Sunday, April 28, 2013

Texas San Antonio Spanish Speaking Mission

Congrats to my nephew, Austin Montgomery for being called to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter - Day Saints. He has been assigned to serve in the Texas San Antonio Spanish speaking mission. He reports June 12th to the MTC in Provo.

June 12th is a good date for him since college basketball coaches want him back in two years for the basketball season/school year (to have the summer to train. Oh, and he is 6'8" and one bright kid). He is trying to decide between University of Utah, MIT in Boston, and BYU after the mission. He has had numerous academic scholarships too.

Austin currently lives in Georgia so the climate isn't going to be too much different for him. No doubt, Austin will be a great missionary! He is just an overall good kid. Everyone who has been to San Antonio says it is a great city! We will see if he comes back a San Antonio Spurs fan.?. ;)  Congrats again, Elder Montgomery!

P.S. Austin's dad, Bruce, guessed the right mission! :)

Post update: Since I typed this post,  I found out that Austin has committed to play basketball for the University of Utah when he gets home from his mission. It will be fun to go and watch some of his games in SLC! Congrats Austin! So many life changing decisions/events in one weekend!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Oh, My Aching Teeth

See that awesome x-ray in the picture? Yep, those are my teeth. By looking at that screen, you can tell I have had a lot of work done on my teeth...not a little, but A LOT!! No I am not proud of it, not at all. I blame my parents for my horrible teeth - really, I do because I think the genetic makeup of your teeth are hereditary (I won't tell you how many cavities my two oldest boys have had filled - remember, it's hereditary. I feel so bad for passing on that bad gene!). People have said to me often, "You have such nice teeth!" Yeah, well they may look nice cosmetically, but inside they are horrible. You may be wondering...well, does she brush her teeth twice a day? The answer is yes. You may also be wondering...does she floss everyday? Again, the answer is yes. Okay, so I wasn't always the best at flossing until a dental hygienist once told me that if you were stuck in the middle of no where and had to choose between either brushing or flossing - if you could only pick one...that flossing would be the better choice. That little tip has always stuck in my head since I heard it. You may also be thinking...does she drink pop religiously? The answer is no. I do occasionally, but I am not an addict to pop. An addict to sweets maybe, but not just in particular pop. ;) On to the story...

One day I was brushing my teeth and out of no where a chunk of a tooth came out on the lower left. So beyond not cool. Where did that come from? Wow, my teeth are literally crumbling...nothing to brag about - that's for sure. So I calmly showed it to Curtis and he said, "You better make an appointment." I go to the dentist faithfully every six months...I am not a slacker with that even though going to the dentist is a fear I have lately (too many bad experiences...because of all of the serious work). Again, see the picture above. So, I make an appointment, go and have to get a crown on the cracked tooth. It wasn't bad. After all, I had had six crowns done previous to that one. It was a piece of cake crown and the numbness wore off really quickly which I liked. This crown took place on a Thursday. The next day, Friday my upper left was achy. I just figured it was because my mouth had been pried open from the day before or from the rubber dam. The next day the ache was worse. I texted my dentist (who I think is a perfectionist of a dentist - very thorough and caring of a guy) and told him my situation. He prescribed me an antibiotic because my gums were swollen and inflamed. I told him I thought it was maybe some food stuck or something and it had created an infection. Well, I got my antibiotics, and the next day I knew which tooth it was. My top back left. It already had a deep filling in it. Swell, just swell. So I called and scheduled an appointment. They could get me in the next day. At this point, I was in agony. I made it to the next day and got the root canal done and the crown (now I have eight crowns - lets not talk about how much all of this cost because it makes me sick). The tooth was so infected and awful. The root canal took three hours. Not comfortable, not comfortable and all. Luckily I survived. I wasn't sure I would, but I did. Seriously, I would have rather been in labor than gone through joke! That night was the worst night of my life. The most pain I had ever been in EVER! Nothing would numb the pain. I slept a total of one hour that night. I was walking in circles, pacing in AGONY. Lying down made it worse. Like I said, WORST. NIGHT. EVER. Curtis didn't know what to do for me. He did take the next day off from work so I could sleep - good thing the pain lessened so I could.

