Monday, August 31, 2009

Where's the beef?

Saturday night we went to our ward Luau. And before you all faint, yes I did attend a church function. I think my going brought tears to my mom's eyes. Baby steps people, baby steps.

Our wonderful home teachers invited us to go. How could we say no to free food? Plus there was going to be Polynesian dancing. Free dinner & a show? I'm in!!

This is what greeted us. In fact, there were two of them. This was my first time seeing a cooked pig. Yummy looking! Not!

This looks much tastier! We had fresh fruit, yummy chicken, pulled pork (from the pig), white rice, some nasty noodle gel stuff and finally a boiled banana. Yup, you heard me right. A boiled banana. I was told they don't have potatoes in the islands, so they boil green bananas & they taste like potatoes. Well since I'm a meat & potato girl I had to give it a try. And you know what? It did taste like a potato. I liked it. And did you notice that I was actually able to remember to take a photo of the food before eating?

And here is Mike, Jesse and Jesse's girlfriend Brynn (not sure if that is how she spells her name) eating. Notice that you don't see a photo of me eating? Count your blessings. Brandon didn't go as he was asleep when we left.

The food was good (mostly), the entertainment was good, the people at our table were good & funny. All in all, it was a good time.

And if you weren't already going to have nightmares, here is another photo of the pig to make sure that you do. I think I'll stick to steak & chicken from now on.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Kira!!!

Today is Kira's birthday. Kira is Marti's daughter, Joni's grandaughter. Kira is suppose to be enjoying Disneyland today. Hope you are having fun!!! Wish I was there!!!

If you want to know about Kira & her little family, be sure to visit her family blog Pope-pourri. Her little girl Kylee just turned 1 last week. You can see photos of Kylee's first birthday party on Kira's blog.

Happy birthday Kira!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

In celebration of what would have been Grandma's 99th b-day

Today is August 23rd which is Grandma Manning's birthday. If she were still alive she would have been 99 years old today. I thought this was the perfect day to post an essay that Melissa wrote about Grandma.

Melissa had written this essay as an entry to a contest that Deseret News was having asking their readers what they had learned from their own Julia Child. The 4 best entries would get 2 tickets to see the movie Julie & Julia.

I asked Melissa if it was OK if I posted her essay here on the family blog & she gave me her permission. If you want to see the entire Deseret News article click here.


A visit to the house of my grandmother, Edith Paulson Manning, always greeted me with savory smells from the kitchen. She was an excellent cook, known for her signature dishes: homemade bread and rolls, chocolate roll, lemon pie, chili sauce, divinity, emerald Jell-O salad, seven-minute icing, fudge ... I could go on.

A meal at Grandma's house was always served on a beautifully set table with tablecloth and centerpiece. Meals were the main course of the visit; they were savored and enjoyed in both appetite and conversation.

Edith was magic. She could conjure up a delicious meal cooked from scratch and lure the entire family — teenagers included — into sitting around the table for hours eating and talking.

Food was Edith's potion to bind our family. She graciously served her love on the plates of all who came to her home. She didn't have to fix an extravagant meal every night. The fulfillment was the same whether it was tuna casserole or Sunday's roast. She took the time to make mealtime and food meaningful.

One Thanksgiving, she made 13 pumpkins pies, one for each grandchild.

She noted on her recipe cards when and with whom she made the recipe. She listed grandchildren's names, ages and dates of baking together.

Edith also taught me that good cooks aren't just born. It takes practice and a lifetime to master.

When I became discouraged learning how to bake bread or make candy, she would tell me stories about her early cooking experiences: When she was a young newlywed, she was learning to make bread. She was unfamiliar with using yeast. When her dough didn't instantly rise, she kept adding more yeast. A short time later, the dough had expanded over the entire kitchen counter. Not willing to admit failure, she took the dough and buried it in the flower garden outside. The bread continued to rise and Grandpa immediately started to treat the garden for gophers and hired an exterminator. Edith refused to fess up.

For another meal, Edith made too much rice. Wasting food during the Great Depression was a sin, so she secretly took the extra rice to the outhouse and dumped it. Her landlord, after visiting the outhouse, promptly called the exterminator because he had seen maggots!

To honor her life, three generations (my mother, myself and my daughters) compiled a cookbook of her trademark recipes. We included our memories in the kitchen, photos of mealtimes and quotes she had written and filed in her recipe box. This became her life history and cherished legacy for our family.

