Friday, January 30, 2009

Check my Chef Danielle Blog

I posted 11 new recipes. I am just letting you know though because some people mentioned wanting the Chicken Pot Pie recipe. It is on there now! Good luck!

Click here for Chef Danielle Blog

Crunch Oriental Beef Salad

1 1/2 pounds beef flank steak
2 TBS each: vegetable oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar (I just used "Rice Vinegar" I don't know if it's the same thing or not, but it tasted great)
1/2 cup water
1 cup each: thinly sliced celery and shredded red cabbage
4 green onions, sliced
1 package (3 oz) beef flavor Ramen noodles
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp each: instant beef bouillon and garlic powder
1 head romain, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 TBS toasted sesame seeds*
Ginger dressing (recipe follows)

Partially freeze flank steak by placing in freezer two hours prior to preparation time (this isn't a MUST-it is only to make it easier to cut, I didn't do it today and was just fine). Make marinade by combining water, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, bouillon granules, and garlic powder; mix well. Stir in beef flavor packet from soup mix. Slice steak diagonally across the grain into 1/4 inch thick slices; cut slices crosswise into 1 1/2 inch strips. Place beef and marinade in plastic zip-loc bag, turning occasionally. Marinate for at least 30 minutes. Prepare Ginger dressing. Drain beef; heat large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat until hot. Stir-fry beef, 1/2 at a time, 5 to 6 minutes or until brown. Remove beef from pan after each batch is cooked. Drain beef, add Ginger Dressing and toss with lettuce, celery, cabbage, almonds, and broken ramen noodle. Place in serving bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Makes 6 servings.

*To toast sesame seeds, heat sesame seeds in small pan over medium heat until golden, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour into small dish to prevent further browning.

Ginger Dressing

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp ground ginger (this is in the spice section in the store)
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt

Combine sugar, oil, salt, vinegar, ginger, and pepper in small bowl, whisk until blended. Yield: about 2/3 cup.

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Easy Parmesan Chicken

Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides. Sauté in a little olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat for 5 minutes a side.

Add the garlic and let cook 30 seconds or so.

Add the crushed tomatoes. Turn heat down to medium or medium low. Turn the chicken in the sauce until covered. If using dry basil go ahead and sprinkle some in now. Cover with a lid or foil and cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on how big the breasts are.

When chicken is cooked through, sprinkle a few tablespoons of cheese on top of each breast. If using fresh basil, sprinkle it in now. Cover with lid and cook until cheese melts, no more than a few minutes.

Chicken Pot Pie

This recipe makes 2-3 pies, depending on the size of the pie pan.

1 whole chicken
1 large onion, whole--quartered
3 celery leaves
3 sprigs parsley
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
10 whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 cups water
1 pound baby carrots
15 small pearl onions, peeled
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 dashes pepper
1/2 cup milk
1 double pie crust

Put first 8 ingredients into pot and bring to boil and let simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken let cool. Remove chicken from the bones in large pieces. It should measure 5 cups. Strain stock, skim fat, and add water to make 4 cups if necessary. In stock, cook carrots and onions covered 20 minutes or until tender. Strain, liquid should measure 3 cups. In small bowl combine flour, salt and pepper. Stir in milk until smooth. Add to stock in pan; bring to boil stirring. Reduce heat simmer 8 minutes or until sauce is thick. Add chicken and vegetable, let cool and put in pie crust. Put slits in the top of the pie. Bake 375 for 45-60 minutes or until bubbly. You may freeze this pie before you bake it. Wrap up the pie in freezer foil. When you are ready to bake it take off the foil. If the pie plate is glass, put the pie in the oven first, then turn the oven to 375. Bake for at least one and half hours, possibly two, until bubbly.

Chicken and Rice

1 1/2 pounds breasts and thighs or whole chicken
1 1/2 cups brown and wild rice
3/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 dashes granulated garlic
2 cube chicken bouillon
1 cube beef bouillon
3 tablespoons dried onions
baby carrots
3 cups water

Put rice in large pan, add seasonings and onions, layer baby carrots if desired, then put chicken on last. Pour water over chicken. Cover and cook at 350 for 2 hours or until rice is done. Rice is done when it has absorbed most or all liquid and is soft.

