Friday, November 30, 2007

I love Winter

I love this time of year. It's the first day of December, and we woke up to a white world. Now, I'm sitting a the computer after successfully finding a shirt for tonight's office party, Ernie is asleep, I have a fresh loaf of bread from the bakery, and my entire house smells like oranges and cloves thanks to a reed oil diffuser from my aunt. (Thanks!) I met with a few Relief Society sisters this morning in the first round of visiting teaching interviews, and it's always so wonderful to have them in my home and to hear how they care for the sisters on their routes, and how they appreciate their companions.

J's office party is tonight- it's my once-a-year chance to dress up. I'm just afraid that one of these years they'll make it "business attire" and I won't get to dress up any more. We suggested to my parents that maybe Ernie could sleep at their house tonight, so no one needs to spend hours alone in our house after she goes to bed. With no television channels, no Wii, and only a computer screen to watch DVDs on, it can get a little boring around here for some people! Well, they (or Grandpa) agreed! So, Ernie will go to church with them tomorrow and we'll catch up with them at my grandparents' house after church, for our monthly "Fast Sunday dinner with Grandma and Grandpa." Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Last night we met up with Aunt LoLo and co. for our annual trek through the botanical gardens winter lights. They do a beautiful job, making wisteria, parrots, bird of paradise, primroses, fuchsia, and even a giant banana slug out of Christmas lights. The girls were enchanted, the moms were completely camera happy, and the dads were frozen. In typical style, Aunt LoLo and company hit the mall afterwards, and we just went home so J could study.

Enjoy the pictures!!




Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Well, she caught another bug. She wouldn't eat much yesterday, and was a little too dramatic and prone to crying. She also kept grabbing her tummy. So, if anyone spent time with Ernie or BBJ in the last out! BBJ had the same symptoms yesterday, so they must have caught the stomach flu bug at the same time from somewhere.

You've been warned! And make sure you have lots of clean sheets and jammies.

And for the record, she wasn't scared at all. Pretty pleased with herself, actually. And, she was convinced that since she was up, might as well go watch a movie! Nothing better to do at 1:00 a.m., right?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Secret Stuff

We're home now, and the house is almost back to normal. It's amazing what happens around here when Ernie and I pop in for an hour or two every couple days to teach piano and maybe take a nap, and then dash away to take care of other things! But, the house is vacuumed, mail is taken care of, and the kitchen is re-stocked and ready for action.

Thank you to everyone who helped Aunt LoLo and I celebrate our birthdays this year- the gifts were all so kind and thoughtful, and Aunt Bert made us the most amazing, YELLOW, cake for our "golden" birthday. Thanks, babe! It was beautiful, and I think she used at least an ounce of liquid food dye to color the white frosting. Dad, the stroganoff was amazing- I wish there was a recipe for what you do in the kitchen, other than "dump these things in a pot and cook them till it tastes good." How are we supposed to pass THAT down through the generations??

We had a lot of fun at Grandma and Grandpa's house. We found out that Ernie is a football-watching kind of girl. She especially likes saying "He fell down!". She gets to say it a lot during games. She and I are very lonely now, with only each other to keep ourselves company during the day. Also, a VERY special thanks to my brother for teaching Ernie to fence, the two of you chasing each other around the house for 45 minutes with a long wooden spoon and the poking-stick blender companion!

I've been busy making Christmas presents...but since most of my reading base will be receiving these presents, I don't think I should post pictures quite yet! But, after the holidays are over I'll be sure and post pictures of everything, and rough instructions. There are some fun things going on over here!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mama Die!

I know what you're thinking about the post title- I thought the same thing the last few weeks...until we figured out tonight that "die" means "do it." "Mama do it" is apparently an integral phrase in her life! If SHE wants to do something however, she just says "Baby!!" Oh, the Ernie language. If I can, I'm going to get a video of her drawing. She scribbles a circle, then "Mama?..........Ah." Scribbles again, "Daddy?..........Ah." Scribbles, "Baby?.........Ah." Each "ah" is very emphatic, with a deep head nod. She uses the same nod when she asks a question she WANTS to know the answer to. Points to the snack cupboard, does the sign for candy...."ah." Off she goes- she's got the only answer she needs!

