Monday, December 22, 2008

Chocolate Mug Cake

Jim keeps bringing home goodies from work. I really like it, but the thought of reciprocation totally zipped past my head. Jim finally said, "I feel kind of bad that I didn't get anything for anybody". I interpreted that to mean, "Kathy, how come you didn't make anything for me to give people at work?'. So I made Chocolate Mug Cakes, something I saw at my Mom's house. I got cute Christmas mugs at Kohls, they are 75 percent off and I had a 20 percent off coupon, so they were a couple of dollars each. I put the dry ingredients and recipe in each cup, and put two in a gift bag to give away. I think they are cute.

Here's the recipe. The top recipe goes in each mug. The bottom recipe is the whole thing. I actually put both in the mug, in case they want to make it again.
Chocolate Mug Cake

Pour dry ingredients into a large mug
Mix well and add
1 egg
3 Tablespoons Milk
3 tablespoons liquid oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir well
Add chocolate chips
Stir well and microwave on
high for 2 ½ minutes
Do not overbake.
Microwaves vary in power so you may
have to adjust the time.
Do not be alarmed if the
cake rises over the mug
This cake is very rich.

Chocolate Mug Cake
“The Most Dangerous Cake Recipe in the world”
1 Large Mug
4 Tablespoons Flour
4 Tablespoons Sugar
2 Tablespoons Baking Cocoa
Mix well and add
1 egg
3 Tablespoons Milk
3 tablespoons liquid oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir well
Add chocolate chips
Stir well and microwave on
high for 2 ½ minutes
Do not overbake.
Microwaves vary in power so you may
have to adjust the time.
Do not be alarmed if the
cake rises over the mug
This cake is very rich.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


The other day I was having a conversation with my daughter Abby about a new boy she had met. In the course of the conversation she paused, sighed, and said disconcertedly, "I'm trying so hard to judge people by their personalities and not by their shoes".........Well...........I burst out laughing, it was the funniest thing I had heard for ages. Then I realized she was totally serious. You can read her blog for her explanation. She thinks you can tell a lot about a person by the shoes they choose to wear everyday. Anything to do with shoes is totally foreign to me, I am not a shoe person, but Abby's comment stuck in my head as I looked over my own shoe collection.

These are the shoes I wear everyday, summer and winter, to work and play. Notice I have a dressier pair with jewels and a warmer fur-lined pair. What does this say about me?

I don't wear crocs to church though. These are my 10 year old black church shoes. They are a little too small and the heel is off one of them but I consider them still servicable.
Abby made me worried about the impression I was giving people because of my shoes so I bought a new pair of church shoes when I ran into a clearance sale last week. I admit they are pretty cute, I like to look at them, and they look cute on my feet. But I guess I am an inexperienced shoe buyer because when I wore them to church last week, I couldn't keep them on. I had to kind of drag my feet a little to keep them on. It was a lot of work! I had tried them on with bare feet and was wearing nylons to church. I could not walk normally. I finally took off my nylons and was able to finish the day, but even then I was walking a little funny trying to keep them on. I don't think I can wear them again and I can't return them. Maybe Hannah will be able to wear them. Nice try though. Do I get points for trying?

I also bought these little brown shoes. I don't know yet if they will stay on. Basically I'm glad I still have my old black ones. I also tried wearing different shoes for everyday, not crocs. My feet hurt. I think that is why I am not a shoe person. I cannot find cute shoes that fit and are comfortable. I don't mind sacrificing comfort for style once in a while, but not everyday, and not if I have to walk like a dork. I don't know what it says about me, but I am back to my ugly old crocs. Why can't they just make crocs cuter?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Welcome to the 21st Century

I am in Idaho visiting my mother, introducing her to the 21st Century. She got a computer for Christmas. I bought it and played with it for a couple of weeks and finally worked up the courage to take it to her. I have spent a couple of days teaching her how to use it. Bear in mind, she had never even used a mouse, has no knowledge of computer language or anything.

Doesn't she look like she's really getting it!

I think we have mastered "point and click". She has a hard time finding the big red "X" to get out of a window.

I wrote detailed instructions on accessing the internet, checking email, and writing email. Abby promised to help her more when we go to the cabin. She can get to everybody's blogs so she is caught up on the family. It is nice to have her at my fingertips finally.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Truth's #2 and #3

