Friday, April 11, 2014

My 4 minutes...

I loved conference, it was wonderful as usual.  ;)  We were even able to watch every session.  I listened to a little of the preisthood session, but had too many things to do in between...  ;)

Anyway - my favorite talk was the one about the Olympics.  If you've read my blog before, you'll remember that I'm quite the fan of the Olympics.  I love to watch them and I watch as many of the games as I can.  When Bishop Gary E. Stevenson compared our lives here on earth to the Olympics, and Noelle Pikus-Pace, it made sooo much sense to me. 

It also made me panic a little.

I mean, I'm over 50.   (shocking, I know, lol)

But, that means I've already used up at least 2 of my minutes.  Really.  The chances of me living past a 100 is pretty slim, my ancestry isn't known for their longevity, but I don't really know.  I mean, my uncle is currently in his 90's and still lives on his own...

But anyway.  What have I done so far with my 2 minutes?  Not as much as I'd hoped to. 

Sure, I've done some stuff.  I went to college, got a 2 year degree, went on a mission, found the perfect Guy, got married, had children, tried to raise them correctly...enjoying being a grandmother!

But I still haven't figured out what my purpose here is.  What my mission in life is.  I'm trying to become a published author, trying to do more with my art, trying to teach my daughters and hopefullyl granddaughters some hand crafts...

We spent millions of years (possibly...who knows...) preparing for this moment in time.  This little blip of time where we get a chance to show Heavenly Father that we can do what He wants us to do.  That we can have faith and grow and improve so we can return and live with Him eternally.  The biggest goal/prize/medal we could ever earn.

It's still hard to comprehend that this life is going to seem so small when we get to the other side.  It's hard to realize that so much is riding on this  moment of our race.  Are we strong?  Are we healthy?  Are we spiritually fit? 

I hope conference gave you much to think about.  I hope you're working on making these 4 minutes the best you can.  He wants all of us back.  But we've got to want it to.

Give these 4 minutes your best shot.  Your VERY BEST.

You've got one heck of a cheering section rooting for you.  I know I do at least.  At my age?  It keeps getting bigger ever year...  ;)

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Spring Break...

Guess what??  I'm pregnant!!!

NOT! lol

That's about as silly as I get on April fools...I can never remember to pull of anything crazy. 

Well...how um, un-exciting can it get?? lol  Hey, I'm just enjoying not having to go anywhere and be doing anything.  Today's list??  Find out how much synthetic oil changes are and get the grocery shopping done.  Then I get to babysit my girls!!  ;)  Life as a grandma is so tough, let me tell ya.
Last night we went to see the new Hobbit movie.  sigh.  I'm sorry folks, but I didn't like it as well as the first one.  Just sayin'.  And where they left it???  Seriously??  sigh.



Anyway - spring in Utah continues to be the 'guess what the weather is going to be' in 5 minutes.  ;)  One of our neighbors who teaches school and is off during this time was mentioning to me on Sunday that she was not excited about having it rain or snow on spring break.  Then she reminded herself how she sooo much would like to stay home some days when it's raining or snowing and curl up in a chair with a book.  This time she can!  lol
I like that mentality...  ;)
So...off to figure out a menu for the next 2 weeks.  Happy April Fools!  ;)

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

School Economics

my hubby took me out on a date last night.  It was to one his schools that he does computer work at.  It's a jr high and they put on the Disney Little Mermaid (jr) version.  At first glance, it seemed like they were going to do a cute job.  As it started and progressed, I could tell that they'd spent a lot of money and time on the costumes and sets. 
It also seemed like every kid in the school was in the production.  There were lots of dancers and chorus people.  It was interesting how despite the amount of people, there wasn't a lot of voice.  The girl that played the part of Ursula, the sea witch, was amazing.  She was probably the best thing about the show.
It saddened me the most to see the sponsorship of the play.  There were two pages of sponsors listed, and it started with $1000 donations.  $1000 for a school production???  Really? I mean, it looked like they garnered over $10,000 for this school production.  Once they started and we saw the costumes, I saw why. 
Now, I'm not one to say get rid of the arts.  I'm an artist, I paint, I write, I sang in school - though it never would have occured to me to participate in something that big.  But I think the arts have a place in our schools.  I would even say athletics have a part, because I think it helps students to think in terms of team and sportsmanship.  Unfortunately, there is as much money thrown into sports as there is into everything else. 
But especially this show.  I still can't believe it.  We are talking professional costumes.  These would have rivaled Tuachan, and there was a mention of thanks to them as well.
My husband and I both work for school districts.  We both have seen the crunch of budgets with the cuts in spending.  I work in special ed, he works in technology.  His district is smaller than mine, but his district spends a heck of a lot more on technology than mine does.  Not that we have outdated stuff or anything, and there has been an influx of Ipads in almost all the schools, but still...
None of the schools in my district would have been able to put on this production.  There simply isn't that kind of money.  Yes, we have our affluent neighborhoods, but nothing like that.
We saw a production of the Scarlet Pimpernel last month at a high school.  It had excellent costumes, though I thought they might have been made by the parents - they weren't perfect.  The sets were good, but I think they were done by the students.  Which is as it should be.
I remember seeing a production of Aieda at Davis several years ago.  Now that I think about it, the costumes were pretty ritzy - but apparently that didn't bother me then.  It wasn't as large a production as this jr high's was.
Our discussion focused on how a west side school would never be able to pull of that kind of production.  They would never have that kind of support.  My hubby mentioned that one of the vice prinicpals came to one of the west side schools from an east one.  The east one they used to hold art auction once a year and they funded everything for the year.  This new school they have to sell popcorn every week.  All of my elementary schools have candy and popcorn sales once a week to raise funds.
I have no idea what the high schools do, or the jr highs.
We went to a production my niece was in several years ago in her jr high.  They did the jr Disney Aladin.  It was cute - they did a good job.  But it had nothing for sets and costumes like this other school did.  It was obvious that it was a school play, not trying to be a professional production.
It's sad when you think about it.
Are these kids thinking that they have to do a production like this??  Was it pushed by the director or the parents?  And what about when they get to high school?  Are they going to be disappointed in the drama department then?  What are they going to expect from life?
Oh well.  It seems that nothing really changes.  Everything is run by the almighty coin.
It's still sad.
It would be so much fun to see a west side school pull off something like that and see the kids take interest in something outside of gangs, poverty and the like.
you think?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Olympics are over...but Controversy Reigns...