 I kept thinking to myself, "Be grateful you didn't lose a limb at Boston. You be grateful you aren't a pioneer in this situation. You be grateful the next time you have no pain." All I can say is that I really feel for people who are in constant pain whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. I hope this taught me to have more empathy towards those who are suffering.

 My infection is slowly going away with the antibiotics and I still take my 600 mg of ibuprofen more often that I should, but I am on the mend. Time does heal. And for all of you reading this who only have had a few cavities here and there filled  - BE GRATEFUL!!! And, I'm totally jealous of you!!!!;) And I wish Curtis were a save us some money or  I at least wish someone in my extended family were a dentist. ;) Good thing I am brainwashing my two older boys. ;) I always tell them I need one of them to be a dentist, and the other to be a doctor. Still trying to decide on what I want Christian to be when he grows up. ;)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Creamed Potatoes and Peas

Creamed Potatoes and Peas totally reminds me of my Grandma Bessie. She first introduced me to this delicious side dish many years ago. Oh, so good!! Curtis thinks about creamed potatoes and peas often. ;) 

Here you go...

2 lbs. red potatoes, boiled
1/4 cup butter 
3 TBS. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup evaporated milk
10 oz. frozen peas
1/2 cup onion, diced
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut potatoes in half and place on greased baking pan. Sprinkle peas over potatoes. In saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add milk, stirring constantly until right consistency. Pour sauce over vegetables. Top with bacon and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Instagram Photos as of Late Part 6

The writing says in the bottom right corner, "With love Eva age 17." This is my grandma - my mom's mom. Even though she passed away from cancer before I was born, I feel her presence. She was one classy lady. Perfection in her dress, cooking, house, and yard.

Can't get enough of this little guy! He just sits there and smiles...I can't not take a picture!

Couldn't find these two anywhere...found they had set up camp in the back of the car with the iPad. Life was sweet for them while I was mowing the lawn. Boys...

Easter egg hunt 2013. Decided to have one in our own yard instead of going to a community one to have it last 10 seconds.

Left to right: Susan (Curtis' oldest sibling), Heather her daughter, and me. This was at Heather's farewell. She is now in the MTC being trained to go to the New Jersey, Morristown mission. She will be AWESOME!!

Throwback Thursday. July 4, 2011

The boyz with Grandma and Grandpa Holtom.

Just a little bit of raspberry custard and a hamburger for dinner from Nielsen's Frozen Custard. 

Cannon with Ms. Deana for pajamas and pancakes day at preschool.

Instagram Photos as of Late Part 5

It was a great day to visit a soda fountain shop! There was even a very talented 10 year-old boy playing the piano as background music.

This baby is too cute for words!

My oldest sister Becky, me and my next door neighbor growing up, Brooke. Good times! Good memories!

This flag was at half mast because of the Boston bombings. Pray for Boston, Pray for America.

Braved taking these three to the public library alone. They headed straight for the DVD section...not the books. Oh dear!

My miniature weeping willow tree is starting to blossom and bloom.

Each of the three boys at 6 months doing their circus act with their dad. Left to right: Cannon, Carter, and  Christian.

Cannon asked for an orange piece of gum from my purse. There were two pieces left. He said  he would eat one and he would save one for Carter after he woke up from his nap. I walked upstairs and saw this! Bahahaha! 

Let your talents blossom primary talent show. Carter identified car logos and Cannon sang, "I Am a Child of God."

Yes! My Cafe Rio card is next meal there is FREE!

Cannon playing doctor with Carter. I always brainwash (oops, I mean) tell my boys that I need one of them to be a doctor and the other to be a dentist. Good skills to have later on....

