Monday, February 28, 2011

We don't have any trade-secrets, secret recipes, or illegal compounds do we?

Survey:  Now that the recipe site has become all established n' such, and has a fair amount of schlop on it, anyone opposed to it being publicly accessible now?  Not for posting recipes -- just viewing. (I'd rather not have people from Asia post their chocolate-covered slugs recipes.)

A new taste sensation

Of course everyone knows how good pickled beans Marilyn makes around here are....but what to do with that pickle juice once the beans are all gone?  A total shame to just pour it down the drain.  I've tried different things.  Little smokies soaked in pickle juice turned out pretty good but then our neighbor gave me an idea.  He gave me a pickled egg a few weeks ago which was pretty tasty.  Well  we had curry last week and I put a few peeled boiled eggs in the jar of left over pickled bean juice and wowza!  What a tasty treat!  I let the eggs soak in the juice for 2 days and ohmygosh it's amazing. You really should try it.  The recipe for the juice and the recipe for boiling eggs are on our family recipe site FYI.

Dinner with Dastrups

Ok..our quarantine is over.   Marilyn is feeling all better and my cold is on it's way out.  We were invited to Dastrups for dinner last night.  Both of the other Groneman families were there as well.  It was fun to see & play with grandkids.  I beat Benjamin in a game of stair ball. :-)  (he usually beats me).  Ty and Emmy played together well and Jacob was happy that I watched Baby Einstein with him in his room for a while while Christa/Benjamin went to a meeting at Church.  Too bad Brigham was working and couldn't join us. Too bad Nelsons and Buff couldn't join us as well.  Thanks Christa!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Quarantine Alert!

Warning!  I started getting a cold yesterday and it's getting worse and Marilyn has been nausiated since yesterday and she's getting worse.  You may want to take a wide berth until we give the all clear signal. 

On a tangent, anytime you want to visit us, please do.  Usually when kids aren't visiting, we're sitting around staring at walls, the boob tube, trimming nose hairs, or thinking about really old people...all of which is a lot less fun than spending time with kids.  I hope nobody ever thinks they are interrupting for a visit.  If, on those rare times I NEED to be spending time doing something like taxes (spit), preparing my presidential acceptance speech, or something like that which demands my attention, I'll let you know...but I'll still be bummed 'cuz I'd rather spend time with you.  I was sitting at work a couple of days ago when Marilyn called and said "Yo. Chad/Erica want to know if we want to go out to dinner with them".  Are you kidding me?!?  Do Palestinians hate Israelies?!?  Of course I do!  It was great! 

That darn Chad!

Ya know....Chad always seems to beat me up in the morning on snowy days and is out there shoveling my walks before I have a chance to get to them. What a good kid!  Why do I say that darn Chad?  Because he's going to be moving out in a couple of weeks just before lawn mowing season starts (grumble, grumble)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Perhaps Not as Smart as You Thought...

I came across this on facebook:

Now they tell us!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Food Storage Tips

With food costs going to skyrocket (they are saying our gas prices are going to likely top $5.00 per gallon this summer,which will also boost the super-inflation that is predicted to hit food costs before the crisis in the Middle east started), now is a good time to be getting long term storage foods. I have a couple of suggestions. First, go to and see what the church recommends that you have in your long term storage, and also, I have found Alpine food Storage to be SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than other places. The last time I price matched the canned gallon size of Olive Oil was half as much as it was at Costco. Here is the email to Alpine: It is mostly just shopping online and sending her the check and then she notifys you when it arrives and you can pick it up there. It usually is 2-3 weeks after you order something that it arrives. This place is about one mile off the road to our house for the Dastrups. Pretty user friendly.

A word to the wise for you people that have cement floor basements. If you store water (AS YOU SHOULD BE) in plastic containers on the floor,the flavor of the cement will get into the water and it will be nasty. So put something under your containers, (we have carpet rolls you can have if you need them). Also, food storage like wheat sugar etc should be on pallets, or up off of the floor for flooding or moisture issues. Keep your wheat in the coolest place in the house. It prevents weavel development. Cool dark dry storage is best.

The church cannery is also a great place to purchase food. Of course you have to go do like 3 hour shifts to get it, but it is way cheaper than stores. WEL-HSC-LINDON@LDSCHURCH.ORG It is something you have to email them and sign up for their emails informing you of what things you can purchase coming up. And just be warned. If they send you info on something you want, you better sign up Quick cause those openings can disappear in a day on the popular items. So now you know. Please act quickly on making your purchases because the costs are going up every week.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I am feeling the need for more...

