's good enough for me.

Lee had been running a fever since Saturday. I thought it was a reaction to his flu shot. Then on Tuesday, he started crying and I asked him where it hurt, he pointed to his ears and said "Ouch. Ear Hurt." So I kissed it better. A minute later, he told me it hurt again. I called the Doctor then, and we went in half an hour later. Sure enough, he has an ear infection. Sad day for the infection, but very very happy and exciting day that he can tell me where it hurts and when he doesn't feel good.

We're gearing up for a big weekend now. I'll take lots of pictures (assuming my camera works) and post when I get a minute. Have a happy pre-Thanksgiving weekend!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving memories

I was sitting here pondering, and thought I'd share some of my random thoughts with you.

Four years ago, I went to meet Cody's family for the first time. He and I had been dating officially for a month, unofficially for two months, and we'd known each other for three. Our courtship was, by the world's standards, kind of quick; by Thanksgiving we were saying "I love you" and I was quite certain I would marry this boy. So, this Thanksgiving time to go meet his family, I wanted to impress them, and I wanted to see if they could be my in-laws.

Cody and I made pies a few days before we went to his home. We made Apple and Pecan, and I used my favorite family recipes to make sure they turned out just right. I had my roommates help me pick out a cute outfit and I got all ready early on Thanksgiving morning. We drove the 2 hours together, and the second we got out of the car, Cody was trampled by his adoring nieces. I could tell how much his family loved him, and they were all so kind and generous to me.

Cody hadn't told his family much about me, only that he was bringing "someone special" to Thanksgiving (to which he got several raised eyebrows and excited laughter from his 6 sisters). Not long after we arrived, Jared H. and Bridget, 2 of Cody's wonderful siblings-in-law, cornered us in the dining room and grilled us on our relationship. I blushed furiously, but had to answer honestly questions like "so, are you in love? Do you think you'll get married?"

Still wanting to thoroughly impress this family, I sang my prepared Christmas solo "O Holy Night" for them, showed off my lovely pies, and offered to help in the kitchen. Mom (at this time known to me as Angie) put me to work making a fruit salad. I was ready to show off my knife skills and started cutting up a pomegranate, when I looked down and realized it had squirted red juice all over my cute yellow shirt. Kami and I had a good laugh about it, and mom generously took my shirt down to clean it and I wore one of Alisa's shirts for the rest of the day.

We gathered together, these people who would soon be my family and I, around the big table and said a family prayer. We talked of what made us grateful and Cody said my name. This was the time that the Spirit told me I was sitting with my family, and that these people were no longer acquaintences of a few hours, but people I would love for eternity.

The Thanksgiving of 2004 remains one of my all time favorites; that was the time when my family over doubled in size. (ps, sorry I don't have a picture of that Thanksgiving--this picture is obviously from our wedding, 7 months after.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Camera on the fritz

Playing at Grandma's house, and cooking with Grandma too!
We call this the "Anna-burrito." She likes to sleep all wrapped up tight. If her arms get out, she wakes up.
Lee climbs into Annalisa's carseat and says "I'm Anna!"

I'm taking a minute to quickly put up some pictures. I apologize that they are not the best I've done; our camera battery is on the fritz and about to explode, I think. Needless to say, a new battery is on my Christmas wish list. :D

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A moment for Standing

Warning, this post is political and religious.

As many of you know, we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as LDS or Mormons. I am proud of my beliefs. I do not have blind faith--I read my own scriptures, I say my own prayers, I test the doctrines of the church to make sure I have a personal testimony of the truth. That is why I am not ashamed of Jesus Christ, and I am not ashamed of the church to which I belong.

Recently, Californians passed Proposition 8, a measure which bans homosexual marriage. My church's involvement in passing this measure has come under scrutiny and much persecution. Firstly, let me defend the church just a bit by reminding readers that the Church itself did not donate money--it's members did. The Church did encourage its members to support Prop 8 in any way they could, and that is all. The LDS Church has never made any hiding of the fact that we support traditional families, and that we view homosexuality as a sexual sin, every bit as grievous as adultery, fornication, bestiality, and incest. I do not believe that homosexuals are bad people, or that we should discriminate against them (and neither does the church).

