Friday, December 31, 2010

Aisling left yesterday and we are home alone (luckily not as in the movie)
We wish all of our friends and family a very
Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Farewell to an Incredible Woman

Today was my Great Aunt's funeral. She is a Great Aunt in more ways than just genealogy. She is my Grandmother's Sister. She died last week at the age of 103.
Here she is in 2007 at my dad's funeral. She is in the middle in the light colored suit.
From the left: Aunt Georgia, Mom, Uncle Frank, Aunt Helen Dickson, Uncle John, Aunt Helen Walker, Uncle Ron, Aunt Alice, Uncle Milt, and Aunt Rhea.

Aunt Helen was an incredible woman. Her husband died about 64 years ago. Aunt Helen taught school to support and raise her boys. She taught me in the 6th grade. She also taught all the rest of my siblings.
Aunt Helen was an incredible crocheter (is that a word?). When we got married she gave us a set of embroidered tea towels. Here is an afghan she crocheted and won a purple ribbon on at the county fair. She gave it to me and I treasure it. This picture doesn't do it justice, but it is a beautiful afghan.

I am so grateful to know that Aunt Helen and her sweetheart Uncle Ariel are together again and having an incredible reunion.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Awesomely Talented Sweetie!!

Laurence has always been very talented when working with wood. The last couple of years he has been making walking sticks from Diamond Willow. He does a BEAUTIFUL job!! This walking stick he made for Brother Macdonald. Brother Macdonald has been so good to Laurence, has given him diamond willow and advice. Laurence took two diamond willows and a friend took them to his shop and grafted them together. He did such an incredible job that you don't even know it's grafted unless you know where to look.
He sewed really soft deer hide for a grip.
Laurence sanded the willow until it was absolutely soft to the touch. I love the feel when they're like that. Then he put on multiple coats of sealant and oil; sanding between each coat.
Brother Macdonald is Native American so Laurence made this stick with an Angel Moroni on top, then flags/symbols from the tribe of Ephraim, the tribe of Manasseh, the tribe of Israel, the U.S. flag and the Fort Peck Tribe.

I sent the camera when Laurence took this over to Doug, but..... Laurence forgot to use it :) Doug says he is going to make a stand for the walking stick so he can display it. I hope to get to see it then.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


We are so grateful for the opportunity Christmas
gives us to remember our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Awesome Chuck Roast!

Since we got our current stake president, we have had many stake dinners that featured wonderful beef and pork roast as the main dish. Our stake president has his own ranch and he is an incredible cook.

I have taken his recipe and modified it to fit my own tastes. Don't tell him, but I think mine is as yummy as his!! ;) By the way, a stake is a unit within our church, and it includes 5-8 wards or branches. This keeps the church very organized.

Start with a chuck roast. In my case, not nearly as large as President Griffin's. Mine was about 3-4 pounds. I think he does about 8 pound roasts, and cooks them all day.

Season it very well with Redmond RealSalt All Natural Sea Salt and Redmond RealSalt Natural Season Salt. Rub in the seasoning. I have to tell you I LOVE all the RealSalt products!! Until I started using RealSalt, I didn't ever use salt I thought it tasted funny. Now I use salt all the time, much to my family's delight!!

Anyway, I digress. After you have seasoned the roast place it in a cast iron dutch oven. Add about 1 can of beef broth, and put the lid on it. With the oven at 275 degrees, cook for about 5-6 hours if it is a smaller roast. Cook longer if larger. Cook it until the meat falls apart and off the bone.

Now if I have to tell you what to do next you are in deep trouble.... Ours was so yummy that I totally forgot to take a picture of it. That's not necessarily a bad thing;)

Happy Christmas!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I always enjoyed working with stained glass in 3-D. Here are some of my angels. I only get them out at Christmas. Most of them are green..... reason.... cuz green didn't sell well :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Many Addictions

Since Aisling has no use for my "collections" and they will probably end up on eBay after I die, I thought I would share them with the world. Most of these are sets that you had to buy one piece at a time from Hallmark.

This is only one piece. However is does light up and play music...

They really add up when you buy one a year. As you can tell I don't do it every year.

The fireplace lights up and flickers to make the bear family cozy.

This has a votive candle that I usually replace with a battery operated one.

My cute little Charlie Brown tree.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Saturday was our day at the temple in Billings.
I really like the nativity they have displayed there. It is so simple and elegant with a the focus on what is truly important. Jesus Christ. There is beautiful Christmas music playing. You can tell it is lit at night; but of course I didn't see it.
It was an overcast day, but that and the snow on the branches made for a pretty picture.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What Every Girl Needs!!

Yes, one more to add to all her friends!!
Here is the 2010 model of Celebration Barbie.

I wasn't going to get one this year, but I was in Billings today and she literally BEGGED me to bring her home to play with the others.

What else is a girl to do?! You can't refuse those pleading eyes!!

Carmen asked if I had a favorite, I think my favorites are my very first ones. But, I also like the porcelain ones, and I love Aisling's set she got from Cari, and I like the newer ones, and I like the stocking hangers oh and I love the ones commemorating the new millenium.... the ones with real fabric are really cool....