Carter boy with his dad's glasses looking like he is 12 years-old. ;)

Curtis took the boys to McDonald's for dinner one night, and while there sent me this picture. ICK!!! Remember: crack kills!

Carter, Cousin Max, and Cannon

Silly selfies. My sisters and I like to take cheesy pictures of ourselves and send them to each other. Bahahaha!

The Browning Boyz on Easter morning.

Reading Buddies

My pathetic teeth shown on the screen. Had to get another crown while there. Ugh! Even though I have been to the dentist a bazillion times in my life, I still get scared/nervous.

Mrs. Powell's for breakfast one Saturday morning. 

Love running into the missionaries while we are out and about.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pina Colada/Coconut Cake

Here is an easy, yummy, and a bit different than the ordinary cake. It is light and fluffy. Perfect for any time of the year. People who try it rant and rave about it.

-1 white cake mix with pudding already added
-1 tub of Cool Whip
-Grated Coconut
-1 - 16 oz. bottle of cream of coconut (can be found in the liquor department)
-1 can of crushed pineapple (optional) I have made the cake with pineapple and without - both YUM!

Mix cake as directed and bake in 13X9" pan (other times I have used a sheet pan - goes further for more people). Remove from oven and while hot, punch lots of holes in the cake with a fork. Then pour 3/4 can of cream of coconut over the hot cake. Add remaining 1/4 left of Cream of Coconut to Cool Whip and fold in well. Spread on top of cooled cake and sprinkle coconut over the top. Refrigerate.
*One small can of crushed pineapple can be spread over cake between Cool Whip frosting and cake.

You won't be disappointed...I promise!!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Love Idaho

In order to listen to this video be sure to:
1) Pause my playlist at the bottom of this blog.
2) Hover over the video and click on the volume icon in the upper left hand corner.

Christian Saying "Dada"

To listen to adorable Christian you must do two things:

1)Be sure to pause my music playlist at the bottom of the blog.

2) Hover over the vine video of Christian, and you will see a sound icon come up in the upper left corner, make sure to click that so the sound is on.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Sunset Thoughts/Analogies

Tonight I was outside in the wind, the horrible, troublesome wind. Boxes were flying everywhere from someone's yard, sagebrush was rolling along, and I think I saw a plastic bag or two floating in the air. The wind in Idaho is fierce - fierce and relentless I tell you. As I was trying to gather the cardboard boxes, I caught a glimpse of the sun setting. It was beautiful with the orange, red and yellowish hues. I hurried and contained the boxes so I could take a picture of the sunset with my phone. As I scurried to snap the shot, my camera was full on my phone - I had previously used up all of the space/storage. I was frantically deleting previous pictures so I could get that vibrant sunset. When I thought I had deleted enough photos, I positioned my phone/camera again to take the picture, but I noticed that the sun was gone under the skyline. "Shoot!" I thought to myself..."I missed it!"  I was sad and discouraged. Two thoughts/analogies immediately crossed my mind relating to the situation: 

1) I need to be better prepared and focused. My phone was too full to get that great sunset picture. If I had been ready and had deleted photos previously, I could have enjoyed the whole scene more fully in the present, and later on by going back and looking at the photo on my phone. Note to self: I need to be better prepared in general in my life. Better equipped spiritually to help myself and more importantly my family as turbulent winds surround us in these last days. Getting more food storage needs to be a priority. Going to the temple more often is a way I can be better prepared to help ward off Satan. Journaling/recording the now, so later on I can look back and remember memories created.

 2) Despite all of the rumble and rushing winds surrounding me - there is beauty and good around. Spending more time deliberately paying more/better attention to my boys while building positive relationships that really matter, is what it is all about. There is no better time than now to soak in the young stages the boys are in. Some days I wish they were more independent, but when that thought enters my head I need to let Trace Adkins' song go through my head, "You're gonna miss this." I truly need to savor the stages they are in now, for it will soon be gone - just like the sun was gone before I knew it. And remember, I was really sad that I missed it. I don't want to later on be depressed and have regrets regarding their younger years. A worthwhile goal of mine is to be more in the present with relationships. More specifically - seek the good in people and seek the positive in the world because there really is a lot out there. People in general are good, and have a lot to offer. Although the winds were about 50 mph, the sunset still trumped the cold, frigid wind. The sun caught my attention enough that I was willing to stand in the unpleasantness to enjoy its beauty.

