Dad Volkman

My father-in-law passed away suddenly over the weekend. We are in deep sorrow. Please keep the Volkman family in your prayers. Thank you to those who have already expressed their love and concern for the family. We love you Dad and will miss you more than words can express.

A Giveaway you should check out...

Jaime from The Dress Up Drawer is giving away a Seventh Generation Healthy Home Starter Kit and thought y'all should know about it. She also makes and sells these adorable LDS Super Capes for little kids. So Cute. Her blog is . The Giveaway goes until May 17th and will be announced May 19.

What's cooking tonight

I just got done enjoying our dinner tonight and thought I'd post this recipe. It is really easy and simple, and one of my very favorite meals to make/eat/enjoy.

Cheese Manicotti Shells

1 pkg. manicotti shells
1 15 oz. ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesean cheese
1 egg
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups spaghetti sauce

Prepare pasta as directed; drain. Rinse with cold water, drain and arrange in single layer to fill. Meanwhile, mix ricotta cheese, 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup parmesean cheese, the egg, parsley, salt and pepper and nutmeg. Spoon mixture into manicotti shells using at least 1/3 cup per shell. Place filled manicotti shells in a single layer in a greased 13x9 inch baking pan. Pour spaghetti sauce over manicotti shells. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2-1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup parmesean.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Serves 4-6

P.S. Variation: I used to have a boyfriend from high school who made these filled with chicken tenders. Those are also good.


Our Easter Vacation

This year for Easter we went to Gothenburg, Nebraska with Chase's family to visit his Grandma Volkman and Aunts and Uncles and cousins and other relatives. I've been back to Nebraska two times before so I knew what a long trip driving was going to be. The family seems to be cursed when driving back there. The weather has been awful every time we go there. Sure enough this year we had some awful snow storms. We left at 5:00 am Thursday and planned on getting there in about 12 hours later. We basically had bad weather once we got into Ogden canyon on I-80 and continued until Laramie Wyoming. I have been having some fun health problems (kidney stones, ulcers) so we were about out of Laramie when I mentioned to Ken (my dad in law) that I needed to stop and get my stomach medication out of the trunk because I was having some major pain and nausea. Ken asked if I could wait another 1/2 hour and I said sure. About two minutes later there was an off ramp and he suddenly said, "I think we should get off here and we can stop and get your meds". So we got on the off ramp. We saw on the freeway up ahead all of these cars stopped. We pulled into a Walmart and checked the radio for weather updates. It said that I-80 was closed from Laramie to Cheyene. My dad must have been inspired because we would have been stopped on the freeway with no place to get off.

So we waited. And waited. And waited. For about 3 hours. Still not open. Finally Ken and Bev decided we'd just have to get a hotel because the Walmart employees said that sometimes the road stays closed overnight. I was so glad they made that decision. I was going crazy sitting in the car, I finally had Chase and I go inside the Walmart to wait because I was clausterphobic in the car. Chase's request was a pool because we happened to bring our swimming suits. We found a nice Best Western and got two rooms for Ken and Bev, Trevor and Leilani, Zach and Chase and I. Zach stayed with Chase and I and Trev and Lei stayed with the 'rents. We settled in and went to dinner at Godfather's Pizza (ok but not the best) and then came back and got in the pool and hot tub. I swam some laps to work off the pizza then got a stomachache (awesome) and then got into the hot tub. Trev and Zach got in the hot tub with us as well and we relaxed after a stressful day. The Best Western had a nice continental breakfast the next morning and we left at about six the next morning.

Thankfully the road was open and we got into North Platte at around Noon to meet with Aunt Darla at the mall. Us girls went shopping. The boys continued on to Gothenburg. We had a good time. Eventhough Lei is my sis-in-law, we had never been shopping together. I really enjoyed it. She had a really good honest opinion on the clothes I tried on. The mall was smaller than the Logan one but it did have a Maurices, Vanity, Claires, B&B Works and Buckle (my not so fav store). Then we went and ate at Applebee's. So good. We then headed to Gothenburg.

