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!