Sunday, November 30, 2008

Muir Woods

Yesterday we took the 1 hour drive to Muir Woods. I've been wanting to do it forever.

We had to park about a mile away - there was some kind of run event going on. It just added to the adventure.
It is so beautiful there - the coastal redwood are tall and majestic. I'm so thankful that it has been preserved.
We'll go again with day packs and explore more of the trails. My goal is a hike every Saturday morning. We'll see how it goes. Do you have any favorite hiking places in the Bay Area.
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Friday, November 28, 2008

Project Complete

Liz and I completed our project!!
It's so cute and the first Christmas decoration of the year. We even got some shopping in! I spent the most on the family members who haven't been born yet...
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Hopkins style

Here's our Thanksgiving table - notice the exercise stuff on the right and that's a bag with frames on the left. The chairs don't all match and there's a church folding chair (we didn't steal it, they sold some a few years ago) just in case we need it. That's Thanksgiving Hopkins style!
Next is a great tradition - the story fork. It's fashioned after the native american tradition of the talking stick. After the meal everyone is required to stay around the table. I bring out my basket of ribbon and the story fork. We pass the fork around the table and each in turn ties a ribbon on the fork as they tell a story.
As you can see there are lots of stories on the fork. There are ribbons tied by loved ones who have passed away and ribbons tied with little hands that have grown big and strong. The fork is almost covered and we keep adding stories year by year. This year my story is about my mom.

She was divorced with 4 very small children and no support from our father. My grandparents helped a lot but I remember that we had very little money. I don't ever remember worrying about it, we were happy. On cold mornings mom would turn on the oven, open it and we would run to stand in front of the heat to put our clothes on. We were poor. Mom was a secretary and drove a very old car that often didn't start and when it did, moved slowly. One day mom told me that on the way to work police had set up a speed trap and nearly everyone got a ticket. She said we were so blessed to have that old car that wouldn't go fast or she would have had to pay for a ticket and we didn't have money for that. She was seriously thrilled - She chose to live a life of faith, seeing everything as a blessing. That's our heritage, faith and trust in the Lord.
This turkey is found at every plate - we've made them for years - a real Hopkins tradition. They have changed a bit. The feet used to be chocolate stars but it's hard to find them so we substitute chocolate covered pretzels. The tail used to be mothers cookies that had the curvy edges that looked more like feathers than these, but we adjust. We Hopkins are very flexible...

We miss the Hopkins who won't be with us this year - we'll be thinking of you. Have a wonderful - family filled Thanksgiving day!
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Expecting Week by week #12

For some reason this didn't post on Sunday. We can't skip a week...
Here's the outfit for Holly. Liz is feeling much better and is able to eat a little more.
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The last minute

I love the last minute - I'm so good at getting things done with just a little time left. The problem is that I create piles of stuff I don't have time to sort through. There's a bag in the closet that is full of last minute pick ups. I wish I could just toss it but there might be something important in there.
I also am not extremely concerned about having everything perfect. Especially when the family is coming over. They are very forgiving and just want to eat good food and have some fun. It gets a little more stressful when I'm having people over who I think care about having things perfect. My family hates when I invite those people over...

Here's a funny little story. I led a WW meeting this morning and dropped by the store on my way home. I noticed that everyone was so friendly at the store. Making eye contact and smiling. Wow, I thought, the Thanksgiving spirit has really taken hold. Then I realized that I still had my name tag on. The one that says "Lanette - I lost 65 pounds on Weight Watchers in 2006." Geesh it seems a little bragadocious in the aisles of Safeway....

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Here he comes Montana!

We got a call from Steven this morning. He was waiting for his flight to the mission field. He's ready to go and anticipates teaching his first lesson tonight. How I wish I could be a fly on the wall...
He said his favorite part of the MTC was a talk given by Elder Holland and all the friends he made. As "luck" would have it, they bumped into several missionaries returning from the Billings, Montana mission in the airport. They told them that the people treat the missionaries like kings and they were going to love it.

We can't wait to hear about all the adventures of Elder Hopkins. I can't put into words the joy of having a son in the field...what will I do when I run out of boys...It will be long wait for JD.
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

A great but obscure publication

When I was teaching seminary I found out about "The Religious Educator". This is a publication printed 3 times a year. It contains the writings of gospel scholars on various topics related to teaching the gospel. Even though I'm not teaching anymore I love to read the articles. If you want to subscribe, here's the website:
Here is a great quote from the cover article by Elder F. Enzio Busche, "I have learned that the Master Teacher is always trying to move us to open our eyes to see Him standing at the front of our lives, trying to communicate with us....Jesus has deep respect for our agency. He does not push us to open our eyes, but He knocks and waits patiently. It is our responsibility to understand that our life is built on our own decisions and that we basically have one choice: either to live in fear or to live under the influence of divine love."
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Friends, Crafts, Heaven!

We took a jaunt to Petaluma to a cool vintage craft fair. We found many things we could not live without.
We found beautiful locket bracelets and snowmen on sticks but the best find of the day has to be Norma's crown.
She wore it all day and of course received many compliments. People asked her if it was her birthday or if she was queen of the sea. We said, "no, no she's just our kooky friend". I believe Norma kept a tally of the compliments - what else do you say to a woman with a starfish crown but - I Love It - then you move away slowly... It's always a fun time when Norma's around.
We had lunch overlooking the Petaluma River at Graffiti. It was a great getaway - we feel refreshed and ready for the Christmas season which starts in .... 5 days!!
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Where do the days go?

