Saturday, January 31, 2009

the things kids say!

I went to a Baptism tonight for one of the kids in my primary. And boy was it worth it!
The little boy being baptized tonight is a SWEET boy from a very abusive background until he was sent to live with a family in my ward and the change has been from night to day! It was a sweet experience to be there with him and celebrate his new life.
There was another little boy at the baptism who is not a member of the LDS faith. This kid was hilarious!
The first talk was about Baptism, given by the grandma (who teaches the sunbeam class in her primary- so every sentence was 5 words or less). She was explaining the covenants (or promises) made between Heavenly Father and us when we are baptized. She mentioned that something we promise to do is to obey all of Heavenly Father's commandments. Then she asked why it was important to do that?
Enter awesome little boy: So we don't go to hell?
Stunned grandma: Well,um, yes. thats right.

This little boy also chimed in when the Dad was giving a talk about the holy ghost.
Dad: .... after you are baptized, you will be blessed with the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Awesome little boy: is that AFTER he's dumped?

I'm sure you see the humor in the situation! We certainly did! It was a learning experience for all in attendance; so please obey the commandments- I don't want you going to hell.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Preggy-pop clothing emergency

I love to shop for clothes.
I do NOT love shopping for pregnancy clothes.
They are:
1. too expensive
2. too boring
3. too outlandish
4. too little
5. too big
6. too dressy
7. anything else you can think of to whine about involving clothes for your closet.
I have a REALLY hard time finding clothes that I WANT to wear, that fit my changing body for more than 1 month (or 1 wash load as the case may be for SOME clothes I now own).
I went to Target on wednesday looking for cute preggy clothes that wouldn't break my bank, that might fit for more than 1 month and that were of decent quality. Apparently, EVERY other preggy-pop who wanted/needed new preggy-pop clothes had been there first and completely cleaned them out of anything decent in my (ever expanding) size.
So, in distress, I called my sister in law- DEVANY!!!
I will forever be grateful to her for saving both my sanity (temporarily) and my wallet (also temp)! But she let me come and clean out her maternity closet and fill up mine!
Bless you Dev! You've saved the day in a BIG way!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Drue's link

Drue's music blog

I don't know how many- if any- of you have heard my husband's music that he posted on his blog, but let me make a quick plug here for him. Give these three a listen and leave a comment!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Miss America

I can't believe I missed the Miss America Pageant! This has been a tradition for me for a VERY long time... I'm thinking since High School- Amy, correct me if I'm wrong on this.
I remember sitting down to watch all the hullabaloo and cheering on a contestant until they were eliminated. Maybe it was because my mother was a former "beauty queen"- but I've always had a sordid fascination with the whole tom-foolery of the shows.
However, actually being (forced) to participate was another ordeal entirely! Mom, I love you but Junior Miss was not my favorite thing in the world-and Amy will back me up on this one:)
But once I got into College, watching the Miss America pageant became a whole "girls night" thing. I'll never forget the one where my best friend- Laura- and I were watching at her house and right after it was done her dog shot out of the front door as I was trying to leave and we spent 20 minute running around in the FREEZING Rexburg January night air trying to get her back in the house! We finally gave up- the dog was enjoying being chased WAY too much. We went back inside only to find that- 2 minutes later as I tried to leave again- she was on the doorstep! Waiting for someone to come and chase her again!
So, it is with a sad and heavy heart that I missed this years pageant.
I'll catch it NEXT year for SURE!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

50?! You're old!

Happy birthday to my old man! Dad, you're 50 today. Don't let it get you down. I know, being HALF A CENTURY old is not something to be extremely PROUD of but here are some things you CAN be proud of:
1. Your wonderful wife who has been the best example of christ-like service your children have ever seen... and taught them to do the same.
2. Your Queen "A" Daughter- Amy who is one of the funniest people you know, and loves you.
3. Your Queen "B" Daughter- Ashley who is one of the most talented people you know, married to a good man and has given you a beautiful grandchild with another on the way- who also loves you dearly.
4. Your eldest son- Jacob, who served an honorable mission and is now working hard at his education with every intention of succeeding in his pursuits- who also loves you.
5. Your son- Joseph, who is funny, outgoing and working hard to be a biathalon-er. Who can say that?!
6. Your youngest son- Samuel. We all know he's the favorite child, but he is a good kid learning to be a good man by your example.

