Monday, February 22, 2010

Ward Conference

Young Women (organization)Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday was Ward Conference and it was absolutely wonderful! The Stake Leaders have so much love and inspiration to share with us to help us and guide us, they truly are inspired leaders. I feel so blessed to have a calling with the Young Women and to have the opportunity to teach them every Sunday. What a responsibility! I would like to think the Lord has blessed me with talents that I can share with them, or even just the gift to be able to relate to them. The Young Women's program is truly needed and gives so much strength to the girls (and myself!) for the upcoming week. Save a girl and you save generations. I have a new respect for Sunday School and Primary and nursery etc. leaders. Now that my little Marin is in nursery, I am trusting that those nursery leaders are teaching her the gospel and giving her spiritual fortitude. I know the parents of my young women are trusting me to do the same and teach their precious girls the things that will keep them strong and above the rest of the world. I have such an important calling, and I pray everyday that I can help them feel the Spirit.

Last night was also New Beginnings for the Young Women. New Beginnings is usually in January or February and is a program for the 11 year olds who will be entering the YW program that year. They bring their family and we spend some time explaining the YW program, Personal Progress, and getting to know the new girls. We have 3 new Beehives moving up this year!! Hooray!! Although they aren't moving up until the end of they year, we cannot wait to have them!

I have a testimony of such a wonderful program. It was designed through inspiration from the Lord and keeps young girls strong and focused. It is a perfect program rethought every year as the world changes and Satan tries to strengthen his grasp on families. Even in homes where girls may feel lost and unsafe, the program is there to uplift and give comfort. I am so blessed to be a part of the Young Women's Program!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Language of Love

Ahhh, Valentine's Day Weekend, what a lovely holiday, made just for the ladies! A holiday for flowers and fancy dinners, cards and chocolates and $$$$$$$, ca-ching! Knowing how expensive this holiday can get, Kris and I opted for a simple dinner out and a card exchange, no gifts. We were planning on going to the temple to do sealings, and we had a babysitter, drove all the way to the temple and I realized I had left my recommend at home! Ack! It would have taken another 90 minutes of round trip driving to get back to the temple after picking up my recommend and my head wasn't feeling cooperative, so we headed to the restaurant for a lovely, long dinner. Although Marin may not have given a tangible gift, she can say "I love you, mama/papa" and that is more than enough to make my heart full :)

On Sunday I prepared a special treat for my Young Women (as I was teaching that day) and Marin helped mama in the kitchen that morning. I made some devils food cupcakes with a Carmel melted inside, and frosted them with delicious homemade raspberry lemon and festive!

Mmmmm, don't they look incredible? I sprinkled them with pink sugar and they were SOOO GOOD! Click here for tips on how to make them!

Saturday we all went for a lung-clearing hike near Red Rock Canyon, we met a few couples at the top waiting for a wall (to climb) and one nice fellow took our pic. Marin fell asleep on the way back down, she was a cranky girl!

We hiked right up the middle of that crevice.

Oh, my little helper! Marin is such a big help when it comes to emptying the dishwasher. She will take the silverware (minus the steak-knives!) and put them into the silverware drawer, such a big girl! The only problem is she doesn't understand when the dishes are dirty and why mommy won't let her put the dirty silverware away, haha!
Our plans for the week? Well, I picked up an extra shift yesterday (to help with our upcoming trip!) and will work again Friday and Saturday. But the next few days will be pretty casual, playtime with my sweet baby, gym, dinner club. Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Trick

Marin has found a new fascination with buckling things. She likes to help buckle her car seat, and her high chair. The other night she stood in front of the high chair for twenty minutes buckling the straps and then saying "help" when she wanted them unbuckled again. Such a silly girl :) I love my sweet baby girl!

This is the look of ultimate concentration:

She will buckle both side then say "Yaaaay!" so I notice her accomplishment!

Valentine's Treats

As most of you all know, I am ALWAYS looking for an excuse to be in the kitchen, and Valentine's Day is the perfect reason to indulge in a little festive baking :) Last night while Kris was doing homework (he is feeling much better by the way), I whipped up some delicious crispy vanilla cookies and yummy banana muffins. These are not for MOI, mind you, I bundled them up into my favorite cellophane bags (LOVE THEM!) and they will be headed out to my visiting teaching ladies this week! Giving away treats is a great way to...well...not eat them myself, haha! Check them out!
Yummm, crispy vanilla cookies rolled in pink sugar (so cute!!!).

