Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Foot in Mouth...

One night at dinner with Lauren and Kristin at Outback we did dessert. I love their chocolate brownie dessert and I was pretty sure it has nuts in the brownie, Kristin doesn't like them so much - so I very innocently asked "Does your Chocolate Thunder from Down Under have nuts?"

Apparently, I could have chosen better wording?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Redux...

Thanksgiving started out with the Turkey Trot that we do annually. Somehow I agreed to trot with my friend's little girl which I was okay with because I figured that we could run in sync...
:) Well a cousin came along as well who has run only a few days in her life - and well I am not sure that a 5k was a good initiation for her! But nonetheless, we did it and I think she can be proud of herself for finishing. I basically was only able to fast walk with her and at times not even fast walk...gahhhh!!! 44 minutes! not even a time I want to record!! But this Saturday I am going to do my own 5k during my husband's half marathon. He won't even know I am gone!!
I am no where near where I wanted to be, but I will keep on trying. Running is such a head game and I really need to wrap my brain and lungs around it. I want to "just do it" like Nike says.

Dinner was just fine, family and some flirting happend at our table which made for some fun times!! My sister brought a friend of hers - Anton from Russia. Well he instantly focused in on our little Lauren. Later that nite at the movies, Jan informed me that Anton thought Lauren was a cutie! We already knew that! But it was cute and so had fun with it. I am not sure that it will ever go anywhere but it made for a spicier cup of hot chocolate watching a boy liking a girl...Kind of made me feel young again.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

This is what went on in my house last nite...

The girls love to perform...so we always pretend to have a show - "So You Think the Lowder Girls Can Dance". Well, tonite Pappy got in on the action:
video

The Ability to Succeed - YW Lesson

Today in Young Women our lesson was "THE ABILITY TO SUCCEED" it focused on the power of self acceptance and that Heavenly Father created us with specific abilities to accomplish great things...there was a great quote from L. Tom Perry that pretty much summed up the lesson:

“One of the greatest weaknesses in most of us is our lack of faith in ourselves. One of our common failings is to depreciate our tremendous worth” (L. Tom Perry, “Be the Best of Whatever You Are,”



My first counselor taught the lesson and used a rather interesting object lesson...she gave a few of the girls each a potato and a straw. She then told them to make the straw go through the raw potato. This seemingly impossible task is really possible!! see the video below. One of the girls drove that straw straight thru the straw!

video

She is an investigator. Her response was, "My faith is strong enough to push right through". Ahhh, if only I always felt that way...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Puzzletime



Periodically my husband will buy a puzzle when he feels like he needs to take his brain to a happy place. Personally, puzzles take me to a dark place! I get overwhelmed and want to give up after the edges are in...I would rather have my hands in some dirt or sand...we are yen and yang for sure! This was a puzzle Madi brought over for a little assistance, Santa put it in her stocking last Christmas, well, beside it...two-color puzzles are too much for even Herb...this 5oo piece puzzle took twice as long as a typical 1000 piece puzzle...the look on his face says it all.





Just to make it a little more challenging...one of the girls "ate" 3 pieces...
:)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Watching the girlies...

We love to have the girlies over to hang out, we spoil them with lots of candy, cookies, brownies and smothering them with tons of concentrated attention and then sadly send them back home...

It's our job. They like our job.

They love to build things - tonite they built flowers out of blocks...what can i say, they are girls!






Madison - her block "flower garden"






















Autym and her block "tower"


















Jocie is so very proud of her block "flower"




Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Turkey Trot, I am getting ready for you!

Every Thanksgiving morning, Orlando Track Shack hosts a 5K run called the Turkey Trot. We did it last year and I was close to abyssmal...Herb and Kristin kicked my very ample buttocks...
Before the Butt Kick:








After the Butt Kick:




so just want you to know Mr Turkey, I am going to kick it into high gear this year!

Ahh, Fall is in the Air - Somewhere...

