Wednesday, December 31, 2008
~Getting my Bachelor's degree
~Going on a 9 day cruise with Mike to the Western Caribbean to celebrate our graduation
~Vessel using the toilet (however, only to go "pee-pee", not "poops" yet)
~Buying a house we can call our own
~People here that I can truly call my friends
~Our trip to Canada
~Having family come visit us
~Mike having a job he enjoys and the financial security that comes with it
~Mike and I hitting 5 years of marriage and still going strong
~Experiences that were both spiritually and emotionally strengthening
Downs of 2008
~Our first apartment in MT
~Wasted time and unfinished projects
~The car accident (this deserves it's own post at a later time)
~Weight gain (tsk tsk)
~Not taking better care of myself physically and mentally
~Doubts (in several areas of my personal life)
~Periods of lonliness
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
~I love the dollar store. I can always find the coolest stuff there. I don't care if it's all made in China.
~You know something that bugs me? When people purposely put thoughts in my head about other people so as to distort my opinion of them. I should be able to make up my own opinion of that person without knowing all the horrible things they did to person #1.
~I bought some new plates and bowls recently because the first dinnerware set we ever owned (probably a wedding gift) has seen it's last days. Most of the plates have chips and cracks in them. But I don't want to throw them away. Does anyone know how I can recycle my plates? Does anyone have any good ideas on what I could make out of them?
~A few weeks ago we went in for TS with our bishop. When he gave us our records I saw that Mike and I have the same baptismal date! Just one more reason we're meant to be together I guess. :)
~I now have a freakin' sweet Christmas music collection thanks to my friend Rachel who hooked me up with the Beatles Christmas records, Dr. Demento, Mannheim Steamroller, A very German Techno Christmas, A very Japanese Trance Christmas, Celtic Christmas, and They Might Be Giants Holiday Land!
~I've said it before and I'll say it again: I HATE my thyroid. I really do. It costs about $200 smackers every time I need to get a vile of blood drawn. And our insurance won't cover it. How am I supposed to afford that every 4 weeks? $#%*! I hate that this seemingly little thing can wreak so much havoc in my body.
~One downfall to living here is that we don't find out about church related things until days or weeks after the fact. Take Elder Wirthlin's death for instance. Yeah, didn't know about it until this past Sunday. Back when we lived in "the Bubble" that kind of stuff would be all over the local news. And we used to be able to watch the Christmas devotional and Conference on regular television stations, but not here. :( Thank goodness for the internet.
~We decided to put our Christmas tree up the first of December. It's the earliest I think we've put our tree up. But I want to enjoy the Christmas season for as long as possible.
(this is our regular tree and our mini tree with the nativity scene and other decorative items.)
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Here I shake the hand of this random wooden statue that the store dressed in a Santa suit. And Mike cops a feel.
Rachel and I sit on "Nibbles" the dinosaur, a monumental statue in GF. Sorry it looks like I'm pulling a Michael Jackson in this picture. Didn't intend for it to look that way...
More pictures with "Nibbles" only this time Giordano gets involved and Rachel gives the little gal a drink. (p.s. I never get "red-eye" in pictures, so that's neat-o)
Mike seasoned the chicken and cooked it on the outside grill then cut it up into small peices.
Real gyros are typically made with lamb or beef, but chicken can work too. Add onions, tomatos and tzatziki sauce and you're done! That poo looking substance to the left is the hummus.
The pitas only take a few minutes to bake. It might be hard to tell from my picture, but they puff up like a balloon when they're done.
The great thing about them ballooning up like they do is that they make a little pocket perfect for stuffing food in!
3 cups bread flour*
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 1/4 cups room-temperature water
*You can substitute any amount of whole wheat flour for white flour, although the dough may require additional water to be soft and malleable.
Combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in large mixing bowl or heavy duty mixer. Add butter and water and mix by hand on low speed with mixer for about 1 minute. Knead or use dough hook on mixer (med. speed) for 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic (this is why I love my KitchenAid.) Add flour or water as needed. The dough should be slightly tacky but not sticky. Transfer dough to a glass bowl brushed with olive oil. Turn the dough over once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume (1 to 1 1/2 hours.) Punch dough down and divide it into 8 equal balls. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a lightly floured surface roll out each ball to a thin 8 inch round. You can bake these on a pizza stone or an upside-down baking sheet. Spray the stone or baking sheet with a mist of water, wait 30 seconds, then place as many rounds on the hearth as possible. Bake until dough puffs up like a balloon, which is about 3 minutes. Remove each bread to cool on a rack. Note: If you leave the breads in the oven too long, they will not deflate to flat disks.
