We Seek After
These Things
Recently returned from serving the people of Honduras for 3 years

Monday, November 30, 2009

I am Thankful . . .

I am Thankful for Thanksgiving!

I'm so glad we have this little holiday that happens right here on the cusp of the Christmas busyness. A day, and really a whole weekend, to gather as family, cook, bake spend time in the kitchen, trade recipes, help with table setting and centerpieces, watch ballgames and holiday specials on TV, and just enjoy the time together before we get into the busyness of Christmas.

I enjoy and love the whole Christmas season also, but I do wonder just how early the preparations would start, how soon the lights would go on, how soon the decorations would appear if we didn't have Thanksgiving in there to kinda slow things down a little.

This Thanksgiving - I'm grateful for many things.

So thankful for family, that even though we are scattered currently - we are all together in spirit. That we have that love for each other that transcends the states that separate us. I'm thankful for the opportunity to hop on an airplane for visits. That the skies above our fair country are safe at this time. May it remain that way forever.

(I love how the kids are just sitting and watching the turkey be carved!)

I'm grateful for good husband, how he spoils me in so many ways.

Grateful to live surrounded by good people - we watch out and care for each other always.




I'm grateful for a Heavenly Father who knows and loves me and answers prayers daily.

And now . . . .

Let the wild rumpus start!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Infamous Walmart Game

There are a lot of things I would like to be famous for in my lifetime; taking beautiful photos, composing beautiful music (like Victoria), raising Guide dogs and saving people lives (like Captain Sulli), but being famous for the Walmart game, I really didn't foresee.

Now days, every time I get introduced to someone around here, they inevitably remark "Oh! you are the Kleins! We play your Walmart game all the time now, it was the hit of my daughters birthday party". Or, "our Young Men group played your Walmart game last week, it was great".

Who would have guessed?

The Walmart game was just something my husband made up once upon a time to keep the kids and their cousins occupied during family vacations and give them something fun to do while the grownups were shopping. (The moms were all delighted because it kept them busy and from dragging behind the shopping carts whining about wanting toys and candy . . .) Since then, they have played it with their friends at sleepovers, friends at dance day activities, saturday mornings when they didn't have anything to do . . .

This only comes up right now because we recently visited my college student daughter and upon our arrival, all her roommates and neighbors were so excited and wanted us to take them to play the Walmart Game.

It goes something like this:

  • Any number can play
  • Divide players into teams of 2 or 3
  • Each team gets a pre-made up shopping list (different items each time)
  • Each team gets a shopping cart
  • Running is not allowed (or any other activity that would attract the attention of the Walmart staff)
  • Asking help from Walmart Employees is not allowed
  • Each team has the same list only in a different order
  • They must get every item on the list and in order
  • They can skip two items but have to go back to retrieve them once the entire list is finished and in order as skipped
  • The finish line is the item at the end of the list which is the same for all teams (usually in some obscure location like the the camping aisle)
  • If you get reprimanded by Walmart - YOU'RE out!
  • The prize is a certain amount of money that must be spent at Walmart to purchase a prize that the whole group can enjoy - treats, games, food etc. Winners get to choose the prize.
  • All items have to be returned carefully at the end of the game.
  • Items are subject to interpretation as in this photo.

(The item on the list was "mouse" - most people brought back a computer mouse. But this team creatively brought back a stuffed toy mouse from the pet department - hee hee! (one day the item was umbrella - we had these tiny little kids cart back a huge patio umbrella from the garden department!)

We started this when the kids were pretty little and barely able to read and push a shopping cart and as you can see - it's still a big hit!

Soooo - when you're in Utah (or Idaho) and at Walmart - watch out for crazy college kids walking briskly around the store with shopping carts and lots of embarrassing items in their carts - like adult diapers (it seems to be my husband favorite), laxatives and tampons - ha!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Gorgeous Quote

I found a new quote . . .

If quotes can be gorgeous, this one surely is.

Our book group recently reviewed the book "Abigail & John: Portrait of a Marriage". Sadly, I did not get the book read, but I was certainly impacted and touched by a quote from the book and the life of Abigail Adams.

Just a little background would make this quote more meaningful - Abigail Adams was wife of John Adams, second president of the United States and the mother of John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States. A very peculiar situation, shared only by Barbara Bush, being the wife of one president and mother of another. By today's standard, she certainly led a challenging life, one full of difficulty and sacrifice. Her husband was away most of the time, leaving her to run their farm, take care of finances, and raise their children singlehandedly during the revolutionary war time period and it's particularly primitive, dangerous and trying challenges.

I love this quote she directed toward her young son, who later became the sixth president, encouraging him to be engaged in the times and make the best of them.

"These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues."

Love it! Now going on the blog sidebar quote section . . .

And you saw it here first:)

Monday, November 16, 2009

The UN to-do LIST

This post inspired by:

Jia, of Untypically Jia over at Untypically Jia and her "been there done that list"

Just today alone, not counting yesterday, last week or this whole month - I've been so overwhelmed by my to-do list. It simply is endless. I just keep adding to it each day, I try to prioritize I really do. Just the urgent ones are enough to fill a page. Then the just vitally important ones seem to spill right on over to the second page.

I know I'm busy everyday - and the days just seem to fly by with me trying to get SOMETHING done everyday.

But after being inspired by Jia, I'm starting a whole new list system.

The UN to-do list.