If you have a timer on your oven you can put your chicken pieces in frozen.

Fudge Truffle Cheesecake


1 cup chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or 5 1/3 cups of semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 ounces white chocolate, chopped (1/3 cup)
powdered sugar
cocoa powder

Make the chocolate crust:
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325. Remove the sides from a 10x3 inch springform pan. Trim a 10 inch cardboard cake circle so that it fits snugly with the curved lip of the bottom of the springform pan. Cover the circle with a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil, leaving a 2 inch overhang all around the edge. Carefull attach the side of the pan so you do not tear the foil. Wrap the foil overhang halfway up the outside of hte pan. (Lining the bottom of the pan in this way will give the cheesecake an even flat base, making it easy to remove from teh pan.

In a small bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs and melted butter, stirring until well combined. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Refrigerate the crust while you prepare the ganache and filling.

Make the ganache:
Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small pan over med heat, bring the 2 cups of cream to a gentle boil. You may also use the microwave for this. Pour the got cream over the chocolate and allow the mixture to stand for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Measure out 2 cups of the ganache for the cake filling and set aside. Measure out 1 cup of the ganache for the truffles, cover and refrigerate until firm enough to pipe. Cover the remaining ganache and set aside at room temperature.

Make the filling:
Place the cornstarch in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the cream and the vanilla, and whisk until smooth.

In a large bowl beat cream cheese on low speed until creamy. Gradually add the sugar in a steady stream and beat at medium speed until blended. At low speed, one at a time, add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Slowly beat in teh reserved 2 cups of ganache. Beat in teh cornstarch mixture. Pour the filling into the prepared pan and, using a rubber spatula, smooth the top.

Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the center is set. (There will probably be cracks in teh top of the cheesecake; they will shrink as the cheesecake cools and then will be covered with frosting.) Turn off the oven. Prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for an hour.

Set the cheesecake in the pan on a wire rack and cool completely.

Make the truffles:
Transfer the chilled 1 cup of ganache to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain tip. Pipe 16, 1 inch mounds with pointed peaks onto a clean baking sheet or use a spoon to make mounds. Refrigerate or freeze the truffles for 15-20 minutes, or just until firm enough to roll.

Sift a light dusting of powdered sugar over the truffles. Lightly coat your palms and fignertips with powdered sugar. With your fignertips, pinch a truffle in a round. Then roll it gently between your palms in a round ball. Place the truffle on the baking sheet, and form the remaining truffles into rounds. Refrigerate or freeze for about 10 minutes, just until firm.

Roll the truffles in sifted cocoa powder to coat. Refrigerate.

Decorate the cheesecake:
Run a thin bladed knife around the edge of teh cake to loosen it from the side of the pan. Remove the side of the pan. Slide two metal cake spatulas under the cheesecake and transfer it to a serving platter.

Using a metal cake spatula, spread the reserved room temperature chocolate ganache evenly over the top and sides of the cheesecake. Place the chocolate truffles around the outside edge of the top of teh cake, and spacing them evenly.

Melt the white chocolate over double boiler or low heat. Using a fork, drizzle the warm white chocolate ina decorative zigzag patern over the top of the cheesecake. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 6 hours or overnight, before serving. It can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. While cutting the cake, dip the blade of the knife in hot water and wipe dry after each slice.

Chocolate Peppermint Sandwiches

3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup milk

Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, egg. Mix dry ingredients. Add to wet ingredients alternating with the milk. Shape dough into logs on waxed paper or parchment. Roll up and freeze. Slice into cookies, not too thin and bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes. Don't over bake. Don't brown. Cook only until no longer doughy.

Make frosting, add peppermint flavoring, and add food coloring. Sandwich cookies with the frosting.

Chocolate Crinkles and Chocolate Clouds

1/2 cup shortening
1 2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
powdered sugar

Mix shortening, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Melt butter and mix with cocoa. Add to sugar mixture. Then add all teh dry ingredients. Roll in powdered sugar.

Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes.

For Chocolate Marshmallow cookies omit milk. Put marshmallow on cookies one minute before done.