Edith's Chocolate Roll

(You'll never find a better recipe!)

Chocolate roll:

6 egg yolks (beaten)

4 tablespoon sugar (rounded)

5 teaspoons cocoa (heaping)

1 tablespoon flour (heaping)

6 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon baking powder


1 cup sugar

2 level teaspoons cocoa

1/2 cup water

Dash vanilla

For Chocolate Roll: Mix sugar, cocoa and flour and add to beaten egg yolks. Whip egg whites stiff; add baking powder to egg whites while beating. Fold into the egg-yolk mixture. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment or waxed paper and pour batter in pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Cool. Turn on cloth and remove paper. Spread sweetened whipped cream (1/2 to 3/4 pint cream, sugar and vanilla to taste) on cake. Roll and store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Slice and serve with sauce.

For sauce: Mix ingredients and cook 3 minutes and cool. Pour over each slice of chocolate roll.

— Melissa Mecham,

Salt Lake City

Thanks Melissa! I remember Grandma telling us those stories of her early cooking experience. They were so funny. Grandma was the best cook.

Melissa suggested that we should all make Grandma's chocolate roll today in celebration of her birthday & post about it later. I'm not sure if I will be participating in this challenge or not. I'm not much of a baker or a cook (I guess I didn't inherit the cooking gene). Plus it's too hot to turn on the oven here (more excuses). But if anyone out there wants to try, please do so, and don't forget to post about it. And send me a piece!!!


Friday, August 21, 2009


Today is Kim's birthday. Kim is my mom's (Marti) cousin! Kim is wonderful. She works so hard on this blog keeping us all connected as a family. We hope Kim has a wonderful birthday! Kim is turning 29 again, and doesn't she look great!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Family Vacation 2009 - Cave Creek

This is for Wednesday August 19th. We are still here at Cave Creek Arizona. It has been over 100+ degrees and it's HHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTT!!!! There is supposed to be a a storm on Friday with rain and thunderstorms. Yesterday, we Mom and I went shopping at Lane Bryant and Kohls and brought back lunch from Jack in the Box for us and Dad and Brandon.

After we came home we hung out and watched TV and play Dominoes again.

Kim and Mike fixed chicken and beef enchiladas for dinner. It was really good. Mike and Jessie played pool and the rec center. After they came back we all played Dominoes together (except Jessie he was on the phone with his girl friend).

Today is Thursday and it's even hotter today. The humidity is higher today and it is still hot. Mom and I went shopping here in Cave Creek and purchased some sandles from a local leather shop that is going out of business. We also purchased some wind chimes.

Then we got some Indian Fry Bread Tacos from a little hole in the wall. They were really good.

Kim, Mike and Jessie are shopping at some antique stores here in Phoenix. I'm not sure what we are doing later today.

Brandon wants to go on a walk later this evening and take some pictures.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Family Vacation 2009 Day 10 & 11

Monday we got up at 9:00am and ate breakfast and watched some TV. About 1:00 pm we decided to have lunch so Brandon & I drove through Dairy Queen and got lunch and Ice Cream. After we finished lunch Kim Mike and Jessie showed up. They there stuff and we played some games. About 4:30pm we decided to go eat dinner so we drove to a restaurant called the Horny Toad that had all you can eat Beef Ribs. Mike had that Kim and Mom had Salmon, Brandon & Jessie had Hamburgers, Dad had a half rack of pork Ribs and I had chicken fajitas. Its pretty good. Then we came back to the condo and played games and watched TV. Mike and Jessie went over to the game room and played Pool.

Tuesday, we got up about 9:00am and all ate breakfast and watched TV. Kim, Mike and Jessie drove to a antique shop called the Town Dump. While they were gone, Dad and I walked over to the gift shops just up the street. It was very warm about 97 degrees. After we all got back we decided to go to Rubios and get lunch/dinner. Mom, Brandon, Jessie & Mike all had fish tacos, and Kim, Dad & I had Chicken Street Tacos. They were really good. After we finished eating, we went to Target and Walmart to get stuff and get groceries for the rest of the week.

After we came back we watched some TV and played Dominoes.

The weather has been in the hundreds and pretty hot, but we are having alot of fun.

Happy birthday Kylee

Today is Kylee's birthday. Kylee is Kira & Stew's daughter. Marti's grand daughter. Today Kylee turns 1 year old.

