Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday Activities

We're gettin' in the spirit of the Christmas Season around here. The presents are wrapped and stashed....Kate, don't bother snooping around. The house...well, I'd like it to be clean and sparkly, but it's mostly cluttered with boots and dripping scarves that got left outside overnight, tied to the sled. (Ask Wade and Isaac, I have no idea why Isaac's scarf was tied to Wade's sled). And the kitchen floor is sticky from all the sucker-making we've done in the past few days! For our neighborhood gifts, we make suckers. Usually we just do the basic flavors, you know, cherry, cinnamon, butterscotch, bubble gum, peppermint....but after about 200 suckers, Dennis and Kate started getting bored of the basic flavors. Kate suggested chocolate. I was skeptical...not of the flavor, mind you, but of how the chocolate syrup would change the consistency of the hot sugar mixture. But Dennis and Kate begged and whined until I relented, as usual. Here is a photo story of our adventure!

Here I am cooking the chocolate suckers. I look extra short and extra fat because I'm sort of leaning down.... (that's my excuse, anyway...)

Here is the chocolate syrup...waiting....

Here's me and Dennis kissing while we wait for the suckers to cook.

Dennis suggested cooking the suckers a little longer than usual to compensate for the added syrup. I am skeptical. That's my skeptical face.

Pouring the chocolate suckers. The consistency was totally different!

Kate was the taste-tester. Her look suggests success!

The face of a defeated skeptic.

"Mom, I was right, they're delicious!!"

I don't know what this is. A sucker monocle, perhaps?

Kate does it better, as usual!

A pile of butterscotch suckers.

Kate loves making suckers. I love it that Kate loves to make suckers.
Now, inside the sucker flavoring packets, there is a little recipe book. Kate liked the looks of the recipe for Salt Water Taffy. I was skeptical (!!), thinking it would take too long and be more work than I felt like doing. So I put her off last year, but this year I felt bad for putting her off last year, so we tried the taffy recipe. Blueberry. Yum.
Here is the taffy (Kate is looking on lovingly), cooling and waiting to be pulled.
But wait, what is this?!! The taffy is as hard as a rock! We can't get it off the pan!
Complete taffy failure!!
So we ended up with sharp, hard "taffy" bits. And lots of little cuts on my hands....
Not to be defeated by the taffy, we tried again. Watermelon. Yum.

Clearly soft enough....

Pulling the taffy!!

Taffy pulled!

So the taffy turned out yummy, and Kate is reluctant to share the pink taffy. You may have all the blue taffy you would like.
In other news, Wade wiped the cocoa dust from his truffle on his face. He looked like Hitler. And Isaac, after his bath, combed his hair straight up. Wade said, "Cool hair, Isaac!" And Isaac said, "Mom, can I wear my hair like this to church tomorrow?" I said, "Sure, Isaac!" So the next day, when it was time for church, I told Isaac to come let me do his hair. I got out the gel and the hair dryer, and Isaac ran from the bathroom crying, "No! Not the hair dryer!" (What the heck?!!) After some cajoling on my part, and the promise to not let anyone see and to lock the bathroom door, he let me use the hair dryer on him. The result was so CUTE, but he suddenly decided he didn't want to wear that hair to church. Fickle little man!
Hitler's chocolate moustache (there's skeptical Mom again!!)

There's the cute hair he wouldn't wear to church!
Well, that ought to satisfy even the most desperate news-seekers. Merry Christmas to all, and God bless us, every one!!

Winter Wonderland

Baby, it's cold outside!! We've had several wonderful wintery days, and we're looking forward to a very White Christmas! Here's a few pictures for those in warmer climes who don't get to enjoy the season the way I do!!

This is looking East, up the street, from my house.

Home sweet warm cozy home.

Mickey's cozy house....look at how much snow!! Don't worry, he comes in the people house at night when it's REALLY cold!!

The snow is almost up to the bottom of the swings!!

That's an icicle!!

So we're having fun sledding and shoveling and snow-blowing...and we're going through lots of hot chocolate!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A WICKED Anniversary!

