Friday, October 31, 2008


We carved pumpkins last night as a family; actually Joel and I carved pumpkins (mostly Joel), and the kids watched. Jenna did clean most of her own pumpkin out, but Will wasn't loving the goo, so Joel cleaned his out.

We were cleaning them out and I told everyone to look and smile; that face is what I got from Jenna. What a stinker.

So I made her take another picture with a better smile. :)

Our pumkins: Will's, Joel's, Jenna's, and mine.

All lit up

The kids posing by their pumpkins. Jenna designed her own pumpkin and was very happy with it.


Here is the chicken pot pie recipe.

1 Package (10 oz) frozen peas and carrots
1/3 cup margarine or butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 1/2 to 3 cups cut-up cooked chicken or turkey
Pastry for 9-Inch Two-Crust Pie

Rinse frozen peas and carrots in cold water to separate; drain. Melt margarine in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour, onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in chicken and peas and carrots; remove from heat. Heat oven to 425. Prepare pastry. Roll two-thirds of the pastry into 13-inch square. Ease into ungreased square pan, 9x9x2 inches. Pour chicken mixture into pastry-lined pan. Roll remaining pastry into 11-inch square. Cut out designs with 1-inch cookie cutter. Place square over chicken mixture. Arrange cutouts on pastry. Turn edges of pastry under and flute. Bake about 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Two-Crust Pie

2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening or 2/3 cup lard
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

Cut shortening into flour and salt, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until particles are size of coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary). Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured cloth-covered board. (For Two-Crust Pie, divide pastry in half and shape into 2 rounds). Roll pastry into circle 2 inches larger than upside-down pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.

I basically followed the recipe, the only thing I really did differently was the vegetables. I boiled some potatoes and carrots, and used frozen peas and frozen corn. But I pretty much just followed the rest of the recipe, and it turned out great. I even made the dough the day before and stored it in the fridge in waxed paper and plastic wrap. It was so yummy, and the leftovers were just as good!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Pie!

A few weeks ago my sister Mary gave me a recipe for a chicken pot pie that she made and said was really good. I've never made a chicken pot pie before, so I thought I would try my hand at it. It felt like a little bit of a saga (even though it wasn't, really). I made the dough for the crust yesterday because I was planning to make it for dinner last night, but then Joel and I had a big lunch, and weren't really hungry at dinner time. So I made a smaller, lighter dinner yesterday. I wasn't sure how the dough would hold up in the fridge for so long, but it ended up tasting really good. The recipe just calls for a frozen veggie mix, but I wanted potatoes in it, so I boiled potatoes and carrots to put in. Well, after I started them on the stove, Joel came home from Cheyenne. We were sitting on the couch talking, and an hour later I realized I had forgotten about my potatoes! Well, they were pretty much mush, so I had to peel, cut, and boil more potatoes. Not that big of a deal, but I really didn't feel like it. Anyway, it did end up being a little more work than I thought it would be originally, but it was worth it! It was the best pot pie I've ever had, and my family loved it. I think I might look for some little pans so I can cook individual pot pies.
Here is the whole pot pie, fresh from the oven.

Here's my piece. It tasted better than it looks here. :)

(This little chicken pot pie story got long, sorry. I think I'm strangely proud of my pie!)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Will's idea

I'm doing the dishes, Will is eating oatmeal.

Will: Mom, what if we just lived upside down?

Me: How would that work?

Will: We would just glue our feet to the ceiling.

Me: But how would we move?

Will: We could just walk around with our sticky feet!

(I get crazy propositions like this every day. What if we just.....?)

A letter

A few days ago, Joel gave Jenna a clipboard/folder thing that he used for one day and broke. He got a new one, and gave her the old one (which was only about 2 days old). It's only a little clip part that is broken, so for Jenna it works wonderfully. After he gave it to her, she wrote him a letter...

"Dear Daddy, I love you a lot! I wish you can come to my class some day. Can you please? You are nice and fun Daddy! I wish you are my teacher in all my classes. I love to see you at home. It is fun Dad. Do you think I am fun? I think you are fun. Do you like flowers? I like flowers. I miss you when I am at school. Do you miss me? I like your room Daddy! Love Jenna"
*I corrected all spelling*

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Brrr! We woke up this morning to a light layer of snow...

