Friday, January 30, 2009

Flashback Friday

Lake City, Colorado Summer 1997

I was so excited, I was going to summit Mt. Red Cloud my first 14ner . My friend Kristy and I were both summer missionaries in Gunnison, CO. She met Chester , a pastor at Mt. Heights Baptist Church (where I later served the 2 subsequent summers) at the orientation in Colorado Springs. He was an avid climber, and invited us along with another student missionary to go climbing one morning.

The drive to Lake City was AMAZING!! It was so beautiful. After arriving at the trailhead, we hiked for several miles and then began climbing. it didn't take long for the mt to become incredibly steep, and all of a sudden I got paranoid and anxious, because I kept slipping down the edge. I got too scared to continue. I blamed it on my boots. So...I found the ledge (look at the 2nd picture on the right, this is the actual spot where I stopped). I sat down for several hours by myself and ended up falling asleep/I don't know for how long/until the others got back.
There wasn't a cloud in the sky. The only thing I could hear was the wind, it was so serene and peaceful. The sky was a brilliant blue and I could see for what looked like a 1,000 miles. Talk about being in the presence of God. So what turned out to be scary and disappointing was actually really God sent. Maybe if I had better boots I would have summited, but wouldn't have had that time by myself to be with God in that way. I wouldn't trade it. Truely, oh Lord, You guide each step I take.

PS. I finally made my first summit in the summer of 1998 on Mt. Gray.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Flashback Friday

Inspired by Laura's Wordless Wednesday posts, I thought every Friday I would write about a memory, whether it's about something happy, spiritual, heartbreaking, sentimental, sorrowful, or amusing. I'm calling it Flashback Friday.

I was on the phone with my Mema last night and somehow we always get on the subject of cooking (not sure how that happens). Anyways, she told me she made a goulash and a big pan of cornbread yesterday for lunch. For those of you who don't know, Goulash is just a smorgishborg of food you put in a big pot, flavor until it tastes good, and eat it. Click here to read more.
I began remembering when I was little girl, elementary age, and standing in the kitchen doorway at our house in Dallas watching my mom while she made goulash. She always bought the Texas-shaped pasta from Minyards to put with it, because she knew Lacey and I thought it was so cool that noodles could look like our state. She was always good about doing little things like that for us.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I have been wanting to write this post for a while now, so here it goes.
I've always been a fairly health conscious person. I care about what I eat and I eat for nutrition (well I splurge sometimes, but who doesn't?). As you can imagine, since becoming a mother I'm even more careful about what I buy and feed to Dallas. I'm not a chemist or a biologist, but I have read and learned enough that a lot of food in stores these days is not good for your body. Not sure how or really when I became so concerned about this issue, but thankfully I've learned about it, and I want to pass on the knowledge to you. Most of the American diet is rich in highly refined sugars, nutritionally barren flours, transfats, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils and other processed ingredients.
Please take some time to read the following links:,8599,1711763,00.html?cnn=yes

HFCS is in almost EVERYTHING!!!! CHECK OUT THE NUTRITION LABELS! There are obvious food products you might suspect that contain HFCS: ice cream, cokes, candy bars, etc. But what about in the products you DON'T suspect like: ketchup, bread, chips, applesauce, juice, yogurt, practically every pre-sweetened drink, high fat AND fat free dripping sauces, Gatorade/sport drinks, teas, nutrigrain bars, most jelly, syrup, mayonnaise, soup, lunch meats, cereals, and healthy choice products. You just thought you were eating food that was "good" for you?!

So you ask, what can I do about it?!

Check out this link for list of HFCS free foods:

I mostly buy organic foods/especially for Dallas. Some of our staples: Juicy Juice, Yoplait Kids Yogurt Drink, Mott's Healthy Harvest(No sugar added), Organic Ketchup/mayo, Organic cereal bars, Ezekiel bread, Honey, fruit leather, natural Cheetos, Oroweat Bread products, lots of fresh veggies and fruits. Not necessarily a staple, but I like Amy's Organic brand/you can actually pronounce ALL the ingredients. When Dallas asks for something at the store he has started asking me, "Mommy, does this have the bad sugar?" :) Please don't think I'm depriving my child! He gets candy and lemonade at the movies, we love to eat out, and we go for donuts and the occasional ice cream cone, but it's important to me to start him out on a healthy and balanced diet that hopefully he'll stick to as he grows up.

Wrapping up, "Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God" I Cor 10:31

I appreciate you taking the time to read my thoughts on this. Any of your thoughts and/or comments are welcome. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Bucket List - 2009

Gone on a blind date
Skipped school (missed out on a couple of college classes, but not HS)
Watched someone die
Been to Canada
Been to Europe
Been to Mexico X
Been to Florida X
Been on a plane X
Been lost X
Been on the opposite side of the country X (as far to the west as San Diego, and to the east, Philidelphia)
Gone to Washington , DC X
Swam in the ocean X (Does the gulf count? Stood in the pacific ocean)
Cried yourself to sleep X
Played cops and robber or cowboys and Indians X
Recently colored with crayons X (usually daily with Dallas)
Sang Karaoke X
Paid for a meal with coins only X
Done something you told yourself you wouldn't X
Made prank phone calls X (before caller ID, my brother and I used to call people and say, Wake up and Go to Sleep. I thought that was so funny. I was so immature!)
Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose X
Caught a snowflake on your tongue X
Danced your heart out X
Written a letter to Santa Claus X (When I was little)
Been kissed under the mistletoe X
Watched the sunrise with someone X
Blown bubbles X
Gone ice-skating X
Been skinny dipping outdoors X (Yes, with Ang and Christina at Toledo Bend Lake, remember this girls?)
Gone to the movies X
Sat outside in the rain X
Lived one of your dreams X

