Sep 27, 2011

Crock Pot Chocolate Lava Cake

I made this last night for FHE.  It is delicious.  The best part though is the smell of it cooking in your house.  Jared said they should make a cologne that smells like it. I think that might be a little odd.  We served ours with ice cream.  So good!

1 package devils food cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 2/3 cups water
1 package Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding Mix
2 cups cold milk
1 bag (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Prepare cake mix into batter using eggs, oil, and water. Pour into crock-pot.
Prepare Jell-O Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix using milk. Pour this over cake mix in crock-pot.
Sprinkle chocolate chips all over the top of the batter.
Cook in crock-pot on high setting for 2 1/2 to 3 hours until cake is moist but not jiggle,
and little volcanoes of spitting chocolate appear on top.
Serve with ice cream, whipped topping, or on its own.

My crock pot is very hot, so I cooked mine on high for a little over an hour, then turned it down to low for the rest of the time.  Also I tried a crock pot liner that I heard about (it's like a bag you would cook a turkey or roast in, but it's made for your crock pot).  It was fabulous to just pull out the bag when we were done with no burned edges to soak out of the crock pot.  I don't know how they would work with everything, but they worked great with the cake.

Sep 26, 2011


Well my peaches are ripe!! Tony said the other day that one of the ways that God shows us that he loves us is through peaches.  Breanna loves them so much she will eat them straight off the tree-fuzz and all.  I picked them all today and I got 5- 5 gallon buckets of peaches!! FIVE!  I also have the hives to show for it.  I really am allergic to yard work. It's ok though, it is so worth it.  I think I might try some peach jam, homemade peach ice cream, and maybe even freeze some.  Not to mention can some, and eat as many fresh as my body will tolerate. It really is quite amazing considering this tree has been blown over at least three times (love those canyon winds).  This year the winds snapped three branches, but the peaches still grew.  Poor tree with the best peaches ever. 
Aren't they beautiful?

Sunday Sampler

Sunday is just such a good time to ponder what is going on in my life and that of my family.  It's a good time to review the week past, and the week ahead.  This is what's on my mind at the moment...

Enjoyed watching 17 Miracles again with my children on Monday for FHE.  Breanna said it was the best movie she had ever seen, and even Grant said it made him cry.  I am grateful for my pioneer ancestors who gave up so much so that I could have the gospel today.  It's good to think about your ancestors, I love to learn about them, and I do feel a connection to them that I can't really describe.

This week I was reading in Romans and these verses in Chapter 8 really touched me-
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can abe against us?
35 Who shall separate us from the alove of Christ? shall btribulation, or distress, or cpersecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are akilled all the day long; we are accounted as bsheep for the slaughter.
 37 Nay, in all these things we are amore than bconquerors through him that loved us.
 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to aseparate us from the blove of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 Don't you just love that? Nothing can separate us from the love of God-only by our own choosing can that happen.  But I especially like that with God fighting for us, it doesn't matter who is against us.  It just brought me such an overwhelming feeling of peace.

Breanna took ice cream with her on the bus Thursday morning.  She told me about it after school, and she assured me that she had breakfast before the ice cream.  I looked at her, and with my best mother voice I said, "Breanna!"  She said, "It's ok Mom, you weren't awake."  Got to love her.

Saturday evening was the RS broadcast.  Loved it, and surprise, surprise Pres. Uchtdorf's talk was amazing.  He is rapidly becoming one of my favorites (if it's ok to have favorites).  
by Shawna Banagas
 There was a time in my life when I had decided I couldn't be happy until certain things had happened.  (Tony finishing school was the biggest one).  I was moody and unhappy a lot, and had some other difficult things I had to deal with.  I learned through a conference talk, and some scriptures that I happened to come across in the D&C that changed my perspective, taught me gratitude, and made me realize that it was time to buck up.  I could be happy now if I focused on what I had. Some days this lesson is hard to remember, but as I listened to Pres. Uchtdorf those feelings came back along with the immense feelings of love that I felt when an apostle of the Lord told me that the Lord loved me and was aware of me. I know it's true!  I think I am going to plant some forget me not flowers next year. 

Fun to have Lexie home for a little bit.  Miss her being here all the time. ( I miss Ashley too.  I don't think I will like being an empty nester.  Good thing I still have a few years.)

Loved studying Preach My Gospel with my son today.  We didn't do much, and nothing earth shaking happened, just the quiet confirmation of the spirit that it was a good thing.