Having grown up in Indiana and being a transplant to Florida, I really miss the changing of the seasons. Fall is my FAVORITE season.
I love the warm colorsof fall, the smell of fall - pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, Yankee Candle's "Autumn Wreath", and the temperature outside is just divine - well in other places other than Florida!
We take an trip to North Georgia/Eastern Tennessee/Western North Carolina every October General Conference weekend.
This year was no different, here is a smattering of what we saw/did -here are some from my phone...not too shabby for a phone camera:

We like to hike a new spot every year, this year was "Fires Creek Rim" in the Nantahala National Forest. It is one of the most beautiful spots we have hiked to date.

The area is centered around a river/stream that is chocked full of big rocks and cascading waterfalls lined with beautiful foliage...will be especially gorgeous with colored leaves in a week or so - still mostly green right now.
We decided to camp one night - here is our campsite, nestled next to Fires Creek, this is the good husband putting up the Walmart $38.44 tent that we purchased when we decided to camp, with the air mattress and sleeping bags inside...What is it about Walmart that whenever we are out of town, we feel the need to go and wander the aisles? We always do and we always get something. But at home, we never go to Walmart.











Tent set up and ready for it's occupants! - I slept with the 16 inch HeavyDuty Mag Flashlight as I was convinced by our lovely WalMart cashier that their were Bears in the area. I even made my husband come out and pee with me so I wouldn't be assaulted.













The Mag Light worked. No Bear Attacks.














Our Firepit that we actually lit a fire and made S'Mores, mmmm!!

















The View looking up from our campsite...

Monday, August 10, 2009

HAPPY 52 MOM & DAD!

Today is my parents 52nd anniversary. I just love them. They are like one big giant hug. I spoke with them this morning because I didn't get my weekly Sunday call in. Yeah, I suck at time management. But this was better because today was their anniversary. So I acted like I meant to do it...shhh.

That 52 years has been full of ups and downs, but they have weathered the storms of life and come out the other end better and more in love. I asked my dad if it felt like 52 years, and he said "It just gets better everyday". I am glad that no matter what life has thrown at them, they work out the problems of life TOGETHER and still like each other. They are coming down for mom's 4th anniversary of her liver transplant. Gotta look under the hood to make sure that all is well. So, I am glad to have both of them still here. It didn't seem like that could be possible 4 years ago.

So, in this world of divorce and death/illness, I have a somewhat rosy view of what 52 years of love looks like and I am thankful to my mom and pop for that.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The 2 Davids...

My dad is so proud to have his great grandson named "Preston David". He resuses to call him Preston, rather, he calls him - David. Preston is rather partial to his "papaw"...











Dad will even wear Mardi Gras Beads - just for Preston, err uhh, David.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

His name is Pehhbert..

Kristin taught Jocie everyone's REAL NAMES and Pappy's name is Herb/Herbert...here is her version of "Herbert"...


video

Monday, July 27, 2009

Good week/weak

Nothing super interesting going on. I am still working at the run/walk thing. Trying to shift the emphasis to RUN/walk...takes time. I am an instant gratification kind of girl, so this is hard. But I love the endorphins that take me over when I have pushed myself a little farther than I normally would. Good drug!!

Good Temple Work
This past Tuesday I was able to go to the temple with one of my girlfriend's parents and help with some family temple work. IT WAS PHENOMENAL for me.
1. I was touched to be able to help my friend Sara's mom, Georgia do some work that had I not gone, she would of had to put it off longer. It made me feel necessary. I like that feeling.
2. I, for the second time in all of my history of temple attendance felt an unmistakeable "connection" to Heavenly Father. Hard to explain, I always feel good going to the Temple, but this was different. Oh how I wish I was eloquent enough to express my feelings. It was almost like I was embraced...trying not to sound weird here...Ahh well.

Pioneer Day
Sunday was our Pioneer Day talks. This is usually one of my least favorite topics, along with Mother's day. I just have no connection. But one of my young women spoke and it wasn't what she said but I just sat there and looked at her in awe. She is a newly baptized girl from an less active family. She is 15 and could easilly be mistaken for an airhead, but she is completely opposite of that. I called her a couple times this last week to make sure she was comfortable speaking and to offer help, and she said "No, sister Patti (that is my name to the young women) I want to do this myself". She did a wonderful job. She is a bit of a pioneer in her own home. She comes from an interesting family that is always in conflict with each other, but she stays so calm and focused learning and improving her situation and consciously rising above her family's constant drama.

