Saturday, November 26, 2011

Love this movie

Tonight I'm watching Mona Lisa Smile. It's such a great movie.
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Thursday, November 24, 2011


Oh. My.

So. Full.

Seriously.  So full.

We had a pretty dang good thanksgiving. :)  We had Maddi and Stori over and we made WAY TOO MUCH food.  We had:

Chips and Cranberry Salsa as an appetizer.  (SO YUM!), Turkey (duh.), Cornbread Stuffing, Butternut Squash Gratin, Amazing Sweet Potatoes (Thanks Connie!  So delish!), Creamy Parmesan Peas, Green Bean Casserole, Roasted Carrots, Scalloped Potatoes Mushroom Gravy, Cranberry sauce and rolls...

Then, For dessert, we made a Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle, Pecan Pie, Apple Cranberry Crisp and Maddi and Stori surprised us by bringing Fluffy Pumpkin Bars.

I'll have to come on and post all of the yummy recipes!

8,000 calories later...

We were tired.  We all got together and watched Jim Carey's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".  It was lots of fun. :)

We also took a minute to remember things that we are thankful for this year.... Here are a few:

Family, Friends, Skyrim (haha.)

Candy, Legos & Toys, Getting Loves

My Family and Milk!

My Family, My Kids

We love you all and are very thankful for all of our friends and family. 

Happy Thanksgiving,
 from The Jensons
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Countdown to thanksgiving: 2 days

Are you all cooking yet!? I'm spending a good chunk of time today in the kitchen preparing for more cooking tomorrow and then lots of reheating and cooking on Thursday!!!

Anyway, I didn't blog last night because I was so dang tired for something I'm grateful for: GIRLS NIGHT OUT!!

A group of us went to see Breaking Dawn: Part 1 last night. We went and had some yummy Mexican food before and then went to the movies. It was so much fun. The best part though, is when I got home. I guess Astrid had her grouchy pants on last night and barely had fallen asleep when I got home. Well, I walked through the door and started talking to Cooper and BAM Astrid is awake and wanting me. So I fed her and when she was all full Marcus had a nightmare. Coop went in to take care of him and Marcus asked for me. So I went into his room and laid on his bed and we cuddled. It was so nice and so sweet. He was so happy I was home.

You would think I wad gone for a week instead of just a few hours, but it's so nice to feel so wanted, loved and missed. A few hours away is so good for my mood!!! Pin It

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Countdown to Thanksgiving: 4 days

I'm thankful for our friends.

We are so blessed to have such good friends in our lives. Old friends, new friends, friends that live close by, and friends who are too far away for our liking!

I love that I have someone to shoot a grouchy text to, someone who I can be excited about amazing news with, someone to complain about annoying people with and to lend a shoulder to when times are rough. I love that we can talk all day and then go days without chatting and its like no time goes by at all. Not many people have someone like that. I'm really grateful that I do.

And they know who they are. ;) Pin It

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Countdown to Thanksgiving: 5 days

I'm thankful for my home.

I always tell Marcus that home us wherever mommy and daddy are. If we are in another state visiting family, or here in Utah, wherever our little family is, that's home. :) Pin It

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: 7 Days

I'm thankful for modern medicine!!

So, my good friend Jeanne is 36 weeks pregnant. Earlier this week she was having some pre-eclampsia signs. So her doctors had her stay in the hospital and today they decided to induce her. Thankfully because if today's medicine Jeanne has gotten steroid shots to help her baby girls lungs be ready early, so at 36 weeks she will likely be just fine! Years ago when this wasn't available, a 36 week old babe wouldn't be able to breathe on her own at 36 weeks because a baby's lungs are the last organ to develop and are still maturing well into the 38th/39th week.

So YAY for modern medicine! It's bringing my Jeanne a sweet baby girl real soon! (she might even be here already!!!) Pin It

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Countdown to Thanksgiving: 8 Days

I'm thankful for television!  Hahaha!

Really.  I got this recipe from the news one afternoon and it's my favorite recipe to make for guests and my favorite lasagna recipe BY FAR.  It sounds complicated but really it's not AT ALL.  Try it!  It makes your house smell AMAZING!

