Friday, February 29

Never Thought

I have been reading other peoples blogs for about two years now. I always told myself that I would never start a blog. It made absolute no sence in me putting my life story online for anyone to read. It was not untill my brother and his wife started a blog that Sarah started a blog. It turns out that we have been having a lot of fun with it. Sarah is working hard today, while I am home alone doing homework. I am very grateful for the opportunity that I have to go to school full time and not have to worry about work. Sarah and I have been very blessed and very fortunate. While she is hard at work bring in the "big bucks" I am hard at work, or atleast pretending to be hard at work with school. I am starting the Interpreter Training Program for sign lanuguage this semester and at times feel very inadequate. I often feel extremely behind the rest of the class reguardless of the reassurings that are received from the instructor, who happens to be one of the top interpreters in the state of Arizona. It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to learn form her. I only hope that I will be able to better understand conversations. It is a difficult language to learn.

Tuesday, February 26


I have a deep desire to write a novel. Which is an amuzing desire since I more or less hate writing. I am note sure what I want to write about. I have about 30 different ideas that I am mulling about. One day I will let them flow to paper and start my own library. So in the mean time I will just write a little here and there for you all to read. I will eventually put ideas out there for comments. Stay tuned.

Emmy Rossum

I found her by accident, but fell in love with her music instantly. Emmy Rossum is the actress that plays Christine in Phantom of the Opera. She recently put out a great album in which she sings EVERY vocal in her cd. All of the descants are her. She has an amazing talent. I think my favorite song of hers is "Slow Me Down." I don't have this song on my playlist, but you can find it at Yahoo Music. Her music has its own style that is so different than most music available. You can list to two of her songs on my playlist. She also sings "Think of Me." Enjoy.

Sunday, February 24

Photo Recovery Celebration

We were given this amazing digital picture frame for Christmas. We were so excited to use it, that we plugged in our memory card to watch over pictures. A few days later, I was attempting to copy pictures off of the memory card to the computer and to my absolute horror, all the pictures were gone. The frame ate the pictures. I was devistated. We tried to find a way to recover them, but to no avail. Today when I was downloading pictures of Randy's cheesecake, some miracle made all the pictures that were lost appear. So I now have all of the missing pictures from my graduation, Christmas, and other important pictures. Time for a little victory dance! Hip-hip-horray!

2008 Cheesecake

These are pictures of this year's birthday cheesecake. Happy, happy birthday Randy dear!!!


Oh, by the way. If we haven't told you yet, Sarah is finally a nurse. She passed nursing boards with the minimum number of questions (almost threw up because of nerves) and she got her license. Her license date was Valentine's Day! Horray for nursehood!

The Story of the Missing Bunny Ears

At Sarah's graduation, during pictures, Misty (one of the coolest 10 year olds around!) decided to pull the old bunny ears routine. It just so happens that this picture that the said bunny ears made their appearance was the only picture of Randy and Sarah together. So using the magic of cut and paste in Microsoft Paint, Sarah restored grace to the picture of the beloved and demolished the ever present bunny ears. Take a look...

We love our Miss Tissy!!!!!!

Happy Birthday Cheesecake

Sarah makes this cheesecake only once a year, for Randy's birthday. It takes a long time, but it is sooo yummy. Here is the recipe if you want it...

Crust: Mix 1 1/2c. graham cracker crumbs, 2 T sugar, 1/4c. melted butter. Press into 9-inch springform pan (use a measuring cup to press crumbs evenly). Chill 30 minutes.

Filling: In large bowl beat 5 8-oz packages of softened cream cheese (after removing from wrapper, hehehe) for 2 mintues, add 1 1/3c. sugar. Add 3T flour, mix until combined. On low speed add 3 eggs, one at a time until just blended. Add 1/2c. sour cream, 2t. finely grated lemon peel, and 1 1/2t. vanilla, beat until just blended. Pour into crust and bake at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes.

Topping: Beat one egg white until frothy, add 1T sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Fold in 1/2c. sour cream until blended. Spread on top of cake and bake until topping is set, but not brown (20 minutes). Turn off oven and let cheesecake sit for 1 hour with door ajar (great way to heat house without wasting electricity). Place on wire rack until completely cool.

Topping #2: Microwave 1c. preserves (any flavor, but I prefer blackberry) for 45seconds or until thin, spread onto cheesecake. Add fruit if desired. Chill until ready to eat.

