Thursday, October 27, 2011

A little tender mercy :)

Lately we have had so many tender mercies that I can't even explain how blessed we feel. There are so many ways everyday the Lord has shown me how much He loves me. This morning I had a wonderful experience and thought I would share it:)

So right before I was about to leave to go to yoga I had a couple of minutes and of course what did I do... went on facebook:) I was only on for a second and then a little box popped up and said I had a message from Mahmud. Mahmud is one of the sweetest men I know. Him and his wife and their cute family live in Accra, Ghana and they are one of the families that Zack taught the gospel to on his mission. They are amazing! They are some of the strongest, most courageous and humble people I know. Truly anyone who meets them, leaves a better person. 

Zack and I can't wait to go to Ghana some day and visit all of the people he taught, but luckily the last 2 years Mahmud has come to visit us:) The first summer was when Zack and I were dating and Mahmud came out for conference and they got to go to every session. Then last summer, Mahmud and his wife Irene, came out because Mahmud was graduating from the University of Phoenix and luckily we got to see them and have them stay with us. It was Irene's first time to America. We had so much fun and I LOVED getting to know them and seeing the love they have for my husband:) Here are some pictures from then:

My african dress Irene had made for me and Zacks african shirt! I am a spaz:)

Irene and I laughing so hard:)

Making fufu:) It was so yummy!
Irene trying to teach me how to walk with a full glass of water on your head. I was not so good at it:) But she was amazing. She could turn and sit all the way down on the ground and do pretty much anything!

At Temple Square. What a sweet experience:)

 So anyways this morning I got to briefly talk to Mahmud on facebook and it was such a sweet tender mercy. How many times does a wife get to talk to one of her husbands converts and let alone get to know them as well as we have been able to? This was one time I was so grateful for facebook. I was here in Arizona and got to talk to Mahmud in Ghana! 

I just had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. So grateful for my amazing husband and his mission that he served. He served so selflessly and wholeheartedly. You can see his hard work through the amazing converts and relationships he has with everyone in Ghana. I have loved getting to know Mahmud and Irene and I am so grateful for their wonderful examples. Everything they say and do testifies of their love for the Gospel. It just made my day to be able to talk to them today. Zack was a bit jealous, but hopefully we'll get to talk to them again soon! I'm grateful for my husband and the faithful mission that he served. And I am so grateful for Mahmud and Irene and their testimonies. Talking to them always uplifts me and strengthens my testimony. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Baby showers and trip to Utah!

Last weekend we got to drive up to Utah. It was a packed weekend! It was my cousin Brayden's wedding, my mother-in-law Leisa threw me a baby shower, then I had a combined shower with Ashly, we saw Aaron (Zack's brother) perform at Lagoon and ultimately we got to visit family! It was so fun and we loved every minute of it! Here are some pictures :)
My first shower! I only have a few pictures because I was so distracted with the yummy cupcakes that I forgot to take pictures. 
So grateful for all of the generous gifts I received from friends and family! Thank you so much Leisa for putting this shower on for me. I loved it and I am deeply grateful:) 
This cute balloon Rog got that was a binki:) 
At Brayden's wedding! Got to see all of aunts who came in town for the wedding and then they stayed and came to our shower the next morning! Loved seeing everyone. 
Our bellies!!

Brayden and his cute wife:)
Amber has chickens and Ciana is not afraid of them at all! It is so funny, she was chasing them around and would just grab them and hold them.

She put herself in a box and had up to 6 chickens in there with her. Even when they tried to get away, she would just grab them and put them back in! 
Mine and Ashly's combined shower!
Playing a game that luckily everyone helped me with:) 
Opening our gifts! I am so grateful for all of the gifts that my family and friends gave my baby and me! Now I just can't wait to see her in all of those cute clothes we received:)

We were trying to make our babies jump when we were next to each other:)
Sorry most of our pictures were blurry, because everyone was moving the whole time! haha imagine that in a singing and dancing show:) But we were so proud of Aaron! He was amazing and we loved watching him perform! He's so talented:)
We got to see the show 5 times! It was such a busy night and the shows were packed so in this picture, Matt was actually waiting in line for the next show. 
We went and rode the lift at Sundance. Lydia just wanted to sit with Zack the whole time. It was so cute!
I have THE cutest nieces and nephews!

Wow it was soooooo beautiful! Fall is my favorite season and I am so glad we got to go up and see the colors in the canyon.  

Carving pumpkins at grandmas:)

one of my favorite pictures! London just came up to Ashly and said Hi, I didn't see you! and gave her a big hug!! See her leg wrapped around Ashly's leg? haha

All of us together!!! I love them so very much:) They really are my best friends.

