Friday, October 31, 2008


To carve a pumpkin:

#1 Cut a hole in the top

#2 Gross out at the goopy insides

#3 Scrape, scrape, scrape away!

#4 Ahhh. Enjoy your labors. Nice clean inside pumpkin.


Whose was whose:

(Left to Right) Lizzie's, Trevor's, Logan's, Mommy's, and Daddy's

Lizzie's letter to Santa

We were in Longs the other day to pick up a prescription. And of course it took 40 MINUTES for them to fill it. We were forced to walk the aisles of the store to entertain ourselves. Me and 3 kids walking through a store. Super fun right? Uh-huh. They checked out all the Halloween stuff then moved over to the toys. Lizzie found several dollies, princess dollies no less, with YARN HAIR. That is her soothie. She loves to rub the yarn between her fingers as she sucks her thumb. She immediately knew that she HAD TO HAVE this doll. She asked if she could have it and I looked at the price tag. $15?! I'm sorry, but $15 for a "no reason" purchase is way over my limit. We are dollar store people here. Besides if I spend $15 on her then I'd have to spend $15 on the other 2 kids too. $45 + prescription costs was just not on my shopping list that day. She begged and begged for this doll. She turned on the tears and wailing. I wasn't going to budge. But I had to do something or the loud scene-causing crying wouldn't ever stop! I gave her 2 choices: 1. I suggested that we go home and write a letter to Santa asking him to bring it to her for Christmas or 2. She could have it for her birthday (a whole month after Christmas). Smart girl chose option #1. We finally got the prescription filled and were on our way. She talked about that dolly all the way home. She immediately went to the table and drew this picture. That's her self portrait on the left and the dolly on the right. She signed her name so Santa would know it was from her. Obviously I haven't mailed it yet, but we'll make a big deal out of it when we do. Every time we pass that store she reminds me, "Mommy, remember that dolly at that store?" And I reply, "Yes, I remember. Remember the letter you wrote to Santa? I bet he'll bring it to you for Christmas."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Easy Halloween Crafts

Here are some cute/easy crafts I found online to do with our Joy School kids.

#1 Spider Finger Puppets

#2 Hand Print Spiders

#3 Glue Ghostie Window Clings

#4 Mason Jar Candle Luminaries

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Musical Is Finished

I just wanted to share a little more about the musical. The performances went great. The kids all stepped it up and did just like they practiced - even better than they practiced actually. The house was packed the first night and it overflowed the second. The kids were so proud of their hard work I thought they might burst from happiness.

Can I get mushy just for a moment? Yes? Thanks. I don't normally work with the youth and this was a special opportunity for me. I got to get a glimpse into the lives of teenagers during this time of turmoil in the world we live in. Life is rough. It is hard to be strong and stand for what they believe in. I know that these kids that participated in this show will be stronger and steadfast because of their efforts these last 6 weeks. They were fueled with powerful music that will be stuck with them for the rest of their lives. I like how my mom called them "Be-tunes" not itunes. This be-tune playlist will guide them through the tough times and always remind them to wear their "Armor of God".

I won't forget:
- the gum paper
- "Be steadfast and imoooo-vable..."
- Sis. Duran's paper dolls
- The Barbie movie and your "Barbie faces"
- sorry guys, it's "fast Sunday" no treats tonight
- the violin guys
- cell phones on Steadfast
- Ryan's "Look at US!"

To all my new YM/YW friends in the East Stake - I miss you already! Don't forget to Be good. Sing good. Smell good. And Look good. Love to you in all your endeavors. Here are a couple of final treats from our time together. Enjoy!

Birthday Thanks & Treats

Firstly, I must clarify my feelings on turning 30. I have been more than excited for this day to finally arrive. I've waited for so long to join the 30 club! I think I've finally figured out WHY I've wanted this so badly. I guess I figured that when I turned 30 I'd finally feel like an adult, mature, a little more wise and sure of myself. And guess what... I feel exactly the same as I did 2 days ago, 2 months ago and even several years ago! So, I guess that theory has gone down the drain. But that doesn't mean that 3o won't be fabulous - because from day 1 it absolutely was!

Can I just say that I've never been more pampered in my ENTIRE LIFE?! Jeremy laid out the most extravagant plan for my big day. I won't give all the details because it may get a little overwhelming for some... including myself!

Let's just say that it was the perfect day. I didn't cook one meal. I got to do ALL my favorite things. I even got to pick out several birthday presents for myself as I followed the elaborate scavenger hunt Jeremy set up earlier in the day. What a guy.

These are my beautiful birthday flowers. Here's a picture of my BIG gift - a new stainless kitchen faucet with a retractable head! Jeremy installed it beautifully as I was out on my birthday scavenger hunt adventure. Isn't it gorgeous? And make sure to check out "Jennifer's Life in 5 Minutes" the video Jeremy made from pictures of now and then. Seriously, could I have caught myself a better man?

Here are some fun pictures and the video from the evening's "surprise party" at my favorite place to dine - Me N Eds!

Those are my freshly pedicured toenails and I don't know about you, but I think the Stoffs want us to vote YES on 8...

