Thursday, May 14, 2009

One Every Wednesday

So, I'm thinking I should maybe call it "One Every Once in a While" instead. :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mothers' Day!

(Before playing video, turn up your volume and pause background music
at very bottom of blog. )

Friday, May 8, 2009

Where the heck is Kyoto?

David has been transferred! He is now in Kyoto, Japan serving with the Zone Leader, Elder Williamson. This is what he had to say about his new comp:

"My companion is an absolute stud. I wanted him before transfers and I got him. His name is Elder Williamson. (Looks like Owen Wilson and his voice resembles him even more.) He's a convert (at age 12). From Iowa. Ran Cross country in high school (4th in the state of Iowa!) and runs with me every morning! He's also an incredible missionary. His Japanese is hands down best in the mission among americans because he spent six years before the mission studying it (including a year at BYU) and had a ton of Japanese friends. I will become a better missionary because of his example."

We are so grateful that David is enjoying his companionship and the work. I will get to talk to him on Sunday for Mothers' Day and I can't wait! Here are some shots of his new area:


This observation tower is the tallest structure in Kyoto.
Kyoto is beautiful in the Springtime (Toji Temple) ...
...and gorgeous in the fall.
Bamboo Path with "killer size" bamboo!
Somewhere in Kyoto.
Somewhere else in Kyoto.
Gion Matsuri (Festival): Women in kimonos at food stand.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

One Every Wednesday

I made this dish yesterday--pulled it out of the oven just as I was heading out the door to a meeting. Later, when I got  home, half (I'm not exaggerating here, folks--we're talkin' a full 50%) of it was gone. No one had been home except for my husband! When I asked him what happened to the Shepherd's Pie, he simply responded, "I was hungry." You know what that means? DING! DING! DING! WE HAVE A WINNER!


2 cups ground beef, drained (I canned this myself in pint-sized mason jars.  See:  Canning Meat.  Who knew you could do this?  It's perfect for tacos, sloppy joes, casseroles, and recipes like this one.  It's good for up to three years on the shelf and tastes great!)
1/2 cup dry minced onion 
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 cup canned carrots
1/4 cup canned peas
1/4 cup canned grean beans
1/4 cup canned corn
1 package brown gravy mix prepared with 1 cup water
2 cups mashed potatoes (made from 1 cup potato pearls and 2 cups water)
1/2 cup freeze dried shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  (This recipe can also be warmed in a solar oven if no power is available.) Make gravy according to package directions. Combine all ingredients except potatoes and put in baking dish. Prepare mashed potatoes by adding pearls to boiling water.  Plop servings of mashed potatoes on top of meat and vegetable mixture (I use a Pampered Chef's "Easy Accent Decorator" 'cause it looks pretty!). Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

Cooks Note:
If you have a can of mixed vegetables, that would definitely be better than 1/4 cup out of four different cans (corn, green beans, carrots, and peas).  I didn't have any on hand so I'll be adding a case of that to my food storage specifically for this recipe. 

  This is a pic of some ground beef I have canned.  I looks like some kind of science experiment, but I'm telling's AWESOME!  Just to know that we can have REAL MEAT in our food storage instead of some funky TVP stuff makes me giddy!  It's so easy to do too.  You gotta' try it!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Just Married

My nephew, Jonathan (Craig's oldest and only son), married Heather Elise Sampson last Friday in the Houston, Texas LDS temple. I attended the sealing ceremony that morning where they were married "for time and all eternity"; it was a simple and beautiful wedding. Afterwards, photographs of the wedding party, family, and friends were taken on the temple grounds. For the wedding luncheon, Craig treated us all to a huge meal at Pappasito's Cantina. That evening, a lovely reception was held in their honor at the Avalon on the lakefront. The weather was ideal--warm with a light breeze. It was a beautiful day.
Welcome to the family, Heather!

A beautiful day at the temple.

Jon with his four sisters: Jessie, Kristi, Kelly, and Katie.

Jon with his handsome groomsmen and college roommates.

One of the bridesmaids enjoying a moment with the guys.

My niece Kristen lets her little guy cool off in the fountain.

Lunch at Pappasito's.

Delicious food and so much of it!

Craig brings tears to everyone's eyes as he expresses love for his son.

Jon takes the mic.

We're married!

Jon is a gifted musician and simply amazing on the piano. To hear samples of his original work, google Jonathan Cheney or click here.