Dad, you've been a great example of love, service, sacrifice and work- we all know what a great man you are.
Happy 50th birthday from your loving daughter, son-in-law, grandson and almost-here-grandson.
We wish we could be there celebrating with you!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tortilla Heaven

Oh beatuiful, for spacious skies for amber waves of grain...
Except that most folks don't know what to DO with said grain once it's been acquired.
Hence, my FOOD BLOG. I'm hoping to post some recipes that I have found useful and easy.
Okay, background:
I was asked to teach the Relief Society how to make homemade tortillas. This sounded like a perfectly reasonable request to make but for one thing: I've never made homemade tortillas. Granted, I've watched my MOM make them many times- but I don't think that quite qualifies me to teach about them.
I called my mom in a panic-
me: mom! I need your tortilla recipe! The ladies in the Relief Society have lost their minds- however temporarily- and have asked me to teach at enrichment. Help me!
mom: mija, don't worry. here's my recipe. You'll do fine! oh! BLOG about it when you're done!

The actual even was a LOT of fun- and everything went smoothly. No burnt tortillas, fingers or anything else! HOWEVER, I actually had ladies in my RS ask me "okay, how do I use these?"
So, I told them:
1. scramble and egg, add salsa and homemade tortilla- BAM! Breakfast Burrito
2. add salad, little grilled chicken and salad dressing- BAM! Lunch wrap (healthy too!)
3. add enchilada sauced chicken and taco toppings- BAM! The best taco you've ever had.

Now, without any further ado, the recipe:
4 cups flour
2 t baking POWDER
2 t salt
1/2 c shortening
1/2 c warm water

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in Shortening. Cut in water until its a nice "dry" dough. Knead a bit with your hands-but not too much!
Roll into 1"-2" diameter dough balls, place in a bowl and cover with a towel.
Roll out ball into flat "tortilla" shape:)
Cook on electric griddle, comal, cast iron skillet or any other flat bottom cooking device on medium heat until the tortilla begins to turn a nice caramel color on the bottom of the bubbly bits. Flip.
If you NEED to check your tortilla to make sure its cooked all the way, sacrifice one to the tortilla gods (aka your mouth)

Enjoy your new found favorite recipe!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A new era...

I was listening to the presidential ceremony today on the radio and I was just thinking to myself how BLESSED we are to be secure in the transfer of power in a non-violent way. How today is the fruition of the great promise made by our declaration of independence that all men are created equal. I shed a silent tear thinking of the work, strain and sacrifice given by so many to keep our lands free, safe and- despite all the problems we have- to retain that hopeful spirit which gives us the encouragement to live up to the ideals we hold as sacred.
I am grateful to participate in the democracy we have established and look forward with great anticipation to see how much we can accomplish if we are are willing to TRY.
God bless America and our new president: President Obama.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Do you remember the story of the Star Belly Sneetches who were the best on the beaches and the plain belly Sneetches who had no stars upon thars?
Well, this is pretty much how some persons in the Music Department at BYUI AND the U have treated Drue- they are the Star-Bellys and he just doesn't seem to have a star upon thars. He has been patronized for writing music that is too "tonal", "simple" and "traditional".
However, something happened today that I simply MUST share with the world and toot my husband's horn for him since he's too modest to do it for himself!
No longer is Drue a Plain belly Sneetch!!!! Shoot, he's not a Sneetch at all.
The photo of the Library (because that's what it is) is a very specific library. This is the library at a very prestigious music school on the East Coast called The Peabody Conservatory of Music. Perhaps you've heard of it? It is one of the best music schools in the nation!
Today, Drue received an INVITATION to AUDITION at Peabody to be admitted into their DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) program.
Lets put this in perspective:
If you are a Math whiz- MIT is a top school in the nation.
If you are an International Affairs (diplomat) student- NYU has one of the best programs in the country.
If you are a medical doctor- the Mayo Clinic is the top.
Well, thats Peabody to the Musical World.
This is HUGE. HUGE. HUGE. 
Peabody produces incredible performers and composers! And they found Drue a good enough composer to consider him seriously for admission to their DMA PROGRAM!
Okay- do you get the idea? I'm really REALLY excited for him- and even if he doesn't get in, what an honor. Its like being nominated for an Academy Award- even if you don't win, there's serious respect for just being nominated.
I'm done bragging about my hubby now. 
Just thought I'd share the fantastic news.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lea P Cabrera

