Saturday, December 13, 2008

My husband loves me!

Well, of course I already knew that Ammon loves me, but sometimes he does things that really let me know! Since it is the Christmas season we have been trying to decide what to get each other. My wonderful husband got my gift today, and gave it to me (actually I was with him when we bought it) since he didn't think he would really be able to hide it from me. My amazing husband bought us a Wii, with a couple games, and an extra remote and nunchuck! We are already enjoying it and are excited to have it! I know that material things really don't bring true happiness, but they sure do help us have a lot of fun!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A few more scrapbook pages

This is from our trip to Tombstone, AZ with Ammon's sisters and cousin in May 2007.This is the birthday celebration for my sisters, Janelle and Meghan, and I in May 2007.This is a page about Ammon's work for the Forest Service studying bats.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Memorial Day 2007

I have started to do my scrapbooks digitally, and thought it might be fun to share some of the pages that I have done recently. This page is of the Memorial Day Breakfast in my parent's ward on May 28, 2007.

Merry Christmas 2008

Meet Jack

We got a dog! We got Jack right before Halloween, which is how he got his name (after Jack-O-Lantern). At work, we had been contemplating getting a dog to use for the classroom. One that could come to school and help the kids to calm down when they were upset, and help teach them life skills (such as walking a dog, or grooming it). Another teacher at school asked if we were interested in a dog that she had, a stray that she and her husband had found wandering the neighborhood, and possibly the victim of abuse. Ms. Tague and I went to take a look at the dog that day, and instantly fell in love with him. I decided to give him a trial run at home, which happened to be while Ammon was out camping for a few days for work. He did so well and he was such a good dog that we decided to keep him. When Ammon got home I was glad that they got along so well, because I was a little nervous about how Jack would react to a man, since it seemed that he was more afraid of men than women. We have really come to love this wonderful puppy even in the short time that we've had him! I just thought I would post a few pictures of him on here, so that you could get to know him, too!

Jack is about a year old, though we aren't exactly sure of his birth date. He is a yellow lab, possibly a mix, though we don't know what he's mixed with. As you can see, he almost looks like a pure lab. He is already house broken, and doesn't even chew on things! He is really great on the leash and absolutely loves to go to the dog park! He is really good at school and loves to go with me. He has even learned to just ignore the screaming that happens all too often in a special ed classroom.
Though he is a super great dog, he does have some quirks, and is still getting over the trauma of his past abuse. He is afraid of loud noises, runs from the mop and the broom, is afraid of the pressure cooker, and for some reason doesn't like it when Ammon plays his guitar. We love him dearly and are excited to have him in our lives! Isn't he just so cute and sweet!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What is your favorite family holiday tradition?

I don't remember which year we started doing this tradition in my family growing up, but it was an instant success! We decided to choose a country each year and on Christmas Eve we have a meal of foods native to that country. We also learn about their holiday traditions (usually Christmas traditions, but other holidays if they don't celebrate Christmas) and sometimes watch a video tour checked out from the library. We also have an ornament for the tree to represent that country! Some of the countries we've done are Mexico, China, Denmark, Equador, Taiwan, Australia, Hawaii (not a different country, but very different traditions), and Native American (also not a different country, but one of my favorites). I am probably missing a couple, but it's hard to keep track after so many years of doing this! We are currently trying to come up with a country for this year's celebration, so feel free to leave any ideas, especially if you have an idea of the food we could prepare. We do try to stay away from disgusting sounding things, no matter how popular they are in the country (such as dog, or goat brains). This is definitely my favorite holiday tradition, because it has opened our frame of knowledge to realize that not everyone celebrates the same ways that we do here in the U.S. and it is also really fun to just learn what other people believe!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What do you love most about the holiday season?

I have a lot of reasons why I love the holiday season, but I think being able to get together and be with family tops the list. I truly love my family and know that I can really be myself when I am around them. It's like that commercial that shows the boy doing some robot moves by himself, and then his friends come up and start doing the exact same moves, and then the commercial says, "People who understand you: priceless." That's how I am when I am around my family. They know me, so when I do something crazy (as I am always apt to do) I don't get strange looks. My family helps me to be happy, and they bring a sense of peace into my life that is hard to find with others.