Well...it was a good Olympics - bizarness and all...I'm hoping we get to watch some of the Paralympics! 

But anyway - was listening to a radio program today by Doug Wright, and he was commenting on the whole Gay rights thing.  His point got me thinking, which I'm sure was the point.  I'd heard about the bakery in Oregon that refused to serve a gay couple a wedding cake.  I'd heard about the photography thing.  And at the time, I thought - well, they have the right - it's their business, right?  Well, Doug Wright pointed out that how would you feel in their shoes.  If the government made them provide you with business, despite how they felt about you - how do you think they would feel?  I got to thinking to a post I saw in Facebook a while back where they had someone with the sagging pants and the tagline...like if you want saggy pants banned.  I thought - huh, no way.  If we start banning how people dress, what am I going to wear that someone doesn't like?  Forget that.
It's kind of the same thing with this whole situation.  I may not agree with their lifestyle and choices, I think they're in serious need of help - but - when you think about running a business, are we going to start doing the whole 50's and 60's thing where we say, no blacks?  White's only?  Isn't that about the same thing?
sigh.
So...I have to say that I think we should buck up and if we own a business, and want people to buy our product, we need to sell to whoever comes in the door.  We may not be thrilled, but do we want someone to serve us if they don't agree with our beliefs or philosophy?  I mean, there are lots of people who would freak out about Mormons.

So - that's my take on the whole thing.  I don't think marriage should be allowed between anyone but man or wife - but I would agree with the partner bit so they could have insurance and stuff.  And I would not prohibit them from purchasing my products.
Who knows...if they purchase something from a friendly person, that might lead them back to a whole heart, you know?  Charity never faileth...even with those we don't like.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Sochi 2014

Well, it's that time again!  The Olympics!!  YEAH!! 

Can you tell I'm a little excited?  I am a die hard fan of them.  I always look up everything about the host country and try to serve food from it.  I tape all the stuff that they televise (that we can get anyway) and watch all of it I can.  It drives my hubby nuts, but he's pretty patient about it. ;)
What kills me is how people react to things.  I've decided that our society is compulsive in over-reacting by nature.  That's all they seem to do now. 
There was an article in the Deseret News about the medal counts of past Winter Olympics.  Someone had to comment that a count is not what the Olympics are all about, and it should be world interaction, getting along, etc. not the count!
Well, it just made me laugh.  I'm sorry, but it IS about the count.  The games are nothing if not totally political!  It's a sad fact, and one that I don't think is going to change any time soon.  However - I do think that in general, the PEOPLE of the Olympics are what they are about.  I think the people are the main story.  Everyone from around the world come together and support one another.  Yes, we are all trying to win for our country, but everyone respects each other and roots for each other.  That's what this sport area is about.
I think it's a way for us to interact with the world despite the people who run the thing, the governments who try to take center stage, and the wild political stuff around it.  sigh.
Anyway - They started today and the opening ceremonies are tomorrow.  Are you ready?  We are!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

It's National Pie Day!!

