Sunday, September 30, 2012

Be Prepared

Happy Sunday Y'all!

Today in church we had a lesson on food storage. Just a little background for those of you that are not familiar with the term "food storage."

Some of you may know that the Boy Scouts of America's motto is "Be Prepared." Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints like to take unto themselves that same charge to be prepared. Be prepared for an emergency,  a natural disaster, a break in, even a house full of people on Sunday afternoon! The most crucial elements of survival in any situation are food, water, and shelter. Now many of you will probably still have a house even if the power goes out, so that is basically a gim'me of the three elements of survival. The other two elements, water and food, can be a little more tricky, especially if the survival situation turns long-term. That is the reason for food storage, to gather food and water for that just-in-case situation. There is so much information on food storage I'm not going to even begin, but I will provide a website I found at the end for those interested in reading further information.

Anyways...after church I was thinking about the lesson and  the different components of being prepared. One very small, but important component to me is having any and all information I need to take care of business. As soon and I had that thought I remembered I found a really neat tutorial on how to create an Emergency Document Folder. As soon as I finished lunch I began working on creating my folder. The above link has templates you can use for creating/compiling important information from an evacuation plan to individual profiles for each family member, from important phone numbers to financial info. This step-by-step guide allows you to create a folder where ALL of your most valuable information can be accessed quickly and efficiently by you and your loved ones.

Please take a look at this and if you haven't already, work on compiling information that would be beneficial in an emergency situation.

This website is a fabulous website for ideas on how to be self-reliant, how to create/maintain food storage, how to create an emergency kit, and much much more!

In an ever changing world take charge and know that the security and stability of your family is in your own hands.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Jordan!

We celebrated Jordan's birthday from Friday until Tuesday this past week, and boy howdy was it fun!!

Friday afternoon we went out to his parent's house, which is in Aubrey, Texas. They just bought a beautiful new home out there that is sitting on a few acres of land. We absolutely LOVE going out there because of the warm family atmosphere as well as the escape from the busy hub bub of the city.

We mostly just hung around waiting for dinner because we were having a REAL barbeque feast. Dad (Del, Jordan's dad) made a friend that has a heavy duty smoker and had been out with him the previous day smoking meat and we were about to enjoy the bounty of a hard day's work of smoking.

Jordan got the "You are special" plate for dinner, as per birthday tradition and he also got his ABSOLUTE favorite meal....ribs! He said they were the best ribs he has ever eaten...which is saying something because he eats ribs often. We all finished dinner and then played games for the rest of the night...well actually only is called Cover Your Assets and it has become our favorite game as of late.

The only one not pictured here is Ma (Marlys, Jordan's mom), but she was behind the camera. We played boys vs. girls and it was a pretty fun night!!

Jordan and I stayed the night at Mom and Dad's house and then woke up the next morning to a TV with more than eight channels, we're poor so we only get basic cable. We watched a little bit of TV and ate breakfast and then decided it was time to go out shooting.

 Here is Jordan trying to be a sharp shooter.

That right there is the next Annie Oakley!

After all the trash talking, competition shots, and exploded targets this is what we have folks! A 1 inch thick piece of wood. The hole on the left is Jordan's shot and the hole on the right is MY shot! We were probably 40-50 ft away from the target. I guess being a good shot runs in our family.

After target practice I headed over to Kylie's (Jordan's sister) house. We made some super cute flower clips for her baby girl, due in December, and had a ton of fun together, like usual! Once we were finished crafting we headed back over to Mom and Dad's house and all of us (Mom, Dad, Mike (Kylie's husband), Kylie, Jordan and myself) got ready to head out for Happy Birthday Dinner. 

 Isn't he a darn good lookin' man?!

We went to a little Italian place that Mom and Dad found in a nearby town. We ate dinner, which was pretty good, and opened presents. He is a business man now so I got him some well needed and well deserved dress shirts and some new business shoes. 

After dinner we had homemade molten lava chocolate cake and ice cream, played some more games, and hung out as a family. It was so nice to laugh and joke around and just enjoy the night. 

Sunday and Monday were fairly uneventful birthday celebration wise. Tuesday, his REAL birthday, I took Jordan out to his favorite restaurant for lunch, Chili's. Again he had ribs and another molten lava chocolate cake with ice cream. We did a little window shopping after that and then came home and had a relaxing yet romantic evening. 


