Tuesday, January 27, 2009

An oldie

I just found this clip and it is one of my all time favorite songs from a LONG time ago, cause yes I used to be quite the little punk rocker. (Note - to properly enjoy this you should probably pause my music player on the right of the screen.)

When ye are in the service...

Last night as we approached family home evening neither I nor my spouse had anything formally ready. I had asked our oldest to read some magazines and find a story she wanted to share earlier, but had sort of left it at that. As we sat down and got ready to begin, or youngest out of the blue said - I'm doing the lesson tonight! We were very surprised but thrilled at her initiative.
She stood up and talked for 45 seconds about the importance of service - that it makes you strong, and helps others and helps Heavenly Father. It was church talk worthy - I was amazed.

She then gave the three of us two stuffed animal bears, and went out of the room instructing us that we were playing 'musical bears' and we were to pass them back and forth. When she came back, whoever had the bears had to get up and do a service for the odd one out, while the odd one out drew a picture of a service that they could give or do for another person. We played a couple of rounds, and then we found another stuffed animal and ganged up on her. We decided to do a service for her and she got a back and foot rub and her hands lotioned up (back and foot rubs are bliss for this girl.)

What a sweet lesson - taught by such a small child. I forget how important it is to serve others, but what a great reminder!

Friday, January 23, 2009

New beginnings and funky dreams

Waiting for my heater to kick on this morning, watching the snow flutter down in giant white flakes outside my window.

It's been a busy week. My husband started his last semester this week - I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but it looks like the next few months will really be a long haul.

On another note, remember when we finished the New Testament around Christmas? Yesterday I was thrilled to finish the Old Testament which I'd started about the same time as we began the NT. I'm excited this morning to break back into the Book of Mormon. I find so much peace from the scriptures, and it seems like the insight I receive is always tailor made to me and my specific situations - what a blessing it is in my life.

This week I had the chance to interpret some plea bargains at the court. Oh so quickly did I realized that getting state certified for this is going to take a LOT of work. I've been told that to pass the certification exam I need to study 20 hours a week and only 10% pass. For me, the greatest difficulty lies in learning the proper legal jargon - in itself a whole language, and I need to learn it in both english and spanish.

In regards to this week - it seems to have flown by with visiting teaching, private lessons, a career fair, snowshoeing, finalizing my business tax documents, and having the elders for dinner. I fell asleep studying last night and dreamed that Pres. Uchtdorf and his wife came to visit my husband - but I fell asleep on the couch while they talked, and because I was there, they could only chit chat. Before my husband appeared though I chatted with them and then he took my daughter's face in his hands and spoke with her - it was very sweet. It was so vivid, I was kind of tripped out when I woke up.

Today I'm planning on letting that snow fly outside while I clean my house, do laundry and hopefully make some time for some therapeutic sewing!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Three things I learned today

We learn new things everyday - here are three things I learned today.
1. No matter how old you are, or how dumb the prospect, some people will always take a dare.
2. Under NO circumstances should stew meat ever be used in fajitas if it hasn't been cooked for less than 8 hours.
3. It IS possible to beat Liz in Settlers

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Fabulous French Bread

I know that I've told several people in the last month or so that I'd get this recipe to them, but I can't remember who they are. So I thought I'd share it with the world via my little blog. Thanks to my friend Luanne for sharing this recipe with me.

I love this recipe, and I have yet to see it disappoint. I live at high altitude, but never have to make any adjustments for it. If you are at a low altitude, you may need to slightly adjust your flour/liquid amounts.

Plan 2 hours start to finish for this bread.

2 1/2 c. very warm water
2 T. sugar
1 T. salt
2 T. cooking oil (I use olive)
6 c. flour
2 pkg active dry yeast or 2 T.

Pour warm water in large mixing bowl, then stir in sugar, salt, oil, half the flour, and yeast. Beat vigorously 2-3 minutes.

Stir in remaining flour until all dry ingred. are completely mixed in, leaving spoon/dough hook in heavy batter. (Now, you can do this by hand, but I cheat and do it with my mixer.) Allow dough to rest 10 minutes then stir down, allow dough to rest another 10 minutes and stir down again. Repeat this process until dough has been stirred down 5 times.

Turn dough onto floured board, knead only enough to coat with flour so it can be handled. Divide into 2 equal parts. Roll each part of dough into rectangle about 9x12 and roll up like a jelly roll, rolling from long side, Pinch edge of loaf to seal the dough. Arrange lengthwise on large cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with corn meal, allowing room for both loaves.

With sharp knife (I use a serrated) cut three gashes at an angle on top, then brush entire surface with slightly beaten whole egg. If desired, sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Cover lightly and let rise at room temperature 30 minutes (I don't cover mine, but I keep it in a warm area.) Bake immediately at 400* for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet immediately and cool on racks.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Evening Snowshoeing adventure




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We decided to do some evening snowshoeing with the kids tonight. We all bundled up, rode the lift to the top of the mountain and watched the sun go down and the stars come out as we hiked around on top of the mountain. Quite a singular experience - even though one of our children told us it wasn't exciting, she sure seemed to like it. Afterward, we rode the local transportation to the local village where we had the famous nachos and enjoyed hanging out together. We also checked out the new water fountain feature. This was really cool. It has fire and water coming out at the same time! Our daughter authoritatively informed us that this is 'waterproof fire.'

Not exactly shorts weather

So I thought my daughter was crazy yesterday when she came home and put shorts on - she said it was hot. Today as I was waiting for my kids to come home - (they were climbing a giant hill of snow and sliding down), I watched a man walk past my house. He was walking his dog and carrying a baby...He was also in shorts.

I'm just wondering where else in the country 40* in January is equivalent to shorts weather? Something just doesn't seem right.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Newly acquired world title!