Here's my view on the measure: There's been research that shows that Alcoholism is hereditary--there is a gene that makes you prone to be an Alcoholic. That's why you see generations of alcoholics in the same family. But, if the child never partakes of alcohol, they will never have a problem with it. I feel the same of Homosexuality.

But this post is not about my personal beliefs: it is about the hypocrisy and crude nature of the protests going on now regarding the passage of Proposition 8. It pains me to see people marching around LDS temples, our most sacred edifices, pouring the same hate and bigotry on us that they feel we are pouring on them. The time for arguments has passed: it ended on November 5, when the votes were counted and the voice of the people was sounded. I pray for the mutual understanding between both groups of people: that by supporting traditional marriage and families between a man and a woman, we are not discriminating against those who choose a different lifestyle; we are merely presenting a different opinion. When the voice of the people changes, we must support that every bit as we must support it now.

Forgive me if you are offended by my words, but I cannot hide my beliefs. I must stand for what I see to be right. And the biggest thing I believe in regarding this measure, is that we must support our government. We have the great blessing of living in the United States of America, a democracy where the majority of the people decides, by voting, what the laws and lawmakers will be. Let us support this process, and we will continue to enjoy the blessings we all hold dear.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I am grateful for...

My mom encouraged and inspired me to write this post. This is the time of year that we remember to count our blessings. Granted, I try to remember to year round, but it always seems appropriate right now, as the year is ending and the world is turning brown around me.

I am grateful for:
A wonderful husband, a man who is my partner and my confidant, my eternal companion and the love of my life, my better half, my joy and light.
A happy, sweet, and very smart little boy named Lee who has been my world for two and a half years, and who surprises me every day with his new antics.
A beautiful baby girl named Annalisa who is learning to smile and who makes me so happy.
A cute little home in a beautiful valley, rented to us by the best landlords in the world.
Living near my family.
My creativity, and that I enjoy cooking, music, and art.
The sealing power of the priesthood and the temple, that keeps me with my wonderful family and children for all eternity--not just until death.
Laughter, especially how it rings through my home daily.
Long naps!
Last but not least, I am grateful for, like the kid Cody taught to pray many years ago, "Microwave Hot Dogs!"


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What we've been up to

It's been a few days since I posted. I spent most of this weekend in my parent's basement, painting. These pictures are of the mural we're doing in the "Clubhouse"--the space under the stairs that will be dedicated to grandkids and fun. Since I took those pictures, more painting has been done. I will take extensive pictures when it is done (or when I finally give up working on it). As you can tell, it is a pond scene with ducks and frogs and a great big German Shorthair Pointer (Max!). In the back corner there is a waterfall and a stream going through a forest to a castle and little village. This project has been quite the undertaking--I'm already counting over 15 man hours on the painting alone, not including everything else. But it has been fun, and a good release for my creative side.

This will be a fun little hut for kids. Mom and Dad F. installed a light switch that is extra short for kids to turn on and off. Hopefully someday we can install a dutch door--you know, the kind that you can open just half of it. Until then, we're thinking a suspention curtain rod will do the trick. It is pretty cool! Kristin painted the castle yesterday, I worked on the dog and more scenery, and Sara did ducks, bunnies, and the French guard on top of the castle (Hilarious!). It's coming together, that's for sure.

