Nov 30, 2015

{Family Home Evening] 12 Days of Thanksgiving

There isn't a huge emphasis on Thanksgiving out there. It makes me sad that we jump from Halloween to Christmas. I wanted to do something special to prepare us for Thanksgiving and help us to remember all the little things and the big things that we should be grateful for. So I started looking around. I didn't just want to do coloring pages and I wanted to make sure that we included some spiritual aspect into whatever I was going to do. It was less than two weeks before Thanksgiving that I decided to do this so I thought I would find something short and easy to try.

12 Days to Thanksgiving.

I also thought that since I was soooooo close to the 12 days starting that instead of doing all the work myself, I'd see if there was anything on Pinterest! There was ONE thing! ONE THING! It was close to the idea I wanted but just not quite there. So I created my own 12 Days to Thanksgiving.

I picked out 12 scriptures then colored and cut out 1 leaf for each of us for the 12 days.

The pile of leaves and scriptures sat on our table so that while we're eating dinner we can read a scripture to remind us to be thankful and then write down one thing we were thankful for each day. Then I hung them up on my fridge with stick-tack and it looks like fallen leaves! It's a beautiful and simple fall decor and something we saw every day to remind us to be grateful.

{The leaves I found on google images and the scriptures come from The King James version of the Bible and The Book of Mormon.}

If you want to use the exact list of scriptures I used, click the link below! :)
12 Days of Thanksgiving Scriptures
{{If for some reason the link doesn't work please let me know}}

Nov 29, 2015

Ponderize Week 8

This week I wanted to ponder scriptures to help me remember to be thankful and grateful for everything we have. 

I enjoyed seeing these scriptures on my phone daily and I also enjoyed the 12 Days of Thanksgiving that we did which will post tomorrow! I found so many scriptures about being thankful that it was hard to narrow it down to just the two I did. :)

Nov 25, 2015

{Wednesday Weekly Meal} English Muffin Egg Pizza

Every Wednesday in our house we have breakfast for dinner! We have been doing that since got married and we're going on 6+ years!!! It can hard to find variation when it comes to breakfast. But when The Hubs showed me this recipe he found on Pinterest my first thought was "Uh, that looks gross." But my taste buds quickly defied my brain and found it rather delicious! Try it for yourself and tell us what you think.

Total Prep/Cook Time: about 20 minutes
Servings: depends on how many English Muffins you want to use. Each muffin is one serving.

English Muffins 
Hard Boiled Eggs
Olive Oil
Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Cook your hard boiled eggs then crack, peel and slice.

Slice tomato.

Toast english muffins and lay open faced on a baking sheet.

Drizzle each english muffin half with olive oil then top with a slice of tomato, slices of hard boiled egg, mozzarella, and sprinkle oregano on top.

Broil for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Nov 23, 2015

{Family Home Evening} Nephi Part 2 - Building A Boat

Now that I had my first FHE under my belt I felt like I could get this one a bit more on the toddler play level. Well, I'm still learning. But here is what we did!

I downloaded this 'origami' Nephi Boat, a ship (or two) from google images to color and cut into a puzzle and I used this same Scripture Hero Chart from last week.

For our Opening Song we sang the second verse of Nephi's Courage.

We went over again the Scripture Hero Chart and what it means to have courage.

Then we summarized the story of Nephi building the boat found in 1 Nephi 17.

As The Hubs told the story of Nephi building the boat, Little Man and I colored our ship and then we put together our ship puzzle and then I folded together the origami boat.

I'm still looking for things as I'm preparing these lessons to make them more toddler friendly and hands on. It's a learning process for me but I'm enjoying it!!

***As I'm typing this out, Little Man saw me upload the image and said "Is that Laban?"
Me: No that is Nephi.
Little Man: That is Nephi building a boat (as he uses his arm to make a wave motion)
It made me smile! I love the he is recognizing and learning :)***

Nov 22, 2015

Ponderize Week 7

We were challenged to ponderize scripture right? Well, why not include modern day scripture as well?!

This week I seriously need these two. I feel like they both go hand in what with what I was feeling yesterday and this morning! I'm excited to share with you how ponderize-ing these scriptures have helped me this week


I can't even begin to tell you have overwhelming this week has been. There have been so many things contributing to my feelings from a to-do list that kept growing to holiday plans and beyond. It's been hard to sort through them all.