I woke up this morning compelled to write this. I haven't even put my make-up on yet (horrors!) and here I am.
I grew up, as my sweet friend kindly puts it, in the poster family for disfunction. They of course believe they put the "fun" in disfunction. As a small child I always felt there was something better. My Mom was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a Mormon, but was inactive. She took us to primary a couple of times when we were young and I remember every visit, because it felt good to be there. By the time I was 10 I was going to primary regularly, it was on a weekday after school at that time. My parents were divorced and I had a lot of responsibility at home and generally felt fragmented but always felt at peace in church. I began finding rides for myself to get to church on Sunday as well. I would like to say I was welcomed with open arms but the people there didn't know what to do with me. I knew nothing about the Gospel except that I knew it was good and I wanted to be a part of it. I was from a crazy family and church members were pretty nervous about them. I was never invited to girls camp or other things, I think they were worried that I wouldn't feel comfortable there, or that I couldn't afford it, which was true. Not growing up in the church I didn't know I really didn't need to be invited. Even though I felt like an outsider, I knew it was the right place to be and kept going. (Whew, I need to condense this story a little).
I went to BYU because it was the cheapest way to leave home and go to school. I was always very self concious about asking my stepdad for money or anything. He had a way of keeping you in his debt that was very "not good". I loved it there and at the same time felt like a fish out of water. I was so naive about the gospel and the culture of active mormons. I was called as a family home evening leader, having never experienced Family Home Evening. Basically, I blundered through my early years learning how to speak and act, the hard way. I decided somewhere on this journey that the way to be happy and have a great family, was to marry a man who was truly committed to the Gospel, not just a follower, not someone who was wishy-washy about the church, someone who really truly believed it. It is a credit to my strong youthful innocent faith that I believed someone like that would look twice at me. Heavenly Father loved me and helped me find Jim.
We were married in the Oakland Temple less than 6 weeks after he returned from his mission. I waited for him of course, I was still guided by that feeling of knowing what was right and in what direction happiness lies. None of my family was with me in the temple which made the experience bittersweet, but extremely right nonetheless. We had 7 children and I taught them the Gospel while I learned about it myself. Jim was the Priesthood leader I wanted him to be, always leading us in righteousness. I know I have been an anchor in his life, slowing him down, keeping him from reaching his highest potential. I don't do it on purpose. I am still that little girl from the misfit family who knows where she should be, but doesn't know what to do when she is there. I find myself in uncomfortable situations all the time. How do I know how to be a Bishops wife? I am very uncomfortable accompanying Jim to work dinners or activities related to his callings. I never regret going, because I get that sweet feeling that I am in the right place every time. I sometime feel like I don't want to go to church, or read my scriptures etc. But, knowing life from both sides, I cannot deny that Heavenly Father sent the Spirit to me when I was a little child to lead me on this path of righteousness. I cannot deny the truthfullness of the Gospel and its goodness. I can never, ever do anything that would lead my children to think that I am not completely sure that this is the right place to be.
There are a lot of truth's in this very condensed story. Here are just a couple.

#2 Heavenly Father loves even obscure little girls from mixed up families.
#3 The Spirit will always let you know when you are in the right place, even if you are sure you will not be comfortable there.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Aspen Grove

Aspen Grove

These are my friends Judie, Louise and Brenda. We spent 4 days and 3 nights sewing and laughing so hard we almost wet our pants. Even old ladies can have fun!

We were at Aspen Grove for a quilt retreat. This is the view from the room where we sewed. This is a true RETREAT. It was easy to forget there was a busy , bustling world out there.

We all sewed and visited and ate and sewed and laughed til we were bleary eyed. We slept only when we had to and started working again as soon as possible.

One of the funnest things is this little quilt kit in a urine cup. It is so tiny I can carry it in my purse. It has everything I need to complete a tiny log cabin quilt.

Quilters are amazing. Can you believe what they come up with?

Friday, October 31, 2008

That's my son!!

Some of you know my son Ben produced a darling little cartoon called "Pajama Gladiator" while he was an animation student at BYU. It recently won "Producers Choice" from Nicktoons and he got to go to Los Angeles for the presentation of awards. His award came in the mail and Val says it is big and heavy and beautiful, kinda like an Oscar. Pajama Gladiator was shown on Nicktoons and the Nicktoons website for 24 hours and viewers were given a chance to vote for it. Several others were given their 24 hours also. Well......IT WON VIEWERS CHOICE TOO!!!!!!!! It can't be made public yet because it is still in the running for other awards. I am BURSTING with pride in my Benny. WAY TO GO BEN! I love you.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Jim grumbles everytime I say I have to go pottie or when I tell my dog to go pottie. He insists that dogs don't go "pottie" and neither do grown women. I'm not sure what he wants me to say? What is a polite, grown up way to say pottie? Well last night I got a clue.
We were ready to turn the lights out, trying to decide who had to get out of bed to do it. He finally said, "I haven't gone pottie yet, I'll do it". Then as he walked out of the room, grumbling to himself, he said "I can't believe I said pottie. Full grown men do not go pottie........we go wee-wee."

I finally controlled my laughter enough to fall asleep, but woke up giggling this morning.

Friday, October 17, 2008


OK. I was tagged by my friend Brenda like 2 weeks ago so I'm finally getting around to it.