Our second speaker aluded to this quote from the Martin Handcart company...which really touched me

“I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it.”

“I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the angels of God were there."

“‘Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company.”

There have been times, hopefully this is not blasphemous to compare myself, that I have felt like I am pushing my metaphorical "handcart" and that the load is too heavy to bear, I have always been supported by my Heavenly Father. Always. And sometimes after I have come out the other end, I am even grateful for the experience.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

5!!

I didn't plan on it, wasn't in the mood for it but after the forth mile, just like Forrest Gump, I kept going(well, he ran)...I did 5 miles! In mile 4, I really wanted to do a 12 minute mile, and barely got it in by the skin of my teeth...12:47. My husband said I was a new shade of purple...kind of plum-ish...
But purple must be my color, I felt GOOD!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Good Weekend

It was a good weekend!!

I got to take Friday off, so I was able to walk in the morning. As I was walking my 3rd mile, my friend Kellie texts me an invite to the beach. I really was hesitant as this figure of mine is just not Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue ready...yet... But I said yes and am I ever glad I did. I had a great day. I got there an hour or so before Kellie and just planted my chair right at the shore and let the waves lap up and it kept me cool and the relaxing rhythm of the waves - COMPLETELY RELAXED me.











Kellie and I got to catch up as well which is always a good thing!
Herb and I had a nice 4th. It is so HOT here right now, 95 degrees by 11 am...so we went to see Ice Age 3. It was pretty good. I remember seeing Shrek at the theatre and at that time we took Michael and Lauren because it was a "kids movie" We were laughing at parts that flew right over their innocent little heads...That is kind of the way Ice Age 3 was. Nothing really bad, just a cartoon tolerable for adults as well as the younguns.
BUT THEN...we went to the mall...
Herb got some new shoes and he got a gift certificate along with it - this required us to go up to customer service...stepping out of the elevator, I saw the comforter that I have coveted...ON SALE! The sale was great. 50% off of the price and then 30% off again! I got the whole shebang for a steal! about a quarter of the price of the comforter alone! This is a picture of it online, not my bedroom...














It is a change - we have alwasy had a down comforter, but this is a nice change during this ridiculously hot weather. HMMM, now I need to paint my room...

Our neighbor must have gotten a $50k bonus, or something, because his fireworks outlasted the downtown fireworks (they went for 37 minutes!!) and were far better than Lake Eola has ever been. Oh yes AND we got to watch from the comfort of our home. Good weekend.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How to Lose the Married 15...

Today on Health.MSN, I read an article "How to Lose the Married 15"! Ummm, times that by three and you have me...blechhht.

The article was just what I needed. (for the moment). It highlighted a woman who wanted to lose 30 pounds - She (Magda) decided to do this by tweaking her eating to more "whole foods" - less refined foods and being more active, the more active part led to running a 10 mile race...Hmm, my friend Jo and I are going to do a 10k in Octoberat Disney MGM Studios...

Here is what Magda did....
Her Incentives:
1st 10 pounds - eyelash extensions
2o pounds - tatoo
30 pounds - nose piercing

Those are not MY incentives! But I am going to think long and hard and see what I can come up with for mine.

What Magda Learned to Do:
KEEP CREATING INCENTIVES. "I didn't want to fall into old habits after my 10-mile race, so I signed up for a half and a full marathon before race day."
PLAN FOR SUCCESS. "Failing to plan is planning to fail. You must plan your meals and workouts, and you must stick with your plans as closely as possible. If I'd allowed every lunch meeting or office party to get in the way, I'd never have reached my goals."
START EVERY DAY FRESH. "We're all human and we're all going to have slipups, and that's okay. Instead of dwelling on them, move on and embrace the opportunity that exists with each new workout and meal."
DON'T STRESS OVER THE SCALE. "There are bigger indicators of success than a number on a scale. I didn't lose a pound my first month of eating better, but I felt happier and more energetic. And though I didn't drop 31 pounds by my 31st birthday, I was training to run 10 miles, which was huge!"
LIVE IN YOURSELF. "I'm living proof: With faith and discipline, you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to."Don't Let Fear Hold You BackTwo years ago, Magda had barely run a mile, ridden a bike, or gone swimming underwater. Today, she's a marathoner and triathlete. You can make big changes too, says John Spencer Ellis, CEO of the Spencer Institute for Life Coaching. Here's his advice on how to venture outside your comfort zone:
TAKE BABY STEPS. Don't try to run five miles your first time out. Over-doing it will only make you want to quit.
FIND A TEACHER. Tackling a new challenge alone makes it more frustrating. Turn to an instructor or an experienced friend to give you feedback and support.
LAUGH AT YOURSELF. Being able to shrug off mistakes puts failure into perspective. (Really, what's the worst that can happen?)
ENVISION SUCCESS. Think of something you do well — even if it's your keen ability to get the kids out of the house on time — and recall how you worked up to where you are now. Then apply those same steps to your new goal.

