Monday, April 27, 2009

Torture Debate...what do you think?

I am interested to see what people think about the waterboarding and torture debate that is going on in the U.S. right now. Do you think our methods were warranted? Do you think they saved lives? Does it matter? What do you think about Guantanamo inmates being released in the U.S.? What are you--a Jack Bauer type, like me? Or are you with Barak Obama on this one?Click HERE to go on over to My Crazy Politics, and read the article I found today on National Review Online, and tell me what you think!


We learned a fun new dice game that the whole family can play--GREED! It's super fun, and really easy for everyone to play, even little Ashlie! We had a great time playing it for family night. You just keep rolling the dice and add up the scores. These are the rules that we play by--there are probably like 20 different versions if you google it.
You have 6 dice--the person rolls all 6 dice to start with and these are the values:
1=100 points
5=50 points
3 1's on one roll=1000 points
3 of any number in one roll=that number X 100
4 of any number in one roll=that number X 200
5 of any number in one roll=that number X 300
6 of any number in one roll=that number X 400
3 pairs in one roll=800 points
1,2,3,4,5,6 in one roll=1,200 points
You get to keep rolling as long as you get a 1 or a 5 or one of the combinations listed above. As long as you keep getting points you add on to your score. (For example, I roll the first time and get two 1's--200 points. Take those ones out and roll the 4 dice, I get one 5, take out the 5 and that's 250, roll 3 dice, I get three 2's, now I have 250 plus the 200=450 points, and I get to roll all 6 dice again.) If at any time you don't get a 1 or a 5 or any of the combinations above, your turn is over. You can stop rolling at any time and pass your remaining dice to the next person. They can choose to try to roll the remaining dice to add on to your score and try to keep going, or can start over fresh with the 6 dice. It was fun to see who in our family is greedy! Try it for your next family night--tons of fun!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Life with Teenagers...

During the last year, I have learned a few things about life with teenagers. I say teenagers in the plural, because Erin is 11, but in the 6th grade. If you haven't been in the 6th grade for awhile, you might not believe what these kids are dealing with at such a young age. My sweet 11 year old has let me know that there are plenty of teenage issues that she has dealt with this year, more even than I wanted to know. She knows kids who have smoked pot, kids who have tried meth, kids who drink, kids who are "going out", kids who have kissed, kids who cuss, she even knows a kid who claims to be homosexual, and one who claims to be "bi". These are things that I don't remember even knowing the least bit about until junior high, or in some cases, even high school, or not at all. Yes, elementary school these days is a whole new world for our sweet children, and they are having to grow up faster, mature faster in order to deal with it all, and process it all.

My 13 year old thought she had seen everything in the 6th grade, but this year has waded her way through the dizzying swamp of teenagers that is junior high school. I could go on and on about what she has seen go on around her, but it would take another huge paragraph. Lets just say that junior high is one scary place to try to find your way. So many kids, dealing with so many different issues, and trying to make their way through life. It's so sad to take a look at some of these kids, the empty look in their eyes, the blank stares on their faces, trying to fit in, trying to find their way. I see so many who you can just tell are lost. Literally, lost.

I have struggled this year to talk to my children, to try to make sure that they know that I care for them, that I want to help them in their struggle to deal with the wickedness that surrounds them, but if you have spent much time talking to a teenager--you will know my struggle. If I just leave them alone, that's where they'll stay, alone. Absorbed into the computer, or their music, or their homework, they don't really have an interest in reaching out to these dear old parents of theirs. I have noticed when they do open up to me, I am usually so quick to judge--or to want to put in my two cents about what I think about the situation. As soon as I do that, they are quick to tune me out, and find something, anything else to listen to or look at. I have found that if I do the opposite of my personality--and be quick to listen, instead of talk, it's amazing the things my children will open up and tell me if I will just be quiet, and listen to what they have to say. What a novel idea, huh?

I have never really been someone who considered myself to be a "friend" to my children. I have always been kind of a "tough love" sort of mom, and I think Todd is that way as well. Even as kids, when they fell down, or hurt themselves, it was like, "get up--be tough, you're fine." We were never the type to run to them and rescue them, we wanted them to be strong, to be independent. I am not the type of mom who will fight the battles for my children--but I do want them to know that I am completely and steadfastly on their side in every battle that they face. More importantly, the Lord is on their side, and with him on their side, they will never be alone. What I have learned as they have grown is that they have become amazing young women. I am not taking credit for this--I think God sent some of his strongest, most amazing spirits into this home for me to raise, and for that I am so grateful. I am in awe of their courage, and their testimonies, and the way they can deal with the situations that have been placed in their path so far. I want them to know that raising teenagers, while a challenge, has been a pleasure because of the good girls that they are. I'm proud of you girls. Stand steadfast, and immovable--and fight the good fight. You're the best!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I am a Rockstar...