I love this picture! These are days never to be forgotten - the day our boys were all together for the first time!
Time goes by so quickly - I love earth life except the part that it passes while we're doing ordinary things and we don't appreciate the magic of the moments. As I get older I spend more time savoring time. My holiday plan is to spend more time looking into peoples eyes, especially my babies. There's no time for worry or handwringing - I have moments to enjoy!
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Elder Stevey

I guess there's a "competition" at the MTC about who can receive the most letters and packages. Steven is losing miserably.
He leaves for Montana next Wednesday so if you have a minute and want to drop him a note - here's the address: Elder Steven Thomas Hopkins, MTC Mailbox #280, MT-BIL 1126, 2005 N. 900 E., Provo, Utah 84604-1793. I think it would be fun if random strangers sent well wishes. We love Steven but I'm not the "send alot of packages" kind of mom - I'm more the "forget yourself and get to work" kind of mom.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

No news is good news!

I'm not watching the news or listening to it on the radio. I know they have to make things sensational so people will tune in, but honestly, it's so depressing! I love my happy little life and for today everything is good so why should I waste one brain cell worrying about what might happen tomorrow? This is the only November 19, 2008 I will ever have - I want to fill it with joy!

Prepare, have faith and then live it up!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


These little darlings used to demand most of my time this time of year. One year I made 300 families!!
Alas I've moved on to other things and this will probably be the only snowfamily I make this year. I need to fix our snowfamily - add the girls and replace the hats that I ripped off the boys in an attempt to get the last order in the mail some years ago. Crafting was fun but exhausting.
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Monday, November 17, 2008

flat iron helper

This is my favorite new thing. I got it from the salon Cartier in Walnut Creek when I got my hair cut.
It makes using a flat iron so easy - you section the hair with the flat part - the comb clamps down and you run the flat iron right behind it. It took no time to get used to and I love it. It was the best $20 I've spent in a long time.
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Expecting week by week 11

Liz wore a dark shirt to see the bump better. She's having headaches which are miserable but the doctor says it normal.
I keep assuring her that she will feel much better soon. Then she'll get really big and uncomfortable - the things we do for love!
This weeks gift was a CD of lullabys - they nearly put us all to sleep as we previewed it. My favorite is Baby Mine from Dumbo.
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

How many have your name?

Jen had this on her blog so I thought I'd see how many people have my name. Only 2! My name is unusual - I think it's the spelling. Anyway it only took a second. Click on the blue words and see how many have your name. (I do hope I'm not on some weird e-mailing list now...)
LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Soup and bread

Here's one of my favorite soup recipes. I made it with the breadsticks below for book club and got many requests so decided to blog it.
Sausage Tortellini Soup
1 lb. sausage
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups beef broth (bouillon)
1 cup water
2 cups chopped tomatoes (28 oz. canned)
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 - 8 ounce can tomato sauce
Remove skin from sausage and cook until brown. Remove sausage from pan and set aside leaving drippings behind. Saute the onions and garlic in drippings. Add other ingredients above and simmer for 30 minutes.
Then add:
cooked sausage
1 1/2 cups zucchini
2 cups tortellini
Simmer for 30 minutes and serve.

This is the greatest tool from pampered chef for cooking sausage or hamburger. It breaks it up in a snap. If you have a chance you should get yourself one.
Here's the recipe I use for french bread:
2 1/4 cups warm water (from the tap as hot as you can get it)
2 T. sugar
2 T dry yeast
1 T. salt
2 T oil
6 cups flour

Put water, sugar and yeast in a kitchenaid bowl - mix and add salt, oil and 3 cups flour - beat until smooth, add the rest of the flour and mix with dough hook for a few minutes. Stir the dough down every 10 minutes 5 times (1 hour rise and fall). For french bread divide in two halfs, roll out 9x12 (approx.) and roll into loaves. Place seam side down on greased baking sheet. let rest for 30 minutes. With a sharp knife cut 3 lines and brush with 1 egg mixed with 1 T. water (I don't always do the egg business). Sprinkle with sesame seed if desired. Cook at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
To make bread sticks follow recipe to the rolling out part. Cut the dough with pizza cutter. The dough is very soft so use lots of flour. Place on baking sheet and twist. Let rise and bake as above but only for 10-12 minutes until browned. Brush with garlic butter while hot. (garlic butter - melt butter add 2 large cloves minced garlic, do this ahead of time) You can also sprinkle on some parmesan cheese. YUMMY! This is not a WW recipe...I bet you guessed that.
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Expecting week by week #10

After dropping Steven at the MTC we stopped by the BYU bookstore and found these darling shirts
Jim was happy to join in the fun!
Isn't that a cute little bump? I resisted the urge to pat Liz' belly - whe says everyone at work does it already. When you're pregnant your belly belongs to the world...
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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Raising the Standard of virtue

The Young Women had a mini-conference this weekend. They invited me to give a presentation about virtue as they raised their flag on Mt. Diablo
What a delight to spend time with these beautiful young women. I was a little nervous about them sitting on the fence with the gigantic drop off behind it...
The girls and their leaders looking down on their neighborhoods where they've been called to stand as witnesses of truth.
It's hard to tell the leaders among the girls - women who are shining examples of the blessings of righteous living.
A wonderful morning with wonderful people.
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Backyard football

The boys from the neighborhood - they live for football.
Since the racoon/grub problem Johnny was able to convince us to let them play football in the backyard since the grass is already messed up.
Football and cool fall day - for boys it's pure bliss.
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