Saturday, January 29, 2011

Go Wild-Ducks?

This morning we went to watch the Weber State Wildcats take on the Oregon Ducks in tennis. As devoted Wildcats and Ducks we were a little torn on what to wear. Rocky went full-fledged Duck but Daisy and I decided to go half and half. I wore a Weber shirt and a green jacket and she had her O with purple pants. Brandon was unwilling to make a commitment and went neutral with his Sasquatch shirt. Really, how can you go wrong with Sasquatch?

On our way out Rocky insisted that she and Daisy sit. She pointed at me and ordered, "Take me a picture."

Watch Your Fingers!

I've been trying to get a good picture of the chaos that is Daisy's mouth. I can't decide if she looks more like a hillbilly or a hockey player.

Pajama Jam

For the past several weeks the big news in the Spanish branch was the pajama party. It was announced a couple times before every meeting and each time it was emphasized that yes, we really are wearing pajamas. It was always mentioned that we weren't going to eat, but we were going to breakfast.
The way these announcements were made and received made it seem that it was believed that this novel idea had never been conceived of before, and if anyone had ever thought of it, certainly nobody had ever had the guts to actually go through with it.
Well, I'm happy to announce that not only did we dare, we totally rocked it.
I will admit that I had my doubts at first, but when I walked in the door and saw the unbelievable spread of food, I knew that we were going to P.J. party better than anyone had P.J. partied before. We ate and ate, then we played the "What If" game which reminds me of many fond memories at slumber parties when I was 12.

Rocky picked her outfit herself and Daisy looked ravishing in this 2010 Carters original.

How else could the night end except by the reading of bedtime stories.

I'm not sure that everyone is ready to make it a yearly event, but personally, I would call the whole thing a great success.
I wonder what crazy idea will be the theme of our next party.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Say Cheese

This picture is a little old, but when I found it I couldn't help but smile.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sing It Like You Mean It

This morning Rocky was walking around the house with the her Primary songbook singing her own versions of Queen songs. She belted out "We will, we will, Rocky you," and "We are the campus, we are the campus."
Times must be changing because I don't remember singing any Queen songs in Primary.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sunny Day, Keepin' the Clouds Away

Sorry to everyone who is suffering from huge snowstorms. Maybe you should move to Eugene. You'll forget about the months of rain when you finally get a day like this one.

When I told Rocky that we were going to be watching President Obama for a LONG time she wasn't that thrilled. But, as the crowd got cheering she perked up. I'm not that sure that she is that interested in the State of the Union, but she knows how to act in a crowd. She put her hands up in in the Oregon O and yelled, "Oooohh". She didn't say her usual second part, "Go Ducks," so I can only assume that this O was for Obama.

Monday, January 24, 2011

How to Fight Boredom and Hunger

"The only thing worse than a wife who can cook and doesn't is a wife who can't cook and does."
-Richard Stucky

At a playgroup the other day while the kids were busy beating each other up and the mom's were all too busy chatting to notice we got on the subject of dreams. I thought it was interesting that several of us had similar types of nightmares.
I always have this dream that I'm a college student and midway through the semester I realize that for some unknown reason I haven't attended my math class for weeks and I have to take the midterm without any preparation. I also have one over and over that it is the first day of school and I cannot get my schedule. I run all over campus trying to find a computer so I can figure out where my next class is, only to find that for some reason none of them are working.
I usually don't tell anyone about these kinds of dreams because I think they are incredibly nerdy. But, to my surprise, it turned out that my friends are having the same dreams. Then I took it to another level and did a bunch of research, that is to say, I Googled it, which basically makes me an expert. Apparently school dreams are in the top 10 most common dreams.
The popular interpretation has something to do with maturity...that is to say that as a person gets more mature they look back on their old student days and feel that they could have done better and their dream is a reflection of those frustrations...blah, blah, blah.
I stopped reading because I think that idea is lame-o.
I know that I'm having these dreams because I've had a whole life of school-related stress and now that I'm not a student my brain senses there is a hole. The student part of my personality is bored and waving to her husband as he heads to school every morning (that is I would wave if I wasn't still in bed trying to find a computer to print my schedule.)
Of course, my interpretation is correct so in order to combat this I've taken it upon myself to studying new things at home. One of these is to learn how to cook. I've been working on it for a couple of years now and I'm getting to the point where once in awhile, things turn out.

A few things that I have learned along the way are:
1- The best results don't always come from the most complicated recipes.

This pumpkin roll is as fantastic as it is easy.

2- If you are going to learn how to cook make sure you have a frugal husband like mine that will eat all the leftovers whether they taste good or not. (Not only that, he also changes diapers, and he looks good wearing P.J. pants on his head. I'm pretty sure I hit the jackpot.)

3- Some things that look beautiful don't taste that good and a lot of things that look ugly taste really, really good.

4- Don't try a new recipe for a potluck. If it is a success, you probably won't really even get to try it, and if it is a failure you'll be embarrassed to take it all back home for your husband to take for lunch for the next two weeks. Note: No picture was taken of any potluck dishes because as earlier noted, I'm pot-un-lucky and I don't need any permanent visual reminders.

5- Kicking your ancient student-housing oven doesn't make it bake more consistently, and neither does calling maintenance to fix it. Calling the oven names doesn't change the temperature but it does make you feel better, especially when your kid joins in.

The stuffed acorn squash was perfect if you think it is cool to have half of them overcooked and the other half raw. How does that even happen?

6- Even though it takes three days...I'm not make Martha Stewart's Lemon Berry Trifle, it is worth every second.

7- When in doubt, throw in some pasta.

