Thursday, September 30, 2010

What I do for the ones I love

I love baking.

I ESPECIALLY love making homemade desserts.....particularly cheesecakes.

They are a small glimpse into heaven....
I think to myself if there is no cheesecake in heaven I do not know what I will do...
Have a long chat with God on that one.

I played around in the kitchen last night and came up with this beauty.

White chocolate / Chocolate Marscapone Cheesecake with a chocolate crust.

Yes you heard me.....
Doesn't it sound divine??

Heres the facts for you!
White/ Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake

Serves 12

Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

½ cup sugar

¼ cup baking cocoa 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Mix all the ingredients in your food processor. Oil your spring form pan and press crust evenly into pan.

2 packages of 8oz cream cheese
 1 ¾ cups sugar
16 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 tsp mexican vanilla
6 eggs

7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
4 ounces of white chocolate melted


For the filling, preheat the oven to 350

degrees. Beat the cream cheese, sugar and

vanilla in a mixing bowl until light and

fluffy, scraping the bowl occasionally, Add

the mascarpone cheese and beat until

blended. Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing

well after each addition.

Combine ½ of the cream cheese mixture

with the chocolate in a bowl and mix well.

Add the the white chocolate to the plain mixture and mix well.
Spread the chocolate mixture in the prepared

pan and top with the remaining white chocolate cream

cheese mixture. Gently fold the 2 filling

layers together with a spoon to create a

marbleized effect. Bake in a water bath for 1

¾ hours. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Chill for 8 to 10 hours before serving.

Unfortunatly my nine year old could not wait any longer and nibbled around the crust......

Sigh.....It was so pretty before this....I was going to drizzle homemade caramel over it with chocolate shavings.

Kids.....They always get caught red handed!

I made the cheesecake to celebrate dad coming home from his business trip......
I guess he will just have to deal.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Apple Muffins!

I came up with this recipe after a few tries. I love the outcome and taste!

Apple Muffins

1 1/2 cups wheat flour (all purpose would work too)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 beaten egg
1 cup brown or white sugar (brown will give it a deeper taste)
1 1/4 cup shredded apple
1/4 cooking oil

Combine all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Beat egg with mixer. Add the sugar, shredded apple and oil. The stir in all the dry ingredients just until combined.

Makes 1 dozen

Bake at 350 for 16-20 Min's.



Sunday, September 26, 2010


I am person who loves to bake, cook, dry and can  food for her family and lately I have been really thinking about how processed our foods have become. The corn syrup, modified corn starch, and  meat fillers are in most of our commonly eaten  foods on the shelves in our local grocery stores. I am utterly disgusted after watching Food Inc. and Super size me this weekend. It was an eye opener for me. I knew some of what was going on in the food industry due to the nutrition classes and self education I have had about food labels and their sources BUT it did not prepare me for what was presented in Food Inc. Our bodies are chemically engineered and the modified food we eat as a country causes many of the health problems our society fights daily on the home front. I love picking our own produce from local farmers and eating in season, canning whats left over for winter and eating. I am now going to carry that further and start to expand my food vision for my family a few steps at a time. We are not junk food eaters, fast food goers, or sugary sweet addicts but there is always room for improvement in our food choices.

The food choices in our house currently are:

Picking local produce from orchards and buying at the farmers markets
Making our own bread from freshly ground wheat
Making mixes from scratch VS buying store bought mixes that include fillers and dyes.
Planting a garden with other fruit baring trees and plants
Canning and freezing freshly picked veggies and fruits
ALWAYS having veggies, fruits and other healthy snacks for the kids and Keith and I to eat
Buying meat in whole with bones (less fillers!)

Things I am contemplating:
Getting a 2-3 chickens
Buying our meat now from an organic farmer
Buying less store bought granola bars and other various snacks that are JUST sugar coated carbs
Buying organic when in the budget for other various food outlets

I know for us a family of 5's a LOT of work to make things from scratch. It is. I will not lie to you. For example I remember growing up with the box of Bisquick and just adding water. Wa-la you had ready made pancakes in two seconds. There is nothing wrong with that. Its convenience and sometimes we need a brake BUT what people do not know is that they could save so much money in their budgets if they made the mixes and seasonings. Yes it is work but if you set a time aside to make a bulk batch, you have it for those nights when you tired and you can feed your family and KNOW whats really in it.

I recommend the book my mom gave to me for Christmas Make a Mix by Karine Eliason. Its been AMAZING!


Check out the movie 

My day

I woke up and kissed this guy.......

Got DOG PILED by my three musketeers.

Then proceeded to start our Saturday tradition of family brunch.

I put a little of this and adjusted a little of that in my faithful Kitchen-Aid mixer and came up with the MOST delicious recipe for Apple muffins....

They are to die for.

No really that are.

We stuffed ourselves silly and dog piled in my bed again to lounge and snuggle.