Attempted French Bread for the first time today-not exactly a success.  Still tasted good even though it looked like a bread glob.

Loved making fresh salsa with Tony and the kids.  Family is the best.

Love family scripture study with the kids-never know what will happen.  It most often ends in laughter and sometimes fights, but hey we are doing it.  The best is Grant who hates to sound out words, always has.  So if he doesn't immediately recognize a word he just says one that starts with that letter.  It really is quite comical sometimes.

I need to be more patient, some kids just know how to push my buttons.  

General Conference is next week.  Love, love, love it.  Two best weekends of the year.

Sep 24, 2011

Yet Another Football Post

Yes I know it's another football post, but let's face it folks it is who I am.  My Dad didn't have any sons to instill his love of sports in, so he had to do it with his daughters.  Although some of us are more into it than others.  I could watch football all day on Saturday-doesn't matter who's playing.  Alas, I never have the time to do that, but I could.  (Just for the record my Dad's love of baseball didn't stick with me, going to a game is cool, but watching it on TV...I'd rather have a tooth pulled.)

After BYU's embarrassing loss last Saturday night, I have been pondering what it means to be a fan.  Of course there has been much criticism of players and coaches from people all over this week.  People saying we couldn't come back after a loss like that, people deciding that new coaches are no good, etc.  It made me think-what kind of fan am I? (Just a little disclaimer this is the kind of fan I am, I don't expect others to feel the same way as me or even to agree with me.) I am a fan who doesn't believe in pre-season hype.  I want to see it on the field.  I am strangely and sometimes unrealistically optimistic after a bad game.  I am a fan who is there for the opening kick off and stays until the time runs out.  I faithfully watch the games at home unless I have church meetings or my kids have something (yes church and family come first, in case you were concerned).  I am a fan who never boos my team, even if I am fighting mad with the way they are playing.  I am a fan who believes in giving a kid a chance, even if he hasn't lived up to expectations yet.  I am a fan who thinks new coaches should be given a few more games to get it put together.  And I am a fan win or lose.  Don't get me wrong though, I much prefer winning!

So, game time last night, I was so hoping they could come back.  First half was not looking good, but second half the whole team stepped up.  There were some mistakes made, and a lot of work is obviously still needed, but overall they did what they had to to get the win.  Oh and how about that 93 yard kick off return?  That was a thing of beauty. Totally changed the game around.  I feel like we have a long way to go to be good, but the effort was there. I am proud of my cougars.  Hopefully we can get better each week.

Funny little side note: Grant went with Tony to the game last night.  I was worried that he would be disappointed if we lost, so I told him that Tony didn't think we would win.  He looked at me and said, "I don't believe Dad."  Turns out he was right.

Sep 22, 2011

Thought for the Day

I read this in the Visiting Teaching message, and I have been thinking about it all day-so I thought I would share it.  "We prepare each day, right now, for eternal life.  If we are not preparing for eternal life, we are preparing for something else, perhaps something far less."-Elder M. Russell Ballard

Sep 21, 2011

Fall and Canning

I love, love, love, love fall!  I love the crispness in the air, I love seeing the leaves start to change colors, I love that our power bill won't kill me, and I love the memories that canning tomatoes invokes (don't necessarily love canning them however).  Growing up in my home, we canned or froze everything.  Peaches, pears, cherries, beets, pickles and tomatoes.  We froze corn because back in the olden days you couldn't just go to the store and by frozen corn.  If you didn't freeze your own you had to eat that chewy, canned stuff.  In my family this was not something that my Mom did alone, it was a family project.  I remember well us all gathering out on the patio to do the corn.  We each had a job. Mine was to scoop the corn into the bags after Dad cut if off the cobs with the electric knife. (Don't tell anyone, but a lot of that corn did not make it into the bags.  It was so delicious)  I don't know if I loved helping when I was a kid, but I look back on those fall harvest days and canning as wonderful memories.  Like looking at the beautiful peaches in the jars, it was my job to make sure they got covered in the fruit fresh or whatever it was called, so that they didn't turn brown.  I loved eating those sweet peaches all winter long.  Now the pears looked pretty too, but they seemed to trigger some kind of gag reflex in me.  It was torture eating those, even when disguised in lime jello.  I was canning tomatoes last night, and I was just overwhelmed by a wave of nostalgia from back home in Brigham City.  As I put the salt in the jars, I remembered sitting on the counter and putting salt in all of the jars.  I feel bad however, that I haven't involved my kids in the canning process.  I usually do it when they are at school, and I don't can too much other than tomatoes.  Even though I don't love canning the tomatoes, I feel so good after I do, all domestic or something.  I love seeing them lined up on my shelves in the basement. Some might say that it's not worth it, but every time I open a jar to make something and taste those delicious garden tomatoes it is all worth it!