Tzatziki-- (cucumber sauce for gyros)
2 cups plain yogurt
2 teaspoons pureed garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, grated (use large holes on grater)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt
For best results drain yogurt for 1 hour in a cheesecloth lined strainer. (We didn't do it because we were short on time) In a bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, pepper and salt. Sprinkle a little salt on grated cucumbers, drain for 10-15 minutes. Add drained cucumbers to the yogurt mixture then mix in olive oil and you're done!
2 cups canned chickpeas rinsed (or 3/4 cup dried chickpeas)*
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tablespoons tahini
2 garlic cloves finely minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
Sprinkling of hot or sweet paprika
Salt to taste
* If you use dry chickpeas, it takes a lot longer. You must pick over, rinse and soak. Then boil and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Too much work for me, but if you're into that sort of thing, don't let me stop ya.
Place chickpeas in a food processor and add the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and salt. Puree until smooth adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of warm water as needed to obtain a creamy consistency. Remove to a shallow serving bowl and garnish with olive oil, parsley and paprika.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Our week was a bit up and down. If you read my previous post you know that the boy child was sick for a few days. He was all better by Thanksgiving. But then I got sick the day after. Not the same kind of sick, luckily. Just a cold, and fortunately it has about run it's course and I am feeling better now.
Anyway, besides the illnesses the week went well. Wednesday we had a get together at our house with some new found friends. I made some homemade cheesy potato soup and rolls and Mike made some chicken kabobs. Our friends brought salad and beverages. It was a fun night and Mike was excited that he got to play his Risk 2210 A.D. game with a group of people (finally.) Smiles were had by all.
The next day was Thanksgiving, and somehow by some miracle we slept until 10 a.m. Well, the boy child DID wake up around 5:30 or 6:00 the first time, but we managed to get him to go back to sleep until 10. It was a leisurely morning. I was happy that we made all our Thanksgiving food the day before (pie, salad, cranberry relish.) The only thing I had to do was bake some rolls. Lesa, who invited us to her house made the rolls but needed us to bake them in our oven since hers was occupied by a turkey. I am thankful for John and Lesa for inviting us to their home for Thanksgiving so we wouldn't have to spend it alone. Although their entire family was there, we had a good time and it wasn't as awkward as I imagined. It was a pretty stress free holiday, which is more than I can say for the host. How are you holding up anyway, Lesa? Their family has a tradition of playing family bingo every year and so we participated in that and went away with some pretty awesome loot for prizes.
It was so nice to spend the rest of the weekend with Mike. I really love any time that he is home and the boy child loves it too. It actually hurts my feelings sometimes because if Mike is home, it's like I don't even exist to the boy child. :( He just loves his dad so much and loves hanging around with him doing "man" stuff, whatever that is.
Anyway, tomorrow is the start of a new week and a new month. I hope it's a great one!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
1) When I was a kid I had a fascination with egging things. I probably threw a couple hundred eggs off our deck onto the neighbor's patio and hot tub. One time when the urge to egg came on and I knew the 'rents were on to me, I went and egged my own bedroom window so they wouldn't suspect me. I'm pretty sure my bro Dave took the heat for that one.
2) When I was in the fourth grade I was pretty resistant to the idea of doing homework, and apparently my teacher thought that marching me to the library and calling my Mom every day would help in that process. Instead of just doing my homework like I should have, I ended up taking our phone off the hook every morning before I left for school so my teacher would just get a busy signal when she called. Yeah, she was pretty ticked.
3) I peed my pants in the fifth grade. It was the end of the day and everyone was reporting the number of pages they'd read over the previous month, and I really had to go. I wanted to just sit down and focus on holding it, but the pressure of standing up was just too much for me. I ended up peeing and then try to convince Dave on the way home that I had been playing in the snow and that's why my pants were wet. Wadayagonado.
4) When I was around nine years old I used to test out the saying that cats always land on their feet by tossing the neighbor's cats off our deck whenever they wandered into our yard. I discovered the saying only held true when I softly lobbed them off, but not when I totally chucked them straight down. Yeah, maybe I'm lucky I didn't grow up to be a serial killer, eh?
5) About a month after getting to the first area on the mish, I really had to duke it but my companion was in the shower so I ended up lining an office trash can with a Wal-Mart bag and took care of business. That event marked the official end to my self respect....