1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
2 cups canned milk or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine salt, sugar, syrup. Stir until boils. Add butter and bring to boil. Drizzle milk into mixture to keep the mixture boiling. Cook 246 degrees or firm ball stage. Take off heat and add vanilla. Pour into greased 9x9 or 9x13 pan. This makes a lot of caramel, so you may want to half recipe and put in 8x8 or something smaller.

Almond Roca-Grandma's

1 pound butter (has to be real butter)
2/3 cup water
3 cups sugar
3 cups almonds, sliced
3 cups milk chocolate

Put water in a saucepan first. Add butter and sugar. Cook until 320. Put 1 1/2 cups of nuts in the bottom of a greased 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 inch pan. Pour roca on nuts. Put chocolate on and allow to melt. Spread evenly. Sprinkle on the remaining nuts. Cool and break into pieces. Store loosely covered, not tightly in a tin.

When cooking the roca if it smells like it is burning but hasn't gone to 320 yet, it is probably done and your thermometer isn't accurate. Must stir constantly towards the end.

Shirley's Crescent Rolls


2 packages yeast, or 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups milk, scalded
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup butter
7 cups flour, or more if needed
6 eggs
extra butter, softened

Add the yeast to the warm water, and scalded milk (very warm milk). Add sugar, salt and butter. Add 4 cups of the flour and eggs to the mixture. Mix well. Add 3-4 cups more flour until dough is soft and sticky.

Let rise until double or in the fridge overnight.

Divide into 3 parts. Roll into three 16 inch circles. Spread with soft butter. Cut with a pizza cutter into 16 wedges each. Roll up each wedge starting with the wide end. Let raise. Bake at 350 10-15 minutes.

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Wraps

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (can be frozen!)
1 can black beans
1 can corn

Put 4 chicken breasts, can of black beans, can of corn, and a can-worth of salsa into crock pot. Don't drain any of the juices before putting in, and don't add any water. Put lid on, and leave in crock pot for 3-4 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low. After cooked, shred chicken and add back to the crock pot. Spoon into tortillas, wrap up and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


WELL- great news! The test came back for Paul's bone marrow and it came back CLEAN! No cancer in his bones, so he will just have to have radiation on the spot on his head where it was found, which if I remember right- should only take a month! We are so grateful and so happy.

Well, this morning was -14 degrees. As in...NEGATIVE 14 DEGREES. No- not windchill, actual air degree. It's already hard enough to wake up for work each morning, but to walk out to a CRAZY-ICED car, feel nose hairs freeze, feel wet hair freeze, worry that your eyeballs are REALLY not welcoming. Really not a good start to the day. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! That is what I scream half the way to work each day.

Work is good. Busy. Everyday at 3:30 pm I get bored and think..I need chocolate or a sucker or something. Then they give me vegetables. Sorry, but that really just doesn't fill the desire.

Clay and I watch the Bachelor and True Beauty on Monday nights. That's right, we've given in. We were just bored one night, it was on...and that's all it took. We were hooked. All I can True Beauty is one of the funniest things ever. For those of you who don't's about these people who think they are on there because they are the most beautiful people in America, but they are being judged on their inner beauty. American reality at it's finest.

Clay has been talking endlessly about starting his own business. He gets mad at me because I am skeptical about everything being that...everyday I prepare tax returns of people who's business has a net loss of (12K-100K). Let me tell you, that is a sure way to make you NEVER want to start your own business. Clay of course, is different:) He will make it, it's simple. He knows what makes a good business. At least this is what he tells me. We'll see.

Alright. Love you all. Bye!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Quick Update

Work is good. I picked up on everything I learned really quick, I was surprised. I've already learned new things that I never learned last year. I am so so SO glad that I dropped all those wretched classes because I forgot how tired I am at the end of the day. I am sooo tired by the time I get home, there is no way I could do all my homework without feeling like I'm going to die. The roads have been great! Thank goodness. Have I updated you on Paul yet? I don't think so. I can't remember. But he has his bone marrow test tomorrow and we will find out the results from that on Tuesday.

Just watched LOST. The creators said that this season would be more of answering questions instead of creating them. YEAH FREAKING RIGHT! I have so many more questions. Anyway, it was good. 3 hours of LOST- who could ask for more?

