Friday, February 28, 2014

Cooking class with Erin and Amy

I just thought it would be something fun to do….but it was even better than I thought. 
Because these two made it that way.

The pizza as odd as it looks, I heard it was really good. Just a can of Italian tomatoes, garlic, red pepper, purple onion, and olives spread over Boboli pizza and baked.

When I signed us up for this cooking class, I was hoping the school (Alta Sierra) would have little individual kitchens….and they did….I think seven of them…. because I haven't been back in a Home Ec room since I left high school.

But our school kitchens back in the day were never this large.
But ours were cleaner.

Look at the lovely stove we cooked on. Disgusting. 
My question is WHY are the middle school students 
who use these everyday not taught to clean up their messes? 
I wouldn't have thought anything of this stove 
if it had been in a busy happy home. 
But this is a school! A place where many use it so 
the class before should keep it clean, don't ya think?
One of the other students saw me take this picture and said to Erin and Amy in a confused tone, "She's taking a picture of the stove??" I think it was Amy who said, "She takes pictures of everything." 

So I may take pictures of dirty stoves, 
but look who sword fights with celery!

I love their crazy energy. They keep me entertained.

One of our fellow students, this lady said she has been married for 
63 years! She did not look old enough for that, and she didn't act it 
either. She was totally into learning new recipes.

The girl at the sink? 
She said she was there to cook so she could "keep a man."

After we ate, Amy and Cookie (one of the other students) realized they have mutual friends. 
And when Cookie somehow found out 
we were Mormon she liked us all the more. 
Not the reaction we get everywhere. And she's Jewish. 

When class ended and we were walking towards the door, Cookie pulled me aside and said, "Sign those girls up for the salad class! I'm going, and I want them to be there too!"

Erin and Amy were a hit with the teacher too, apparently.
I don't recall her asking anyone else to have her picture taken with them.
Or laughing like this with anyone but them.

The teacher's name is Gina Myers 
and she's written several cookbooks.

Erin insisted I put a picture on of myself too. So here it is….
but I told Erin and Amy that if I looked like them 
I would plaster myself all over my blog.

Being the gluten free-dairy free person that I am, I couldn't actually taste the food, 
but this one looked good to me:

What the recipe fails to say, is add the ravioli after it is cooked. Not sure when you add the broccoli....I guess that depends on how soft or crisp you want it to be. But it all goes in one pot.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

What happened the night the twins went home

You may know that I had our grandtwins for several days last week while their parents were in the
Bahamas. My SIL Wendy was also staying with us for a few days. It's always fun to have her here.
Laughing and talking fun. But we had one little problem this time. 

Because I can't quite trust the twins yet, specifically one of them who is incredibly like her Dad at this
age….we do not go to sleep around here unless our house alarm in set to ON. That way if Miss Téa
decides to leave in the middle of the night, we will know right away. Not that she has EVER tried to do
that, but since she has no fear, and she completely has a mind of her own, I don't chance it.

So poor Wendy had to have a curfew while she was here, so we could set the alarm and go to sleep.
We would text her when it was time to come home….right in the middle no doubt of some great
conversation with friends she doesn't get to see very often. She was really good about it, and amazingly
still loves us and still leaves little hearts on text messages to us. Whew.

However... I want to tell you what happened after the twins went home on Tuesday. They knew their
parents would be coming home late that night. SO excited with the thought of seeing their parents after
9 long days without them.

But the twins couldn't wait up.  They had long since been in dreamland by the time their parents
returned home @ 10:40 pm.

About 3 am, Logan gets up and is in the bathroom. Amy still in bed, probably not completely awake,
suddenly hears what sounds like someone knocking on their bedroom window from outside. She's
thinking, No, that can't be. Then she wakes up more, and hears it again. This is not a good sign in the
middle of the night and she feels panic.

Then she hears the outside door open and close. Then footsteps down the hall. She peers into the
hallway to see what was going on, and it was Téa! Turns out Téa said she had knocked on their
bedroom door and when they didn't answer she went OUTSIDE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
to knock on their bedroom window! By the time Amy found her in the hallway Téa was crying and
shivering. So Amy took into bed with her and Logan.

(Kylie told Amy the next morning that she heard Téa outside in the middle of the night and told her to
come back inside! So thankful the noise woke up Kylie.)

This story was creepy for me to even hear about. Téa is a girl who won't even go to the bathroom alone
during the daytime, but will get up in the night and go OUTSIDE by herself. It scared us all.

But in a strange sort of round about way, it also shows how much she loves her parents and would do
just about anything to be back with them again.