THANKS Magda!

I am on my way! I did 5 miles yesterday! 1 in the morning and 4 in the evening. I want to split it more evenly...but this morning thing is rough...Tonight, Herb and I are swimming laps after I walk/run. Can't wait til I don't have to "walk/run" I wanna just run...did I mention the jigglies are awful when running! I need to wear multiple bras. Grrr. I know TMI - Hee Hee!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Workin the Plan...

Gotta track my progress...

This is my accountability forum...
I walked 3 miles last night. Sweat like a pregnant nun at confession, but it felt goooood!
Tonite I walked 4 miles and I wanted to walk more, but I gotta be careful. Oh yeah, I am still sweating from last nite.
I thought I would post some pictures of what has been happening the last few months.

February - my little nephew, Preston turned 2. I just love this little man. He has the kind of eyes that bend me to his will...He has a little buddy Ellie and they just love to hang around together.



















Herb Completed his 3rd triathlon...
So pretty when we first arrive...but can you hear the Jaws soundtrack in the background...









Two purposes to the picture below...

1) Swim at your own risk...hello, florida?! We have creatures a little bigger than the average lake trout or snake...
2) See the little triangle that looks like a shark in the top right...that is one of the buoys to swim out to. I think the swim is about 1/2 mile.










This is Herb's cool stud muffin pose. I love the swim cap look...like you went to South America for some plastic surgery.
















Herbs is braver than I - this is his 3rd tri and I only did one...but this I know, just before that horn goes off, your heart is pounding and pounding and well, put on my goggles to hide my tears, I was freaked out...but once the horn blows, the adrenaline kicks in and you just go. As for me I went VERY SLOW...Herb moved a lot faster.
video
Here he is at the finish line with our nazi Columbian spin instructor Maria...she is the best ummm "motivator" (butt kicker). She is yelling at me for skipping spinning class.









Easter...











Just love this picture of them...

...Yet another Triathlon - Escape from Ft DeSoto over on the west coast of Florida...so cool, the swim was in the Gulf of Mexico...out about 100 yards along the shoreline for a 1/2 mile. This picture was time stamped at about 5:34AM...notice who is the morning person and who is not...nah! Lauren was a good sport. Hello, it was before the sun was up.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Startling Realization

You ever have one of those days when you realize something that has been obvious for a long time?

Well, I ride the elevator up one floor every day. The claustrophobic carrier is completely mirrored 36o degrees. OH HORROR - I looked to the side which shows my back side and well it is far more uhhhm mmm "curvy" than i thought. I KNOW i have gained weight, but it was now staring me in the face - or the backside...

So, that resolve that i had at the beginning of the year, I need to dig deep and resurrect it or well...birth it and dig in and get going. I spotted a blog called "marathon bird" and she has spotlighted some wonderful beginning runner programs, I am gonna do something - starting tonite.
Heaven Help Me.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Go Magic Colored Cupcake Frosting...

So, my job as a Mepaw is quite fun.

I fill the girls up on sugary frosty goodnes...then they go home. The Magic are in the Playoffs, so we must have Royal Blue Cupcake Frosting...we must.

:)

Very Blurry - sorry for my lack of camera skills










































Saturday, May 30, 2009

Love these Girls!

I love my calling.
I love these girls.
They have such an energy that just revives my soul.

Tonite was Personal Progress, Pedicures and - craziness.



































