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Archive for November, 2009

Steve and I aren’t always very good about having family home evening every Monday, but we have been trying harder lately.  Our goal is to have children who can say they don’t remember ever missing it.

Tonight we had a fun activity that I’m going to share with you.  Just a little introspection into the lives of the Flynns.  I hope it may inspire you to take some time to be silly together and strengthen your own family and marriage.

Our activity- a marriage scavenger hunt.  We took a few minutes to run around the house grabbing items that represented certain things to us:

  1. Your spouse
  2. Yourself
  3. Our engagement
  4. Our wedding
  5. Our honeymoon
  6. Married life
  7. Our home
  8. Our greatest strength as a couple
  9. Our future together

I’ll share with you what we gathered:

1. Steve- I picked the scarecrow to represent Steve. My grandma gave it to him for his birthday because she thought it looked like him- rosy cheeks and always smiling.  I agree. Steve picked the screwdriver because it represented his joy in putting our home together and helping me with what I ask of him. It was also manly.

2. Heather- I picked the green cherries to represent myself.  They are unusual and fun.  I love to bake, and I love to be a little different.  Steve chose the stocking I made for him to represent my creativity, talent, and love for him.

3. Engagement- I chose the lighter to represent that we were sometimes playing with fire back then, but at the same time we were igniting an eternal flame. How do you like 2 corny idioms in one sentence?  Steve grabbed the Office calendar, because the day he proposed to me we spent sitting in stopped traffic for 7 hours, where I introduced the Office to him for the first time- we were hooked and we’re still addicted- to the Office and each other.

4. Wedding- We both went pretty obvious with this one. I picked my wedding ring to represent our eternal bond- something that he gave me and I cherish. It isn’t flashy, but simple and classy.  We aim for that in ourselves.  Steve chose our wedding album, full of well-wishes from family and friends.

5. Honeymoon- Our honeymoon in the John Wayne wilderness area was cancelled shortly before our wedding, leaving us no time to make other plans.  They sent us a bunch of John Wayne memorabilia to try and make us feel better. I chose this magnet to represent that for me.  It also reminds me that it wasn’t until I stopped freaking out and let myself relax that I started having a real good time.  Steve’s pick was this ornament we picked out in Canada, where we decided to make a last minute trip to a bed and breakfast.  We decided then that we would collect ornaments together.

6. Married life- This set of heart-shaped measuring spoons was a favor at a wedding reception I went to before I meant Steve, but to me they represent what they say we need in marriage- a pinch of patience, a heap of love, etc.  They also represent our love of cooking together.  Steve chose this bell that my mom gave us for our wedding. We are supposed to ring it to stop any quarrels, but it always remains silent.  That silent bell was his representation of our married life.

7. Our home- I chose the paintbrush while I was looking for something short, to represent the fact that we have had such a short time in our home together.  It also represents the creativity we have had in creating this home together- with lots of painting!  Steve picked the welcome sign that hangs on our apartment door, distinguishing us from the other apartments we’re surrounded by and advertising that it isn’t a couple of party animal college kids living here. Although, we sure can throw a party if I say so myself!

8. Greatest strength- I grabbed this picture of Joseph and Emma Smith to symbolize our foundation in the gospel, and the simple act of selfless love depicted as he gently brushes her hair really depicts to me our feelings and actions towards each other.  Steve chose this crystal bowl that was a wedding gift.  It came with a note that said we were to put gifts for each other in it each day, and it is that giving nature that he saw as our greatest strength.  The bowl is usually empty, but the gifts we give are even more meaningful than material goods and tokens.

9. The future- This little WillowTree figurine is a perfect representation for me of our future.  I have a lot of hope- for children, for continued love, for the gifts promised us by our Savior.  Steve chose this book.  We are currently reading the Underland Chronicles series together, and haven’t gotten to this one yet.  Not only will we read it together, but we will someday read it with our children as well.

I hope I wasn’t too corny for you, and that you can use this idea to strengthen your own family- even if that means simply a few quite moments of reflection.

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Cheap Chicken

I was pretty happy when Safeway recently lowered their everyday price on chicken thighs and drumsticks to .99/lb.

