Thursday, February 15, 2018

Happy Groundhogs Day!

When the stars align, we like to have a a Groundhogs Day Party, and Feb 2, 2018 was a good day to be stargazing! All last minute like we threw together a Groundhogs Day bash, complete with Ground Hog (sausage) pancakes, eggs, fruit, and all the trimmings. 10 points to our 30 neighbors and friends who were free to celebrate an extended winter with some breakfast food. I love me some ground hog.

A clever, talented, fabulous friend made this special groundhog cake, just for the occasion.
I'll ever eat an apple fritter ever again without thinking of Feb 2nd.

An action shot of some of our fellow Groundhogs Day enthusiasts.
The meal was especially delicious with the homemade buttermilk syrup 
made by another pal. Mmmm.

Feb 2, 2018

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Happy Birthday, Birthday Boy

Ryan Edward Smith had his first Sunday being 42 today. What a guy! His daughter wanted to throw him a surprise party, but Ryan firmly informed me that he would rather eat glass than be surprised on his birthday. What ensued was the great compromise of the 42nd birthday party. 4 days before his actual birthday party Annie threw a surprise family party (which just 2 close family friends attended: the Watts!) which satisfied Annie's desire for more than just family, but didn't kill the birthday boy with surprise guest overload. I ordered some excellent barbecue (r and r, bc In know my limits) I made a tasty carrot cake. We played some fun party games, like "pass the parcel" and "pin the cupcake on cupcake"... and then Ryan and I surprised the kids with his save-the-best-for-last birthday gift, a Nintendo Switch. Ryan's been holding out on the kids trying to prevent one of them from becoming a lunatic, but hey, when they head over to their friends' houses they play on it anyways. So we caved. And the surprise was really on them. Good times. I love my husband, and this birthday marks me having been in his life longer than not. Ro. Man. Tic. He only needs 55 more birthdays till we celebrate our 75th anniversary.

Happy Birthday from Simon. What a robe! What a pose!

The Sign.

Also doubling as a party game. Norman won the prize of bubbles. He loved this game very much.

On the actual big day, I made him a tasty breakfast in bed. 
By the time I thought to take a picture, he had gobbled it up.

Warriors Vs. The Jazz. Ryan is a huge Warriors fan...

Which didn't play out very sell since the Warriors got Spanked by the Jazz. A good old fashioned birthday spanking. They lost by 30 points. It was incredible. High altitude? Flu? Who knows. I love watching basketball with 42 year old men, so it was still a night well spent.

Norman and I celebrated his birthday with a visit to the zoo, and a ride on the merry-go-round.

My mother gave him the lovely Wendy's meal crab toy. (along with some other gems.)
 Owen and I enjoyed putting it together

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Cleaning Crew for a Morning

As active (and attractive) members of our church's congregation, our family gets the semi-annual opportunity to help in the Saturday morning cleaning of the meetinghouse.  We don't pick the day of the duty; it's assigned via the printed out Sunday program. Lucky for all concerned, we both read the bulletin and were available.  7 Smiths woke up 15 minutes before we were supposed to arrive and were only 10 minutes late. Not bad for a Saturday morning 8:00am assignment (and pretty darn good for a house that has a toddler and two sleepy teens.) It's actually a tradition that I look forward to; both because its pretty infrequent, and because we always get donuts afterwards.

I hope that one day the supplies closet will also hold pads and tampons: because every public restroom should supply what's necessary to do your necessary business.

Norman getting the mop ready... for someone else.

It's just the Smiths in the cleaning closet, but this operation is a well oiled machine.
About 5 or 6 families are assigned to clean the large building so that it doesn't take more than an hour.