Wow, this was really NOT the picture I wanted to start with- but oh well. Okay, I was delighted to attend Lea Cabrera's baby shower on saturday night! It was SO great to see them ALL!!! Lea (of course) looks BEAUTIFUL and has that enviable "glowy" look about her. She also feels a bit stiff and quite swollen because she's 2 weeks away from birth. But honestly, she looked JUST like the gorgeous Lea we all remember so well- plus a CUTE little belly. And I MEAN little. See the picture? Okay- Lea is 9 months prego and I am only 5 months prego. and who's belly is bigger? Maybe  I should have worn black- its so slimming.
Here is the picture of the whole Cabrera family (who were in attendance). It was so much fun to sit and chat with them once the party was over. They are such a fantastic family and I love them all!!! See how Delia hasn't aged AT ALL?! She still looks like she did 10 years ago. I want to know her secret!

Opening presents- Lea got the cutest little socks that LACE UP like shoes- and are printed like shoes- but of course, they are only socks. They were adorable.
This is the number 2 reason to attend anything at the Cabrera's: the FOOD. Doesn't that make your mouth water? Number 1 is to hang out with the family.
I have wanted Lumpia for EVER- I finally got my wish! Delia made lumpia and I put a dent in it.
Eric and his Mom. Eric is a DJ on a local radio station (u 92) and also spins in clubs in SLC. He seems to be doing very well and was honestly surprised to see me there.
Here's someone I didn't expect to see: Amy (Wever) Chambers! What a pleasant surprise to see someone else I knew. 
I tried to get as many pictures as possible (for you mom). It was SO fun, great to see all of the family and how happy they are. Lea, thank you for inviting me to come- I had a wonderful time! Delia- you know I love you!!! Ana- you are the most CRAFTY person I know and it all looked wonderful! 
When Deanna moves out here, we're going to need a Concord 2nd ward reunion! 

Friday, January 9, 2009

Mamma Mia indeed!

I saw Mamma Mia yesterday. (what a great opening line)
I was all ready to be blown away- I'd heard it was good.
What I got was better.
At the end of the film, I just had to smile and chuckle to myself. It was Ridiculous. But in a great way. 
Here's what I thought was FRESH about Mamma Mia:
1. Meryl Streep doing the splits. I think she's an incredbly talented actress, but I NEVER in a million years thought I'd see her do the splits while jumping on a bed. honestly.
2. Julie Walters. Again, awesome actress (if you ever saw "driving lessons" she was wonderful) and just a WHOLE lot of fun to watch have a BALL.
3. Meryl Streep (again) in skin-tight disco glitter pant-suit with spacy platform heels, singing and dancing with make up that would make a drag queen envious. Again, who comes up with this stuff?!
4. Pierce Brosnan. I think he's UBER handsome, especially for an old guy. But I must admit- watching him sing was a little painful. It must be that natural grace that kept him so enticing throughout the film.
5. The cast of random greek ladies singing Dancing Queen. Gives me smiles all over just remembering the "pier dance".
6. The cast of random bachelors dancing on ANOTHER pier wearing 50's swimsuits (I'm thinking Moondoggy shorts) and flippers! Every try even WALKING in flippers? The dancing was HILARIOUS, I was laughing so hard I think turned a hair gray.
7. The portrayal of middle-aged, mom-of-the-bride's having as much fun (if not MORE) than the 20-somethings. This is what I think I liked best- the idea that just because you get older, doesn't mean you have to loose your adventurous spirit- nor your sense of humor. More experienced ladies can be just as crazy- if not MORE- than their younger counterparts. Marriage doesn't end girlfriends, nor does children. We are as essential to each other as we ever were. How fun is that?! I love the idea that I can be 45, go to greece, dance, sing and cavort with girlfriends- and ITS OKAY!!! If you love your life, LIVE IT OUT LOUD.
As Mamma Mia put it:
Donna: I grew up.
Tanya: Then grow down a little!

I think thats a great way to be.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

major accomplishment!!!