Ok, I'm thinking on that note I'll call it good. Don't judge me.
Friday, November 21, 2008
~But I can't because 1.) I have to type this post :) and 2.) I have to clean my house after I type this post.
~I am having my aunt over for dinner tonight, and I still don't know what I'm going to make.....
~I wish I didn't hate cooking so much. I think I will make Mike cook something on the grill tonight.
~I feel so blah today. Maybe if I took better care of myself I wouldn't feel so grotesque.
~Speaking of feeling so blah, I had a good, long, productive talk with Mike last night and we set some goals to get healthier. I love Mike. He's a great husband.
~We sent out our Thanksgiving cards last week. Yup, Mike won. No Christmas cards this year. So far we've gotten mixed responses to our card.
~I hate it when the weather is so dreary like this. Maybe my MIL is right. Maybe I'm already suffering from seasonal affective disorder. Or maybe it's something else....
~Yesterday Vessie went in for his 2 year check up. He was such a good boy and everyone loved his little fauxhawk. They decided to do a blood test to find out more about the alleged peanut allergy. He was so brave throughout the whole procedure. They stuck one arm and couldn't find the vein, so they had to stick his other arm too. Poor guy. I just held him and sang to him to try to keep his mind off of it. But I almost started crying too! He was such a sweet-heart and kept saying "hi" to all the nurses. They let him pick out some bandaids (which he LOVES) and a lollipop, so all was well in the end. I love that kid so much. :)
~Oh, by the way, it turns out that our kid is healthy. He is turning into a really lean boy though. He's not so chubs anymore. :( But when I think about it, I was a lean child, and I believe Mike always was too, so it's probably just genetic. I wish I was still lean.....
~So, this week someone told me I must be vain because of the car I drive. Whoa, pass the judgment pudding, please! If they only knew.....
~The 80's are really coming back strong. Even music lately sounds like it came straight out of the 80's era. Examples include Spiralling by Keane, Dawn of the Dead by Does it Offend You, Yeah?, Electric Feel by MGMT, just to name a few. It's fine by me. I LOVE 80's music. Check this out. Oh wait, this is better. Swwweeeeeet.
~That was just the jolt I needed. Now I must go clean. Faretheewell....
~I just realized I use "......" at the end of my sentences quite a bit, and I don't even know why....
Monday, November 10, 2008
So we've watched quite a few movies lately and since I don't have time to give a huge review for each of them I'll just give a few brief comments instead.
The Love Guru----Okay, normally I'm a fan of Mike Meyers. I used to be big into Austin Powers and stuff. But apparently something has changed inside of me and I have a hard time finding penis jokes funny anymore. I'd say there were more offensive things in this movie than truly funny things.
The Great Debaters----Mike and I really liked this movie. It was fairly clean and had a good story. I thought the acting was good. I felt like it brought out something good in me. I've used the word "good" too many times describing this movie, haven't I? It was just one of the better flicks I've seen lately.
Baby Mama----Seriously, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are really funny broads. The movie seemed to be inter-weaved with part funny and part serious moments. I thought there were some humorous scenes. Definitely not as crude as The Love Guru.
Iron Man----This had some good action and some humor. I thought Robert Downey Jr. was great for the part. I'm not big into action films, but I still enjoyed it.
The Eye----Typical scary/thriller flick. It was interesting though and now I'm curious to know if this kind of thing could really happen with an organ transplant. I liked this movie because even though it was kind of frightening, it had a happy ending. Not like some of the scary movies these days where you think it's over, but it's really not.... or it leaves you with a ton of unanswered questions. This movie had none of that.
The Other Boleyn Girl----This movie wasn't too bad. There was kind of an uncomfortable love scene there in the middle. And basically the movie was about trying to "bed" the king of England. So that's a plus, right? This was kind of a tragic film in so many ways.
You Don’t Mess with the Zohan----It's an Adam Sandler film, need I say more? I guess I'm just not into crude sexual humor lately. And there was quite a bit in this film. Too many disturbing things for me to really enjoy the funny parts. Lots of pelvic thrusting, bare bums, body part references, the list goes on and on. Too bad that producers think the only way to make movies funny these days is to talk about penises non-stop. (p.s. Dave Matthews had a small part in the movie, so that was a bonus.)
