Friday, February 28, 2014

Rainy Day

How lucky we are that today was rainy, and not snowy. I'm not a skier, if I were than I would very annoyed that February wasn't bringing in more of the white stuff.  I am so very grateful that I'm not driving in the snow.  Sometimes I long for home, and by that I mean Arizona.  I have lived away from Tucson almost 10 years now: Berkeley, CA, Eugene, OR, Salt Lake City, UT, Bountiful, UT, Edinburgh, Scotland, and now we're back in Bountiful.  I miss my Arizona family loads, but I think more than that, I miss my childhood.  My parents always made me feel loved, safe, secure. Our home was comfortable, my parents were supportive, my siblings were my good friends.  Sometimes I want to join Uncle Rico and travel back in time. No remodel progress today... no sunshine... no eggrolls.

Heck yes.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Electrical Shortage

Being without a kitchen is not cool. Not a complaint, but a statement of fact. Soo, we are trying to use every spare minute that we have to get things done asap so that life can go back to normal. This weekend was supposed to be the "get all the electrical work done" weekend.  Now comes the reality of home repairs: things are rarely as simple as they appear to be, everything costs more, and staying to schedule is an adorable albeit impossible concept.  Now I will get technical.  Our house is stubbed for 100 amps. Normal homes (as in homes currently being built) are usually stubbed at a minimum of 200 amps.  We need more electricity, new wires, a new box and... a stinkin permit.  Enter working with the government.  Bountiful has only TWO people who are capable of passing permits (what the what? seriously just 2?!) And of course, one of them went in for some surgery today (as if! (fine...I hope the surgery goes well...) They are only open Monday through Thursday (of course) and the very kind, friendly receptionist said it might take 1 to 2 weeks. Holy Cow.  Ryan almost went Hulk in the office (on the inside. He remained crazy calm and cordial until we left the permit purgatory.) He explained that any real city has more than 2 people to pass permits, and for a job this cut and dry, Ryan has always been able to have it permitted over the counter, as in a 5 minute conversation. If they don't have my permit ready by Monday, I swear I am going to go witch cakes in the office, potentially do some damage, and will wind up in jail.  If that happens, please come visit me and try to sneak in some weapons.

I'm shocked at the difficulty of this electrical bit in our remodel.
Pun intended.

How to Eat an Elephant

My Day in 2 Fantastic Parts!***

Part 1     Brazenly Beautiful Bread - I taught my very first US cooking class today! As my kitchen is in shambles (remodel fun) my dear friend loaned me her kitchen for a couple of hours, and we made brazenly beautiful bread.  It. Was. Wonderful.  The students were delightful, the bread was tasty, my apron looked fab, the ingredients were fresh, my classes are seriously worth every penny (which was what I was told at the end of the class:~)  To quote My Fair Lady: I could have danced all night, I could have danced all night, and still have begged for more! (just replace "danced" with "taught cooking.")

Part 2     My kitchen Delivered - Have you ever purchased furniture from Ikea, and it comes in a few boxes that are numbered?  Well my kitchen got delivered today. (The delivery time was between noon and 4pm, so naturally they arrived at 4:57pm...argh.)  It took about an hour to unload the 221 pieces of the order. Yes, you read that correctly. Ryan and I (and any other Ikea assembly expert volunteers) will be assembling 221 pieces of furniture together.  I figure that since a 2 box dresser takes about 2 hours to put together, our kitchen will be ready sometime in July.  I just have to keep reminding myself:

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time, and probably with alfredo sauce.

Bread class. An action shot.

How pretty does her Italian Bread look? It was almost like she was born in Venice, it was that fab!

Welcome to my living room!

I like the tiny clear spot in the middle.  It will be a miracle, and a blessing, if my darling children refrain from messing with any of the boxes.  Time to pray!

**** This post is for Wednesday, February 26th, 2014; an amazing day!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Seagull Party

Ryan finished knocking down the wall in the kitchen and we made what I hope will be the last big run to the dump.  Today was sunny and fairly lovely, and I like seagulls, but there was something just depressing about seeing all of them flock around the broken, abandoned, discarded possessions.

Ryan knocking down the rest of the wall: Hello to kitchen stadium.  Speaking of remodeling, Calvin has declared that Hell must be like one never ending remodel project.  I think he's right.

There were a million seagulls at the dump today.  It is a literal miracle that we didn't get pooped on.

The windshield got pooped on though.

This is one of my new kitchen chairs.  Most of them are silver, but we decided to buy bright orange, for guests of honor, or for when one of us is having an off day, or just for the funzies.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday/ When will we be done?!

