Joy in the Journey: My Pal, Teresa Collins, AC Sale, and Road Trip

November 17th, 2014

Something really big is happening on the 25th of this month. Yep–in a little over a week I’ve got something really exciting going on! Please, please, please stop by my site on November 25th! Oh–and you might win some pretty cool stuff, too!

1. You know the amazing Teresa Collins, the pretty blonde on the left (shown with the adorable Amy Tangerine at HSN earlier this year). She is the owner and creative brain behind Teresa Collins brand products.

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I’m sad to write that Saturday evening, Teresa’s  husband of 19 years, Tyler Colins, passed away from cancer. You can go to Teresa’s blog and read her posts from last week. You’ll need a tissue because her deepest raw emotions are shared and they are heart wrenching. Yet–they are full of peace and hope.

Here is an excerpt that she wrote last Saturday morning:

“I have to say that because of our faith, we believe we are an eternal family. We believe that this life is a small pinpoint in our journey. We all die and will go back to live with our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. This life does not end our marriage, our love and our sealing to be together forever. I know that families are forever. This is what comforts me right now. I don’t know what I would do if I thought death was the end … I believe that death is a glorious reunion in heaven with God and those that have past on before us. I know his dad and grandparents are there waiting for him. I am sharing WHAT gives me comfort and peace. It doesn’t and won’t take away my immense broken heart. I will miss Tyler and don’t know how I will face this but I know it’s part of life’s plan.”

Thank you, Teresa, for having faith in every footstep during this horrific ordeal. You have buoyed me up and reminded me that I can do hard things. You’re attitude of gratitude, even through your darkest hours, is an example to the world. We all love you!

2. This week possibly the greatest sale in the entire world begins. If you live nearby, stop by! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Social Media Announcement 1 Joy in the Journey: My Pal, Teresa Collins, AC Sale, and Road Trip

3. I took a road trip with this cutie this weekend to look at colleges a little further from home. Sob, sob, sob. I can’t believe my baby girl is all grown up. Brecken–it’s been a pleasure raising you in our family. You are one girl who knows what she wants from life and has so much fun along the way. The cute gal on the right is one of Collin’s good friends. So sweet of her to take us on a tour of her university.

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So many options–so many decisions! I’m sure she’ll make the right one!

Have a great Monday!

Lisa

 

 

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Brecken’s Blissful Bites: A Fun Family Night with Red Chili Sauce Chicken Enchiladas and Salsa Roja

November 14th, 2014

First, I hope you’re enjoying November! (It began snowing here in Utah yesterday.) I went to a baby shower the other night and my daughter-in-law’s mother, Cherie, had made an entire main course inside a pumpkin. I’ll have to get the recipe and try it myself. It was adorable and delicious!

Secondly,  I want to share a fun family experience that goes along with these two recipes.

Every Monday night at our house is Family Home Evening–a dedicated time that we spend as a family. Sometimes we go do something outside the home (movie, bowling, rock climbing, etc.) but usually Steve assigns a “discussion topic” to one of us and we have a devotional together. A few weeks ago, Brecken was assigned the topic of “Enjoying Spiritual Goodness in our Daily Lives.” Earlier that day, she asked each person about their favorite meal item and announced she was making dinner. She then went to work in the kitchen–mixing, chopping, blending and baking.

That night she set a beautiful table, placed the delectable food in the center, and called us to dinner. We then sat around our cozy round table and stared at the food while discussing what looked good and why. She then talked about how our bodies need a balanced diet and many different things to stay healthy. Brecken displayed a chart with the words “Physical Needs” and “Spiritual Needs” in two different columns. We then found word strips under our plates and had to place them in the appropriate columns. The words included grains, milk products, vitamins, forgiveness, being loved, serving, etc.

She then told us since we’d already discussed our meal that we could leave without eating. WHAT? My mouth was watering and I was so hungry. A few minutes later, she called us back together and while we ate the delicious food, talked about how just looking at food does us no good. We have to eat and digest it to give us the nutrients we need. She then compared it with the spiritual needs and how we must live the principles of forgiveness, kindness, serving, etc. before they’ll do us any good. “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22. There was a lot more to the discussion, but this is the general idea of it. It was so clever and oh so yummy.