Another thing I love about the holiday season is how much it transforms people, even complete strangers. I notice people talking to each other in the grocery line, people are more generous and kind, and they just tend to smile more.

I also love being able to decorate my house, and put up my Christmas tree (this may surprise you, or it may not, but I put up my tree and decorated it yesterday), and burn candles that smell like cinnamon, or evergreen.

I also love being able to wear my coats and scarves! It's hard to find an excuse to wear those when it is pushing 100 degrees outside, but during the winter, I can wear them all the time!

And, as much as I love Christmas and receiving gifts, I love even more, being able to make special gifts for people! Few things give me more joy than to see someone's face when they open a handmade gift made just for them, and then to have them ask, "Did you really make this?" Oh, the joy!

So, I hope you enjoyed some of my rambling about Christmas, but more importantly, I hope you were able to think about why you love the holidays, or if you don't, why you should.

Holidays At Home

I decided that I wanted to participate in Sew Mama Sew's Holidays at Home blogging activity. What I am going to be doing is using some of the writing prompts that they came up with on the blog to write about some of my favorite traditions, gift ideas, and anything else holiday related. I hope you enjoy reading about them, because I love writing about them!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Heaven in a Jar

I found this recipe on Sew, Mama, Sew in one of their handmade holiday idea blogs. I made it last night, and it truly is heavenly. It is a recipe for Pumkin Butter, which is sort of like apple butter, but even better. I thought I would share the recipe with you.

Pumpkin Butter Recipe
6 cups pumpkin (eaither canned, or fresh from your own baking pumpkin)
4 cups sugar
4 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger

Mix all ingredients together and cook for 20-30 minutes or until thickened. Ladle into pint jars and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

(I did add some water while making this, just so the butter would be a little less thick, but make it according to your heart's desire)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We got a dog yesterday!

Yes, the subject line is telling the truth! We got a dog yesterday through one of the teachers at work. She and her husband found the dog, and no one claimed him, but they couldn't keep him because they travel a lot, so...we took him. Actually I took him, because Ammon is out of town until tomorrow, so he hasn't even seen the dog yet. He is about 1 year old, a yellow lab mix (we aren't really sure what he's mixed with though), and he really loves to be patted and loved, and is so excited to be here in our home. Almost as excited as I am! I took him on a long walk this afternoon around the neighborhood so he could get to know the place and to get a little of his excitement out. He seems to be pretty pooped right now as he is laying by me with his eyes closed as I type on the computer. I'm thinking of possibly naming him Jack, as in Jack-O-Lantern, since we got him so close to Halloween. Any thoughts or input on the name? He is already house trained, and hasn't had any accidents, and I am just trying to make him understand that he isn't supposed to be on the couch, since I've caught him on it a couple of times now. I'm going to try leaving him in the yard during the day tomorrow, since I tried leaving him in the house today, I'll see what he does better at. He did really well in the house, aside from crunching the blinds in our front windows. I think he was trying to look at the window to find out where I'd gone after I left for work. When I came home from work at lunch and saw that, I made sure to pull the blinds up before I left again. He is such a good dog, and he did especially well on the walk. He didn't pull on the leash, and he pretty much ignored all the dogs that barked at us, except for one that looked like if it hadn't been in the fence it would have killed both of us (how can you ignore that?). I'm excited to have him and hope that it will all work out beautifully!

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Picture I Love

I was just looking through some of the pictures we have saved onto our external hard drive, and I found this one of Ammon and I that we took at the Albuquerque Temple while we were in New Mexico for Ammon's work meeting a few months ago. I really love the silhouette against the fountain!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Handbag giveaway

Handbag planet is having a bag giveaway on the 15th. Check out this cool giveaway! It is totally free to sign up and you could win one of 24 bags!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Graduated to brunette

After seeing some of my nieces and nephews this last weekend, I was reminded of how I looked as a toddler, with my blonde hair and wanted to show you all a picture! I love thi spicture of myself because it really shows how blond my hair was, and I'm just a cute little kid! =)

My hair slowly changed over the years and was pretty much all brown by about the fourth grade as in the picture below. It's also interesting that my little sister, Meghan, also started out with very blonde hair and then it eventually changed to brown. Her hair, however, wasn't fully brown until just a few years ago.