Thanks to everyone who came. I know how hard it is to drag kids around on a school night. It was a fun night of family and friends. Thanks to Karen for being our photographer and thanks to Stephanie for winning prizes for all the kids - you made their night! Jeremy asked later what was the best part of my day and I had to say that it was just being with you all. There is no better gift than time with loved ones.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jennifer Turns 30

That's right folks. Jennifer is no longer considered a youngin. Check out the "Jennifer's life in 5 minutes" slideshow for some fun memories and to see some of the highlights of the past 30 years.

Happy birthday Jennifer. I can't wait for the next 70!

We watch Chuck - do you?

Jeremy and I love this show. We are both suckers for shows that are
1. funny
2. action packed
3. slightly romantic

And this show is all of the above! We decided the other night that it is our favorite show above all the others right now. It's like a little vacation from our lives on Monday nights.

Is anybody else watching it?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tagged by Kristie

This is an easy tag that didn't require me to answer 5,000 questions or show you pictures of my dirty kitchen. I like it. I was told to go into my picture file, pick the 4th file, then the 4th picture.

And there it is folks. A sweet picture of the scouts at scout camp this summer. They're just about to hop on the kayaks and go for a ride through some caves. Do they look like a happy bunch or what?!

Ok. Who should I tag?... Kelly H. , Melody and Amy D. Let's see those pictures ladies!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Here's what I've been busy with for the past 6 weeks. MUSICAL PRACTICE. Sundays and Tuesdays or Wednesdays have been all about this project. My Aunt Suzanne was asked to be in charge of the whole thing so she got my mom to be her #1 and I also got to help out. My job was/is the Alto section. I LOVE MY ALTOS. They were the best group of kids to work with - so eager and they happily put up with all my silliness.

The show is called "Like a Mighty Army". You can see all the "army" props: shields, swords, flags... it will be a very visually stimulating show with lots of color and video of the kids. The music is all army themed with a lot of it taken from the seminary cd tracks. I love it. One of my favorites is Kelly's solo. She has the perfect voice for the part!

Now we are down to the wire with practices on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and performances on Saturday and Sunday. That's 5 nights just this week! Needless to say, the kids are getting tired. They've worked long and hard for this production and they are pooped! Notice them LAYING on the floor and trying to take a nap in the middle of rehearsal.

So come and appreciate all our hard work as we wrap things up this weekend with 2 great performances!

Saturday, October 25th
at 7:30PM
at the East Stake Center


Sunday, October 26th
at 7:30
at the East Stake Center.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Two Fall recipes you MUST try!

This first recipe I served last week for our book club dinner and the ladies gobbled it up. It was very yummy and so fall-ish. You'll love it!

Pear and Greens Salad

by Linda Larsen,

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6+


1/2 c. olive oil
3. Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. salt
dash pepper
2 heads butter lettuce or spring mix, torn into pieces
2 pears, cored and chopped
1/2 c. walnuts or pecans
1/2 c. crumbled bleu cheese or feta

Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, celery seed, salt, and pepper in a jar with a very tight lid. Shake well until sugar is dissolved and the dressing is blended. Set aside in the refrigerator. Prepare the pears a few minutes before serving and coat with a small amount of the dressing so they don't turn brown. Toss the salad greens with the dressing just before serving. Arrange pears, nuts and cheese decoratively and serve.

This next recipe is actually two separate recipes I got from our recipe exchange (thanks Michelle!), but smooshed them together to make one DELICIOUS soup! I served this one at Grandpa Burton's birthday party and all the men loved it. I think it was the sausage that did them in. Matt said it reminded him of a jambalaya. I like it because it has cilantro - my favorite ingredient!

Black Bean and Sausage Soup
by Jennifer Ward

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 hours
Serves: 6


2 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. celery, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1/2 tsp. grated lemon or lime peel
2 cans black beans
2 tsp. chicken bouillon
2 c. water
1 16 oz. jar medium Pace Picante Salsa
2 (3 oz.) Italian sausage links, hot or mild
1-2 c. prepared brown rice
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
salt and pepper
1-2 chopped avocados
sour cream for garnish

In a large saucepan, heat oil and cook onion, celery, garlic, and red pepper until tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer vegetable mixture to crock pot or slow cooker. Add beans with their liquid, lemon or lime gratings, salsa, bouillon, water, salsa and sausage. Cook on high 5 hours. Just before serving: using tongs, remove sausages to a cutting board, cut into bite-size pieces and then return to slow cooker. Stir in cilantro and prepared rice. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with chopped avocado and a dollop of sour cream on top for garnish.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Boys and their Cars

Jackson and Tyler watched Disney's Cars movie I don't know how many times this weekend. They were obsessed with this show! Whenever we had to go searching for Jackson we'd always find him at Grandma's house, on the bed, right next to Tyler entranced with this show. They are both obsessed with cars in general right now. Trucks, cars, tractors... you name an automobile - they like it. Even McDonald's satisfied their car addiction by offering Hot Wheels toys in their Happy Meals. These little guys are easy to please and I like it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

picture project

My family room wall has been screaming for some artwork or something, anything! It's been bare for about 2 months now and I finally got around to doing this picture project. I took some old pictures of our families, uploaded them to, changed them to sepia, and ordered the right sizes. I had all the frames, but had to spray a couple of them silver. The hooks I found on ebay and the ribbon is from Walmart. Easy peasy.




I just love the old wedding photos and the pictures from when we were kids. The styles were so different back then. Now we get to enjoy them all the time!