1. Where did you meet your husband?
At BYU. He was from California, I was from Idaho. We both went to summer semester at BYU right out of High school. We were in the same Family group.
2. How long did you date before you got married?
You mean each other? This is a hard question. We dated about a year, then Jim went on his mission and I dated other people. Then he came home and 7 weeks later we were married.
3. How long have you been married?
34 years
4. What does he do that surprises you?
Not much, he is a creature of habit. He buys the same shoes and jeans year after year after year. I can almost guess every move he will make. There is something comforting about that.

5. Favorite feature.

His ear to ear grin, it is absolutely irresistible.

6. Favorite quality.

His quiet strength. I always say he is Clark Kent, a mild mannered reporter on the outside, but underneath he is superman.

7. Does he have a nickname for you? Briney Marlin (means darlin), or Matilda

8. Favorite Food. Donuts

9. Favorite Sport. BYU Football

10. When and where was your first kiss? He is the romantic one, so he would remember this. I think it was our second date at lagoon.

11. What is your favorite thing to do together? Go on cruises and road trips.

12. Do you have children? HA HA HA We have 7 children and almost 18 grandchildren, and several other children that we fostered or simply loved into the family.
13. Does he have any hidden talents? He is the "Toot" master. Don't ask.

14. How old is he? 55

15. Who said I love you first? I'm sure it was him. I was too wary of committing myself unless I was sure of him.

16. What is his favorite music? talking

17. What do you admire most about him? His spirituality and committment to living the Gospel, and his committment to being a good husband, father and grandfather.

18. What is his favorite color? BLUE

19. Will he read this? I doubt it

20. Who do you tag? This tag is tooooo long. Nobody


I have wanted to put music on my blog for months but didn't have a clue how to do it. I asked Abby when she was here to tell me how but she said, "It's too hard Mom", I think implying that I was too dumb and it would be too hard to explain it to me. I was offended! So Nyah-Nyah-nyahnyah-nyah Abby. I figured it out all by myself!

Friday, October 10, 2008

James Christenson paintings

My Husband, Jim, recently got a new job description. He is now an Associate Dean of the College of Life Sciences. For now, he is still the Chairman of the Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology (phew) also. He has a new office on a different floor as Assoc Dean, which is smaller than his office as Chairman, so he doesn't have room for all the pictures that were in his Chairman office. They belong to us but we bought them for his office and I've never been able to have them at home. I brought 2 of them home. They are both by James Christenson and I love them to bits.

This is "All the World's a Stage". It has characters from lots of Shakespeare's plays and it is fun to try to identify them. We are trying to see all of the plays so we will recognize the people. It's funner to SEE the plays than to READ the plays.

This is by far my favorite Christenson painting. It is called "Sometimes the Spirit Touches us through our Weaknesses" The stool the little guy is sitting on says ,in Latin, "After clouds, sun". I love the humor , yet poignant meaning to his paintings. The one in Jim's new office is called "The Oldest Professor" These aren't my actual pictures because you can't take a picture of a framed picture without getting Major glare. I have had to move stuff around to find room for these picures in my house. I kind of feel like I have to paint now.

When I went to quilt Festival, one of the national teachers, Laura Wasilowski, showed us a picture of the tomb of the unknown sew-er (think needle and thread). I finally found it and got a picture.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I survived Quilt Fest....sorta

I survived Quilt FestivaL!!! Sorta....
This is a class I took from a National Teacher, Louisa Smith. Very interesting but HARD and stressfull. It is on my design wall looking for just the right fabric to finish. Thats why there are random fabrics stuck to it.
We were able to buy chances to win "Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Quilts" I won this cancer block that was made into a clock. It is actually my block that I donated last year. Don't tell anybody but it is 2 boobs, one pink and perfect and one odd but lovable.
We also bought chances to win donated mini-quilts. (A lot of gambling going on it seems). I won this one although I did not buy a chance on it!! I can't figure that one out.

My convergence class was pretty good. Here are some of my student's quilts (almost done). They really did a good job. I have pictures of all of them and their quilts, but won't put them all up.

I was also nearly mugged the first night on my way back to my hotel. Ogden is a SCARY place. Heavenly Father was watching out for me even though I made it really hard by putting myself in a dangerous situation. I had to remember to BE Careful.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Next week is Annual quilt Festival where I will be teaching "Convergence" which is a method of converging 4 pieces of fabric together to make a neat art quilt. I am teaching "Tropical Convergence" which is the parrot one above. However, Between February (when I sent in my proposal) and August (when It was accepted and people actually signed up to take the class) the parrot fabric became obsolete.
This is a problem since I agreed to make kits. So I made "Harvest Convergence" above

Converging Bats
and "Converging Apples and Bluebirds" to entice people to want a kit for them instead. So I have lots of kits and I just hope people will be ok about this.

I am also teaching a beading class and was not able to find the same ribbon I used for the sample. I really don't want to do this again!

