Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunshine for the Soul...Sunday!

"How easy and simple it is to live enjoyably when the simple,
interminable blue of the sky, with its long wisps of white clouds, become a pleasant thing to behold, a thing of beauty that thrills you every time you care to look skyward."

Grand Teton National Park 2006
(click on the photo)

I have always LOVED the sky and the clouds!
In fact
, on many a "love note" that Tracy has written me he has commented that his wife is always saying "Look at how gorgeous the sky looks"!

As we are hiking I like to snap photos of the ever changing clouds with the blue sky shining through. I find as much beauty and uniqueness with the sky and clouds as I do looking at trees, flowers and landscape!!

Yes, everytime I look "skyward" it is truly a pleasant and beautiful sight to behold!
I have been looking skyward
very much this week as I have been out enjoying more blossoming trees in my yard and the gorgeous sky and clouds that seem to appear throughout the day!
Every season AND every day
of our lives there is truly something beautiful to see and enjoy...if only we take the TIME to notice it!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Blossoms, Bees and Snow!

What an absolutely GORGEOUS week we have had!
The bees have been enjoying all of the blossoms on our trees!
(Especially our "Spring Snow" Crab Tree by our front porch)

Since this only happens once a year and only lasts for about 5 days, I have been savoring the beauty of my yard with my family after work/school each day and so my house is a mess and I haven’t been on the computer at all.

The gorgeous fragrant smells going on in my yard are something I wish I could capture in a bottle.
There is nothing that smells better than blossoming trees!

First we got blossoms

Then we got bees

Our tree has been covered by 100's of BEES that the tree has been literally alive with BEES and all you can hear is "buzzing"! It is amazing that you can stand in the middle of the blossoms with BEES buzzing all around and not get stung!

Then sadly, the blossoms started falling and it snowed!

So, this is where I have been this past week....on my porch, OR, working in my yard, OR, playing with my kids outside enjoying the "Magic" that is going on right now because we won't get to enjoy it again until next year!!

(the blossoming stages
of our favorite tree!)

WOW!! It amazes me every time this tree blooms that the blossoms are SO fragrant and look like REAL flowers!
More gorgeous blossoms!!
And even more blossoms!
The view from my porch!

The view when I open my front door!
(my Ethan, running up the driveway after school)
The last 2 days before the blossoms began falling!

The view from the end of our path!

Our tree in full bloom!!
(Love that bright blue sky!)

SO, if I don't do much posting this week it is because I am enjoying other "magic" that is going on in my yard right now AND it's the last week of school for my kids and so I am enjoying spending time doing activities with them!!
Be back shortly!
Have a Beautiful, Happy Day!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunshine for the Soul...Sunday!

"Nature is the art of God"!

Ralph Waldo Emerson

(click on the's gorgeous)

This is actually 2 different photos from 2 different hiking trips we have taken in Grand Teton National Park. I LOVE the "winding" trails, wild flowers, blue sky, clouds, mountains, big rocks and the "crooked" trees! Every bit of it is truly Heavenly and very much a sight to behold.
YES, Nature truly is the art of God!
It's amazing to head to the mountains to see the beauty that is there that wasn't "landscaped" by is just how it grows all on it's own!
Try as I might to replicate something like that in my own yard, I can never even come close to making that kind of beauty!

Very soon our backpacking days will be here again and I can't wait until we are on one of those trails, taking in that gorgeous beauty;
"The art of God"
once again!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Wonderful Week in May!!

(all of the photos in my Blog are "Click-able" and you can see so much more detail when you click on them and make them bigger)

WOW! Last week was one of those rare weeks that don't come along very often where everything seems to just fall into order and it is perfect! I can't think of the last time I had a week like that!

Mother's day was a beautiful sun-shiney day
and my tulips finally "Came to life" and were just gorgeous!

Monday was a WINDY day....
and so Tracy pulled out our kites and got them all ready and we went to an open field near our house and flew kites for over an hour! It was SO much fun and a great way to take advantage of all the WIND that we so often experience in SE Idaho. The laughter and joy that my kids experienced was Priceless!

