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.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Calvin Vs.The DMV!!!

My handsome and kind 16-year-old is now a legally licensed driver, according to the state of Utah.  His birthday was about a week and a half ago, in between Christmas and New Years, which made it impossible for him to take his drivers test on his actual birthday.  Today was the soonest we could get him an appointment, but it was worth the wait. On our way to the DMV, it looked like Calvin was speeding like a madman, but all of the surrounding traffic was zooming past us. It took me about 30 seconds to realize that somehow Calvin's speedometer was no longer reading miles, but was showing kilometers. And his test would be done in this car, Ryan's Prius. I knew if I panicked that he would panic... but I think we both felt a little panicky. After checking the car manual (useless) and reading a few random gems from the internet, I finally discovered that Calvin must have accidentally hit a button with his knee when he climbed into the car. So, he pushed that button again and the car was back to ready miles.  Crisis averted. The lovely woman who took gave the test was super kind and encouraging, which balanced out his nerves. In fact, he got a perfect score on his exam. She printed it out for me to see.  Well done Calvin Rider Holman Smith. Today was definitely a red letter day.

The moment he's been waiting for (just 16 years): Getting his license. 

Norman and I were there to witness his blaze of glory, his moment in the hot sun.

Ryan met us after to celebrate. I love that Calvin chose the place that he works at to get a bite to eat.  He went for the double garden fresh cheeseburger. Norman got the corndog. Ryan enjoyed a chocolate custard, and I couldn't resist the vanilla custard Sunday with real fudge and toasted almonds. A delicious treat for a milestone life event. Calvin is not a regular boy.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Cricket the Wonder Dog

Guest Post Alert - Ryan reporting on Cricket, the hero dog.

Cricket the wonder dog is getting older.  She had a cyst in her ear that would not heal.  So her traveling vet, Ben Brown, performed a surgery in his traveling vet van - so cool.  It took many hours under anesthesia in his surgery van and Ben and his assistant was visibly tired by the time it was complete, but Cricket made it through.  It has been 1.5 weeks since the surgery and she has been recovering well.  She is done with her medications which were administered in a pill pocket - this ingenious hickory smoked flavored treat that is soft and covers many pills so Cricket can swallow it down quickly.  Cricket has been wearing the 'cone of shame' for some time now but will get her stitches out next Monday.  You can do this Cricket!  We highly recommend Dr. Ben Brown, Veterinarian: http://thetravelvet.com/Home.html

Cricket and the cone of shame.

Stitches on top of her ear and inside her ear due to the size of the cyst.

Pill pockets are amazing. I want some for my kids as well.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Monday Night Massage

Every Monday night we attempt to participate in something my church calls "Family Home Evening." Typically this special night involves some type of lesson, a delicious treat, a review of the schedule for the week, and a fair amount of whining/arguing/and drama. In a clear deviation from FHE protocol, Ryan schedule a chair masseuse to come to our home and give everyone 15 minute massages. When we told the kids, they didn't believe us... until the doorbell rang and he set up shop. 10 points to Ryan* for adding some spice to the night, for thinking out side the box (and the bun) and for helping us make some random memories.

Owen getting all the kinks worked out in his back... he had his first basketball 
game of the season about an hour later:~)

Jaron taking his turn. What a lucky night for his crew to join us for FHE!

Norman and Jaden were playing under the table, so Shelly, Jaron 
and I decided to join them.  Cute kids.

*As a reminder, my points are imaginary, and one is only limited in what they can be used for by what they can imagine. You can use them to watch an imaginary movie, buy imaginary shoes, or go on an imaginary trip (but you would probably have to save up your points for a quite a while to go to an exotic imaginary destination.)

Sunday, January 7, 2018

New Start

My church building is shared between two Mormon congregations. Just to keep things interesting, every year we swap church times with the other congregation. Last year (2017) our church was on Sundays from 1-4pm. Today marked the new start of 9-noon church. And I am a huge fan of this new time. Afternoon church might suggest that we had plenty of time to get ready, but it was still a mad rush to get out the door. Also, afternoon anything with a toddler is lame. It's nap time, crabby time (for both the littles and the adults.) Also, now that we're back to morning church, the window for Sunday donut making has returned. It takes time, effort, and potatoes to make a good spud nut, and lucky for all that were in the house (including my fabulous niece Jordan who's at BYU) we dined on cinnamon sugar, vanilla glaze and Nutella dipped donuts. 

Ryan was the glazer. I was the frier. Simon was the talker. Owen was the eater. And Jordan was the smiler. Not pictured were the rest of my herd (including Preston who drove up from Provo with Jordan), and Jaron, Shelly, Jaden and Mikey who are still with us until Tuesday (Yeah!!!!)