Recipes and a side note

Side note: I have some horrible, wicked laryngitis. Which is sad because my
little brother will be calling home from Korea on Wednesday evening. He'll be home in 6 mos
but it's still a little depressing. I sound like a frog with a history of smoking. Very
pathetic. Daniel keeps telling me to be quiet so I don't do damage.

Now, on a happier note, some recipes of the yummy goodies I made
last week. I'd love to claim some credit, but sister-in-law provided them all from Kraft.com. That
is also where the pictures come from. But here are some of what we made. If you click on the
treat, it is a link. They are actually pretty easy to make. Easier than they look.

Peanut Butter Truffles

Prep Time:
20 min
Total Time:
1 hr 20 min
doz. or 12 servings, three truffles each

What You
1 pkg. (8 squares) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate

1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP or COOL WHIP Extra Creamy Whipped Topping,
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Make It

chocolate in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until chocolate
is almost melted, stirring after 1 min. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

in peanut butter until well blended. Cool to room temperature. Gently
stir in whipped topping. Refrigerate 1 hour.

SCOOP peanut butter mixture with melon baller or
teaspoon, then shape into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar. Store in tightly covered container in

Black Tie


1 hr
Total Time:
2 hr 50 min
doz. or 12 servings, 2 truffles each

What You
1 pkg. (6 squares) BAKER'S Bittersweet Chocolate

1/4 cup whipping cream
1 Tbsp. butter

1 tub (7 oz.) BAKER'S White Dipping Chocolate

Make It

MICROWAVE bittersweet
chocolate, whipping cream and butter in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until chocolate
is completely melted, stirring after each minute. Freeze 1-1/2 hours or until firm.

ROLL into 24
(1-inch) balls; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Freeze 20 min.

MELT white chocolate; use fork
to dip in truffles. Return to baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining chocolate or decorate with
sprinkles. Refrigerate until firm.


Prep Time:
30 min
Total Time:
1 hr 30 min
3-1/2 doz. or 42 servings, one truffle each

What You
1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate,


3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended.
Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls.

balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet.
(Any leftover melted chocolate can be stored in tightly covered container at room temperature
and saved for another use.) Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until
firm. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Chocolate Truffles


30 min
Total Time:
1 hr 30 min
dozen or 24 servings, 3 truffles each

What You
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar

1-1/2 pkg. (12 squares) BAKER'S
Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

1-1/2 tsp. vanilla

suggested coatings, such as
ground PLANTERS Walnuts, unsweetened cocoa, powdered sugar and/or BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE


cream cheese in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until
smooth. Gradually add sugar, mixing until well blended.

ADD melted chocolate and vanilla; mix well.
Refrigerate 1 hour or until chilled.

SHAPE into 1-inch balls. Roll in walnuts, cocoa,
powdered sugar or coconut. Store in refrigerator.

Just a few things I
1. When covering them in chocolate, do it double burner style and
melt the chocolate on the stove. It works well, you don't burn it and you can always throw a
few more in.
2. White chocolate MUST be melted in the microwave. 1 min. or
30 sec. then stir. Repeat. It's made differently so it behaves differently.
3. Mark them with something on the outside (likes crumbs on top) so you know which
are which.
4. You can make them multiple at a time. Get a few people
together and each person take a part. We did all or ours in about 3 hours or so.
5. Make the balls SOOO much smaller than you are naturally inclined. If they are
small they are bite size! and easier to eat.

We also
did choc. covered pretzels. We used the small sticks and the put sprinkles on the warm

Another treat that I don't have a picture of...and I don't know what to call them
Small pretzels, with Hershey's kisses melted on top (turn on on
broiler on high for about 10 - 15 min.) then push a mint M&M down on the kiss and
you have quick, very easy treat.

These are great. They
look amazing and taste even better. And people think you are some sort of magic cook for
having taken the time to do it. But they are simple! Thank you Kraft.com!!


Husband Tag and babysitting


Thanks Cat for the Tag -

5 Things he loves
1- Me, of course
2- Our puppy dogs - like you would not believe
3- Food
4- Family
5- Gravy

things on his TO DO
1- Shovel the driveway
2- Help me clean for tonight
3- Come home early from work - if he can swing it
4- Empty CLEAN dishwasher - boy, does he have it hard
5- vacuum

Foods he ENJOYS
1- Gravy
3- casseroles
4- more gravy
5- things to put gravy on

Things you may not KNOW about
1- He played the French Horn in 7th grade.
2- He really is a tender heart - shhhh, I wasn't supposed to
tell you that
3- He has a dent in his head from being a little boy
4- There is a scare on his left eyebrow and in his hairline
from an incident with the wall when he was 2
5- He can get excited about things - but he doesn't want
everyone to know that either. This is between you and me.