We usually walk to school, but when it gets cold, I pull out the car keys! The temp this morning was 21 degrees, but the wind chill was 5! I'm definitely too wimpy for that! The kids bundled up, and Jenna was excited to get to wear all of her new winter stuff. New coat, new mittens, new hat. And Will put his hat on all by himself, can you tell! :)

I can't begin to describe how much I feel like making warm, yummy goodies! When the weather gets cold, Sarah gets cooking! I don't love the cold weather, but I will admit that I love the cozy feeling I get when it's warm inside and you can cuddle up with someone. The hot chocolate and warm cider, anything warm in fact! I think there is definite logic in the fact that animals in general bulk up for the winter. That must be where my instincts come from! Bring on the goodies! :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Getting Older

Will is four! It seems crazy, and yet it's like our family never existed without him. That's how it is with all children. Once they are there, you can't even remember what it was like without them! We basically started out the day with presents. I was going to have him wait until this evening when we did cake and ice cream to open his gifts, but Joel thought he should do it in the morning. He pointed out that then he would be able to play with his new presents all day. Good idea Dad! So after breakfast Will got to open his presents. It was a lot of fun, and he is finally old enough to do it totally on his own. We had to continually remind Jenna that Will could do it on his own, and that she needed to keep her hands OFF. That wasn't easy for her. Will was very happy with his new toys, new clothes, and his very own sleeping bag.
A slinky from Jenna

A toy gun from Mom and Dad

Opening the one from Grandma R.

The race track cake, not quite done

The finished product! (Those are Lightning McQueen cars on the track)

On the phone with Grandma R. She was singing Happy Birthday.

Lighting the candles

Right now Jenna and Will are having a "sleep-over" on their bedroom floor, each with their very own sleeping bags. They are watching "The Bee Movie". When I checked on them last they were both still awake, even! I wonder how long they will make it?

Happy Birthday, William!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


We have had the hardest time deciding what to be for Halloween this year. Jenna has been set on being a princess, even though I've tried to talk her out of it. (She was a witch last year, but she was a princess the TWO years before that). I've given in and am looking for a costume for her that isn't $30 or something crazy like that. We've had the opposite problem with Will. "What do you want to be for Halloween?" we'll ask. "I don't know." He replies. Helpful. We've given him ideas, and he usually just says, "No." So I had a brilliant idea. :) His birthday is on Saturday and I'm making him a race track cake. So I asked him, "Do you want to be a race track for Halloween?" I was actually serious, but I wasn't sure I would be able to talk him into it. He was unsure at first, I think he thought I was kidding, that it wasn't really possible to be a race track for Halloween. But he agreed, and today we started working on his costume. When I told Joel what he was going to be he looked at me like I was absolutely mad. But I was bound and determined to figure out some way of making a racetrack that Will could wear, and that wouldn't cost very much. Today we pulled out some cardboard boxes, and after some mussing and fussing this is what I did...
Now picture straps that will hook over his shoulders and hold the track up about waste height. The cardboard will be completely covered in either construction paper or paint. There will be supports under each side to hold it level. And of course the track will go around that edge and we will somehow stick cars to it. Can you see it?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Good Day

Today was a good day. Joel didn't have school today, but he did go to the school for a few hours to study for a test that he has tomorrow. So this morning after we all walked Jenna to school (I love it when we get to do that), we came home and I got some cleaning done. At 9:30 I took Will and Adam to story time at the public library, and Joel went to campus. When the boys and I got back from story time, Adam went down for a nap and I read Will the books we got at the library. A little later, Joel got home and we hung out for awhile. After a bit Adam was halfheartedly eating his lunch, Will was halfheartedly arranging cars, Joel was flipping through channels but nothing was on, and I was playing some boring games on the computer. Finally I got up and said "Let's do something!" So we played outside for awhile, then took a bike ride and ended up at the Geology Museum. Will likes looking at the dinosaurs, and who doesn't like checking out those fluorescent rocks? Anyway, after we came home we played outside some more. Through the afternoon we took a ton of pictures, and here are a few.
Just Hangin'