Can I just say thank goodness for the easier settings on Guitar Hero World Tour--now we can ALL play this game--even those of us who are physically or mentally challenged in some way, and can't keep up with this game to save our lives! (Uh, huh--I'm talking about me! ) Check this out--I caught Josh playing, when he didn't even know I was taping him at first. He's a ROCKSTAR!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

7 Reasons why it's hard to be a BABY!

This post is courtesy of Abby--who thought these up...wrote them down, and wanted me to put them on my blog. So cute!
1. You have to be chased around and pretend like you like it.
2. You have to wear clothes, even if you don't want to.
3. You have to wear shoes you can't walk in.
4. People expect you to always be cute.
5. You always have to be kissed and hugged by people.
6. The food...YUCK!
7. It's just HARD!
Yeah, my baby has a rough life doesn't he! Good thing he has big sisters and brothers who love the heck out of him!

Friday, April 17, 2009

My Funny Boy...

Just wanted to post about my funny little Jack, and his little bathtime ritual. He is so funny--he cracks us all up! Love this boy...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My photographer...

Emie has taken to photography lately, and she does a pretty good job at it. I love how she really zooms in to capture people's expressions. Here are some pictures of our Easter weekend that she took. I think she may be onto something here--maybe we'll have a professional photographer in the family! We could use one! Good job Em...

Easter at Grandma's...

We went to Grandma and Grandpa Metzger's house for Easter this year with Kimbie and Christian's family. It's fun to get the cousins together--and they all love to see Koda (some of you remember he used to be our dog--but we gave him to Grandma). He is alive and well, and spoiled rotten. They love that dog so much (more than they ever loved me J/K :-) ! Grandpa even shares his Oreos with him--now that's love! It was tons of fun--we played games, colored eggs, the kids made a bunny cake with Grandma, and hung out. I seriously ate way too much this weekend--about 4 pounds too much--ugh! Back on the yo yo!
We went to a wonderful Sacrament meeting with a beautiful talk about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It truly made me want to live better, and try to be a better person for His sake. I am so grateful for the knowledge of a Savior in my life, who loves me and wants to help me to make it back to my Father in Heaven. That is what life is all about. Thanks everyone for a wonderful Easter holiday!My sister Wendy's birthday was always around Easter time--so this was her birthday tradition. She wasn't here with us, but we thought of you as we ate it Wendy--happy birthday Sis! Love you!This is the coolest thing EVER for little kids. You just put the dye in there and put the egg in and they push the top thing to spin it around and get different colors on the egg. It looks so cool, and even the youngest kids can do it. Best of all--it's not as much MESS!Don't they look awesome! So easy and quick!The older kids did theirs the old fashioned way--and made a BIG MESS!But they still turned out great! Good job guys!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Walking the Dog...

Erin and Journey took Koda on a walk and came back with these pictures. I thought the sequence of events was too funny! Enjoy...Who takes a picture of the dog peeing? Yep--my Erin would! You go Koda--let those ants have it!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

This was such a touching conference message by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, I wanted to share it in case there was anyone who hasn't seen it yet. I love the emotion in his voice as he talks about his Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope to have the faith and the devotion to the Savior that he talks about in this message. Easter Sunday is a wonderful time to rededicate our lives to Him, as His disciples. Because he is risen, each of us has hope in our lives. I love Him with all my heart, and am so grateful for his sacrifice on my behalf. I want to live so that He will be proud of me, and the person that I become. Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


YAY ME! I finally got my blog book done from all of last year's posts. It took me awhile to get all of the pictures back when my computer crashed. My friend Tawni makes these FOR you. It turned out SO stinkin' awesome--I absolutely LOVE it! She was nice enough to put together a slide show that I stole to put on here--take a look. If you want one, click on the link below to go to her website at:
Thank you SO much Tawni for doing such a fabulous job--I can't say enough how cute it turned out--and these are only a few of the pages--there are over 250! LOVE IT! It was worth EVERY penny!

If you click on View All Images--it will open up a new window where you can see the pictures larger.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

More Recipes...