5 PLACES he has
1- So. Ogden
2- Riverdale
3- Sunset
4- Arizona (Mission)
5- New Mexico (Mission)

QUIRKY things about
1- He can hold a pencil between his upper lip and nose. He has
amazing lips.
2- His shoulders bounce A LOT when he laughs. I love

There's to my amazing and loving husband! Love

Last night
we baby sat his sister's kids, Amelia, Eli and Hazel. They were so much fun. Hazel was pretty
silly. She was playing on and with Lacy and Lacy was such a good dog. Hazel was sitting on
And putting the blanket
on top of Lacy. Then she decided to snuggle in Winston's bed. It seems everyone but Winston is
using this bed.
She was such a silly
little girl. We had a good time with them.


Christmas Time

I absolutely love Christmas. Daniel will tell you have I have been really
silly happy since Thanksgiving. We got our tree up last Wednesday. I spent Thursday evening
decorating it while he played games with his buddies. I think the dogs had it confirmed to
them that I am crazy. I had Christmas music on and was dancing around and singing along. I
just love Christmas. It makes me so happy. I have always loved Christmas and the Christmas
spirit. Part of the fun this year was when I did the gift from my sister-in-law Crystal's
family. We have Crystal and her family this year. We made a nativity set out of blocks and
stickers so kids can play with it. We matched a Christmas scripture with each block and did
the 12 days of Christmas so they open a block from now until Christmas. It definitely helped
put me in the right spirit.

Christmas tree this year. All the little gold ornaments are from places we went while were
back east this September. I love it. It reminds me of how much fun we had.This is
the advent calender that I started last year when I visited my grandma in Virginia. I finished
and I love hanging up the little ornaments.

Saturday was Daniel's Family Christmas party. His mom has nine siblings. It's a pretty big
party. They have a Santa every year. These are my nieces and nephews and
whispered what he wanted to Santa. Hazel was scared and hiding behind Crystal.Noah
didn't want to really get very close. Gracie would not get on Santa's lap, so Heather just
held her.

Yesterday I went up to my mother-in-law's to
make sweets with Crystal and Heather. We had a good time. We made some very yummy treats. I
will post the recipes because they are just that good. I have many more to make for the
Christmas parties I have coming up.
These are just some random pictures I have
taken that entertain me. Lacy is convinced she is a small dog.
We put
the dogs to be one night and they weren't ready to sleep. So this is what happened.
Winston was a puppy he liked to sit in random places. On top of Lacy's head was one of those
actually do get along most of the time.
would be Winston's choice of places to sit if we let him. Unfortunately his nails really hurt
when he does this.
This is
his new back yard perch. He can see more when he is up high.
Lacy is
a sun dog. Even if it is cold outside she will go outside and sit in the ramp to the shed in
the sun. Lazy Lacy.Last
week at Costco we bought a little bed for Winston. He likes to cuddle up against things so I
thought a bed with sides would be a good idea. He likes it. So does Lacy. He sits on the couch
with us sometimes and she is not allowed on the couch since she is so large and sheds like
nothing else. So she took to sleeping in Winston's little bed. Big dog in a little
This is
their general response when I tell them I have to leave for work. Love the
Daniel's dad was over this summer and threw a tennis ball that
landed in the fence, where Daniel's hand is. She tried to get it and could not figure out
This is
the general entertainment at my house. I don't know how I would survive without my animals.
People are right when they say it is unconditional love. They are always excited to see us and
spend time with us. I love them like children. They mean so much to us. I can only imagine how
much I will love my kids! (And spoil them rotten!)

Sorry for the long post. Hope it entertained those of you who followed it to the end!


Stalking and it's Benefits

I was told about a blog, The R House, where they have made their blog a forum for adoption and have linked to many others who are undergoing the same journey we have just started. On one of them she posted things she's learned. I thought this was good:

A Mini Lesson in Adoption Vocabulary

Say: "
unplanned pregnancy"
rather than
unwanted pregnancy."
Why it matters: Of course we don't want
any child to ever be unwanted.

for adoption
rather than
give up for adoption."
Why it matters: The word "place" implies
planning, preparation and careful choosing.