Today is our twentieth wedding anniversary. The day we got married, it did not snow, like it did today. The day we got married, I weighed less than 100 lbs. Dennis weighed like, 5 lbs. less than he does now. The day we got married, we were both still in college. The day we got married, Dennis's mom was still alive. Lots of things have changed since that day, but today we are celebrating the wonderful life we have (Zuzu's petals!!!), and hoping for many more happy years together. And we'll take the good with the bad, just as we have the last twenty years!
SO....for my anniversary gift, Dennis handed me an envelope. Inside was a paper with the picture you see above, and this statement:
January 24, 2009
8:00 p.m.
At the Ford Theater
Chicago, Illinois
(Kiss me if you'd like to go)
Well, I did NOT kiss him, at least not right then! First I screamed, then I burst into tears, scaring Wade and Isaac who were watching, and THEN I kissed him!!!! Do I, or DO I, have the BEST husband EVER?!!!!!
Happy Anniversary, Dennis!
(And just so you don't think I'm a total ingrate, you should know that I gave him an all expenses paid trip to Yellowstone in June, staying at the Old Faithful Inn.... :-) )

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Tradition

Every year we take the dog and go hiking the day before Thanksgiving. It all started about four years ago, when Mickey (the dog) was about seven months old, and he, along with the children, were driving me crazy, so Dennis took them all for a walk. Well, the kids and dad came home, but Mickey had run off, and although they looked and called and waited until dark, he didn't come back. The kids were devastated and Dennis felt really bad. To make a long and sad story short and happy, Mickey wandered himself home and was safely snoozing in his doghouse by the next morning.

So now we go on the same hike every year, and Mickey still runs like a crazy pup, but he knows to stay within view, and it's extremely entertaining to watch him chase birds. The magpies love to torture him, and he barks and runs and chases, and he can run up the side of the mountain in about ten seconds flat.

Here are a few shots of our hike this year, November 26, 2008. Wade and Isaac invited their friends, Sam and Ammon, to come along; don't mistake them for mine because I don't have that many little boys! And the pictures are in backwards order and I'm too lazy to fix it.

Kate and Dennis and Mickey, taking a rest.

Ammon and Isaac

Wade and Sam (we call him Sammyantha)

Isaac doin' his own thing while Sam, Wade, and Ammon pet the dog.
You can tell this is later in the hike--Mickey is actually holding still.
For the first 30 minutes he was all over the side of the hill!

Dennis and Marianne

Kate and Isaac

Ammon, Isaac, Wade, Sam, Kate and Dennis

Wade and Isaac, Sam and Ammon

Wade, Sam, Marianne, Dennis, just heading up the trail.

Dennis and Mickey getting ready to go.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Last Call, Lovers! (almost...)

Come see the show! You only have five more chances before we close....Friday the 7th, Saturday the 8th, Monday the 1oth, Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th!! It's a good show, and lots of fun. Very family friendly. See the following pictures for more advertising!!

Me and my cute girl in our costumes

Pick a Little, Talk a Little!

"It's you in the sunrise...."

Our Grecian Urns costumes.

In other news, life is extremely busy. I go to work (Mechanical Engineering), then I go to work (Flute Choir), then I come home and go to work (teaching). Then someone fixes dinner, sometimes it's me, usually it's Dennis. Then someone finds the children and sees that they eat something, usually not the dinner someone fixed. Then we clear a path to the beds and go to sleep. Then we start again the next day. Sometimes we squeeze in the ocassional meeting or outing. On Saturdays we do the dishes and laundry, which usually carries over into Sunday and Monday. One of these days someone is going to have to run the vacuum... Although I did clean the bathrooms last week and the kitchen floor Wednesday night. See, I'm participating!!

I woke up at 4:00 this morning worrying about my sister. She called me the other day, and I completely forgot to call her back. I was going to call her at 4, since I thought she might be awake, but just in case she was actually sleeping, which apparently she does very rarely, I decided not to call. So I got up to post this blog. Mel, I'll call you today.

I also need to call Janice and give her some love, and I want to call my Mommy and Daddy. I want to call Jaren and check on things there, and I want to go to the Spiderman Fights Cancer Fun Run on Saturday. I want to call my brothers and tell them to come see the show. I also want to go to Hawaii.

OK, everyone's alarms are ringing but nobody is getting up, so I'd better go. As Adam always used to say, "Firmes Creced!!" Or was that Kendall? Or Mark? Hmmm....it's all a blur....

Sunday, October 19, 2008

WOO!! Two tags in one day...

I've never been tagged before, and today I found that I've been tagged TWICE!! Lucky y'all!!

This one is Facts in Five, and I'm doing it on Dennis, as requested!!