What are your thoughts on having Kim and Marilyn Family Sunday dinners here on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month? Would you like that or shall we just keep it on the 2nd Sunday?

Monday, February 21, 2011

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Thursday, February 17, 2011


Valentines from Emmy and Benjamin. Those are some really neat animal letters Benjamin! Emmy also decorated some valentine cookies for us. I love my grandkids!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Movie Review: Temple Grandin

We watched Temple Grandin last night.  When we were done Marilyn said: "That's a 10". It's the amazing true story of a severely autistic woman who had the right help and the self determination and eventually became (and currently is) a professor at Colorado State.  Her doctors wanted her commited to an institution when she was young.  Today, more than half of the feed lots and slaughter houses in the US have implemented her designs in humane and efficient livestock handling.  She sees life as a series of pictures and can recall any picture she wants but she (and the people around her) had to go through a lot to get her to where she is because she's (as she puts it) "different, not less." and that's what this story is about.  She doesn't "get" social interaction in general.  I give it a 9 out of 10.  IMDB rates it at 8.4 which is almost as high as ratings there get.  Highly recommended.  Again, an autistic person that kind of reminds me of Jacob in that they seem unable to concentrate and cope but once they find that one thing their mind connects with, there is no stopping them.  The BBC actually did a group of stories about her:

Monday, February 14, 2011


I am the luckiest woman on the planet! Kim is such a sweetheart! He is so much better than I am at busting his brains to give me something I would like. This last week he announced that he had had a hard time thinking of what I would love for Valentines day....but he had decided to take me out for dinner every day last week! Isn't that sweet? Couldn't have worked when we had a house full of children, but it works now. And I know that when he gets home from yet another hard day at work, the last thing that he really wants to do is get in the car and go face traffic again to go out to eat, so he gets extra "points" for that!
I know that he would like to retire someday so he could choose to do what he wants to do. Right now, that is not too likely unless it is forced. And if it is forced, it doesn't come with pay. But I appreciate they way he is able to provide for our family. We have everything we need or want.

I also express my love for my wonderful children and their spouses. Breanna was the very best Valentines gift that I ever got, for sure! I miss her, but I am so happy that she is serving the Lord she loves to the best of her ability and my aching arms will wait for when she returns in October, happy to be aching because she is also serving the God I love as well.

I am completely helpless to try to express my love for all my kids and my kids-in-love (as Erica says). I am so happy that you found such great spouses, kids! On that biggest of all decisions, you all get 100%. Thanks for the love I see in your marriages, and for the great parents you are to my grandchildren. It is nice to know that they are so well taken care of.

And while I am expressing my love and appreciation, I would be ungrateful unless I would also express my love and appreciation to God. I love Him with all of my heart! And I could try to serve him every day all day for the rest of my life and still not be able to repay Him for the huge blessings He has showered down upon me in every way. I feel so inadequate to try to show him my appreciation. But I can try by serving Him more. Therefore, I am committing to Him, for the next 3 months, every Thursday I will go to the Family History Library all day so that I can assist in the effort of seeking out my lost ancestors and doing their work in the temple. That is what the Lord wants me to do now. Summer won't find the work stopped, but I will try to continue to do more at home. I just know that summer is overloaded with things to do anyway, so I can't give the work 1 full day a week then.
I read a quote at the FHL (I have been called to work in the FHL by the Mt Timp temple, for those of you who don't know) the other day that was pretty profound, "The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our Dead" Joseph Smith, History of the church 6 : 313
I wish I had gotten into it earlier, when I had my own children. I could have used the blessings and happiness that comes doing this work then too. Anyway, life always has a draw, pulling us away from the things that matter most. My dead whom I have promised to find, don't have a voice to say repeatedly, "PLEASE include us in your things to do list!". So I am giving them that voice. I love you all! Happy Valentines day, family!

Happy Birthday Buffalo!

I have known you quite a while,
When you write, you make me smile.
A special kiddo, I will probably keep,
If you buy me, something cool for my jeep.
It’s your birthday, I nearly forgot,
I searched online, but bought you squat.
Hope you don’t turn all bitter,
Since you’ve never really been a quitter.
I nearly quit, writing this verse,
Mind is blank, it’s a curse.
Soon, you will return to me,
Just please promise to not sit on my knee.
Happy Birthdy you young whipper-snapper. ( I know...that doesn't rhyme)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Restauraunt Review: The Smoking Apple

Erica and I wanted to try a place we'd never gone to yesterday, so we went to The Smoking Apple. Now, smoking typically has a bad connotation to it: If I saw a place called "The Smoking Barn" or "The Smoking Computer", we probably wouldn't have gone in. But, in the world of BBQ, smoke is a good thing. And this was a BBQ place.