A birth mother who chooses adoption does
not "give up" her child, she chooses to give her child more... a more stable, nurturing family
than she herself is able to currently provide.

rather than
real mother."
Why it matters: Adoptive children have two real mothers.
The first mother brings them into the world and gives them life.
The second mother loves, hugs, kisses, feeds, bathes, teaches, reads stories, plays
games, bandages a skinned knee, helps with homework and cares for that child's every

Both are "real" mothers.

These are some the many little things that
we will learn during our journey.

I had no idea there
were so many people out there helping others to understand the
Miracle of
adoption and how much
Love is involved on both ends. There are so many young women who have unplanned pregnancies that end up being a miracle in their own life and the lives of those who have babies placed with them. My heart is so full of gratitude for those people out there showing that I should be grateful that I get to partake of these blessings.
There is nothing to be ashamed about in having an angel give me my
baby, instead of my body. I am getting very excited about the upcoming interview and can't
wait till we are approved.


By Janessa

I've been
I was tagged by: Janessa
I am: sitting here
waiting to leave for the Hellewell Family Christmas Party
I think: I should
eat some real breakfast
I know: I have other stuff to do, but I like the
internet better
I want: a baby
I have: the most
wonderful kind husband
I dislike: wet dogs (Winston just came in from the
I miss: a disposable income
I fear: sickness and
death in my family
I feel: fat
I hear: Simpsons on Xbox
360 (Daniel)
I smell: Wet dogs (again - snow and Winston)
I crave: peanut butter bars from G4 and lemon bars
I cry: when my
drugs are not properly adjusted
I search: for the bundt pan to cook my
cinnamon cake
I wonder: what I am doing this afternoon
regret: quitting dance when I was 11
AND HIS FAMILY!!!!!!!! (I'm a little jealous)
I love: my husband and my
stinky dogs
I care: for my husband and really stinky dogs
I always: forget
I am not: ugly
I remember: how
wonderful every Christmas season has been for me.
I believe: that the Lord
watches over us and directs us on the best path.
I sing: when I am utterly
and completely by myself
I don't: like to come up with meals every night
(How do you all do it? Do you?)
I argue: with my dad. He plays the devil's
advocate in almost every argument. Even if he agrees with me.
I write:
I win: when I remind Daniel that he loves me!
lose: control randomly
I listen: to my friends needs
don't understand: why my extended family has the most random unfortunate diseases.
I can usually be found: at my computer working or blogging.
forget: to do stuff all the time.
I am happy: to be your friend

This one is fun to think about. Maybe I will do it every once in
a while to see what's changed when prompted by these short phrases.

Coming soon: pictures of my Christmas decorations


Exciting News!

I just got the call to schedule our in-take interview!!! I am so excited.
We are meeting with our case-worker on Jan. 16. This is so we can make sure I have the first
installment in my checking account. At that we will have our background check's done and begin
the "home study" where they put together the large file/document about us, our life, and our
home. Yay. I'm so excited!


All I Can Say Is....

GO UTES!!!!!
I am so glad my Utes did so well


Mashed Potatoes

You Are Mashed

Ordinary, comforting, and more than a
little predictable

You're the glue that holds everyone



So many have you have commented on our choice to adopt. Thank you for your
words of support and encouragement. To keep everyone informed along the process, and to let
you know how long the process is and what is involved, I have put our "time-line" on the side
of the blog. It is much more involved than that, this is just the basic outline. The things we
have completed and the date we completed them are in purple. At our orientation interview we
were told it would take between 4 and 6 months to complete the application process. Then we
could end up waiting for months or years to get a baby placed with us. So here it goes.



5 things I was doing 10 years ago ...
1- In my sophomore
year of high school
2- Still taking piano lessons
don't really remember much

5 things on today's "to do" list...
1- eat -
you laugh - but I swear my stomach is shrinking and I'm sick
2- do 3 loads
of laundry
3- go to costco for milk
4- walk
5- do dishes

5 snacks I
1- cheez-its
2- brownies
lemon bars
4- Take 5 candy bars
5- fruit

5 things I would do if I were a millionaire...
1- build my dream house
2- buy a 2009 Honda CRV
3- treat my friends to dinner more often
4- spoil my
5- have my husband stay home with me

5 places I have lived...
1- Sunset, UT
Ogden, UT- Shadow Valley
3- Ogden, UT - 36th Street
Orem, UT
5- Ogden, UT - grandma's house

5 jobs that I have had...
1- Utah Museum of Natural
2- Weber State Special Collections
3- Museum of
Church History and Art
4- Park City Historical Society
5- University of Utah Special Collections

tag Amy C., Candace K. Aleisha M., Becky S., and anyone else who wants to do this.



