Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thank you, Pioneer Woman...

for helping me to gain an entire pants size in one night. I fully anticipates not being able to fit in to my jeans in the morning... but, it was worth it! The potluck was SO good. I think I ate more than I do on Thanksgiving. And thank you to everyone who came! Not only was the food amazing (and seriously, every single thing was so so good), but it was so great to see everyone. I just loved it. I know it is hard to be away from families for a whole evening and it really meant a lot to me that everyone made the sacrifice and made it such a worthwhile par-tay. And to anyone who is reading this who wasn't there, we missed you. Seriously. I wish you could have been there. I just love this group of friends because I feel like everyone is so genuine and sincere and truly open to friendships with anyone. So if you couldn't make it this time, next time for sure!!! I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful friends and family. I have so many good examples in my life and people who inspire me to be a better person. I don't know how I got so lucky. Thanks, you guys!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

PW Potluck

Hello everyone! I have set a date for our upcoming Pioneer Woman Potluck. Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7 pm at my house. I hope that will work for everyone! You are invited and I'm serious. It's just going to be a kick-back, paper plate buffet, if you will, to just hang out and have fun. You don't have to bring food, either, just come and taste, taste, taste! I am going to make the pot roast and Carrie is going to make the mashed potatoes. Just volunteer for whatever food you want to make. Here are a few items you can look at. Desserts are encouraged. ha ha.

Pot Roast - Anne Marie
Delicious Creamy Mashed Potatoes - Carrie
Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever - Christie
Holiday Bacon Appetizers - Lindsay
Mini Muffins - Heather
Chili Con Queso - Jenny
Olive Cheese Bread - Andrea
Marlboro Man's Favorite Cookies: Oatmeal Crispies - Janae
Spicy Chicken Wings - Lessley
Pasta Primavera - Ryan T.
Hyacinth's Everything Cookies - Christa
Scrumptious Apple Pie
The Great Cobbler Debate #1 - Julia
The Great Cobbler Debate #2
French Breakfast Puffs
Pico De Gallo and Guacamole
Bread Pudding for Those Who Think They Don't Like Bread Pudding
Twice Baked Potatoes
Cinnamon Rolls 101

Well, that is not even close to how many recipes are on that web site, but man alive, it is late, so I'm going to get my little self to bed before the kiddies start their nighttime awakenings. Nothing is worse than still being up when the baby wakes for a midnight feeding. Feel free to look over the web site and find any other recipe and I will add it. And remember, you don't have to bring anything but your sweet little self! There will still be plenty of food for all. Love!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Steven is home!!!/The day Shayna found love at Chuck-a-Rama?

My little brother Steven came home from his mission today!!! He was serving in the Louisville Kentucky mission. My whole family was at the airport to meet him, except for my sister Kristen and her husband, Steve, because they are in Kansas (sniff sniff), and it just wasn't the same without them, but we understand. It was so cool because there were several other missionaries coming home and their families were waiting for them at the bottom of the escalator by us, but you wouldn't have even known the families were there because they just stood there until their missionary got down to the bottom, and then there were a few embraces and maybe a few tears. Bor-ing. BUT, when Steven appeared at the top of the escalator, our whole family just gave this big spontaneous cheer and it was like this gigantic welcome and everyone was laughing and crying and hugging and it was so fun. Steven got to meet his two new neices and a new brother-in-law, and he seriously didn't even recognize Aaron. When he left Aaron was just a little kid, and now they are almost the same size. He kept saying, "This isn't really Aaron, is it? It can't be." Aaron was like, "I swear, it's me... " That is what is going on in this picture, and that is my beautiful sister Shayna in the background. Which brings me to my next topic.We all went out to eat at the Chuck-a-Rama in Bountiful. We had a huge table in the back and kind of had the place to ourselves, just being kind of rowdy like we always are when we get together. Well, then this guy comes in and sits down at a booth nearby. All by himself. And he just sat there and watched us the whole time, more specifically, he watched Shayna Bayna, and I could tell he was trying to figure out what the whole deal was because she was sitting by Steven and were they brother and sister, or was she the girlfriend... it was pretty funny. He must have got 10 plates of food, and every time he got up his eyeballs were just ON HER. So we all noticed it and started teasing her, and Jason told her he would give her $20 if she left him her phone number. Well, he must have been pretty cute, or she was pretty hard up for cash, because she did it! It was great. She wrote her name and number on a napkin and left it on his table as we were leaving and he was up for his third or fourth round of dessert. Then we were all out in the parking lot laughing about it and all of a sudden we look up and there he is! He charged right up to the group and looked at her, and said, "Are you Shayna?" So I think it was love. I ducked into the car so I wouldn't have to be a part of it, but I think they may be destined for each other. I mean, how many people can claim they found love at Chuck-a-Rama? Hopefully his girlfriend that works there that he was visiting doesn't feel too bad about it... Anyway, you are probably wondering why the long story, and honestly it is because my kids fell asleep on the way home from Bountiful and they are still asleep and I must be smoking peyote because I am just sitting here blogging and I should be waking them up because hello it is 7:15 and they are NEVER going to go to sleep tonight. The peace and quiet is just so inviting, though.... okay, Seacrest, OUT!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

And I thought pioneers were extinct... Who knew?