Entrees come with a choice of three sides, or fries (where fries replace all three sides). Optionally, you can upgrade the fries to Sweet Potato fries. I ordered a Cheese Steak sandwich, with cornbread, mashed taters, and potato salad. Erica ordered a two-meat platter with pork and beef, and opted to replace her sides with the sweet potato fries.

The cheese-steak was really good. It wasn't what I expected in a cheese-steak, but not in a bad way. It was just a different flavor, and I had to use a fork to eat it. The cornbread was especially good - they had put some kind of honey mixture in it already. The mashed taters were typical of what you'd find anywhere (good), and the potato salad was also fairly typical.

Erica's meat was good. It's not anything special compared to other BBQ places, but it was good. Erica's sweet potato fries were exceptional. They were coated with some kind of seasoning and they were SO good.

We walked out about $21 poorer than what we were going in, but I felt it was a good value.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I got a sweet valentine in the mail from my Kiera!  And the answer is....YES!....  Kiera I will be your valentine!

Women's Conference Review.

I just came home from the BEST WOMEN'S Conference I have ever attended! It was SO Amazing! Wow! I feel completely helpless to communicate the feelings that everyone had.
"One Clear Voice" came and sang such beautiful songs with such deep meanings. Janice Kapp Perry spoke also. She talked about the importance of music in taking to the heart the deep values we cherish into the lives of our children and grandchildren. She was inspiring and funny. Her husband was there. He was helping to run the music, but at one point she talked about how both of them were in the orchestra at BYU. She had noticed him but she didn't think that he had noticed her. As she was warming up for her solo performance and a bit nervous, she was sucking on her reed and he tapped her on the shoulder and said, "Those lips looks like they should be used for something better than playing that clarinet!"
The Audience burst into laughter, at which brother Perry got up and walked over to her and planted a big old kiss on her standing there, at the pulpit in shock! And then we all about died laughing! It was SUCH a great and meaningful conference, that if any of you out there are ever planning a conference, I couldn't give a higher recommendation than what I would give this morning. The members of "one Clear Voice" also spoke between their songs, (and that is a CD that I HAVE to have) and their thoughts only made their music 3 times more meaningful. It was AWESOME!
Janice told about a time that she was in a car accident. The door next to her was pushed in towards her and the glass was shattered and falling in on her and she was really hurting, but in that moment, what came to mind? An old Jingle advertisement set to music that most of us remembered< "When you hear the crash, think of JONES PAINT AND GLASS". She said she wondered why that particular thing hit her brain that that time. But it was set to music forever in her brain, and when the crash happened, there it was. She said that if we want the very important and true principles of the gospel imprinted forever on our children's hearts, that we need to put them there through music. And I realized as I listened to her that a good share of my own mothering came as a result of Janice Kapp Perry's music. We used to have a audio tape of hers that I liked, that I played for you kids when Christa and Chad were young, and beyond. I remember sewing and listening to it, "Plant a garden, keep a journal, put food in your store, study scriptures, pray that nations will open their doors, be a righteous missionary, help others each day. Clean the yard up, learn a language, and study and pray."
I remember going through the list and checking off the things that I was doing. There were things I knew I should do better, so I became more diligent (for example) at doing scripture time with my children. Her music changed my mothering. What a powerful influence for good she is and was.

They have done studies on children's retaining stuff that they learn.
If you teach them prose, they will remember about 20% of it.
If you teach them rhyme, they will remember about 35% of it.
If you teach them a song they will remember about 75-90% of it.
Music matters way more than we think. I am glad I used it as much as I did, but I wish I would have used it even more.
Anyway. Just thought I would share. I wish all of you could have been there!

Wow...LED reading light

Way back when LED reading lights became popular I bought me one and used it quite a bit.  It's getting old and the switch broke so it can't be turned I threw it in the garbage last Sunday night.  I was surprised to find that the next morning it was still shining.  Well here it is the following Saturday (almost a week later) and the thing is still shining.  I've never even changed the batteries in it.  I had no idea LEDs were that energy efficient.  I've sinced fished it out of the garbage and put it on our dresser just to watch it.  I wonder how many more days it will go before it gives out?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just a little update

Our kiddos have been sick sick sick around here for a while.  Tis the season.  Steve and I must be immune to it though becaue despite having our faces coughed in, being vomited on, and having a layer of snot that cover everything in our home, we are healthy.  I always just laugh when I see Kiera drop to her knees mid-playing and rub her nose on the carpet (easier than using the tissue I keep in her pocket?). 