It didn’t really occur to me what that would mean when they were clearing it out:

You see that 50% off sticker?  I just bought a whole bunch of chicken thighs for .50/lb!!

I’m excited, so I’m sharing this with you.

Sorry if raw chicken pictures make you gag.  Please come see me again anyway.

‘Cuz this made some mighty yummy chicken rolls and I’d like to share the recipe with you someday.

Happy bargain hunting- remember to check those meat clearance racks!

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Blueberry Poppy Seed Cake

Steve and I had this for breakfast last weekend, and it was amazing.  I have to share. And its been awhile since I posted a recipe. Unless you count yesterday’s cookies, which I just remembered.

Make. Eat. Be happy.

For the Cake:

2/3 C sugar

1/2 C butter

1 tsp lemon extract

1 egg

1 1/2 C flour

2 tbs poppy seeds

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 C sour cream

Beat sugar and butter. Add lemon extract and egg and beat well.

Mix dry ingredients then add a little at a time to butter mixture, alternating with the sour cream.

Spread over the bottom of a (greased!) 9 inch springform pan, indenting the middle (giving the sides a bit more height to hold in the filling).

For the filling:

2 C blueberries

1/3 C sugar

2 tsp flour

Mix together and spoon over the batter in the pan.

Bake at 350° for 50 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan.

Blend 1/3 C of powdered sugar with 2 tsp milk and drizzle over the cake.

Serve warm.

Disclaimer- the batter in the middle was not fully cooked, which at first disappointed me. Then, I realized I actually really liked it that way!  The cake part is rather dry if you don’t eat it right away, but when warm, it was moist and delicious.

Enjoy!!

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World’s Ugliest Hashbrowns

Warning:  These are not pretty

 

Okay, actually, they look kinda good in these pictures. Maybe I’m just hungry.

I decided to grate and freeze some of my potatoes for hash browns after the great potato disaster of 2009.

They promptly turned black.

Black isn’t a good color for food.

I decided to cook them up anyway, because, heck- they were hash browns!

We threw them out. They just weren’t very good.

Oh, well.

 

 

P.S. It turns out the potato plight wasn’t as all-encompassing as we originally thought and we were able to save over half of our potatoes. We are very grateful.

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I know the gifts in a jar thing is old hat, but y’know what else?

I still like it.

These are my delicious Oatmeal/Cranberry/White Chocolate Cookies.

Well, they will be.

It’s so easy, here is the recipe- make a few at a time and you’ll be set for unexpected gift needs!

 

Mix 1 cup flour with a dash of salt, ½ tsp of baking soda, and ½ tsp cinnamon.

Add to jar, brush sides of jar with a pastry brush to clean.

Layer as follows on top of flour mixture:

½ cup oatmeal

½ cup sugar

½ cup white chocolate chips

½ cup dried cranberries

1 cup oatmeal

½ cup sugar

Close jar and decorate as desired. Attach directions to the jar.

 

 

Here are the directions you’ll want to attach so you can actually make cookies out them and not just have a bunch of dry ingredients in a jar looking pretty:

 

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Mix together 1 beaten egg, 2 ½ TBS milk, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/3 cup oil.

Add contents of jar and mix well.

Drop by TBS on slightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 400° for 9 minutes.

 

Enjoy!

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I made another cake for a baby shower, only this time no pink or flowers allowed.

Congratulations to Laura, she is having a little boy next month.

And then I will get to do her job and not spend all day calling people to tell them to come get their flu shot!

I’m sick today, so I won’t be able to make it to her baby shower, but I thought I’d show you what I made:

The only baby shoes I’ve made were girlie shoes, so I tried something new this time. Steve came up with the idea for the bear ensemble after he saw my fabric.  I hope they fit while its still cold outside!!

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Easy Homemade Gift Idea #1

Take a moment to check out the Candied Almond Recipe by Mary at Owlhaven.

I think I’ll be whipping up a batch of those tonight!

Make sure to keep your eye on the sales flyers this time of year- there are plenty of great deals out there.  I just bought a bag of whole almonds at Bi-Mart for $2.50!

Happy Christmasing!

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