Roasted Veggie Chicken Lasagna

First, Make the veggies:

For the Veggies:
1 small yellow squash
1 zucchini
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 large package button mushrooms
1 red onion
2-4 small tomatoes
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Dice all the veggies into 1/4" cubes.  In a large bowl, toss together with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Roast for 30 minutes, stirring after about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

After the Veggies are in the oven, make the Chicken:

For the Chicken:
2 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 pot 3/4 full of water
2 teaspoons Salt
4 bay leaves
1/4-1/2 cup lemon juice (from the bottle is fine)

Put everything into a large pot.  Chicken can be frozen!  Bring to a boil over high heat and then simmer for 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken and let cool.  Shred with a fork.

While he chicken is simmering, and the veggies are in the oven, boil a large pot for the lasagna noodles.  While those are cooking, prepare the sauce:

For the Sauce:
1/4 c butter
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c flour
1 c milk
2 c chicken stock
1 c Parmesan cheese, shredded

In a medium pot, melt the butter.  Add the garlic and cook over low until it starts to brown.  Add the flour with a whisk to form a rough.  Add the milk and sock slowly while whisking so there are no lumps.  As the sauce thickens, switch to a wooden spoon and stir in cheese.

Then, put your shredded chicken into your sauce.

Assemble lasagna by layering noodles, mozzarella cheese, sauce, veggies, and then more noodles until a 9x13" pan is filled and all ingredients are gone.Top with mozzarella cheese.    Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-35 minutes until bubbly and cheese on top is melted.  Let stand about 5 minutes before cutting.  Serve immediately.  

This keeps for about a week in the refrigerator in an air tight container.  It's really yummy cold too.  Pin It

Monday, November 14, 2011

Countdown to Thanksgiving: 10 days

I have been a countdown slacker!

Okay... I'm thankful for Grandparents!

This past Sunday was a high- and low day.  That morning we found out that my Grandfather is in the hospital.  He is my last-surviving grandpa, and I was NOT expecting to hear that at all.  He is going to be fine, but will be in the hospital for a few days.  Then, that evening, we celebrated Cooper's Grandpa's 80th birthday.  It was a surprise and we had a lot of fun.

Anywho, we have lots of GREAT grandparents in our family and I really am thankful for them all.  I know that if I have a problem, ONE of our grandparents will know how to fix it.

If my thread is jammed in my sewing machine, you bet I'll call my Grandma Sybil. 
If I need an idea about decorating, I'll call Grandma Nancy. 
If I'm stumped on the name of an old movie but I really want to watch it, I can call Grandpa Don and he'd help me figure out which one I'm thinking of.
If my garage door just won't close and I can't figure it out, I could call my Grandpa John and he'd walk me through what to do.
If Coop misses the BSU game and needs a quick score check, Grandpa Bill is the person to call.
If I need some tips on dealing with my crazy 4 year old, Grandma Hazel could give me some good ones.
If my bread just doesn't turn out one day and I can't figure out why, I could call Grandma Charlene and she could figure out why.

I'm thankful that I have that opportunity to have such valuable knowledge just a phone call away. Pin It

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Coundown to Thanksgiving: 14 days

Two weeks until Thanksgiving!  I can't believe it!  This whole year has gone by SO FAST.

I am thankful for TIME.

Time with my family.
Time by myself.
Time driving from point A to point B.
Time to eat.
Time to sleep.
Time to dream.
Time to pray.
Time to go to church.
Time to play.
Time to plan.
Time to rush.
Time to waste.
Time with our friends.
Time to think.
Time to exercise.
Time to veg... Pin It

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Countdown to Thanksgiving: 16 and 15 Days

So, I missed blogging for what I was thankful for yesterday... so today I'll do two...

Two sets big beautiful brown eyes.

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Countdown to Thanksgiving: 17 Days

I'm thankful for technology.

Because of it just today...

I can make invitations for an upcoming party without paying a gazillion bucks to have them printed, and also print out the 50 invitation envelopes without having do them all by hand.

I heard someone's voice over the phone that I haven't talked to in a long time.

Wrote a text message to Cooper's Grandmother.

Sent pictures over the phone instantly to our parents of the kids.

Saw approximately how many miles left I have to drive on our gas tank before going empty.

Anywho, technology is pretty dang cool. Pin It

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Countdown to Thanksgiving: 18 days

Today I'm Thankful for Imagination.

My little fam is battling a cold and none of us felt tip top this morning when we woke up.  Instead of infecting our whole neighborhood, we decided to stay home and have a pajama day.  It was quite nice to watch movies, and play games and relax and rejuvenate for the day.