Violet, Jonas, and Téa playing yesterday. This has nothing to do with the story above. 
I just like it.
Thank you Heidi G for the around the world Barbies. The grandkids LOVE them. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Where or where can they be?

Have you seen my two very lost books?

I'm hoping someone will know the answer to this question. 

I lost these two books sometime last year. 
Besides, the scriptures, I read these books more often than any other.

They are both filled with insightful, well researched, helpful 
life changing, throughout provoking ideas and challenges.

I thought about re-buying them, 
but then I wouldn't have all my notes and underlines. 
I think I must have brought them somewhere since they are both gone. 
I'm thinking perhaps I loaned them to someone??
Or maybe I was at your house for a sleep over and brought my books with me? 

I took Gretchen Rubin's advice from the first book….
"if you lose something, start cleaning." 
So I've been doing that. So far no books, but I did find this picture:
Heidi G. who grew up next door, and McKay.

She was the sister my boys never had.
And she is getting married in just THREE days!!

And what I think is very incredible....this year, the biggest drought I can remember,
and yet it RAINED so hard at her bridal shower a few weeks ago
that the door of the restaurant BLEW OPEN.

AND this Saturday, the day of her wedding RAIN and THUNDER
STORMS are predicted. All in our record breaking drought year.

I think this means Heidi is very special.
We've known that for years.

Monday, February 24, 2014

How to stay calm before surgery

 This is how we spent our day….
Dennis had surgery, a man type thing. And before he was put out the anesthesiologist told him,
"When you wake up you may be dizzy or nauseas or vomiting, but remember
(as she is putting her hand on his shoulder) this is completely normal."

What kind of reassurance is that just before going under?

If someone told me that, I would wake up with those exact symptoms. 
My body holds on tight to the power of suggestion.

But not my Dennis. He was a champ. Until I was driving him home. Then the sick happened.
I felt so sorry for him. But what could I do but keep driving.

This past weekend he has been so calm about this upcoming surgery, unlike me.

However, just before he was put out I could tell he was nervous.
His hands were very cold too, which is a sign.

Then while he was having the surgery I was reading an article, and guess what?
 I could have had the cure for his pre surgery nerves but I read about it a little too late.
Here's the deal. According to an article in The Atlantic we can alleviate stress by making a fist
with our left hand. Freaking out is primarily associated with the right hemisphere of the brain.
So researchers found out that making a fist with your left hand actually
draws focus away from the right hemisphere and turns off the worrying part of your brain.
Go read the article…it's interesting in relation to sports.

But come to think of it, it wouldn't have worked for Dennis because he had the IV in his left arm.
I'm not sure making a fist would have been the best deal for him.

And may I just say that we love Kaiser.
That place is a fine tuned operation.
They are incredibly organized, yet every single person
from the check in lady to the nurses to the doctors….
they all are so kind and helpful and cheerful.
Even the honest anesthesiologist.

PS  I've decided as a wife I'm terrible at pre-op. I was in a crummy mood the week night before. 
Worry does that to me. (Too bad I didn't know about the left fist thing yet.)
But I'm great at post-op. My nurturing skills are in full bloom right now. 
Good thing since the doctor said it will be 1-2 months before he is back to normal.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Our guest room, before and after...

A few months ago I was thinking about McKay's old bedroom.

Since he was the last of all our 8 kids to get married…
Since he was the last one, I guess I just thought I should leave his room alone forever.
Kind of like, I didn't want my house to look like my kids never lived here.

So McKay's room use to look sort of like this….
(the revised edition once he was off to BYU)

Then one day I realized it had been nearly 12 years since he left home. Seriously, 12 years? 

Perhaps it was time to move forward.

It all started with Jessica's prom picture. 
After being totally taken in by her sweet beauty and her golden lovely dress…..
I noticed the dark brown wall in the back ground. 
See the way that brown wall "pops" behind beautiful Jessica?
Stay with me, this will all fit together.

Then……a few months after that, Dennis and I were at 
the Farmer's Market in Clovis USA (as he calls it) 
when I saw this dresser in the window of an antique shop. 

It was closed so we made a mental note to go back the next day. 
I really liked this very old dresser but I had no idea the price.

Turns out we liked the price...SOLD to us.

This was the start. I envisioned it setting in front of a dark wall like Jessica was sitting in front of. 
I love contrast. After going on a hunt for dark brown paint, Den painted the one wall….

 I thought, okay, I like it

We liked this for about a week when I realized, Yep, we need one more dark wall.

I'll add some family pictures later. But for now, we have the birds.

Dennis doesn't understand my little finishing touches. But he respects them. Or rather he respects me. 