As I go along I keep a tally of all the things I've done but not been able to check off of any list. So for today the list would look something like this:

Got out of bed
(it sounds mundane I know but is not a small task with the arthritis I'm experiencing in my back lately:)

Read 20 pages in my book "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society"
(I'll have to blog about this one soon as I AM in love!)

Spent two hours searching for a stubborn virus, removing said virus and restoring my husbands computer to it's previous "unviral" state (I think it had H1N1) so he could get out the door and go to work!

Walked / hiked four miles through the wooded hills above Alpine with friends and dogs.
(Killed two birds with that one)

Left messages with like 8 different parties
(Why oh why doesn't anyone call me back?)

Searched for cheap airfares to get my son here in January for the other sons wedding.

Made the bed

Did the dishes

Read my scriptures

Said my prayers

(Pretty much in that order unfortunately)

Let me see, what else can I add:

Ate 6 chocolate chip cookies

Drank two cans of diet coke
(I thought about making something healthy for lunch, but I don't think it counts as an official list item as I didn't spend enough time thinking about it to actually create anything)

Assisted daughter number two in creating an updated resume and cover letter so she can find a medical assistant job in Rexburg for next semester.

Made a decision about where to host sons wedding luncheon.

Fed the cats once, the dogs twice

And now finally; created this blog post!

Whew! I am exhausted, no one has still called me back, and now I'm heading on over to the URGENT to-do list and see if I can get anything DONE today:)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Soup for the Season - Apple Butternut Squash

When I hear snow in the forecast it always makes me long for lazy days inside and hot soup and bread. They are my comfort foods against the blustery weather outside. This is one of my very favorites.

So far this month I've made this yummy soup twice. It is unexpectedly delicious!

Until a few years ago I hadn't tried Butternut Squash Soup, when I was introduced to it by my good friend Gail Jones. She shared this super recipe with me and now we are hooked! Even my husband who otherwise is not a squash eater enjoys this mild, slightly sweet Autumn soup.

I've seen other recipes that are difficult to prepare, this one is SOOOOO easy! You do have to plan in advance as the squash does take about 1 1/2 hours to bake, but the actual preparation is very simple.

Autumn Butternut and Granny Smith Apple Soup

3-4 pounds of Butternut Squash (usually one large)
3-4 Granny Smith apples
fresh thyme
2-15 oz cans chicken stock
1 can evaporated skim milk
1 1/2 t garlic powder
garnishes / toppings: pine nuts and sour cream

Quarter the butternut squash and place on a cookie sheet to roast. Spray lightly with Pam cooking spray. Roughly chop a couple tablespoons of thyme and sprinkle onto the squash. Roast in a 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Midway through baking the squash, peel and core the apples, add to the cookie sheet - sprinkle apples and squash with salt and pepper and 1 t. garlic powder. Continue roasting for another 30-40 minutes until apples are soft also.

Scrape meat of the squash off the skins into a blender, discarding about 1/2 the thyme. Place roasted apples also into the blender. Add one can of chicken stock and puree apples and squash until mostly smooth. Transfer puree to a soup pot, continue adding the rest of the chicken stock and the can of evaporated skim milk, whisking in the liquids until smooth and the right thickness that you prefer. You can thin with additional water or regular milk to your preference. Add additional salt, pepper or garlic salt to taste. (I don't usually add any more).

Serve heated through with garnishes of sour cream and pine nuts.


This is making me crave it again, guess I better stop at the store for more butternut squash . . .

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Three Cups of Tea - Book Review

I'm just completing the best selling book by Greg MOrtenson entitled "Three Cups of Tea". It was the book of the month for our book club for October. I initially had a hard time getting into the book but the author, Greg Mortenson was coming to speak at the devotional at BYU and I wanted to finish the book by the time I had the opportunity to hear him speak.

I didn't finish the book in time, but still enjoyed his message so much. The more I read the more I appreciate the book, and the more meaningful it became in my life. Especially now I think, as the holidays are drawing near, and the season always lends me to ponder upon my many blessings and the fact that there are so many without all the blessings I enjoy in my life.

It is a true story about how ONE person can make a difference in the world. Not just the author, but each one of us. Each one of us can have an impact for good and in some way, however small leave our impact upon the world around us.

The book also shares an important message about education and peace. The author believes and has documented through his experience and travels how educating the people (particularly the women) has led to increased peace in the world. He believes (and it is my belief also) that it is through education that we can make the greatest strides in decreasing the terrorist activities and other intolerances of the world today. An additional theme would be finding value and appreciating each individual without reference to culture or religion.

I found the book to be an excellent example of how to "eat an elephant", just one bite at a time. For me it was not an easy read, but it did become a real page turner. It's full of adventure, history, geography, romance and suspense. I was inspired and encouraged to aspire to higher things and I'm sure you will be too if you take the time to read this book.

I am in Awe . . .


I can't believe I didn't know . . .

(my children who have been on Heritage Tours - I expect you "to get" this one . . .)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Away from My Desk

Maybe you noticed:

I am currently away from my desk:)

From Oct vacation favorites

This is an automatic reply from the blog page of Kristin – aka Just Me the Mom. I am currently away from my deck spending time in Ohio and North Carolina with my children who have moved clear across the country.

From Oct vacation favorites

From Oct vacation favorites

I am having such a great time and may not return anytime soon.

If you have reached this blog page in error, please stay and visit for a while.

Please leave me LOTS of bloggy comments and I'll be sure to get back to you.

Ta rah!

From Oct vacation favorites
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