Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Hot me Mama"

One night as I was laying with Joaquin to help him get to sleep and He said "hot me mama". At first I wasn't sure what he was saying and even when I did understand him I wasn't sure what he meant...until he said "I am cold." He wanted me to warm him up :)

A couple of days ago Rodrigo and Joaquin were talking and for some reason Rodrigo had stated that he was a boy (as in male not female). Joaquin promptly responded with, "Uh are not a boy." Rodrigo responded with, 'Well what am I then?" and Joaquin said, "You're not a're just a Daddy" Just a Daddy huh? Sounds like being a boy is a privileged state :)

One of Ezekiel's favorite responses to being scolded about wrong doing is a very innocent and sweet, "What happened?" That is until yesterday. I scolded him for getting on my wet kitchen floor as I was mopping and he looked up at me just as innocently and sweetly and said. "What's the pwablem(problem)?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Gifts from the other side of the veil...

Just before Christmas I was working on the very last of the boxes that needed unpacking...boxes of books and blankets. As I sorted through the books, trying to get rid of those we don't need or want I stumbled accross a very familiar three ring binder. My Sister Caprece made this notebook for me. At the time she made it I am sure she was thinking this would be a great way for me to travel down memory lane through the years. But now, well now, I know she was following the sweet whisperings of the still small voice. See, one of the things I have struggled with the most as a result of losing her is where I fit in this puzzle. I know it sounds silly but my relationship with her family changed so drastically at her loss that it sent me spinning. People don't often consider the grief a sibling experiences. Maybe we compare it to the loss others are experiencing and think it can't be as consuming or heartbreaking as that of a spouse, a child. or a parent. Now, please don't misunderstand me I am NOT comparing grief! I can never fully understand the grief of another nor would I even begin to try, which I guess is exactly my point. But, this I do know, my Father in Heaven knew of the grief I would experience and he prepared something to help me. Something that would come just when I needed it most. See this little notebook had been packed away in storage for nearly 3 and half years. It was packed away before we lost Precie. It was packed away so long ago that I forgot about it. When I found it I read there on the cover words...her words...words of comfort and love and a reminder of just exactly where I fit in with the old, the new, and the yet to be.

"Karmen...Just as each of these letters are a different design and color so are the many aspects of what you have added and continue to add to our lives. This book is but a small reminder to you that you are loved and cherished more than you could ever know. Thanks for the many colors of beauty, warmth, love and fun that you have made possible."

How thankful I am for the multitude of His tender mercies.

Likewise the spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26

He knows my needs and the longings of my heart before even I do. Thanks to this sweet simple little notebook I am reminded again not only of the love my sister has for me but the love my Savior and Father in Heaven have for me. Thank you Precie! I Love You!

Monday, December 28, 2009


1-2-3-4 Potty Trained...At last!

Best Christmas present newly turned 4 year old POTTY TRAINED! Merry Christmas Mama!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas day at Temple Square

The Curtis family has a tradition of going to Temple Square on Christmas day and this year we were invited. The North Visitor Temple is super cool for the kids and the adults. We love the Book of Mormon displays and Jersulem but best of all is the Christus. Then it was on to the lights and the nativity display with the Choir singing like Angels. What a great tradition! Thanks Curtis Clan :)

Noche Buena 2009

Here is a sampling of our wonderful Christmas thanks to some of our Earth Angels.

Thank you Uncle Matt and Aunt Cayr and family. We love you!

Gracias Tios Anita, Paul, and Fernanda! Gracias Abuelos y Tia Vivi! Los Amamos!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sugar Cookies “Precie” Style

Years ago Caprece and I began a tradition of making sugar cookies during the holidays. We always involved the girls – Chancey, Lilah, and Livvy. We would roll them out, cut out fun holiday shapes, and bake them. Caprece would whip up a bowl of her specialty frosting and we would decorate them. Of course, we always kept a bit of the frosting and a few undecorated ones just for Matt. They kept fresh longer that way. They made a great late night snack for him thoughout the week. That is if he didn't eat them all at once...they are very hard to resist.
It never seems quite like Christmas until I’ve made a batch. This year is no exception. I was thinking about her and all the fun times we had. How blessed I am to have not only a best sister but a very best friend! I want my boys to grow-up hearing about their Aunt Caprece. So it was decided F.H.E. it would be and this time I involved my boys. They loved it especially my Zeke who is only 22 months. See for yourself. Oh, and although it goes without saying. These cookies are melt in your mouth, can’t stop with just one…good.

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies (Nicole White - Precie's friend)
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup butter
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
5 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp nutmeg
Cream butter and sugar; add beaten eggs and sour cream. Beat well. Add dry ingredients. Chill for 30 min to hour. Roll and cut out. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 min or until lightly brown.

Caprece's Cream Cheese frosting
8 oz package of cream cheese (softened)
1 stick of butter (softened)
1 box of confectioners sugar (3 3/4 cup)
cream together

Spaghetti Sauce – Charla Recipe - Caprece Specialty

(you gotta love the fine china - Spider Man Style :)

The first time I ever tasted this sauce was at my Aunt Charla's home. At the time she was living in a mobile home on some property that my grandmother owned in Marianna, Florida. This sauce is just one of the many wonderful Memories I have of my Aunt Charla, affecionately known to me as "Charly". It was splendous, like no spaghetti sauce I had ever before tasted. Granted I was only about five or six at the time but still it was amazing. I think it had a lot to do with all the extras (Which I haven't listed here because I thought it best to stick with the are welcome to dress it up any way you like.) The extras I am specifically referring to are the olives. I was unfamiliar with just what they could do for a meal til that indelible moment. It of course followed that once my sister Caprece married, she called Charla for her spaghetti recipe. It was immediately a favorite and served regulaly at her table. She had it down to a science. I of course lean on her experience and Charly's genius when I create this sauce...

