Saturday, May 16, 2009

More of the Contrasts Here...

Things have been quite exciting here since I returned home to the land of paradise. It seems like I was gone so long that it took about 20 minutes for my youngest to warm up to me.


In case you haven't heard...the munchkins and I (all 5 of them) are headed back to Southern California in a few weeks. Just a 2 month pit stop before we arrive in Colorado.


Opps, did that escape my throat??? Sorry...our condo has been out of HOT water since I got back. And did I mention the cable has been out for 4 weeks. We don't watch very much T.V. but I love using it as an incentive. With all the kid's channels in Spanish...I can also chalk it up as a language class, right?

I do have mixed feelings on the subject of leaving of course. I know we will never have this opportunity again. I love what this country has done for us as a family, as an American of the United States and as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint. Boy are we blessed.

When I was back in the states a few weeks ago...I just knew it was time. I sat in a public library and I think I cooed out loud!

No really! I did.

The idea of city sports and public school will send me into a frenzy of giggles.

Hee, hee.

Hee, hee....hee, hee!


I want all that again and I want my kids to have that and it is time. For every time there is a season, right? This season is regrets but looking forward to our next season.

Changing the subject now...
The beginning of this week I watched my little (adorable) nephew while his mom had some important work to do. I got to watch him at her hotel. It was amazingly fantastic!

Here is my sweet girl on the private stairs that lead to our suite.
The pool surrounded by Tarzan vines. You can't tell from the picture but a river runs under the pool.
This is the restaurant of course.
Out our balcony view of the city.
Corridor through the hotel.
Had to throw this cute one in. I love these chairs.
This mini pool was in our room...
in it's own room of course. Nice. I think my sweetie and I need to try out this hotel by ourselves.

In case you were wondering it's new and called The Beacon. (in Escuzu)

Friday, May 15, 2009

How Cool is This???

I just found this on one of my FAV cooking websites,

She hallowed out half a watermelon then set her jello inside and poked chocolate chips in the half set jello.  How adorable?  I usually don't mess with food for kids that takes too much time...but with this I would get ALL the watermelon and they could have ALL the jello.


Speaking of's been raining this afternoon with deliberate crackles and pops of thunder, LOVE IT!
So I had to bake something.  I made cinnamon rolls, actually sticky buns.  You know where you don't frost them but let them simmer in a caramel sauce and the flip them over so the sauce seeps into every nook and cranny and slides down the sides.  

Yeah...I made those.

This time I used maple syrup, butter, sweetened condensed milk, Karo syrup and....hazelnut coffee creamer.

Can you say "Zouzers?"

My best yet...great way to end the day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Little About my Adventures...

So Women's Conference was just what I needed. What a way to start the day off having 13,000 women in a HUGE conference center singing a hymn about our love for the Savior. I always get choked up during the songs.

One of my favorite moments was as President Beck was delivering a nice message...she suddenly choked up...and said:


"We need to stop playing the victim role as women and FIGHT! Fight for our homes, our families, our children and our standards!" (I'm going off memory here)

It was just an inspiring moment for me!

I'll talk more about other talks I loved, Sunday.

Friday night I had the pleasure of having a girls night with some special friends of mine from our short life (1.5 years) in Utah over 10 years ago. What a wonderful night that was for me. It's amazing that even though I hadn't seen 2 of the 3 women in 10 years...we just took off where we left off. Actually I think we took off further than we left off. What jewels these women are to me.

Then I headed to my Uncle Ron's place. There is this white board that has welcomed visitors for years. I was excited to find this note waiting for me. Isn't it just grand when traditions stand strong?

My uncle is the chef of the family. I sure wasn't missing my In-N-Out while at his home. We had Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, salad with dried cranberries and the most interesting soda I have ever had.
Thanks Ron! (wink, wink)
My aunt Sheila drove from Colorado to hang out with us. She is my mother's sister and I just LOVE her!
She taxied me around Saturday to get all my errands done. Whew! We both have this talent of asking someone a question that would completely put them on the spot, but in the nicest way.

So you can imagine how it is when we both get together. Love it!
I didn't find In-N-Out but I did find this. Old School Burgers. I might even say it's better. The bun was larger and softer but the taste, although close, wasn't exactly the same.
BUT...the french fries were 50 times better. Oh yeah baby.

I ate pretty healthy on this trip but I will admit here and now that after devouring this meal for dinner Monday night...I went back for seconds Tuesday at lunch. It was so worth it!!
I had to throw this shot in. Since Wes's plane didn't get in the night before I had to leave...I didn't see him and most importantly (just teasing) I didn't get to grab his nice rolling luggage. Instead...

I made this. Pretty creative. If I really had time I would have taped a skateboard to the bottom. That would have been useful!!!
That little white dot is the moon. Couldn't pass up this shot from my airplane window.
These shoes hit the trashcan yesterday. They have served me well. They have traversed this country with me though dangerous sidewalks, muddy streets, $4.00 movies and crazy taxi rides. They recently came to their demise as two rather cavernous holes broke through the bottoms as I walked miles (and miles, and miles) did I mention miles? on this Utah/Colorado adventure. I had to take a farewell picture.
I was so lucky to head up to Colorado to my amiga Emily's home. Her and her husband Rob were great hosts. Their kids were just AWESOME! Poor Jake...I made him stand outside for a picture before he headed off to school on my last day. All their kids are just amazing.
Do you remember when I posted about my night (BY MYSELF) in my hotel room!
I had to take a picture to memorialize that experience. Look how rested I look.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

J.P.'s Big Daddy Biscuits

J.P.'s Big Daddy Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
3. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead 15 to 20 times. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet.
4. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown.

This recipe is wonderful, but do you want to know what makes them go from 4 star to 5 star? Two things. First, after you make the dough and cut your biscuits set them on a sheet of aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray and let them sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. This lets the baking powder react and creates the "HUGE" biscuit effect.
Also, add more butter or even better add more butter flavored Crisco. WOW!

You can't go wrong with these. In all honesty, I usually add these to a meal last minute when I know I just need something else added to dinner. But when I do decide ahead of time and put them in the out...your kids will fight over them.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

And the Winner Is...


Congratulations Lorena.

Thank you everyone for playing along. I LOVED checking the comments you left. What a fun week for me!

I wish, of course that I could send everyone a package. This blog has been the best thing for me while we adventured here in Costa Rica. I have felt I was still in the loop with family and friends. When events happened here...I was better able to handle them thinking "This will make an interesting post!"

Let's have fun with this...

Lorena would you like me to take a picture of each item and tell you what you are getting? Or do you want to be my special guest speaker on my blog when you get that package? Your choice. I'm warning you it will take WEEKS for it to arrive.

Nothing I can do about that...sorry.

Thanks again everyone!

Tomorrow... I will post about our "exodus" plans. Yes, we have decided to leave this paradise.