Last week, Bashas had bone-in chicken on sale for .97 cents a pound, so I bought a bunch of chicken, and made some more freezer meals. This is another great way to stock the freezer is to just watch sales, and when you find a really good deal on something you can stock up on it and cook a few meals at a time. This way, your freezer will stay stocked, and you will also have a variety of protiens.
Here are some of the meals I put in the freezer last week (I made two of each in about 2 hours after cooking and dicing the chicken):

Country Chicken Pot Pie
(my kids LOVE this one--use whatever herbs you have on hand, it gives a great flavor)
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped carrots
1/3 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. flour
2 c. chicken broth
1 c. evaporated milk
4 c. cooked, chopped chicken
1 c. frozen peas
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp rosemary
Saute onions, celery, and carrots in butter in a large skillet over med. heat until tender. Add flour and stir until smooth. Cook one minute, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and evap. milk. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly. Stir in chicken, peas, and seasonings.
Cool, and divide filling in half (or keep together if you have a large family). Place in one gallon freezer bags. Keep frozen pie crusts on hand in their original packaging. Boxed pie crusts work great. Keep in mind that this recipie makes 2 pot pies.
To prepare: Thaw filling and pie crusts. Shape bottom pie crust, add filling, and top with the other pie crust. Pinch the edges of the two crusts together, and flute or crimp. Make a few slits in the top of the crust for steam to escape. Bake for 30 min. at 425. You may have to cover the outside crust with foil to prevent it from burning.

Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder
(this one is NOT healthy--buy SO yummy!)
4 c. cooked, chopped chicken
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3 T. butter
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 c. hot water
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 c. half and half
2 c. shredded monterey jack cheese
1 can (15 oz.) creamed corn
1 can (4 oz.) green chiles
1/4 tsp. hot sauce (Tabasco)
1 bag tortilla chips
In large saucepan, combine chicken, onion, garlic, and butter. Dissolve bouillon in hot water and add to chicken. Then add cumin and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Cook until cheese is melted. Cool. Pour into a freezer bag and freeze.
To prepare: Thaw and heat. Serve with tortilla chips.

Chicken Divan
(If you're Mormon, you've had it!)
6 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
2 pkg. (10 oz.) chopped broccoli
1 c. mayonaise
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. curry powder
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. dry bread crumbs
2 T. melted butter
Cook broccoli as directed (steamers are great for this recipe). Drain. Mix all ingredients except cheese and bread crumbs. Put into a ziploc freezer bag. Put cheese in a seperate freezer bag. Put both bags into another freezer bag and freeze.
To prepare: Thaw. Put meat mixture into a 9x13 casserole dish. Cover with cheese. Mix bread crumbs with melted butter and sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Conference Tradition...

I love General Conference. I love to gather my family around and hear Prophets, seers, and revelators declare and testify the words of our Father in Heaven. I love to hear them bear testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I love to listen to stories of faith, past and present. I love it because it makes me want to be better. A better mom, a better wife, a better person. It makes me want to be someone who my Heavenly Father would be proud of--the woman He wants me to be, the woman He knows I can be.
Another reason I love General Conference is because Todd's family has a great conference tradition. I'm not sure when this tradition started--but I know it was before I joined the family 15 years ago. Everyone in our family takes notes during conference, so that after conference we can gather together, and Grandma and Grandpa bring candy bars, and each member of the family, youngest to oldest, has the opportunity to tell the group something they learned that day. If they do, they get rewarded with a candy bar. Over the years, this has meant buying more and more candy bars--(over 40 this year!) but everyone loves it! My kids will make sure to listen and take notes so they can give a summary for their candy bar. Even the youngest children get up and say something that they learned. Ashlie said, "I love my family, and I love Jesus!" Everyone claps and cheers, and they feel so proud! The older children are more specific. Joshua said, "I learned that we should love the temple." This was the main focus in the afternoon session. I was proud of him for remembering. Many children remembered the phrase, "You are never lost if you can see the temple!" The older children bring their notes, and will sometimes give a full summary of a talk. It's great to hear the teenagers, and what they get out of the talks. I am surprised at how much they listen, and understand. The adults have their opportunity to do this as well. I love it because it gives us an opportunity to bear testimony to one another, and to talk about the messages that we heard that day. As our family has grown, we have decided that a park is the way to go. It is fun to see the looks you get from people when our huge group sits down, and we sing a primary song, and pray before we start. It's really a fun tradition.
We missed Grandma and Grandpa this time, but want to let you know that Chris did a great job of presiding over this years meeting! We had so much fun together--thanks everyone for your testimonies, and your experiences. Conference wouldn't be the same without all of you! I was able to get a few good pictures this year--enjoy!
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