Wednesday, December 31, 2008

She has needs, ya know...

While we were in Utah Eden became very vocal about her needs. She would say,
"I need mom."
"I need outside."
"I need cracker (or cookie, or cooker - which obviously is a cracker-cookie)"

but two of my favorites were these:

While driving from Alpine (south of SLC) to Cache Valley (north of SLC) there was a bad accident and the interstate was shut down. We had to travel on a slower highway (with everyone else) and so the trip that usually takes two hours took four. Eden was frustrated, tired, and eventually just mad. It was snowing and we were creeping along at about five miles an hour. I could only show her the cattle truck we kept passing so many times before she had just had it. Finally about a half hour from grandma's house she began to cry huge, fat, wet tears. In the middle of her sobs she repeated,
"I need grandma, I need grandma."
It was so sweet and sad.

A few days later at grandma's house (actually I think it was at aunt Heather's) we had just finished a big meal. Everyone was sitting around talking. There was a plate of my mother's hand dipped chocolates on the table. Eden walked up to the group of women sitting around talking and proclaimed,
"I need chocolate!"

It was classic.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Food Friday - Char Siu Pork

I got this recipe from my sister but haven't made it yet. She made it for us Monday night though and it was really delicious so I pass it along to you, my faithful readers. (the parenthetical notes are my sister's)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce (I didn't have any hoisin sauce so I didn't add it, it was great without it, but maybe its even better with it)
3 TBS ketchup
3 TBS honey
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground ginger (or 2 tsp fresh)
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
2 lbs boneless pork roast (I got a cheap roast with the bone in and it worked fine)
1/2 cup chicken broth
Mix ingredients together. Marinate for 2 hours (I did this but next time I will just cook it with out marinating it). Cover and cook for 8 hours.
I shredded it after about 5 or so hours and then put the meat back in for and hour or so. I served it over rice. Very easy and yummy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

We are enjoying
LOTS of SNOW and
LOTS of LOVE and
LOTS of PRESENTS (especially Eden - I think her toy inventory just doubled).

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope that we and you can find a little time today to reflect on the Son of God who condescended to become the Babe of Bethlehem. Without Him we would be lost - in every sense.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Food Friday - Holiday Slush

Hello Bamafam readers. This is BamDaddy here. I'm retro-posting Food Friday for this Christmas week. When I suggested a recipe to Heidi, she reminded me that I could also post on this blog. Silly Daddy. So I want to share with you a favorite Kesler family recipe that we always enjoy on Christmas Eve. I know there are a lot of slushes around out there, and maybe you've had this before. Anyway, here goes:

2 cans frozen concentrate orange juice + 1 can water
2 cans frozen concentrate lemonade + 1 can water
46 oz. can pineapple juice
3-4 bananas - smashed
7-Up (or Sprite)

• Mix juices in the blender.
• Add banana.
• Blend well.
• Put into containers for freezing (we usually use big canning jars with metal lids, but anything you can freeze will work.
• Mix Frozen Concentrate with 7-Up to desired consistency (we just use our KitchenAid to blend it) serve.

Enjoy! Merry Christmas slushing from me (us)!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cutest Mary

My sister participates in a preschool for her 4 year old boy. There are 5 little boys in their neighborhood and each mother takes a week to teach the preschool (which meets two mornings a week). This week is her week to teach and so she had them do the Nativity. Alas, with 5 boys who would play Mary?

She was so cute. During the actual program, Eden held the baby up to her shoulder and rocked him and gently said, "baby, baby, baby." It was just so adorable!

BTW: anyone interested in starting one of these preschool deals in a year? oh, you'd have to be willing to travel to 'bama.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This was NOT in my Franklin

My plans for Monday:
8:00 a.m. - take Voice Male clothes to dry cleaner
9:30 a.m. - watch Eden participate in a Nativity play (as Mary)
10:30 a.m. - visit Irene
11:30 a.m. - visit Charlotte
12:30 p.m. - attend the USU Registrar's Office Christmas party (have lots and lots of fun laughing with old friends and remembering good times and agreeing as everyone goes on and on about how cute Eden is)
2:00 p.m. - put Eden down for a nap and do laundry

How Monday actually went:
4:30 a.m. - wake up with a bad stomachache, lay on the couch
8:00 a.m. - take Voice Male clothes to dry cleaner - Convince a really nice woman to rush our 9 pairs of pants and 12 shirts so that I can pick them up Tuesday
9:00 a.m. - lay on the couch
10:00 a.m. - watch Eden (while moaning on the couch) as Mary in the cutest pre-school version of the Nativity (five preschool boys and my Eden)
10:30 a.m. - yeah, you guessed it, the couch which is where I spent the remainder of my day (except when I moved to my dad's bed so I could watch some mindless television. Did you know that Kirby Heyborne was in a Lifetime original Christmas movie this year?)
2:00 p.m. - watched my mom do my laundry (thanks mom!)
3:30 a.m. Tuesday - finally feel well enough to get some sleep
6:30 a.m. pack up everything, pick up the VM dry cleaning and go pick Phil up at the airport.

We got to Phil's parents' house and he left for the Thanksgiving Point show afterwhich Eden promptly puked her guts out all over me. Poor Eden, she hasn't ever thrown up before. She was pretty upset by it all but rebounded quickly and, for now, is sleeping. . .

