Monday, April 25, 2011

The other cake

After I made this I thought how pretty it would be as a wedding cake in all white. It was super easy and super fast.

Fun cakes

I got to make two cakes for a church event last week. I could do whatever I wanted and I had fun being creative. I am in my happy place when I make cakes. (this excludes wedding cakes)
These little owls make me happy!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Saturday

It is tradition for the kids to enjoy easter Saturday at Grandma Chapmans. We each bring 12 eggs per child filled with little goodies. The bigger kids hide them in the yard and then we let the little ones go. They are only allowed to get 12 to keep it fair and the kids really look forward to this fun time with cousins and family.

Getting all of these kids to look at the camera was harder then expected. They are such fun little buddies.

I love this picture of Josh enjoying his goods.

I must confess that I do not like to dye Easter eggs. Dye and small children just doesn't make sense to me. Soooo thankful for Grandma for letting Emma Dye to her hearts content and she really did enjoy herself. She is definitively a girl after my own heart and enjoys all forms of creativity.

Then once the kids have truly enjoyed their candy we make massive amounts of egg salad, make it into sandwiches, and cut it up into little squares. The kids don't eat to much since they are usually sick from all the candy but it is fun anyway.

This year was a little busy for us since Jared had a camp-out and triathlon that morning and Sarah had a Basketball tournament in the afternoon.

Easter though was so nice and mellow. I got to teach a wonderful Sunday school lesson about the Resurrection and the atonement and it really helped me to think about the true meaning of Easter.

Then we took naps, woke up and made a salad, then headed over to Grandma and Grandpas. So nice to not have to make a big dinner. Some years I want to some years I really don't. This year I really didn't. We enjoyed a nice visit with Ryan's family and I feel so blessed to have them in my life.

Vegan chocolate goodness

I found vegan chocolate chips at our local grocery store. I have been on a mission to find treats Joseph can have that taste really good so that he doesn't feel like he is missing out.

Cake pops. Seriously one of the yummiest things I have ever made. SO simple and so moist. I am not a huge cake fan but this is so yum.
cake mix
egg whites
frosting that matches your cake mix flavor
sticks that you can get at Micheals
chocolate chips

Certain brands sell non dairy cake mixes (you just have to search the ingredients for them)
I have used lemon, chocolate, and german chocolate, and red velvet.

I make the cake mix according to package directions except I use 4 egg whites instead of 3 eggs (I can't eat egg yolks)

I then pour it into a glass baking dish and cook in the microwave for 10-12 minutes at 70% power. Why you ask in the microwave? So much faster. Usually their is one hot spot and I simply don't use that part in the mix.

I then stick the good parts (if some of it is slightly gooey no worries) into my kitchen aid and crumble it up.

Then I add about half a container of frosting. again I read labels and use nondairy frosting. I used lemon with the lemon cake, chocolate with the red velvet but cream cheese would be good if you could eat it, I have also mixed peanut butter with chocolate frosting for a yummy peanut butter one, and my favorite is the coconut caramel frosting used for german chocolate cake.

Once the mixture sticks to its self you have the right consistence. If you try to roll it into a ball and it doesn't stick or keep its shape add a little more frosting.

Roll out the mixture into balls and then stick them into the freezer for a quick cool.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave 30 seconds at a time on 50% power. Stir after each 30 secs until melted.

Dip your stick into the chocolate then into the ball. Make sure you push it all the way down. Then stick it back into the freezer for about 10-15 minutes.

Now that your cake will stay on the stick remelt your chocolate the same way you did before. Then dip your cake ball into the mixture and tap off any extra.

Sprinkle with sprinkles or drizzle with peanut butter or chocolate. This is the fun part. Be creative. I stuck them into a rectangle styrofoam piece I got at the craft store to dry so that they would still look good.

Here is another treat I made.
Vegan Peanut butter cups. But I made them for Joseph for Easter so I used Easter molds. They were molds I got with my jello to be used as jello jigglers which made them perfect for what I was doing
Vegan chocolate
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
1/4 cup crushed up pecans
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil

  1. Melt chocolate in microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds at a time. Stir after each 30 seconds until melted.
  2. Spray molds with non stick spray. With small paint brush, coat inside top cup evenly with about 1 teaspoon melted chocolate to about 1/8-inch thickness, bringing coating almost to top of mold, but not over edge. freeze cups.
  3. In saucepan combine coconut oil and peanut butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until melted only a couple of minutes. Stir in powdered sugar and pecans. Pour filling into each chocolate cup. return to freezer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Spoon melted chocolate on top of filling (you may need to remelt the chocolate); spread to cover. Freeze until firm (about 2 hours) carefully peel off from molds. Store refrigerated.
I am eating one know and oh so good!! I miss those yummy resses peanut butter cups and this is such a great vegan alternative.

