Monday, March 31, 2008

A Really Big Deal (For Us)

So it's not earth-shaking, but I just ordered a new camera. I'm the person who spends at LEAST two months debating whether or not I should purchase Chap Stick, and after 3 days of dallying the camera has been ordered! Of course, it helps that is was for a great price, it's the same model as my dad's (so we know it works), and when I e-mailed J this afternoon to see if I should order it (complete with specs, pros, and cons) he simply wrote back "Do it!"

Point taken.

So, hopefully in a few weeks we should be back to pictures of Ernies, pictures of BBJs, pictures of crafts...and just pictures, all taken with a flash.

That, and I've never liked our current camera.

Friday, March 28, 2008

And she eats!

It seems that my life revolves around food these days. Eating, planning the next meal, getting full, getting hungry (about 15 minutes apart sometimes), coordinating leftovers into something my family can accept with good grace... so on that note, here are some recent shots of what we've been eating around here.

This following photo is Ernie eating an Otis Spunkmeyer cookie. If you could have seen a "before" shot, they're gorgeous- huge, round, light brown, and speckled with huge chocolate chips. They smell heavenly, and taste like corn syrup. Can you tell I purchased the dough just for those occasions when I have 20 minutes to get the house ready to show, and need it to smell nice (or nicer than last night's onion and garlic curry.) Ernie heartily approves though.
This next one is a snack I read about last night- basically, it's balls of rice, salted and wrapped in strips of dried seaweed (nori.) You can put a dab of filling inside, but I didn't- I think they'd be better if I had. They need some sort of chewiness, although the super crisp nori is great when you first put it on. Can you tell I'm really into food texture right now? Ernie loved them, especially the nori. She ate all my scraps, and then peeled the seaweed off the balls of rice I gave her and ate that, too! I think they're cute, like little tuxedo dumplings.

Ernie really likes the nori! Please ignore the dishes in the background- I say it doesn't count as a dirty kitchen if they're clean dishes!


Monday, March 17, 2008

Costco

I wonder...what did you buy last time you were at Costco? Our Bishop recently re-warned us against over spending, and the First Presidency has sent out a letter regarding debt. (If you haven't heard it over the pulpit yet, you will soon.) Part of our Bishop's remarks focused on two "Syndromes": The Fry's Syndrome and the Costco Syndrome.

Fry's Syndrome: Going out to purchase something, and trading up to something more expensive and "Better". More features? More power? It must be better! (Never mind the fact he spent $60 extra on a DVD player that can RECORD, and still hasn't learned how to set the clock, let alone record anything.) Ask yourself: Is a smaller item sufficient for my needs?

Costco Syndrome: Purchasing things you never knew you needed until you saw it on the shelf.

We go to Costco to save money on our milk, eggs, bread, and cheese. We leave with deck furniture, baby clothes, and imported Swiss and mangoes. Huh?

Today I went to Costco and bought:
Corned Beef
10 pounds of red potatoes
Cheddar cheese
Non-fat milk
Tikka Masala sauce
Honey Nut cheerios

What did YOU buy at Costco last time you were there? Did you plan to buy all of it? Is it a problem in your house, or are you completely within budget?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I wonder...

I have a new "I wonder." If I pay $16.95 for a Desert King fig tree, just how small is that tree going to be?

My mother has a fig tree in her garden, and I've known for years that whenever I got the chance I would plant a fig tree in our yard. And a dwarf strawberry tree. And lavender. And garlic. And...yeah, it's a good thing we're going to have a big yard! I found a small, organic, nursery in Oregon and planned to pay a visit after the move was over but I don't think they'll have much left by then! So, my Desert King fig tree and my Triple Crown Thornless blackberry start should arrive April 15th and with any luck we'll be able to harvest next year! If the description is correct, we should be able to harvest a LOT. One Triple Crown plant can produce up to 30 pounds of large blackberries! Ernie is going to be over the moon. Everybody come to our house, we're going to have blackberry cobbler for Christmas!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Greener Choice

While browsing through one of my favorite informational websites, www.consumerreports.org, I came across a button for a new website from the CR family, www.greenerchoices.org

It looks like a great website, with reliable information such as how to reduce household exposure to chemicals, reviews on bamboo towels, information on "organic" produce, etc. Go check it out!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Girls Play!

So we have a new development around here with Ernie and her cousin BBJ- as of a week ago, they play together! They can now spend up to an hour getting into mischief, sharing snacks and drinks, playing "Boo", and being nice. It's amazing, and just in time for us all to scatter through the country. When they're tired, we get to see the old cousins- shrieking at the top of their lungs, temper tantrums on the floor, walking by and knocking each other over, stealing toys, etc. But that happy hour is magical- I've actually seen a tear come to Aunt LoLo's eyes as she watches our daughters play together.

I'm sorry the photos are blurry- my camera seems to be on its last legs and the flash no longer works. Makes for very blurry baby shots! Please excuse Ernie's lack of clothes- she had a very scary accident during that afternoon. With everything in the house moved around she's getting lots of new ideas about exploring and what's fun to do. She decided to empty all the board games she could reach off a bookshelf in the basement during a piano lesson, then climb up one shelf to get the last ones. The shelf she was hanging on to came off its pegs, she lost her balance, and the whole thing came down on top of her. My parents were here helping me pack, and Dad went down first. She had cried once, and was silent when he came down the stairs. She was completely freaked out, as were both my parents. Dad thought she had died, I thought she might have lost an eye because of where she was bleeding, Mom just saw the blood. It was chaos for the next couple minutes as I tried to calm her, clean and look at her eye, ice the bump on the back of her head, explain to my piano student why we were all rushing around with a screaming and bleeding baby, and Dad emptied every book shelf in the house and took them to Goodwill. Mom tried to take Ernie, but she wouldn't leave me. They were super cheap bookshelves- $15 from an office store, with cardboard backing. We'd always had them anchored, blocked so they couldn't fall all the way to the floor, or behind a locked door. But she escaped with a cut over her eye (visible in one of the pictures), a bump on the back of her head, and a dented "Cranium Collector's Edition" steel box lid that broke her head's fall (she'd already taken that game apart and spread the cards all around.) And now when she wants candy, she says "Owwwie" and rubs her eye, then looks at me expectantly. And each time I explain that she has an owie because she climbed a bookcase, and we don't climb bookcases. So, she has no pants because they were soaking in the sink and she didn't want to put any on.

Does anybody else begin to see the familial resemblance between these two sweet girls? Besides the obvious fact that they have different fathers, their mothers are almost genetically identical.

One more!!


Two for me!



I'll have two, too, please!


















You mean we don't get any more?





They must have just meant no more for you, 'cuz you're so small...Dejection.

Are we really moving?

It still hasn't hit me that we are actually moving. Watching the yard sign being installed this afternoon almost did it, though. Can anyone tell me why they put it in the middle of my lawn, rather than in the bark? I hope grass seed sprouts quick in March, because my lawn looks pretty bad right now!

It's so odd to live in a staged and partially packed house. Our real estate agent is incredible, and tireless. Ruthless too- all of our hand soap is hidden, toys are hidden, and counter tops are off limits for anything besides her approved decorations of faux fruit, pottery, and wicker baskets of all shapes. I've loved our time in this house, but it doesn't feel like ours any more. Hope it sells quickly! We're ready to go to the "Big House" (Ernie's name for our new house- actually she just puts her hands about a foot apart. It's "big.")