Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints





We went to General Conference for the first time this year! We got to attend 2 sessions, plus Travis got to go to the Priesthood session. What an amazing General Conference! We had such a great experience!
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Friday, September 25, 2009

Ty's bat face

Ty fell asleep on the couch "reading" a book...

Monday, September 21, 2009

I was questioning a decision that I made today. I had to decide whether to stay home and "take care of" my sick 17 year old daughter, or go to take care of a Church responsibility. Well, I decided that the other thing could be done without me there, but no one could take my place taking care of my daughter. Yes, she's 17. But, in 8 months she'll be leaving for college, and when she gets sick, I won't be able to be there. Now, I can. Still, I felt bad "shirking" my other plans. Then I came across this video someone posted on facebook. What comfort it gave me that I'd made the right decision.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

72 hour kit drill

Last night my family did a "72 hour kit drill". We told the kids we needed to evacuate in 10 minutes. We grabbed our kits, sleeping bags, etc. and left for Apollo park to have dinner from our kits. We learned A LOT! First we learned we didn't have utensils in our kit. Oops. Then we learned that much of the food expired a year ago. Oops again! Also, a lot of the food I'd picked for shelf life and for the fact that I thought it would be palatable hot or cold, didn't blend well together when combined as a meal. I guess if we were starving it would be fine. But I think we're going to switch to MRE's. May not taste great, but there will be a longer shelf life at least. If anyone has any suggestions for what the best MRE's are, let me know! Has anyone tried the "bucket o' MRE's" from Costco? Okay, that's not what they call it.
So... what are the pictures all about? Apollo park is located right next to Fox Airfield and we got to watch water dropping helicopters and airplanes take off and land the whole time we were there. Since they're saying it will be 2 weeks before the fire's contained, we may go out another evening and try to get better pictures.

Don't they look thrilled? Actually, we had fun, you just can't tell here...
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Station Fire

Here's an interesting time lapsed video of the Station Fire as seen from LA. We've been getting a lot of the smoke in the AV.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Conner's first court of honor

Conner had his first court of honor last night! Travis got a badge for attending Scout camp as a leader, and Conner got... drum roll please... 3 rank advancements, tenderfoot, 2nd class, and first class, and 13 merit badges including 4 eagle required! He and his leaders worked very hard this summer. If he keeps up the pace he'll be an eagle scout at 13!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Mormon night at Dodger Stadium

We had a great time at Mormon Night at dodger stadium. Of course, no one brought a camera. Don't think that's ever happened! But it was fun to see M. Russell Ballard throw out the first pitch. We had tickets in the All You Can Eat Pavilion. I had heard the seats were bad but we loved them! We were only 3 rows up from the field and yes, we were out in right field, but we could see great, and players kept throwing their warm up balls out the fans, and there was the constant danger of home run balls hitting you on the head, so that was fun! We definitely got our money's worth! Tickets were $25 each, and those seats are usually $15 without the food. Dodger stadium food is EXPENSIVE. There were 8 of us (us and my mom), and we ate... drumroll, please... 15 dodger dogs, 12 nachos, 6 bags of popcorn, 7 bags of peanuts, 11 bottles of water, and 13 sodas! If you figure everything cost an average of $4 each, which is low I think, we consumed $256 worth of dodger snacks. What a bargain! To top it off we went to get nachos for Preston at the top of the 7th, (they only serve food through the 7th inning), and they were piling all the hot dogs on the counter and the lady gave us a big stack and said "Here... bring these home"! We ended up bringing 16 hot dogs home! Guess what my kids had for breakfast today? Is there such thing as nitrate poisoning? How about sodium poisoning? Anyway... it was a fun night. Too bad we left early with the Dodgers behind, (We had to drive about an hour and a half home, then Travis had to get up at 4 to drive back to LA for work), and we missed the grand slam that won them the game. Just our luck...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Ty and his cousins

This was after Gammy's funeral, and the boy cousins all ended up playing in the water in the backyard. Ty loved being in control of the hose.
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Jason and Christie

It may not have been under the best of circumstances, but we still loved being able to see Jason and Christie when they came for a week for Gammy's funeral. We miss them!
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Love this quote...