1. Any nickname: Baby, Jenny
2. Mother's name? Linda Hansen
3. Father's name? Steve Switzer
4. Favorite drink? Chai Latte/Chai Frap with Whip
5. Body Piercings? 1 in each ear.
6. What animal would you be if you could choose one? A really loved and spoiled dog or cat
7. Birthplace: Kirbyville, Texas (Deep South East Texas area)
8. Favorite vacation spot? Buena Vista, CO/was fortunate to spend 2 summers there as a summer missionary with a church. I got to hike every week and river raft/so much fun!
9. Ever been to Africa ? No
10. Ever eaten just cookies for dinner? sure.
11. Ever been on TV? No
12. Ever steal any traffic signs? No
13. Ever been in a car accident? unfortunately yes, some lady hit us in the back going about 40 while we were stopped at a red light. I still have back pain!
14. Drive a 2-door or 4-door vehicle? 4
15. Favorite brand of body wash? Anything with Vanilla and Lavender. My favorite!
16. Favorite TV show? HGTV/House Hunters
17. Favorite number? This is a dumb question. don't have one.
18. Favorite movie? Braveheart
19. Favorite holiday? Christmas
20. Favorite dessert? Strawberry Cake
21. Favorite food? Mexican (Everytime we go out to eat mexican, I order 2 cheese enchilades with dble rice/skip the beans).
22. Favorite day of the week? Saturday
23. Name something you love? my family
24. Favorite toothpaste? Crest Pro Health
25. Favorite smell? In the fall when people are burning leaves.
26. How do you relax? watch reality TV
27. How do you see yourself in 10 years? Not at my current job!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Memorable Moment

Last night before I went to bed, I made the normal rounds throughout the house. I checked the doors, made sure the stove was turned off, took a bath, checked on Dallas to make sure he was covered up, Pause.......... I must have stood there for several minutes just kissing his little face and watching him sleep. I guess I was feeling a bit sentimental or something, but prayed and thanked God for my son, for his health, and for all the great memories I'll always cherish of him as a little boy. I love when these mommy moments pleasantly surprise me. Here's a snapshot of him sleeping last night. Has anyone else experienced these sweet moments lately?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Work it!

Ladies (and guys!) you've got to try the Zumba workout!!!!!! It's SO much fun. I go Tues and Thurs. evenings for 1 hour at our local YMCA. It's infectious and crazy fun!!!! It's a great cardio workout, but it doesn't feel like your working out. It's unlike any workout machine where you keep your eye on the time, it goes by really fast and it's high energy. I always feel great after going to class. If anyone likes high energy/latin, hip hop, reggaeton dance, You should do a search in your area for Zumba classes.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Just call me Betty

I come from a long line of really great cooks, my grandmas especially! For the past few years I've really become interested in family recipes and learning how to make them so I can pass them down one day too, and I'm fortunate enough to still have both of my grandmas to learn from. My Mema (my mom's mom) lives in SE Texas and is really just a "good ol' southern cook." Some food just brings you back to really great early childhood memories. For me it's the recipes from my mema and Grandma. Earlier this year I cooked my first homemade banana pudding, she taught me how to make chicken and dressing (which I've made a few years now for Christmas and Thanksgiving), Texas Sized Biscuits, and Potato Salad. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures with us cooking together, but next time I see her will try to get some.
Last weekend I went to Mesquite to spend the afternoon with Grandma Switzer (my Dad's mom). She can make the best homemade pie crust. I've been wanting to learn for quite a while, so thankfully we had a whole afternoon to practice. I also plan on doing a Creative Memories digital scrapbook with pics and all my recipes. Here are a few snapshots from our afternoon.

Me and my grandma, Evelyn Switzer

Getting the ingredients ready

Sifting the flour

Cutting the flour

D Bear being very helpful!

Mixing up my homemade sweet potato pie filling

Our work station. Grandma also made a cherry pie

Grandpa and Grandma

Making Sticktights, I'm sprinkling on the Cinnamon

Viola, a Homemade Sweet Potato pie!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

This Stuff Really Works!

Hi Ladies!

Forgive me if this sounds more like an infomercial than it does a blog post, but..... I've always had a hard time growing my nails, keeping them from splitting, cracking, etc. Well, I've been using OPI Nail Envy and it's awesome stuff! It's a little on the expensive side. I get it at Trade Secret for around $15 a bottle, but it's worth every penny and the product lasts for a couple of months if used consistently. It's made my nails strong and has helped them grow out really nice. If anyone has found another great product, let me know please :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Eve Bash 2008

Well, it wasn't really a bash per say, but more like a fun dinner and early bedtime. Instead of going out and doing the whole new years celebration, we stayed home and cooked our own pizzas and went to bed before the new year rang in. Hope everyone was safe and had a great New Years Eve! Here are a few pics

Mommy and Dallas

Dallas was so excited to put on the pepperoni all by himself!

A little help from Daddy

Don't forget the cheese


I was thinking about the past year, all the good and all the bad. Thought I'd post a few thoughts

Accomplishments for Dallas this year:
Learned to write his name
Completely potty trained (this was a GREAT accomplishment!)
Can recognize a few sight words: No, B-B-Q (funny story behind this one), milk, gas, bank, police, Cat, and some names in his class

Family Fun and Accomplishments:
Joined our church, Bethel Bible Church
Paid off a lot of debt
Took a vacation to Disney World

New Year's Resolution
Adam's : Stop drinking carbonated drinks
Jennifer's: Send b-day cards to all my family and friends
Memorize more scripture