Something Closer to my heart

It has been over a year since I have posted anything to this blog for many reasons. Each time I sat down to put anything on here it was usually negative and depressing and or sad and I didn't want the tone of my blog to be that way so it was just blank. But I am going to turn over a new leaf and try something out of my comfort zone. As most of my family know, I write poetry to express my emotions and cope with my feelings and I guess I just like to as well. I will admit I have not the range of skills my sister Denise posseses, but I am going to post a poem I wrote the other night while I was up and couldn't sleep (aka the story of my life). Here goes:

Green Eyes

A girl with wavy curls

of black hair down her back

and emerald green eyes

boring deep into my soul-

haunts me

each night

I am sleepwalking I say

please wake me up

from this unending

task of determening


and a fantasy world.

She has creamy white skin

and a splash of freckles over her nose.

I can't help but wonder if she is from

my past--some relative I have met

in a time before-

or is she someone I will meet

in the future-

someone who is part me

part him.

Is this just silly thoughts that come

to me late at night to comfort me

when I am oh so lonely_

whomever she is-

for now, she is mine.

She turns and looks at me

just as the sun is rising at her back-

-and she smiles

And in that smile I see


-Dawn Cooper Volkman

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!