"There is a great work for the Saints to do. Progress and improve upon and make beautiful everything around you. Cultivate the earth, and cultivate your minds. Build cities, adorn your habitations, make gardens, orchards and vineyards, and render the earth so pleasant that when you look upon your labors you may do so with pleasure, and that angels may delight to come and visit your beautiful locations." - Brigham Young
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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Microwave Lemon Curd

A few years ago I discovered "Microwave Lemon Curd". Lemon curd in the grocery store is kind of pricey, and regular lemon curd made on a double boiler is pretty time consuming. This technique makes absolutely delicious lemon curd in just a few minutes. I used it to make "Country Cake with Lemon Curd, Cream and Berries" from the Sisters' Cafe Blog. ( http://sisterscafe.blogspot.com/2008/04/country-berry-cake-with-berries-and.html ) Although, I added an extra layer of lemon curd under the whipped cream. It was heavenly, and I have lemon curd left over for biscuits, to stir into Greek Yogurt, to fill cupcakes... the possibilities are endless!

Microwave Lemon Curd

1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Whisk all ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute on high. Whisk well, microwave for a total of 3-4 minutes, whisking well every 30 seconds, until the curd becomes thick. Let cool, and refrigerate.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Apricot Jam

Well, after picking 29 pounds of apricots off the tree in my yard I had no choice but to make jam! And, man... is it good! I'm not writing a food column for the newspaper anymore, but I had such an urge to take a picture and share the recipe! A friend of mine had said she'd like me to put recipes on my blog since she misses my column, so maybe I'll do this occasionally.
This recipe calls for Apricot "Almonds", the little almond like seed inside the pit when you crack them open. They DO have a little natural occuring cyanide in them, just like apple seeds, but you'd need to eat pounds of them to do you harm. These "almonds" are what is used to make almond extract actually. Not only do they impart an almond flavor, but supposedly they help set the jam, and they also have a high concentration of vitamin B-17, B-15, and laetrile which some claim can treat cancer (some say that's a quack treatment, what do I know?) Anyway, a couple in your jam jar won't hurt you.
Also, you'll want to scrape the foam off the top of the jam while it cooks. If you put it in a jar or glass and let it settle overnight, there will be apricot syrup that settles in the bottom. Scrape the remaining foam off the syrup, and it is absolutely heavenly on top of pancakes! It's like the reward for the person who did all the work on the jam!
Apricot Jam
4 and 1/2 pounds apricots
1/2 cup water
7 cups sugar

Wash, stone and chop the apricots, retaining 1/3 of the stones. Place fruit into a large pan.Crack the stones and add the kernels to the pan along with the water.Boil until soft.Add sugar and return to the boil, stirring constantly. Boil until thickened about 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently. Carefully pour into hot, sterilized jars. Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp paper towel to remove any jam. Top with a lid that has been softening in warm water, and screw on the jar ring. Turn jars upside down and cool. When turned upright the lid should be indented or stay indented when you push it down.
Notes: Don't omit the kernels from this recipe. They help the jam to set.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Breakfast after Graduation

Lately people ask a lot if Paige and Madison are twins.

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Madison's 8th grade graduation

Okay, I've gotta brag... Valedictorian (4.0 all 4 semesters including Spanish 2 years, Algebra, Geometry, Advanced English, etc.), a special science award, Presidential Education Award, CJSF award, and going into high school pre-IB, with IB Spanish, Algebra 2, among the courses. She's such a smarty! And gorgeous too!
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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Take your child to work day

Travis took Madison, Conner, and Preston to work with him for "take your child to work day". (Paige had a test at school that day, so she couldn't miss). This was up on a mountaintop. I still don't really know what he does exactly, but maybe the kids have a better idea now.
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