Monday, January 25, 2010

Enchiladas Recipe

1can (19 oz) Old El Paso® enchilada sauce (any variety)
2cups diced cooked chicken
1 1/2cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (6 oz)
1cup sour cream
1can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso® chopped green chiles
1package (11 oz) Old El Paso® flour tortillas for burritos (8 tortillas; 8 inch)
1cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)

Chopped avocado or green onions, if desired

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Serve with...
Corn and Black Bean Salad Corn and Black Bean Salad
Total Time: 1 hour 15 min
1.Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup enchilada sauce in bottom of baking dish. In medium bowl, stir together chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream and chiles.
2.Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas; arrange, seam sides down, in baking dish. Top enchiladas with remaining enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Spray sheet of foil with cooking spray; cover baking dish with foil, sprayed side down.
3.Bake 35 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until hot and cheese is melted. Top with avocado or green onions. If desired, serve with lettuce, chopped tomato and additional sour cream.

I actually substituted diced chicken with a large can of all-white chicken breast. It turned out really good. In some recipes, I can tell that it's canned chicken but I couldn't tell in this one. Plus, it made it super quick and easy. It only took me about 10 minutes to prepare and put in the oven.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

However Long and Hard

I checked out this book from our church library on Sunday and finished it today. Each chapter was a different talk he had given while he was the president of BYU. I think. At any rate, it made the book a really quick read. I love Elder Holland. I know we're not supposed to have a favorite church leader or whatever but Elder Holland is definitely one of my faves. I love him. He mentioned in this book that he has spent most of his professional and academic life surrounded by young people and has tender feelings for young married and single adults. I guess I still consider myself a young adult. As a family we are at a very pivotal and volatile time--Adam is almost done with school, we're struggling financially, and we find ourselves at a huge crossroads. I found this passage from Elder Holland very comforting:

And so I ask us to be patient in things of the spirit. Perhaps your life has been different from mine, but I doubt it. I have had to struggle to know my standing before God. As a teenager I found it hard to pray and harder to fast. My mission was not easy. I struggled as a student only to find that I had to struggle afterwards, too. In my church and professional assignments, I have wept and ached for guidance. It seems that no worthy accomplishment has ever come easily for me, and maybe it won't for you-- but I'm living long enough to be grateful for that.

It made me think about a conversation Adam and I had several weeks ago where he was venting his frustration that things seem to come easily for a lot of people (re: employment). But things are never as easy or simple as they may appear, even for an apostle.

Do Your Face

A few weeks ago as we were driving home, James kept scrunching up his face and saying, "Mom, look at my face." We were laughing and then noticed that Ruby was trying to mimic James. Now, all we have to say to her is, "Do your face!" and she squeezes her eyes and shows her teeth. It is the cutest thing ever! I love it!

Christmas 2009

I finally got a new USB cable for our camera! Check that one off my New Year's resolution list. Check. These pictures are a little late but here they are nonetheless. It was a fireman Christmas for James--new fireman boots, coat, and Little People fire station. He was especially excited about his coat and boots since he'd been talking about them for months and hoping Santa would bring them for him. Thanks, Santa! (aka: grandma!)
Ruby was so excited for her new stroller. She pushes it all over the house and loves to take her baby for walks. She will have me wrap her baby in a blanket and then she cradles her and kisses her. It is so stinking cute.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Dumbest Generation

I recently finished reading The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30). I enjoyed reading this book. Basically, the premise is that the rising generation is constantly "tuned in" either to television, texting, instant messaging, blogging, social networking, you tube, ipods, and every other digital gadget and therefore is pulling them away from reading and being informed about current and past events. As a result, the generation Y is actually the least educated in liberal arts, politics, current affairs, vocabulary, literature, and history despite the fact that knowledge and information is nearly ubiquitous. Many children, teenagers and even adults rarely 'unplug' long enough to mediate and have quiet moments to focus on a single activity like reading.
It's so interesting to me that science and research a lot of times confirms what church leaders have been saying for years and, in some cases, centuries and millenia. We already know the benefits that come from meditation, prayer, and quiet study. This book just reaffirmed what I had already known but it also revived the desire I have for my children to learn to love reading, the beauty of the arts, and the importance of history. My dream is to one day have a library in my home, a room where every wall is covered with books and several comfy LaZ boys in the middle with maybe a desk and some beanbags. I guess it would have to be a pretty big room. I do love me a good book.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Child of God

