Friday, July 24, 2009

Mmmm

Today I made a sandwich using our first green pepper and tomato from our garden. So delicious!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Den' Rozhdenia

As many of you know, Terral turned 27 on the 9th. That was also the day we left for our reunion at Pine Lake. Before we left, I surprised him with a gift. He opened it and was pleased to find a pair of flip-flops since he's been wanting some sandals besides his chacos.

We then went down to the basement to get what we needed to finish packing. Terral knew something was up because I wanted both of us to go. Lo and behold, a mysterious box had appeared! He opened it and found a rear wheel for his bicycle. (Last year someone stole the back wheel from his bike when it was chained to our front porch.) He is so happy to be back on the saddle. . . I mean seat. . . again! He put it together right away.

We finished strapping everything together and headed off for the lake. Terral made good use of his wheels while we were there. Chayse had fun riding around on the bike, and my family got to see Terral on his unicycle for the first time. Somehow I didn't get any pictures of Terral on his bike in the mountains.




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Terral said his birthday was the longest he'd ever had. We had a nice dinner with some of his family before we left, we camped for 3 days, we had a big dinner with his whole family when we got back, we saw Harry Potter, and I made him a pie. It was all really spread out, so we ended up celebrating for about two weeks. We sure had a good time!

С Днем Рождения дорогой мой! (Хотя и поздно) Я тебя очень люблю!

Why I Love My Husband, Part I

Have you ever seen the inner child come out in a man?

Last night I was folding laundry right before bed. I gathered up a pile of towels, etc. and asked Terral to take them to the kitchen and set them on the stool and I would take care of them later. As he made his way through the livingroom, I heard him mumbling. Thinking he was trying to tell me something, I moved to the doorway so I could hear over the fan. I saw my 6'2'' husband shuffle-dancing across the livingroom floor half singing, half chanting to himself "stool stool stool stool". Oh, if only I could show you what a picture he made!

Why do I love my husband? He makes me giggle.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Into the Woods

I need to catch up on a few things, and it's probably going to be in reverse order. So you get to hear about our excursion to Pine Lake first! (Aren't you lucky?)

My side of the family is big enough that we now have annual organized reunions. This year it was Mike & Diane's turn to plan, and they found a nice camping place here in the southern part of the state. Most everyone got there on Wednesday the 8th, but we came on the 9th because of work, cherries, and Terral's birthday . The second we drove up the kids were competing for our attention. It was kinda fun. : ) Some of the older kids told us about there presentation they were planning and asked us if we wanted tickets (admission for kids was free--but so were our tickets). Some of the younger kids greeted us with dirty faces and promptly began using me as an extreme back-country road.

We had so much fun with everyone! We played horse shoes,


Miriam, Alyssa, Braelyn, and Bryant treated us to a wildlife presentation,


and we went on an awesome nature scavenger hunt that Diane organized. Terral and I had Braelyn, Allysa, and Mimi in our group.

Later we went on a little adventure with some of the kids. Our goal was to catch some frogs, but since they were too fast for us, mostly we ended up just playing in the water by the lake.

The fearless explorers!

Fun at the Lake

Mom and dad were able to relax. We had a nice big area for family gatherings where there was plenty of shade.


Our last day the boys and girls took separate four-wheeler trips to Powell Point. It was quite the adventure! There is a significant elevation change from camp to the trail head, and it got quite chilly. A storm came in and we got rained on! None of us had a jacket, but luckily I had brought a blanket for mom to sit on. Diane, Lynae, Rachel, and I ran part of the trail in an attempt to get warm and see some more views. We had a funny mix-up while running. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of that part of our excursion.


Okay, we're almost done. Here are a few more pictures, just because I like them and I want to share. Doesn't Kayley have such cute big blue eyes?


And I will end with two clips of Henry and Ryan. Henry was having fun playing with the other kids and showing us all how big he is now. And I just had to record Ryan's favorite thing to say. (Diane said they watched Robin Hood on the way to camp.)
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cherries

We successfully added 9 quarts of cherries to our store, along with 2 pints and a quart of cherry jam (I was out of little bottles), and a few ounces of dried cherries. Yum!



And where, you ask, did we get these cherries? From our front yard! This year just happened to be an awesome year for cherry trees, and there is a big beautiful tree right off our front porch. Our landlord was so good to let us pick them.


