Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fiasco at Breakfast

I attempted a new recipe today. One I thought would be really easy for breakfast. Some lovely Cinnamon Roll Pancakes. The recipe looked really easy. It sounded really easy. Well let me tell you it's not! I mean, I did make pancakes but they didn't have that pretty swirl or stay nice and round. I put the batter in the pan and then added the swirl on top just like the recipe said. What it doesn't tell you is how hard it is to flip that pancake after the swirl is added. Batter kinda just goes everywhere in the pan and the swirl doesn't stay nice and neat. It spreads out in the pan and makes a burnt caramel. I managed to make two really good looking ones that went to the hubby. The bad ones I kept for myself. So, if anyone else attempts to make these and has better luck, pass your hints on to me please! Just go to google and type in cinnamon roll pancakes. At least my husband ate them and liked them!

The Relief Society broadcast was last night and it was so good! I have to say, President Uchtdorf is amazing. So is Sister Allred. If you didn't get to watch it, make sure you do cause it's really good. My favorite was the forget me nots. It's interesting that so often we're patient with other people but not with ourselves. We become so hard on ourselves that it seems like we just can't measure up to anything. Heavenly Father really is pleased with our efforts and is proud of what we do. We just have to be proud of ourselves as well. Also, be happy with what you have. I know sometimes I get caught up in this one. I think "Oh if I just get to this point in my life, everything will be great." But that's not the way it works. If we get caught up in this, we don't pay attention to what we have right now. And that's when we become miserable. Really and truly. The things we want in life will come along but we can't be thinking constantly about them. Food for thought today!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The story of a masters degree...

Or in other words: How I became forced to get a masters even though I probably don't have the money to pay for it. So yep. I have to get my masters by 2015 according to my school district. Plus side: I get a "pay raise" that I haven't seen since before my mission. Down side: I have to spend money we don't have. But after talking to a representative last night I learned there's a scholarship available for my district. I'm praying I get it but if I don't then somehow something else will open up. Gratefully I get reimbursed for tuition but as I explained to the lady on the phone that does me no good if I can't pay for the first class. We think we can manage to swing it but it'll mean scrimping for a little bit. In the meantime I continue praying.

Did I mention that the application for the scholarship needs to be postmarked by tomorrow? Nope? Well, it does, and I found out last night. That poses a problem. Since I need my transcripts and those happen to be in Utah. I did what any responsible former BYU student would, go online and try to get into my Route Y account. Guess what doesn't work? My Route Y account. This was being done at school during my planning periods while trying to plan a lesson on Multiple Intelligences for tomorrow, grade papers and run around like crazy. The nice lady on the phone showed me how to reset my password and it still didn't work. Finally we got it so I could have my transcripts emailed to me.

That should have been easy right? This is me we're talking about here. If you've been following my blog at all you realize nothing is ever as it seems. I like to leave work at 4 or as close as possible since I get there at 7:10 most mornings. That means leave school not leave work because that always comes home with me in my big bag! Well, by the time I got the transcript ordered, the kids were coming back into the room. Did I mention they earned an extra long recess for have 20 days of either 100%  attendance or no card flips? Which meant no break time for me. And we have bus duty this week. So I get back to my room at 4 and since I don't have a printer at home, I ended up staying at school. I thought printing it out would be easy. Nope they sent me the file and I had to open up another website to download it. Then I had to request a special code to be emailed me to open up the next website that would open up the transcript so I could print it. And my email at school doesn't always like to work too fast. Well, I got the code, put it in the box and Adobe Acrobat shuts down so the transcript won't open. All this time I'm thinking, is it really worth the hassle to apply for this scholarship? Then I realize the pay increase will be nice, not to mention the fact that I can take classes again. So it finally opens up and I get everything printed. My husband just read over the essay I wrote and it's good to mail off tomorrow. Granted having someone who speaks Spanish as their first language read over an essay written in English may not be the best idea but it's all I had at the time, and I trust his judgement.