Jordan turned 25 on September 25th. I'm told this is his "prime" year. I have had so much fun with Jordan the past couple of years and I'm excited for the next who knows how many. We have been together for a couple of years and it has just flown by, before I know it we will be old and wrinkly with our great grandchildren running around. I'm so glad to have such a wonderful husband...even if he is getting to be an old man! ;)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Conspiring Against our Children

I think there is a moment in everyone's life that they hear someone's name and they either think to themselves or say out loud "man, their parents must have hated them" or some variation of that. Most often this is because the boy has a girl name or the girl has a boy name or, in the case of many celebrities, the names are just plain weird. It is as if parent's conspire against their children when they aren't even born yet! As they sit and talk they come up with some diabolical plan to make their kid the most made fun of or unique or special or whatever kid in the whole nation!

For example:
- Jan Jorgensen. He is a super manly man. Used to be a UFC fighter, now plays professional football, graduated from BYU.....WHY DID HIS PARENTS NAME HIM JAN?!
- Apple. I think we've ALL rolled our eyes at this one. Gweneth Paltrow and Chris Martin...what were you thinking?!
- Coco. Child of Courteney Cox and David Arquette. I love Monica just as much as the next person...but c'mon!
- Oh but my very favorite is....SAGE MOONBLOOD. Who in their right mind would name a child that?! Sage Moonblood. That would be Sylvester Stallone.

What about those weird spellings of names? Oh man, everyone wants to be creative.

For example:
- Mysheelle (Michelle)
- Bryone (Bryan)
- Lien (Lynn)
- Haddon (Hayden)
- Linzy (Lindsey)

You get the point, but parents are on this kick to make sure their kids have what many would think the weirdest spelling possible.

Anyways....the reason I go through all of that is to tell you.....Jordan and I are the above mentioned future parents. It all started a few weeks ago. It was late and we were making the 30 minute drive from his parents house to our house, and it was laaate. I don't know how we got onto the subject of weird names, but somehow we were coming up with genius "genius" names for our kids. I posted a status on Facebook and got a few funny comments and then forgot about it.

Skip forward to yesterday. Jordan and I were sitting in Chili's having Happy Birthday lunch and the subject came up again and I realized that we were creating a diabolical plan for our children!! Some of the names we came up with were:

- Cameron Elliot Lott ---------- Cam E. Lott
- Ender Albus Lott ------------- Ender from Ender's Game, Albus from Harry Potter
- Olivia Willow Lott ------------ her initials would be O.W.L.

Those are the only one's I'll share because I don't want anyone stealing my name ideas! But, some other names we came up with and decided we really liked were:

- Hermonie
- Saphira
- Katniss
- Rue
- Arwen
- Peeta
- Sam-Wise
- Ender
- Albus
- Aragorn
- Sherlock
- Clark or Kent

There were a few others, but I think I got the majority. As I was laughing yesterday I realized that I probably resembled Mr. Burns from the Simpsons......

Monday, September 24, 2012

Our Home

Well well...we have lived in our apartment for a little over two months and I have yet to post any pictures, but not to fear, pictures are HERE!!

I looked at probably 12 or 15 different apartments and when I saw this one I fell in love! It is open and it is an almost comfortable size for a one-bedroom apartment. Okay...ready for the tour? Here we gooo!

 Apartment 1822 is where is it at! Also, I love wreaths! My goal is to have one for every month of the year as well as every holiday...sounds like a good goal to me! (p.s. I made that wreath!)

This is the stairway leading up to our apartment. The complex we live in is only has two-story buildings and our floor plan is only available upstairs. The bad thing about our second floor gets hot! The good thing about our second floor apartment is that we live over garages so we can really be as loud as we want without having grumpy neighbors!! :)

Once you get to the top of the stairs it opens into our lovely living room.

This is the other side of the living room. Behind the half-wall is the stairwell, so technically you would enter the room to the right of this picture.

 This is also what you see straight ahead of you when you reach the top of the stairs...the Jordan and Lexi shrine!

This is our dining room, located behind the small couch. 

 You are correct..this is our small patio, just outside the dining room!

There is a little storage area outside as well! It has been super nice to have a little extra storage space for our camping junk and other miscellaneous stuff. It is warm and dry here in Texas so we don't really have to worry about moisture damage to our stuff...we mostly just have to worry about bugs and geckos.

This is the view from our patio. Luxurious huh? Like a Hawaiian beach sunset....or not.

Okay, going back inside....

This is our kitchen. This would be on the left hand side of the top of the stairs. On the right hand side of this picture you can see a little sliver of our pantry door...yeah...we have a pantry.