I've been thinking a lot about trials and how some people are burdened with trials that seem almost too great to bear. A good friend of mine recently revealed that he is gay. He served a mission, he's been very actively involved in church, and he's one of the nicest guys I know. I've thought a lot about him lately and his struggles. My heart goes out to him and the "personal hell" he has lived for so long. I love my friend and I will never stop being his friend but I also admit that I am confused. In an effort to understand something that seems almost impossible for me to understand, my sister sent me the following link. This is a great article--it is hopeful and much of it focuses on the Atonement and the plan of salvation.
It ends with this quote from Brigham Young.

Brigham Young’s words describe the promise and the fulfillment of that homeward journey: “Your spirits when they came to take [earthly] tabernacles were pure and holy. There is no spirit among the human family that was begotten in hell; none that were begotten by angels, or by any inferior being. They [are all the children of] our Father in heaven. He is the Father of our spirits; and if we could know, understand, and do His will, every soul would be prepared to return back into His presence. And when they get there, they would see that they had formerly lived there for ages, that they had previously been acquainted with every nook and corner, with the palaces, walks, and gardens; and they would embrace their Father, and He would embrace them and say, ‘My son, my daughter, I have you again;’ and the child would say, ‘O my Father, my Father, I am here again.’” [xxxviii]

This quote brings tears to my eyes every time I read it and I think about James and his first week in Sunbeams. We came home and while he was eating lunch he said, "I'm going to go look at myself in the mirror and say 'I am a child of God.'" And he ran to the bathroom.
Yesterday I heard him messing around in the bathroom and then overheard him say, "I am a child of God." I thought to myself how different this world would be if everyone knew and believed that about themselves. I hope James never forgets how precious he is and whose son he really is.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Holidays

Christmas was pretty low-key this year. There weren't a ton of presents--Adam and I actually didn't purchase one single gift either for each other or for the kids--due to Adam's unemployment and now my father-in-law's unemployment. Fortunately, my mom more than made up for our scanty supply. She went above and beyond for the kids and they had a great Christmas morning. James was especially excited about his rubber fireman boots and fire chief coat. He wears them everywhere. Ruby has loved pushing around her new stroller and doll. She will bring the doll and blanket to me for me to wrap her doll up and then she holds her and kisses her. It is the cutest thing ever. She couldn't be any cuter. I LOVE this age before they can say much and they don't know when they're being cute and they don't know how to be intentionally obnoxious.

For New Year's, we went to my brother's house and sang a lot of bad karaoke. It was fun but I think Adam picked up the stomach flu from one of the kids. I think James is starting to come down with it now.

Some funny things James has said lately:

He was playing on the stairs with his cousin (4) and they were looking at my wedding picture. James said, "My mom and dad got married a long, long time ago. And I was in my mommy's tummy." Great! Hope he doesn't blurt that one out at church. By the way, that is not true.

The other day he pretended to cut off my finger and then said, "There you go, mom. Now you have a bloody stump." Ok... they only thing he watches is Mickey, Bob the Builder and Wiggles. Pretty sure they're not talking about bloody stumps on those shows. Unless maybe Bob had a horrible, horrible accident. In which case, I actually wouldn't mind seeing that episode.

Check out It's pretty funny.

A Little Catch-up

In the spirit of Becky V's latest blog entry, I have decided to focus on things that I am looking forward to in 2010 and/or we would like to accomplish in to particular order:

--Adam to land a sweet job in medical sales
--Buy a USB cable for my camera. I'm sick of taking awful pictures with my phone.
--Start P90X (an intense workout/eating regime)
--Lose 5-10 pounds
--Attend the temple at least 1-2 times a month
--Enjoy our FREE trip to LA in March with EF
--Enjoy our FREE trip to a tropical resort in the fall with EF (I haven't actually earned this yet but I will)
--Move out of our house and upgrade to something we can grow into
--Buy a second car
--Go camping and several hiking ventures with the kids
--Trip to Utah to visit friends who we haven't seen in years
--Read 1-2 books per month, one fiction, one non-fiction
--Maybe get pregnant????????????????????? What am I saying?
--Attend more live performances
--Spend more time with friends
--Go on more dates
--More consistent scripture study

That's about all I can think of right now. I'm sure I will add to the list as the year progresses.