So now we wait and see where this road will take me. My already crazy schedule is about to get even crazier but it'll be worth it right? Did I mention that we're also trying to get pregnant right now? So that could throw even more fun into the mix. I think I'd better get in all the reading I want to do between now and December 7th cause I won't have much time for it after then. But I always did like reading textbooks. Except for Stats 221. One textbook I truly don't think I ever read. And you can tell from looking at my transcript. I realize my GPA for classes in Elementary Education is so much higher than all the Gen Ed classes I had to take. Those weren't fun. Although I know I made roommates jealous by some of my finals (passing out hot chocolate at the Testing Center for a final, writing a story, putting all the papers from the semester into a binder and turning it in), I don't see them teaching kids about the Revolutionary War or the Mexican Revolution.

I promise I'm going to put in more pictures. Just as soon as my sister teaches me how. I think next time I'm writing about the joys of the fair. And I'm making tinga on Saturday so I'll include pics. Come to my house for the RS broadcast on Saturday so you can have some yummy Mexican tinga!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I learned something new today about my husband and his family. Something I totally have taken for granted all these years. Think for a minute how old you were when you learned about S'mores. How often have you enjoyed them? Was it at a summer camp? Girls Camp? Boy Scouts? Camping trips with your family? Or somewhere else. I think I've known about S'mores since I was little. Like maybe 5 or 6 (my mom will correct me I'm sure if I'm wrong). The sweet yummy goodness of graham crackers with chocolate and marshmallow has been in my life for a long time.

Tonight I discovered my husband and his family had no idea what they were! I had the pleasure of teaching them about S'mores and watching their faces light up as they experienced that goodness! It was pure accident by the way. His brother invited us over for carne asada this afternoon so we were busying enjoying the delicious meat! About 7, my husband looked at me and told me we should get some marshmallows to roast over the grill. So I said oh you mean with chocolate and graham crackers. He says yep take Bella and go get marshmallows. Well, apparently my Spanish isn't as good as I thought or it was a big misunderstanding but he didn't hear the part about chocolate. My sister-in-law and I end up at the store, and she gives me a funny look as I grab chocolate and graham crackers. I was like ummmm didn't he ask me to get all of this. She says "No tengo idea de lo que quieres hacer" That was when I realized she didn't know what S'mores were. I explained them and she looked at me like I was crazy but said she wanted to try them.

Back at the house, I pull out the bag of goodies all excited and my husband just looks....confused. He had no idea either. I looked at everyone and asked them if they knew about S'mores. Nope not a single one had ever seen or heard of them! Bless his heart, my husband told me to tell him what to do to make them. So we start assembling the S'mores. And can I just say watching his brother eat one was exciting for me! His eyes lit up and he was excited. All of them were actually. Yep hubby thought I was crazy at first but one bite and he was hooked. So now I have a new job at their house as the S'more maker!

It made me realize there are simple things I enjoy and take for granted but other people have no clue about them. What a thrill to share S'mores tonight. You might think I'm silly for posting about this but it was a big deal for me tonight. I mean I love desserts and S'more are amazing. How sad there are people out there who don't know about them. It's now my mission to teach the world about S'mores!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

There's no "R" button

I realized at the end of the day at school that I've been a day ahead somehow. And that was really depressing to me. I thought tomorrow was Friday. What a disappointment to find out that nope I still have two more days left. I think the real disappointment is the fact that my allergies have kicked into overdrive and quite possibly have given me a cold or something on top of it. My poor husband has to deal with a congested, cranky wife. I do apologize to him for that. But he's been so patient about it! I even got a back rub last night when I headed up to bed earlier than normal. He followed me, read a chapter from The Book of Mormon out loud and then rubbed my back. What a sweet guy I have. I felt bad waking up early today because it woke him up.