Thursday, April 9, 2009

Swing Time

We have a couple swings in our back yard and the girls love to come over and swing - Jocie especially LOVES swinging...she will say "circle circle, Mepaw...". So I spin her around and around and she squeals with excitement - I love that sound. Here is her big sister Madi spinning her. How it is that she doesn't just blow chunks - I'll never know.

video

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's okay Patti, you can be domestic...

This is what my husband told me the other day, when i presented him with my meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans and cookie dough brownies... Working, I never really had the time to get home and get dinner on the table in any respectable time frame. I know, i tried meal planning, but I eat what I am in the mood for. So, the month long menu thing never really worked for me. I would cook on Monday what was on for Saturday..."take-out" :)

Usually for lunch I meet Herb somewhere to dine outside as the weather is just PRIME right now - well, I called him today and hedged around the subject of lunch (i had something else in mind) and then he said Michael want to eat with us, and is Backyard Burger okay?! Yes!! I am not a big burger person so I begged out as I had fresh tomatoes on the mind.




fresh tomato
bacon
cheddar
fresh arugula
mayo






So, my domestication is nice right now as it runs down my arms in the form of tomato juice....mmmm.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hello my name is Patti - and I bake from a box

Sunday I was treated to a veritable feast of sweets from my Young Women...yummy sugar cookies (my favorite), browine pops and cookie dough brownies. Mmmm mmmm! We were all way hyped for the lesson, oh well.

Well, I really liked the cookie dough browines and their utter simplicity. 1 box of brownie mix and 1 bag of chocolate chip cookie dough from Betty Crocker (i had never bought cookie dough mix - but...maybe just maybe)

So here is my offering (unbaked):

I will post the baked product, gotta finish baking my "good eats meatloaf"
*** Brownies didn't last long enough to post a picture. Gone by breakfast! They were so simple! Just follow the box/bag directions and drop spoonfulls of cookie dough into brownine dough...bake til barely done. I like gooey brownies.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 Things about me...

I feel a little self-centered but, ahh well, who cares!

Here are 25 Things About Me

1. I am highly superstitious - I believe I jinx things all the time

2. I want to be a "runner" and really try to not practically pass out after 5 minutes max at a time of running. Shooting for a 10k in October or half marathon...i am out of breath just thinking about it!

3. I want so badly to be FLATCHESTED. As a teenager, I looked on enviously at ballerinas with their flat chests and was very covetous of them and their lack of jigglies on top.

4. I love the store Anthropologie, but I am far too anal to decorate my home that way...I would always be tidying up all the beautiful shabby vintage stuff...oh, and it is too expensive for me, so I just go in there to fantasize.

5. I have a going to bed ritual...I check all the doors to make sure they are locked, cabinet doors are all closed, and then go out in my jammies to look at the stars and get a breath of fresh air before going to sleep.

6. I HATE cats! We had a neighborhood cat who always slept under my car and I would cuss, yell at, and chase it - eventually it ended up dying behind a bush under our kitchen window...i only feel a little bad...wonder if my bad vibes killed it? My little granddaughter Madison saw the cat one day - while it was still among the living, and ran to me to let me know the "Damn Cat" was in the back yard! oops!!

7. I want to be a nurse.

8. I cry at the drop of a hat...frusterated, angry, sad, happy, laughing...let the floodgates open!!

9. We had a lot of animals growing up and my favorite were goats. The baby goats always seemed to be born around my birthday and I loved bringing them in from the cold to warm them by the fire...hated the chickens - ohhh how their poop stinks.

10. I have a Diet Coke ADDICTION...

11. I love snow and the quietness of the world after a snowfall.

12. Gardening brings me peace, love having my hands dirty!

13. Love the smell of an iron and spray starch.

14. I get REALLY EXCITED when a hurricane is pointing toward Florida, I go in emergency mode and double check batteries, water supply and canned food, ice, and house cleaning/laundry. I love to see the rain and wind. But the aftermath...'nother story.

15. I want to go back to Paris and see it again now as an adult - not a 17yr old...

16. I love cemeteries. I love to look at old gravestones, some are quite beautiful I like trying finding stones that tell stories of lives and loves. Savannah Georgia has the COOLEST cemetery.