There's something about January that just makes me want to COOK! I don't know what it is, maybe the desperation of realizing the holidays are over and the "well, I'll eat what I want in December and try to do better in January" attitude is not as fun or easy to maintain as I think it will be in between mouthfuls of turtles and fudge on Christmas Eve. So anyway, clicking on the Confessions of a Pioneer Woman link from my friend Christie's blog did NOT help the situation. Oh my good heavens, not only is this this Pioneer person hilarious and she posts all the time, she also has tons of amazing recipes, all with step-by-step instructions and pictures, my friends, pictures!!! How could I not make "The BEST Lasagna" yesterday after reading this post, and seeing this picture? Yes, it was wonderful and I could barely stand up to do the dishes afterward. Now I am afraid I am going to have to make every single thing on the site. I will probably double in size by my birthday. This is not good! So here is what I would like to propose: A Pioneer Woman Potluck! For all my friends and family and maybe even friends I don't know I have out there, just go to the web site and pick a dish, any dish, and claim it as your own. Then we will all cook our food on an appointed day and get together and we can taste it all! There is no pressure because they are her recipes, not ours, and if they don't turn out, well, it's her fault! How is that? Pretty sneaky? I thought so. Everyone is invited! Well, I guess I ought to draw the line somewhere, since I don't know who reads this: If you have been in prison or are unsure of your gender, well, probably not... (Gender Bender Party TBA). Everyone else, just tell me if you are interested and we will set it up!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Peanut Butter Rice Crispies

I served these little beauties at my party last night and I've had a few requests for the recipe, so here it is:

1 cup corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups Rice Crispies
1 bag milk chocolate chips
1 bag butterscotch chips

In a large saucepan, heat corn syrup and sugar until sugar melts, but doesn't boil. Stir in peanut butter and allow to melt. Add Rice Crispies and mix well. Pour and press into a 9x13 pan. Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in a large bowl in microwave (I stir after the first minute, then every thirty seconds for another minute or two). Pour chocolate mixture over cooled Rice Crispies and smooth with a spatula. Allow to cool, then cut into squares and savor the experience.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

If you like Lia Sophia... and getting caught in the rain...

This is an open invitation to my Lia Sophia party tomorrow night (Wednesday, Jan. 16) at my house! Anyone is welcome to come. My cute friend Heather, who is a Lia Sophia diva, is going to giving away a ton of cute stuff, and there is an awesome special going on: buy ANY item (even the least expensive one) and get FOUR items at 1/2 price!!! It is going to be a par-tay, so even if you're not into jewelry so much, come hang out, have a snack, and chill with the girls. I will email you my address if you need it! Just leave me a comment and let me know. Till tomorrow, peeps!

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who came last night! It was soooo fun! The party isn't closing until Monday so if you didn't get to come and would still like to order, you can go to Heather's web site and enter my name as the hostess. First you click on Our Jewelry (on the left), then Fall/Winter 2007 Catalog, then there is a little link that says How to Order right above the jewelry. It will bring up spaces for the hostess name (first: "Anne Marie" and last name: "Yates"). Then you can just order your little heart out. It's that easy!
(One quick note: on the web site it says buy one, get TWO half off, instead of FOUR. Just make the order, and Heather will adjust the total before it charges your card so you really will be getting FOUR for half price.) Thanks everybody, and thanks, Heather, for a fun party!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Little boy, big heart

Oh, my little Dallin. The other day Jason got a little upset with the boys because they got into his gummy Valentine hearts and took them upstairs and ate them all. Jason wasn't too mad, but I think the boys felt bad. They know their dad loves those "squishy hearts". Jason left me with instructions to buy a bag "so big I could barely carry it" the next time I went to Kohler's (the hearts are in the bulk Sweets candy section). But before I could do that, Dallin found a few more hearts that had been overlooked, probably because they were under a chair or something. He was SO proud and put them in a little sandwich bag for his dad. Well, in the meantime, Luke happened across them and you can guess what he did. Dallin caught him in the act, and somehow managed to fish one out of Luke's mouth, almost perfectly intact. He then climbed up on a chair and washed the gummy off in the sink and put it back in the bag for Dad. Then he wanted me to call Jason and tell him about the present that was waiting for him when he got home. Here is a picture of Dallin with his little prize. I don't know why Jason hasn't eaten it yet, he loves those hearts so much...

Monday, January 7, 2008

Some things are hard to understand.

Several of my friends have posted about this already today, but I just had to take a moment to pay tribute to my friend Kristy, whose life was cut short on her 30th birthday yesterday. She was a really sweet person who was always true to herself and those she loved. She was so full of life! It's hard to believe that she's gone. She has two little boys, each about a year younger than my two boys. Every time I look at my kids today my heart just aches for her, not being able to raise her precious children that she loved so much. Dallin and Luke probably wonder why they are getting so many kisses and hugs from their mom today! It makes me realize how much I take for granted, especially just the peace and happiness that I feel on a daily basis. Her life ended tragically, and it was probably filled with a lot of unhappiness, especially in recent months. How did she deserve that? I know it's nothing that anyone deserves, but to die at the hand of someone you love just doesn't make any sense to me. It makes me realize how precious each day we have on this earth really is. I'm going to try harder to be a better friend and mother and wife and make every moment count.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Christmas Slideshow

We had such a fun Christmas! I have to send a little shout out to my great husband. Not only did I majorly cash in this year with totally unnecessary but wonderful gifts from him (DDR for the Wii, my Le Creuset pot I have been drooling over for a year, a black shelf for our bedroom, 3 outfits from The Buckle, gift certificate for a pedicure, etc. etc.) he also did ALL the shopping for the boys and did a great job. I could not have done it without him! And yes, honey, you are welcome for the quesadilla maker and the 3 country music Cd's. I'm sure you will love them just as much as I love all the stuff you gave me...