In about three weeks, I will look back and smile on this remodeling experience, and truly feel grateful in my heart for all the time and effort and cash we put into some much needed and much appreciated upgrades to our home.  As for tonight, I'm tired. I see chaos in almost every room of my house, a natural byproduct of having to move things into non-construction rooms.  I need to pray for peace of mind, and then have a nice mug of hot chocolate.

Breakfast this morning in the front entry room. Nice.

Calvin's basketball team went to a Jazz game tonight.  We won.

This is what the South West corner of my kitchen looks like. Yikes.

Ryan is removing the cabinets in the South East corner of our kitchen. He suffered only one flesh wound this evening, and I bravely got him a bandaid, and I used mental toughness so as not to pass out.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Kitchen in the Dining Room

The remodel update: we have no oven or dishwasher, and the contents of my entire kitchen are now residing in my dining room.  We finally finished the living room floor yesterday! But I don't want to include any awesome pictures until I'm done making the cushions for our conversation pit benches.  On tap this week: I teach my first cooking class this Wednesday (Brazenly Beautiful Bread.) The rest of my classes start after my kitchen remodel (mid-March) but I already had people registered for this bread class, so I will be teaching just this once at a friend's home.  Sign ups have been slow, but I'm hoping/planning that after I teach a few of these, that word will get around about how fun, informative, tasty, entertaining, and worth every penny my classes are, that I will be in the position of deciding when to hold additional classes to accommodate the masses... a chipper chef can dream:~)

Two tables full of food and dishes, a microwave, and a fridge.

Preston giving thumbs up, pretending that the family is taking this time of chaos in stride.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mother Daughter Saturday Fun

Annie and I were lucky enough to attend a Mother/Daughter church event this morning.  The theme was the light of Christ.  It was inspiring, fun, and tasty.  We (as in Ryan) finished the flooring in our living room, and loads of carpet and junk were dropped off at the dump. Preston finished his performances of the Music Man with a matinee and evening show. He is my handsome, talented son, and I am Ryan's Shappoopie.

We wore matching outfits today.  I love this wacky nut!

Annie and her friend Ava making glitter lanterns.

Ryan chucking bags of leaves at the dump with the strength of a bear and the wisdom of a man.

Preston is just so blasted handsome!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Dish Washer

Tonight we said goodbye to our dishwasher of two years.  I frankly have not been overly impressed with it, so the farewell didn't generate any tears.  Our new living room flooring has turned into a new kitchen remodel (which is such a blessing since I am now teaching cooking classes out of my home in March.  I'm just so grateful that we still have 4 dishwashers in the house; Ryan, Preston, Calvin, Simon,    myself.

I really like the smell of orange dish soap.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Music Man Shapoopie

My son, Preston Edward Albert Smith had a leading role in his school's musical, The Music Man.  Preston played the part of Marcellis Washburn, and got to sing a lovely song called "Shapoopie."  He did such a great job.  He is truly entertaining to watch, his solo was totally on key, and he looked very handsome in his suit.  I think it's safe to say that tonight, he really did break a leg.

There his name is.  Preston's legit!

He's just so tall and handsome.

I hope this clip works and you all get to watch him sing.

The after the show shot with a friend in the ward and 4 of my 5 kids.

Annie returned for the picture, but Owen left. Ryan is the camera man.
What a wonderful night!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Biscuits and Gravy: My Cooking Demo

Today I got to see the Studio 5 segment that I taped yesterday.  I made biscuits and gravy, and hopefully made many mouths water. I'm hoping that as people see how much fun I have whilst cooking, they will want to come to a class and have fun cooking with me!  It was so great watching my segment with my neighborhood church gals who came to the preparedness potluck (a monthly gathering where we eat, and learn about a different aspect of emergency preparedness together.)  It was especially fun watching the clip with my kids this afternoon when they got home from school.  They laughed at all the right places, and even asked to watch it multiple times.  What good kids!!!

Click on the link above to learn how to make wonderful biscuits and gravy, and to see how fun cooking with The Chipper Chef can be!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

T.V and a Blue and Gold Banquet

1.Today was great.  I did a cooking demonstration on a show called Studio 5.  My segment will air tomorrow between 1:00 and 1:30pm on channel 5.  I had a fun time, and made a few mistakes, but I think over all it went well.  I'm hoping that loads of Utah people see it, and decide that if they sign up for a cooking class, or give a class as a gift, etc, that all of their hopes and dreams will probably come true. I got an email from both the producer and the hostess right after the segment, thanking me for coming and asking when I can return.  Yeah!!!  10 points goes to Amy Hunter for being my sous chef extraordinary.  In reality, I needed both her hands-on-help, and the emotional support of a pal.  I can't wait to see what the finished segment looks like tomorrow.