Even though I sure dislike the disturbing Idaho wind, because of it, I went outside and gained insight that warmed my soul.

Some of our Favorite Children's Books

Just a few of  the  books the boys have really enjoyed reading (that we  read quite often).

Cannon reading to Carter Llama, Llama Mad at Mama. Carter picked out that book. ;)
We are suckers for children's books at our house. We read Every time Cannon's preschool teacher sends home book orders, I can't help myself...I just have to order!! Books are so, so very important to everyone, no matter the age, but extremely crucial when children are very young. I started reading to all of my boys at age two months. A lot of times when I give baby gifts...I like to throw in a book(s) with the gift. Reading really is the key to success! If you can read and comprehend, it makes all other subjects that much easier to understand. And when I was a school teacher and had parent teacher conferences, I would always encourage the parents to read with their children (even though I taught 6th graders). It is a great way to get one-on-one time with a child while reading and learning. Having the parents read aloud is also critical so children can hear expression, pronunciation, etc. One of the best examples though, is if a child sees his/her dad reading. I read that in a study when I was in college. Dad's reading with their children is so, so good!!! No wonder I tell Curtis to read so much - that study is still in my brain. ;)

Here are the titles of the books pictured on the table above (just a few of our favorites, couldn't fit anymore books on the table) ;) :

-Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
-Time for Bed
-Muddy Paws
-Love You Forever
-My World
-Llama Llama Mad at Mama
-Where the Wild Things Are
-Skippyjon Jones
-Five Minutes' Peace (one of my favorites as a mom)
-Corduroy (I loved this when I was a little girl)
-Hop on Pop
-Hand, Hand, Finger, Thumb
-Owl Babies
-The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School
-What Time is it, Mr. Crocodile?
-Caps for Sale
-I Spy books
-Mr. Brown can Moo! Can You?
-Guess How Much I Love You
-If You See a Kitten (great for 2 month olds and young, young babies/children)
-Curious George and the Pizza Party
-If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
-The Eye Book
-The Itsy Bitsy Spider
-Goodnight Moon
-The Very Hungry Caterpillar
-From Head to Toe
-Black and White Rabbit's ABC
-Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
-Llama Llama Red Pajama
-Grandma's Secret (old school book found at a garage sale - only look for books if I go to one)
-The Carrot Seed
-B is for Bear (good one for babies too)
-The Monster at the End of this Book (was Curtis' book when he was little) ;)
-BOB books (perfect for beginning readers. Cannon has them mastered, working with Carter)
-Mr. Noisy
-The Best Mouse Cookie (then the boys want to make cookies after reading this) ;)
-Fox in Socks
-Officer Buckle and Gloria
-What Makes a Rainbow (great for teaching colors)

There are so many other books we enjoy reading. Is there a must-have book that I don't have on this list? Please share!!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

183rd General Conference April 2013

I ALWAYS look forward to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints General Conference that takes place every first Sunday in the months of April and October. It is uplifting and a blessing to hear from the prophet and apostles living on the earth today! Conference always lifts my spirit, rejuvenates me, and makes me desire to be a better person.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from conference:

"We need to protect our nests; we need to protect our homes." -Pres. Boyd K. Packer

"We must build a sure foundation of Jesus Christ." -Elder Dean M. Davies (My sister, Becky knows him and used to babysit for him when they lived in CA).