8. Jamie Oliver is not only "The Naked Chef" but his books are an amazing resource for a DIY learn to cook at home without any sort of professional guidance. His advice is helping me get over my fear of meats. Don't look vegetarians.

9- Probably if the recipe says something about using a quality roasting pan you should get one instead of thinking that your cheap-re-gift will work because it is a lovely shade of green.

10- A bundt pan can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

This was my grandma's poppyseed bread recipe. It tasted great anyway.
When we were first married I insisted that even though our first kitchen didn't even have room for dishes that we had to buy a bundt pan. Brandon thought it was ridiculous so I've spent the last few years trying to convince him that it is worth the space it takes up. Not since the 60s has their been such an enthusiastic bundt-er. Actually, because you know that I always research I will let you know that Wikipedia says that there have been 50 million sold and it is still the most-sold pan in the United States. Even though the bundt and I have gone through some tough times together, I still consider it my favorite pan...don't tell the spring-form.

Special Props to my two favorite hungry mouths. Rocky tried everything at least once and Daisy, despite her shortage of teeth, showed a great willingness to experiment.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I finished my first afghan after messing up and pulling it apart about 6,000 times. I mostly worked on it while we were in Utah for the holiday, but I have proven to myself that I am not good at multitasking. The pattern actually looks much harder than it is to make. As soon as I was home alone without distractions I didn't have a single problem.
Rocky and Daisy did their best to make sure that I learned that I should never leave an untied end. You know that song that says, "If you want to destroy my sweater, pull this thread..." well apparently that works on blankets too.

I'm guessing that it will probably take less time to ruin than it took to make because kids and cream-colored anything don't go together well. If by some miracle this afghan makes it through her childhood I will give it to Daisy when she grows up because she absolutely adores it. While I was working on it she would follow me around and try to nuzzle her face in the yarn. Now she finally gets her chance with it.

You can tell that this picture was taken at least 3 weeks ago because she still only has one tooth. Now she's got 6 that are popping through.

Rocky's newest interest is photography.

I thought that old camera had taken a beating after it made it through a semester in Hawaii, a summer in Alaska, a road trip across the U.S. and an entire mission in Boston, but it has met it's match with the Rock Star. I still have a whole bunch of film but I don't even think you can develop it anymore.

After she made this pouty face I gave in and let her take a few pictures with my digital camera.

I think I may have secretly been hoping that she would break it. I really love that little camera but about a year ago a dropped it and broke the the lens. Notice I said that I dropped it even though I sometimes tell people it was Rocky. Let the record be clear, it was me. In my defense, however, in the moment it was to either drop the camera or drop the kid so in a way I still don't think I'm completely culpable. It is broken in the way that it still works too well to get a new one, but bad enough that it sometimes is a pain. During her time with the digital Rocky was so careful that it didn't even get a scratch.
She was pretty serious about her photos. She has learned a lot about true artwork on our trips to Portland.
The critics are pretty impressed with the work she's done, especially for her age. For example, some have called this self-portrait entitled Double Chin #2, "Stunningly introspective," and "Horrifying yet strangely beautiful."

As her skills have improved she has moved on to other subjects. These next two are from a series that she calls, "Old Lady and Kid."

We are hoping that her skills will bring her fame and fortune. At least enough to get an interview on NPR.

In the meantime Brandon is making sure she has access to important music videos so that she can develop a finely tuned musical palette. If you look closely I think you can see David Bowie wearing an eye patch.

A Sad Big Game and a Cheer Up Picture

It has been long enough for the National Championship wound to lose its sting, so that I can feel good about posting some pictures. We had a lot of fun all season watching the Ducks rock the college football world. Even though it was a heartbreaker of a game for those of us in Eugene, we still love our ducks.
In order to prepare for the game we decorated sugar cookies.

I told Rocky that if she ate too much frosting she might not fit in her muscle shirt anymore. Actually that shirt is really a onesie for a 6 month old baby. I didn't have any U of O stuff for Rocky to wear so I though I'd give it a try. I obviously couldn't button the snaps, but the tails just tucked into her pants and she looked absolutely adorable. I don't know if that story makes me feel more like a really good mom, or a really bad one.
When Brandon walked in and saw Rocky he turned around and went out to buy her something a little more appropriate.

We got all dressed up to go watch the game with the students but due to a little bit of confusion we ended up in the wrong place. The old arena was packed to the brim with drunk and wild 18 and 19 year olds but we were in complete luxury in the almost completely empty new arena. The Matt court staff was nice enough to let us stick around and enjoy the gigantic megatron with them. We also got an up-close-and-personal tour of the beautiful new arena.
The court is really unique with the forest of trees surrounding the edges.

By halftime the girls were bored and we decided to head back and watch the rest of the game with some buddies at the community center in our complex. The final moments of hope were invigorating, but the end was devastating.

The melancholy in the streets was palpable and I was reminded of the famous lines:
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out.

In order to cheer disappointed duck fans Daisy has finally agreed to let us all get a look at her hillbilly teeth. It is good that she is so darn cute because otherwise these chompers could frighten even the bravest of playground children. If you aren't convinced they are scary by the look of them, just go ahead and stick your finger in there and see what happens.

In other fun news, we had a blast while Caleb and Becky were visiting. Becky promised me that she'd get me the pictures that she took on her camera because this is the only one I have.
We laughed our heads off watching Wipe Out, made ice cream, got soaked on the coast, toured campus and the local malls...(Caleb's idea, I'm not joking) and had an all-around great time. Rocky and Daisy loved swimming at their hotel and may or may not have been the reason that the pool was closed the next day. Rocky keeps asking where they are and hoping that Becky will come back and keep doing cute things with her hair.