Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Joys of 2020

December 2020 marked our 35th anniversary, and what a year it has been! The worst of times has definitely brought out the best of times. For all of the challenges of this year, it has been an amazing year of incredible major firsts in our married life:

* Home Worship.  

With the shutdown of large gatherings due to COVID restrictions, it has been especially poignant to do our scripture study and worship together at home.  Sunday mornings would normally find me downtown Salt Lake City at Temple Square to rehearse and sing with the Tabernacle Choir for our weekly broadcast of "Music and the Spoken Word."  I was set to retire from the choir last April, but still being able to watch re-broadcasts from home has been a blessing in disguise.  It's as though my mission has been extended!  When the choir does reconvene, I will get to perform one more live broadcast. Meanwhile, I'll continue to sing along and we'll continue to include the broadcasts as part of our home worship services.

* Lake Powell Houseboat Vacation.  

Lake Powell in Southern Utah is one of the largest man-made lakes and visited by over 2 million people every year.  I had never vacationed there, and Evan hadn't been since he was a teenager.  We joined friends from choir, Joan and Janet and their husbands, pooled in for groceries and gas, and enjoyed a few days on Joan's houseboat.  It was amazing!  The lake was beautiful!  We spent many hours exploring some of the 2000 miles of shoreline, and took a hike Rainbow Arch.  Evan and I are not real water-skiers, but we did take a great tube ride!  What a treat!  We LOVED that vacation!  See more photos HERE.

* Bobsled Ride! 

The 2002 Winter Olympic Games were held here in Utah, and venues for many of the events were held near where we live, including the Ski Jump and Bobsled venues.  These are now training facilities and even offer tubing down the ski jump site and rides in the bobsled!  For a mere $85 per person, we got to strap in and take an exhilarating, terrifying 1.014 kilometer ride with 14 curves and up to 4 to 5 times the force of gravity all in around 1 minute. Well, our driver did slow down a tiny bit so a squirrel could cross!  Happy 65th birthday to Evan, indeed!

* Built a House together.  

Starting December 21, 2019, we joined 9 other couples in a co-op and began building 10 houses together in a program called Self-Help homes.  Each family committed to work a minimum of 35 hours per week until all 10 homes were complete.  We were each trained on our various tasks as we went along, and Evan and I did the majority of building the staircases and doing the finish carpentry work.  I became very good at using a miter saw, cutting the 2 x 4s for framing, and I cut nearly every stair tread and riser, and each piece of baseboard. casing and shelving for each home.  I installed the baseboard in 9 of the 10 homes, but by the last home, my knees were shot!  It was an incredible experience to build these homes together; building a neighborhood, building friendships!  We finished on August 24th!  We love our new home and I"m so proud of all of us!  See the full album HERE

Finished houses:

* Empty Nest.  

Our single daughter decided it would be a good time to move to Hawaii.  After 33  years of kids at home, it has been an adjustment, but we're learning to enjoy each other more and more, and depend on technology more and more to keep us all connected! 

* Rock Crawling in Southern Utah.  

Because the company Evan works for has done so well this in this time of Covid-19, and as a team-building activity, his boss treated the entire company and their spouse/significant other to a trip to Moab, Utah for a rock-crawling adventure!  We had never done anything like this and it too was exhilarating and terrifying at times.  As we made it over the first couple of vertical climbs up and down, we came to trust the trail and the vehicle and really enjoyed ourselves!  Beautiful country!

We stopped at Dead Horse Point on our way home the following day.  

All in all, I think we have spent more time together this year than any year prior. Here's to more wonderful adventures!

~The Momma

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

A Taste of Christmas! Ginger Cookies

Gnomies Pincushion/Plush Pal/Ornament digital pattern HERE.

Soft GINGER Cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream together:
3/4 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. molasses
1 egg

In a separate bowl sift together:
2 c. flour
2 t. soda
1 t. ginger
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t. salt
Mix together well.

Roll into 1" balls, then roll in granulated sugar. 
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Yield:  48 cookies
Crispy outside, chewy inside... delicious!

For this and more fun & tasty, quick & easy, mouthwatering,
prize-winning recipes, check out our family cookbook HERE.

~ the Momma

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

What's for Dinner?

Jojo and Kari are raising chickens!  

They started with four chicks, picked up at the pet shelter.  Jordie built a sweet little chicken palace beneath their deck in the back of their house for Posie, Petunia, Poppy, and Peony.  

These four were rescued from a dumpster!  Two are naked-necks and the other two... well, let's just say they turned out NOT to be "crowing chickens"!  Poppy and Peony found a new farm, and four new chicks came home: Pixie, Pazazz, Pippi, and Peace.  

It didn't take long until everybody was busy in the henhouse!

You're doing a great job, gals!

One of the chickens just happens to have a lot of twinners....

So, what's for dinner?  Quiche of course!  A classy cheese pie!  
Start with a couple of Marie Callendar's frozen pie crusts, or make your own.

Heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
To each pie crust, add the following:
1 cup of strong cheese, something with flavor or bite:  Swiss, Extra-sharp Cheddar, Feta. etc.
1  to 1-1/2 cups of meats and/or veggies cut into bite-sized bits.  (This is a good meal to clean out the leftovers in the fridge.)  Use your fingers to combine the cheese/meat/veggies together.
Beat together 3 large or 4 small eggs, then add 1 to 1-1/4 c. milk, 1 t. Dijon mustard, and a little salt and pepper.

Repeat for each pie.

Place filled pies on a large cookie sheet to catch any spillovers.  Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the middle no longer jiggles.

This one had ham chunks, zucchini fresh from Sassy's garden, and mushrooms, saute'ed in a little butter, and Worcestershire sauce.

This vegetarian combo included spinach, sauteed mushrooms, minced red onion, and grilled marinated artichokes.  Both had a combo of the cheeses as listed above.

Mmmmm, mmmm!  Looks so delicious!  And we still have 4 eggs left for omelets!

Before leaving their little homestead, we garnered some fresh salad tomatoes from their garden.  Delicious - I ate half of them in the car on the way home - juice dripping down my chin!  Nothing better!

Dinner is served!!

Love you two!  Keep up the good work!

~the Momma

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Who Knows Where the Time Goes?

On this day, half my lifetime ago, there was a big party in a delivery room at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City with about 18 people attending.  This included the Momma (me), a few doctors, the Dad, the mother-in-law who manned the camera, the anesthesiologist, plus a team of four people per baby, waiting for each little girl to make her appearance, about six weeks prior to their due date. 

For the previous 36 days, various tocolytics had been used to try to keep the babies from coming before their lungs were mature, then finally, at 34-1/2 weeks along, they had had enough and were ready to come! 

A Cesarean Section was performed and little Lali was born at 12:47 pm weighing 4 lbs 6 oz., Coco at 12:48 pm even smaller at 3 lbs 10 oz., then tiny Sassy came at 12:50 pm and weighed 3 lbs. 1 oz.

Happy Birthday, Girls!  Funny, I consider it my birth-day too... after all, I'm the one who gave birth...

I don't remember much about the first year, but this picture proves that we survived it!  Here we all are in 1991 with three one-year-olds and one three-year-old!  I really want to re-enact this photo next year when there will be one thirty-three year old and three thirty-one year olds. 😂

Snapshots over the years.


Three twenty-year-olds with their "Turning 20" quilts they each made.


30 years later, and the girls are off on their own adventures!  I miss my little gaggle of girls wrangling for a spot on my lap, but I'm thrilled by the women they've become and the joy they spread wherever they go. 

Plus, BONUS... a couple of precious little grandbabies arrived last year to fill that space on my lap.

~ the Momma (aka Gamma, Gramma D, or "Ama")

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Tabernacle Choir ~ 2019 in Review

It's been another intense, busy year for the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, celebrating 90 years of continuous broadcasts!

Artwork by Siope Kinikini

Here's a pretty detailed list of all of our events for 2019:  "This Train Never Stops" ~Mack Wilburg.

Here are a few "Train" songs! 
Here are some highlights of the 2018 Christmas Concert with itty bitty Kristin Chenoweth, which played during the Christmas season of 2019.  What a delight to be able to sing backups for these amazing guest artists!

And finally, this broadcast of Music & the Spoken Word, the last of 2019, was a beautiful way to round out the old year and welcome the new one.  I was especially touched by "I'll Begin Again".

Now as I head into my last four months of singing with The Choir, I feel so grateful and blessed to be a part of this amazing organization - to lift up my voice and sing praises to the Lord.  I know I'll miss it when I retire in April, but for now, I'll be savoring every moment.

~the Momma

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Music & the Spoken Word Christmas Special 2019

I so enjoyed our guest artists Kelli O'Hara and Richard Thomas (John-Boy from "The Waltons") for this year's Christmas Concert.  The full show will be broadcast on PBS stations during the Christmas season of 2020.  I thought it was amazing in every way: our guests, the dancing, the Herald Trumpets, the processional, the music.  Until then, I'll enjoy watching this episode of The Spoken Word.

In Dulce Jubilo
O Come Let Us Adore Him
Birthday of a King
We Wish You a Merry Christmas - organ
Hallelujah! ~ Bach
Baby of Bethlehem
Luke 2 Reading
Angels From the Realms of Glory

Here are some highlights of the Christmas Concert. ♥♥♥

Merry Christmas!  
~ the Momma

Thursday, December 6, 2018


Thanksgiving day came and our assignment was rolls, but dinner was not until 3:00 pm.  Plenty of time to go to the Momma's friend Debbie's house to make rolls together!  Four batches ought to do it!

The rolls were great!  So was the rest of the feast!

Meanwhile, at a buffet in Reno, Nevada on their way to Lake Tahoe....

Howdy, Jojo & Kari!

And a few thousand miles away on an island in the middle of the ocean, gathering with friends...

Aloha, Lali & Ry!

Food, Family, Friends and Feasting!  We may not be together, but we are together in our Thanks-giving!

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