MySpace 1st Birthday Graphics

Happy birthday Kylee!!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Taylor

Today is Taylor's 19th birthday. Taylor is Eric & Jeannette's third child and second daughter. I love having Taylor as my niece. She is so sweet and a blast to hang out with. Not to mention cute & very talented.

We went to Eric's house Sunday night for cake & ice cream to celebrate Taylor's birthday. Some of Taylor's friends were there as well. Danica made the cakes. Taylor loves Coraline, so the cakes had to reflect that. And we had chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (my favorite).

Here are some of the photos taken on Sunday:
Danica said the tree was suppose to go on the black cake but it ended up being too big. The white cake is suppose to be a button (I had to ask as I had no clue. I've never seen the movie).

Here is the birthday girl Taylor with her mommy (Jeannette).

Taylor poses with her cakes. Did you notice that her shirt has Coraline on it?

Tea light candles were used instead of regular birthday candles. 19 candles in all.

Taylor & Ashley

Taylor and her friends. I can't remember all their names. Sorry!!!

Taylor, Cade and friends. (Sorry but I don't remember their friends names)

The frosting on one of the cakes was black & made every one's teeth, tongue and lips black. Here is Taylor & her friend Ashley showing off their black teeth.

Happy birthday Taylor!!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Family Vacation 2009 Days 8 & 9

We got up early Saturday morning to leave Snowbird and it was really cold. Brandon and I started taking the rest of our stuff to load it in the Truck and it was really cloudy outside. We got all of the stuff loaded into the truck and went back upstairs to get Mom and Dad and by the time we got down to the truck it was raining. I put on my hood to my jacket to walk up to the truck to get it and it started to hail. By the time I drove the truck to the loading zone it started to snow. Snow in August? Yes, Snow in August. The car showed it was 36 degrees. By the time we got down the mountain it was just raining.

This is a photo outside our Sliding Glass door on Friday evening. It rained some.

After we had breakfast we drove to Todd's house and said good bye to them. We then drove south to Bryce Canyon in southern Utah. It was really fun. I need to transfer the pictures I took and add them to this blog.

This is the first picture I took when we got to Bryce Canyon.

After we went to a couple of outlooks to the canyon, we drove to Kanab Utah and stayed at a Best Western hotel. When we got to Kanab we ate dinner at McDonald's.

Sunday, we got up about 8:00am and got dressed and left the hotel about 9:30am and drove to Colorado City, AZ. This is a town that Warren Jepps was lived in. Most of the homes are not finished. It was really weird driving through it. There was no one outside, but we did see a young boy riding his bike and a young girl leaning up against a car and a couple of men driving cars. This town is in the middle of nowhere.

After we left there we drove to Cave Creek Arizona. We stopped in Flagstaff and ate at Jack in ethe Box. Mom has not been able to eat there in a week because Utah doesn't have any except in St. George. While we were there, there was a lot of smoke from a fire and we didn't know where it was. While driving south on Interstate 17 we saw where the smoke was coming from. It was a fire just Cocino national forest.

This is a picture of the fire near Flagstaff.

Brandon took a lot of pictures of this fire, but this is not one of them. I will post more pictures later today.

The drive to Cave Creek was uneventful. We got here about 5pm last night and after we brought everything in the condo, we went to Rubios for dinner.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad & Gunner myspace graphic comments

Today is not only my Dad's birthday, but it is also my grandson Gunner's birthday. Dad is 78 years old & Gunner is 2 years old today.

Dad has been in Utah for the past week & is now in Arizona. We will see him tomorrow when we meet up with them.

Yesterday we were down in Lakeside to attend Gunner's 2nd birthday party. That kid has more energy than anyone I've seen. It was hard getting any good photos of him as he doesn't sit still for more than a second or two. He never would let us pick him up and snuggle or give him a kiss.

Here are some photos from Gunner's 2nd birthday party.

I didn't realize when I took this photo that the balloon was in the perfect position.

Isn't he cute?
Gunner & his daddy Brandan (Mike's oldest son)

Grandpa Mike trying to give Gunner some lovin'. He wasn't having any of it.

Gunner's 2nd birthday cake. He loves cars and trains.

He was more interested in the car on the cake than the cake.

Gunner & some of his birthday gifts. Thomas the train train set, a Thomas the train video & a Winnie the Pooh gardening set.

