Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Eggs

It is fun to get ready for Easter morning. Dying Easter eggs is a big deal around here. This year we went over to my parent's house and made our beautiful creations. We started with 7 dozen hard boiled eggs. We got some really bright pretty colors. Each kiddo had their own technique. Andrew was the fast one who went through a huge amount of eggs. Emily went for the bright colors and Ryan was thoughtful. It was fun to include my aunt Gail in the whole thing. She loves doing stuff with the family. Now, we have 44 eggs hidden around our home waiting for eager kiddos to find them. Erik gets pretty tricky too. We'll see how they do. I have faith in the kiddos. I do predict a lot of egg salad sandwiches in our future.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


We woke up earlier this week and looked out the window. We saw this sight. Definitely not "popcorn popping on an apricot tree." That would be funny if the writer of that spring song was from Minnesota. I wonder what all those little primary kidlets would be singing about...probably something about smud (snow and mud mixture) piles and road rivers..hehehe. By the afternoon our new snow had turned into mini-rivers running down our street. Andrew had taken it upon himself to build a dam at the end of our driveway so that our neighbors would not get any water. I kept driving on it though and ruining it. This just doesn't feel like spring. The word at the bus stop is more snow tonight. I think it is really pretty, but I am ready for the green leaves and budding flowers pictures. They actually said on the radio that scientists are worried that spring is coming earlier each year. I don't think that they have spent much time around here.

St. Patrick's Day Weekend

This post is late, but before we know it Easter will be here and St. Patrick's day will be forgotten. Way back in the BYU days of our marriage our neighbors invited us over for a corned beef and cabbage dinner. It was so good, that we adopted this tradition for ourselves. This year Erik made 3 corned beefs and we had the MN family over for a fun time. After dinner we played games. Andrew was a crack up on wii tennis. (I wish I had a video of that to share...he just bounced around and got some good shots in) We also played Apples to Apples Jr., Taboo and Guestures. I thought it was a fun relaxed time. Dad thought people should be paid to play Guestures..I guess that game was not on his top ten game list.

Emily also had her third dance show this past weekend. She was able to dance at the Mall of America. Camp Nick was having its opening weekend celebrations. It was neat for her to be part of that history. Sadly I missed the show because I became very sick with the flu and was stuck on my couch. This was only the beginning of a week of sickness at the Apple Valley household..Ry also came down with it and Erik has pneumonia. We are waiting to see what happens with Andrew. Any way, Erik went to the show and thought it was a fun. Shortly after the show, Emily came down with a fever and was sick in bed too.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Feed My Starving Children

That is probably not the best title for this post because it implies my children are starving, but it is an attention getter right? Read on and you will understand. For a long time, I have wanted to find a place where my family could go and help out. Probably because of my lack of imagination, but I have struggled to find a place that allows younger children to participate too. Months ago, my friend Tiffany told me about a place called "Feed My Starving Children" where her ward Relief Society went to volunteer. (I cannot figure out the link option, so check out their website at They worked in teams to measure food ingredients into bags, weigh and heat seal them and then pack the boxes to be shipped around the world. I thought it sounded really neat and so I locked that information into my brain and quickly forgot about it.
Then last week my dad called and told me about this cool project that his church was taking on. They wanted to pack 1,000,000 meals in a week for this cool organization. I listened and thought it would be neat to include the kiddos. Guess what? It was the same organization. Also, they welcome helpers of all ages. We had an amazing time.

We got to see a great video that showed how much this program helps kids around the world. We then went to work. Andrew got to scoop rice, chicken, vegetables and soy...Ryan enjoyed the same scooping jobs but he also got to help with the heat sealing and Emily also had a turn with scooping, weighing and sealing.
I loved that the kiddos got to think about others needs and actually do something about it. Andrew said, "the best part is that we worked really hard." Emily said she won't ever say she is starving again, and of course Ryan was all about helping out people. The kiddos had so much fun, that they went 2 times last week with Grandpa Bill. Dad's church met and exceeded their goal, which I am sure is because my 4, 7 and 9 year olds were able to help out too. I picked up a FMSC brochure and found out that this is something that we can easily do again and again. (not the 1,000,000 meals in a week part...but the service part)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Yummy Sweet Potato Soufflé

This is probably one of the yummiest pictures I have ever taken! Oh, in the pan behind the orange heaven is honey-mustard chicken...that can be an entire post of its own sometime. So good! I digress. I was served this delicious treat about 2 years ago...and instantly I became a sweet potato fan. (I don't think I ever even bothered to put sweet potatoes on my plate until then) Because it takes me a really long time to do stuff, I finally made this sweet goodness on Sunday. It was so easy. I don't know why it took me so long to try it. The kiddos suffered through the cooking event, but don't they say you have to introduce new foods to kids like 6 times before they "like" it? Bummer, I guess I have to make it again..hehehe. Anyway, we have had left-overs and they are all I can think about. I don't think (in fact I know) that this is not a Weight Watchers friendly dish. Oh well, sweet potatoes are good for you right? Here is the recipe..try it and see what you think!
Sweet Potato Souffle

1 (18 ounce) can sweet potatoes, drained and mashed. (I used 3 huge potatoes and boiled them, peeled them then mashed them)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans (I used chopped walnuts)
1/3 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine soufflé ingredients, mixing well. Pour into buttered, 2-quart souffle dish.
3. Combine topping ingredients, mixing well. Crumble over the potato mixture.
4. Bake uncovered 35-45 minutes.