I am never disappointed by the maple bars at Dicks.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Cottage Meeting

A few weeks ago, a lovely woman in my stake* (*large-ish geographical area consisting of several neighboring Mormon congregations) invited me to a cottage meeting at her home.  She told me a few senators and our local Utah House of Rep, Becky Edwards, would be in attendance, along with two Utah Organizations: Mormons Building Bridges and Equality Utah. My friend's hope long-range hope for the meetings like this one was that our elected officials would see that people in our community care about/ are related to/ are/ and are in support of our LGBTQ neighbors... for the purpose of eventually passing legislation where "hate crimes" carry a heftier penalty than crimes deemed as not hate crimes. (For example, spray painting "I love Roses!" on a wall doesn't create fear or intimidation, whereas "Die____ _____ ____!" does.) The above scenarios demonstrate similar crimes (both illegally spray painted) but result in way different outcomes. So there's that. Anyways, my friend who was playing hostess with the mostess was unable to attend her own cottage meeting (due to the passing of an elderly grandparent) so I got to play the part of Cottage Metting Barbi. Lucky me! It was a wonderful meeting. Lots of good mingling with many people that I didn't know and the food was good too. Baby steps in the right direction.

Mingling. I got to chance with Becky about my free feminine hygiene products.

More mingling.  Those giant red flowers on the right were even more stunning in person.

All the big wigs got a chance to share some thoughts.

I ended up eating 2X as much as I should have... bc I don't just like food, I'm also apparently a nervous eater. They also had pickled beets. I love pickled beets.

*January 16th, 2018*

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Staycation Destination Park City

We had a long weekend due to the MLK holiday, followed by a teacher prep day. 4 days to party hard. Luckily Ryan also got the holiday off, so we decided to live it up in Park City, which is only about 45 minutes from our house, for a night. My handsome husband isn't just eye candy, he's also great at planning trips (both short and long.) Lef in his capable party planning hands, we had a great time. Great hotel booked for cheap, hot tub, heated pool, cozy beds, fireplace, changing a car battery (Preston joined us in Park City for the evening, and his car died upon arrival. luckily a new battery fixed the whole thing... for now:~) We checked out a local cheese shop, hit a delicioso Mexican restaurant, grabbed some tasty treats from a local bakery, and hit the tubing slopes in Heber Valley. Lots of fun packed into just a few hours.

What a blast!

Ryan caught the ride on Marco Polo.

I will always be good friends with Chimichangas.
And unlimited chips are a must.

You know you're in a fine Mexican Eatery when there are sombreros to try on and maracas to shake.
Norman sure enjoyed himself.

Saturday, January 13, 2018


Instead of picking Calvin up from his job late at night, we've decided not to. Instead of taking Calvin to school early in the morning, we've decided he should take himself.  Our family grew by one car yesterday. We are now the proud owners of a 2007 Toyota Yaris. We haven't named it yet, but I'm voting for "Miss Joyful, maybe?*"... Anyways, it will be nice to have another car, along with our new driver. 

Becasue we're super fun parents, I called the school and had them send Calvin out for an appointment (with destiny). He was already outside when we pulled up; Ryan first in the minivan, and me with the new (2007 totally used) car. He didn't even notice me and walked over to the van, but as he was opening the van door, he glanced behind him and I caught his attention. His eyes went huge and he walked over to the car. It was such a fun moment.

To be clear, ti's totally not his car. In reality though, he'll be driving it most of the time. My favorite part of the day was about an hour later after dropping the car off at the school, Calvin walked into our house with two of his friends for lunch. He could have gone anywhere with all the freedom of a new car, but wanted to raid our fridge instead. We had fajita leftovers, so his thrifty ways paid off. I love that boy.  I hope for many home lunches to come.

* From the movie Austenland, when Jane tries to pick her stage name for the theme park she's attending, a theme park that is supposed to resemble the early 1800's... instead she's named Ms. Earstwhile. Bummer.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

T.V. Studio Time

On Tuesday I had the pleasure of doing another food demo at Studio 5. I simply love working with them. They are friendly, professional, fun, there's usually great music playing in the background and no one gives me any heat if I sing along, and I even got to make one of my mother's famous recipes. It was a winning day.  I love cooking. I love eating. I love all things food (except grapefruit, bc it's sour and gross... but not Ruby Red Grapefruit juice, which I like, but I think it has enough sugar that what I really like is grapefruit flavored sugar.)

Sausage Barly Cheese Soup.

Now from a different angle.

Tiffany! She works at Studio 5 and often helps me get my table pretty before we tape.

I saw this little wagon at Costco and new it had to be mine.  
Lugging around all the supplies needed for a high-quality demo can be a real pain. It folds up easy, can carry loads, and came in this attractive green color. An excellent purchase all around.

For the recipe and to watch my magic click on the link below.