Happy birthday Dad!!!

Happy birthday Gunner!!!

We love you both.

Kim aka: Grammy

Friday, August 14, 2009

Family Vacation 2009 Day 6 & 7

Yesterday Thursday, we all slept from 5:00am until about 10:00am and we could not sleep any longer, so we got up and fixed breakfast and sat around and talked most of the day. In the afternoon, Dad Brandon and Julianna took a walk over to the pond. Todd, Mom & I watched a movie called Return to Witch Mountain. Actually I watched the movie and Mom and Todd slept through most of it. After we watched the movie Todd's friends came up to pick him up about 6:45.

We had a small storm come up yesterday and we can some rain and alot of clouds.

Brandon's Dad came and picked him up at 6:30 and they went to dinner at the Texas Roadhouse. After everyone left Mom, Dad and I watched Big Brother and I fixed Macaroni and Cheese and Spam for Dinner.

Then we played Triominoes and Brandon came back about 9:00pm. He played with us until 10:00pm when we couldn't keep our eyes open.

Today is Friday, it is our last day here at Snowbird. We are packing today and later we will probably drive into Salt Lake City and go to dinner. Todd & Julianna are coming up about 5:00pm and spend the evening with us.

We are expecting a storm later on today.

I am coping some pictures to my computer and I will post some pictures later.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Family Vacation Day 5

Yesterday was our 5th day of our vacation. We got up at 9:00am and made breakfast. After we had breakfast and watched some TV, Mom and I drove to Salt Lake City and went shopping at Lane Bryant, Dress Barn, Kohls and then to Walmart. While at Walmart we ate lunch at Subway.

After we finished shopping at Walmart we called Dad and asked if they wanted us to bring up dinner, he said yes. So we went to Costco and bought a Pizza at took it back up to the resort. After we ate dinner, we played Dominoes.

While we were playing Dominoes, about 9:00pm I asked Mom what was on TV next and Mom just mumbled some words that I could not understand, so I took her blood sugar because I thought it was low. It wasn't so I called down to the front desk and told her that my Mother was not responding to us and she called the paramedics. Within 5 minutes the security officer came in to check things out and then called the paramedics to come up and check her out.

They came in and checked all of her vitals (which were good) and asked us a lot of questions about her medical conditions etc. They then decided to take her to the hospital. At first they were going to take her to Alta View hospital which is down at the bottom of the hill, but then change it to University of Utah Hospital in northern Salt Lake City. Because they have a neurologist on staff. About 15 minutes into the Ambulance ride Mom was talking to the paramedics which was a good sign.

We left Snowbird about 9:45 and got to the hospital about 10:30pm. They took her right in and hooked her up to alot of monitors. They decided to do a CT Scan on her and check to see if she had a stroke. The results came back that she did not have a stroke, so they did a MRI and that came back OK also. After all of the test results came back they think that she might had a seizure. We have to make an appointment with her primary care physician when we get back home.

She was released from the hospital at 3:40am this morning and we got back up to the resort about 4:45am. We all slept about 4 hours and we are pretty tired.

Todd, Mari, Julianna and some friends of Todds that are living with him came to the hospital and Todd and Dad gave Mom a blessing that really helped.

She is doing much better today and is talking with us fine. She has talked with both Marilyn and Joni on the phone this afternoon and she has talked with Kim. We appreciate all of your prayers and toughts on our behalf.

Hopefully today will be not quite so eventfull.


Summer Vacation Flashback-Days 12 & 13

Kim's family vacation from 2001 continues with days 12 & 13. Oklahoma & New Mexico are the places we visit in this post. I do have to make a correction. In yesterdays post I said that Mike's niece Jamee & her husband Mike left to go back to California when we were at Mike's brothers house. But I was wrong. You have to remember I'm getting old so the old memory isn't what it used to be. Jamee & Mike continued on our vacation until we got to Albuquerque New Mexico. That is when they decided they wanted to go straight home.

Wednesday, July 18, 2001:

Objectives: Leave Val and Judy's house early and drive a LONG WAY to Albuquerque. This is going to be our longest drive. Once in New Mexico, we'll probably hit the sack early, but who knows for sure until it happens. I will keep you posted.

