Thanksgiving at Our Homeby Angie

30 Nov 2008
10:11 am

This was our first year to host Thanksgiving in our own home, with family coming into town to join us! Roger & Kathy flew in with Dallyn (whose Phantom touring company has brought him to San Fran this month) on Tuesday. Jon drove over from Emeryville and spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with us. It was so much fun! With only six of us (all adults), we tried to keep things simple. I think we had it pretty easy, cooking-wise.

What did we serve? Why, turkey, of course! We actually “salted” our turkey instead of brining it, and it was fantastic! We also had stuffing (but not stuffed into the turkey), and fantastic gravy.   Then there were mashed sweet potatoes, deviled eggs, rolls & jam, salad, and – for dessert – pecan pie and cranberry pudding. Yum – I’m getting hungry again just writing about it all! Our table was beautiful because my friend Joleen Mills let us borrow her Fall decorations and china table settings, and Kathy and I bought fresh cut flowers for the centerpiece.

With Dallyn and “Grandma Hoffman” in the same house, we had lots of family-wide video conferences with the Bayles family.  Kathy and I spent most of Wednesday and Thursday cooking.  Also, while Jim was really sick last week, we discovered a new X-box game that hooked us both: “A Kingdom for Keflings.” This was a big hit with our visiting relatives, so someone was playing it at almost any given time throughout the weekend.  On Thanksgiving – our last evening all together – we had family prayer together, and talked about the many blessings our family has to be grateful for.  We all expressed gratitude for our families and the Gospel during these troubled times, as well as for the secure jobs we each have right now.  It’s been a wonderful season of Thanksgiving!

A Weekend in LAby Angie

2 Mar 2008
12:03 pm

Mary Poppins

Oh, there is so much to write! We spent this weekend down in Los Angeles, where we saw my cousin, Melinda, perform with the BYU Young Ambassadors: It was a fantastic show, and Melinda was “practically perfect in every way” as Mary Poppins. “The New American Songbook” included a musical review of the 60s, 70s, and 80s and also show tunes from recent Broadway hits, including “Wicked” and Disney’s 2006 theatrical production of “Tarzan.” It was wonderful!

We drove down to Culver City (in West LA) on Thursday morning, which took us a little over six hours. We ate dinner with Jim’s Grandma & Grandpa Packard, and then drove down to Long Beach, to see the Young Ambassadors’ show. After that, we returned to Culver City to stay with Jim’s Aunt Debbie for the night. Friday morning we had breakfast at Dinah’s – a cafe restaurant that is famous in the Hoffman family for selling the most delicious apple pancake you’ve ever tasted.

That afternoon, we went to the Hyatt Hotel in Garden Grove, to see the ACDA Western Division Honors Choir Concert. We attended because Jim’s niece, Amber, was selected to represent her school in the Children’s Honor Choir this year! It was a beautiful, varied program, and the kids did an amazing job. Jim’s mom was also in town as Amber’s escort! After a mini-family reunion at Outback for dinner, Jim and I made the long return trip in the car back to Livermore. This time, we were driving late into the night, but at least that meant we weren’t fighting traffic! So, we arrived home a little before midnight, exhausted but happy to have had such a wonderful weekend in LA.

Congratulations to Rebecca Carlson!by Angie

27 Jan 2008
9:01 pm

As promised (though, rather later than promised), Rebecca finally receives her prize for successfully identifying the song and album that are the source of our very appropriate blog tag-line. What is the amazing prize? Why, a post on our fascinating and exiting new blog, with readers across the country, dedicated entirely to my amazing sister-in-law! So, here goes…

Rebecca J. Carlson is the oldest of six children born to Roger and Kathy Hoffman. With an airline pilot and a marine biologist turned super-mom for parents, Becka had adventure and creativity stamped on her destiny in bold type. She spent her childhood in Utah, Arizona, and Texas. Later, she pursued scientific studies at Brigham Young University, where she met a brilliant mathematician named Russel Carlson. It didn’t take long for Physics and Math to notice each other and, during Becka’s Senior year at BYU, they were married in the Portland LDS Temple. Together, they’ve taught ballroom dance classes, written and published The Journal of Extraneous Scientific Topics (JEST), and moved from Utah to Oregon, back to Utah, then to Arizona, and finally to their current home in Nevada.

