Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Aunt Jana

My (Tyler's) Aunt Jana passed away this weekend after a several years battle with cancer. An obituary can be found here. Jana is my dad's older sister. They have a younger sister, Terri Lynn, who died from a brain tumor when she was a teenager. One sweet thought is that Jana and Terri have been reunited.

Jana was always a "good" aunt. She is a sweet, good-natured person, who was always kind. I can never remember a time when I thought she was mean or mad. She always had a smile and a kind word, even when you knew she wasn't feeling well. And she has an infectious laugh. It was always evident that she deeply loved her family, not only her husband, children and grandchildren, but her siblings, nieces, nephews and parents. Some of my earliest memories are of riding my big wheel from our house to hers (when I was very young we lived in the same neighborhood). I don't remember many details, but I remember that I liked the feeling of being there.

Jana was also a selfless person, often in the background quietly serving others. When Kelli and I got married, Jana had to miss the events because she needed emergency surgery to remove a tumor from her brain. As I recall things, this was when her cancer was discovered. Even though she was in the hospital, we still had a gathering that was planned for her house with my extended family and Kelli's family. The party went on and it was important to Jana that it still take place, and at her house. In spite of what she was going through, Jana was concerned that her situation not be a hamper on ours (mine and Kelli's) special day. I was touched by her concern at the time, and will always remember the kindness expressed, even though I did not get to see her on that trip to Utah.

While I know that she had reached the point in her illness that death was a mercy, she will be missed. I will miss her. I know her sweet family will. I also know that, for her, the separation will be brief until her family joins her, and she will await that time in a place of peace and rest. I know that, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can all live eternally with God and with our families. He is the resurrection and the life and those that believe in Him, though they are dead, yet shall they live (John 11:25). I am grateful for the example and love of people like Jana that I have been blessed to have in my life, and more grateful for the peace that comes from knowing that the separation imposed by death is a temporary one.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dinner Time

I've been hearing a lot about e-mealz and other resources that provide you with a weekly menu and shopping list. I love the idea! The problem is that after we (Tyler and I) both get home from a full day's work, the last thing we want to do is spend 40 minutes "whipping up a quick dinner." We have our old stand-bys (like tacos), but I really want to make an effort to add some variety to our meals AND make them a little bit healthier. I'm thinking the way that would work best for our family would be crock-pot meals. I would love to throw 5 ingredients (give or take, but no more than 10 minutes worth) in the crock pot in the morning and come home to a delectable smell and ready-to-serve meal .
Pretty much all I have in my crock-pot repertoire is black beans and taco soup. And those are blah by about try 3. I'm intrigued by this book, but they don't have it at my library, and I've had a bad experience buying a cookbook without looking at it.

I think that A Year of Slow Cooking, among other blogs, could be a good resource, but I'm really looking for recipes I can (quickly) throw in the pot on low in the morning and then be done with it.
Do you guys have any books or websites you'd recommend? I'm seriously considering compiling recipes and making this the subject of my e-book goal (#15), but I hate to reinvent the wheel. Any suggestions are very appreciated!