Winston made the cutest cowboy for Halloween. He absolutely loved carrying around his cap pistol and flashlight. He loved going around to see our friends and neighbors and would clown it up whenever we stopped at someones house. He really enjoyed everyone's reactions and of course - the candy.
One of the highlights of his evening was getting to see our neighbors dog Daisy. He loves Daisy.
We took Bo down to the MTC on November 12. It was an overcast and rainy day that matched how I was feeling. It's so hard to have him leaving so soon after Zack. He was so much more ready to leave than I was to have him leave. I think he was relieved and glad that it was finally here and he didn't have to wait anymore. I'm just having such a hard time with the fact that my two little boys are all grown up. He looked so handsome in his suit and I'm so proud of the man that he is becoming. I do think it's great that he'll be able to spend 6 weeks with his brother at the MTC. I know they won't get to see each other everyday, but they will get to spend some time together before they are separated by their missions. Bo was my baby for 17 years and I still think of him as the youngest. It just doesn't seem possible that he's 19 and ready to leave home. I will miss him so much but at the same time I'm so happy with the choices he's making for his future. Good luck Bo. We love you and will miss you but we're also proud of you and know you'll be a great missionary.
Bo spoke at church yesterday and he did a great job of course. He's going to be a great missionary. We had a really great time afterward with everyone who came by the house to visit. Bo has just two days left at home and then he's off to join his brother at the MTC. It's hard for me to absorb the fact that both of them are grown and leaving to start their own lives. Thank you to everyone for your well wishes and prayers.
One of my very good friends gave me this great thought and I wanted to pass it on to share with everyone else.
Happy Halloween to everyone!
"Being a disciple of Christ is like being a pumpkin. The Savior lifts you up, takes you in and washes all the dirt off of you. He opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all the yucky stuff - including the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside you for all the world to see."
I love cinnamon rolls and have tried several recipes looking for a great recipe. Of course I found this on http://allrecipes.com/. This one is similar to Cinnabons. It's made with a bread machine to take some of the work out of it and the results are fabulous. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do. CINNAMON ROLLS III
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup warm milk
1 egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups bread flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons milk
In the pan of your bread machine, combine water, melted butter, vanilla pudding, warm milk, egg, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, bread flour and yeast. Set machine to Dough cycle; press Start.
When Dough cycle has finished, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 17x10 inch rectangle. Spread with softened butter. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over dough.
Roll up dough, beginning with long side. Slice into 16 one inch slices and place in 9x13 buttered pan. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. While rolls bake, stir together cream cheese, softened butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and milk. Remove rolls from oven and top with frosting.
Zack left to the MTC on October 8. I've had a lot of people ask me how we're doing and how it went. Zack has been waiting for this day for just over 4 months and was more than ready to get started. He's going to be a great missionary, but we will miss him so much while he's gone. It's hard to express what I'm feeling. One minute I'm so proud of him and happy that he'll get to have such a great experience and the next I'm so sad that my little boy is all grown up and gone off to start his own life. He'll never be my little boy again and our home already feels different - like something is missing - without him. I'm sad that our relationship will now be forever changed but at the same time I look forward to getting to know the man that he is becoming. My advice to everyone is to cherish each day you have with your children. They really do grow up so fast. Don't wait for tomorrow to spend time with them; make the time now and don't let yourself get so busy with all the mundane day to day things in life that you miss out on what life is really about - our families. Good Luck Zack and Thank You for all the great memories!
Amanda from work tagged me a few weeks ago and I'm just getting around to passing this on. I've had too much on my mind with Zack leaving. Anyway, here are some things about me for those who are interested.
3 Names you go by:MOM OR MAMA, HOLLS & HOLLY.
3 Things you are wearing right now: FOREST GREEN SHIRT, BLACK SKIRT, BLACK HEELS.
3 Restaurants I love:COSTA VIDA, PEI WEI & GOOD WOOD ( I ALSO LOVE CHILI'S, PIER 49 PIZZA, TACO AMIGO, PF CHANGS, CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN & OLIVE GARDEN).
3 Favorite things to do:READING, PLAYING WITH WINSTON & DINNER AND A MOVIE WITH BRAD. (I COULD USE A GOOD BOOK RIGHT NOW).
3 Things I want badly:SPEND MORE TIME WITH WINSTON, TO HAVE IT BE SUMMER FOR 9 MONTHS OF THE YEAR & TO NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MONEY .
3 Things I did yesterday:WENT TO WORK, PLAYED WITH WINSTON & WORKED ON MY BLOG.
3 Goals:MAINTAIN A POSITIVE ATTITUDE, GO TO PICK UP BOTH BOYS WHEN THEIR MISSIONS ARE OVER & CHERISH EACH DAY.
3 Fears:LOOSING A FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND, LOOSING MY JOB & NOT HAVING MONEY TO PAY THE BILLS. (YIKES, I DON'T LIKE TO THINK ABOUT THESE).
3 Things I plan on doing today:WORK, SEND A CARE PACKAGE TO ZACK & WATCH THE BIGGEST LOOSER. (I REALLY GET INTO THIS SHOW).
3 Things I plan on doing tomorrow:WORK, PAY THE BILLS & WRITE TO ZACK. (WOW, TOO MUCH FUN FOR ONE DAY).
3 Favorite Holidays:THANKSGIVING, CHRISTMAS & HALLOWEEN. (I LOVE THE FALL, BUT AFTER JANUARY, I'M READY FOR SUMMER AGAIN).