This morning I woke up with like...4 scratches (visible, red scratches). One on my face (yeah- cute, I know), one on my chest, one on my arm, one on my back. Don't really understand it.

Well, that's all for now. Clay's joints have been hurting a bit...he thinks it's the cold. We are hoping they are still healing and that the pain will go away eventually.

Sorry this was so sporadic! It's late, time for bed- but I just thought I'd update a bit. Love you all!

Oh- PS- I will post the Chicken Pot Pie recipe here in a few days on my Chef Danielle blog.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A visit with the Leslies

The girls are SO CUTE! Here are some pictures:)

Rebecca said that Gracie is really into leatards and tights right now. She was sooo cute in them.
Gracie is such a mommas girl. She was constantly whining to sit on her lap.
This was so funny. Darin was coulking something under there and I walked over and saw this. I was so glad I had my camera. Gracie just had to know what was going on I guess!
Well, Rebecca and I decided it was time for a Chicken Pot Pie day. For those of you who don't know- the recipe we make for homemade chicken pot pie is TO DIE FOR! Delicious! Wonderful! Heavenly! I could go on and on. Anyhow, we made enough for me to go home with 5 pies for myself and Clay. YES! Also, for those of you who don't know- making chicken pot pie is pretty much an all day event. We make it from whole chickens and everything is very made from scratch. So you basically work all day in the kitchen...dirty it up to the point that there are barely any clean dishes left...and are left with irresistable chicken pot pies. You put them in the freezer, and then when you are too tired, too lazy, or your favorite show is on so you don't have time to cook dinner, you take them out and put them straight in the oven! No thawing, no nothing. SO wonderful.

Well, I totally brought my camera so I could take a pic of us with our final results of 8 pies (Rebecca doubled one of her pies to make a big pie for that night for all of us to eat, then had two other pies...I think...)- but I forgot! But I still was excited to take pics of the girls. It's so hard not to- they are so pretty and so cute. I know there are a lot of Gracie, but she is just so darn cute and she was always wanting me to snap a pic of her and show her- she was talking up a storm! I couldn't believe it. That girl proves that kids just take their time when it comes to talking. I really think no one should judge in that area. My mom always said that Jake and I didn't talk for a long time and especially Jake didn't talk at all past the normal talking age, and all of a sudden he started talking in full length sentences like he'd been storing it all up until he could fully say it how he wanted or something. Gracie totally- like two months ago wasn't saying too much...talking, but not a ton- and today she was saying everything just like me! She was sooo cute. She told us 3 or 4 stories at the dinner table, prayed and thanked for the yummy meal and prayed that she could read a yummy story. So funny.

Aliese and Anna were wonderful as always. Aliese is such a good big sister and such a good helper. The whole time she was constantly trying to make things easier for us. "Would you like me to unload the dishwasher now, or later? I don't want to be in the way." Things like that. Seriously. Then as you saw in the pics, Anna started out in pajamas and later came down with rosy cheeks and pink eyelids! She got play makeup for Christmas.

Rebecca had those adorable pictures that Lizzie took of them when they went to California last and she had this awesome collage-frame that she needed to use so we started planning out where to put each picture and once we had it figured out Rebecca just about had a panic attack with how to put it together because the pictures were too small for the frames and it was just too difficult. I don't stress over those things so I suggested she peel my baby onions (which I hate doing) while I put the pictures and frame together. She didn't even answer, she just walked away from the frame with a big worked out great.

Well, I start work on Monday (yes, Martin Luther King Day). Happy happy joy joy. It'll be good, I'm just not SUPER excited. At least I'm not freaking out like last year. Now I know what to expect!

Love you all!!!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009


having fun with our new webcam with special this!


I dropped the classes by the way- just those who were wondering! I feel great about it.