Today we should find out how our 3 little popcicles survive the thaw.  Hopefully all 2 will be in good condition.  They will transfer them once again tomorrow morning and we'll know on the 21st if it took or not.    They froze all 3 of them together which means that we will have to discard 1 since we are only willing to tranfer 2 (even though surrogate and doctor both recommended 3). 

Steve and I have been working like mad trying to figure out insurance for our future kiddos.  I think I've spent at least a month of my life on the phone with insurance companies (between ths and supplemental insurance).    Insurance is COMPLICATED. 

I'm off to work in 15 minutes.  Better go make dinner for my little family!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Yes, what Kim said! We have been SPOILED ROTTEN with FABULOUS FOOD THIS WEEK! Seriously, I think that this last week has been the best food I have ever eaten in a weeks time! We are talking full "10"s every night! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

So now that you all have raised the bar impossibly high, I am wondering who will be able to come this next Sunday to dinner at our house? And would Saturday work any better for you? Please let me know, so we can get organized, and THANKS AGAIN you all for your fabulous food! (I decided that my dead ancestors must be whispering in your ears to invite us so that I have more time for Family History stuff-we have never had 3 dinner invites in the same week before). Whatever the reason, my taste buds thank you all!

A week of culinary delights.

There's nowhere to go from here but down. This has been a week of culinary rapture. First a few days back, Brigham/Christa invited us for Alice Springs Chicken.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  Next Erica/Chad invited us for Green Chile Chicken Encheladas.  I *love* those!  Then last night Katie/Brett and dog invited us over for Chicken Tikka Masala.  It was SO good it MUST be illegal.   I can't remember a time where I've had so many exceptional meals right in a row....and I've never considered myself a fan of chicken! I've decided chicken is just a tasteless filler/carrier used to supply us with other flavors of the things we put on it. Lucky for me, all of this is now on Brett's family recipe site! 

When I was a kid (walking uphill to and from school in bare feet in the snow jumping from fencepost to fencepost....) We had a couple of small grocery stores in Orem.  They had a meat dept, a bread dept, a vegetable dept.,  a dairy dept, and a canned goods aisle. The whole store could fit into 1/4 of today's large grocery stores.  The most exciting thing was when the Relief Society would hold a pot luck dinner and I got to try someone else's casserole.   Wow have times, and foods, changed.

On a side note, we watch the movie THE SOLOIST with B,K,dog and I wouldn't recommend it. 3/10 is all I could give it.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Helps keep trials in perspective...

Just a good, uplifting Mormon Message:
She is being a light to the world...just because she's willing to share what is hard and what she has learned from it.
I also have learned to love the trials I have endured...they become such a blessing as we turn to the Lord, Jesus Christ, for strength and wisdom, but I am grateful I didn't have to learn those things through this gals trial.

Movie Review: Ramona and Beezus

Ramona and Beezus.  Beezus is Ramona's nickname for her big sister Beatrice (She couldn't say it when she was a baby).  This is a story about Ramona who always seems to get into trouble and doesn't quite live up to other's expectations but is always trying something new. Let's just say she thinks "outside the box" most of the time.  Her big sister Beezus is a straight A student that sets a high standard Ramona never can live up to.  It's a cute story that made me smile most of the way through.  It has a heart warming ending.  Nothing spectacular but just a fun story to see.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Just a request....

This morning Kim was doing a Grandchild picture page to go with the others on the fridge. Cambrie provides us with many great choices...but we hunger for more pictures of the Dastrups and Emmy. Could you great parents send us more pictures, via the blog? We just would love to see more of them on the blog too. Please? Pretty please??

Nelson Ladies

Here's more.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Birthday delayed

We finally were able to go sloberate Ty's birthday at the Dastrup home for boys last night.  Emmy was able to bring her parents up to join the fray.  We were served Alice Springs chicken which is a chicken breast under layers of bacon, mushrooms, and cheese. It was really good, but to be honest, I could probably take a slab of dog meat or old tire and smother it in bacon/mushrooms/cheese and make it taste good.  I hope that recipe makes it to the family recipe site.  I got to snuggle with Jacob for about 5 minutes in the poof chair in the basement which was sweet.  Ty was also cute...he kept running at me with arms open and jumping into my lap.  He gave me hugs a couple of times!  Not like Ty in the past at all.  Ty and Emmy actually had a good time playing together which was fun to watch.  After the party, we went to watch Benjamin  play Jr. Jazz basketball.  His team lost 12 to 24 but it was a great game.  He and his friend Max were the stars of his team and each of them made half of the points...3 baskets for Benjamin, 3 for Max.  Benjamin actually looked like he was playing basketball in a game where I saw kids throwing for the wrong basket, standing and acting silly while the game was going on, etc.  All I can say is that it was good the ref was blind....there wouldn't have been much of a game without traveling, double dribble, bear hug to keep someone from running away with the ball, etc.  It was fun.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

