Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A happy man!

I was just talking with my mom today on the phone, and we were catching up on things. I told her that I think I just made my Uncle Bill very happy. We had our friends, Katie and Ryan ...and Nicole too, over for dinner on Sunday before they left for their trip. I also had forgotten that we had signed up for the Missionaries to come over too for dinner. So in total we had seven people over, including Brint and myself.

I made something simple, and something you can make a lot of.... soft tacos!! All these people need so many plates, what is a girl to do?? Well, use the new plates she just inherited of course. So into the pantry I went to get the pretty cream white plates, that are newly washed and ready to use. These were my Uncle's party plates. He had, and now I have, twenty of these "party plates". Super informal, yet super pretty. My dinning room table, is pushed off to the side in the dinning room, so we all couldn't sit there. Plus our kitchenette table is way to small. So we all ate alfresco style on the floor around my Uncle's coffee table. One of the the Missionaries sat in the "Kings Chair". After dinner he said, "I could go to sleep in this chair!". I told him he would be one of many men who have sat in that chair of my Uncle's, and fallen asleep after a good meal.

After dinner, we had Katie's YUMMY red velvet cake with cream cheese icing. Woo, hoo! What could I put these beautiful slices of heaven on, well of course my Uncle's glass plates. So back into the pantry I went to get those newly washed, waiting to be used, dishes. Perfect!!

As, we all sat there eating, enjoying our leisurely good time, I realized how much of my Uncle's items had been used. And had been put to good use!! I could feel his presence about us, happy as a clam that we are using his items they way he use to use them. I felt a sigh of relief, and a sense of accomplishment. All I can say is, that is more dinner parties to be had. Who want's to come??

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I am grateful!

I am grateful for what I witnessed yesterday! My good friend Laurin's son came home from his mission last night. We all came together to meet at the airport to welcome him home. There were family members, friends of the family, and almost our entire branch. Boy were the TSA agents happy!! Anyway, as the plane landed we all stood up as a large group holding signs, and posters. We all notice another family with their own poster, which said "Welcome Home Captain ......., We Love You". One person asked the family who they were expecting, and they said their loved one from Iraq. So we decided that our group would cheer for that soldier when he came through the door too.

Two flights came in around the same time. The first flight was carrying the soldier. It was such a great moment, he came through the door full fatigues and pack. Very surprised to see all the people, the whole airport broke out in applause. His wife ran to him and it was such a great moment. I looked around, and thankfully, standing next to me was my friend Dest who too was tearful over this moment. As soon as the applause quieted we all yelled out "THANK YOU!!". Such a great Goose-bump moment.

Then the second flight arrived, all of our hearts were pounding. Especially for our dear friend Laurin as she has literally counted down the days. We all held our breath with each person that step out, thinking it might be our return missionary. A lot of the people getting off the plane smiled at the posters that said "Welcome Home Elder Howell". A pilot from one of the planes knew what the word "Elder" meant, and quickly asked where the mom was. He talked with Laurin for a little bit.

On a side note, no matter where you go in the world, LDS church members are all alike with our similar back grounds, love of the gospel, and support for each other, even if you've never met. Love it! After some time, that much anticipated Missionary came through the door. His mom and sisters just went running, and showered him with love, while we all cheered and applauded. Again, it was a great moment!

I am so grateful to have experienced these two young men return home , one from protecting our country, and the other spreading the gospel. They volunteered to leave their family for long periods of time, protect and changed the lives (for the better) of people whom they'd never thought they'd meet, they both fought for good against evil, and were watched over closely by our Heavenly Father. I feel comforted knowing there are young men like these protecting our world both physically and spiritually.

Monday, May 17, 2010

For the love of California!!

I have been helping quite a few people lately plan their trips to visit California. With all the talking that went on, and some blogs that I follow, made me yearn a little for home. So what is the best way of bringing a little bit of your old home to your new far away home?? The internet of course.

I spoke with people about San Francisco and the ocean coast. All the nook and crannies that made my life a sweet bliss. Everything in our family is based on food. We say "Oh if you visit there, you must eat at such and such!". Well I did it, I carried on the tradition. "Fooding" my way through California.