Our Experience: We left Val & Judi's house about 9am & drove to Oklahoma City where we visited the Oklahoma City National Memorial. This is the memorial for those who were killed when Timothy McVeigh blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City in April 1995. It was a very reverent place. It really touched all of us. There are 9 rows of chairs. Each chair represents a person killed in the blast & on what floor they were on or visiting. There was 9 floors in the building that was blown up. There are also 5 chairs on the right side that represent the 5 people killed that were not in the building. There are 2 big walls on either side of the memorial. One has 9:01 on it to represent the last minute of innocence in America & the other has 9:03 which represents the first minute of healing. All the area between the 2 walls represents 9:02 the time of the explosion. There is a reflecting pool between the walls to help in healing. We spent about an hour at the memorial & walked past the chain link fence they still have on one side where people still put flowers, pictures & other mementos to those who were killed. After we left Oklahoma City we drove & drove & drove to Albuquerque, New Mexico. It took us about 11 hours of driving. We got hit by a few thunderstorms on the way but luckily we didn't see any tornadoes on our trip.


Oklahoma City National Memorial grounds.

Jesse at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

Everyone at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

Jesse standing in front of the 9:03 wall.

Panoramic view of the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

Message painted by a rescue team after the Oklahoma City bombing.

Thursday, July 19, 2001:

Objectives: We'll be in Albuquerque, New Mexico all day and see what there is to do in the area. We also may drive up to Santa Fe, and see some of the historic sites up there.

Our Experience: Mike, Brandon, Jesse & Kim drove up to Santa Fe, New Mexico & took a tour of the city. We learned all about the history of Santa Fe & saw some old churches, art galleries & residential areas. It was very informative. Made it easier to walk around afterward to see what we really wanted to see. We went to Loretto Chapel which has a miraculous staircase. Back in the 1800's the chapel was built with a choir loft with no way to reach it. The sisters wanted a spiral staircase built as there wasn't room for regular stairs. All the builders & architects said it couldn't be done. So the sisters prayed. Along came a man who said he could build their spiral staircase which he did. Took 7 months & had no center support, nor braced to wall. No nails were used, only wooden pegs. When the sisters tried to pay the man, he wouldn't take any money & mysteriously disappeared. When the sisters went to the only lumber yard around to pay for the wood, they were told the wood didn't come from them. The sisters said this was a miracle.

On the way back to Albuquerque we stopped at Sandia Peak to ride the Sandia Tram to the top of the mountain. This tram is the longest tram ride in the world. We went from about 6000 feet up to almost 11,000 feet. Kim got altitude sickness. It was very beautiful up on top of the mountain. Brandon & Jesse thought this was the best.

We didn't do anything in Albuquerque. Guess we may have to come back someday. It's kind of sad that our vacation is winding down. We only have 1 more fun day & then it's back to reality. We wish we could afford to be on vacation & travel all the time.


St. Francis cathedral in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Some buffalo sculpture.

The New Mexico state capital building.

The miraculous staircase at Loretto Chapel.

Inside of Loretto Chapel.

Jesse, Kim, and Brandon standing outside of Loretto Chapel.

Looking west towards Albuquerque from Sandia Peak.

Looking to the top of Sandia Peak.

Jesse, Brandon, Kim, and Mike on top of Sandia Peak.

Looking west over the Albuquerque valley.

The Sandia tram ride.

Looking to the east down the ski slopes from Sandia Peak.

Cliffs on the Sandia Mountains.

Coming down the mountain on the tram.
Tomorrow we will finish up with this vacation with the last 2 days. Then on Monday I will start posting about our current vacation as we leave for our trip to Cave Creek Arizona.

And Jodi should hopefully post some more of their current vacation to Snowbird. They had a little more excitement than they wanted last night. Mom had to be rushed to the hospital as they thought she was having a stroke. Turns out it wasn't a stroke & it wasn't her heart. They are not sure what happened, but Mom is now OK. Jodi said she would post more about it later. I am just thankful that Todd & Dad were able to give Mom a blessing and she is now completely OK. They will be staying an extra day in Snowbird before continuing on to Cave Creek where we will meet up with them.

And Eric's family has some bad news. They had to put their beloved dog Peluchi to sleep. Peluchi had been diagnosed with cancer a month or two ago and it finally got so bad, they had to put him down. Taylor has been the most devastated by this loss as she was the closest to Peluchi. Eric didn't dare tell her about Grandma last night as she was too upset about the dog. Luckily the news with Grandma (Mom) turned out good. And Peluchi is in a better place & is no longer in pain.