All of my other siblings had brown hair to begin with, and have all kept it through the years.

Since I know you are all totally interested in the evolution of my hair, I will mention just one more thing. About a year ago, I was looking in the mirror and found a hair that completely stood out from the rest (no, it wasn't a gray hair, though I have found a few of those and promptly ripped them out). It was pretty much orange! I guess it could have been considered red, but it was really bright! I have noticed since then that I have amazing natural highlights of both red and blonde. So, now you are fully briefed on the in-depth goings-on of my hair color.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Prickly Pear Jelly

Since I've started having to ride the afternoon bus with some of the kids in my class, I have noticed a huge prickly pear cactus in front of one of the banks in town. I also noticed that it is covered in ripe fruit. I went into the bank yesterday to ask if I could pick some of the fruit, and the woman said, "Well, for insurance purposes we can't give permission, but after hours if we don't see you take them, how can we know you were here?" So she pretty much said, "No, wink, wink." At 5:30 Ammon and I went back and picked a few pounds of prickly pears so that I could try my hand at making prickly pear jelly, which is very delicious.

Last night I boiled the fruit so that I could mash them to get the juice out and then I made a batch of Prickly Pear Jelly. It is pretty much a bright pink, fuschia color and tastes wonderful! I am thinking I might sell some, so let me know if you might be interested in it. If there is enough interest, I might post some for sale on my craft site.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Winter is Coming

Fall has officially started and the mornings here are starting to get a bit of that crisp feeling or flavor that tells you that winter is on it's way. It still warms up quite a bit during the day, but each morning when I walk out the door to head to work, I just have to smile to myself when I feel that wonderful morning air! I love this time of year, because not only does the weather start to become extremely wonderful, but it signals the start of all of my favorite holidays. Halloween is just the beginning and, I must admit, is not really one of my favorites. Next comes Thanksgiving and then, my all time favorite, Christmas. I hope that all of you enjoy with wonderful time of year as much as I do! Happy fall!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I played a trombone today!

So, I had my first experience of ever playing a musical instrument (minus the piano) today. I don't think I have ever even tried to blow into any instruments, even though Breanne, Janelle and Meghan always had instruments that I could have tried out. I take a few of the kids to band each day mainly so that they can have a little bit of interaction with the regular ed. kids. One of the higher functioning kids I bring was given the opportunity to actually play an instrument, and since the only ones that were left were trombones, that is what he got. After assembling it he couldn't figure out where to put his hands, and since we weren't supposed to be talking the kid next to him wasn't being very successful on showing him how to hold it. By the time I came over to try to help him, he'd already given up and didn't really want anything to do with it. So, I decided to give it a try. The kids weren't really playing today, since it is beginning band and most of them barely know how to put the instrument together let alone play it, so they really just got to blow into the instruments a few times during the class. I was surprised that I was actually able to make any amount of sound come out of it since I never imagined myself as a trombone kind of girl. It was pretty fun, even if the D that I was supposed to be playing sounded more like a sick elephant. Maybe Trent won't want to play in the future and I'll get to have another chance. Why didn't I ever do band?

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Beautiful Sight

Ammon ordered a digital camera for work (which was paid for by work) so that he can use it on his projects and such. It came in today and he brought it home so that he could figure out how to use it. Of course that means that I got to play with it a little bit, and I just wanted to share one of the happy pictures that I took of one of our sunflowers out in the garden. I think it is a beautiful picture and find the colors spectacular. Isn't it beautiful! The camera works so well, and is a Canon 8 mega pixel with an 18x optical zoom. I almost wish we had one for ourselves, since it takes such wonderful macro shots! Enjoy!