I am officially the meanest mom in the world - if that was your title, I'm sorry, you've lost it and I am now currently the reigning champion. You'll have to try a little harder next time. Soon I will be publishing a how to book on the subject which you may read so that you can become as mean as me. Hmmm - maybe that will be the title...

I want to know - How the heck do you get your kids out the door in the morning on time?

This morning my kids had 3 jobs.
1. Get dressed (after I handed them some clothes from their drawers)
2. Eat breakfast
3. Out the door by 7:55 am

Somehow only one of my children made it. She even had 5 minutes to get her hair fixed.

The other didn't make it - she was still standing on the heat vent at 7:55. She made it to the front porch at 7:57 with all of her gear piled around her (cause you know, I'm mean and the rule is that they have to be out the door naked or not at that time.)

Last year this child had 26 tardies in one semester. I've begged, I've plead, I've deposited her onto the porch as she is.... I'm just wondering if there are any nice moms out there that have figured this out already. I'm thinking that bedtime will start coming 30 minutes earlier each night that we are late in the morning?

Please comment with your solutions. I can't say I wear my title proudly (meanest mom in the world,) I don't even want it - but I do want on time, good kids.

I can use your solutions for chapter 1, and I'll give you a byline as well.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Political Debut

I have to say that my girls are pretty darn impressive. Tonight we went to a town meeting regarding a controversial proposed development.

They have tried to present this project so many different ways, and everyone seems to keep saying - 'NO, we don't want this - it isn't right for our town.' However, they try to dress it up and present it again. Anyways, it was on the table again tonight. The meeting started at 6:00 and the first 1.50 minutes were REALLY dry - all about the financials and infrastructure - (okay, so it was pretty interesting but not for a kid.) Our girls were GREAT. We'd talked to them about the proposal before attending and shared a few of our thoughts about it, but asked the girls to make their own decision about it - that's why we were going to the town board meeting. They were very interested in attending.

Well - they were SO quiet during the meeting -I wish I could harness their behavior for church! One even fell asleep, and people commented on how well behaved they were.

After what seemed like an eternity, there was a short break and then they opened the floor for public input. I had signed up to speak, and discussed some of our reasons for choosing to live here - the quality of life factors as well as the smallness and intimacy of a small community.

My daughter had also signed herself up to speak and she addressed everyone - the room was packed - standing room only. She talked about how the animals are important to her and that this proposal negatively impacts the wildlife habitat of several deer and elk herds which feed there during the winter. She was nervous and passionate - she did such a great job. As she went to sit down, the room erupted into applause.

I love living in a small town where I have an opportunity to learn how local and civic government works (I've been doing my fair share this past year,) and to become involved and help shape the future of my community. I especially love that my kids are learning to speak out and stand up for what they believe in.

What an awesome blessing that we have the freedom of speech. It will be interesting to see how things turn out. Anyways - I thought it was worth a post. Pretty cool.

Random Thoughts

I sat down with a new music student this morning, he's 18 and has been playing guitar for over 4 years. Apparently he's pretty proficient at the guitar, however he doesn't know how to read any music. He knows nothing about note names, note values - nothing. How can that be? Is that like being able to speak a language but not being able to read or write it? It is a interesting phenomenon to me. I guess I learned to sing as a child before I could read music - is it the same thing?

Friday, January 2, 2009

The annual New Years Eve Party Bash - 2009

Well, I dropped my camera today and I can't get it to turn on now, so I'm thinking it may take a while before I get any photos up.

We decided to host our annual New Year's Eve party again this year. Unfortunately, I found out I needed to go to the dentist to get some crown work done that morning prior to our party. Have I ever mentioned how I really love my dentist? He's my cousin and he's the bomb. He also lives and works two hours away.

Despite my love for my cousin, I really, really, have dental anxiety. He had me come in early just so we'd have 2 hours to get me properly numbed up. I am a historically bad number upper - it takes forever. And yes, it took a very long time and lots of big needles with nasty gaggy drugs in them. Finally, he did what he needed to do and it maybe took him all of 25 minutes. I then drove back home.

I had gotten up super early to make the traditional Buche de noel (yuletide) cake, and to start the beans and the pork roast - we did a 'Cafe Rio' dinner.

I came home from the dentist and laid down because I wasn't feeling so good. Got up, and finished things up - my house was definitely not as clean as I had hoped. I made my meringue mushrooms which looked like this -

And I hoped that no one would venture to my basement. I think everyone was scared after they went down there. It wasn't that it is horrible - it was that my laundry room was pretty darn full and everyone who went to the basement had to pass through my laundry area. Not a pretty sight.

Anyways, we had approximately 25 people come to our party. We did the 'guess whose name is on your back' game while we were mingling and eating. Later, we played the 'Lying' game where everyone tells two truths and one lie about themselves and everyone guesses which is the lie. Ours took on a twist as the first player decided to tell stories to play the game. Everyone else followed suit, and it was fun to hear everyone's different stories. We invited some people who had recently moved to the area who we didn't know well, some who we knew pretty well, and some who have been coming to our annual NYE party for six or seven years. It turned out to be a pretty good mix.

As NYE approached, one friend (who shall remain nameless) went outside and began to set off fireworks. They went VERY high up in the sky and were beautiful. Then he let off some VERY LOUD poppers that went on for a very long time. They also ascended heavenwards. I believe that those fireworks were maybe not very legal. But they were very fun and beautiful. I was waiting for the chief of police to show up at the door and tell me that my cordial relationship with him had been shot. He never came. I was very relieved.

I am excited for this new year. I'm excited about my husband's upcoming graduation, and for spring and summer. I'm excited to have family time, and for the trips and reunions we've planned - bring on 2009!