Rebecca & Russel spend a significant portion of their time raising their five children. This generally includes a conglomeration of homeschooling, music lessons, science projects, family prayers, various pets, and wholesome recreational activities. Becka keeps a running commentary of these adventures on her blog, “And Now, For My Next Trick…“. She plays the harp, and has even built several of them herself. She is an avid reader, and often takes the time to write insightful reviews on what she reads. Her literary interests have prompted her to experiment with her own authorship, and she is currently attempting to publish a young adult novel titled, “Society of Peregrines, Book One: The Key to the Corridor.”

Here are a few things her family members have said about her:

“I could not have hand-picked anyone better than this remarkable young woman to be the “ring-leader” of my children! She has been a constant source of inspiration, creativity, and fun to our whole family.” – kathy

“Rebecca is amazingly creative, a problem-solver and a natural leader. She’s intelligent yet sensitive, scientific yet spiritual, talented yet humble.” – russel

“She is a brilliant person – a genius when it comes to science and physics and all that. She’s an inspiration to me artistically, and has been the trail-blazer in my family.” – jon

“(intelligence / n(projects)) + (courage (action + vision)) + (mom-of-the-year x 5) = Rebecca”

We love you, Rebecca! Hope you like your prize 🙂

Try-Me-Night Review: Crock-pot Chicken Enchiladasby Angie

18 Dec 2007
9:12 pm

Becka’s mild chicken enchilada recipe is one I’ve made many times before, but altering it for the crock-pot made it a try-me night. I wanted to try making the enchilada filling in the crock-pot (for those who have Rachel’s crock-pot chicken alfredo recipe, the method is very similar), then rolling the tortillas and cooking them in the oven to finish them off. It actually worked really well, and I felt like it took much less effort on my part. I thought that using all dark meat might make it too greasy (since all the fat would be stuck in the crock-pot as it cooked), so I used a combination of chicken thighs and breasts. The meat was cooked beautifully after four hours on high in the crock-pot! I also warmed up the tortillas before rolling, which made them easier to handle.

Overall, it was a great experiment, and I think I’ll keep doing it this way in the future. Thanks for the original recipe, Becka!

Thanksgiving Feastby Angie

23 Nov 2007
10:11 pm

What a Thanksgiving Feast we had today! We wanted to eat at about 1pm, so we all started pitching in this morning. Kelly already had the turkey brined, Kathy woke up early to start deviled eggs, and while I started toasting bread for stuffing, my sweet husband made me scrambled eggs for breakfast. He also looked up napkin-folding online and directed the folding of the cloth napkins to help make the table look lovely. We all spent the next few hours cooking, cleaning, chasing children, and asking Kelly for directions about her kitchen. We had additional guests over for dinner: Joseph & Kelly’s Bishop and his wife joined us and stayed into the evening for pie and treats.

After dinner, we shared things we were grateful for and all helped in cleaning up. Kathy, Jim, Jon, and I made a run to the store to pick up more firewood and some marshmallows, which we brought home and put to immediate use. We talked, played games, ate some more, and cleaned some more, until we were all plum tuckered out… which brings me to now. It’s only 10pm, but it’s been a long day, so I think I’ll say goodnight. Here’s hoping everyone had a wonderful, delicious Thanksgiving!

Portlandby Angie

22 Nov 2007
7:11 pm

Here we are in Portland, visiting Joseph & Kelly (Jim’s brother and sister-in-law) for Thanksgiving. It’s a big Hoffman family gathering, since Jim’s parents and brother, Jon, are all here to celebrate with us. Jim and I left at about 7am, and were met at the Portland Airport by Jon and Roger, who had just flown in from Utah as well. Here at Joseph and Kelly’s house, we spent the afternoon cooking, chatting, and taking turns with the little boys (Isaac and baby Eli). As Kelly and I were making dinner, we sent the men out to gather firewood, so this evening we could enjoy a fire in their old-fashioned wood-burning stove.

Dinner was… Jambalaya! Ok, I’m teasing. Well, we did have jambalaya for dinner, but that’s because we’re going to have our traditional Thanksgiving feast (read: “turkey”) tomorrow, when we’ll have the whole day together to prepare it. Now that we’ve eaten and cleaned up dinner, Jim and Jon are working on our cozy fire.

Despite our delayed feast, I’d like to end my Thanksgiving Day post with some of my most precious blessings: I am so grateful for my wonderful husband, my amazing family (on both sides!), and for the gospel that has blessed every day of my life. We’ve been so blessed, in this new phase of our lives, to have a job and a fair amount of security, and a wonderful ward and new friends to help us along.

Happy Thanksgiving!