Friday, August 31, 2007

The Good, the Sad and the Delicious

So the last few weeks have been crazy around here... very up and down.

The sad:
My dear Uncle Rex passed away and was found in a bush by some passers-by a couple of weeks ago post mortem.

Well, I guess that's all of the sad news.... but it's really sad so it counts as more. Seriously, I learned so much from him and he led such a humble life. It was great that he was buried next to my Grandma and I am really looking forward to his memorial in October.

The happy:
Paul's sister Lauren had her little baby boy and everyone is good and healthy. His name is Ryan Joseph Haverley. Yea! Abby has a cousin!!!!

Abby is 95% potty trained... FINALLY! She still wears a pull-up at night but other than that, she's doing great. What will that be like when we don't have to buy nappies anymore? It is one phase in her life I will not miss.

The fun:
Abby has had a blast playing with her little friends and we have taken a few field trips: The Living Planet Aquarium and The Hogle Zoo where we got to watch a training session with a tiger. I think I picked up a few ideas for training children; give food rewards (for me, obviously whenever I do some good parenting, and chocolate instead of raw meat, of course) , positive reinforcement for the child and train them to stop making noise when I raise my hand.

The delicious:
We had a Greek/Italian theme for book club this month with amazing results. Almost every dish featured tomatoes and lucky for us... most of them were out of gardens. The difference is amazing- like its a completely different food altogether! I made Greek Lamb Kebabs (BTW... making friends with your local butcher equals happiness) and they turned out great- thank you Martha Stewart. Also, we had 4 different types of hummus! Mmmmmmmmmmm!

After the zoo, I got to try out a DELICIOUS bakery/patisserie in Salt Lake City- Yummy. Here is some advice: When you go to a delicious bakery, it is wise to bring a friend or two so you get to try more than just a couple of things. It also lessens the guilt factor about the money you're spending and the caloric intake. I do not agree with those who consider pastry "bad for you" however. I prefer to look at it holistically. Sure, butter and sugar, etc. have had a bad rap as far as health is concerned, but that is just looking at it from a bodily perspective. I believe the mental and emotional gain more than offsets the negligible health issues. Go forth and eat pastry!!!!

One more thing: I just tried the potsticker recipe from Sunday's episode of America's Test Kitchen and it was FABULOUS! I also have an ATK recipe book and it has NEVER failed me!! I fully endorse anything they do! Yummmmmmmmm.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Books, books, books...

So, this has been quite a couple of weeks reading books for me... my poor family and house. I blame Harry Potter for some of it, but mostly it is the fault of some good friends who keep giving me good things to read. Case in point: the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. A teen romance about the "new girl" in school falling for this HOT vampire. Yeah. I NEVER would have picked it up from the bookstore... romance?... teen?... VAMPIRES????... but I got obsessed and read the first two installments in 2 days. Luckily, the third came out Tuesday and my lovely friend, Jenny, and I were at Costco at opening time to get our copies of Eclipse. Last night, we had our regularly scheduled book club and reviewed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and had great food and discussion (sans children of course). Now, it's Corelli's Mandolin again for this month and then... any suggestions?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Welcome to our new blog!

We thought we would try our hand at a blog to keep all of our friends and family informed about our adventures. This summer has been pretty eventful so far. We spent a month in England and got to see all of Paul's family! His brothers and sisters haven't been all together in the same place for years and it was so nice for Abby to spend time with them all.

We then came home for my sister, Carrie's wedding. What a party that was! Abby loved stealing the microphone away from the DJ to sing (unembarrassed I might add) "Baa Baa Black Sheep" to everyone. Carrie looked so beautiful and it was so nice to be able to add Justin, Collin and Jacob to our tiny (but slowly growing) family.

The rest of the summer has been work and football for Paul, gardening and church for Bethany, and potty training and play-dates for Abby. I know, you'll tune in everyday with the promise of reports from those activities!!