~Okay, so my thyroid sucks. Yes, that's right. I went to the doctor last week and had some blood drawn. Turns out my TS4 levels were high again. And I knew it. I could tell just from the way I'd been feeling. Anyway, my new doctor adjusted my prescription and we'll see if it helps. I sure hope so.
~On a related note, I feel like people generally know if there is something wrong with them. We live with our own bodies day in and day out. So it bugs me when someone comes along and tries to blame how I'm feeling on things like stress or sleep deprivation or other external factors. How would they know? I know my body and I can tell when my feeling like crap is a direct result of "external factors" or something else. Thanks for the advice though.
~Depression is a real thing. Anyone who disagrees or wants to argue that it's just a figment of a person's imagination apparently has never experienced first hand what depression is.
~I finally found my keys! Where were they you ask? In Vessel's toy box....
~I've decided that I want to live on a ranch someday and have a huge orchard. It would be sweet.
~I'm ashamed to say this...but I don't let others change very easily. I guess what I mean by that is that I expect people to always stay the same. Like if you tell me you feel or think a certain way, you better not ever change your mind, otherwise I'll just call you a fickle, contradicting, hypocrite. :) Okay, I'm really not that bad. It's just that lately I've had discussions with people and I have to silently ask, "Who are you? I don't even know you anymore" because they have changed their minds or outlooks on certain issues. I need to realize that people have experiences that can change the way they think and feel. It happens to me all the time. We are all changing, so I just need to let others live their lives.
~I feel like I have been maturing spiritually and emotionally lately. I think this is a very good thing.
~I just discovered that cloves and cinnamon are incredibly delicious in a cup of hot cocoa.
~I don't want this to come out the wrong way, but ever since moving to Montana I don't feel such a need to "keep up with the Joneses." Like if you're poor and don't have a nice house, car, boat, ATV, etc., you're usually not alone and nobody judges you for it. People here seem less materialistic and more concerned with other things. I don't feel like I have to compete so much here.
~On a side note related to that last one...I didn't mean that as a slight to any of my former SLC friends. :) Oh, and I wasn't calling any of my Montana friends poor, white trash either. Geez, I probably unintentionally offended everyone I know. Ha ha.
~You know what quality I find important in a friend? Brutal honesty. Come on, I can take it.
~Okay, so here's a question...Do you have to agree with EVERYTHING and EVERYONE in order to not be labeled a bigot? Just wondering....
~Sometimes I wish I was more cautious with my words.
Monday, November 3, 2008
(I think at this point she saw the drawing on the back that indicated what position to use the enema)
One of those things was this little treasure box. It rattled when I shook it so naturally I thought there might be a little Lego block in there or something.
But to my horror....
I found a human tooth inside! And it was not a kid's tooth either. It was an adult tooth with a huge filling in it. My sister and I were very GROSSED OUT!
We carved a pumpkin. This year we only carved one pumpkin that was given to Vessel. He most certainly DID NOT want to touch the pumpkin guts. That kid is so interesting to me. He really hates getting his hands dirty. He was more concerned with drawing. He desperately wanted to draw the face on it himself.
Here it is. Nothing fancy. Just your run of the mill generic jack-o-lantern face. Vessel LOVED it when it was lit up though.
We went trick-or-treating. But only to about 5 houses that we knew. Mike and I had fun taking him out this year!
Here he is standing in the Preston's corn.
Later, my sister and I rode bikes down to this crazy house that had a bajillion blow up Halloween decorations in the yard.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Vess thinks bugs are pretty freakin' cool. I tried to get some pics of them on the rocks. We also saw some deer! But no pics of the deer....just bugs.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
When Mike got home from work we let Vessel open his gifts. This year we didn't go all out with the toys. We got him some Lego blocks and a remote control dump truck to go with his other trucks. He was pretty content with both.
Vessel's nursery leader and her daughter (our dear friends) came over and presented Vessel with a pillow and blanket they made. There were cars on them so V was pretty excited!
After the gifts we just ate dinner and relaxed as a family. We didn't even have birthday cake!! (We were planning to celebrate with my family on Saturday and having a birthday cake then.)
However, Mike did make 2 beautiful loaves of banana bread, which we consumed like it was cake. Mmmmmmm! My husband is the greatest.
Vessel has brought so much laughter and joy in our lives. We are so happy that he is a part of our family. I really can't believe it's been 2 years since his birth! Happy birthday buddy!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Early birthday party for the boy child. Mike's mom was sweet and made a cake. The boy child was very into it. Anything chocolate is his kind of thing. He must be related to me.
More pictures can be viewed here.