(Please ignore the brown sugar...I took pic in front of my canisters...ooops!)

© 2lbs fresh ground beef (80/20 works best)
© 1 TBS Olive Oil
© 1 large onion, chopped
© 6 cloves garlic
© 3 teaspoons oregano
© 3 teaspoons garlic salt
© 2- 6oz cans tomato paste
© 1- 15oz can tomato sauce
© 4 cups of water
© 1- 14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes (optional)*
© ½ jar of kalamata olives or 4 oz can of sliced black olives (optional)*

*Caprece didn’t use olives because her family doesn’t like them but she added petite diced tomatoes. Charla uses black olives but not petite diced tomatoes. And I use kalamata olives and petite diced tomatoes. This sauce tastes yumilicious whatever way you dress it up.

Chop onion and garlic. Drizzle olive oil in skillet and place skillet on burner set to medium high heat. Place onion and garlic in skillet. Add 1 teaspoon of Oregano and 1 teaspoon of garlic salt. Cook onion and garlic until they begin to soften about 3 minutes. Add ground beef, the rest of the Oregano and garlic salt and brown. Place tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, petite diced tomatoes, and olives in dutch oven. Add the ground beef mixture and salt to taste (Please note if you are using kalamata olives DO NOT add any salt! The olives add additional salt.) Cook covered over medium low heat for at least 30 minutes. Serve over your choice of pasta…our’s is Angel hair or as the Italians call it – Capellini with salad and lots of garlic bread.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

3 envelope roast w/sweet potatoes

I first tried this recipe back in April of this year and it quickly, no immediately, became a family favorite. I have tweaked it for our family and just last month my Mom added something that is a must have now with this recipe....Can you guess...yep, sweet potatoes. Who woulda thunk it? Our family likes sweet potatoes on the savory side instead of the sweet (we think they are sweet enough without the added sugar). She just peeled them, cut them in half and added them to the crock pot. They were a surprisingly delicious addition to the meal. I made it for the hubby and he loves it. THANKS MOM!
Adapted from recipe @ Real Mom Kitchen
3 Envelope Roast
  • 3 pound beef roast (such as chuck roast)
  • 1 envelope of dry Italian salad dressing mix
  • 1 envelope of dry ranch salad dressing mix
  • 1 envelope of dry brown gravy mix
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes

First - brown the roast in skillet on stove. Using tongs so as NOT to puncture the meat, transfer the meat to the crock pot. Put the water in a measuring cup that is larger then the amount of water you are using. Now add and mix all three envelopes of dry salad dressings to the water. Mix until blended completely. Pour the water and salad dressing mixture over the roast. Cook it on high for about 4 hours on low about 8 hours. Wash, peel and quarter the sweet potatoes. When the roast has about 2 hours left add the sweet potatoes and allow to cook the remaining time. Once the potatoes are tender through (should be about the time the roast is finished) remove and place in serving dish.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


We built a gingerbread house this last Monday for Family Home evening. The kids didn't disappoint! As expected they ate way more than they helped...although help they did and enjoyed every moment of it. I put the house together and then grabbed the camera so I could catch the decorating fun! I think it looks pretty good!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A brownie and a kiss

Well, I am finally back. The house is completely unpacked and everything in its rightful place. I am fastidious about everything having its own place. I can't function in chaos. It feels good and I can finally exhale. With the exception of the loss of several of my beloved serving dishes, my spring form pan,, and two bundt pans, the move went quite smoothly. I am not sure where these items could have ended up but I am already saving to replace them...can't live without a spring form pan! Speaking of, did you know they make a mini cheesecake pan that looks something like a muffin pan but the bottoms come off just like a spring form pan? This is definitely on my wish list. I could have used it to bake this next recipe although the muffin pan was fine.

I have been craving this sweet treat from the moment I first saw it on The Picky Palate blog. I love mint with chocolate and I knew this promised to taste as good as it looked. I did however alter this recipe. In fact, I made it from the picture. I didn't even look at her recipe not because I didn't think it would be good but because of pure L.A.Z.I.N.E.S.S! I used Betty Crocker's Triple Chunk Brownie Mix because it is my all time favorite. They turned out super dupper delicious!
Adapted from recipe @ Picky Palate

  • 1 Box of Betty Crocker's Triple Chunk Brownie mix

  • 1 Bag of Candy Cane Kisses

  • 1 Package of candy canes

  • 1 cup of milk choclolate chip morsels


Prepare the brownie mix per directions on box. Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray. Place cupcake liners in the tin for each brownie. Unwrap 12 kisses, measure out the chocolate morsels and crush the candy canes(I used the small canes about 2-3 inches tall and crushed one per brownie. The amount you use will depend on how much mint you like and the size of candy cane you purchase. Pour the brownie mix into each liner about 2/3 full. Place a kiss in the center and push into batter. ***DO NOT PUSH KISS TO BOTTOM! You should be able to see the top of the kiss still.

Now continue by pouring enough batter over the top of kiss to cover. You should still have a little space at the top of the liner. This will allow the brownie a little room to rise as it bakes.

Bake according to the directions on brownie box. Once done remove from the oven and place on wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with milk chocolate morsels ( I used about 4-5 morsels per brownie.) and crushed candy canes over top and allow to cool completely. Makes 12 melt in your mouth treats!

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