Those following up on Paul's status...we got the news we wanted- a negative result came back which means that there isn't any lymphoma in his blood or anywhere that they can see besides his head where they found it originally. The next step is to do a bone marrow biopsy or something like that- on Thursday. I guess it is a really painful test, so I feel very badly for him. If it is clear, he will have radiation done on his head, and be cured! If it isn't clear, then he will have to go on and off chemo the rest of his life probably, in order to stay in remission. So we are hoping for a clear! But that test happens Thursday, and I don't yet know when the results come, still more wait. But we are happy because we got the best news we could hope for at this point. The family and others fasted for him a couple weeks ago, and are fasting again this Sunday. I honestly KNOW that fasting works miracles- and I really appreciate all the prayers and fasting many of you have done on our behalf! Thank you! I love you!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009



Why is it that I've felt like I've been in school FOR-EV-ER when I have only been going for 3 years?! Well, it feels like I'm tired.

If you keep tabs on me, you realize that I decided to take 14 credits while working full time during tax season. My excuses for survival were: 3 credits are simply my working credits...not really a class; 2 credits I could complete in the first week, the Music Theory class- which i finished last night; 2 credits would be a religion class so that should be okay simply because I should be incorporating scripture and religious study into my daily life already; 1 credit is a computer basics class and I've already taken advanced computer classes so it should be a breeze, which it is; the other 6 credits would be my hard classes- American Literature, and World Civilizations (a history class). Well, when you think of it all individually, sure it seems fine...but when you put it all together- its' like my title for this post...UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I don't know why I'm fretting...I just...ugh. So some of you may be thinking...why are you taking 14 anyway? Just drop a few. In fact I KNOW you are all thinking that, even if I explained it, because my own husband keeps asking me this when I've explained it to HIM before as well. Here goes.

So in order to get pell grants (FREE MONEY- DON'T HAVE TO PAY BACK) I have to take 12 credits. In order to get my scholarship (half tuition), I have to take 14 credits. After all is said and done (tuition, and student insurance), I end up pocketing $370 or so. So you see, it doesn't really make sense for me to drop classes becuase if I did, I would end up having to pay like 400 bucks. If I dropped below 12 credits, I'd have to pay like 800 bucks. I'm sure we all agree that getting $370 for free, sounds a lot better than having to pay $400-$800 out of pocket. YET! Is it worth the $370 to cause 3 months of stress? I tend to think not...and they I think things like, well they drop the classes...but then I think- well, but the religion class...I could handle that...and well...the literature class, I've already read half of the first book- can't drop that...and the computer, well that's just so easy so i can't drop then I'm just dropping the freaking history class which would give me 11 credits. 1 credit away from all that money? I think not. You see my reasoning for screaming UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Oh, and then there's this wierd minor detail that I'm sure I could figure out if I called a few people. I look up scholarship requirements and such, and I see a little note that says, if a student has received scholarship funds, and then drops below 14 credits, they will be never qualify for a scholarship again, and be considered for disciplinary counsel because of not sticking to the honor code. Or some nonsence like that. I am not trying to STEAL MONEY PEOPLE! I figure if I do end up dropping, I could just call someone and write them a check...I don't know. Anyway...............................

Any advice on this? Does anyone actually look into things like this as far as I am? Maybe it's the accountant in me...analyzing every financial effect...not trully analyzing my psychological effect. This is all happening because of the accountant in me. Of course. The only reason I'm taking all these stupid classes is to acheive the stupid requirements in order to become a CPA. I don't even need these classes to graduate. And I wont even reach the 150 required credits to become a CPA. I will only reach 140...

Also, I have this wierd trait where I have to get everything done in the most efficient, least amount of time possible. Think about it...graduate high school early, will graduate college early, got married when I was 18 (not saying that I only got married to be efficient...HA), I have seriously been so excited to have a baby since like the week after our wedding much to my dismay of always praying and recieving feelings of...not yet, I obsessively check the registration page all the time so that whenever the next semesters class times show up, I can FINALLY plan out our schedules for the next semester...even though I have months before I can even sign up for classes! Clay has never spent a second worrying about his schedule because I am constantly perfecting it to a T! AH! Yeah...there are OCD tendencies in my family and everyone has always been like...oh, that's good you don't have to deal with that...well family- I'm pretty sure I have a braid of OCD in my blood that just doesn't stop when it comes to this stuff.............................................seriously- I would make an amazing assistant to like...the CEO of Walmart or whichever huge corporation you'd like to assign me to. I was made fun of last tax season because my desk was organized into..."Returns that need to be checked by Kent", "Returns that need to be checked by balhy or blah", "Waiting on more information from client to finish", "Haven't started yet"- seriously, I even made signs and they were all separated into neat piles. The other interns? They were all stacked haphazardly all over their desks! It drove me nuts! And guess what? I don't even care that they made fun of me- it made my work, as well as EVERYONE in the office's work- 10 TIMES MORE EFFICIENT! Now I'm rambling.

