Monday, January 28, 2008


Last night Gordon Bitner Hinckley passed away at the age of 97. He was the Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Is it strange to say that I miss him already? I didn't know him personally but have admired and respected him since I was 17. For me, he has been the prophet of my adult life. With his example, tireless energy and constant direction to the members of the Church, I have listened, laughed and tried to be a better person. He was a valiant servant to the Lord and I am grateful to have been an adult member of the Church during his lifetime. When I look at the things he has accomplished in his lifetime, I know I need to work harder.
There were two things that I loved about President Hinckley. The first was his humor. I often found myself chuckling when he would speak because his humor was so abundant. He had a sharp mind and endless energy, and when asked about his longevity, he would reply with a comment such as this, "The idea I try to follow is to go to bed every night and be sure you get up in the morning."

The second thing I adored was his relationship with his wife - Marjorie. When he spoke of her it was with honor and I believe their relationship was real and full of humor. One of the most touching talks I ever heard him deliver was called The Women In Our Lives, soon after he lost his beloved companion. The love and respect between the two of them was very apparent and it was beautifully stated in this comment,

"As I held her hand and saw mortal life drain from her fingers, I confess I was overcome. Before I married her, she had been the girl of my dreams, to use the words of a song then popular. She was my dear companion for more than two-thirds of a century, my equal before the Lord, really my superior. And now in my old age, she has again become the girl of my dreams."

His later stated that, "In our old age my beloved companion said to me quietly one evening, “You have always given me wings to fly, and I have loved you for it.”

His relationship with his sweetheart is one of many examples of his humility, character and love. He was truly an example for all of us and I will miss his sweet spirit.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Chocolate Frosting Recipe

I have had a few emails for the frosting recipe - I hope you all like it!

This recipe is from Martha Stewart. It is lovely, decadent and probably a bazillion calories. But who cares? I am not a frosting lover but this one is simply amazing. They had little Mrs. Milman on the show onetime and it was so funny. This lady gave Martha a run for her money. First by saying she always uses cake mixes from a box (as Martha is making hers from scratch). In her day they had to make everything from scratch and she loved it when they came so easy in a box. Then questioned Martha's use of unsalted butter. "Why don't you just use salted butter and not add salt later?" I had always wondered that too. But apparently you can control the salt intake better with unsalted butter and adding salt later. That salt content really helps out with a frosting that has 4 cups of heavy whipping cream! :)

Mrs. Milman's Chocolate Frosting

24 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 cups of heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. light corn syrup

(Sidenote on the corn syrup - it is Martha's addition - it apparently makes the frosting a little more smooth).

Place chocolate morsels and cream in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until combined and thickened, between 20 and 25 minutes. Increase the heat to medium low; cook, stirring, 3 minutes more. Remove pan from heat.

Stir in corn syrup. Transfer to a metal bowl and chill until cool enough to spread, about 2 hours, checking and stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. Use immediately.

I like it with Devil's Food Cake and there is PLENTY of frosting, it makes about 6 cups.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy Birth-Week to Me!!!!!

It is my Birth-week. I started celebrating this holiday about 7 years ago when I realized that my well-meaning family would probably forget my birthday. Unless I took measures to remind them - like email them on my birthday and tell them they have 7 days to respond. Since this helped dramatically, it has become a habit.

In defense of the Brown family, we are all somewhat lame when it comes to remembering birthdays. With 11 kids in our family, I am grateful when I remember half of their birthdays. I would remember them a lot more if they sent out emails - hint, hint!

So I am the big 3-0. And I feel great. I am going out to eat with my husband tonight and the girlies tomorrow night. Low-key and lovely. Sounds like the beginning of a perfect week.

PS - That is a picture of Darren's birthday cake and it has the best frosting in the whole wide world! If you want the recipe, let me know....

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Family Tree

While in the midst of my daily blogstalking, I went to one of my favorite sites - design mom. Her guest Leslie was talking about family trees and showed some pictures of a family tree like this one.
I love, love, love this design! My sister in law, Elizabeth has a similar one in her entryway that makes me motivated to make one of my own. I mean, Darren and I just made our own little family, why not try documenting it? Then I remembered seeing this family tree on sale at Red EnvelopeI am not going to lie - this one looks a little bit easier to do than the 15 generation chart. My only worry is that there are not enough leaves and my penmanship is not what anyone would refer to as "pretty." Sigh. Can I pay someone to write for me?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Election Fun - Who do you agree with more?

I know I have been a slacker for not keeping this thing regularly updated but I feel that I have a few good reasons.

1) I have a very busy schedule reading other blogs. Some call it blog stalking, I call it keeping in touch with people I don't know.

2) I have been OBSESSED with the upcoming election. I could watch the news for hours every night. Love Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck - can you guess what side I'm on?

My friend Aubrey recently sent me a link to this site:

Select a Candidate 2008

It helps you select your candidate depending on your answers to a few simple questions.

My scores were as follows:

1) Duncan Hunter (50%) - that is surprising, seeing how this guy is NEVER mentioned in the news, but maybe he should be?

2) Mitt Romney (41%) - Not a surprise there. But I do disagree with him on Iraq, immigration and gun control (according to the results).

Fred Thompson, Rudy Guiliani, and John McCain (in that order) are next and get this - Hillary Clinton scored above that clown Mike Huckabee. It's a sad day when I would rather vote for Hillary Clinton than Mike Huckabee (which I would).

Have you registered to vote? If not, go to Rock the Vote website.

You have until my birthday - January 22nd to mail in your registration. Hopefully, I will have updated this blog at least once....

Thursday, January 3, 2008

What do you get on your first Christmas? Snow.

Our first Christmas - we were fortunate to have it snowing the night before so it was beautiful.

Here is a picture of me and my sweetheart (the ones taken early Christmas morning are quite atrocious and therefore will not be posted):
But here is what it looked like on Christmas morning when we woke up - perfect, huh?

Home from the Holidays

We are home. After a great trip to Utah to see the Brown and Harris families - we are happy to be home. Sad to work again - we are still hoping to have that independently wealthy lifestyle. In about 30 years :) We have a lot of work to do. Here is the holidays summed up:

Party at Jacque's beautiful new house - 10 of the 11 siblings were present. Lots of Mexican food, soda, Santa and the Nativity Scene. Thanks for letting us use your house Jax!

Here are the little people gathered around for Santa:
I love the look on my niece Madeline's face:

My niece Arden is adorable, but not really paying attention:

Debbie (sister), Johnny (brother) and Darren (devoted husband) are enjoying the show:

Here is my niece Libby on Santa's lap. I love how her hand is buried in his beard.
My nephew Ezekiel was wanting his Dad (brother Johnny) really bad, here is his sad face:
Here are almost all of the Brown women (we are missing one) and I am sorry Jacque - your face is totally hidden!
This is about as organized as it gets with little people doing the Nativity scene.

We left feeling full from all of the fabulous Mexican food - posole, tamales (wrapped in banana leaves - so amazing!), 3 different types of salsa and of course - beans and tortillas. We were tired, full, and exhausted - the by-products of an amazing party! Thanks Browns...