Just as I wrote that, she woke up. Now it is several hours later and she is attempting to sleep.

yeah, not what I had planned at all . . .

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Food Friday

Ok, this isn't a recipe, it is a wonderful tip instead. In Utah, there is a restaurant (popular for their catering and wedding luncheons) named "The Lion House." They have some of the best recipes and are especially famous for their rolls and breads. Well, if you do a google search with "Lion House Recipe" you will find a treasure trove of great stuff. So, while the Food Friday Czar is on holiday, get your recipe fix from The Lion House, you won't regret it.

And what did I do on Friday (instead of Food Friday)?

Well, I dipped all kinds of yummy chocolates with my mom, aunt Deani, brother Josh, and sister Heather. Such a fun family tradition! Then I went to the Ogden Voice Male concert. It was good. The audience gave them two standing ovations. Fun times.

Now it is snowing ... yippee!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

T'is the Season

The Christmas season seems to bring out the best and worst in society.

I may offend some of my faithful readers but I detest the whole concept of black Friday. To me it says, "let's interrupt what is to be a weekend of giving thanks and family and instead wake up early so we are grouchy then go spend the day consuming instead of giving thanks and in some cases being rude to other customers instead of enjoying our families." I mean stampedes to the point of death?? Really? What kind of society is this? I see shoppers frantically purchasing things because they feel expected to provide a gift. What happened to spending weeks in thoughtful preparation to show appreciation and admiration? It makes me sad to see how consumer-oriented the holidays are. This year we have the added, dualistic pressures of the recession: money is tighter, yet it is our patriotic duty to stimulate the economy. Sad.

On the other hand, people are so very generous during this time of year. I love to hear of and see people taking care of others. I see people reaching out to make sure children and adults have some kind of gift Christmas morning. Even in the midst of the recession, people give to the food pantry or to their neighbors. I love to see homes opened up to welcome the lonely into the circle of love and friendship and family during the holidays. There seriously is so much good that is done.

It seems that often during the year we think about giving in more global terms. We give to organizations (our church, non-profits, government agencies) but at Christmastime we more often reach out to individuals in our midst. It reminds me of a section in C.S. Lewis's book The Screwtape Letters*, in which Screwtape tells Wormwood, “Do what you will, there is going to be some benevolence, as well as some malice, in your patient’s soul. The great thing is to direct the malice to his immediate neighbours whom he meets every day and to thrust his benevolence out to the remote circumference, to people he does not know. The malice thus becomes wholly real and the benevolence largely imaginary."

I love that at Christmas we show our benevolence in ways that it becomes wholly real. I hope that I extend that reality throughout the year.

*The Screwtape Letters is a fictional account of Screwtape (a devil) training his nephew (Wormwood) in the art of temptation. It is such an insightful and interesting book, I highly recommend it (and pretty much any of Lewis's books).

Friday, December 5, 2008

Food Friday - Easiest Fudge Sauce EVER

Store-bought chocolate frosting

Warm it in the microwave then pour over ice cream.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hats, Hats, Hats

Today at the chemo clinic a lady was going around to all the chemo patients and giving them hats (I think hers were knitted). I says to myself, "self, why didn't you thinks of that?" So, act fast, next year's Christmas Lottery just might end up in the chemo clinic.

Congrats to those who have won so far. I think there are just a couple left.

Oh, and Phil got a nice light blue hat (even though he hasn't lost his hair ... yet?).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

These are a Few of Her Favorite Things...

Eden loves books. She likes to carry them around and read them and look at them and sometimes draw in them (she's usually pretty good to choose her drawing books wisely).

A few of her favorite books to cart around these days are her For the Strength of Youth, Personal Progress, and PP Journal* (yeah, her mom is a YW President). She especially likes to show people the pictures of the temple on each of them. She even built a temple (or "temper" as she calls it) with her megablocks this week.

Eden remains fiercely devoted to her love of all things kitty. This picture captures another new favorite thing. She LOVES all the Christmas lights up right now. She calls them "happy" and will point to all the "happy trees" along our main street in town (no, it isn't called Main Street it is just the main street). We are excited to combine the previous happy thing (SL Temple) with the lights when we head out there later this month. She will love the lights on temple square**!

Elmo is still a love. She isn't obsessed like she once was but she still loves him. She sings his theme song (you know, la la la la) with an extra syllable (alla alla) it is pretty funny.
Like her father, Eden loves graham crackers!

And finally, Corrie. She also loves hats and has a couple that I made her that she likes to wear around. But this is not about the hat Corrie won and is modeling on her blog, this is about how much Eden loves Corrie. She says, "Corrie, happy." Yup, she is.

*For the Strength of Youth - a booklet put out by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help youth understand and live the standards of Christ.

Personal Progress - a program for young women (12-18) in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It helps YW learn about their Savior and also teaches them to set goals and acquire skills. There is an accompanying journal to help them record the things they learn.

**The area around the Salt Lake temple is called "temple square." At Christmas time the square is lit beautifully. There are awesome nativities throughout the square and of course the large statue of Christ in the north visitor's center. It is a beautiful, happy place.

For more information about these and other programs you can visit