Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

This video has me thinking.

Some of the things I'm thankful for:

My patient, loving, hardworking husband
My five fun kids
My family who loves me even though I live in a different hemisphere
The gospel of Jesus Christ which keeps me anchored in a sea of changing values.
Brother A - I'm going to have to explain this one another day
Health - I can run and not be weary and walk and not faint
The world - there are so many beautiful and interesting places
The ocean
Skype - so I can be there, even when I'm not.
Clean sheets.
Afternoon thunderstorms
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
Fresh tortillas
A good book
The Good Book, and another testament of Christ (the Book of Mormon)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm such a nerd.

I totally went to see "New Moon" last night. (One of the perks of living in Australia is that we get to see it a day early.) Thanks Jennifer for coming on a girls night out with me. (Ooh, and we had yummy and healthy grilled chicken burgers too!)

I love Stephanie Meyer, though I believe her books to be very young adult (not for children) and FICTION. They're just a story. That means don't take it too seriously, girls. There is no Edward. Men don't come like that. (And call me old fashioned, but I don't think teenagers should be sleeping together even if they're just "sleeping" together.) But don't we all love to escape our boring lives for just a few hours . . .

So, about the movie:
You're going to love the part where. . . just kidding, I'd never spoil it for you. (Don't you love people who say things like "don't worry, it has a happy ending." I don't want to know ANYTHING about something I haven't seen.)

All I'm going to say is: Put me on team Jacob.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You know you're not in Kansas anymore . . .

We had a great weekend. We had nothing to do (meaning no birthday parties to go to - actually, there was a birthday party but it was on Sunday and Sarah decided to politely decline - but they brought her party favors anyway, wasn't that nice?!)

We went to the beach. There are so many awesome beaches here, and we can't wait to try them all. Where to start. We looked at a map and asked the kids. They picked Mermaid Beach, on the Gold Coast. An hour in the car and we were there.
It was beautiful. We stayed inside the flags and did a little boogie boarding. The surfers were having a good time - I can't wait to try that. (Inside the flags is the safe area to swim - no rip tides.)

It was Sandwich Sunday this weekend - a sort of munch and mingle after church. We were asked to bring finger food. I confess - I like to make food that tastes good. I want to please people with my culinary skills, you know, make someone's day with a bite of something delicious. So I stressed a little about what to make for Sunday. I'm still laughing about it. I didn't have a thing in my cupboard to make anything exciting (creme brulee isn't exactly a finger food, but it's a croud pleaser) and did I mention that all of the stores close at 5 on Saturday, so there was no running to get a missing ingredient (or popsicle sticks and glue for a 6th grade bridge building project - thanks for the notice, Bryce) and thinking ahead is not one of my greatest skills right now. I keep thinking that will change when all of our stuff arrives . . . you can only blame so much on rental furniture.
So I threw in the towel and made boring old cinnamon rolls. Actually, it's one of my favorite recipes that I got from my friend Jill in Farmington. It makes a ton and is perfect for General Conference. What could be better than enjoying spiritual enlightenment while snuggling with my man, and eating my favorite comfort food?
So I was a little shocked when my boring cinnamon rolls were a hit. People kept coming up to me and asking "what are these?" Someone asked if they were coconut buns (what the?) and no less than 5 wanted the recipe. We're most definitely not in Kansas, Toto. I probably could have made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and still had the same reaction though. (I need to find out what coconut buns are. . . )

But, in case you want the recipe, here it is.

Cinnamon Rolls

1 C water
2/3 C sugar
1 T salt
bring to a boil and add
1 C butter and let melt.
then add
3 C milk

in the mean time, add
2 T yeast to
1 C warm water
and let it get frothy, then add to the other liquids. add
4 beaten eggs and
12 C flour
(add 6 C and mix on low 30 sec, then faster 3 minutes. Add remaining flour and knead for 5 minutes)
Divide in 2 and place in 2 oiled bowls. Let rise until double (1 hr) then roll out and sprinkle with melted butter and cinnamon sugar.
Bake 350F (180 C) for 13 minutes. Makes 4 large cookie sheets.

Tastes great with cream cheese frosting.

And speaking of church, look who is passing the sacrament. When did I get old enough to have a 12 year old?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why I'm sitting here eating yogurt out of the carton. . .