So what was my first thing I droolingly (I'm full aware that "fooding" and "droolingly" are not words, yet they best paint my picture) spoke of???? Well, of course, if your in San Francisco you MUST visit the Boudin bakery (hey, Samantha Brown did a show about it!!). Where, as my stomach starts to growl, you get the BEST sourdough bread in the world. Then they push the envelope further, by making it into a bread bowl with a creamy, potato filled clam chowder!! I'll wait a minute, while you wipe the drool off your keyboard.....

In fact they even have a "what kind of bread would you be?" quiz. And here is what I am ...explains everything!!

Anyway, I went on line and (THANK HEAVEN FOR TECHNOLOGY!!) looked up the Boudin bakery web site. Wheerrrreee, you can buy loaves of their heavenly bread. This sweat, savory, tangy, crusty bread. That is ONLY made in San Francisco since 1849 .....and that is Sour Dough Bread!! Here is what showed up at my front porch. (Props to Timber and Kiki for not tearing open the box ...brave FedEx man!)

Amen brother!!

Here is the rest of the pics of the heavenly items we received!!

The hardest part was trying not to rip open the bags and go at it. I put one immediately in the freezer, before it was harmed in any way. The second I put in the pantry, behind dishes, till Brint came home. That night we had some toasted buttery slices with our dinner. Boy was it worth the wait. I missed that flavor, texture, and twinge in your neck from the sour dough. Aaaahhh!!

Of course the whole time, I was thinking of the person who introduced me to this heavenly bread. Well, and "fooding" your way through a trip. I have a pic of him in my kitchen, as that was his fav place to be, and to entertain!! I think the pic of the Boudin bread and my Uncle Bill says it all (click on the pic to see it close up, I just unpacked the green stemmed wine glasses he has on that table. And last week I washed those white dishes!).

Now, another place I've told my friends to go, it to a small town just out side of Monterey. Can any of my Calif. friends guess it?? Castroville, the artichoke capital of the world!! I told my coworkers about a town where ALL it was, was a town full of farms that grew artichokes. Artichokes that are grown right up to the edge of the ocean cliffs. Artichokes, that are kissed every morning by the misty ocean fog. Artichokes, that are from the size of a small cell phone, to bigger than a baby's head.

So now I have one friend in particular ready to sign up. We looked up the web site to a family farm that I knew of, and apparently Martha Stewart too (she just did a show there). The farm is called Pezzini Farms. The prices are amazing. She decided to order them online (Again~ THANK HEAVEN FOR TECHNOLOGY!). The next thing you know they were shipped straight from the California soil to her house in North Carolina. I totally scored, as she gave me a big ziplock storage bag full of the baby artichokes. These are the kinds where you snip off the tops, to get the thorns off, and toss them in the steamer. Then ....wait for it ...you eat the WHOLE thing!!! Aaaaahhhh!

Here are the little beauties just steaming away!

Sorry that these next pics are blurry, my camera was getting low on battery juice, and refused to take the pics with the flash. Rude! Anyway, I know everyone has their own love of what they dip these little yummies in. Some with butter, some with mayo, and some with dipping sauces. As for me and my home, we use mayo!!

I served these jolly green minis with a pan seared and wine glazed pork chops, fresh chive mashed potatoes, and some Boudin bread. Which I regret that I didn't get a pic of, since the slice was already in my mouth!

The nice thing about these little guys, is that you don't have to worry about the prickly "choke" in the center. You just eat it up! So what is your favorite food and from where. Do go "fooding" through your trips?? Please say Brint and I are not the only ones!?!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Crystal Clear

Just had to show you these three pretty little pieces. One piece is obviously for cream, the other two, I think, are probably for oil and vinegar?? Don't know, but I think I will use them as little flower vases. There is nothing like sunshine and freshly washed cut crystal.

Speaking of a pretty sunny day. I managed to get this pic of these very colorful birds.

If you click on the pic, you will see the bright yellow and red that these sweet birds bring. Ahhh, I love spring!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ode to Robert...

I just had to get this out, before his next big flick (Iron Man 2) comes out. My coworker and I were talking about movies, and often quote them, and realized that we share the same love for Robert Downey, JR. Ever since he appeared in our life in 1985, he has been our (well my) first heart throb, with those BIG brown eyes. I have always been a sucker for guys who have a natural sense of humor!