Being busy with school and grading papers has caused me to get creative with meals. Not only that but it's made me wonder what we can do to speed up dinners around here. I like cooking but I like taking a long time. I have quick meals but we both like those meals that take a little more work to do. They taste good! But we make it work. He actually made dinner the other night when he didn't have work. That was a shock! And he makes good food!

Back to the "r" button. Someone today got upset because they were trying to solve a problem with a calculator and couldn't find the right button to get the answer. He got louder and louder and finally threw down the calculator saying "Why can't I find the "r" button?" Here's the problem: 21/r = 7. He couldn't find the "r" to do the division. Rather than ask for help, he just shouted out his frustrations and gave up. How often does that happen to us in life? We want the answer right away, and we have all the tools but don't know how to use them. We get so close but then that "r" button stops us from getting to a solution. If we just take the time to step back and calm down, the answer will be there. Maybe we need to use different tools than the ones we think. Heavenly Father never leaves us alone but we might have to work a little harder than we want or expect in order to find the right answer. So the next time you get frustrated or annoyed because you can't find the "r" button, take a step back, ask for help and look at everything you have!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


My little brother got married yesterday. I feel so old. Granted, I got married two months ago so it isn't saying much. But still he's my little brother. I think as much as I cried yesterday, I'll cry even more when the baby gets married. She claims it'll never happen but I say otherwise. It was a beautiful wedding and reception. They made 300 jars of jam as favors and I have to say that no matter what my husband says, the peach is my favorite. We actually had toast when we got home last night just so we could enjoy the jam. Although, we were also the only people at the reception to open our jam and eat some while we were there. We were hungry and it was good! Hey it gave my dad a good laugh and that's all the matters right?

Ok we just got lovely thunderstorm that is interrupting my recording of Cupcake Wars. It had better stop before the Great Food Truck Race or we might have some problems.

Thinking about the wedding had me remembering all the crazy things my brother used to do. Well, he still does crazy things but he's grown up thank goodness. It also brought me back to ten years ago. None of us will ever forget where we were that day or what we did. I can still tell you everything I did that day and everywhere I went. Or rather didn't go. My husband is the same way. It's sad to think about still but if we don't think about it and don't remember, then it could happen again. Teaching Social Studies and History, I tell my students that if they don't learn about the past, then they won't be able to stop bad things from repeating themselves. We have to accept and recognize the past, move on but never ever forget. Don't forget what happened that day or where you were. Not only that but remember how you reached out to others and helped. That spirit of service will help us to stay close to each other. When we're serving, it's a lot harder to dislike people.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Recipe

Melinda, this blog entry is just for you! I sit here watching Chopped Champions while trying to recover from a migraine thanks to the crazy rain this week, and somehow I feel like this recipe should be so much more. But you know what? It tastes amazing so I really don't care!

My Mom's Potato Soup (with my little changes):
2 to 8 potatoes cut into chunks (no bigger than 1 inch although I like some a little bigger) It depends on how much soup you want as to how many potatoes you need. Hubby and I used 3 potatoes but they were really big potatoes from my grandparent's garden and it made enough for 2 meals.
1/2 to 1 whole onion finely chopped
Instant mashed potato flakes (I like using flavors in mine. Roasted Garlic or Cheese)
Cheddar Cheese
Salt Pepper
1 Stick of butter (yep one stick)

Put your potatoes in a pot and just cover them with water. Add your stick of butter (if you're making a smaller pot like me, you can use 1/2 a stick) and salt and pepper.
Put the pot on medium-high heat and let it boil (you can make dessert at this point!).
Once the potatoes are cooked (don't let them over cook), turn the heat down to low and add milk to again just cover the potatoes (so half to the same about of water). Be sure to stir this constantly so the milk doesn't burn.
Once the mixture is pretty hot again, add the potato flakes. Add a little at a time until the soup is the consistency you like. We like ours pretty thick but go slow with those flakes. Let them mix in. If you don't have enough flakes (like me) put some of the liquid and potatoes into the blender (my mom just told me you can also use a potato masher in the pot).
Once you get it where you want, taste it for more salt/pepper and then stir in the cheese. As much as you want yum!
Top it with bacon or you can mix the bacon right in!