Other things we've been doing this weekend--cleaning, playing at Grandma's house (especially while mom paints), and fun cooking.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Getting ready for Thanksgiving

I was raised to make every day a party. It's no wonder, then, that I love the holiday season. We're going to have a great one this year, and we're already getting started. Lee is learning about Thanksgiving now. Cody has come up with all sorts of ideas on how to smoke a turkey. I'm watching the food network for new recipes to try. Our trees in the yard are now officially naked and there is snow on the mountains. Yipee! The holidays are upon us!

ps, as a follow-up, my toe is almost completely healed now. I obviously didn't break it, but it got all black and bruised up for a while. Considering I very rarely bruise, that's a lot for me. It was pretty sore for several days.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cute, cute babies

Lee, age 2 months (9/9/06)Annalisa, Age 2 months (11/6/08)

We have good genes, what can I say?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My new blog

Go check out my new blog! I just created a special food blog, an homage to my passion for cooking. The link is There will be new recipes updated now and again. Try them out, then comment with how it turned out. I hope you find something to enjoy there. A link is in my "Quick Links" column.

Congratulations, Mr. President

I've been watching the campaigns and the politics leading up to yesterday's elections so closely, it seems surreal that they are over. After I voted yesterday, I took the opportunity to just enjoy the results coming in. Lee and I ate our yummy Edamame-Pork stir fry in front of the TV and watched, as hour by hour, the polls closed and more states were announced. Then, at nine o'clock our time, Charles Gibson said "Barack Obama has been elected as the 44th President of the United States."

What an amazing moment in our Country's history was recorded last night. We will now have the first African-American President. I'm trying to keep my personal political beliefs off of this blog, but I do need to pause and reflect at this historic occasion. Here is a man, raised by a single mother without much money, a man who came from a tough background, but who beat the odds and now is the epitome of "You can be anything you want to be." I am excited to see the changes he will bring to the United States of America. So I say this morning, congratulations to the President-elect, President Barack Obama.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We Voted

I went this morning and picked up my "I Voted" sticker. That's right, we voted today.

Cody is actually volunteering at the poll today, so once I had Lee and Annalisa ready, we went over to the school on our way to the mall to go walking. I won't tell you who I voted for, but if you haven't gone today, Go! I am now excitedly watching CNN off and on, checking the results and what's going on. This is an historic day.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Blessing Annalisa

Such a special day, for such a special baby. Yesterday Annalisa received her name and blessing, in a peaceful ceremony at our ward. She was dressed in the beautiful white baby gown that my mother sewed for her daughters--the same dress I was blessed in when I was a baby. Sara beaded some white socks, and we used the afghan that Kathy crocheted for Lee's blessing. Cody took our little girl in his arms, and stood in a circle of her uncles, cousins, and grandfathers, and they gently rocked her as he pronounced beautiful and powerful blessings to be hers throughout her life: Blessings of love and to be a good example and of health; to choose the right and to feel the Holy Spirit guide her life.

What a day for a mother--a day of reflection and introspection. As I bathed her on Saturday night, I looked into those beautiful blue eyes and thought about Annalisa's future. I thought about those little hands as they will grow up and begin doing good; I thought about that little mouth as it will begin to speak and say important things. I thought about the good times ahead, and the tough times, but mostly how honored I am to be Annalisa Karin's mother. She has already brought so much joy, peace, and love into my life. I know that she will continue to bring the same joy, peace, and love, into the lives of everyone she acquaints with. She truly is one of our Father in Heaven's most choice spirits, and she will be a powerful influence for good in this world.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bye bye, pumpkin!

We are officially members of the "Biggest Red-Neck Wanna be's" club. Poor Lee got a little scared by the loud noise. Annalisa disliked me plugging her ears more than the bangs.

In case you don't know, this is a movie of the annual "Pumpkin Blow" at my cousin's wife's family's farm. Every year after Halloween they blow up the old pumpkins with dynamite.

Halloween Treats

We had a fantastic Halloween yesterday! We went trick-or-treating to our grandparent's houses and in their neighborhood, then we went to the ward party. Cody was a pregnant woman, Lee was a pumpkin, Lisa was a dog, and Annalisa was...(drumroll please, for all of you who guessed...) a Golden Snitch! We gave away a bunch of candy and somehow came home with more than we brought. Lee loved saying "Trick-or-Treat!" and was scared to death of masks and face paint. He did warm up to Uncle Paul, dressed in a Gorilla costume, before the end of the night. And, when we got home, he kept talking about the monkey.