Aren't you all jealous of how big our kitchen is?! ;) It really isn't that big, but it suits our needs for now. That door in the picture leads down into the dungeon.....okay, it is just the laundry room, but we don't have any washers or dryers in there, just stuff that won't fit anywhere else so I opted out of showing ya'll a "we have lots of junk that we don't know what to do with" shot.

Okay, now from the kitchen picture turn around and there is this, a small hallway. The door on the left is the bathroom (with a garden tub). The first door on the right is a coat closet, the second door on the right is the linen closet, and the door straight back is our bedroom. 

This is the bathroom. Yes, there is a fake flower arrangement in the corner and yes, I did it myself. 

Enough of the to the bedroom. 

This is the view from the door. So when we moved we invested in a new mattress....a KING mattress. It is so nice! Man, I don't think we could ever go back to a queen.

That is Jordan's side of the room. 

That is MY side of the room. Riiiight next to the closet. :) Our closet is a small walk-in closet. Even though it is considered small it is the biggest one I have ever had! I won't show you a picture because it is kind of messy, so you can just take my word for it. 

I just have to take a moment to appreciate my handi-work. I made ALL of these pillows. 

This ruffly one I'm especially proud of. It took me like, oh 6 hours, and it turned out EXACTLY how I wanted it to. I'm so so so happy!

Well folks, that's all she wrote! Our apartment is small, but I really like what we have going on here. We are extremely blessed to have found such a great apartment. I'm extremely pleased with what we found and especially the area. We live in Frisco, Texas and in the last 10-15 years this area has just boomed and has expanded and grown so much (from what I'm told). Everything is relatively close, Target and Walmart are 5 minutes away, we live 20 minutes from the DFW airport, 30 minutes from Dallas, and 30 minutes from family. We love where we are and feel like the Lord has truly had a hand in our lives, for what we have is good!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Oh what a day!

This photo really sums up how I feel. Jordan and I have slept/watched movies/been lazy AAALLLLL day today.

Last week and this week have been that transition period between jobs and I think my body it ready to go back to work. I've been feeling stuffy and tired and my whole body is really when you are sick and you just can't get comfortable...yeah that is me today.

Welp, looks like next week I'm going back to work....with Jordan!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Herb Bread

Yesterday we were out of bread so I knew I needed to make a new loaf. I was tired of a traditional white loaf and didn't want a whole wheat loaf....I wanted something different, but yet still functional in the sense that I could make sandwiches with the bread if I wanted to. I was looking around in my cookbook Bread Machine Magic by Linda Rehberg & Lois Conway and I found the perfect recipe...Herb Bread. 

 MMmmmm! It is so aromatic, yet not overwhelming to the taste. It is just the right texture, especially with a little bit of butter. It is just the right bread if you are looking for something a little more tasty than a plain white bread!

You will need:
- 3 tablespoons butter or margerine
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup milk ( for Welbilt/Dak machines add 2 tablespoons more milk)
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

First, in a small skillet, melt your butter over low heat. Add the onion and saute 8 to 10 minutes until the onion is soft but not brown. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes before you add it to the mixing pan.

Put all your ingredients including the onion mixture into the mixing pan. Once all ingredients are in the mixing pan put the pan in the bread machine and select the dough setting, or mix in your mixer. Seeings as I work with a bread machine I'm not sure of the kneading time and/or rise time if you don't have a bread machine. So I would say if you are used to making bread without a bread machine proceed with the process as you normally would. If you don't own a bread machine or know how to make bread by hand it looks like you have a little research to do!

While the dough is rising, grease and flour your bread pan so your bread comes out nice and easy once it is done cooking. When your bread is close to being done rising preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Once your dough is done rising put your dough in the pan and make sure it goes to each side and corner of the pan or you'll have an odd looking loaf. Once in the oven I usually set my timer for 25-35 minutes. When your timer chimes take the loaf out and check a couple of things... does it have good color? does the loaf sound hollow when you tap on the top? If those are a yes then you are done! If it is a no, then go ahead and slide your bread on in for a few more minutes and then repeat the checking process.

Sometimes I'm so excited for my bread to be done I hardly let it cool, but then again sometimes I let it cool for an hour! I'm not exactly sure why they say to let it cool for an hour before if any of you know please tell me, but the official recipe says to let cool for an hour before slicing.

Anywho...just as a reminder, I am a novice! I'm sure there are some things I've forgotten to mention in here so if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask! Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How Far I've Come

Today, September 11th, 2012 I think is a day that most American's can identify with. For most it is a day of remembrance. For me it is a day of remembrance.