We all stayed at Aunt Darla's house. That night we played some games-and went to bed. The next day the whole family met at Grandma Volkman's assisted living home and had lunch. We had a good time visiting and then they kicked us out at 2 pm because they were having bingo for the old folks. Geez, can't they wait? We retired back to Aunt Darla's house and later Chase's Uncle Dave and his family went to their Catholic Easter services, we played more games. Chase and I took a nice long nap during the day as well. I wasn't feeling all that great that day.

Easter morning we awoke to Aunt Darla and Uncle LaMont gone to their church services so we got ready and got online to listen to our LDS General Conference. There were some really nice talks. When they got back, we left for cousin Keri's house for Easter Lunch. I was feeling so nauseated and sick, I hardly ate anything but it looked very good. The weather was so sunny and hot. Chase, Trev and Lei all ended up getting sunburned. I knew my complexion. I didn't have sunscreen but I kept in the shade and only ended up with my scalp burned a little bit.

After the food had settled, we went across the street to the park for an Easter egg hunt. There were only two kids and the rest were adults. Aunt Darla had one $50 egg and 2 $20 eggs. I sure wanted one of those but didn't get one. Trev got one $20 egg ( the lucky kid) and I ended up with blisters on my heels from wearing my new flats and running in them.

I was still not feeling good so Ken and Bev and Darla and LaMont went on a motorcyle ride that evening while Zach, Trevor and Leilani and cousin Keri and Corry went to see Clash of the Titans. Chase and I and Lexi(Trevor and Lei's dog had to come along with us) stayed at Darla's house and rented The Blind Side (such a good movie). The next morning we got up and left at 5:30 am.

Sure enough- bad weather again. No road closures though. We got back at 5 pm and we were so tired. I am still recovering. I missed my family but it was nice to see our relatives in Nebraska. It was good to see Grandma, she is so sweet. I miss seeing all of our relatives.

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter! Sorry for the long post.

Happy 3 years for us!

Isn't he just adorable?
I know its a couple days early but just wanted to post about our 3 year anniversary. I have the best husband ever and I am so happy he picked me. Thank you honey. I love you and thank you for making me smile for our 5 years together. I hope we have many many more years to come of laughter and fun. Decided to post early because we will be gone on our actual anniversary up to Lava Hot Springs and Pocatello Idaho for a couple of days. I can't wait to just get away for a little bit.

There were some great memories from that day and some not so great things- mostly great though. At our reception our waterfall behind us broke and started shooting water everywhere- yep that was fun. I actually was pretty calm about it. That was the worst thing that happened that day thank goodness.

We had the most amazing day and I am so thankful to all of our families and friends who made our day special. It truly was so wonderful. I am truly blessed to have Chase and great family.

Check it out...

Hey my friend Shelayna is doing a Rachel Ray Stoneware Giveaway over on her website. You should definitely check it out. This set is so adorable. The website is

Go there if you please!

Thank you!

Have a fabulous day!

The Winner Is...

Ok I was down in SLC helping my sister and haven't been able to draw for the drawing yet. I am sorry that this is a day late.

I ended up with 56 entries. I went on over to and the winning number is

#46 which is Spamgirl said...
tweeted AND facebooked entry #3 :)

Congratulations Spamgirl! You have until Wednesday February 24 to contact me, I will also try to email you since you left your email address.

Thank you to everyone who entered. I promise to do another drawing soon.

Have a Wonderful Day!

Hello Fellow Bloggers...My First Giveaway

First of all I would like to welcome my fellow swap-bot partners from the best swapping website ever. If you don't know about this website, you should seriously check it out. It is a website about a group of people that swap anything and everything from postcards to brighten your day to crafts to small packages to pen pal snail mail swaps. It is a lot of fun and I enjoy it immensely. The website is

I hope everyone enjoyed Valentine's Day. My husband was so sweet to me although he claims that this holiday is just made up to spend money and for stores to make money. Which may be true, but who can argue with a day just about Love, right? My husband got me something sparkly. And that was totally a suprise. Oh what a sweet husband I have.