Here are recipes for two of the items on the menu. Let me just say that they are amazing! Unfortunately I didn’t get good photos of the food so I’m using the pics from the web sites where she found the recipes.

chickenenchiladas 1 Breckens Blissful Bites: A Fun Family Night with Red Chili Sauce Chicken Enchiladas and Salsa Roja

Recipe and photo from Tide and Thyme and adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

1 medium onion , chopped fine

2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped fine
1 tsp. canola oil
3 medium cloves garlic , minced
3 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
3 teaspoons sugar
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 large beefsteak tomato, seeded and chopped
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts)
1 cup extra sharp white cheddar, shredded
1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
Cooking spray
Salt
Ground black pepper

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine the onion, jalapeño, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce, chopped onion and water, bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
2. Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the thickest part registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate; set aside to cool. Strain the sauce through a medium-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on the onions to extract as much liquid as possible. Place onion mixture in a large bowl and set aside. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces. Add to the bowl along with the onion mixture. Add in 1/4 cup enchilada sauce, 1 cup monterey jack cheese, and the cilantro. Toss to combine.
4. Stack the tortillas on a microwave-safe plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40 to 60 seconds. Spread the warm tortillas out over a clean work surface. Place 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla. Tightly roll each tortilla around the filling and lay them seam-side down in a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.
5. Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with oil spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 7 minutes until the tortillas are starting to slightly brown on the top. (If you dont’ like a bit of crunch in your enchiladas, just skip this step completely)
6. Reduce oven temperature to 400. Remove enchiladas from oven and pour remaining sauce over to coat them thoroughly. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheddar down the center of the enchiladas. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, 20 to 25 minutes.
7. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese browns, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
8. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa and additional cilantro.
543926481 wPXrv S 1 Breckens Blissful Bites: A Fun Family Night with Red Chili Sauce Chicken Enchiladas and Salsa Roja

 

Salsa Roja (Roasted Red Salsa)

16 full size tomatoes, or nearly a produce bag full of roma tomatoes (we used roma)
2-3 yellow onions
20-25 Serrano peppers (remove caps) Note: this many peppers makes it hot. Feel free to reduce # of peppers, or scrape the seeds out of them
8-10 cloves of garlic
1-2 Tbsp salt
1-2 bunches cilantro

1. Halve the tomatoes and onions and lay cut-side up on a cookie sheet along with the peppers and garlic
2.Roast at 375 till the onions look nice and translucent (see bottom left of the next picture), tomatoes look soft, and peppers are getting a nice char on them
3. Let it all cool a bit, then run through the food processor with salt and cilantro (we had to do this in two batches)
4. Stir it all together. Trust me–this is so good!

Bon Apetite and Happy Family Night!

Lisa

 

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Joy in the Journey: Becky, Heidi and Studio 5!

November 10th, 2014

Last Thursday, Becky Higgins, Heidi Swapp and I were invited to “Studio 5,” a fun local talk show hosted by Brooke Walker. We were asked to give the top trends of 2014. It was a lot of fun chatting around the table with these gals. We are all long-time friends and have so many memories with each other. We hired Becky at Creating Keepsakes while she was still a university student and Heidi was one of our first Hall of Fame winners. And–I’ve shared lots of fun times with Brooke on the Studio 5 set. Each of these gals are so genuine and creative geniuses!

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This picture looks like we are all so composed and ready for the show. But–what you don’t see is the “behind the scenes” just moments before the show began.

That morning had been hectic for me. I’m a person that always gets in too deep and I always think I have more time to do things than I really have. (Can anyone relate? Please tell me I’m not the only one who constantly does this!) I had guests from England staying over that night and was bustling around getting ready for them. Plus, making breakfast, sack lunches and getting kids out the door for school and getting ready for the show. I thought I got the memo that we needed to be at the studio at 10:30 a.m. but in reality, filming began at this time. While traveling to the studio, I began getting texts from Becky and Heidi and realized my mistake. To make up for lost time, I took an unknown route that I thought was faster only to get pulled over by a motorcycle police officer for speeding (just a little icon smile Joy in the Journey: Becky, Heidi and Studio 5! ). He was so kind and felt so bad about giving me a ticket.

So–Here are the three of them waiting around the round table for me :).

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I finally ran into the studio and had 30 seconds to look over the notes only to discover that I’d not read an email earlier that morning about the format for one of my tips being changed.

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That’s okay–I had my buddies by my side and was able to relax and enjoy myself during the show despite my hectic morning. And–it was a lot of fun!

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I learned three good lessons from this experience. 1. It’s always better to be early than late or even on time! 2. Always know what the speed limit is–I thought the backroad was a 40 mph zone. 3. Never think another person’s life is trial free–you never know what kind of a morning  they really had!

One of my favorite quotes is by Marjorie Hinckley:

“Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

Hope your day is filled with kindness and love!

Lis

 

 

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Joy in the Journey: Happy Birthday, Mom and Pops, Rock Climbing and White Board Notes!

November 3rd, 2014

1. My mom and dad have birthdays within days of each other. Last Thursday was my mom’s big day and today we celebrate with my dad.

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Photo taken by Robin Johnson Photography.

Words can’t express what these two mean to me. My dad is one of the most kind, patient and insightful people I know. I never heard him raise his voice growing up and he led our family in such a loving way. My mom has more energy than anyone I know–she literally runs circles around me! Her life is filled with service, compassion, and fun! Yep–she still plays Bunco every month and is the life of the party. She also exercises at Curves six days a week and works at one of our church’s temples every Thursday.