It was truly a blessing to be able to see the words "Behold I know your thoughts" every time I wanted to check the time or needed to get into my phone. Then it was also comforting to read the words "you are doing better than you think you are." 

This past week during my morning workout I was able to re-listen to the General Conference talk that inspire the #ponderize movement and it truly has been an amazing and fun experience to find scriptures from the past (and present) that truly apply to whatever it is that we are going through. If you haven't already, I really do hope that you choose to ponderize a scripture each week. You won't regret it and I know that it will help you!

{{If you would like some accountability on choosing a scripture to ponderize each week, feel free to join my Facebook group ..... }}

Nov 18, 2015

{Wednesday Weekly Meal} Deconstructed Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie

I have been wanting Marie Calendars Chicken Pot Pie for a while now. Unfortunately it hasn't been a necessity and therefore hasn't made it into the grocery budget. In my attempt at trying to use my crock pot more I found this pot pie recipe so we gave it a try!!

In my opinion there was too much chicken. The hubs thought it was just fine. In the future I'll probably cut the chicken in half. We also felt like it need potatoes! So next time we make it, we'll try it with potatoes and let you know! :)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hrs on HIGH or 8 hrs on LOW
Servings: 6
Serving size: 1 cup, heaping with 1 biscuit

(I apologize for the poor image quality. I had completely forgotten, again, to take a picture so I snapped one quick with my phone. As I get back into the swing of things I promise the image quality will get better!)

1 lb boneless, skinless Chicken Breast
1 small Onion, diced
Celery Seed, a few dashes
2 10.5 oz cans Campbles Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cup Milk
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
16 oz bag Frozen Mixed Veggies
2 tbsp Parsley
12 oz can Pillsbury Flaky Biscuits

Clean chicken and place in the bottom of the crock pot.

Top the chicken with the diced onion and a few dashes if celery salt.

In a small bow, whisk together the cream of chicken soup, milk, garlic powder, thyme, salt and black pepper and pour mixture over the chicken in the crock pot.

Cover and cook for 4 hours on HIGH or 8 hrs on LOW.

Remove the chicken and shred, then place back into the crock pot and add the frozen veggies and parsley.

Stir to mix together and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Bake biscuits according to packaging instructions.

Serve in a bowl with a biscuit!


Nov 16, 2015

{Family Home Evening} Nephi Part 1 - Getting The Brass Plates

During this past General Conference I felt like every talk was telling me that now is the time for us to really start focusing on Family Home Evening (FHE). I really took this to heart because a year ago during General Conference I felt like every talk was telling me it was time start reading the Book of Mormon with Little Man. I listened and we have been richly blessed over the last year for following that prompting. So I'm here to tell you, that you should never postpone a prompting!!!

We have been doing Family Home Evening for four weeks now. For those of you who aren't familiar with the term Family Home Evening or the acronym FHE... It's simply a night devoted to family time!!! You can do just about anything that you want to do from having a gospel/religious lesson or discussion to playing games or watching a movie with your family. But it's time spent away from the things that pull families apart!

I'll be sharing the FHE activities and what we did with you guys and where I found my resources. I hope these help you to prepare for your family time as the resources I'll be sharing with you have helped me!


I am not going to lie! I had NO IDEA where to start with our first FHE. The only thing I could think of, as I was scrolling through Pinterest, was to start at the beginning. And the beginning that came to mind was Nephi. So I search Pinterest for ideas on how to teach about Nephi and decided to follow the song Nephi's Courage and start by learning about how he went to get the brass plates from Laban.

**I downloaded this Scripture Hero Chartthis Nephi Coloring page and clip art figures (from Mormon Mommy Printables).** 

We sang the first verse of Nephi's Courage for our opening song.

We talked about Nephi using the Scripture Hero Chart and how he had to have courage to accomplish the tasks that he was commanded/asked to do. We also explained what it means to have courage.

Then I read the story of Nephi getting the brass plates (1 Nephi 3 & 4) and The Hubs used the clip art figures to help illustrate the story as I read it. Little Man loved playing with them! (For a 3 year old, reading both chapters was waaaaaay to long. I'm still learning to approach these topics on a toddler level!)

Then we colored the Nephi Coloring page and that was pretty much the end of our lesson.

Simple and sweet!

The spirit in our home that evening was amazing! It was encouraging and I was excited for the next week!! Nephi building a boat!

