Monday, March 30, 2009

"Faux-ccia" bread

Dentist husband's cousin is married to a wonderful cook.  She has her own blog and recently was featured locally on the news.  Tonight, as part of dinner, I made her "faux-ccia" bread.  Go HERE for the recipe.  You won't regret trying it.  YUM.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My kid's first piano recital

I mentioned in a previous post that I started having my kids take piano lessons with a nice local pianist in the area.  She is excellent and my kids are doing extremely well under her teaching.  

This past weekend was their first piano recital.   For Toothsome #2, this was no big deal.  She was born to perform and that she had to memorize a song and play it in front of others was actually a very exciting thing for her.  For Toothsome #1, it is his definition of Hades.  From the moment he found out he had to do it, he has been miserable.  

When the day finally approached, I started feeling very nervous for him and I couldn't quite get  a story told about Dentist husband and one of his first (and possibly only) piano recitals out of my head.  I tell this story with permission from my husband.  

I think he was about 8 or 9 years old and he was to play "Red Balloon" while his younger sister sang the words.  The song was a simple, one-handed piece and I think all of about 10 measures long.  They had practiced and practiced and both felt very confident with the outcome.  Well, poor Dentist Husband got about four notes into it and messed up.  He sat on the piano bench and cried while his sister continued singing a cappella.  

So, as my very nervous 9 year old boy headed up to the piano for his first recital, that is all I could think about.  His face was green while he introduced his song and then he sat down and played.  He did it!  No mistakes.  I was so proud of him and thankful there was no "incident" like poor Dentist Husband.  I should say Toothsome #2 also did a wonderful job but with her, I was never worried.  Phew, one piano recital down with, I am sure, many more to go.  

Friday, March 27, 2009

Running into an Old Friend

Today has been one of those days where I had to have everything planned down to the minute.  I got up at 6:15 am, so I could work out before the rest of the day took over.  From there, it was getting the kids up and ready to go out the door.  We had a slight bit of drama over my 9 year old falling apart because I made him wear his coat today (sorry, but if it is 19 degrees outside, you can't just wear a hoodie to school) and then it was off to Dentist husband's office with breakfast for the staff, than back to my son's pre-school to help chaperon a field trip to the Dinosaur Museum.  On the way there, I was really low on gas but because I hadn't scheduled "get gas" in my down the minute planning, I prayed that we would get there without any problems, which we did.  

While standing in line waiting for our turn to go into the museum, I looked over and saw a good friend mine from my Israel study abroad.  We were in Israel January-June of 1993.  For those you who need an event to remember a specific time frame, we were there when Howard W. Hunter was speaking at BYU in Provo at the Marriott Center and some crazy person grabbed him and said he had a bomb but it really was a briefcase of books.  (Now, do you remember 1993?)  

Anyway, this friend lives in Idaho, so I was more than a little surprised to see her.  Carrie and I didn't have any particular classes together while in Israel but we connected because we were both from Colorado.  I remember always thinking she was this tall, gorgeous, gregarious blond.  She had a killer sense of humor and she always made me laugh when I was in her presence.  

Well, she hasn't changed one bit.  She is still tall, gorgeous, hilarious and gregarious.  After having a morning where I felt a bit hammered after literally running from one spot to another, it was a fun pick-me-up to see her.  So, since I know you read this, "Hi Carrie, it was so fun to see you and I meant it when I said to call me the next time you are in town.  I'll treat you to Cafe Rio."


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Key's Recovered

We live in a neighborhood that has a common mailbox.  Regularly I trek down to the mailbox with my mailbox key and get our mail.  At the base of the mailbox is a storm drain and it is about 10 feet deep.  It really is poor placement and many times, I have thought, "Man, this would be really bad if I dropped mail or my keys down there."

Well, today was that really bad moment.  One second my keys were in my hand and the next second they were at the base of the storm drain.  After peering down it for about five minutes, I couldn't see them and decided that they were indeed lost.  Not a huge deal but frustrating.  

After talking with my husband, he suggested I go back and check again.  We have been having a lot of snow/rain and when I went back, I could see them sitting on top of a pile of sludge.  So, I ran home, taped two wire hangers together and tried to "hook" them.  I couldn't do it.  

So, back home, I thought about it for a while and found a big magnet of my sons and with a long piece of string, headed back down to the storm drain.  The keys are brass but they were all connected with a metal key ring.  This time it worked!  I was able to recover my keys.   After a quick wash to get off all of the sludge, everything is back to normal.  Phew.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

One of my biggest writing pet peeves.

Many of you may know that I got a degree in English with an emphasis in editing.  Some of you may read my blog and think, "Wow, it sure doesn't show."  And, if you think that, too bad.  In my day, I was one dang good editor.  

In reading blogs and facebook entries, I have become extremely aware of the overuse of many punctuation marks in particular the exclamation mark.  So I am not speaking out of turn, let me point out the following entry on the national punctuation day website.  

“Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own jokes.”
— F. Scott Fitzgerald —


The sign used in writing after an exclamation or interjections, expressing strong emotion or astonishment, or to indicate a command.

An exclamation point is used to express strong emotion.
“No!” he yelled. “Do it now!”

An exclamation point may be used to close questions that are meant to convey extreme emotion.
What on earth are you doing! Stop!

An exclamation point can be inserted within parentheses to emphasize a word within a sentence.
We have some really(!) cool tattoos on sale this week.
Note that there is no space between the last letter of the word so emphasized and the parentheses. This device should be used rarely, if ever, in formal text.

An exclamation point will often accompany mimetically produced sounds.
“All night long, the dogs woof! in my neighbor’s yard.”
“The bear went Grr!, and I went left.”

And, it is never OK to use it more than once.  (Notice I used extreme emotion and it didn't require an exclamation mark.  I bet you could just sense it, couldn't you?)  

So, that said, continue writing. 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Plasma Car

This is what toothsome #3 wanted for his birthday.  We own many plastic toy ride-on cars that take up a ton of space in our garage, so I was very reluctant to purchase one.  However, doing some research, (it was voted Toy of the Year by the Oppenheim foundation), I decided to get one and I haven't regretted it.   Since we put it together, there was been a child (or two) on it until bedtime.  

Why it is so great:  When you move the handle back and forth, it self propels itself forward--even up hills.  It can take up to 220 pounds, so even I have found myself riding this outside when my kids aren't on it.  The steering on it is very easy, so when my son rides it down our street (going very fast) there is great control.  I love this toy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Funky Salad

When I was doing a study abroad in Israel, it was very common to eat something I called, "Israeli Salad" which was tomatoes, cucumber and red onion cut up into a salad with a little lemon juice and salt and pepper.

When I was at BYU, I made this salad but added feta cheese to it to make it more of a Greek salad.  I also added a little bit of olive oil.

When I was engaged to Dentist husband, I would often make this for lunch but it didn't fill me up quite enough, so I added ham to it.  

One day, I was out of lemon juice and I wanted something with a vinegar type bite to it, so I added cut up dill pickles to it.  

So, needless to say, the salad has evolved and somewhere along the line, Dentist husband labeled it "Funky Salad."  Everyone in my family loves it and now that the weather is warmer, we have been eating a lot of it.  

Here is the "recipe":
1 large cucumber, peeled and cut into pieces
3-5 tomatoes cut into pieces
1/2 package of crumbled feta cheese
4-5 slices of ham cut into pieces
About 10 hamburger dill pickles, cut up
lemon juice
olive oil
salt and pepper

Feel free to leave out the dill pickles but that is one of my kid's favorite parts.
Oh and before any of you mention it, I know adding ham to  salad originally named "Israeli salad" makes it NOT kosher.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I'm a Word Person and "books bring words to me."

Back when I was going to school and trying to pick a major, I really struggled.  I wanted to do something I was good at, something practical, and something relevant.  I wasn't strong in the sciences, I didn't want to do Elementary Ed, I looked into social work and knew I didn't really have the stomach for it.  I loved Art History but hated the 4:30 p.m. classes, in the dark where I fell asleep half the time as I missed way too many slides of art work.  So, I settled on English because I was good at it, I knew I would be exposed to many things and it felt relevant.  

At the time at BYU, English majors were required to take equal part linguistic classes and equal part literature classes.  I learned a lot about myself during my time as an English major and one of the big lessons for me was how much I love words--spoken and written.

Let me write it again, I love words.  I love how people use words to form ideas.  I love the sound of words.  I love to hear people speak them.  I love how they are formed in the mouth.  I love how on the page and when spoken, they can motivate, discourage, transform, expose, move, teach and engage me.  

As a result, I read constantly.  A book is my constant companion.  I doesn't matter where I am, there is always a book with me.  I have carried them up mountains, to sea shores, on boats, in airplanes, on walks, to church, to the park, to the mall, to the bank, to the bath.    I don't think I have been without the companion of a book for years.  I need books because they are part of who I am.

I love spoken words equally but spoken words are more limiting.  Books bring words to me.  I can pick up a book and read a foreign dialect, be taken to another culture, learn a skill, escape into a romance.  I can go anywhere and learn from it.  

So, if you see me, know a book is somewhere with me.  If you want to know what I am reading, you can see on my goodreads side bar.  

It is somewhere over there

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sometimes the day gets away from us. . .

This is the outfit I was wearing all day on Friday.
Let's point out all of its weaknesses. 
--Dentist husband's dental school scrub pants (12ish years old)
--Free t-shirt Dentist husband gives to patients after they have had their wisdom teeth removed.
--Pink hoodie I bought at Disneyland last weekend because I forgot to bring my jacket to the park and I was getting cold.  I LOVE Disneyland but am not a fan of Disney merchandise particularly for adults.  
For the record, I had showered but no make-up or even a brush through my hair.