Not that I need an excuse to celebrate anything - okay, I look for excuses to celebrate anything, lol.  But I decided this year that I was going to celebrate silliness.  I'm hoping to bring a little sunshine out, okay?  So anyway, today is national Pie day and I made pie.  ;)

I decided (for those of you who haven't read previous posts) that I'm giving up processed sugar and white flour.  This also means I'm being creative in the cooking department again.  Yesterday was blonde brownie day, so I made brownies from a recipe out of Lean and Free 2000 cookbook and left out the cocoa - they turned out a little dry, but very edible.  I like them...so that's all that's important, right?  lol.

I was thinking on the way home from work the phrase "have your cake and eat it too" doesn't make a lot of sense.  If we are holding a piece of cake, aren't we going to eat it??  Wouldn't it make more sense to say, 'make your cake and eat it too?' I think so.  Anyway, my desire in life is to make it possible to not only make our cakes but to eat them too.  And have them be of a healthy variety that doesn't make anyone feel guilty or like they've fallen off the wagon, so to speak.  ;)

So anyway - I digress (as usual)
Today's recipe is yet again a little different twist on the recipe I found Here.  It seemed the simplest at the time, and I've kind of stuck with it.  This is my initial remake of it at Sparkpeople.  But today I felt like doing something different.  Unfortunately, my brain didn't transmit the need for the skim or low fat canned milk to my son when I asked him to get it...so, alas, it's not as healthy as I would like, but it's still better than the original.  :)  I haven't put the whipped topping on it yet - so it looks a little naked, but it's still good.  ;)

Enjoy!


Banana Cream Pie

Crust - I didn't use one!  If you want one, go ahead and use your favorite kind.  The one I made before had vanilla wafers as the crust.

filling:
2.5 cups canned milk (next time I'll used the low fat variety)
1/2 C Land O Lakes Fat Free Ultra-Pasteurized Half & Half
1 egg
Xagave, 1/4 C
Cornstarch, 4 T
1/4 C powdered Stevia
Vanilla Extract, 2 tsp
Banana, fresh, 3 medium
1 Tsp butter

Combine the milk, cream and egg together, whisk till well blended.  Combine the sugar and the cornstarch in a heavy saucepan. Whisk in the milk mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.  (don't ask me why she does this...but well, go with it)

After 5 minutes stir the mixture constantly until it comes to a boil , about 5-7 minutes. (I ended up turning the heat up a little, and I admit, I didn't stand there and stir it every second, like she says to.) Boil and stir the mixture for one minute.  (it got really thick at this point, and it wasn't much of a boil - more like an erupting hot pot)
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and butter.

Let the filling cool down a bit before adding the sliced bananas. When cooled, add the sliced bananas and pour into the pie shell and smooth.

Now - I didn't let it cool.  I sliced the bananas and lined the pie plate with them, so they are kind of the crust.  Then I poured the filling on top.  I'm letting it cool before I put the whipped topping on, which is going to be Spiffy whip.  Have you ever heard of it??  It's amazing stuff, I tell ya.

Anyway.  Good stuff.  Enjoy!


Thursday, January 02, 2014

New Year Vow

First - I'd like to say thank you for all your kind thoughts on the passing of my father.  Thanksgiving and Christmas was really different, and his Bday was empty - but I know he's totally happy and going about doing awesome things, so I'm good.  Life definitely goes on, you know?  ;)

Now - If you've read my blog at all before, you'll know that I don't hold much by way of New Years Resolutions.  I think they just bring more stress and frustration than anything else, and they are usually broken before the end of the month.  I DO believe in goal setting and determination.

Several years ago I determined that I was going to be more consistent in brushing my teeth.  A minor thing, you might say, but it was something I felt I'd been inconsistent on long enough and I cared about my teeth enough to decide I didn't want them falling out before I was 70.  (I HOPE) lol.  That is what I mean by determination.

Also, about 5 years ago, I started on a path to loose weight.  I've commented now and then about how it's been a struggle.  I found success for the first 2 years - hiring a personal trainer, etc., and managed to drop almost a 100.  Well....it's found it's way back.  Not all of it, but enough that I want to just sit down in a corner and cry.

At least I'm keeping myself from "eating cookies and cakes and blowing up like my Aunt Roberta...".  sigh.  (anyone name that movie?  Hm?)

But - it's desperation time again.  I've got to figure out what to do, and what it's going to take.  So today - for starters, I'm going to publicly denounce ALL white flour and refined white sugar.  I would say brown sugar too (which is only white sugar with molasses, did you know that?) but I can't be sure I'll hold to that one, I bake too much.  sigh.  I'm working on it though.

I realize that it's a small thing - we already eat wheat everything possible - but it does help when you think of sweets.  One of my biggest failings is the pastry.  I can not eat one for YEARS...but when I see one and it's calling my name...I have to have a bite.  I can actually eat only a partial piece, but ya know.  It's still there, haunting me.  At least I got the boys to eat the rest of the goodies my sister-in-law sent home the other night...UGH.

Anyway - so.  Not that anyone will care, lol, but I am making this commitment and sending it out into the world. 

Wheeeee!!!    ;)