I am so HAPPY about what happened yesterday, I just need to share!
You know that James' condition called Developmental Apraxia of Speech (DAS) means that he is not able to reproduce sounds he hears automatically- it has to be learned bit by bit.
WELL, yesterday he had an appointment with Roxanne, his speech therapist. We were discussing him getting very good at using basic sign language but he was not repeating sounds I had been working on with him- like "b","p","m"etc... 
She mentioned that perhaps I should ask him to say the first letter of the word he was signing- like "m" with the sign for "more". So, we did. AND HE DID IT!!! I couldn't believe my son was saying 1. what he HEARD and 2. what I asked him to say!!! We were so surprised yesterday!!! It was marvelous.
THEN, last night I blew my nose and got a bit of mocos on my hand- I guess I blew too hard. Anyways, I said "uh-oh!" and JAMES SAID "UH-OH!" I was so excited I didn't know how to react- except be moved almost to tears!!! So, I took him upstairs to show daddy- which, of course, didn't happen. But we were playing with his train set and he said "uh-oh!" AGAIN when his train derailed and broke!
I know to most Moms, having your kid speak to you is exciting at first but then all they do is talk and all you want is quiet. I am not like most moms- I have not heard my little boy speak any words that I can comprehend since September 17th, 2007- the day of his seizure. This is such an enormous blessing to my family that I can do nothing but thank the Lord for his goodness to our family and helping my little boy talk to me. We are reading the New Testament in our family scripture study and every time Jesus Christ is presented with a child "struck dumb", lame, blind or otherwise afflicted I feel so CLOSE to the parents of these precious children- because I am a parent to one like them. The power to heal those beautiful children lies in the Lord and He makes a statement to his disciples who ask him why can they not heal the dumb, lame, blind and stricken. He says that these things must be accomplished by prayer and fasting, and the faith to believe.
We have prayed and fasted. I think I may be only beginning to understand what faith can really do. It has not moved any mountains, or parted any waters because it doesn't need to do these things for my family, but the Lord has indeed blessed us greatly in the last day or so with something that seems just as miraculous- my child who was "struck dumb" is learning to talk again, something the doctors said wouldn't happen for a few years. I cannot seem to express my gratitude enough, but I feel my Saviors love through this great blessing.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ring in the new!

The question inevitably arises: How did you ring in your new year?
Some people will answer that they went to a party. Others will claim they had a fancy dinner. Still more will say they staid home and partied there.
I remember only a few New Year's Eve parties that were worth anything:
I remember hanging out at the Hopkins, making hats and singing "Auld Lang Syne" complete with incorrect lyrics and off key at the stroke of midnight.
I remember making a FANCY dinner and desert with my sister while house sitting for a friend of my mom's- she had an awesome house and her 300 lb. German Shepherd (Max) swore up and down he was a chihuahua.
I remember all those YM/YW dances I went to. 'Nuff said.
Probably my favorite one though was when Jacob and I watched Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail with a bottle of Martinelli's each, and around 12:05 said something along the lines of "oh! hey, happy new year" and went right on getting marti's sloshed.

This last one (08-09) I rang in the New Year 'Ashley style'- I read. And I will now admit it, I read the book Twilight. It was an entertaining and fast read. It DID suck me in and refuse to let go until I hit the last page. Standard literature it is not- and please don't argue with me on that. BUT, it was a good time. Drue is now reading it and when he is done (in 3 months) maybe we can catch the movie at the dollar theater.

The next question then follows: And what did you do on New Years Day?
Answer: nothing! Woo hoo!
I guess thats not really true- I did some laundry, dishes, folding, bed-making, crashing on the couch, movie watching, playing "mommy monster" with James, COOKING, cleaning up... It was, as my father so fondly says, "Just another day in Paradise". And boy did I cook- Dinner tonight was traditional fare for New Years Dinner in Texas:
Corned Beef- for health
Cabbage- for money
Black eyed peas- for luck
cornbread- for James
Martinelli's- for me (and Drue)

I think I'll not be making ALL of that from scratch again. I probably won't do the Beef again- beef sits really heavily in my stomach. I probably will try a different, EASIER, black eyed peas recipie. I will have MORE Martinelli's- one bottle just doesn't cut it.

Good Luck to all my friends, family, casual stoppers-by, rabid readers (if there are some..) and everyone who I left of the list, for this upcoming 2009.