Friday, December 3, 2010

Barbie's View of Christmas;)

"Keep the beauty of Christmas in your heart every day of the year" Closing Quote to "Barbie, A Christmas Carol"
Can I just tell you that I love Barbie?! I didn't have a Barbie as a child. I did however get a Skipper when I was about 8. Dad made a wooden wardrobe and my mom made a wardrobe for her. LOVE it!!
However after we got married, I started collecting Barbie Hallmark ornaments. Silly? Absolutely!!

A few years ago I was able to find two that were stocking hangers. SO CUTE!!
I haven't been able to find any others, I don't know that they made more.

There is a set of 4 that are from other backgrounds. Chinese, Native American, Mexican and Russian. These were all given to Aisling once a year when she was little by a dear friend, Cari Jenrich. We so love her.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Showing Off!! ;)

This is a Santa I made years ago when I was doing stained glass.
Nearly every year I forget to get him out because I don't keep him with the rest of my Christmas decor.
I was so pleased with myself for remembering to get him out and putting him up BEFORE Christmas is over.
It's not that he is intricate or anything, he certainly isn't but I like him anyway.
I tell you; I am going to get into the season!!

Friday, November 26, 2010


I love Christmas!!
I couldn't always say that, but I'm working hard to get my heart back into it!!
My FAVORITE thing is to get out my Nativity and set it up.
My Nativity isn't elegant, it isn't huge
but it's mine and I LOVE it!!
Laurence and I bought the ceramic nativity set when we first got married.
We got it at that famous, chic boutique...... Costco ;)
However, it is the stable that I LOVE!
My dad made the stable years and years ago.
I remember him and mom going out to the honey house (which doubled as a shop in the winter),
and coming back with a stable for mom.
He had used a wooden box that some sort of bee supplies came in.
I wanted one so dad went back out and used the other half of the box and made one for me.
The other stable and nativity set will go to Aisling at some point in the future.
I made the ceramic nativity set that Mom has.
But hers isn't fancy either. I'm not an artist so hers is all cream colored with an antique wash on it.
I have shown this pot holder in the past.
In the summer each pot holds pretty flowering plants.
At Christmas it is all decked out with 3 arrangements my friend Kit made for me.
They don't look as goood this year as they did last year when they were fresh, but they're still great!
 (And she has moved so there went my on demand florist:)

These are a Few of My Favorite Things!!

I never have been, nor will I ever be accused of being a a wonderful decorator. I wish I was. I wish I were able to put cherished things together and make my home look like it came out of some wonderful magazine.
Instead I simply collect the things I like and enjoy them for myself. Perhaps when we move, my talented neighbors will help me to do it beautifully!! (Hint, hint....)
For now let me share a couple of things that I cherish.
These are two shaving mugs. The first belongs to Laurence's dad, Lawrence. It is a "proper" shaving mug. It has the inside lip and the brush. So cool! 

Laurence's father's (Lawrence Pitt) shaving mug
Thursday Laurence put up a couple of shadow boxes for me to they could each have their own little nook. Thanks sweetie!!
I jokingly told Laurence that I should get my dad's. He agreed. Then I told him that dad used an old melamine teacup and brush. Nothing real attractive. I wonder if mom still has it...
This little item is one that every girl that went through Primary in our church when I did and before will recognize. It says "I will bring the Light of the Gospel into My Home". It was all cross-stitched except for my name at the bottom. I had it framed in a cheap, cheesy metal frame and it had gotten a little damp. I restored it and had it framed. I believe that we did this when we were 10 years old. I am so glad I still have this little momento. AND it has my name on it so there is no confusing who the owner is..... there must be literally thousands of them out there.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sheri and Janice Came to Visit!!

Shortly after I got home from Seattle Sheri, Janice and little Ellie came to visit. They were on their way back to Arlington after visiting their parents who are serving a mission for our church in Nauvoo. They were here less than 24 hours and we LOVED every minute of their visit!!! I took them to Castle Rock Lake (more affectionately called the surge pond around here). It was fun to get the feet wet. I think Ellie particularly liked it as she was tired of that darn car seat. (And who can blame her?)
Next we went to the Rosebud Mine. After a brief safety training, Laurence took us on a tour. Ellie graciously slept through the entire thing, bless her heart. Here are Janice and Sheri inside one of the smaller buckets.

I love the sight of a silouetted dragline. I know that's corny, but it is really a sight I've come to love. This was taken from the bottom of the pit. Unfortunately we weren't able to get permission to take them onto the dragline. RATS!
Gotta love these Kress haulers. (They hold 250 tons of coal) They always make you feel so insignificant. However, Sheri and Janice have too much personality to let even a Kress make them insignificant!!
I was hoping to see some wildlife to show off, but all we saw was this guy and lots of deer. They frequently see bobcats, mountain lions, fox, coyotes and many others out there. (Laurence had a bobcat outside his office window last week.)
With plenty of bribing with Mickey D's happy meal toys, Ellie finally warmed up to me. What a cutie!!
As a GRAND FINALE, Janice did my toes!! She has no idea how badly I have wanted her to do that. I feel so girly!! AND here we are weeks later and the flowers and the jewel are still perfect!! Thanks Janice!
And thus ends our wonderful visit from Janice, Sheri and Ellie. Come again really soon!!
We Love You!!