Candace did this one on her blog and I
thought it looked fun. I would like to see anyone else do it

7 things I can do:
1- I
can play the piano well enough that no one else in my ward thinks they can take over for me
when we move (if we move :( )
2- I can do crafts -I flatter myself, but I
do okay.
3- I can be lazy. You laugh, but I know people who
4- I can cross-stitch, I have patience for the weirdest
5- I can read anything - I've even read a 900 page Charles
6- I can spend money with the best of them!
I can drive a stick shift car - both of current cars are standards.

7 things I can't

1-I can't do the splits - never could, even when I
danced when I was little.
2-I can't keep up on laundry - speaking
3-I can't have children. But I am okay with it. I will get my
miracle in a different way.
4-Play the violin - I wish I could. Maybe one
of my kids will.
5-I can't sing. Just in the car.
can't control my dogs. Crazy animals.
7-I can't grow my hair long. It's
just too fine - but it looks good short!

7 things that attract me to my hubby:
1-His mouth. He has the greatest lips.
sense of humor.
3-How he makes things up - like you would not believe. It's
pretty hard to fool me now.
4-How much he loves me and makes me feel like
the best thing in his world.
5-His left over track butt - track in high
school does a boy good!
6-His ability to make friends.
7-His height. I've always had a thing for a tall guy. With the dark and handsome of
course - he's dark in a different way ;)

7 things I always say:
1-"But you love me!"
2-"I love you"
3-"What do you want to do for dinner?"
4-"How was your
5-"Where's my animals?" - that's what I call my dogs.
6-"What do you want to watch?"
7-"Winston, stop that!"

7 things I love to

1- dough, batter, etc. - anything you bake
before you bake it!
2- bread, I love bread, rolls - especially hard
3- Black Tie Mousse Cake from Olive Garden - I used to take three
days - now it takes only a few minutes to eat the whole rich piece!
4- Take
5 Candy bars
5- Butterfingers
6- fresh fruit - I love
it! Thank you Costco!
7- Macaroni and

Anyone who
reads this blog needs to do this. I can't wait to learn things about you


The Biggest Adventure of Our Lives!

We are about to embark on the longest, hardest journey of our lives. But
first a little history. When I was 19 I got an auto-immune thyroid disease. We zapped my
thyroid dead and I am now on medication. Then next spring I had another auto-immune failure
and since then I have known I could not have my own children. So today Daniel and I went and
met with LDS Family Services for our Orientation Interview. Over the next 6 months we will go
through the process of applying for adoption through LDS Family Services. Wow. It's going to
be long and something of a roller-coaster, but we feel it's the right for us to do. So here we
go. I am so excited!


Dog Park!

There has been a dog park open in South Ogden, just behind Shopko on
Riverdale Road, this whole summer. Unfortunately we just decided it was worth visiting. We had a blast. We took the dogs for a romp a couple of times.

loved to run with the other dogs. She'd pretend to fetch the other dog's toys and then she
wouldn't let them retrieve them. It was like she was playing defense. It was good for her.
Winston played a little but he mostly stayed by us. He gets a little timid with lots of other
big dogs around. I can't wait til it opens again in April.

Happy Halloween

We didn't do much for Halloween. We did have friends over to watch "Corpse
Bride" and make cookies.
I took
the cookies very seriously.
As far
as the house goes - We have had people come and look. Someone even came for a second look. We
hope they are getting financing now and hope we will get an offer sometime this week. I hope.
We found the house we want to buy in Washington Terrace. So now we hope an offer is made soon
on our house. Wish us luck!


It's official

Our house is for sale. Here is the link. The sign
was put up on Monday night but the listing didn't go on the internet until early this
afternoon. In the last 12 hours our agent has gotten calls for two appointments on Friday.
Amazing. I have a feeling our house will sell fast. I hope we can the right place for us soon.
Wow. Life happens so fast. I accidentally put my camera cord in the storage unit we are using
for the month, so I will fetch it out and post more pictures. Wish us luck!



Our crazy has been evidenced
by yet one step more. We decided Sunday night that now is the right time to sell our house.
We've made some good improvements and we feel the time is right to move on. So here it goes.
Our goal is to have everything market ready my the end of next week. Lots of deep cleaning to
catch up on. Even though it is going to be stressful, we know it's the right



I like free stuff

Found this on another blog. Enter to win.



The most amazing trip ever!

We had such a good time. We saw so much and learned a ton. I took over 700
pictures. Here are only a few. You can look at my albums to see the whole thing.