(On another happy note-my peaches are almost ripe.  For some reason my sad tree is loaded, it escaped the frosts. Probably because I have a Late Elberta that comes on later than most.  They are the sweetest and best thing about fall in my opinion.)

Sep 18, 2011

Random & Not So Random Thoughts

I love Sundays!  I love the spiritual renewal, the rejuvenation to get through another week.  I love going to church, I love learning, being uplifted, and refocused on what matters.

I love my children.  Ashley came home this weekend-it was great to see her, she is amazing!  I am proud of my son who cut two minutes off of his race time in a 5K on Friday, I am also proud of the person he is trying to become even though it's hard sometimes.  I love Breanna who was worried about not going to the Celestial Kingdom because she "forgot to repent. Because sometimes she hits her brother and doesn't always remember to repent." I love Grant because he always gives me hugs even if I don't deserve them.  I love Alexis, because she is strong and independent.  Also I finally found a reason to be glad I have two kids at college.  My laundry day is so much easier now!

I love old musicals!  Sound of Music, Singing in the Rain, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Calamity Jane and so many more.  Howard Keel can sing!  Oh I am sure he was the heart throb of the musical day, because who on earth wouldn't want someone to sing to you like that!  I watched Show Boat the other day, kind of a sad musical actually, but it has some beautiful music.  My favorite though has to be Old Man River, it gives me the chills.
Lastly, yes I survived the total falling apart of my football team on Saturday night.  Yes I was at the game, and yes I stayed until the end.  No I am not giving up on my team, and yes I realize this could be a long season.  I am a fan win or lose, I believe in my team though and I believe they can turn it around.  I think when you are down is when you need support the most, so I will still be cheering for my cougars.  However-I would just like to add a quote from one of my all time favorite movies. Seems to be applicable here.
"We will be perfect in every aspect of the game. You drop a pass, you run a mile. You miss a blocking assignment, you run a mile. You fumble the football, and I will break my foot off in your John Brown hind parts and then you will run a mile. Perfection. Let's go to work."

Sep 15, 2011

I Survived

I have a confession to make...I haven't been to the doctor for a checkup since Grant was born.  Grant turns 10 in two weeks.  Yeah it's been awhile.  I have been dreading going, afraid my doctor would chew me out, or something.  I just don't like doctors.  It really wasn't that bad.  I didn't have to wait.  They were quick, and thanked me for coming in.  Not one word of condemnation.  I forgot that I really like this doctor actually, well I mean at least he is ok as as far as doctors go. I did have to get blood drawn since I haven't had any tests done for...well you can do the math.  That was really the only painful part of the process, and that was pretty painless. I guess when I tell my kids that going to the doctor isn't that bad, I should listen to myself.

Sep 13, 2011

Family Home Evening or Bedlam with Bedlamites

My youngest child is almost 10, so you would think that family home evening would be fairly predictable now right?  Maybe not so much.  Grant did the lesson about Joseph Smith and the First Vision and the power of prayer.  We played a fun game of Outburst in which Breanna and Grant and I came from behind to pull out the victory over Jared and Tony.  Then we were having our treats when Breanna came up to the table and said, "Since we are all together I'd like to have a little family council and list my complaints."  She looked at Jared and said, "You're annoying."  Moving on to Tony, she said, "You bother me.  Looking at Grant, she said, " I wish you had never lived," and then turning to me she said, "And I love you."  Now some might be offended or shocked by what she said, but we all started laughing hysterically.  Grant more so than the rest of us.  There is rarely a dull moment with her around.

Sep 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

Hard to believe that 10 years have passed since that terrible day.  I was 8 months pregnant, Tony came in and woke me up.  He had been down exercising and watching the morning news when they broke in with the story that a plane had flown into one of the towers.  He came to wake me up, and just then the second plane crashed into the other tower.  I was shocked, stunned, overwhelmed, scared, confused.  What was going on?  Who had done this?  I had never felt unsafe in our country before, but all of the sudden I did.  We somehow muddled through getting the kids off to school, then I sat there for the rest of the day watching the news reports, feeling dark and afraid.  That evening as we were sitting around the dinner table, we watched as the tabernacle choir sang the national anthem.  Tony and I were both crying, not unusual for me, but definitely unusual for him. Pres. Hinckley then spoke, and I remember the darkness I had been feeling being replaced by peace.  My fears were calmed and I remembered my faith.  The positive from September 11th was how all Americans came together.  The heroes who risked or lost their lives to save others.  May we always remember the lessons learned on September 11th.