I just want next week to be OVER!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Truth #1 Jesus Wants me For a Sunbeam

I read my 20 year old daughter, Abby's blog about the sign in the grass that said "Don't step on me I"m growing". She wished she could wear a sign like that also. How cute and philosophical is that! So I started thinking a little deeper just for a moment.

I recently read a book written by a Psychiatrist which consisted of 30 truths he had discovered in his life experience. I agreed with some and thought he was looney at other times. I decided that I would write my own personal truths (when I figure them out).
So this is my "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam" truth.
In church, I have occasionally had jobs that I just don't care for, or jobs that are really time consuming or isolating. I struggle and struggle and find myself complaining and not enjoying church or the job or life in general. I often think of moving to get released. I am currently the Junior Primary and Nursery Chorister. Yes, it was "one of those jobs".
I dreaded Sundays, until one week I looked into the eyes of one of the kids and saw how much he was enjoying the music that I was so bored with. I had a Eureka! moment when I realized I had the power to help those children LOVE primary music. I started researching how children learn and every week I look into the eyes of those kids and love what I am doing.
Any way, the truth is, if you have a job you hate, chances are you will keep getting that job again and again, until you learn to love it. If you learn to love it, it doesn't matter if you get released or not, you will be happy.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quilting, not just a hobby anymore.

Front of Carry-all. Pocket for ruler and rotary cutter.
Back of carry-all....Ironing surface, and pocket.
Inside of carry-all, cutting board and organizing surface.

I am in charge of planning the programs for the Utah Valley Quilt Guild. Yesterday we had a meeting that I have been working on since April. I think it went well, actually better than I expected. I had decided nobody would be interested and it would be the poorest attended event for the last 5 years, but in actual fact, LOTS of people came. The thing I am GLADDEST about (I just finished reading "Pollyanna") is that it is over and I don't have to worry about it anymore! I taught a class how to make a mini quilting carry-all. I designed it. I am GLAD to have all the kits gone and out of my kitchen.

My next stress is Utah Quilt Guild Festival next month. I am teaching 2 classes with optional kits. I am also in charge of door prizes that have been accumulating in my house since April. I am sure it will be the worst door prize meeting they have had for the last 5 years.

I am also making a "Dear Jane" quilt. Jane Stickle made a quilt in 1863 with more than 2200 pieces. The blocks are tiny and intricate and every one is different. Each block takes 1-4 hours to make and there are 225 blocks. I have 5 rows finished but with deadlines constantly on my horizon I have been setting it aside more and more. So I live with the stress of knowing I am getting farther and farther behind. There is going to be a "Dear Jane" quilt show in one year that I need to finish it for. Oh dear, my stomach hurts.... I'm sure it will be the worst one anyone has seen in the last 5 years anyway.

My version of "Dear Jane"

Friday, August 15, 2008


I'm not sure I am doing the pictures right but at least I put some up. It as a random bunch to be sure but it is a sampling of the pics I just downloaded onto my computer.

We recently returned from visiting Ben's family in California. I still love California. The cost of living is attrocious but the weather is so mild and delightful. I love the wierd vegetation and the smell of Jasmin and Honeysuckle and the neat/wierd people. I don't mean Ben and Val are neat/wierd, I mean the general public, not that Ben and Val aren't part of the.... oh forget it. Ben and Val and the 3 little hippies are so much fun, I REALLY hated to leave. I bet Ben and Val are happy to be able to sleep in their own bed in their own room and only have to feed their own crew. Love you guys

All my daughters and daughter-in-laws ran a 1/2 marathon a few weeks ago, well, except Hannah who had JUST had a baby. (Is that really a good excuse? We just found out Betsy ran it pregnant!) There is a serious lack of macho men in this family. I can just imagine the comments I am going to get about THAT statement. Relax guys, I'm just baiting you. I started running when I had 4 little kids and lived in San Francisco. Jim packed all the kids in the car and followed me as I ran through Golden Gate Park to make sure I was safe. I know my sons and sils (sons-in -law), are watching their kids so their wives can get out and maintain a semblance of sanity. They are sacrificing for their wives. Good job girls, you married well.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gulp! And now it begins....

Ok, I have spent most of the day reading about blogging and getting familiar with this blogsite. In plain english that means I have been working up the courage to start my own blog. I hope it will be fun for me and not too boring for my family who are the only ones I expect to read it. I tried to put a picture on, but on two separate computers full of pictures, there are only 3 pictures of me and I was at least 15 pounds heavier so forget it. I will try to take a picture of myself soon.

I know that blogs without pictures are BORing.

Tomorrow is our 34th Anniversary and we very nearly forgot about it! Honestly, trying to figure out how to celebrate is just another stress. Probably not for Jim, he's the romantic one. I think a nice dinner would be great and then forget the whole thing. Poor Jim.