Everyone carved pumpkins and London named hers Frent..... Ha

It was such a fun trip! So grateful for the time that we were able to spend with our families. It was fun to finally have our families see and feel my belly. I swear every time someone new came and put their hand on my belly, right on cue our little girl would kick their hand. It was so fun. It was her way of saying hi! The first time she did that to Averie, Averie screamed and jumped away and started crying. First it scared her, because my little girl sure knows how to kick, then it was so cute to see her reaction that there really is a baby inside of me and we both got emotional. I just love our family and friends! Thanks for such an amazing weekend and for all of our cute presents we got at both of our showers:) Love you and miss you!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Best thing since sliced bread!

Bottled Chicken!

Since I first learned about bottled chicken and how to do it I have been telling everyone about it! It really makes my life easier and everyone deserves to know about it:) Well first I must say if you are a vegetarian or don't really like chicken, you might not like this post. But if you like chicken and like quick and easy meals, then this is something you must know about!

Anyways...bottled chicken! I had never heard of it until we moved here to Arizona. A few weeks after we moved here in January, Mary (my mother in law) and Jen (my sister in law) showed me what this was and I have been using the chicken that we bottled in January every since then. My supply was running low and it was time to restock! So last week thats what we did:)

Here's how you do it:

1. Buy chicken in bulk. We order it from They deliver in many states and sell many products in bulk. We heard that they had chicken for $1.49 lb and sell them in 40 lb boxes. So I ordered 1 box and I'm sure this will last me for a good year or so. 

2. Prepare your jars. Wide-mouthed, pint glass jars work best. Wash all of your jars and then add 1/2 tsp. of salt to each jar. This adds a little bit of flavor to the chicken. Then fill up each jar with as much chicken as you can. 

3. Then put the lids on the jars and put them in a pressure cooker. The pressure cooker is a little tricky so if you've never used one before ask someone who has to help. Once you have filled the pressure cooker and added water to it, then you screw on the lid and turn the stove on high. First you have to wait until steam is steadily coming out of the spout. Then once the steam is steady, you set your timer for 7 minutes and let it just steam away. Then after 7 minutes you put the weight on over the spout on the 15 dial and let the pressure build. Once the pressure is at 15, then you set your timer again for 1 hr and 15 minutes. Then after that, just turn off the stove and let the pressure reduce back down to 0. Once it is at 0, you can unscrew the lid and voila, you have perfectly cooked chicken! 

So, it's not the most attractive thing once its done, but it is so convenient. Then all you do is date the top and put them in your pantry. 

Here's all of the chicken I bottled that day! 
Seriously, any meal you need chicken, you can use this. I use it in soups, pasta, salads, home made chicken pot pies and sooo much more! It cuts your cooking and preparation time for dinner in half! You get everything else ready, then at the end shred up the chicken and add it. Because it sits in its own broth, the chicken itself is super moist and yummy! 

Thanks so much Mary for teaching me this wonderful skill. I will use this to feed my family for ever and probably tonight:)

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Wonderful Weekend!

So this weekend was General Conference and I thoroughly enjoyed it! There were so many talks that seemed were written just for me. All of the talks were amazing but here are a couple of my favorites:) I loved Elder Neil A. Anderson's talk during the 2nd Saturday session on families. He talked about motherhood and how "motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling." I got to thinking about how, as in every calling in life or in the church, we often feel inadequate or not quite prepared for whatever we are called to do. But we know that whom the Lord calls, He qualifies. And although there are no "perfect parents," I know the Lord qualifies us for this wonderful calling of being parents. 

I also LOVED Sister Elaine S. Dalton's talk. Her talk was during the 1st Sunday session and it was about fathers raising their daughters. Throughout the entire talk Zack and I just sat there and smiled and of course I cried every now and then:) She started out her talk by saying, "the most important thing a father can do for his daughter is to love her mother!" Aww:) I know that if this is the most important thing a father can do for his daughter, that Zack is going to be the absolute best father in the world! Not that I didn't already know that, but I just know how much he loves me and that he will always follow that teaching. She also said, "dads you are your daughters heros" and that also is so true. Not only was I thinking of my daughter the whole time, but also of my dad and how he raised 6 daughters! My dad is my hero. His strength amazes me and I love him so much! 

Conference was so uplifting and refreshing. Hearing talks about families and raising children just resinates so much more now knowing that in only a few short months we will be parents.

Here are some of the homemade cinnamon rolls Zack and I made and devoured!! This is becoming one of our favorite conference traditions. And yes in the bottom left corner is my belly:) I didn't realize till after I had taken the picture that my belly was protruding into the picture. I think our baby was wanting everyone to know that she really enjoyed the cinnamon rolls too!

My belly's getting BIGGER!  Now I'm 28 weeks, yahoo, and I finally made it to my third trimester! The end is in sight, somewhere out there:)