"What e'er thou art, act well thy part." - used in Sister Elaine S. Dalton's talk

"We must never lose sight of the strength of women." -Sister Elaine S. Dalton

"Young women are making a difference because they are different." -Sister Elaine S. Dalton

"We have unlimited eternal potential, but how many of us are undernourished and wilting because we ignore that which would propel us to meet our potential?" -Elder M. Russell Ballard

"Let His light and His living water do for you what a little water and light did in bringing back to life a weakened tomato plant." -Elder M. Russell Ballard

"Draw near unto me, and I will draw near unto you." -Pres. Henry B. Eyring

"It will be a joy to hear, 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant.'" -Pres. Henry B. Eyring

"If you youth reviewed a passage of scriptures as often as you send a text, you would have innumerable scriptures memorized by now." -Elder Richard G. Scott

"Act obediently in your promptings." -Elder Richard G. Scott

"Righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace." -Elder Quentin L. Cook

"Do you want me to speak directly, or with sugar?" -Elder Stanley G. Ellis

"How we raise our children is more important than where we raise our children." -Elder Stanley G. Ellis

"Guilt is to our spirit what pain is to our body." -Elder David A. Bednar

"Catch the wave!" -Elder Russell M. Nelson

"We don't have to wait to cross the finish line to receive God's blessings." -Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"Spiritual light rarely comes to those who merrily sit in the darkness waiting for someone to flick the switch." -Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"Paint a missionary badge on your heart." -Elder Neil L. Andersen

"To better re-connect with our families, we need to disconnect the electronics." - Sister Rosemary M. Wixom

"To speak to a child's heart, we must speak to their needs." - Sister Rosemary M. Wixom

"Marriages should be based on cooperation, not negotiation." -Elder L. Whitney Clayton

"Marriage is a gift from God. A happy, successful marriage is a gift from us to the Lord." -Elder L. Whitney Clayton

"Obedience to law is liberty." -Elder L. Tom Perry

"Society today only respects and honors four of the 10 commandments. We are still expected not to lie, steal, or murder, and most agree kids should respect their parents. The other six commandments are generally disregarded, shunned, or openly mocked." -Elder L. Tom Perry

"Knowledge of the truth comes as we are obedient to the commandments of God." -Pres. Thomas S. Monson

"Hold fast to what you already know." -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

"Imperfect people are all God has to work with - that must frustrate Him terribly, but He deals with it. So should we." - Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

"When doubt or difficulty come - don't be afraid to ask for help." - Elder Jeffrey R. Holland"

"Fan the flame of your faith." -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

"You have more faith than you think you have." -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

"Home is that place that can become a piece of heaven here on earth." -Elder Enrique R. Falabella

"Boys are more important than houses." -Elder Todd D. Christofferson

"If we will put our trust in the Lord - He will help us with our difficulties no matter what they may be." -Pres. Thomas S. Monson

Did you have a favorite quote? A favorite talk?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Banana Pudding Recipe from Magnolia's Bakery in NYC

Oh my goodness gracious!!! This pudding is to die for...and I am not that much of a pudding lover!!! The recipe is from Magnolia's Bakery in NYC, so I thought I would give it a try...and I hope you do the same. Not only is this pudding beyond delicious, but it is super easy to make (even better)! It is good on the first day, better on the second day, and best on the third day!


16 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups of cold water
small box of instant pudding mix
3 cups of heavy cream (I get this at Sam's Club)
one box of Nilla Wafers (got at Sam's)
4 sliced bananas (got at Sam's also)


Beat sweetened condensed milk and the water in a bowl with a mixer for about a minute.
Add the pudding mix and continue beating for two more minutes.
Cover and refrigerate for at lease four hours (I did mine overnight).
When done refrigerating, in a large bowl whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks have formed (in other words mix it for a while), then gently fold into chilled pudding mixture until it is all combined.
In a large bowl or trifle bowl (like I used), start layering: wafers, bananas, pudding. Repeat three or four times. 
When it was all made, I put crushed Nilla Wafers on top.

Enjoy, Enjoy, and Enjoy!