Five things Dennis loves:
1. ME and our kids
2. The Gospel
3. Good food
4. Doing stuff with the kids--hiking, camping, fishing, boating, BYU football games, going to the beach, watching movies.
5. Good books and good movies

Five things on his TO DO list:
1. Get out of debt!
2. Go fishing in Alaska
3. Take me on a cruise
4. Publish two books and two articles this year!!
5. Help our kids serve missions and get married in the temple

Five favorite snacks:
1. Pound cake
2. Banana pudding
3. Chips and home made salsa
4. Tomato sandwiches made with garden fresh tomatoes!!
5. Leftovers

Five things you might not know about Dennis:
1. He can sing JUST like Johnny Cash
2. He can sing JUST like Sting
3. He joined the church when he was fifteen
4. He was an art major before he was a psychology major before he was an English major
5. He is part Native American

Five places Dennis has lived:
1. Tennessee
2. Florida
3. England
4. Las Vegas
5. Los Angeles

Five quirks:
1. Prefers Miracle Whip to mayonnaise
2. Likes soft water (hates non-soft water)
3. Doesn't like the Boy Scout program
4. Thinks sideburns are cool
5. Doesn't like toothpaste

Five people to tag (on your husbands!!)
1. Melody
2. Laura
3. Kim
4. Tami
5. Lainie

One Word Tag!!

Thanks to Susan for the one word tag!!

Where is your cell phone? Kitchen
Your significant other? Dennis
Your hair? Graying
Your mother? Missionary
Your father? Missionary
Your favorite thing? Sleeping
Your dream last night? None
Your favorite drink? Water
Your dream/goal? Out of debt (is there a way to say that in one word?)
The room you’re in? Family
Your hobby? Reading
Your fear? Earthquakes
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Further
What you’re not? Skinny
Muffins? Spice
One of your wish list items? Money
Where you grew up? SLC
The last thing you did? Dinner
What are you wearing? Plaid!!
Favorite gadget? Computer
Your pets? Stupid
Your computer? Functional
Your mood? Grouchy
Missing someone? Mommy
Your car? Gas hog
Something you’re not wearing? Shoes
Favorite store? Payless!!
Like someone? Husband
Your favorite color? Purple
When is the last time you laughed? Last night
Last time you cried? Today

Now you know me.

I tag Natalie and Jen!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another openin' of another show!!

It's opening night!! I'm starting to get nervous. It occurred to me that all these weeks of rehearsing with no one in the audience has made me complacent....tonight there will be people there. They might know me and think I'm stupid. Or they won't know me and think I'm stupid!! Either way, what if I'm stupid?!! (I am frequently stupid so I don't know why this bothers me....)

Anyway, COME SEE US!!!! Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays through November 15. 7:30 pm. See www.csmtc.com for more info.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Whew! What a Week!!

Well, I started my new job. I like it. The people I work with are quite nice, I've made a few friends, and I'm learning the ropes. I meet Dennis for lunch some days, and am home by the time the kids get home from school (at least Wade and Isaac) three days a week. It's good. My boss is nice, and the faculty and other staff members are great. I think I'm going to be very happy here. Mechanical Engineering. Who'd've thought?!!

Flute Choir is going great. It's so WONDERFUL to be working with the majors!! They watch. They count. They read. They play in tune, and when they don't, they know it and they fix it. HEAVEN. We read a piece the other day, just for fun, that took my non-major choir the whole semester to learn. We're working on some tough stuff, one in particular, a Crawford Gates piece, so we'll have to be on our toes, especially me, cuz if I screw up, we all screw up!! Somebody once told me good conductors have to have big egos. Do I fit into that category? Hmmm....either the answer is no because I'm not a good conductor, or the answer is no because I don't have a big ego. Maybe we shouldn't pursue this train of thought any further!! I don't think I want to know the answer to that question. :-)

So the big fun is The Music Man, endorsed by President Monson!! We're pickin' and talkin' every night this week from six to nine or ten. Our show is coming together nicely nicely, thank you. (Oops, wrong show!!) It's going to be a very fun show, y'all come see us, now!! (Now I'm quoting old TV shows....)

Speaking of President Monson, I thought you should know that I'm going to let his last talk from Conference change my life. I have some changes to make, and I'm going to make them. Heavenly Father didn't put me on this earth to fail, or to be unhappy. I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father, and he loves me. He will help me if I let him. I can be a good wife and I can be a good mom. I can also do a good job at work and at church. I can be happy and have joy in the journey. I WILL BE HAPPY and have joy in the journey!! Not to say I won't have rough spots, I've already had some this week, but I'm gonna pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again. I CAN DO HARD THINGS.

Enjoy the pictures. Cheep cheep cheep!!!

That's me second from the left, in the YORK shirt. Eulalie's in the middle and Harold's on the far right.

There we are, pickin' and talkin'!!

This is Kate in the Marian the Librarian Scene.

More Marian the Librarian

She's so stinkin' CUTE!!