copy cat

I just posted a Green Chili chicken enchilada recipe on the family blog because my friend asked me to email it to her so it was already typed up.  It wasn't until afterwards that I noticed Chad and Erica's recipe for the same thing already there.  I'm not trying to out-do their recipe! But I figured I'd leave mine since it was already posted (and I don't know how to delete it anyway).  They are slightly different anyway.  Mine has a home-made sauce.  But theirs looks easier to make ...I plan on trying it! 

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Getting your dishes clean

KSL had a story this morning about clean dishes. It pointed to this page of the USU Extension service web site. Near the end of the article it gives some good tips:

In the meantime, homeowners don’t need to drive across state lines to stock up on their favorite detergents from states that haven’t yet adopted the phosphate-free regulations, Riggs said. There are other temporary solutions that can be considered.
Dishes can be washed and dried by hand. Or for light soil, add one-half to 1 teaspoon of baking soda to the detergent holding area. Also add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to the liquid spot removal compartment and run through the cycle. Riggs said another option for heavy jobs is to put 1 tablespoon of baking soda plus 1 tablespoon of borax into the reservoir. The dishwasher will do the mixing. Also add distilled white vinegar to the rinse dispenser. To use the dry mixture for future loads, mix up a container to keep on hand near the dishwasher and add 2 tablespoons of the mixture to each load

Speaking of vinegar, we FINALLY found a good brass polisher because we have tried a myriad of commercial brass polishers on our dinner bell and fireplace front that really don't do the job. Mix a tablespoon each of vinegar, salt, and flour to make a polishing paste and it worked better than "Brasso" or any other brass cleaner we've tried.

Report on the Groundhog Party

So yesterday, we did our "Groundhog day" celebration. It was more entertainment than we counted on or bargained for.

Emmy was ("on one"). You know, being 2: non-cooperative and disagreeable (she is actually mild compared to a lot of kids I have seen). But Erica, with a shake of her head said, "Yup! She sure is 2!......"
We laughed. Well, that was when the protests started from the 2 year old: " I NOT 2! I NOT 2!!" again and again. She said it with insistence and indignation! She didn't quite know what Erica meant by that, but she KNEW she didn't like it! But we knew she would get over it.

Ten minutes later through the line of pleasantries over the feast over the ground-hog beast (it was ham (hog), not sausage , sorry Chad) I became aware, once again, of the chorus that kept repeating in my distant consciousness: " I NOT 2!!!" It was a repeating chorus, only interrupted by the protests of not wanting to eat anything and wanting to get down. She did finally win that battle, at which time she tried to get the rest of us off our butts to go and play hide and seek with her. But our butts were pretty much stuck!

Then out came the Chocolate Eclair cake! MMMMMmmmmm! At which time, Emmy decided that she did want to eat after all! So back up in the booster seat! Erica explained to her that she wouldn't get any cake until she ate some dinner. "NOOOO!" she said...and then came the "NO WAY!" It is amazing how conversant and clear a 2 year old can be on IMPORTANT points! She worked over her mother to give her the cake. Then it was daddy that backed up mommy, and then Grandma chimed in and backed up the point to: "No dinner: No cake".

Silence: For about 15 seconds. Then the solution appeared! "Gramps! CAKE!!". And we had a new chorus for the next 10 minutes!

Yes, the event was highly entertaining! I am sorry for those of you who missed it. And last night after Kim was sleeping, I lay in bed thinking about the entertainment over dinner, and was laughing so hard, that I was crying! I was afraid I would wake Kim up because the bed was shaking with my laughter! Ahhh! It is is great to be a grandparent! :)

BTW, for those of you who wondered, I heard the report from "Groundhog Phil" on the Today show this morning. Yes, it is going to be an early Spring!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

In honor of our celebration tonight and dedicated to the mothers in our family, here is an Ode to Groundhog Day.

A good watch!

I just watched this video on U tube someone sent me. It's short, but good. I think we all ought to see go to I hope we get to see all of you tonight for our Groundhog celebration! CU at 5pm! :) We will miss Nelson's and Sister Groneman, and I am not sure about the Dastrups.....