Resource for most of the lesson: This LDS Mom Nephi Blog Post

Nov 15, 2015

{#Ponderize} Week 6

I went searching for this scripture. On Monday when I was looking for what scripture to ponderize this past week I felt like I needed something to uplift me and calm my nerves about something that is scaring me. So I turned to the Topical Guide (in the LDS Quadriple Combination Scriptures) and looked up scriptures that mentioned confidence. This one plucked gently at my heart strings <3! I have enjoyed seeing it on my phone this week and when I see the big words confidence in you, I know that I can tackle, with help, the future I have in store!! :)

Nov 14, 2015

{#Ponderize} Weeks 1-5

During the 2015 October General Conference, Devin G Durrant gave a great talk called My Heart Pondereth Them Continually. He talked about picking a scripture weekly and doing two things with it. Ponder it and Memorize it. In putting those two together, he advised us all to ponderize weekly.

I have been loving this so far. During my weekly reading/studying I find a few scriptures that I like and come Sunday/Monday I pick which one touches my heart and I ponderize it. I want to share those with you.

I'll be posting my ponderize-ing scripture the week after I've ponderized it that way I can also write about how it helped me throughout the week. I hope these will help you too!

Here are the scriptures I chose for the first five weeks...

1. Mark 1:17-18
And Jesus said unto them, come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
And straightway they forsook their nets and followed him.
2. Revelations 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
3. 1 Nephi 3:7
And it came to pass that I, Nephi said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. 
 4 & 5. Alma 56:47 -- I loved this scripture so much I kept it for two weeks. I decided that I look at my lock screen on my phone more than a note card on a wall so I designed an image to fit my phone.)
(Fits an iPhone5 but may fit others. Feel free to right click and/or save the image if you would like to ponderize that particular scripture yourself.)

**My #Ponderize posts will occur weekly on Sundays**

Nov 11, 2015

{Wednesday Weekly Meal} White Chicken Chili

Back in 2011, we shared a recipe for White Chicken Chili. It was a great recipe. But after making it a few times it just seemed to take forever so I stopped making it. Then I saw a commercial for a White Chicken Chili from Bushes Beans and it looked so easy! So what did I do? I tried it and it does seems so much easier! ;)

We made this once before and then again for the missionaries last night and I had every intention of taking pictures. At least one final picture. But I completely forgot! So instead you get the left over view.

I had doubled the recipe thinking that we wouldn't have enough to feed us all and I'm glad we did. I think we would have just barely made it if I hadn't. But I'm not complaining because now we can start working on a freezer meal stash!! A few portions for 'left over night' and the rest frozen and ready for later :)

Total Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 Cups

2 cans (16 oz) Great Northern Beans, do not drain
1 can (14.5 oz) Chicken Broth
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 can (4 oz) chopped Green Chilies, drained
3 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
8 oz Sour Cream
2 tsp Ground Cumin
1 1/2 cups finely chopped cooked Chicken Breast
Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
Salsa (optional)

In a large skillet warm oil then add chilies, flower and cumin and mix together. 

Add beans and chicken broth; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; simmer for 10 min or until thickened. Then add chicken and cook until hot.

Add sour cream and stir thoroughly.

Garnish with cheese (additional sour cream and salsa if desired).

**If you are doubling the recipe it takes about an hour to cook.
From cutting/cleaning the chicken to the finished meal.**

Nov 4, 2015

Inside Out

*** Spoiler Alert!!! If you haven't seen the movie Inside Out go watch it and then come back and read this!! You have been warned :) ***

We watched the Disney Pixar movie Inside Out tonight. I thought that it was a pretty good movie! Then I started thinking about the movie on a deeper level.

We watched the movie with our 3 year old and when it was over my first thought was, 
"Well, that was a great way to show or explain emotions to a child and that it's okay to feel joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust. But they all have their time and place."
Then my next thought was that I really liked how they showed that you can't really feel or experience true joy without feeling sadness as well. That the two are connected and they should work together for us to be able to truly experience joy. That all emotions can work in tandem with each to create amazing memories! Not all memories are just one emotion. They are two or more emotions mixed together.

Then as I lay snuggling Little Man at bed time, my mind started thinking about the movie even more. I started thinking about show she moved from Minnesota to California. How she had all these 'core memories' from her childhood that what made her who she was or who she was going to be. How the move affected those memories and in essence she lost them. Then after allowing herself to experience ALL the emotions that come from moving, she was able to develop and create new 'core memories' and in a way redesign who she is and who she will become. And all of that reflecting got me thinking about when I moved.

