Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I've become a crossword puzzle nerd!

It's true. I've become a crossword puzzle nerd. I was inspired last year by my sister-in-law, Tam, who had cut out the NY Times crossword puzzle to work on while they were on a road trip. That seemed like such a fun travel idea, and then she told me they even have crossword puzzle dictionaries. So, gradually I started doing the daily crosswords in the Press Enterprise each day, bought my very own special crossword puzzle dictionary, and then I started buying cross word puzzle magaizines (like Stanley on The Office). I've even been known to call my kids for help with answers. Mark is my sports lifeline and Greg is my Prince expert. My sister, Dana in New York helps me with those eastern clues. I have Ahlzheimer's on both sides of my family so I need to keep my brain cells busy. My goal one day is to do the NY Times Sunday Puzzle without cheating with my dictionary or online (at their's an awesome crossword puzzle solver). I'm not having fun unless I can do my daily crossword puzzles. Plus you can do a very cool interactive one on Yahoo. I hope that's not too much information.


Josh was fortunate to make great friends on his mission. One of his dearest friends was one of his MTC roomates, Nate Smeding from Layton, Utah. Josh and Nate were never companions, but they were in districts, zones and served in leadership together. Along with Nate's MTC comp, Corey Hyde from Canada, they had a blast whenever they were together and have kept in touch. Nate was on his spring break from Weber State, so he and 4 of his friends spent the week here. They were so much fun and it almost felt like the good old days of youth conference (without having to worry about the kids). They had a fun week at Disneyland, The Beach, A concert in San Diego and Magic Mountain. The timing was perfect because Mark and Rebecca were in Idaho house hunting and the girls were spending the weekend with Grammy and PawPaw. It was fun to have a house full of kids again. Even though it's a little dark, here's a cute picture of them on their way to church Sunday morning.

Josh and Nate with Laurie, Christina, Hailey and Amanda

New Lemon Cake Recipe!

I love the little recipe magazines at the checkout counter each month. Am I the only one who gets sucked into buying them (besides my friend, Cassandra)? I go through phases where I just can't resist them. I try not to buy them, but then I rationalize that one good idea or recipe is worth the price! Recently, there was one featuring cake ideas and there were tons of great, easy recipes using cake mixes. I tried this lemon buttermilk cake and it is so good and so moist. I'm thinking you could use buttermilk instead of the water with any cake mix. I love a sheet cake, and my family wolfed this down. I can't wait to make it again. This magazine also had a darling dinosaur cake that would be cute for a child's birthday.


1 box lemon cake mix
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

1/3 cup crisco
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups sifted powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 15 X 10 X 1-inch jelly roll pan. In a large bowl, beat cake mix, buttermilk, oil and eggs with electric mixer on low speed for 30seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occaisionally. Pour into pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about one hour, before frosting.

In medium bowl, beat ingredients together on high speed until smooth and creamy. Spread over cake. (The frosting sounds weird, but it is super light and fluffy!)

from Betty Crocker Super Moist Cakes, April/May 2009, page 14

Our Little Leprechaun's

I know, it has been forever since I've posted. I finally have current pictures of all the grandkids to update. They are all growing up much too fast. Claire, especially, is such a big girl now, and Luke and Dylan are getting so tall. My favorite thing next to being with them is having talking to them all on the phone. Even Blake gave me some baby noises the other day. I want them to all know my voice. Thanks to Aunt Dana for the fun St. Patrick's Day barrettes!

We had a fun day with Melissa and the boys at Disneyland on Monday. The spring flowers are so gorgeous there! The only thing bad about having a season pass is that I'm taking fewer pictures. I took these cute pictures of the boys in their car seats on the way home. I got to sit in the back seat with them. Sadly, Dylan has defected to team Grampa, so now it's just baby Blake and me!Jamie sent this cute picture of Kaylee reading to Blake on her little Dora couch. This is the desktop on our computer now and it makes me smile whenever I see these sweet little faces. We are going up there for Easter and Blake's blessing, I can hardly wait to see them again.