I kept losing Terral as we picked the cherries. I knew he was there--I could hear him rustling around. But I had a hard time finding him sometimes. He was playing spy in his camo shorts.

I caught him in this shot.

This one's even better.
Don't the cherries look wonderful? I almost felt like I was in an enchanted world.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Don't Mess With My Garden

I am a Bug Slayer. At least my husband thinks I am. Last year he was surprised at the ferocity I suddenly showed when I found some bugs eating MY VEGETABLES. I still surprise him at times. Like tonight. I was inspecting our poor spinach plants when I spied a grasshopper calmly munching away. Not wanting to let it get away, I quickly reached out and squished the fat insect with my fingers. Yes, it was gross. But I learned at a young age some evils have to be dealt with even when it's unpleasant.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Milestone

This summer is the first that I have taken private voice lessons. It's been really good for me. We are having two-hour sessions, and I've been much more relaxed and focused than I ever was during the school year. As a consequence, I've made quite a bit of progress. It's been rather exciting for me! Prof. Modesitt has helped me to let go of a lot of tension, and my range has expanded. In my lesson on Tuesday, she took me up to an f''' (2 1/2 8va above middle C) during warm-ups. I never thought that would happen! It was fun finding out what I can do.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Love/Hate Relationship

Terral and I love learning new things and becoming self-sufficient. We began bottling last year as we harvested our first garden. My very first project was zucchini relish, which was a recipe Grandma H. shared with me. We also bottled pickles, jalapenos, tomato sauce, salsa (which has bragging rights as being the only salsa Bridger likes), and borsh.

This year we got to add apricot jam to the list. We were so excited when Dad told us Uncle Kevin invited us to Ivins to pick some apricots from his in-laws' trees! We had decided quite a while ago that an apricot tree will be among the first things we'll plant when we get a home of our own (yes, I like them better than peaches), so we felt like this would be a little pre-taste of the joys of that wonderful fruit.

We had fun picking them.

Then we hauled our precious cargo home with thoughts of yummy jam and fruit leather whirling in our heads. I spent all day Monday preparing the fruit. It had been a couple days, so I had to sort out the good apricots from the not-so-good. When I was done with that I had 25 lbs of raw apricots in my big metal bowl. (Actually, the bowl is my friend Kristin's. I really need to get one of those.) I added the sugar and lemon juice and let it sit as the recipe instructed. I needed to cook the apricots, but I didn't have any pots big enough, so I went to Walmart. I was torn about my purchase because the only pot we could afford was made of thin metal, and I was sure it would scald. But it was on sale, and I thought that if I stirred it enough, it might be okay.

To make a long story short, I tried really hard, but despite my best stirring efforts and the sacrifice of my hands to the boiling gooeyness, it burned. And not only did it burn inside the pot, it boiled over at one point and burned on the stove as well. I was uber bummed. (Terral can attest to that.)

And after all of that, the jam was still soupy! So I gave up. I put the goo back in the big metal bowl, and I made four pints of cherry pie filling instead.

It was surprisingly easy! (. . . as pie . . .hee . . . hee . . . )



The next morning we assessed the damage. The pot seemed to be a loss, and I didn't know how we were ever going to get the stuff off the stove without scraping the paint of as well. At this point I will remind you that we are renting.

Here is a picture of the stove after vigorous efforts to clean it.


Thankfully, my aforementioned friend Kristin came to the rescue with some miracle cleaner when I told her my woes. The stove is now back to normal. The pot is so-so.

We tried again. We ended up with 14 pints and 12 8 oz. bottles of burnt apricot jam.

I figure it's almost the same as burnt almond fudge. Terral affectionately calls it "smoked".

Saturday, July 4, 2009

God's Timpani

I knew Heavenly Father liked music, I just didn't know He liked the drums so much.

I am almost certain He was playing a giant timpani this morning at about 2 a.m. Terral and I awoke with gasps to the tremendous sound. We lay there in awe with hearts beating as the sound rolled in through the open window and drowned out our puny fan.

This was the second time in just a couple days that we had heard the timpani. Some say it was just thunder, but I know better. You could hear the individual strikes of the mallets. Heavenly Father just surrounded His playing with lots of regular thunder so as to disguise His hobby.

I tried to capture the sound on my little camera, but the subsequent thunderings were not near as majestic, and the technology did a woeful injustice in the recording. Thus, I am left only with the memory of the enveloping reverberations.