I am not rereading my post so I hope it all makes sense

Cousin Lucas's birthday party

I think this is one of the kids favorite parties they have ever been to. Pony rides, chasing chickens, goats oh my. I turned my back to take a picture and Jacob had climbed under the gate to be with the pony. He had such a good time and it was so fun to watch.

EmmaLee's Spring choir

Emma had such a fun time singing in her school choir. She even got a solo and did such a good job. She was very nervous because during her final practice she forgot her words. Together we prayed that she would remember her words and when time came she sung her little heart out and did great!

Early Marriage

I got pregnant when we first got married. I was so sick that I would throw up several times a day and some days I didn't get out of bed. I remember sitting in the back bedroom when Ryan made dinner cause I couldn't smell it with out throwing up. I look back and wonder how we managed to get to know each other but some how we did.
I remember when I was going through labor that Ryan and I were so connected on such a spiritual level that just hearing his voice would calm me down. He would walk me through each contraction and it is one of my favorite memories.
I also remember being very nervous about changing Jared's diapers that I would wake up Ryan in the middle of the night after each feeding (why I called them feedings I am not sure) Jared has been an early riser since he was first born and I was not used to that. Little did I know he would be setting a tone for the rest of the children.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Favorite memories

As a child I loved to climb high up in trees and hang from branches. I must have been real young when I started doing this because it was before I ever went to school. But I kept doing it for many years. I remember finding solace in those trees. We had the perfect tree in our front yard that just asked to be climbed.

I was given free reign of the neighborhood and some of my best fun was in exploring my neighborhood. We had frogs and tadpoles to play with and try to catch. We would bring them home sometimes and I don't remember my mom ever having a hard time with this.

We would ride our bikes and try to get lost. We would save our nickels and dimes to buy the 5 cent candies at 7-11. I would bury my toys in the sand box buy our house and then later go back and find them. I would swing on the swings at the school, it was just across the street from my house. The swings always helped me to feel at peace with my world. I remember even as a teenager walking to the school to go swing. I even remember as a teenager writing poetry at the elementary school late one night when I just needed to get out of my house.

I loved to play barbies and hold tea parties on my skateboard. I was kind of a tom boy but I loved girlie things also. I remember only wearing dresses in kindergarten because I didn't want anyone to think I was a boy with my short bob haircut that my mom and sister thought was so cute which I hated. I think that is why I grew my hair so long when I was a teenager.

During the summer my brother Clark and I lived at the pool. I don't know when I learned to swim but I don't remember not knowing how. I started the swim team when I was 7 and I stayed on it until I was 16 or 17. Swimming was my life. I remember we would go to the pool with out my mom and the life guards would let me even though I really was to young. They knew I could swim well. My nick name on my swim team was Cruzin Susan. I one most of my races growing up so I always thought this was because I was so fast I was cruzin. I did not find out until one my last awards banquet that it was because I would swim so casually during practice I looked like I was just slowly cruzin along.

My parents both came to every sing one of my very long swim meets. I remember my dad yelling and screaming for my to "Go Susan Go!" I always loved that they were their to support me.

We always had cats growing up and I would dress our cat Murray up in my doll clothes and try to take him out in my little strawberry shortcake buggy for walks. He did not love this but I sure did.

When I was in primary at church one Sunday they sung the song John the Baptist. I remember feeling the spirit so strong it made me cry and I knew what we sang about was true.

I loved to sing and I would often sing while out on my walks. I would make up songs and sing my heart out. I had high hopes that one day someone would over hear me and they would make me famous. I love childlike hopes and dreams. I also believed I would be in the Olympics one day.

My mom worked nights at a law firm and every once in awhile she would let me come along. I bet I drove her crazy but she never acted like it. I would bring a pillow and sleep on a couch they had their I believe. I remember her coworker had a junk drawer full of yummy treats and she would let me have some.

My parents loved me and I always knew it! I hope my children feel the same from me.

How Ryan and I meet

When I was getting ready to go to college I had decided to simply go to the local community college in Irvine. Why? My grades were not the best and I didn't think I would get accepted anywhere. I had enrolled and was ready to accept that path.