Our House

A few weeks ago when I was awoken at an insane hour by the dog next door (see a previous post for that story) I decided to make use of the beautiful morning light and take some pictures of the house we are living in. We are really enjoying living here in Kingman! We especially like the fact that we were able to have a garden this summer and are enjoying lots of squash, we had our first cantaloupes from the garden just the other day, and the tomatoes and sunflower seeds are almost ready. We see hummingbirds at the feeder every once in awhile and we like the fact that we are on the corner, with an empty lot behind us, so we only have one set of neighbors to deal with. We love our big garage, mainly so that Ammon can enjoy his wood shop, and his weight lifting set, which he just recently acquired.
The house really reminds me of the house my family lived in while we were in Tolleson, AZ. It's probably because of the texture and color on the outside, because the shape isn't really the same. We really like our ward and hope that we will be able to stay in the ward when we finally decide to buy a house. Ammon serves in the Young Mens as the Teacher's Quorum Adviser and gets to teach every few Sundays. He is also assistant Scout Master, which he also enjoys. I am loving being in the Young Womens as the Secretary and have made friends with the other women serving there.
Ammon enjoys his job at the BLM and has made a number of friends at work. He is fast becoming know as the GIS specialist (a type of mapping system) and also brings a great variety of humor and personality to the work environment.
I started my job at the middle school as an assistant in the Special Education department, which I blogged about in my previous post. We love it here and hope to stay for a long time!

Three Day Weekend

Wow, I am so excited for this three day weekend! It seems like this week went by so slowly! I'm not sure if it was having to answer the question, "Can I hold your hand?" with "No, we don't hold hands in middle school" just fifty times a day, or wondering when the next violent melt-down was going to occur and trying to prevent it from happening that made the week seem so long. I really am enjoying my job, it's just that sometimes my head starts to hurt from all the yelling and whining that happens so often. There are certainly moments that make it all worth it or just plain make me laugh. Like when Cassie suddenly said, "You have hairy arms, you should shave them." Or when Dylan looks at me, really looks me in the eye and realizes I am there, and smiles a full face smile that makes his eyes shine and his face wrinkle up. Or just hearing the kids greet me first thing in the morning when I get off morning duty and meet them in the cafeteria where they are having breakfast. Or like today, when I heard Dylan say an actual word for the first time. He said, "Yes." I know, not usually a big accomplishment for a ten-year-old, but for him, it is huge because he is totally non-verbal. What a wonderfully amazing job I have!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fun Giveaway

They are having a great giveaway at Simple Mom for some neat products. Go check it out, you may win!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Funny jokes!

I was in the classroom the other day and found a joke book called The Gross Joke Book. It had some pretty cheesy jokes, but some of the "gross" ones were really funny! Here you go:

What is red and green and goes 120 mph? A frog in a blender.

What's another name for a snail? A booger with a crash helmet!

Why don't elephants pick their noses? Because what can you do with a 20 pound booger?

What has two grey legs and two brown legs? An elephant with diarrhea.

What do you get when you cross an elephant with a box of laxatives? Out of the way.

What's yellow and smells like bananas? Monkey vomit.

Hope you had a good laugh, I know I sure did when I was first reading them. My favorite is definitely the snail one!

Monday, August 11, 2008


Hoggan family reunions are always a blast, but this year seemed to be especially fun! Maybe it was because Ammon was able to come to it for the first time, or that the cousins who were on missions during the last one were there, or maybe it's just that we all so love to be together and want to spend as much time as possible together! We were able to go to Lake Tahoe and play on the beach on Tuesday. On Wednesday we kayaked (pain, lots of pain!) from our beach to Emerald Bay (a distance of about 5 miles, which I found out later), where we toured an old home called Vikingsholm. On Thursday was rock climbing (which I didn't participate in because I was a bit sore from kayaking. We also made the family trees that I'd brought for a craft. And we left for home on Friday. During the week we enjoyed singing together, playing tons and tons of games of all kinds, eating wonderful food, shopping for souveniers, celebrating birthdays, and hanging out together! I loved seeing everybody and can't wait until FR10 (not sure about a good nickname here, maybe frighten and we could have a halloween celebration).