In a speech Pres. Bush gave on the year anniversary of the attack he said, "September 11, 2001, will always be a fixed point in the life of America.  The loss of so many lives left us to examine our own.  Each of us was reminded that we are here only for a time.  And these counted days should be filled with things that last and matter: love for our families, love for our neighbors and for our country, gratitude for life and to the giver of life..."

Following the attacks, in general conference, Pres. Hinckley said, "Now, brothers and sisters, we must do our duty, whatever that duty might be.  Peace may be denied for a season.  Some of our liberties may be curtailed.  We may be inconvenienced.  We may even be called to suffer in one way or another.  But God our Eternal Father will watch over this nation and all of the civilized world who look to Him.  He has declared, 'Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord' (Psalms 33:12). Our safety lies in repentance.  Our strength comes from keeping the commandments of God."

Our nation as a whole turned to God following the attacks, but I wonder how far we have strayed in the 10 years that have passed....
The Pentagon Memorial.  There is a bench for everyone that was killed there.

On this altar people place pictures of their loved ones that were missing after the twin towers collapsed. 

Sep 10, 2011

Sad Day for Football

Game two of the football season has now come and gone, and frankly I don't know how I feel.  Funny thing is I had expected to lose to Texas, but I didn't know it would be because we let the game get away from us.  We have new offensive coaches who seem a little unsure of themselves right now, and an offense who doesn't seem to play with any confidence.  I am frustrated, but I am not giving up on my team.
I have often been criticized for being pessimistic when it comes to football.  I refused to buy into the hype preceding the football season.  I just kept saying I want to see it on the field come game day. After a loss I am not giving up though.  I still think they have the potential, and I think they will get there.  I just hope it is sooner than later. (Like next week against Utah!!) 

Sep 9, 2011

Thoughts on some books I've read lately.

So last night I finished The Help.  Couldn't put it down.  It made me laugh, but mostly it made me angry.  Disgusted me that people could treat other human beings that way.  Recently I also read Unbroken, the biography of an American POW in Japan.  It also made me angry, and truly sickened that people could be so inhumane.  I also have recently read The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.  Loved the book, but was embarrassed that American citizens were treated so poorly just because of their Asian background. Before that I read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  Oh how I hated that book!  I again felt frustration and anger.  Maybe I should stop reading books like's that display the ugliness of human frailties specifically when one group of people thinks they are superior to another one because of race or religion.  How can the simple color of one's skin make them more or less of a person?  How can we who were all created by the same God think we are better than our brother or sister.  At first I felt disgust that other people would act this way.  I could see clearly the effects that hatred has on people.  It poisons their minds and makes them start to justify things that are unjustifiable.  Then I started to look a little closer to home.  Maybe I don't think less of a person because of the color of their skin, or what country they come from, but do I think I am better than someone else because of the way I choose to live?  Do I feel I am superior to someone because I dress better than them?  Why is it that as human beings we seem to be so drawn to judge others, and seem to have the need to put others down in an effort to lift ourselves up?  Why are we so quick to condemn and to even hate, especially when we know hatred eats up the good inside of us.  If we don't learn from history, we are stupid. (No offense)  I read a scripture yesterday that I believe has the cure to all of man's issues with each other.  It is found in the Book of Mormon in 4th Nephi verses 15 and 16.  And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.  Truly if we love God, not only give lip service to it, how can we not love His children. 

Ultimately reading all these books has helped me to realize that I need to be a better person.

Sep 3, 2011

Rise and Shout and call the paramedics!

Football season has arrived.  Game one is in the books.  So much hype leading up to this game-verdict defense deserved the hype-offense not so much.  Although the offense put together a stellar drive towards the end, and controlled the ball for most of the game they couldn't score.  My gut feeling is that they will pull it together, but it better be soon.  I don't know if I can take many more games like this one.  I am pretty sure my heart stopped! Van Noy is my hero!  Cougars tough out the win 14-13, but it was ugly.  Here's hoping Heaps and company have something better to show us next week against the Longhorns.

Finally fall weather (yes there was definitely a fall feel to the air today), and football. It doesn't get any better than this!