F.Y.I. : 5 people in a queen size bed is not fitting how it used to when they were younger.
Taylor's stinky feet somehow made it near my face and Chloe's cold toes on my back. Hmmm.....

We dashed in the shower after being MIGHTY lazy on our Saturday morning and got ready and out the door for this guys soccer game.....

He tore up the field and really put himself our there with the big boys.
He is the shortest on the team but our little fireball.
He makes me a proud mama.

His team won 3-0.....I'm just saying =-)

Retreating to the shade after the game

After the game we went home and ate lunch while I got myself all PURDY and clean to go watch the LDS
Relief Society worldwide broadcast.

I loved the inspirational messages from all the leaders of our wonderful church. I really needed to hear some of those messages.

My favorite quote from the night: "If you judge you do not have time to love." Mother Teresa

Afterward the broadcast Karina and I headed out to dinner with her fabulous Mom and ate out at a pretty good Thai place. I full filled the egg role craving I have been having for awhile.

As you can see we got a little distracted afterwards shopping.....

A great saturday with the friends and family I love.

I can not think of a better way to spend my saturday.....
Can you?


Thursday, September 23, 2010


I finish my second week at the preschool tomorrow. It has been a renewal time for me in the work place; a time for me in the classroom to reconnect with teaching after years of being away from the classroom.  I am a assistant to the most caring, amazing teacher who is LDS as well. She has been a joy to work with at the preschool and knows the ins and outs of the job well. She was the assistant the previous three years before me :). I look forward to many more years of teaching with her.

I will be honest though. Its been weird having a job again.  Our daily routine is more structured than before and I defiantly wear less work out clothes and baseballs hats, something my husband appreciates. Before I went back to work I would work out early in the morning (still do this!) but come home and get the kids up for school. Now I come home, shower, get the kids ready and head off for our morning rush in dropping off Diana and Taylor ( I hate the bus system so yes I drive and pick them up everyday) and getting to work.  It's literally a sprint until I get to work but for me that works. I enjoy the strict schedule, something I think I was really missing.  The one thing I will miss from before I went back to work is my work out classes. I made some dear friends there and hope we can stay close through running and other outlets.  Life is always offering us new adventures, twists and turns and this for sure is a new turn. It will bring many good memories and blessings to my family for years to come. So bring it on, because I love being Miss Rachel and teaching 11 beautiful faces.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


My Savior Jesus Christ knocks at my soul.....

Some days his goodness and love are beyond my comprehension; his love for me, my family and the people of this world is always there eternally waiting for us to open the door. As of late I feel him tapping me in the quiet moments of my slow down more.
  It has been a good reminder of how important it is to STOP and listen.
Just listen.   

I was missing so much.

He is there with his arms outstretched.  

I promise you.

My family taps at my soul.....

The sweet warmth that my children and husband bring to our home enriches my life with endless possibilities.

 They are my life.

The laughter, happiness, good days and bad days are there for us as a family to hold hands in this journey. 
Not only do we see the bad but we see the good.

My family is that achor that holds me down.

My life and who I am....

A  mother

A wife

A daughter of God

I am so grateful to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life for without it, I would not be the Mother, Wife and Individual I am today.

I am his student here to learn so that I may teach my children of his love and gain a greater understanding of his Gospel

Most of all.....

I am on bended knee eternally grateful for his sacrifice so that My family and I could return to live with him someday.

This is good. Very very good.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Apples to Apples

Our apples trees finally got to producing. Here is our first batch picked with more to come!

A little hard work pays off with great rewards such as apple pie and yummy apples to snack on.


Monday, September 13, 2010


We packed the backpack, laid out the new school clothes, washed and showered to get him ready for the big day BUT none of that prepared his mama for him entering kindergarten. As I walked my son into his classroom it hit me emotionally that this was it. He was here in elementary school now and forever in public school for the next 12 years. Was I ready to let him go? Whether I was ready or not, it was here and the smell of crayola crayons and freshly sharpened pencils only solidified the fact that my son was now a kindergartner.

He was so excited (a little nervous too) to start the school year. We talked about the bus, his friends, and how the next day would be, trying to iron out any nervousness he had the night before. When morning came he was ready and enthusiastic to head to school.  We took a few snapshots before leaving although Taylor thought this part utterly boring and stated "why do we have to take pictures mom?" 

Taylor sitting at his table and coloring his name tag/book.

* FYI: Mom getting super emotional at this point *

Welcome to kindergarten buddy!

I am so proud of you and look forward to hearing all your fun stories about your adventures in Kindergarten.

Favorite parts of his first day: The smelly stickers, riding on the bus, recess, the math toys and reading the David books and having a great first day.

Sounds like it was a successful way to start his school year!

The cutest kindergartener and
Graduate of the Class of 2023

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Go number 2!!