At the top

At the bottom

Will was being cool, running up the slide, and shock-of-shocks he got hurt

Loves from Mom

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

uh oh

One of Adam's favorite words, along with "Owe" and "Dada" (or some variation of that)
Welcome to the 2008 edition of getting to know your friends. Copy then change all the answers so they apply to you, then post on your blog. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little things about your friends that you might not have known!
1. What time did you get up this morning? Alarm went off at 6, I actually got up at about 6:15
2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Horton Hears a Who
4. Favorite TV show? Lost, Biggest Loser, The Food Network
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? cereal
6. What is your middle name? Vivian
7. What food do you dislike? mushrooms
8. What is your favorite CD at the moment? don't have one right now
9. What kind of car do you drive? Chevy Venture
10. Favorite sandwich? blt, or pulled pork, or shredded beef
11. What characteristic do you despise? dishonesty
12. Favorite item of clothing? jeans
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Somewhere with clear water and sandy beaches, and no people, so they can't see me in a swimming suit
14. Favorite brand of clothing? probably Maurice's
15. Where would you retire to? somewhere in Wyoming
16. What was your most recent memorable birthday? ???Probably turning 16???
17. Favorite sport to watch? Football, or track
18. Furthest place you expect someone to look at this from? don't know
19. If you had a superpower, what would it be? multiple arms, or the ability to be in more than one place at a time.
20. When is your birthday? April, 22
21. Are you a morning person or a night person? I get more done in the morning, but I look forward to the evening's more. 8:00 pm to be specific
22. What is your shoe size? 8
23. Pets? None!
24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? Not that I can think of
25. What did you want to be when you were little? I wasn't sure, but something cool
26. How are you today? Pretty durn good, actually
27. What is your favorite candy? Uh, anything in the candy isle! And chocolate, and circus peanuts, and jelly beans, and candy corn, and starbursts, and anything fruity, and most things sour, I think you get the idea
28. What is your favorite flower? anything that's blooming and beautiful
29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? October 18th (Will's birthday)
30. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? another tough one. probably cookies & cream
31. What are you listening to right now? Will playing with cars
32. What was the last thing you ate? cereal
33. Do you wish on stars? not anymore
34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? some shade of green
35. How is the weather right now? sunny, a little chill in the air
36. Who was the first person you talked to on the phone today? I haven't actually talked on the phone yet, but it will probably be Joel when he gets done in Cheyenne
37. Favorite soft drink? Mt. dew
38. Favorite restaurant? Corona Village, Applebeas, Olive Garden
39. Real hair color? light brown
40. What was your favorite toy as a child? matches :)
41. Summer or winter? Summer
42. Hugs or kisses? hugs
43. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
44. Where was your last vacation? Lovell
45. When is the last time your cried? I'm not sure. Not too long ago, I'm sure, but I can't remember when it was
46. What is under your bed? A .22, gift wrapping stuff, temple bags, and weights
47. What did you do last night? watched TV, read, and went to bed a little early
48. What are you afraid of losing? My mind. JK! My family
49. Salty or sweet? Usually a lot of sweet, then some salty, then some more sweet to top it off
50. How many keys on your key ring? About 4 I think
51. How many years at your current job? 6
52. Favorite day of the week? Friday
53. How many towns have you lived in? 3
54. Do you make friends easily? Not really, I'm really shy and unsure around people I don't know very well. After you get to know me, then not so much.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My New Project

Awhile ago I was bored and looking through our e-mail account that we've had since we got married. There is a folder called "Joel" and a folder called "For Joel". These folders are what we used while Joel was in Iraq. We would both write from the same e-mail account; Joel would send his e-mails into the inbox, and after I read them I would move them to the "Joel" folder. When I wrote to him, I would move them into the "For Joel" folder, so he would be able to tell when he had a new e-mail from me. I was looking through these folders and browsing over the e-mails we sent to each other, and realized that I really can't remember writing any of the e-mails, and don't remember most of the day-to-day stuff that went on while he was gone. Turns out my entire memery of that period is very sketchy. I have a few very vivid memories, and the rest is basically a blur. Anyway, my new project is that I am organizing our e-mails to each other in a Word document, with the ultimate goal of making them into a book that we can have as a keepsake, and something to pass on to our children. I've already got 34 pages of e-mails, and I'm only into February of 2005 (he was gone until December of '05). It's going to be long, but I'm excited that I'm finally doing it. Once I start, though, it's hard to stop. It's easy to say "I'll just put in one more e-mail". I don't read the e-mails as I'm moving them, because that would take WAY too long. But I do sort of browse them really quickly, and it's been fun to remember things, and also sad. It seems strange sometimes that Joel has been back for almost three years! And sometimes it's hard to believe he was gone at all. I'm lucky to have him, and I'm so happy that he is here with us, safe and sound.

Saturday, January 22, 2005 12:40:32 PM

From: Joel
To: Sarah

sarah, I just ordered a guitar from musicians friend. it was $108.94. There is a guy from my platoon who wanted to go halfsies on a guitar and this one was a nice guitar for super cheap so I just put it on our card before they ran out of them. Hope you don't mind too much. Hey, would you please send me an email with how much money we have in our account after each paycheck? Thanks sweety. oh by the way, I did put a checkbook in my footlocker didn't i? I think that I did but I couldn't remember. we haven't gotten those yet which isn't a concern. I was just wondering. if you can remember you can tell me. I miss you so much. this has been a really long day and i just want to curl up in your arms and tell you about it. I can't wait til I can do that again. I am gonna go now. I am signed up for the phone too and I am hoping that I am up soon. Gnight!

I love you!!!!!

Sunday, January 30, 2005 8:05:26 AM

From: Sarah
To: Joel

Hey honey. I just got done talking to you about 30 minutes ago. I'm SOOO glad you called. I still don't know what's wrong with the regular phone, hopefully I'll figure it out when I get off the computer. I'm sorry that you've had a hard week. What made it hard? I'm glad that you were able to give someone a BOM, I think that's pretty cool. It's a shame that other people just want to Bible bash, I'm glad you haven't really taken part in that. Well babe, I just wanted to tell you how wonderful it was to talk to you. Hopefully you'll be able to call again soon. I can't wait to find out when you get your R&R. Thinking about those two weeks really does get me through some of the tough spots. I miss you babe.

I love you!!!!