Friday, August 8, 2008

Mom & Dad

As my parent's 25th anniversary approaches I am taking some time to look back not only on their wonderful marriage, but on the things that I have learned from each of them. From Mom I have learned not just how to sew, but how to sew nicely, even if it does take double the amount of time. I have also learned from my mom how to have patience, that no matter how hard you stub your toe you really don't need to swear, that sometimes the punchline doesn't matter as long as we can all laugh together, to fold the laundry as it comes out of the dryer rather than when it's totally and completely wrinkled the next day, that you can never have too many aprons, that anything anybody ever says can remind you of a song which you should then begin to sing, that music, whether it's a CD, someone playing the piano, or just singing, makes a home beautiful and happy, and that cooperation is better when you don't have to have your hand tied to your sister's hand, but it sure can be fun that way!

From my dad I have also learned valuable lessons and skills that I am so happy to have learned. Some of these include that you should never try to catch a falling knife, taking care of your car now prevents a lot of maddening time fixing it later, how to really splash the lifeguards off a diving board, that we can change our behavior if we really want to, that helping is doing what you've been asked, that you should alwys try again no matter how many times your model airplane gets destroyed, that the weather shouldn't determine your attitude, and that you should just be yourself, even if it means wearing red pants with Mickey Mouse on them, or neon fish.

I love you Mom & Dad! Happy 25th Anniversary!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Silver Lining

You know that saying that says something like, you never know what you had until it's gone. Well, I am living that statement right now. When we first moved in a few months ago, we had no immediate neighbors. Since we live on a corner, we only have a neighbor on one side. That is even more true because there are empty lots behind and on the other side of the street of our house. The one house that we are next to has been vacant since we moved in. That changed last week, though. A nice family of parents and a teenage son and a dog moved in, coming all the way from Pennsylvania. Well, the problem began a couple nights ago, when the dog decided that it hadn't barked enough that day and simply had to catch up. It would not stop barking, and that, in turn, made all of the other neighborhood dogs decide to join in! Stupid! This one dog has ruined the peace of our neighborhood. We never had a problem with any of the other dogs barking at all hours of the night until this new one moved in. Well, last night was no different, except that after we had a very sincere prayer including a plea that we sleep well and soundly, the dog stopped barking for awhile. We were able to get to sleep, and I actually slept well. After prayer this morning and once Ammon had left, I had planned to go back to sleep, guessed it, the dog was at it again. I really couldn't take the constant barking, so I went outside to yell at it! Well, when the dog saw me (and what a sight it must have been, with my crazy morning hair, bags under my tired eyes, squinting through my glasses, and in my rumpled pajamas, with a look of death on my face) he stopped barking and stared at me. I stared back until I was sure I had gotten my point across. Now, almost an hour later, even though all the other dogs are still barking throughout the neighborhood, I haven't heard a peep out of our next door dog. Hallelujah! Hopefully tonight won't be a repeat of previous nights, though. But, since I was awake so early, I was able to go out to our garden and take some pictures of our plants. Here is one of our sunflowers. The tallest one is about 6'.

Root Beer Cookies Recipe

These cookies are amazing!!!! I love them! They are easy to make, and even easier to eat. Be careful that you don't eat them all yourself in one afternoon. It's always a surprise to bite into one and realize that they really do taste like rootbeer!

For cookies:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1/4 cup buttermilk (or 1 tsp vinegar & the rest milk)
1 tsp rootbeer concentrate
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

For Frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp hot water
1 tsp rootbeer concentrate

For cookies:
Mix brown sugar, butter, and egg until fluffy. Stir in buttermilk & rootbeer concentrate. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.Drop by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheet, or roll into one inch balls, then bake for 6-8 at 375 degrees. Remove from cookie sheets and cool on wire rack until cool. Be sure to wait long enough for the cookies to cool before frosting, otherwise the frosting will melt off the sides.

For Frosting:
Combine all ingredients and stir together until smooth. Refrigerate until needed for frosting cookies.