Near the beginning of summer my mom and I drove up to Utah to visit with my extended family who lives there. On the way home we drove through Southern Utah and from the freeway we saw signs for Dixie college. My mom and I both felt like we should stop and take a look at the college. It was not something I was planning or expecting but it was such a strong feeling. As we looked around we got ourselves to the admin building and grabbed all the paperwork I needed to enroll.

I felt at such peace about the whole thing and I was excited to start this new journey. My mom had all of the same feelings so I just new this was right for me. But on the drive home fear began to creep in. I was so afraid my dad would not think it was a good idea. This school was going to cost much more since I was from out of state. But my dad being the wonderful man he is also felt like it would be a good thing for me.

Once I got to school I was scared and I was shy. I did not have amazing relationships with my roommates but they were nice. I decided to tryout for the institute choir which was such a great experience for me. It was their that I meant Rachelle. She was a life changing friend for me. She helped me to understand my worth as a daughter of God. She helped me to be stronger then I was and I will always thank her for that.

I feel like she is what I needed to prepare myself to meet Ryan. We had so much fun that year. I dated some nice guys but nobody amazing. I enjoyed great friendships. I loved it so much I decided to stay in St. George during the summer. I got a fun job teaching swim lessons to little kids. Before summer I had dated a return missionary. I liked him and brought him home to meet my parents. At one point we casually looked at wedding rings.

When I got back from my trip we broke up. It was one of the weirdest yet neat break ups I had ever had. We both just felt like we should break up. There really wasn't a reason except dating him no longer felt right. (In hind sight I am sure glad I did not marry this man) This was in May and I started dating Ryan in August. Had I stayed in that relationship I would not have been available for Ryan.

I am not sure when but some time during the summer Ryan moved into our ward and became our apartments home teacher. I did not notice him at this time. He had taught in our home but I didn't remember him. I had my eyes on the institute president. I don't remember his name I just remember I thought he was good looking. Circumstances brought us together and I found out that he was a rather dull person with whom I could not talk to. I think it was the next Sunday Ryan called on my during his class in church. I wondered how he knew my name???

The next day my friend Danae was talking about this cute tall boy from our ward named Ryan. I had no idea who she was talking. She suggested we go to his smoothie shop so I could see who she was talking about. From the moment I saw him I was filled with butterflies and I didn't even say a word to him. I hung back and felt very timid.

That night we had our ward FHE activity. We pulled taffy. I remember trying to be close to him. We started to talk and I remember being intrigued that he tried to make a liahona out of taffy. I was not versed in scriptures and I was embarrassed when I did not know what a liahona was until he reminded me. I learned from this that he knew the scriptures and knew them well.

Sometime this week he invited my dorm room to go swimming at his pool. I made my best friend Lisa come with me. Ryan and I flirted and laughed and got to know each other a little bit better. We even raced in the pool and I got a bad leg cramp. He massaged it and this later became a joke amongst his brothers.

Throughout this week I made reasons to see Ryan. I remember one day going to get a smoothie. Another day I went to the nail place next to his shop hoping I would see him. I chickened out and didn't go in to see him. I was sick one day and had him come over for a blessing, (he was my home teacher.) Finally I got all my friends together for a get together just so I could invite him along with out asking him on a date.

We got along rather well and I just felt really comfortable with him. Even when a guy friend of mine kept trying to get my attention even though I was noticeably very interested in Ryan. My friend Becca, who was engaged, invited Ryan and I along for a double date the next night. Um yes please! Ryan took me home that night and he walked me to my door. He gave me a wonderful and sweet hug. He pulled back and I got butterflies in my stomach. I didn't know if he was going to kiss me but I was pretty sure I wanted him to. He said to me instead, "Be patient with me, I'm slow." We said goodbye. I walked into my apartment, shut the door and sunk to the floor. I was on cloud nine.

He made me feel special. So the next night, Saturday, we headed out to some hot springs to meet our friends. We had a good talk and just had fun swimming together. Our friends never showed up and we decided to go back to his apartment and watch a movie I think it was Tommy Boy. It was stupid but we laughed. Then we sat there not saying anything. I was just enjoying the moment and enjoying being with him. I finally asked him what he was thinking and he answer, "That I want to kiss you." Which he then did.

Sparks flew and I felt wonderful with him. Later that night we were talking and his brothers came in. I remember he quickly jumped away from me and that made his brothers think we were making out. That was a hard one to live down. I enjoyed the banter of younger brothers since I was not used to this.