No pictures today- we're stabled at Grandma and Grandpa's house, while they tour Turkey, Greece, Istanbul, Barcelona, and many other wonderful places. It's a blast- Ernie is loving the space here. There's a long, wood-floored, hallway that's become her take off runway; new corners to hide in; and BOB, the ultimate stroller. We're getting lots of miles out of BOB- we take the "Loop" every morning (local folks know), and she loves it. She settles in and just gets in the zone. She loves being with her Aunt and Uncles, too, and they just smile and nod at her antics, and accept the hugs she starts from halfway across the room, running to get up enough speed to knock the wind out when she finally collides. Ahh, fun times!

Friday, November 9, 2007

My Daughter

My daughter is a chocolate fiend. During my shower, she pushed the barstool over to the counter and ate Nesquick WITH A SPOON. I assume that she felt it to be "uncivilized"- I also found a large water glass 1/3 full of Nesquick, and a clogged straw.

My daughter is a parcel.
My daughter is a photographer. I found 15 shots of this on my camera.

My daughter is very, very neat. This is her lunch.My daughter is the sweetest pumpkin in all the land.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The New Wonder Woman


For those of you who were around in the Spring, we planted potatoes this year in a garbage can-- Dad calls them my garbage potatoes. I drilled drainage holes, put about 8 inches of dirt in the bottom, and planted 5 seed potatoes (a mix of yukon gold and reds.) After the vines grew 12 inches, I covered all but the top inch with hay and kept adding more hay till they grew out the top of the barrel. When they all died back in the fall we dumped it out and harvested our "treasure." (Instructions are from Cisco the Gardener, found in the PI.)

As you can see it was a very scanty treasure, with some potatoes the size of marbles! I had doubts about doing the same thing next year, no matter that the cost was almost nothing since I already have the garbage can and lots of straw. I'd just need more dirt and some seed potatoes. But the TASTE..oh my, folks. These potatoes are incredible- I boiled them Monday evening, and the skins were tissue-paper thin and delicious, and the vegetable itself was buttery smooth and so POTATO tasting. No seasoning needed. I'm definitely doing this again, even if we only get one meal's worth. (Now that I've said this, everyone is going to ask why I didn't invite them over for our Monday meal :o)

Changes for next year, and for anyone else who wants to grow- I'm going to use more dirt. Maybe start with 12 inches to plant in, then cover the next 12-18 inches with dirt as well. I really like doing this in a garbage can because they're so easy to dig out in the fall, and you can dump the whole thing into a tarp, pick out the vegetables, and load the whole thing into the yard waste cart. I don't know how many more potatoes I'd get if I didn't use any straw. I don't think we'd get more than 2 feet of dirt populated with potatoes- they seemed to all be near the surface, anyway.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Folk Magic

I have a new weapon in my arsenal against the common cold: onion syrup. Basically, layer slices of one large onion with one cup sugar in a glass jar, cover, and leave on the counter 1-2 days until all the juice has been pulled out of the onion. Store the syrup in the fridge (recipe from Seattle PI). It's a mucus thinner- I may be just desperate and crazy, but after I give E a half teaspoon of this stuff I can hear her cough change. It has that "mucus is breaking up" kind of sound to it, where it didn't before. And it's just onion juice and what could half a teaspoon hurt? She likes the taste, too. Cold medicine has been banned for small children, and I always felt like it didn't help much to begin with (I want the cold OUT of her body, so stopping her runny nose won't help me.)

This can also be done with garlic or ginger. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is over- costume in the wash, candy sorted (sorry, no "fruit chews" for this baby!), and pumpkin lanterns packed away.

We decided E was well enough last night to bundle up and attend Grandma and Grandpa's trunk-or-treat. She's still sick, but getting better...which is an awkward stage. She's a little bit more cranky, because she'd LIKE to do a lot more now, but she's just too tired. That would make anyone cranky! But regardless, she had a blast at the party.

Oh, and you don't know how many sizes my heart swelled up last night when E drank ONE AND HALF glasses of milk when I went into check on her at 1:00. That's almost more than she'd drank in the previous two days combined.

Enjoy the photos!

"Think anyone will notice if I snag another piece?"

A beautiful "urban witch." Lookin' good, Bert!

Aunt LoLo and Co.