Saturday, February 23

Lonely noodles

Sarah and I have made a schedual of what types of food to fix on what days. It is helping us to eat healthier rather than eating something that is quick and easy. Usually loaded with cheese and other un-healthy items. Yesterday's food type was noodles. Sarah has decided that since she is the one that is making the money that I am the one who gets to clean the house and make the dinner. It is all good and has worked out thus far.
Luckily for me the last three days have gone fast, yea! Last night I made Sarah a noodle dish for dinner and it turned out really good. It is called Beef Noodles with Oyster Sauce. The recepie is as follows. Enjoy!!!
Serves 4
10 1/2 oz /300 g boneless sirloin steak, thinly sliced
9 oz/ 250 g dried thick chinese egg noodles
2 Tbs. Peanut or corn oil
8 oz/225 g fresh asparagus spears, woody ends cut off and chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 inch/1 cm piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 redd onion, thinly sliced
4 Tbs. beef or vegetable stock
1 1/2 Tbs. rice wine
2-3 Tbs. bottled oyster sauce
toasted sesame seeds, to garnish (see note)
1 Tbs light soy sauce
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tsp. rice wine
Toasting sesame seeds enhances their flavor and gives them an attractive light golden-brown color. stir the seeds round in a dry wok or skillet just until the start coloring. Immediately tip them out of the wok, because the can become burned and bitter-tasting in seconds.
This dish is best when you let the beef marinate, but if you are in a hurry, add the marinade ingredients to the wok when you stir in the stock. to make the marinade, stir the ingrediants together in a nonmetalic bowl. Stir in the steak so all the slices are coated, then set aside to marinate for atleast 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil the noodles in a pan of boiling water for about 4 minutes, until soft. Alternatively, cook according to package instructions. Drain, rinse, and drain again, then set them aside.
When you are ready to stir-fry, heat a wok or large skjillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat. Add the asparagus and stir-fry for one minute. Tip the beef and marinade into the wok, standing back because it will splutter, and continue stir-frying untill beef is cooked to your taste, about 1 1/2 minutes for medium. Remove the beef and asparagus from the wok and set aside.
Heat the remaining oil and stir-fry the garlic, ginger, and onion for about 1 minute, until the onion is soft. Add the stock, rice wine, and oyster sauce and bring to a boil, stirring. Return the beef and asparagus to the wok, along with the noodles. Use 2 forks to mix all the ingredients together and stir round until the noodles are hot. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Thursday, February 21

Rodeo Holiday

It is February 21 and looks to be a very boring weekend. For those of you who do not know, Pima Community College is closed today thru the weekend. Why you may ask, It is rodeo season here in the south west and PCC for some odd reason does not feel that it should be in school during the rodeo. Therefore I have Thuirsday, Friday and Saturday off of school. Not that I usually attend school on Saturday. To make matters worse these three days happen to be the days that Sarah work, of course. I will not be seeing much of Sarah this weekend and scince I am ahead in the great majority of my classes I will be having a most boring weekend. I do have a service project planned for saturday, and a study group planned for friday. So hopefully it goes fast.

Tuesday, February 19

Baby Parakeets

Last year, our parakeets decided that they wanted to enlarge their family. Here are the results. The oldest of the babies went to Max. Two of them had flight accidents. The other three are now a part of the Licurse family. You would never imagine such pretty little birds having such an ... interesting ... start in life.

Monday, February 18


What an amazing creature! We absolutely love hummingbirds, in fact we have 2 feeders and we often go to the hummingbird garden at the Arizona Sonora Desert Wildlife Museum.

Sarah, the B.S.N.

Here are some pictures of Sarah's graduation!
Grad group
The Girls
Sarah and Moms
The Lovers

Uncle Papa, until we meet again

(Mom Ellsworth and Aunt Grandma aka Lora Willis)

Recently, my Uncle Papa went to his next stage in the Plan of Salvation. When I was a child, nearly ever Christmas Eve was spent with my Aunt Grandma and Uncle Papa. Aunt Grandma is my Grandpa JD Mortensen's baby sister. I am so grateful to have such an amazing and loving extended family. Here are some pictures from his funeral.

Chonkiri's Photo Journal

I am one adorable puppy, my padres named me Chonkiri because it is the name of an Aborigini big man or self proclaimed chief. Being so cute makes me the boss you know!
Horray for Christmas! I always get presents. Just for future reference, I like bones, dog cookies, balls, toys, and anything I can get my mouth around!
I love to lounge. I deserve it after a long day of protecting the house, chasing my tail, barking at the birds, chewing on my bone, napping in the sunshine, jumping for reasons only I know and so on.
Are you trying to take my picture? I love to have my picture taken. All sides are my good sides.

Swannsnest, what's in a name

Dedicated to Joshua Swann.

As a note to all those who just think the name Swannsnest is so cute because our last name is Swann and swans live in a nest: Randy, with Sarah's collaboration, is the original inventor of the name, not Josh.

"Ratted out by the old lady, harsh."-Wilbur Robinson, Meet the Robinsons

Hehehe, love you Amber!

Our Beginning

After reading many other blogs we have finally decided (actually more so finally have some free time) to make our own little blog for you all to read. So here is a introduction of us. Randy is a Preston Idaho native who grew up in a bustling semi-farm home. After serving his mission he felt prompted to move to the blisteringly hot (at least to him) desert of Tucson Arizona. Shortly after his move, he went to a church service project at the cannery (bagging rice for the homeless shelters). Just a note: at the cannery hair nets are required. On with the story, so Randy is brand new and knows no one so he is at a table all by his lonesome, the only unfull table in the cannery. In walks Sarah, a Mesa Arizona native (who by the way is enjoying the cold weather in Tucson). So the only table available is the one with Randy at it, so she thinks "cute guy, I have no problem working with him." Let me remind you, both are in hair nets. Sarah walks up to the table, love fills the air and nine days later, they are engaged. There is of course more to the story, but we will leave that for another blog.