September 11th has been, for the last few years, a day on which I reflect on my life and ponder on changes made, struggles passed, friendships created, and skills improved. I use September 11th to ponder, not only for the obvious reason of the twin tower attacks, but also for an important event in my life that helped shape me into who I am today. On September 11th, 2007 during the second game of the soccer season I tore my ACL and injured several other ligaments in my knee. Oh man, I feel really silly saying that after the twin tower attacks, but for me it was a huge deal. Many of my 17 year old dreams were ripped from me in literally one second. My soccer dreams were shattered, my goal of being powerlifting state champ 4 years in a row dashed, my track dreams gone in an instant.

As I look back now, I realize that that time in my life was very emotional and I had to learn to cope with a lot of different things I had just been able to hide from within sports before I was injured.

I got my knee fixed and so began the emotional, spiritual, and physical journey to where I am today.

After having surgery, I missed two weeks of school. I slept in my mom's bed every night of those fourteen days. Oh man, that gets me started on something else mom. During this period of time, my relationship with my mom was really solidified into something more than just mother and daughter. That mother-daughter bond is strong already, but during this time she really was my everything. She was with me every single moment of this agonizing period. She experienced every single thing with me, by my side, except for maybe the physical pain. She understood how vulnerable I felt needing help to the bathroom, in the bathroom, and then back to bed. She knew how hard it was when my friends kept going about their lives and leaving me in the dust. She held my hand and cheered me on when I had a bad day at physical therapy. My mother was the only one that knew me inside and out, she knew what every tear meant to me, she knew what every step meant to me, she knew what every moment was like as if she was the one in my shoes. She was the one that helped my along my journey until I could bear my own weight again and even then she was and still is no more than a few steps behind me, encouraging and strengthening all the way.

After the surgery I was on crutches for about two months. It got old really fast. I promise I didn't always look like this...
Once I finished 9 months of physical therapy I was outfitted with a knee brace that made me feel like bionic woman. I was able to play soccer my senior year, but to say it was a disappointment would not be giving it justice. Since I wasn't able to participate in sports I got really involved in clubs at school. I really learned to develop my skills as a leader, as a worker bee, as a collaborator, and as a listener. I became more aware of the importance of people and their talents and abilities and how everyone has a place they are needed. My mind was opened and my heart was softened. The things I learned at that point in my life are quite significant because they were just the launching point.

Sometimes I wonder what I would be like had I not gone through such an ordeal. Would I be as aggressive as I was? Would I be as this or that as I was? I don't know, but I do know that although blowing out my knee totally sucked and I would never wish it upon anyone, I learned so much about myself and about others.

Since 2007 I have:
-graduated high school
-graduated college with an Associates Degree
-gotten married
-worked full time
-lived in Idaho and Texas
-managed my own home
-bought a car
-bought a KING sized mattress
-made some GREAT life-long friends
-learned some fantastic tips and tricks for being happy

In a nutshell, I'm leaps and bounds from where I was and for that I give a HUGE sigh of relief. During this time of reflection I am so grateful for the struggles and trials and hardships I have faced. I'm not sure if I could handle someone else's struggles, nor they mine, so for that I am thankful for what I have been dealt. I'm trying each day to be a better person than I was last week or last year. I'm constantly surprised at how much there is to learn in this life, but excited to see who I'll be in another 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now.

Although my small and sports focused dreams were taken from me a few short years ago, I feel like now there are a plethora possibilities and dreams ahead of me that are so much more than what I wanted back then. A real home (not apartment), a child, a successful business, and a blissfully happy marriage are some my goals/dreams for the future. I'm so stinkin excited for what my future holds.

My life is good, no, my life is great! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Oh what a weekend!

Happy Sunday ya'll!

Oh man, this weekend has been a memorable one! Let's see, where shall I start, oh oh I know.

On Thursday Dad, Del, Jordan's dad, called me. I had mentioned earlier in the week to him that I wanted to come over and help with the backyard work and hang out for the day with him and mom, so he called and we worked up a plan that included, but was not limited to early morning labor in the "jungle" I so lovingly call it, BBQ food, BYU football game, family games, and milkshakes. Family get-togethers are always so fun and this was not going to be the exception. That was how the plan was supposed to is how it really went.