I have witnessed so much imagination today and it makes me very happy

I followed four hobbits, a wizard, an elf, an unbeknownst king, and a dwarf go on a quest to throw a ring into a fiery volcano to save a world created in the mind of a man in the early mid-century 1900s.

I listened to a four year old have a conversation between dinosaurs about math.

I watched a three month old discover her hands and toes and wonder about them.

 I was flooded with hundreds of great ideas from people all over the world/country via the internet when I finally joined Pinterest.

It was quite a good day, and imagination sparked it all.

"Imagination is not a talent of some people, 
but is the health of every person."
 -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Countdown to Thanksgiving: 19 Days

I'm grateful for Pie.

Pie is one of my favorite desserts because it is (really!) easy to make.  Take your slightly over ripe fruits and mix with sugar and flour (or any thickener... potato starch, arrowroot powder, tapioca...) pour into a crust, top and bake.  Or a custard pie, milk, sugar and eggs either baked or refrigerated. Even meat pies... chicken pot pie anyone?

Pie for breakfast (this quiche recipe is great, but it needs a crust!)
Pie for lunch (pocket pies, anyone?! THIS recipe looks DIVINE!)
Pie for dinner (Chicken pot pie! Yum! Recipe to follow!)
and of course...
Pie for dessert!

I know so many people who are afraid of making pie because the crust is intimidating.  It really is quite easy and the trick is to make sure everything is COLD.  I have known pie making geniuses to put their hands in a bowl of ice water before handling their dough.

Here is my never-fail double pie crust (fruit pies, pot pies, hand pies, etc...)

2 c all purpose flour
2/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening (or butter... I prefer butter)
6 tablespoons COLD water

-In a bowl, combine flour and salt, cut in shortening til crumbly.  I like to do this by using a pizza cutter and running it over the butter and cutting it over and over until the butter is in pea-size pieces or smaller.
-Fill a separate small bowl with an ice cube and some cold water.  Gradually add water to butter/flour mix until dough forms a ball.
-Divide the dough in half so one ball is slightly larger than the other.  VERY SLIGHTLY flour your rolling surface, just barely to prevent sticking.  Roll the larger ball out in a circle to fit a 9"-10" pie pan.  (I prefer to use either glass or ceramic.) Transfer to pan by gently folding in quarters, laying into one quarter quadrant of the pie pan and then unfolding.
-Trim pastry even with the edge of the plate using kitchen shears.  Pour filling into the crust.  Roll out the second ball and cut slits in the pastry.  You can use cookie cutters for a cute effect. :)
-Position over filling and trim so you have about 1" hanging over the pie plate edges.  Fold top crust over the bottom, and then decorate edges (HERE is a great site on how to make pretty pies!).
-Bake according to directions in the recipe.

Chicken Pot Pie Recipe (Makes 1 9x13" casserole dish)
For the Crust:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground sage
4 tablespoons butter (REALLY COLD)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1 egg beaten, with 1 tablespoon of water

For the Filling:
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, bite size pieces
1/4 c olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp onion salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 small chopped onion
bag frozen mixed veggies (the ones that are cut in small cubes with peas, carrots, and cut green beans)
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 cream of mushroom soup recipe (see below) or 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high.  Add chicken, garlic, onion salt, and pepper and cook thoroughly.
-Remove chicken from skillet and turn heat to low.
-Add vegetables and cook until thawed.
-Meanwhile, In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sage.  Cut butter into mixture and then add milk.  Divide in half, one ball slightly larger than the other, and roll out the large ball to fit a 9x13" baking dish.
- Add mushroom soup to the heated vegetables, and add celery seed, pepper, salt and garlic powder.  Heat through.  Add in chicken, and pour into your 9x13" bottom crust.
-Roll out the other ball of dough to fit the top of the 9x13" baking dish.  Trim edges with kitchen shears so about 1" of dough falls over the edges.  Fold top crust over the bottom and use a decorative edging of your choice.  Use a fork to puncture holes into your  top crust.  Brush with beaten egg and water mixture.
-Bake in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes, until bubbly and crust is golden brown.