3 Favorite Beverages:WATER, MILK & DR. PEPPER.
3 Friends to Tag: LAURI WAKEFIELD, ALYSE SHEPARD & JILL HANSEN.
So with Zack and Bo leaving on their missions, I thought I had better get some family pictures before they're gone. Of course I called my sister Lauri who is the best photographer around to do them. Here are a few sample shots that she sent to me as a preview of the photo shoot. Thank you Lauri, these are great!
Well we've made it past the first part of the whole process of leaving on a mission - the speaking in church part. Zack did a fantastic job (just like I knew he would)! I'm so proud of him. My little boy is all grown up and ready to go out on his own. Where did the time go? Thank you to all who came and to all who sent well wishes. Now I just need to make it through the next two weeks and his departure (too hard to think about right now).
I came across this short video we took last year of Winston's first time floating in the water at Lake Powell. He loved it and was so happy. He just started jabbering away. Brad was able to catch this.
I can't help but feel grateful for how far Winston has come. To see how dramatic his progress has been, I pulled up some pictures from when he was born. Looking at these pictures and then looking at him now makes my heart swell with gratitude at how blessed he is and how blessed we are to have him. Happy Birthday Winston. I'm looking forward to many, many more to come. Winston at 2 days old.
It's been an eventful week for Bo. First, Bo had his birthday. Next, his mission call arrived on Thursday and finally, the magazine edition featuring the look alike contest that Bo was a finalist in came in the mail on Friday.
So for the results we've all been waiting for, Bo's has been called to serve in the Frankfurt, Germany mission and will be leaving on November 12. Here are some highlights from his week. Winston helping Bo open his presents. Bo's favorite birthday cake - chocolote cake with chocolate fudge frosting. Yum! Bo's friends Tyler and Mike waiting for Bo to open his mission call. Mike, Bo and Naomi - just after opening his call. Bo's picture in the Look-a-Like Contest showing that he does resemble Prince Harry.
I've made this recipe twice in the last month and it is simply delicious! Hope you enjoy it as much as we have.
DOWNEAST MAINE PUMPKIN BREAD
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Bo finished his mission papers and met with our stake president on Sunday to turn his papers in. He should receive his call in about two weeks. For fun, Brad had each of us pick a stateside and foreign location guess for where he might go. Brad picked Massachusetts and Zimbabwe. I picked Kentucky and Austria. Zack picked Louisiana and France. I'm excited to see who will be closest.
It was our annual city celebration this past weekend so of course we had to go to the parade. Winston's never been to a parade before. At first he just sat in his stroller, taking everything in. It didn't take long for him to notice that they were throwing candy and the other kids were running around picking it up so of course he had to join in. His favorite part (besides picking up all the candy) was the horses. He calls all animals by the sound they make so when he saw the horses, he excitedly hollered out "Neigh. Neigh.", while pointing at the horses. He had a blast and absolutely loved the whole event. Taking a drink break. Here Mom. Sharing an M&M with Mom. Watching the parade. Showing off all of his loot from the parade. We came back with a lot of candy. It was almost like Halloween.
I'm so happy now that the tomatoes are coming on and you can buy them fresh at road side stands. I love fresh salsa! So here's a recipe I like to throw together. Enjoy!
FRESH TOMATO SALSA
8 large roma (plum) tomatoes, cut into sections and the seeds and juice scooped out
1/4 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 medium orange bell pepper, seeded
1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded
1 jalapeno, seeded
1 bunch cilantro
1 small lime, juiced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. pepper, or to taste
1 can Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies)
Put all ingredients in a food processor and chop to desired consistency. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
While looking for some food containers that I could pack food in for Winston to take on our recent trip to Lake Powell, I came across these handy little cups on Amazon.com. They really work great. Winston can reach in and grab some crackers or cereal or whatever and it doesn't spill. Not even when he drops it. Granted, he can make a mess when he really wants to, but these help prevent inadvertent spills. They're great for in the car or on the go. Also, they wash up great.
We've enrolled Winston in swim lessons. Although he's too young to really learn how to swim, he is learning how to float. Since we spend so much time around water, I felt it was important that he learn this skill and he's been a little trooper about the whole thing. He doesn't enjoy going underwater (and I don't enjoy watching it either!) but he's learned how to roll over, reach for the surface and float. Here are a few photos from some of his lessons.
I love to bake so I thought I'd start posting a a recipe each week. Either one that I've recently tried or an old favorite. The recipe I chose for this week is one I discovered last year on one of my favorite recipe web sites - allrecipes.com. This recipe is easy to make and delicious. A great combination in my book.
Coconut Ice Cream
1 cup milk
1 (15 ounce) can Cream of Coconut (found by the drink mixes)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut (optional)
Combine the milk and cream of coconut in the container of a food processor or blender, and mix thoroughly. Stir in cream, coconut extract and vanilla until blended. Stir in the flaked coconut.
Pour into the container of an ice cream maker, and freeze accordingto the manufacturer's instructions.
Options: 1. Add chopped almonds and mini chocolate chips (like an Almond Joy). 2. Sprinkle with chopped almonds and fudge sauce. 3. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
My sister Lauri entered Bo in a look-a-like contest being conducted by a local Magazine. This is the picture she submitted nominating him as a look-a-like to Prince Harry. Bo was selected as one of the finalists and will be featured in the upcoming September/October issue. Pretty Cool!
And here is a picture of Prince Harry for comparison.
This weekend while Zack was in our office on his computer, Winston came in and climbed up on the chair in front of Bo's computer. He then picked up Bo's headphones and put them on and began typing on his keyboard - just like he sees his big brothers do. Zack thought it was so cute and funny. He snapped these photo's of his baby brothers attempt to use the computer.
"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong because at some point in your life, you will have been all of these."
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson