Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cache Valley Raspberry Jam

A few days ago I made raspberry jam. I am always forgetting the recipe and having to call my mom for help, so I thought I would but it out there in blog land so I will always have it.

Follow the recipe on the pectin instructions with these variations. Use about a 1/4-1/3 more fruit. Decrease the sugar by 1/3. Decrease pectin by about 1/4 as well. You only need to use karo syrup and lemon juice if the pectin calls for it. So here are the instructions from the batch I did this time.

4 cups mashed raspberries
3 1/2 cups sugar
*add sugar to raspberries stir until dissolved than let sit for 10 min.
3/4 package of Ball pectin cooked on stove as directed
*stir pectin into jam mixture stirring consistently for 3 min.
*Ladel into jars, allow to set in fridge then move to freezer.

I double this batch twice. Most people don't make jam this way or in this quantity-I ended up with 17 jars of jam! My parents have so many raspberry bushes they get oodles of berries. I had 2 gallons of raspberries to make jam with! My mom has always made the best raspberry jam I have ever tasted and these are her tricks. I think the real trick is growing the yummy berries.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Yoga & Big Feet

So I've been going to this early morning yoga class now for about a month. It is only once a week, but it as become the workout I don't want to miss. I am loving it! This doesn't mean I'm good at it-imagine a 6 foot tall ballerina with size 11 feet and you can imagine me trying to get into any position gracefully. It really seems to help with flexibility and relaxation-and I feel even taller on the days I go to class. Oh, it helps me sleep better too-yea! Me and the kids practice at home sometimes and Miles has the best down dog I have ever seen. I guess we aren't so bendy when we're older. They say as you get older you should return to activities you enjoyed as a child. I always wanted to be a ballerina, but I was a little uncoordinated and they probably don't make toe shoes that big anyway (I never passed the class that would let me try out toe shoes-I think I took it twice and then decided to quit dancing and join the band). Anyway, yoga kind of reminds me of those dance classes-and I'm pretty sure I can keep going even if I don't get much better. :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Taste in Music-Nature or Nurture?

So do kids come with their own taste in music or is it something they learn from parents, friends, etc. When Miles was a tiny babe we sang many songs to him, but the one that brought on the most smiles was "Hello-Goodbye" by the Beatles. (It was being used in a Target ad and we would sing it to him) Then one day we went to Applebees to eat and as we were waiting for our food Miles starts pointing and smiling-he was pointing at a Beatles picture! So, we did an experiment and popped in some Beatles music at home. Miles loved it-he danced and was Mr. Happy whenever the Beatles were on. During Beatles week on American Idol he smiled and danced around in front of the TV (he normally doesn't even pay attention).

Ian's favorites are not the typical Barney, Nursery Rhyme renditions that 4 year olds might like. He has been greatly influenced by his daddy and can be heard belting out "America" by Neil Diamond or "Cheeseburger in Paradise" by Jimmy Buffet. He cranks up the tunes in his bedroom and colors at his table while singing along.

Now the funny thing is what happen this morning. We were listening to the radio and a song came on-both Ian and Miles started dancing and be-bopping around the kitchen. Ian said, "Mommy I love this song we need this CD!" It was Bob Marley! So, my kids favorite music consists of classic Beatles, summer lovin' Jimmy Buffet, raspy voiced Neil Diamond, and now pot smokin' Bob Marley! What will they want to listen to when they are teenagers?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

June in Review

I'm getting to be as good at this blogging thing as I was about keeping a journal. I apologize for the lack of creative entries, but we have just been running around doing the usual. Here are some recent pics to fill you in of what we have been up to lately.
Piano Recital - Everyone did so well-no mistakes!

My little monkey-Ian. Check out those cute ears!

Mr. Photogenic. Miles-look at that toothy grin!
6 little strawberry plants + 3 years = enough strawberries to do something with!

Ian at swimming lessons. We love hanging out at the pool every other day. Ian is doing better this year, although he loves the water about as much as his mother (I don't swim). The goggles and the swim shirt have given him some amount of comfort and hopefully he'll move out of the TOTs class this year.

Miles-I'm not sure what happened. I ran downstairs to change the laundry, things got very quite and this is what I found on my way up the stairs! Maybe it is the heat, all those teeth he is getting, the frustration of babbling endlessly with no one around who knows what he is saying. Anyway, he slept like this for about an hour and then we moved him to his crib. What a cutie!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Itch

No, I'm not talking about an itch on my back or the dry itchy skin that bothers me when I go to bed. I'm talking about that longing I get every spring to pack up my car and head to the Tetons to work for the summer. Yes, I haven't worked there for almost 10 years now, and what would I do with the little ones, but those carefree days of my Teton summers still call to me. So here is a list of my Teton favorites (or just some crazy memories).

The smell of the Lodge-no it is not stinky, but I have yet to be anywhere that smells quite like it. Leather, baked goods, musty winter smell.

The dorm rooms. Paper thin walls, community bathrooms, and everything you own crammed into those little tiny rooms.

Pioneer Grill uniforms! Who doesn't love polyester pants that are 4 inches too short.

Cafeteria food. Gotta love the grill leftovers, the stuff that could not be identified, and the endless ice cream, but most of all how was it to not have to cook for a whole summer!

Walking to work at 5:15 in the morning and meeting a moose.

Dusty Glaciers, Huckleberry Pancakes, Cinnamon Rolls fresh from the bakery.

TAUK tours. We're in the money!

Working the melba station. White, wheat, rye, sourdough-no dry please.

Bear jams. (Not Bear Jam)

Rocking after work. (Linda Whittington you might be the only one who knows what I mean)

The smell of coffee-mmmmm......

Branch activities. Thank you Bro. and Sis. Moore for putting up with us while we are trying to grow up and figure things out.

Hanging out with my dad at the Climber's Ranch.

The mountains in the morning--the afternoon--the evening. Knowing it was something amazing to live in such a beautiful place.

Picnics on the beach.

The sandy beach at Leigh Lake.

Hiking with Linda & Linda.

Eating outside at the Colter Bay Cafeteria, and hoping the whistle pigs grazing on the overflow would not explode.

Whistle Pigs. Oh, and the Whistle Pig--employee cafe.

Eating at Signal Mountain. Nachos mmmm...

Afternoon thunderstorms. Lots of rain and the smell of pine trees.

The cool weather. Never a day above the high 80's.

Nora playing the guitar.
Making waffles in my room after church on Sunday's.

Michelson making us all laugh.

Playing the piano in the lobby-the best job I ever had.

Static Peak Divide, Lake Solitude, Paintbrush Divide, Hidden Falls, Alaska Basin, Fox Creek Pass, The Meadows, The Lower Saddle, knowing every rock and turn of the trail up Death Canyon.

Coming home from a hike sunburned, covered in dirt, and so sore I could barely move.
Meeting Dave down at the docks when he got off of work. Hangin out in his VW Bus Bathsheba.

Indigo Girls, 10,000 Maniacs, Yanni, Dave Matthews, Bryan Adams Unplugged, Judith Edlman, etc...

A shout out to all of you who made those summers so great.
Here's a recent page I did of our backpacking trip to the Tetons last summer.

Monday, June 2, 2008

My Love/Hate Relationship with an Epic

For those few of you who actually read this blog and for even the more few of you who have noticed I have been reading "Gone With the Wind" I wanted to fill you in on my progress. I am taking a break and have decided I have a love/hate relationship with this book.

I love the long, elaborate descriptions. They create beautiful pictures and explain why Scarlett loves Tara so much.

I hate the long, elaborate descriptions. They go on an on and the whole time I am worried about the story. What is happening to Scarlett and Rhett?

I love Scarlett. She is a strong woman who will do what ever she has to to protect her home and the people that live there.

Scarlett drives me nuts. Ashley, Ashley, Ashley---he doesn't understand her! She doesn't really love him and he is MARRIED!!! She marries men she doesn't love and after years and years of only kindness from poor Melly she still can't think a nice thing about her.

I love Melly. What a selfless, kind person. She gets Ashley and I think she might even understand Scarlett.

I really wish Melly would just get screaming mad at some point. (Maybe this will happen I'm not done with the book yet.)

Rhett, Rhett, handsome swindler Rhett. Well, I quite like him. He might get his money in dishonest ways, but at least he knows he's dishonest and he doesn't try to fool anyone. Unlike Scarlett he knows who and what he is and isn't afraid to stand in that.

What don't I like about Rhett--well he is kind of old which leads to a bit of an yuk factor with him and Scarlett. He also could stay away from that Belle lady and the booze. And come on if he knows he is so bad he could try harder to overcome all of his innate flaws that he so proudly acknowledges.

So, I'm going to take a break from the epic and read a few children's Newberry Winner's over the summer. Hopefully by the end of the summer I will be desperate to know the rest of Scarlett and Rhett's story.

*Since I wrote this post I have read "Sarah, Plain and Tall" and "Maniac Magee." Both books were excellent and quick reads (which I am in need of right now). I would recommend them both and if you have kids they would be great books to read to them.

Hot Day + Fire Hydrant = FUN!

My Ian is growing up so much lately. He has always been the best buddy, but lately we have had such a great time hanging out together. He plays superheros with Miles, he helps to fix lunch, he gets himself ready for the day (dressed and teeth brushed), he helps with the laundry, he helps empty garbage cans, he is learning his sounds, he tells funny jokes, and he is always telling me I look so... pretty (he knows to throw this one out right before bedtime so he can stay up late). Anyway, today we were hanging out and he was helping me fix some screens and plant some flowers in between his bike rides around the circle. Soon he noticed a "river" going down the gutter. Off went the shoes and in he went. I threw off my shoes too and we had fun splashing around. The water company was going down the street testing all the fire hydrants. We followed them for three hydrants (as far as I dared go since Miles was napping). Ian was soaking wet by the time the river dried up. He kept dipping his face and head into the water (this is giving me hope that swimming lessons might go well this summer). Thanks for the fun day Ian.