Tuesday was Jades 15th birthday
and was an absolutely awesome day!
(despite 50-60 mph winds that caused damage everywhere)

A "secret" person
in either Jades school, our ward or neighborhood left the sweetest thing on our front door... a $10.00 gift card to Hollywood Video and a $5.00 gift card to JAMBA Juice! That was SO thoughtful and Jade was so excited and felt special.
(Jade enjoyed a yummy "Jamba Juice" after the movie)

I wish I knew who did it so we could thank them!

YEA!! We took the kids to see STAR TREK on Saturday as part of a "post birthday celebration" for Jade. It was AWESOME!! I'm NOT a "Trekkie" fan and Tracy IS a "Trekkie" fan and we both LOVED it and the kids loved it as well!

It's been a hectic past few weeks and my poor hubby and kids have been neglected in the hair cutting department and so it was SO nice for me to finally have a free moment and give them fresh hair cuts. Jade has been begging me for a haircut for the past week. They are all once again clean cut and not looking like "rag-a-muffins" anymore!
VERY HANDSOME boys!! (if do say so myself!)

80 degree temperatures this weekend and 2 perfectly gorgeous days!!

Tracy pulled out our grill and grilled up the yummiest BBQ pork loin for Sunday dinner along with baked potatoes and peas and corn. Absolutely Delicious!
Afterwards, we enjoyed a relaxing family bike ride, savoring the nice warm temperature and enjoying BLUE sky, sunshine, no wind and gorgeous scenery everywhere we looked!
It was really hard to finally pull ourselves in the house to get ready for bed and to get ready to start another week.

It's amazing how the most simple things in life like time spent with family and time in nature to enjoy it's beauty can bring the most joy!!
Another day of saying...Life is Good!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunshine for the Soul...Sunday!

"Cherish your visions and your dreams,
as they are the children of your soul;
the blueprints of your ultimate achievements".

-- Napoleon Hill
(click on the photo to make it big!)
This is an
awesome photo from a family trip we took over Labor Day weekend 2008. It is one of the mountain lakes along the Beartooth Highway Scenic Drive. There was the most amazing and gorgeous sunset that day and the colors and the lighting were absolutely perfect!!
The quiet, peaceful, solitude of Nature feeds my soul !

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

YES, we planted too much Zucchini!

It's a good thing we like it so much!!

Well, we are still learning all of the ins and outs of gardening and last year we expanded our garden and made it bigger. We weren't sure if the soil was amended enough and I wanted to make sure we had some zucchini to enjoy, so what did I do...I planted 4 zucchini plants and they ALL grew!!

However, aside from the fact of sharing some with family and friends we enjoyed it in the fall and have been enjoying it all winter. I have made up 4 different batches of zucchini bread just this winter/spring alone and I am sad (and my kids are sad as well) because we are down to the last 2 packages of shredded zucchini that I had in the freezer.

Just this past week I made up Zucchini Bread and Zucchini Quiche and I was able to do this because we had frozen some in the fall when we had such an abundance of it and so I thought I would share these 2 recipes AND also some helpful tips that help me with enjoying zucchini all through the winter!

We are able to enjoy
the YUMMY smell that comes from baking zucchini bread all through the winter because of these little bags in the freezer!

By slicing zucchini and also "chunking" zucchini
and then freezing it you can pull these bags out of the freezer and make a quiche, casserole, OR, I pull them out and put them in Minestrone soup as well!

The secret to a MOIST bread...applesauce!
I am always
trying to find ways to "cut the calories" in our meals and so by having these nifty little applesauce containers on hand I just dump one of these in the mixing bowl and then fill it up with oil and I have 1 cup of oil (and I've only had to actually use 1/2 cup of oil) AND it makes the bread SO moist!

Tracy said at work last Fall lots of people were bringing in zucchini bread for his department to enjoy and when they tried what Tracy brought they kept commenting on how moist the bread was. I attribute it to the secret ingredient 1/2 applesauce/1/2 oil mixture...
"Secret's in the sauce"!
(can you guess what movie that's from)
Anyways, I digress.