I moved when I was 2, 10, and 17. The last moved changed me. And after watching Inside Out, I think I can finally understand how and why I changed.

It was my senior year of high school. I had been involved in a ton of extracurricular activities (marching band/flag twirling, show choir, symphonic choir, TA-ing Freshmen choir, drama). I was in the running to be president for captain of a few of those activities. I had a plan. I knew who I was. I was out-going. I was the Mormon girl everyone 'protected'. I was a good listener. A friend. I had plans to be a choir teacher. I had plans to mentor. I was confident. I was strong. I had good grades. I worked hard. I had just about everything going for me that I could have ever wanted!

I moved from Ohio to Montana.

It was like digressing several years in my education and skill level. (Not to be rude.) The music that I was singing in Ohio in high school was collegiate level. When we moved, I was singing songs I had preformed in middle school. In Ohio I was in Honors English. In Montana, they put me in regular English and I had already read all of the books they were assigning for the year. In Ohio, I was 4 credits shy of graduating. In Montana, I was half a credit shy of graduating and had already taken all of the elective classes they had available. They had no flag twirling squad. There was no opportunity to keep pursing, what I thought was my dream, of becoming a choir teacher.

I honestly felt lost and alone. I have a handful of friends that were amazing and helped me get through my senior year. But I still felt lost. I didn't know who I was anymore. It was like all of my 'core memories' had been lost. Everything that I had known, everything that I had developed and learned was gone. No longer available. I didn't feel confident, strong or out-going anymore.

Over the years I have changed. I have developed new 'core memories'. Ones that as I look back and think about my life before the move, I would have never found or discovered. I have 'core memories' that have developed me into the woman, wife, mother and daughter of God that I am today.

When my parents told me that we were moving, they told me that they felt like one of the reasons we were moving was for me. They didn't know why or how, they just asked me to pray about it too. So I did. We... I, had to come to Montana.

There are times that I feel like if I had stayed I would have been amazing and had it all!! But then I look at my husband and my sweet son... my little family... and I wouldn't have traded moving for the world!!

Sometimes we need to loose our 'core memories' and start over. Sometimes we are on a good path, but it may not be the best path for who we are to become. We need to trust in the Lord's timing and realize that it will all work out. Eventually!

Photo Credit

Nov 3, 2015

Never Ignore A Prompting

I am sitting on my bed in my fuzzy robe snuggled under fuzzy blankets wonder what I should write about. I've been thinking about it for 2 days now.

Yesterday morning in the shower, where a lot of inspiration occurs, I had this thought that I should start this blog up again. I don't know why, but I haven't been able to shake it.

My husband and I started this blog several years ago. It was a way for us to document our weekly date nights of finding a new recipe and trying it. Together. He would do the cooking. I would do the blogging. We loved it and the blog got more and more serious. Then I got pregnant and I couldn't handle the smell of much food for a while. Then our sweet Little Man came. Then I had to go back to work. Juggling being a new mom, a working mom and a devoted wife and a blogger was too much for me so I made a choice and the best choice at the time.

Now that I've been home for a while and seem to have a handle on things most days, I've found that I have more time in my day. Over the years I've tried a few direct sales businesses and as I've realized, they just don't seem to be something my family needs. They are fun! I wouldn't change anything that I've tried or the friendships that I have found and developed thanks to the direct sales world. I'm just ready to move on.

Over the last few weeks, I've been looking for crockpot recipes and new and easy recipes to try and have been loving the results! My love for finding new dinners is back and it's about time! I don't have a ton under my belt, but I have a few fabulous recipes that I'd love to share!

However, I want this to be more than just about cooking. This blog is called The Stoker Kitchen. I don't know about you, but most of our time is spent in and around the kitchen and not all of it is cooking. I have a small galley style kitchen now that opens into our main living area and that is where live happens. In this area, I study the scriptures, we play with toys, watch movies and TV shows, bake, cook, have dance parties, have Family Home Evening. I not only want to share what's cooking and baking in the kitchen, but what I'm learning as a mom, a wife and a daughter of God who is trying to teach her children the best she can!

I hope that you join me as I start this back up again. It will be slow going but I'm grateful for the chance to try again :)