2. Simon had his Boy scouts Blue and Gold Banquet tonight.  We all had Dominoes pizza, SImon got an award, and all the boys did displays about themselves.  Simon is a great guy!

3. We have finished scraping up 2/3 of the kitchen tile so we were able to put our fridge, dish washer and oven back.  It's still a dusty mess, but things are progressing as fast as Ryan and I are physically able to move (and right now, every single muscle in both of our bodies is aching and shaking and in desperate need of a hot tub.)

Brook and Me. We're like BFF's now.

That's my prep table.  It was easy deciding what to wear, thanks to my cookery school uniform.  

Amy Hunter. So glad she's on my team... or that I'm on her team.

Simon's display table: Race car Derby, scriptures, family calendar, brain puzzle,  favorite book, new karate uniform, cherished stuffed animals, handsome Simon.

Simon got to lead the pledge.

Ryan happily joined in the pledge.

Simon with his wonderful Scout Master.  He's reading what cheer we get to say for him. He pulled it out of the "Cheer" box.

Simon, what a guy!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Tip of the Iceberg

Our new flooring in the living room turned into our new flooring in the living room and conversation pit with new benches turned into our new flooring in the living room and coversation pit with new benches and new flooring in the bottom of our stairwell, to all that stuff and a walk in pantry, to all that stuff and new flooring in the hallway and kitchen, to a full kitchen remodel...DIY!  Words can't express my excitement and anticipation of the finished product(s). I am also unable to explain what a nightmare my home is... sawdust everywhere... furniture piled up in odd places to make room for the flooring work that needs to be done.  Ryan was home today for President's Day but he has work tomorrow...when will this get done?!?

Breaking up tile is tiring and terrribly messy.

Ryan gives it a go.

Owen and SImon are trying to convince me to take martial arts.  I'm letting them try out the introductory class.

Sanding lots of floors today. Now that's a lot of sawdust!

An action shot of sanding.

That's my fridge.  It's plugged in, and full of food, but I can't open it, so who cares that it works and is stocked.

A pal helped me get my apron ready for a t.v. demonstration I'm doing tomorrow.  I am very excited.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Good Aura

I really want my new pantry to have a good aura (whatever that means) so naturally I had my sweet children draw pictures and happy messages of love on the subfloor with my sharpies.  Tomorrow (hopefully) it will be covered with our new flooring, but I like the idea of having a hidden secret of happiness under my feet, every time I enter my pantry/office. I wrote a scripture found in 2 Nephi "Let they soul delight in fatness," which seems perfect for a pantry.

The kids loved drawing on the floor.

Owen did an impressive skull and crossbones.

Annie did this darling couple.

And the floor is graced with one of Simon's high heeled dogs, so I know the room will have a positive aura. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

British Pageant Reunion (with 2 families)

Tonight we had the pleasure of meeting the Matteson family at Nielsen's Frozen Custard.  They are living in Colorado, but we actually met them last summer (July 2013) at the Preston England temple.  We were family cast members in the British Pageant and were lucky enough to be assigned to the same large group.  They have one daughter, Patty, who Simon might marry in 15 years.  The food was good, the company was great, and our house is a pigsty.  Literally (as in Captain Literally) it's a pigsty.  We are in the process of re-doing floors, knocking at walls, adding doors, adding a wall, pulling up tile, painting, and trying our best not to accidentally step on nails, or curse in frustration at the tetris furniture game that is overtaking all useable areas of our home (as the unused areas are furniture free, and the chairs and couches and dressers and bookshelves and lamps and plants and boxes and end-tables have to go somewhere.) It's a race against the clock.  We are trying to have all of this stuff done by my first cooking class (endorsement alert: go to to sign up for a high quality cooking class.) It will be lovely when it's done.  We're eager for the finished product.  Normally, I would have welcomed the Matteson's into our home and would have made them a feast... but tonight, the custard at Nielsen's reigned.

Pattie and Simon eating chocolate custard.

The carpet coming up in what will soon be my office and walk in pantry.

Ryan cutting out the hole where my new pantry door will be.  Isn't he handsome making my dreams come true?!

This is what the room looks like from the newly cut out door hole.  God bless America! DIY is code for: it will cost 2 times what you thought it was going to, but usually half what a professional would have cost.  It final product will have "character" or proof that a pro didn't do it, and memories (both good and bad) will be made along the way.