Zucchini Bread
3 eggs, well beaten
1 cup oil (I use ½ cup oil and ½ cup applesauce instead of 1 full cup of oil)
1 ¾ cup sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
3 tsp. Vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
¾ tsp nutmeg
3 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Mix first 5 ingredients.
Sift and add the rest.
Grease 2 loaf pans and bake at 325* for 1 hour (OR until toothpick inserted in comes out clean.

(as easy as 1, 2, 3
and you can whip up a delicious quiche for dinner)

Zucchini Quiche
5 cups zucchini sliced thin
1 onion chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
½ to 1 cup cooked ham chopped (optional)
Cook in skillet for about 15 minutes. (may need to add a little bit of water)

Mix together:
2 Tbsp. Parsley flakes
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp basil
¼ tsp oregano
Combine vegetable mixture and spices together

Blend together
8 oz grated Swiss cheese
4 eggs

Make piecrust and press in un-greased 10” pie plate and
bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes (or until lightly browned).
Pour vegetable/spice mixture evenly over crust.
Pour cheese and eggs over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!


Pie Crust
½ cup REAL butter
2/3 cup

1 Tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon
baking powder


1 Tablespoon
dry milk

3 cups

½ cup
cold water

butter and shortening together.
Add half the flour and all of the dry ingredients.
the rest of flour and water. (Makes 2 double crusts)

Roll out
very thin with plenty of flour.
Carefully put in pie plates and prick with fork all over.
Bake 400 degrees for 8 minutes, or until lightly browned.

*****(OR you can use ALL butter instead of butter and shortening)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jade...another year older!

(all of the photos in my Blog are "Click-able" and you can see so much more detail when you click on them and make them bigger)

On May 12, 1994...
we were blessed
with an adorable and sweet bundle of Joy.
Jade Marshall!

Where has the time gone...
it seems like yesterday when these photos were taken.

Jades 4 upper front teeth were pulled when he was quite young and so all of his photos were TOOTHLESS and PRICELESS!
His smile has always made me melt with teeth or no teeth!

Jade has always been a "Camera shy" kid...
the majority of the photos from his younger years he is shyly looking down! He was and is so sweet!

Jade is a VERY Awesome older brother!!

Jade is a VERY adventurous kid and LOVES to enjoy life and have fun!!

Jade has always been silly and full of LIFE...
here he is with his dad displaying all of his cars after his last Pinewood Derby!!

Now I'm opposite from when I was young...I have all 4 front teeth and I'm missing my side teeth!!

Outstanding Choir student!!

Handsome boy on a handsome horse at Grandpa and Grandma's house!!

Jade's great sense of humor can make any baby laugh!!
He has such a knack for that and all of the little kids just LOVE Jade!!

Jade LOVES it when it's "Crazy hair day" or Halloween because he likes to do FUNKY things to his hair!! Here he is as a "Punk Rocker"!

Jade is one COOL KID!!
Every time he wears his headband he always gets comments from his friends on how COOL he looks!

Jade's not afraid of anything!!
I have lost track of how many garter snakes he has found in our yard and ran around the neighborhood showing kids and scaring them!

(actually he doesn't scare other kids on purpose...he just thinks that snakes are cool and gets excited and wants to show other kids and forgets that other people don't think that snakes are as cool as he does!)

Jade is a LOVER of animals!!
If there is an animal, insect or any creepy crawly thing in his sight he always finds it.

Jade has got SO much determination!
He is an AWESOME track runner!! (and a very handsome one if I do say so myself!)

My favorite thing of all that I love about Jade is his kind heart and most of all, he is the Peace Maker in our home!! He doesn't like there to be contention and he is the most "quick to forgive" person I have ever met. He never stays mad at you for long.

I am savoring the teenage years as I know I don't have many more left!! I love being your mom!

"Happy Birthday...#15"!!