I Love Cookies

I received the wonderful recipe for Root Beer Cookies from a friend of mine after tasting one of them at a meeting we had at her house. I made a batch on Monday for Ammon and myself, and I am a little embarrassed to say that they were gone by yesterday. On Monday, though, Ammon asked if I could make another batch so that he could take some to share at work, since people do that all the time there. So, I made another batch yesterday afternoon. When Ammon got home from work he told me that he didn't really need to take any to work because the only person he'd really wanted to share them with said she didn't really like them after he let her try one out of his lunch. I have a whole other batch of root beer cookies that are too tempting for their own good sitting innocently on my counter screaming, "EAT ME! NO, EAT ME!" Hopefully you'll still be able to recognize me after I unknowingly eat an entire batch of cookies by myself. Just make a batch and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer Fun Photo Contest

I'm entering a photo contest at this website and just wanted to share my photo with all of you! This is my niece Grace fishing, and as you can see she's caught one! I don't think there is anything more fun in the summer than going fishing! Go ahead and enter a picture to try and win their $500 prize!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I had my first major laundry oops this last week. I had a bunch of dirty rag towels (with a couple good ones mixed in) that I decided to wash, along with a large red bath towel (which I thought was old enough that it had had all the extra dye washed out of it). Well, when I opened the washing machine, I found this! Noooooo! I now have a bunch of pink rag towels. It's a good thing it happened to rags, rather than to nice white shirts, or underwear, or something I actually cared about. Stupid red towel!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

We're Moving!

Well, I hope Kingman is ready for us, because we are so ready for it! Ammon has a new job there and we are really looking forward to moving, starting the new job, have a rental house instead of an apartment, and meeting new people. Yes, it is a lot hotter than it is here in Payson, but they do have swimming pools and air conditioning there. If you want our new address just let me know.

We are currently packing up all of our belongings, we bought a fridge, and our apartment is in chaos. I'm not really looking forward to the fact that we are moving the day after my birthday, because we will probably be too stressed out to even notice the significance of the day. We'll just have to celebrate early. We're moving!

Sew, Mama, Sew

One of my favorite websites has become the Sew, Mama, Sew blog. Not only are there great tutorials and free patterns, but when people make comments, they create a link to their personal websites, so there are hundreds of other fun sewing blogs to scan and get great ideas and tips from. The blog has great sewing tips, giveaways, and tons of other fun project ideas. I visit the site daily, and am still finding fun new things to do! I definitely suggest stopping by for a visit, though I warn you that it may turn into a few hours glued to the computer screen.

Fun Purse

I found a pattern for a really cute purse in Threads Magazine, so I decided to make one for myself. I already had some cute material, so all I had to get was the sew in stabilizer. It didn't take long, and was a fairly simple pattern to follow, though I did have to get out my seam ripper when I messed up on the binding. I love how it turned out, and especially how quickly it all came together!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Honey Stains

I’m not really sure why I remember this, maybe because it was such a shocking experience at the time, or possibly because I was mocked mercilessly for it later in my life. When I was about five, I decided to make myself a peanut butter and honey sandwich, which is still my favorite kind of sandwich today. I had already spread the peanut butter on one slice of bread, and was beginning to spread the honey on the other slice, when I saw a drip of honey fall toward the floor. When I looked down, I saw that the honey had landed on my leg. After trying to wipe it off, without success, I realized that they honey had stained a spot on my leg.
Well, for years I believed that I simply had a honey stain on my leg. When I was about twelve and I related my story and the belief I had held for years to my mom, she started to laugh, and informed me that, in fact, I did not have a honey stained leg, but an oval birthmark that had been there, well, since birth. How was I to know what a birth mark was, especially since I hadn’t ever noticed it before that fateful day with the honey?

My New Blog Site

Well, I have already been in the blogging world for quite some time. I have another website where I post blogs, photos, recipes, links, and music, and you can find the link to that site at the bottom of this one if you want to check it out! I am mainly going to be using this blog to post personal history anecdotes. I am currently working on my personal history, and will be sharing snippets of it as I am writing. I hope you enjoy!