17. I am adopted. No real desire to search out my birthparents. My parents did go to the courthouse a few years ago and brought me some really cool non-identifying info on mine and my siblings adoptions...that is all i needed.

18. I want to be a mom.

19. I am very in love with my husband...my best friend...confidant...travel buddy.... We have a banter that some think is fighting, it's not, just our way of communicating, mom. ;0

20. I am loyal - sometimes to a fault.

21. I am very forgiving/accepting. There is really only one person, who I can't let go of resentment towards. I am working on it though...

22. Staying in touch with friend is very hard for me. I don't feel like I have a lot to update people on. But I do love to hear from them.

23. I would rather have people over than going to their house...homebody.

24. I am afraid of a loved one dying in a car accident...main source of my nightmares.

25. Tired of talking about myself!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Change...it's a comin'

I love variety. I don't like to eat the same thing over and over, as opposed to my father who will eat oatmeal with one banana at 7:15 am every day. But me, I like different stuff for breakfast everyday - I like to find different ways to drive to work - different colors of eyeshadow - different lunch spots - different playlists depending on the day...













View outside my office
BUT - I am very comfortable with my job, been here for 9 years, it is a good place...well, with the current economic turmoil...it is not part of my reality anymore...and I am freaking out. I think i can find another job relatively soon - erruhhh, i hope. But new people, new politics, new boss, new procedures...agghhhh! This is one spot that I do not want variety. So, along with all my other resolutions, I am going to add new job. I am breathing and trying to visualize this...recrafting my resume and being creative. Too bad I don't have my prerequisites finished for nursing school.
Ahhh, Change.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bread wonderful Bread!

One of my goals/desires was to make some bread, so I started with a super easy loaf from my favorite Baking Site, King Arthur Flour. They have a blog that I stalk, and New Year's day I got busy.

My first loaf of the year is:

English Muffin Toasting Loaf

3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
cornmeal, to sprinkle in pan
12 3/4 ounces King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 ounce sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon instant yeast
8 ounces milk
2 ounces water
7/8 ounce vegetable oil or olive oil
cornmeal, to sprinkle in pan
Directions
1) Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl.
2) Combine the milk, water, and oil in a separate, microwave-safe bowl, and heat to between 120°F and 130°F. The liquid will feel very hot (hotter than lukewarm), but not so hot that it would scald you. As a reference point, the hottest water from your kitchen tap is probably around 120°F (unless your tap water is so hot that it burns you).
3) Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.
4) Beat at high speed for 1 minute. The dough will be very soft.
5) Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal.
6) Scoop the soft dough into the pan, leveling it in the pan as much as possible.
7) Cover the pan, and let the dough rise till it's just barely crowned over the rim of the pan. When you look at the rim of the pan from eye level, you should see the dough, but it shouldn't be more than, say, 1/4" over the rim. This will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour, if you heated the liquid to the correct temperature and your kitchen isn't very cold. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.
8) Remove the cover, and bake the bread for 20 to 22 minutes, till it's golden brown and its interior temperature is 190°F.
9) Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.


This was the simplest bread to make. I made my first loaf though with regular yeast (bread on the left) and it just didn't have the nooks and crannies that I wanted to melt all that butter and jam into...so Herb went to the store and bought "instant yeast" (I love this man!) and I increased the baking soda just a tich as well and wahoo! (bread on the right).















Nooks and Crannies for my butter and jam!




Taste Test - Not the tastiest bread, probably needed more salt and sugar for my overprocessed tastebuds. But it wasn't a brick. I'm easy.

December, Velsor-Style!!

This should be before the last post but I hadn't downloaded the pictures...so just pretend that this is first...

This year we kept it all lo-key. It was nice. Here are some of the highlights of December. Just a few...

First to kick off the Christmas Season, my "grand daughter" Autym (aka: Sizzy) had her Christmas Concert. Yes, I am a grandma-esque character. Herb has 3 children and the oldest has 3 beautiful little girls Madison, Autym and Jocelyn. I am "Mepaw". Something close to Grandma, but different...I am more immature!! She was over and practicing for her Christmas program one evening...with some unwanted help from her sister...