For those that are visiting me here for the first time I will tell a little about myself. I am in my early 20s and have been married for 3 years in March. What a wonderful day. Here is a pic of me and my hubby on that day:

I enjoy crafts like sewing, embroidery, scrapbooking, painting, and sketching. I also love to read. That is my number 1 hobby. You will usually find me ignoring home chores to read instead. My husband will be watching TV and I will be reading next to him on the couch. One of my favorite series is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. She is such an amazing author and this series is excellent. I also have enjoyed Juliet Marillier's Sevenwaters Trilogy. She is also a very good author. I also like to write poetry. I don't know if I'm any good. But that is also a hobby of mine. I like to blog (obviously). I love the outdoors. I love to hike and hunt with my family and husband. My sister and mom wonder why in the world I hunt but I do enjoy it. I like to play and watch sports like basketball, baseball/softball and volleyball. I ran track in high school and that was fun. I wasn't the best at it but I still enjoyed pushing myself and getting a great workout. If you know me you will also know I love Pepsi. It is my guilty pleasure. So bad. Oh well. Maybe one day soon I can quit you. My hubby and I also like to watch movies together. He will even sometimes watch chick flicks with me. How awesome is that. And yes, he did go and see Twilight and New Moon with me and didn't sleep through it.

I work part time in retail at a totally awesome store. I like it and I like the people I work with. I am not currently attending school right now but I want to go back and finish soon. Right now I am thinking about majoring in English since I enjoy reading and writing. Or maybe something in the Healthcare field. I don't know. We have one cat named Tinkerbell. She is a little devil of a cat. She is also very fat. No kids yet but we are hoping soon :) -someday in the next year or two we can have them.

**This past weekend we also got to celebrate at my Dad's Retirement party. He is truly an amazing father and has accomplished much in his life. He has worked very hard to provide for his family and he is also one of the most inspiring people I've met. He has done so much with running and cycling that most people would just be amazed at how well in shape he is at his age now. He has been running and cycling for around 30 years now. I have fond memories of he and I together fishing or him teaching me how to drive (what patience) as well as his jokes he always makes that you aren't expecting. Here is a picture of my hubby, me and my Dad at my husband's birthday a couple years ago. Dad I am so proud of you and all of your accomplishments. I love you!

Now to the Giveaway!

I thought to celebrate getting possibly 10 new blog friends from Swap-bot (and more), I should give something away. Hmmm...what to give away? Oh yeah. How about some Mary Kay? Since this is my first giveaway I am hoping to get some new people to check out my blog. This giveaway is open to anyone 18 or older around the world so you are eligible if you live on Earth. Woo-hoo!

It is the Mary Kay Winterberry Gift Set. This set includes a 2 oz. body mist, 3 oz. body wash, and 2 oz body butter. This fragrance smells so yummy. And it comes in a cute mesh zip bag. It retails at $26!

Now here is how you can win this:

For one entry: Write your name. Easy Peasy.

For another five entries: Email 5 of your friends about this giveaway and come back and tell me you emailed them or post on your own blog about this giveaway and then come back and leave a comment with your link to your blog.

For another three entries please Facebook or Twitter about this giveaway. Write: I just entered to win a Mary Kay Winterberry Gift Set at you can too!

For one last entry: please follow my blog and comment that you are a follower.

So you have a total of 10 entries you can get.

You have until Midnight on Sunday February 21 to enter. The winner will be randomly chosen at and I will announce the winner on Monday February 22. If you are the winner please contact me at and let me know where I need to ship this set to. If I don't hear from you by Wednesday February 24 I will have to pick another winner. Hope you win!

I am hoping to start doing a giveaway about once a month so check back on this blog to see what I will be giving away next.