And I'm on to this all even before I've started work.

Whatever! I think I've decided. I guess I'll sleep on it.

I think this blog is good for me. It helps me figure things out:)

Oh, and by the way- HSM3 comes out on dvd February 17th or something like that, and Twilight comes out March 21st. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? That's right. I will have a GREAT birthday:)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Needed Prayers

Well, as some of you have heard already- Clay's dad, Paul- has Non-Hodgkin, low-grade, B-Cell Lymphoma Cancer. We found out about a week ago. We don't know too much yet, except for what I've basically told you. The good news is, B-Cell Lymphoma is a highly curable cancer, and has a very high survival rate. The hard thing is, when people hear low-grade, as opposed to high-grade, they think- oh phew. Simply because high, sounds worse than low. However, it would be a lot better to have high-grade. When you have low-grade, if it is past stage one, it isn't curable. Yet, the doctor says that though it's not curable, it is still manageable. What does manageable mean? That's what I asked. Well, it means that he could kill of the cancer with Chemo but it would keep coming back throughout his life. Meaning, he could end up having to have many years of chemo ahead of him. The low-grade part makes it so that the process is really slow and it takes a long time to see any symptoms of the cancer. I guess this is how it is manageable. Right now we are just waiting to find out what stage he is in. He will get the test done on Tuesday (week from today) and find out that next Thursday the results. So far we have no idea if it is in multiple places, or what stage, so we really don't know what is going to happen. If he is in stage one, he will do radiation and the cancer will be gone very quickly, with no chance of it coming back. So of course, we are hoping for stage one. If it is further than that, we will see from there... Anyway, I know most of you don't know Clay's dad- but he is one of the best people I've ever known. He has never ending love and service for everyone and anyone that needs it, is so completely humble, and just the kindest person ever. Things like this really remind me of why life truly isn't fair sometimes. I know that no one should have to go through cancer- but you know the saying- bad things happen to good people? Well in this case, we are seeing that bad things happen to the best people. If you could keep Paul, and the entire family, in your hearts and prayers, we would all greatly appreciate it! Obviously these things are hard on more than just the patient.

Just to show some good things that are obviously blessings...this shows that though bad things can happen to good people, if you are a good person, Heavenly Father watches out for you. I just thought this was so amazing. Patty told us that just last year, they purchased Cancer insurance for Paul. I don't know how much that covers, but I'm guessing that's good. Next, Paul has like...over 6 months of paid sick leave stored up at work. Isn't that amazing? Obviously it isn't good that they will have to use these things...but the point is, it would be so much more stressful if those things weren't there.

Well, tomorrow school starts. I am taking 14 credits of online classes (including my 3 credits for the internship) and probably starting work on Monday. Yikes! Hopefully I survive. I'm trying to finish one of my classes by tomorrow. It's a music theory class that covers things that I learned when I was like...6. I can finish all my classes early, so I'm going to try really hard to crank them out before the tax season gets too busy...and before I start dreaming about tax returns (yes, that happened last tax season when I was stressed). Clay will be going to school too- he's taking a full load. He isn't excited at all.

I love you all! I hope you are all happy.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

What have we been up to?

Lots! Hehehhehe sorry Clay, I couldn't resist!

We just got back on Tuesday night. Well actually, Wednesday morning in reality:) We had a wonderful time in Oregon. My sister Lizzie and her family were there, so was Jacob, my brother's family, as well as Amy and Mike at certain points throughout the trip. It was SO FUN! I love family. Here are some pics of the ocean...I figured some who don't get to see the coast too often would like it.

Christmas was wonderful. We were spoiled as always. Clay got movies, as you can see...(look at Grandpa in the background..hehehe...he was trying to figure out what to do with himself once he realized he was in the picture)

I got beautiful shoes which I haven't taken a picture of yet.