AYSO this year decided to go for "The 50 States" as their theme for the boys teams. An interesting choice in my opinion. Taylor landed up on team "Georgia" and for some reason it was hard for me personally to cheer "GO Georgia." It felt like I was cheering on a little old lady on , you know the old one who sits down at the senior center with a deck of cards about to play pinnacle.  Don't ask me why? It just did.  It is Taylor's second year playing soccer and he is loving it. Keith is his assistant coach, helping out with drills and such at practice. The weather was beautiful for the first game, a nice welcome into the fall season. The boys played well and had a great time on the field....ending the game with a fun victory tunnel for all (although being boys that they are....i think snack is still a favorite).

A mid-air kick toward the goal!

* OK still weird for me *

That was a good game coach!!


I am so in love with this boy.

He rocks the field and his mama's world!

Love ya number 2!

Friday, September 10, 2010

400th post and 1st day of Pre-K

How appropriate for my 400th post to land on the same day as Clo-bears 1st day into pre-K. She woke up this morning beaming with excitement! "Mom, today is school! Today is school!" she screamed. I laughed and gave her a big mama hug and threw her in the shower so we could send  her to school smelling all clean and fresh....not with the dirt and jelly she still had in her hair.  She let me fix her hair all "pretty", picked out a fancy necklace for the first day and afterwards packed up her backpack full of fun goodies for the first day....(apparently Chloe does not like to leave the kitchen sink behind...geesh!).

Standing in front of the school doors holding her fruit to share for the friendship fruit salad.

At her table job

After school full of energy from a good day at school!
Thanks Mrs.Dole. and Miss Wendi!

I think it was quite a success for her first day.
She said she sang songs, ate fruit, played on the playground, colored, read a book with a friend and missed mommy.  

Busy day?

I am so proud of my clo-bear.

I wish I could stop her from growing up so big. I will miss it when she sneaks downstairs to snuggle with her mama to warm up her toes and kiss her chubby cheeks.

One thing I am for sure that no matter what age...she will always make me laugh.

You are the one that makes mama laugh clo-bear. =-)

 I hope in pre-K this year you have a fanatsic year of ABC's and 123's

Love you pretty girl!

Your mom

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fourth grade

It was her first day of fourth grade and as I walked her down to the classroom with brother and sister I was  told to stop ....


"No more pictures beyond this point mom!" she stated.

Oh my how she has grown up I thought.

I am having a mini- mid- childhood mama breakdown right now

When did she get this big?? and Where did time fly?

I guess it was when we were out and about having all that fun.

I am SO proud to have her as my beautiful daughter.

She is such a blessing  and gift to our family no matter what age.

I love you Love bug number 1.

I hope you have a fabulous school year and keep thinking boys have cooties...that's all i ask =-)


Thursday, September 2, 2010

County Fair

   County Fair.
What comes to your mind when I say that?

When I hear the words County Fair, I think of elephant ears, snow cones, wacky rides, music, shows, pies, quilts and farm animals.
The county fair where we live was free during the week so we jumped on the bandwagon and headed off to the county fair. We met a few friends while we were there and enjoyed seeing the free shows and exhibits they had set up. The kids favorite part of the whole fair was a dog show where dogs did all sorts of tricks wearing interesting costumes. I felt sympathetic toward the dogs because it must have been 100 degrees that day. After the dog show we headed inside a cooler tent to watch a comedy juggling act. Taylor raised his hand so enthusiastically he was picked and dashed up onto the stage where he participated in a mock game show.

The girls watching the show while eating lunch in the cool shade
That's my boy!!

Look what I got Mom!!

Checking out the exotic animal exhibit.

Chloe next to an Angora bunny

Diana  and Clo-bear looking at an enormous python! Yuck.

Yeah...that sign says DO NOT STICK YOUR HANDS IN THE CAGE.
So what do you do?
The picture tells it all.

Petting another bunny.

Diana checking out the chickens

We were able to see how they milk a cow

Diana petting a baby calf.

Feeding the 4-H horses!

We never went near the rides because we didn't need to. The animals and other free exhibits kept us so busy I was grateful the kids never saw the expensive, overpriced rides.  I had a blast even though it reached over 100 that day and even though it had been a few years since we had been to the fair, I'm glad we got the chance to visit!

Summer swimming lessons

When ever I took lessons as a kid they were at indoor pools so when the opportunity arose to have the three musketeers take swimming lessons at the local outdoor pool, I signed them right up.

For two weeks straight we packed up towels, swimsuits and snacks and headed to lessons.
The kids did a great job with Diana passing level 2, Taylor ALMOST passing level one (missed one item on the checklist), and Chloe taking her lessons for her first time. Some days we would stay after and swim for open swim so it was a full two weeks out in sun, enjoying the best of summer. I actually came away with a tan....NOT normal for me at all.

Chloe with her teacher. She was learning to stick her face under water...something she DOES not like to do.

Taylor kicking backwards

Diana on her second to last lesson

Clo-bear playing with Teacher E.

Diana and her friend from school

Swimming lesson for summer 2010 were a success!
I am going to really miss summer this year.....
If you live in the NW you know what I mean!!


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