So, let me explain:  Friday mornings, I take breakfast into Dentist husband's staff.  I normally just grab something from a drive-thru like place--like Einstein's bagels, fruit and yogurt parfaits from McDonalds, etc.  I run into the office through the back door, leave it and am home in 10 minutes.  

Well, Friday, I decided to grab them some fresh fruit from the grocery store and healthy fiber bars.  Since I was there, I did some grocery shopping for our family as well.
Once at the office, the office manager needed to ask me a bunch of questions and I was there a good 40 minutes. 
Once I got in the car, my change oil light came on, and since Dentist husband's office is 10 minutes from the Honda dealership and I had a 10% off coupon there, I drove straight there.
I ran into someone who served their mission with my cousin in Russia.
It was then 11:30 am, so I drove to a McDonalds and got lunch for everyone.
From there, it was straight to pre-school for toothsome #3.
I ran into a friend who was out walking, who I needed to talk about Cub Scouts with and so I talked to her for about an hour.  (We have common friends on facebook and were discussing them.)  
After pre-school drop off, I played outside with toothsome #4 in front of my house until my older kids came home from school.

It wasn't until then that I really noticed how poorly I was dressed.  I looked like I was still in my pajamas (which is basically true in that I sleep in Dentist husband scrubs and a t-shirt most nights.)  

Ok, I have bolded all of the public places I was seen dressed like that.  Crap.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Girl Trip to Disneyland

Well, I am back from my California trip with my BYU friends.  It was a super fun, delightful trip and I was sad to see it end.  These girls just get me.
Here we are the night we arrived eating at a local Mexican spot.  
All of us, on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  It was supposedly renovated to match the new movie version.  Maybe I just have a really bad memory but the only noticeable difference for me was some added animatronic Johnny Depp people throughout and a cool video projection of Davy Jones's locker.  Regardless, it still is one of my favorite rides.  Lisa had her four month old still nursing baby with her.  She was an ANGEL the whole trip!  (Both mom and baby :) )
All of us just after riding Splash Mountain.

I thought I took more pictures, but needless to say, we had a great time.  We laughed, we reconnected, we reminisced and we stayed up way too late every night.  A perfect girls trip.  

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I Consider Myself a Good Amateur Plumber

Many of you may recall this post.  Actually, you might not since you weren't scared for life from the experience like me but if you are looking for a good laugh, feel free to read it. 

Besides that mishap, I really like doing the whole "I can fix it and not have to bother my husband" plumbing thing.  It all started at BYU when a call to the landlord to fix a plumbing problem meant that they might come before I graduated from BYU.  (I started in 1991 and didn't graduate until 1997, so you get the idea.)  My dad did a good job of teaching me the basics of taking apart a sink, cleaning out a bathtub drain and unplugging a toilet.  (He owned a bunch of rental properties, so he was ALWAYS doing it.)  So, atleast once a semester, I would solve the problem myself for either my own apartment or one of my friends.  

Since being married, I have continued to do so in spite of my husband's requests to stop doing it.  You see, I have complete confidence in myself to take apart sinks, use a snake, etc. but Dentist husband doesn't have the same confidence in me.  Granted, I have put together a few sinks wrong which have caused some minor water leakage problems, but for the most part, I have saved him a ton of time (and if we would have called a plumber, money.)  

So today, I figured out how to remove the sink plug and clean them out.  The bathroom sinks have been draining slowly and guess what, if you have pennies trapped in your sinks, they will do that.  I now need to have a talk with my kids about what we put down sinks.  

Monday, March 2, 2009

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane. . .

Being from Colorado, I have to like John Denver, even though I don't think he is actually from Colorado and Denver was not his real name.  That said, this weekend, I am "leaving on a jet plane" and headed to California for a girls trip with three of my most favorite people on the planet--Mandy, Lisa, and Cassy.  

We met our freshman year--Mandy being my room roommate, Cassy being across the hall and Lisa living off campus somewhere but she knew a bunch of guys in our ward and Lisa effectively became my 3rd roommate, since she was always in our room. 

Later, we all lived in King Henry together and then we kind of went our separate ways as we served missions, etc.  They all did live together again later but I somehow got out of the loop. 
(Actually, when I got home from my mission, I wanted my own room.  I was SO done with companionships.)   

If I had a photo scanner, (I know I say this a lot, I need to shoot the lock off my wallet and just buy one), I would post some really hilarious picture of us with big 80's hair and big shoulder pads.  Through the years, we have stayed connected through e-mail, attending each other's weddings, Christmas cards, etc.  

These are girls with whom I can let my hair down and just have a fun time.  So, in a few days, I am off to Disneyland (yes, without my kids) and to have a great weekend.  In the meantime, I am likely to not blog, considering all I have to do to get things ready for Dentist Husband to be in charge of the troops while I am gone.  I have no worries about the actual parenting but I need to make sure there are clothes in drawers, lists of where which kids have to be at a certain time etc.  Oh and if you are reading this and have a son in my scout troop, it is cancelled this week.  I'll post pictures from my weekend away when I get back.