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup: 
(This can be used as a substitute for one can of condensed cream of mushroom soup)

1 tbs butter
3 tbs flour
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon "Better than Bullioin Mushroom Base"
1/2 cup milk
mushrooms, chopped, however much you desire.  I usually use about 1/2 package
salt and pepper to taste

- Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium-low heat
-Stir in flour using a whisk, until there are no more lumps.
-Pour in water and the teaspoon of mushroom base, a little at a time until smooth mix well.  Then do the same for the milk.  Stir in mushrooms.
-Bring to a gentle boil and stir occasionally until thickened.  Add salt and pepper to taste Pin It

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Countdown to Thanksgiving: 20 Days

I'm thankful for PRAYER.

We have this painting in our house.  I LOVE it.
 It's called, "The Praying Jew"
I love the feeling of comfort I get when I pray and afterwards.  I love that after a rough day I can pour my heart out to God and he "gets" me and lets me know that it's going to be alright.  I love that when I have a problem I can ask for guidance and it's given.  I love that there are always answers, and I understand that sometimes the answer is "no" but there is ALWAYS an answer.  I love when I pray about something and then get a little acknowledgement in the next few days afterwards where I KNOW its God saying "I hear you."

I don't care what you call it: Heavenly Father, God, "The Universe", Allah, The Powers that Be, Vishnu, G-d, Buddha, whatever it is... It still feels good, and I'm thankful for it.

I love this hymn (here is the you tube video of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing it if you want to listen):

Did you Think to Pray? (140)

Ere you left your room this morning,
Did you think to pray?
In the name of Christ, our Savior,
Did you sue for loving favor
As a shield today?

Oh, how praying rests the weary!
Prayer will change the night to day.
So, when life gets dark and dreary,
Don’t forget to pray.

When your heart was filled with anger,
Did you think to pray?
Did you plead for grace, my brother,
That you might forgive another
Who had crossed your way?

Oh, how praying rests the weary!
Prayer will change the night to day.
So, when life gets dark and dreary,
Don’t forget to pray.

When sore trials came upon you,
Did you think to pray?
When your soul was full of sorrow,
Balm of Gilead did you borrow
At the gates of day?

Oh, how praying rests the weary!
Prayer will change the night to day.
So, when life gets dark and dreary,
Don’t forget to pray.
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Countdown to Thanksgiving: 21 Days

I'm thankful for my kid's smiles.

No matter how grumpy you are, how stressful your day has been, or how much you want to scream into your pillow for hours... if your kids smile at you, you smile back.  And it makes you feel better.

See?  Now go smile. Pin It

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Countdown to Thanksgiving: 22 days

So, you are supposed to start this at the beginning of November, as in November 1st, but I'm late... so...oh well. :)

22 Days 'til Thanksgiving:

I'm thankful for my little family.

Oddly enough this is the only picture I have of all of us
where we are not in costume... I NEED to work on that!
My husband is amazing.  He helps me out in so many ways, and is such a great dad.  My kids are (usually) awesome, even when they are throwing a temper tantrum (Marcus) or screaming to get fed for the thousandth time that day (Astrid) I still am so thankful for them.  In my life (and sadly this past calendar year especially) I have had so many glimpses of the "that could have been me", either not having any children, loosing children, loosing my husband, having our marriage dissolve to the point of divorce, or not even getting married at all.  While my heart breaks seeing those situations, whether in "real life", second-hand, or even in the media, it makes me SO THANKFUL for what I have.  It would be doing them a real disservice if I did not make them the first thing that I'm thankful for this month.  :)

Thanks Cooper, Marcus and Astrid for making me a wife and a mommy... I'm super thankful for you! :)

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011


This year our family went as Star Wars characters for Halloween!  It was lots of fun. Our neighborhood had a trunk or treat, but we realized that we had to get up to Salt Lake soon so we left before we got to hand out any candy or go around to the various trunks.  We went up to Cooper's grandparent's house first to say hi and so they could see the kidlets in their costumes.

Marcus would not smile for the camera...
After pictures at Grandma and Grandpa's we went over to Cooper's aunt Rachel's house.  Every year Rachel sets up quite the Halloween spread with fresh scones, apple cider, chili, tacos, and fried cinnamon rolls.  It's so delicious! We always have dinner at Rachel's on Halloween!  There we met up with Maddi, Stori, and Shantel and went Trick or Treating! :)

Maddi and Shantel were crayons!  How great of a costume is that?!


Here are some pics of us from the night:

Dressing up is even fun in your mid twenties married with kids! lol!

Sleepy Ewok babe and Leia Momma

Tired Ewok.

Partyin' it up with Aunt Maddi!

Even Grandma Stori came to have some fun with us!

Happy Halloween!

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