Friday night Jordan and I headed over to Kylie and Mike's house (Jordan's sister and brother-in-law). We met mom and dad (Marlys and Del, Jordan's parents) over there. Kylie made artichoke dip and everyone munched on that for awhile, then we made fried pickles, YUM!, and hot dogs for dinner. Oh man, I know for a fact that I gained five pounds! Side note: for those of you that have never had fried need to. If you don't have a fryer there are some yummy looking recipes for baked fried pickles. Anywho, once we finished gorging ourselves we sat and relaxed to The Little Mermaid with Preston, the almost-2-year-old, until it was time for him to go down. Once he was in bed the games began, quite literally. We played a round of Bohnanza, or The Bean Game. So fun. Side note: if you have never played/do not own the need to. It is cheap cheap on Amazon....go now! After The Bean Game, mom and dad went back home leaving me, Jordan, Kylie, and Mike to play games. We played a game called Cover Your Assets. It is a card game in which you want to rack up as many points as possible by pairing cards and laying them over your other paired cards while also battling others for their valuable stacks. Oh man, we played that game for meh....easily 4 hours. We did all sorts of variations and since it was getting late it just got more fun the longer we played until finally at 2:30 a.m. we called it quits. Jordan and I made the short trip over to mom and dad's place and crashed for the night.

The next morning we hear dad working out in the garage so we went to join him and much to our surprise it was 68 degrees out. Oh my heaven! It was the most lovely feeling I have felt in four months. Since it was so cool out Jordan and I put on our work clothes, our bug repellent, our work gloves and boots and headed out into the "Jungle" with dad. We worked and worked and by the time we were done we have gathered 3 or 4 piles of brambles to burn, felled 4 or 5 dead trees, gathered a TON of wood to burn, and had created a forest out of that jungle, a well manicured forest. That was the good news, the bad news is that we only manicured about a 12 sq. ft. area. Darn...good thing fall is coming.

Once we finished up for the day we showered up and headed on inside to make food, snack, and watch the BYU football game. That lasted about 2 hours and then Mike and Kylie came over and it was game time again. We simultaneously watched the football game and played Cover Your Assets for about an hour and then all the focus was on the card game. We played with all different teams with several variations of the basic game and finally ended our game time at 10:30 p.m. That was about 6 hours of playing this time. Of course there were small breaks in there to snack on food and go outside to enjoy the beautiful, gorgeous, fabulous weather, but they were only short breaks. The night ended right with Nutella milkshakes.

In the end this weekend was great. It is really nice to be with great people and further develop friendships with those great people. I'm grateful for Jordan's family and how they have brought me in and made it known that I'm part of the family. They are that type of people with the mentality of "you're in for good so you might as well join us and get some ice cream out of it" and I'm happy to do so. I love them all and am so happy to be part of the family.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bread Bread Bread

Mmmmm! One of my very favorite things is homemade bread!

Since I don't live with anyone that will cook it for me I have to make it for myself...of course I share with Jordan. Now I'm sure most of you are thinking "Dang, Lexi, how do you find time to make a loaf of break with you busy schedule?" Well, my secret is...a bread machine! Oh, the ease and convenience of a bread machine!

When I first started using a bread machine I pushed the start button and let'a rip! I let the bread cook in the machine and I've decided that I don't like letting the bread cook in the machine. I don't like it for a couple different reasons. 1. The bread cooks vertically and when the bread is out of the pan it is not a pretty loaf. 2. It is semi-difficult getting the bread out of the vertical pan because of the mixer at the bottom. 3. The top of the loaf does not always raise and cook the way it should. So, for those reasons I have begun just using the dough setting and then cooking it in a normal loaf pan in the oven.

With that being said, I have been pondering in the ingredient quinoa. I've been waiting for the perfect recipe and when I found a recipe for quinoa bread I jumped at the chance to use quinoa for my very first time.

I used a very detailed and labor intensive recipe. The recipe can be found HERE. Now, for those of you that have a ton of time on your hands and have the patience to spend 4 hours tending to dough, more power to you! Fantastic! But, I do not and so I shoved it in the bread maker and pushed start. Well, okay, I did a little prep. I cooked and cooled the quinoa and the oatmeal and then put it in the break maker and the dough turned out perfectly. One quick side note...this recipe will easily make two loafs...I deduced that AFTER I made my loaf.


My loaf is a large and in charge!! The taste of the bread it really really good, nice and hearty. I like the bread, although I have noticed that it is very soft and so next time I think I won't cook the oatmeal, but rather put it in dry. The loaf isn't crumbly in a dry way, but it is so soft that when you slice it, it struggles to hold it's shape.

Now I'm no bread expert, but I enjoy trying new recipes and cooking healthy foods for my family. I have cooked mostly everyday-sandwich-type breads rather than dessert/sweet or specialty breads. If you have any great recipes let me know and I'd LOVE to try and maybe...just maybe put them in my recipe book!