Ahhh, as I was doing some prep-work for my turn tonight for the dinner club, I was leafing through this great little cookbook. This is an amazing cookbook my Aunt Janie compiled and designed for the entire Owens family in 2003. She must have spent so much time and energy putting it together! It is a categorized cookbook of Owens family favorites, and almost every one of those recipes is one that I have great memories of.....Aunt Janie's famous 7-layer salad, broccoli casserole, Grandma's UBER famous baked beans (I STILL can't make them as well as she can!), frog's eye salad, Uncle Brian's "Bullfrog". So many recipes from my cousins and aunt's and uncle's, ahhh, I just love it!

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Marin's first little molar has FINALLY decided to come greet the world, barely. I poked around in her mouth this evening (we all know how much she loves that), and a corner of her gi-normous molar had revealed a little corner. Those molars have been sitting just below the surface of her gums for weeks, and they feel and look like massive boulders, poor girl! We have many more to go, but one down is a great start!

Tonight is the first night Marin has gone to bed without a bottle, and all seems to have gone well, so far. We read a story, actually one of her favorite called "Baby Dear", a 1950's story about a little girl and her baby doll and new baby sister. Then I gave her a hug and put her down with her sippy cup in the crib and not a peep! My little girl is growing up so fast :)

On another note, my poor hubby has been down and out with a nasty stomach bug, yuck! He didn't feel well Saturday night when I got home from work, and then he was up all last night. He stayed in bed today and I think is starting to feel a little better, hopefully he will keep his germs to himself though! Since Kris wasn't with me at church today, I was a bit apprehensive to go alone with Marin, but the kind nursery leader took pity on me and asked if Marin would like to start nursery a week early. Why of course! Marin happily joined her little friends and had a wonderful time in nursery, while I participated in Gospel Doctrine and a special Relief Society lesson. My oh my, how time flies!

I know I know, I need to post some pictures for you all! Hopefully very soon :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I almost forgot to mention that Kris and I had a wonderful date on Saturday night! Kris has a connection or two through his students and one of them hooked us up with a completely comped meal at a great restaurant in the new Encore tower (Wynn's new sister resort). It was WONDERFUL! In order to describe how the inside of Encore looks, I have to tell you how the inside of Wynn looks. When you walk inside the Wynn, it looks like you have stepped into a luscious velvety fancy chocolate box with gorgeous, rich shades of brown and deep gold, some black, it is just incredible. Well, the Encore is like a French version of the Wynn. It has absolutely breathtaking vibrant French colors, rich fabrics, a touch of whimsy, it gave me a little taste of Paris! Anyway, we ate at a lovely restaurant called Society, and although looking at the menu made me scrunch my face and wonder, tasting the food was something else. It made me wonder why such a fancy place had, well....American food! They had taken some American classics, like Pigs in Blankets and hamburgers, and had TOTALLY souped them up, the food was incredible. We had a wonderful tomato bisque and caprese salad, pigs in blankets, I had some sushi "tacos" (ahhh, soo good!), truffle trenne pasta, peppercorn strip steak, 15 layer chocolate cake and coconut rice pudding. It sounds like TONS of food, but it was pretty small portions, well except for the steak and the 15 layer cake. Yeah, the cake, was sooo tall! It came out and I was embarrassed to have it set down at my table it was so large! And the best part, it was all totally comped (I know I shouldn't say that!), either way, the meal and the experience were one of a kind. Oh, and we did get to see a movie. Well, we saw about 3/4 of a movie, haha! We went to see "When in Rome", it was...ok. It was a last minute decision, not really something either of us would have chosen, but we were on a tight time schedule. We actually had to leave about 20 minutes before the end to make our dinner reservation, so I have no clue how it ended! I shouldn't say that, it was one of those chick-flicks, so don't we ALL know how it ends?

Tomorrow will be a wonderfully quiet day with just Marin and me. I think we will head to the gym in the morning, and then we will be taking lunch to a friend from work who had surgery last week. Hooray for good days :)