He particularly didn't understand why I paid $7. for this very old wedding cake topper. 
He said, "But that use to be on top of someone's cake!" Exactly. I think it's over 50 years old.

That bottom sign was one of my Mom's very favorite hymns. 
I remember her singing it around the house when I was growing up. And we sang it at her funeral.

And the family all knows what I began to do to Tyler's room
 the day after he left for his mission in 2005...

Now here we are 9 years later and I feel another make over coming on. 
I've got plans. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A precious moment in time

It's not every little person who gets to sit 
on their Great Grandpa's lap on her 3rd birthday!

I checked, and all EIGHT of my great grandparents 
had been gone between 11-53 years by the time I was even born! 
I didn't get to meet any of them. 

Did you get to know any of yours?

Someday I suspect this picture will mean much to Miss Violet…
when she is older and understands the wonderful significance of it.

btw, Today I got to eat one last time @ The Home with Dad and Susan.

They are moving out on Saturday!
They will be in the same church ward as Amy and Logan,
and also the same ward as my sister Peggy and Jeff…so not too far away.

Goodbye Yosemite Gardens!
I think I will miss you more than my Dad and Susan will.
I already have plans to go back for lunch so I can see a few of the friends I've made there.
And one of them has invited me to her 80th birthday in September!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Nourishing our bodies and our spirits

I always love it when I find this classy magazine in my mail box each month.

It's put on by our church and basically it has articles on how to be happy.
I especially appreciated the article this month on page 69, "Nourishing our Bodies and our Spirits."

Notice the part I highlighted. 

Yay!! Encouraging healthier snacks and desserts at church activities and socials! 

I always feel guilty when I would give the young women (ages 12-18) junk food for snacks. 
And now that I get to be with the Activity Girls (ages 8-11) 
I would feel even worse giving them a bunch of empty sugary calories before bedtime 
(we meet from 7-8pm).  

But something I have noticed over the years….not always, 
but usually teenagers and children get more excited about healthier snacks. 
They absolutely devour raw vegetables and fruits. Who would have thought!

So off I went tonight to be with the Activity Girls….with their snacks in hand.
The girls seemed pleased, even though a few were disappointed I didn't bring
the apple slices dipped in lime juice like last time.

To read the entire article you can go here.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Our little alpha male

While their parents were sailing out in the Bahamas…

We got to have these two for a few days.

They are two months away from being FIVE, and I had forgotten what a really nice age this is.

They are seriously so fun to be with. 

But we still have our mishaps around here.
 Like when Jonas got mad and threw a block at Téa's face…
If you look closely at her eyelid you can see the little sore. It burned and hurt for a good 20 minutes.

So in to Time Out Jonas went. 
I know he deserved it but it's still hard on 
this Grandma Honey to follow through.

It was a very long 4 minutes for me.

Or the time I heard this very sad cry coming from the playroom. 
I thought…oh no, Jonas struck again.
I went to check it out…

 There's just something about this picture that says guilt. 
And it's not the turned over bench I'm talking about.

So what did he do this time?

Well at least it wasn't bodily harm. 
He took her overnight bag and and dumped it on the ground.

It's hard being a little alpha male.

Although I have to say, love always wins out.
These two are very devoted to each other.

How about that day this week when their dice 
took a nose dive across the room in the middle of their game
…they both bounced right into action together, trying to find it.

But what I can't figure out, and don't tell Jonas this, but…
how is it that little Miss Téa can pick up her brother…

But he can't lift her up…yet.

Must be wonderful to have a twin through life.
Having a continual buddy is a good thing.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

This one's for you Dad!

Exciting day for my Dad, and for me.
Ron, David, and Steve (Dad's nephews and my cousins)
came to see us!                                                              
 It nearly gave me chills….just having some of my Dad's nephews together again with him.
He's spoken very fondly of these guys all through the years. 

 The twins didn't have quite the same appreciation for this day.

Although…..they were mesmerized by this….
Take a look at what my Dad can do!

{Thank you Wendy (AKA Chickie) who is staying with us, for choosing the music.
And it's very interesting to both of us, the words in this song….especially as the twins' faces come on the screen.}

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It's all in the way they're served I guess!

My Valentine's dinner didn't turn out so good. It just did not come together like I wanted it too.

All that aside, it was wonderful being with some of our family….so it was worth it for that.

I have to say everyone seemed to like these:

If I would have put these vegetable sticks on a platter with some Ranch on the side,
I'm not sure they would've even been touched.
But instead, this time I put them in little cups and then squirted some Ranch in,
and they were a hit. Who knew.

Thank you Pinterest.  Maybe my picture didn't quite match yours…..

but it was good enough!