Then came the hardest day. On Sunday Ryan avoided me. He did not talk to me and he did not return my phone calls. If this had been any other boy I would not have been worried. I remember calling Rachelle and telling her how worried I was because with Ryan things just felt different. It kind of scared me to feel so much for this man I hardly even knew.

The next day at ward FHE he was there but did not talk to me. It was so weird. I finally told him I wanted to talk and we went with some friends to frozen yogurt. He was a little stand-offish but still held my hand under the table. I believe we drove to his house after this. He explained to me that he got really scared after we connected so quickly. We had such an amazing talk that night.

As we hugged goodbye we pulled back and just stared into each others eyes. I knew at that moment that this is the man I would spend the rest of forever with. I just knew. It was such a strong overpowering feeling and it hit me all of a sudden like a ton of bricks. I started to cry and then Ryan said, "It's amazing how you can just now." So with nothing more then that we both new we were now much more then the moment we were living.

I guess we kind of looked at each other like we were engaged at this point. I had never even told him I loved him yet I knew I did. It was like my spirit and his remembered each other and promises we made before this earth life. We saw each other basically every day since.

The coming Saturday my cousin was getting married in Utah and my family was going to be there. My Mom, Dad, and sister drove up to St. George and we drove up to the wedding together. Ryan and I in one car and them in another. We picked out a ring together from a family friend of his. Once we got the ring he knelt down right there and proposed. There was some band playing outside the store so when I said yes he didn't hear me.

Once we got back to my parents he asked my dads permission and of course he said yes. So one week from our official first date we were engaged. We were originally thinking of getting married in the middle of December but we kept moving the date because my roommate was getting married and I didn't want to get married on the same day. Our bishop had advised to never push the date back only push it forward. I would change the date then she would change the date. Finally after pushing the date to 2 and 1/2 months away I realized we couldn't push it any closer. (she ended up getting married on the same day as us anyway)

I had no idea who the man I was marrying really was. Had I known I would have done things even quicker. He has proven to be the most amazing man I have ever meet. He loves me so fully and completely. He is spiritual beyond what I could have imagined. He is strong and smart and determined. He expects greatness and I love that about him. I am a better person because he is by my side.

I do not think everyone should marry this quickly but for us it was perfect.

General conference

I have always wanted to go to our churches general conference which is held semi annually in Salt Lake City. Our Prophet and other apostles speak to the members of our church and we usually view it on TV or the Internet. Even from a young age I can remember being in awe that we could hear from our prophet.

I have wanted to take our whole family to see conference once they are all over the age of 8. But then I realized that is still 6 years away and Jared will almost be ready to leave on his mission. Sarah had the same desire to go. Every conference she would ask me when we could go so when my sister told me she had two extra tickets we jumped on the occasion.

Laura, Calvin, Sarah and I took a quick trip up driving all day Friday and we stayed with my Uncle Bruce and Aunt Carol. They really are amazing people and it was such a pleasure to visit with them. We woke up early Saturday and Sarah's excitement was infectious.

From the moment we walked into the conference center the Spirit of God filled my heart. There was something so amazing about being in a room with so many people who are all there to be filled with the word of God. We were all united in our faith and our desire to be better people.

As we waited for it to began we watched the apostles come in at different times and greet each other. They were all so loving and warm and tender to one another. The would hug or shake hands or even nudge each other in a loving fashion. When the prophet walked into this huge conference center, seating 21,000 people, everyone stood up in respect of the sweet wonderful man.

What a beautiful way to start the meeting. Oh yeah, before this the Mormon tabernacle choir was practicing and hearing them in person was so amazing. A spiritual experience indeed.

Being at this meeting was like God was speaking straight to me. The personal messages for me were said to my very bones. I have been struggling with the desire to change but not knowing how to for some time and I feel like I know have the power to be more of what my Father in Heaven wants of me.

Sarah also had an amazing experience and watching her take pages of notes was touching. During the middle of the conference we all sang together, I Know That My Redeemer Lives. To have that many people bare testimony in song all together was something difficult to put into words. Tears streamed down my face. I wonder if this is what it feels like to sing with the angels on high. Something I will not soon forget.

Another added bonus was getting to talk with my mom's brother and wife about my mom's side of the family. I gained a lot of understanding about my family. Then on the drive home we stopped in Las Vegas and talked more with my parents about my family history. I learned more about the people who came before. I got a glimpse into why I am the way I am. I wanted so much more then I was given which made me want to write down some of my own history so that my children and grandchildren can maybe have some of the answers I wish I had.