Can't have an "ode" with out a favorite list. So here is my fav RDJR movie list

1. Chaplin

2. Iron Man
3. Air America

4. Heart and Souls

5. Soapdish
6. Only You (best eye candy movie...sorry had to say it)
7. The Pick Up Artist

8. Chances Are
9. Home for the Holidays (Diane this one is for you!)

10. Sherlock Holmes

11. Back to School
12. The Soloist
13. U.S. Marshalls

Ok, so I went a little crazy with the pics, but I just can't get enough. Keep it up Robert!!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What My Momma Gave Me!

Thanks to a good friend of my parents (Yep, Gayle thats you!!) who has a computer, they now have a way to read and keep up with my blog. My mom has gone crazy over this, since this is a way to see what we are up to, so far away. So I thought, since this is my Mom's new favorite thing, I should do a blog on her just in time for Mother's Day. I thought about things I wanted to say, and pictures I wanted to show. There was a million things to say, and a million pictures to show. So I narrowed it down to this...

Things my Mom gave to me...

She gave me life and love

She surrounded me with people who love me.
(Great-Grandma Wallace, Grandma Lundberg, Grandpa Lundberg)

(My God-Parents, Uncle Bill and Auntie Linda)

(Aunts and Uncles everywhere, including adopted ones)

(Four generations: me, my mom, grandma, and great-grandma)

Mom gave me a love for animals at a young age.

She taught me how to have fun, and be silly (and my cousin Christina too).

Was a second mom to others.
(Me, Shana, and Melissa going to their 1995 Junior Prom)

And trusted us with things that were valuable to her (like her 1989 Volvo, for a night on the town!).
(We won't tell you how many guys we picked up that night... just kidding mom!)

Helped us through new beginnings.

(This was the first meal, at our new place, for our one year wedding anniversary)

Taught me to never stop learning.

Taught me to appreciate M*A*S*H, and I Love Lucy!

How to be stylish. Before the mom jeans and kitty sweat shirts, there was style ...who knew!

Now I will move on to my Mom's motivating advise and thoughts. I call them Mom-isims!

1. Smile, it increases your face value.

2. Smile while your on the phone, it comes though on the other end.
3. This one she took from the movie Steal Magnolias "The difference between us and the animal kingdom, is our ability to accessorize."

4. (And this one is my fav) You'll find love when you least expect it!

5. Honesty is the best policy.
(By the way this is one of my fav pics)

6. Always have a grocery list to shop with, and a menu for the week.

A couple of my Mom's favorite quotes from me....

1. I want to keesss you on your yips

2.Mom~"Hold on to your balloon Dayna, or it will fly away." Dayna~"That's OK mommy, Jesus will catch it!"

Everything Mom

How did you find the energy, Mom
To do all the things you did,
To be teacher, nurse and counselor
To me, when I was a kid.
How did you do it all, Mom,
Be a chauffeur, cook and friend,
Yet find time to be a playmate,
I just can’t comprehend.
I see now it was love, Mom
That made you come whenever I'd call,
Your inexhaustible love, Mom
And I thank you for it all.

A Mother loves right from the start.
She holds her baby close to her heart.
The bond that grows will never falter.
Her love is so strong it will never alter.
A Mother gives never ending Love.
She never feels that she has given enough.
For you she will always do her best.
Constantly working, there's no time to rest.
A Mother is there when things go wrong.
A hug and a kiss to help us along.
Always there when we need her near.
Gently wipes our eyes when we shed a tear.
So on this day shower your Mother with Love.
Gifts and presents are nice but that is not enough.
Give your Mother a day to have some peace of mind.
Be gentle, be good, be helpful, be kind.
Happy Mothers Day.

One writer summed up our love for our mothers when he declared, “God could not be everywhere, and so He gave us mothers.” The influence of your mother will bless you throughout life.

~Mom, I hoped that you have enjoyed this blog dedicated to you today. This is just the tip of the ice berg of how much I love you, listen to you, respect you, and cherish you. Know that I love that your my mom and my friend.

Dayna, Brint, Misty & Timber