Here's mom and dad opening our presents. We got them "Freedom Writers" and a painting that Clay did. It is the Nativity scene. Yay!
I know, not the best pic with her eyes closed. But I only took one...
I know it's kind of silly that they don't have it turned towards us. I guess I forgot to take a pic like that. But here is Clay's parents that he made. Mom and Dad's is basically the same except it has a more orangish background.

Mom and Dad got me two seasons of "The Road to Avonlea". At first I didn't know what to think because I kind of remembered them, but not much. We watched them when I was little as a family, and I sort of remember some of the characters, but not a ton. Anyway, I only have one episode of the second season left and then I'm done. Does that tell you what I think of them? I'm SO GLAD my mom got me them! I love them! I don't know what I'm going to do once it's finished. I looked it up and there are 7 seasons. At least I have a lot to look forward to!

Clay's parents got me a camera that is AWESOME! Be ready for picture overloads now because I'm just so excited! The camera is for my Christmas/Birthday present. I am so thankful. It is a Canon Digital Rebel XTi. Pretty nice.

When we got home we basically spent the night in our bed and then later went to spend the night at Clay's parents house. They always celebrate for New Years. We went bowling, where I came in last place, played American Idol Encore 2-which by the way we played with Amy at the coast. It was so fun. I'm so glad I played with Amy because it made me way more confident in front of Clay's family. Then we ate lots of yummy food, kissed our loved one at midnight, and that's pretty much it. It was way fun. The next day Patty and Paul had a delicious ham dinner and Paul's dad came over to eat with us. Here's some pics from the couple days.

These are Amanda's kids (Clay's cousin). I should've taken a pic of their youngest that is a baby. She is so scrumptious.
This is Leif, Amanda's husband. He and Amanda are the ones that give us everything that they don't want anymore, but we find to be wonderful still. Couch, papasan chair, sound system, and my new camera is his old camera. Heheheh- Clay looks like he's on drugs don't you think?
Most hilarious game ever. We loved this. So many laughs.
Clay and Amanda getting ready for the game.

Patty and Paul with their neighbors and friends.
Clay and his Grandpa (Paul's dad)

Now that we've been home, I've made caramels...YUM!

I made this grocery bag and purse with some left over fabric.

This is the bag I made Makayla for Christmas. Isn't it cute? Makayla said that all her friends said that it was so cute and that they loved it, and she said, "I know". I'm so glad I made it.

This is our house.

This is a bunch of snow that got plowed. is cold.

This is my sewing room. It's GREAT!

This is Bruce.

Figured I'd just catch up on everything.

Here are some random pics that didn't really have to do with any stories.

Beauitufl Amy. I think that was early in the morning too. I just thought she looked really pretty.

This is Stetson. He is the newest member of the family really. He is one of the most annoying dogs ever, but also one of the most loveable. He is so cute. He always comes and lays his head on your lap and looks into your eyes. You want to yell at him to not get all his hair all over you, but can't because you can tell he is just so innocent and is trying to just love you. Anyway- the picture, if you look...his paw is under his people do when they sleep. Clay thought it was cute.

I don't know if you can tell from this picture...But my finger is pretty much dying from my ring. It ws just fine until about a year and a half ago, we got the double bands added. Well, I got this huge bump on the bottom of my finger...then on new years eve, it was squeezing even more. Can you see the line? Well...needless to say, I have taken the ring off and we will take it to the jewelers to get it sized one size bigger probably.

Self timer.

Clay and I wanted to play with my camera. So he started running.

Faster....Faster!!! Until....

He turned into a Ghost! You could barely see him!Hahhaha...we are dorks. But we had fun.

He's just cute.

This is me playing with my camera. This was taken in the dark...with my camera's night feature. I liked it.

Another random playing with camera. I know...boring. I've uploaded 40 pictures to this post.

I was thinking. This is going to be a great year. We are going to graduate, both of us. Hopefully Clay will get a real big adult-like job. Lost will start again in like less than 20 days. That's really all I can think about...but it sounds good.

Well, time to eat. Bye!