(Mute Blog music at bottom first)

video

Now, I am always trying to get a better shot, being the amateur videographer that I am (dramamine needed for most of my videos), and well I went for the BIG ONE this time. I went right over to the row of pews close to Autym and waited for her big moment, Her "trip" to the stage...

video
I felt awful, between laughing!!! I waited for someone from her school to help but I ended up helping her get her tinsel and sparkley shoes back on - she sang like an angel.

I have always wanted to make a gingerbread house, but too chicken, but this year I figured "what the heck". As I am rolling out the dough, Michael informed me that he wanted a gingerbread cookie, but refused to eat a gingerbread "boy" so I made him an anatomically correct "girl", Ginger. Side note for next time, when baking, dough SWELLS!!! hee hee















Lauren made a friend for Ginger, George. I don't know how they became mer-folks, but it just evolved...The house, needed windows so we crushed hard candy and made windows...















but oops! some were the roof! So, we have very pretty preppy skylights as well as windows!















Don't worry Martha, your job is secure!

I never finished the house completely, December in Florida, well, it is freakin' humid and my little windows started to run one day and it looked more like a haunted house so it found a new home, in my trash...try again next year. And December in Florida, we were able to be out in the yard A LOT over break...The girls came over one day and I bought them all their own balls (gotta avoid fighting) and it was a good day.
This is Jocie vs. ball:

video


Madi vs me

video

The Wonderful Auntie Lauren and Madi














Here is our anorexia Christmas Tree. Unlike my booty, anorexia tree doesn't increase in size as you progress lower, this is as wide as she gets!



















I got it at Old Time Pottery long long ago for super cheap one year - and well, cheap is the operative word this year - so out with the overpriced real tree from the lot, and in with tacky anorexia tree!

This is for everyone up north...Florida at Christmas...















December, very lo-key. Nice.
Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Reflections Resolution, Renewal

So the Holidays are officially over! Time for reflection, resolutions, and renewal...
REFLECTION:
Not unlike most, 2008 has been pretty trying. There was the always challenging income stream, mild-health scares, family "fun", wanting a to have a baby, etc... - the list could go on and on. BUT 2008 was a wonderful year in many ways...

  • I became Young Women's President - Love the Girls! They have such a vitality and fun spirit about them.
    Some of us saying bye to Sister Sackett in the front row middle















Service Project wearing our t-shirts that we made - they say "1heart"













Me with Heather, probably one of the few pictures i will post of me, cause you can't see too much of me. There is just too much...















  • Had a fantastic Garden and was able to can and preserve lots of stuff. Preserve more than canned...but 2009 is the year to conquer the Canner!















  • Celebrated 11 wonderful Years with Herb. I LOVE this guy.



















  • Herb's youngest Graduated High School and started at University of South Florida! Go Lauren!!
  • Took an amazing trip with Herb to Asheville.
  • Completed a sprint triathlon...swim 1/4 mile, bike 13 miles, run 3 miles.
  • Connected with some old friends and made some new.
  • Another year with my mom, 3 years post-liver transplant and she is still doing pretty well. This is a miracle considering they gave her 6 months without a transplant - I tear up contemplating the odds there. She is amazing and my inspiration.
  • Experienced what I consider a miracle with a breast cancer scare. GET YOUR TA TAs Checked regularly!!!
And now for some
RESOLUTIONS:

  • Record my parents personal history.
  • Re-do my personal progress - so much has changed since 19$%, that it wouldn't hurt to uhhh do a "re-do"
  • Another sprint Triathlon, and prepare for a half marathon in fall.
  • Conquer my fear of Home Canning and preserve more of my green beans and tomatoes. I have an irrational fear of the pressure canner.
  • Finish my prerequisites for Nursing School. just 3 classes
  • Attend the Temple at least once a month with my hubby.
  • Make more homemade meals...Thanks to the Economy this is a necessity AND one of my friends is making all of her bread...well, I could at least make 25% of the bread we consume - perhaps?
I better stop before I get overwhelmed...too late.
RENEWAL:
Ok, so I have a room that I refer to as the "pit of despair" well I have started "gutting" it and will be putting up shelving for Storage and Organizing my crafty-esque stuff. I just might post before and after pictures if i am brave enough. Truly the Albino from Princess Bride; his pit of despair, has NOTHING on me.
Enough of this...Here's to 2009!!!