Here are some pictures! We are having a blast!


Here in Virginia

I don't have pictures today. I will on Thursday or Friday. We have walked
tons of miles I swear. All over DC My feet are very sore. But today has been a rest. We are at
my grandma's house tonight just enjoying the company. My favorite thing thus far has been the
Vermeer pieces at the National Gallery of Art. Amazing. They even let Daniel take a picture of
me in front of it. So much to see and so much to tell. We have a few stories to tell. I will
tell them later! Having fun!


Trying to Leave Town

My poor dogs know something not good for them is going on. They are pouting
and won't let me out of their sight. Winston even went this far:Can you
see the end of his bones just under my pants at the top center? He likes to hide bones and it
made me laugh when he did this.

My next post will be
when he have officially left town! I'll try to post from the East Coast. SO EXCITED!!! Flying
over the Blue Ridge Mountains....Landing
in Washington D.C. to spend a few days...Then to
Charlottesville where I will see these two amazing girls who have been checking my blog every
time they visit grandma to see how long till I come. I'm so excited to see these

(girls - I have birthday gifts for
Travels to come!!!


Beaver + Vacuum =

Something I never want to do again. At the Utah Museum of Natural
History we have taxidermied animals. They are in cases but those cases are not sealed tight.
So bugs get in. Well our beaver, affectionately named Barry, had an infestation. So we put him
in a deep, deep, deep freeze (-70) for three days. Then two days out, then three more days in.
One his two days out we had to pull the bugs off and vacuum him clean. With a small dental
vacuum.I think
that was one of the oddest things I have ever done, or ever will do in my life. Weird. Just
pay too much attention to the fact that my hair looks funny with a mask. But I mean - who does
this stuff?



I did quit my job! But I'm not as relieved as I thought I'd be. Because I
am leaving for two weeks, I can't just quit next week. Although I want too, she'd be really
mad. (There I go again, loyal!) But also I will have to train a replacement. I have about 19
days of work left, if I quit at the end of October. I would like to quit sooner. But here is
why I am angry. Right after I told my boss she told me that last week she applied for a job
herself, out of state. Wasn't going to tell me. I was not very happy. So now I will work three
days, go out of town for 10 and deal with it when I get home. But it didn't quit turn out the
way I had hoped. Now she's trying to get other people to tell me to stay. HAH! That's funny.
Not. happening. I told her I was impervious to such tactics. Tomorrow I will post pictures of
my most recent adventure, and another reason I am quitting. Let's just say Beaver + dental
vacuum = not fun.


Help..of some sort.

I'm stressed out. I think that's why I have cut my hair, gained weight, put
cereal in the freezer and I'm always tired. So here is how I need help. I need to quit my job
in Salt Lake. I feel guilty doing it though. I am now "committed" to a conference in October,
a trip to return artifacts to St. George in October, and project and trip in the middle of
November. I could get out of them all except the conference in October, they've already paid
for that. How do I quit? My boss intimidates me and I feel like I'd be chickening out if I
sent an e-mail to tell her I need to talk to her about quitting. I hate the guilt feelings,
but I told her when she hired me that I'd probably work until Christmas, when I expected to
look at other job opportunities.

picture is almost two years old, but this is how I feel. Caught off guard, confused and
looking for something. Help.



What happens when....
You find your cereal in the
freezer...and blame it on your husband when it was actually you;
Your dog's feet turn green from running around on freshly cut grass...and he doesn't care but you do;
And youdecide to cut your hair at 10:00 at night so call and get an appointment all because you were looking through pictures. (I like it better short)You go on Vacation to Bear Lake and enjoy a couple of sunny days and only take pictures on the one
rainy day. Although it was beautiful. I've always loved storms. I talked to my cousin on my way home on Thursday. He's a psych/socio major and said I'm
overdoing it. I agree. There is a guilt factor. I can't quit because of how busy my Salt Lake
job will be in October and November. I'll quit at Thanksgiving. My house is a mess. I want to
do fun stuff, like crafts, play the piano and cook, but any time at home is spent cleaning or
working my other job. Don't know what to do! Anyway. Then throw in the desire to work in
Museums forever fighting against my inclination to want a baby and you have a mess. Meet
Ashley Mess Allen. That's me. Insane. Maybe after a 10 day trip back east I'll be a little
better off. I hope so. Signing off and joining the Space Cadet Corp - yours truly, Insanity
Allen. (You should have seen the typos I had to correct as I typed this small paragraph.