Both my mom and dad are in different seasons of life. My mom is a 24/7 caregiver to my dad who is suffering from dementia and other hard physical problems.

To my dad–thank you for still being kind when your suffering could alter your personality in a different way. Thank you for constantly telling my mom how much you love her and how beautiful she is.

To my mom–thank you for doing what nobody else could do. Thank you for being patient with Dad even when it’s hard. Thank you for putting your own wants and needs on hold while you lovingly care for him. This poem (author unknown) describes so accurately what their life is like.

“Do not ask me to remember,
Don’t try to make me understand.
Let me rest and know you’re with me,
Kiss my cheek and hold my hand.

I’m confused beyond your concept,
I’m sad and sick and lost.
All I know is that I need you,
To be with me at all cost.

Do not lose your patience with me,
Do not scold or curse or cry.
I can’t help the way I”m acting,
I can’t be different though I try.

Just remember that I need you,
That the best of me is gone.
Please don’t fail to stand beside me,
Love me ’til my life is gone.”

I truly love and adore my parents more than words can write.

2. My hubby asked me to go with some friends rock climbing on Saturday morning. I thought the gals were going to watch the boys but somehow we both got roped (no pun intended) into trying it.

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That black dot three fourths the way up (on the bottom right photo) is me! It was one of the scariest things I’ve done but I’m so glad I can finally check it off my bucket list! My hubby kept yelling at me, “Just look up–not behind you!” Great advice for life! Steve’s now addicted so I think there will be more rock climbing adventures in the near future!

3. Every Monday Sage leaves me notes on my office white board. So look forward to her sweet thoughts for the week.

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Happy Monday!

Lisa

 

 

 

 

 

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Joy in the Journey: Mice Play, Babysitting a Grandma and Christmas Stockings!

October 28th, 2014

Baby Oakley is home from the hospital and she’s doing so much better. Thanks for your love, support, faith and prayers on her behalf.

1. If you’re a grandma or grandpa and don’t have these books, you MUST got buy them as soon as possible!

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My pal, Lori Chadwick, gave me “How to Babysit a Grandma” to celebrate this blessed time in my life and I’ve devoured it. Love the illustrations and the clever message. It’s a must-have for all or future grandparents! It’s inspired me to create a “How to Babysit your Grandma” scrapbook with pictures I take while we’re together. I’ll share the results!

2. This cat has been a part of our lives for almost a decade.

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Photo by Robin Johnson Photography.

 

She came to us as a little kitten on a freezing, snowy night in November. I could hear a little “Meow” by my scrapbook window and my husband finally went out to investigate. He came back with a tiny white and black kitten. He’s never been especially fond of cats but his tenderness to this small animal touched my heart. He made her a bed and warmed up some milk. We then spent the next week asking around about the kitten. We finally kept her and called her “Lucky” because she was lucky enough to find a warm home and we were lucky enough to have such a sweet cat join our family. Two months later, we found out the kitten belong to our next-door neighbor! Somehow we had never asked them about the cat! My tearful girls and I delivered her back to the rightful owners and my sweet neighbor said, “How about if she lives at the Bearnson home but catches mice at our home?” Yep–true story. We stole this sweet cat from the next door neighbor and we’ve enjoyed her for a decade now!

She soon became inseparable with Sage and remains so to this day. She can always be found wherever Sage is at.

web sage cat 620x413 Joy in the Journey: Mice Play, Babysitting a Grandma and Christmas Stockings!

Photo by Robin Johnson Photography.

Lucky is an indoor/outdoor cat. Three nights ago in the wee hours of the night, the cat wanted in the house so my husband obliged by opening the door. Five minutes later, Sage shrilled, “Dad, Dad–a MOUSE!” Steve jumped up and ran upstairs to Sage’s bedroom (he thought she was sleep walking). There was Lucky with a LIVE mouse in her mouth. YUCK! I am absolutely terrified and grossed out by mice. To make it worse, Lucky dropped the mouse when she saw Steve, leaving him on his own to catch this mouse which was running around Sage’s room. What happened next was a complete mouse chase. For 10 minutes, he ran around the room trying to catch it. He finally corned it, caught it in a pillow case, and nicely put it outside so it can come in once again icon smile Joy in the Journey: Mice Play, Babysitting a Grandma and Christmas Stockings! ! Oh, the memories! We’ve laughed so hard about this little experience!

3. Can you believe it’s already that time of year to start sending packages to our loved ones? My neighbor is a clever gal and makes the cutest stockings. I ordered three–the middle one for Collin and the other two for a niece and nephew. Collin just got moved to a city called Lower Hutt by Wellington, New Zealand. He had a tough time leaving Dunedin on the southern island. Thanks to all of you who reached out to  him there–he enjoyed every minute of it. He also already loves his new area. He said the people are so warm and friendly.

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For more information or to order a stocking, contact Susie at missionary stockings@gmail.com.

Can’t wait to share my Seattle and Canada trip with you!

Lisa

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