Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Here's a sample of what we saw on our Sunday family walk around our neighborhood (besides the clover fields!)

The older I get, the more I appreciate the world we I live in. With all my gushing about springtime these days, it may seem as if I live to channel Henry David Thoreau. Not even close! In fact, I couldn't stand reading his "namby pamby drivel" in college. "Why waste time reading about it when you can go outside and see it!," I always thought.
Talk about eye candy!

It's too bad that we celebrate Christmas in the winter instead of spring, because strung-up lights, while pretty, don't hold a candle to this.

Pictures can show so much that mere words cannot begin to adequately describe, unfortunately for Thoreau. Gotta hand it to him though, I'd be hard pressed to even try... that's why I love my camera!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Eggstraodinary People

I was not in the mood for boiling, dying, filling, hiding, or seeking eggs. Or for trying to keep track of the number of pounds of sugar my kids ingested in one day. Or for cooking up a special meal. In short - this year I was feeling decidedly Anti-Easter.

I won't go into all of the reasons why... probably had to do with being a virtual single parent for the past 3 months and tryingto solve too many big problems...at any rate, I couldn't muster the enthusiasm that Easter deserves.

Fortunately we have a couple of angels in our family who go by the names of Grandpa and Grandma Fisher. We accepted the invitation to come to their house to celebrate the day (even though I dreaded packing up the car and driving the 2 hours without Big-T). But we made it and actually had a good time in the car--snacks from Sonic helped...

I was able to help the kids decorate eggs without destroying my house (flashbacks of a past Easter's 6 egg dye cups spilled on a white carpet still haunt me). I was immediately grateful to avert a catastrophe. Plastic eggs were filled with pistachios, mini Ritz, and pretzles instead of candy.

The Sunday morning Sacrament program consisted of a beautiful aria by the choir and our Grandpa's thoughts on the Atonement. Reflection on the first Easter brought back the feelings that had been missing, and of course adjusted my perspective.

Annoyance at the additional work, mess, and expense turned to appreciation for this beautiful day to spend with these extraordinary people.

And gratitude (is there a word for 'beyond gratitude'?) for that momentous day so long ago that changed the world.

Luck of the Irish

May good luck be your friend whatever you do
and may trouble be always a stranger to you.

~ Irish blessing

On our family walks in Texas there was one house that had the most beautiful rose garden. It was always an important stopping point. We smelled and compared each of the diffferent colors and varieties. Sure enough, not all roses smell alike. It was a place to linger, to forget for a moment about the journey 'from home and back' -or -here to there- and savor the beauty that surrounded us.
Our North Carolina neighborhood is georgeous this time of year. Lots to look at. But now my kids are bigger and on bikes and scooters. I'm not pushing one or two of them in the stroller any more. And it seems like these days our walks go by so fast! Usually with me yelling up ahead that a car is coming! They don't stop for just any pretty little flower any more!
Well, yesterday we found a new attraction worth stopping for. It was this yard just full of clover! So we had to stop and have a hunt. (OK, it was the second hunt of the day, since it was Easter...but who's counting!) And yes, I do wish I had thought of this on St. Patrick's Day--
I have no idea who's yard it was--they were probably looking out their window laughing at us!
It reminded me of the endless summer hours I used to spend hunting for four leaf clovers. A piece of my own childhood I had completely forgotten about...
My lucky day.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Very Best

These are the best chocolate chip cookies ever. I used to make these about once a week. It's a little less frequent now...maybe once a month. They are pretty much a requirement for any road trip! This recipe came from Big T's sister and, true to its name, it never fails me--unless I try to substitute anything!

(Amy's) No Fail Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 c Butter flavor Crisco

3/4 c brown sugar

1 1/2 c sugar

3 eggs

1 Tbs. Vanilla

3 c flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2 c chocolate chips

Cream sugars and shortening. Add eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients. Gradually add to shortening mixture. Add chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls. Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit on hot baking sheet for a few minutes to continue cooking. Remove to a flattened paper bag to blot extra oil.