The rain has finally stopped and my brother gets married tomorrow. Life it crazy. I also have a million papers to grade yikes!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Potato Soup

I decided while driving home from work today that I need to be a full time housewife. Anyone want to tell my husband that? It would work great if we had kids because then I would have an excuse. Actually my excuse for it is that I want to cook real meals. I love cooking but it's so hard to do when I get home from work and I'm tired. My husband loves my cooking but the only problem is I have so little time to actually do it. I think I can pull it off if I tell him the real reason behind me staying at home is so I can cook and clean for him. That's something to think about.

I've been craving potato soup for awhile now but it's been too hot to make it. Finally it's cooled off. Not to mention the rain and clouds make for perfect soup weather. So after I got a hold of my mom to get her potato soup recipe which is amazing, I decided to tweak it a little. Just a little Mom. I promise. I looked up other recipes online but none of them look even close to my mom's. After talking to her and then analyzing the recipes again, I discovered why. She uses a stick of butter. That's a whole lotta butter. But she also has a hugantic (yep I made that word up!) pot to cook it in. There's only two of us so I don't need a pot that big. Well, until the kids come along. My mom also uses instant mashed potatoes to thicken the soup. None of this cream or whatever else you use. When you have the mashed potato flakes, the whole soup tastes like a big bowl of chunky mashed potatoes and it's yummy goodness! My change was using roasted garlic mashed potatoes. So it was amazing. Topped with some bacon and cheddar cheese it was fabulous! Even my husband loved it. Actually he knew I was making it since I told him the morning. He walked in the door, came straight to the kitchen and asked when it would be ready. For once I didn't have to ask if he wanted dinner. He was ready and waiting just from the smell! And my mom would be proud: no limes or chiles! Just yummy soup goodness and French bread. I can't wait to enjoy it for lunch tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Squirrels and other fun animals

I wasn't actually going to make a full on dinner tonight cause it's cold and rainy and I don't feel like doing much of anything to tell the truth. But I got a text from a friend asking if I had a quick recipe for tortillas. And it made me feel guilty. She's pregnant and has a little one so I thought if she can make tortillas then I can make something for us. So I did. I thought hey let's just do some tilapia from the freezer and broccoli. Well, then I decided I should make salsa and cucumbers with sour cream. It dawned on me that my mom is right. I now use lime in everything. Well, not everything, but it seems that way. The tilapia had lime and chipotle on it. Then I put lime with the cucumbers and the broccoli. Only the salsa didn't have any but I did but it on top of the broccoli and the fish. So I'm a lime addict. Blame my husband. He's the one who taught me!

What my husband doesn't know is tomorrow we're having potato soup. If it's going to be cold and rainy, I might as well enjoy it by making soup. We also have potatoes from my grandparents garden we can use!

Speaking of grandparents. My husband got to meet part of my dad's side of the family this weekend. What a brave man my husband is. We made the long drive to West Virginia, and he kept asking me who was going to be there and wanting to know about the food. I forgot to bring chiles for him to eat along with the food so nothing was spicy. However he did get to try squirrel for the first time. So did my brother's fiancee. What an experience that was. We all had a good laugh getting them to eat it. I remember growing up, I just thought it was chicken and no one ever told me until I was 12 or 13 that it was actually squirrel. That was a big surprise for me! My husband thought it was funny and a little strange that we eat squirrel. I just reminded him that he eats lengua and menudo. To him the squirrel is worse.

The rain had better stop this week or I'm going to have to get very creative in my classroom to keep the kids occupied. Indoor recess is never a good thing and when it might happen for a week or more it's even worse! So give me your best ideas for getting out energy in the classroom!