One of my favorite songs is "Reasons Why" by Nickel Creek (my favorite group ever). Part of the song says "Others have excuses, I have my reasons why."

These are my reasons why. No excuses.

This is Sarah. She's sweet and cute and a bit shy and rather keen on dancing ballet. Unfortunately, her ballet shoes (lovely hand me downs from her sister) are in a box, in a crate, in a sea can, on a container ship, somewhere between Seattle and Brisbane. A box which I might add was supposed to arrive in October, 6-8 weeks after being packed in August, but which will now be arriving sometime near the end of December, if we're lucky - probably January because everyone takes Christmas as a holiday, and our shipment still has to pass customs, which could take an extra month. (I miss my stuff.)
Well, Sarah is taking ballet and she happens to have a recital coming up in a couple weeks, so she needs her shoes. With nothing to do but laundry and with my little guy watching the Upside Down Show (best Aussie kids show ever) I thought today would be a great day to hunt down a pair of ballet shoes and some pink tights. Did a little research: two shops sell ballet shoes near by - one 45 minutes north of us, another down the road in Fortitude Valley (a trendy shopping area just a couple km's away). I opted for Fortitude Valley. I called the shop and got the cross streets and plugged it in so "Bruce" (my GPS) could do the work. Only he got a little confused, and knowing that parking is difficult to find, and thinking I was close to the shop, I pulled into a parking garage that said "parking from $3". The closest spot was on level 5, and a tight squeeze for our Mitsubishi Pajero. (Never heard of a Pajero? It's because they don't exist in the US.) I happened to notice they only take coins to pay for parking, which made me nervous because all I had was a $50 bill - a rarity for me since I technically don't have a bank account here (long story), so first item of business was getting change. It's lunch time, so I thought I'd grab a slice of pizza for Caleb and head over to the store. Caleb pointed to a slice and I bought it. He freaked. He didn't want the pizza (which I now realize has pineapple - he hates), he wanted the sausage roll on a stick (which I wouldn't buy anyway), so I'm stuck with the task of eating the pizza (which wasn't in my calorie (er Kilojoule) budget today). I end up picking up the crying toddler and heading toward where I think the store is.

After looking around a while I finally ask directions and hear that the shop is 20 min's walk down the road. Wondering if I would be able to find another parking space, I opt to walk, but now Caleb is asleep on my shoulder. Did I mention that he weighs approximately 20 kilos. My shoulder is falling off and my shoes are rubbing wrong, and it's hot. I would have worn shorts, but I fell down while climbing the stairs at Ascot State School yesterday (thank you to the Sheila in the 4 inch heels who ran over to pick me up) and now I have a black and blue knee which isn't particularly attractive - so I'm wearing long pants, and a large bandaid. There, tucked between the Mercedes and Mazaradi dealership is the trendy shopping center.

After asking two more people for directions I find my ballet shop. I tell the lady at the counter what I'm looking for. After translating twice in my head I realize that she has said that I really aught to bring my daughter in to have her shoes fitted as they come in 4 different widths. Couldn't I bring her back another day? Did I mention that shops here close at 5 on the dot. Every one. Some grocery stores stay open until 8, but everything else is done at 5. No, I really can't come back another day. So I estimate her width and get her a pair and some pink tights (total $79! blink blink), and haul my heavy toddler back to the parking garage, all the while eyeing the open parking spaces on the street. By this time, my heels are bleeding from my unwise shoe choice, and the hair which I blowed dry and straight this morning has become "Hermione hair" (as my friend Jennifer would say), and I am dripping in sweat. Australian deodorant is not made for Americans.

I go to the ticket booth in the Car Park, and find that I owe $15! I was gone just over an hour! I have to do a 15 point turn to get my car out of the tiny space. It takes 3 wrong turns for "Bruce" to get me headed in the right direction and I'm home. What is there to do on a day like this but put a little ice on my aching heels and eat a bowl of "moose tracks" ice cream. Mint chocolate chip would even do! Unfortunately, my body thinks it's time to store up for winter, when really, it's just come season for putting on swimmers (togs, cozy, whatever you say). That means, no ice cream. So yogurt it is, only I haven't run the dish washer yet, so all the bowls are dirty.

I'm eating yogurt out of the carton.

These are my reasons why. Long story.

I think I'll just stay home tomorrow and iron pleats.