Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Paul's favorite

Here's a recipe that I got from my BYU cooking class. Every time I make it I have people asking for the recipe and Paul likes it so much that I make it on a weekly basis. I hope you like it too!

RICE PILAF

1 Tbsp. EACH vegetable oil and butter
1 cup long-grain rice
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cups water
1 tsp. chicken base
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. EACH dried thyme and sweet basil or herbs as desired

Melt together butter and vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add rice, onion, and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is golden brown. Add remaining ingredients. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes until rice is tender. Yield: 4 servings.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Stand out...above the crowd

Here's one of Hattie's new favorite tricks. Enjoy!

video

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ice ice baby

These are the icicles hanging over our front porch. I'm always scared to walk underneath.
The long one on the far right can touch my chin when I stand by it.

These were the icicles last year at my office at Head Start.




Friday, January 18, 2008

The countdown

In 9 days our future is determined. In 9 days is "match day" in Texas. I'm pretty darn anxious and nervous. We will be matched with the school that best fits us. If we're lucky, UT Southwestern in Dallas (who we put as our #1 choice) will have ranked us high, in comparison with other med school applicants. If not, we're in at Texas Tech in Lubbock (where we already have a definite "yes"), which is certainly a good alternative. It's all up to a computer to determine our future. I'll be waking up at 12:01 pm on February 1st to find out where we'll be moving!!! If you know me very well, you know that I like to plan things well and have a good idea about the future. So knowing that we'll know in 9 days is big...You can be sure we'll be blogging on February 1st!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Storage unit drama

I live and work at storage units...no, I don't live in a storage unit as some have questioned. In exchange for free rent and utilities, I'm required to manage the units half the week, splitting time with Moultons living upstairs. It's a great setup, with the office just down the hall so I can stay home with Hattie all day and not have to go to work. We love it, except for living in the industrial area of town...it's a good thing that the Moultons are upstairs or we'd be lonely. But I've learned a lot about people here, and the type of people who rent units.

Type 1: Pay early...We hardly recognize that they exist. We get a check from them twice a year and that's the end of our interactions with them. Or perhaps they always pay one month early. Either way, we don't hear from them much.

Type 2: Pay on time...Dependable...consistent...we love them.

Type 3: Occasionally late...This is the stay-at-home mom who accidentally forgot that it was the first of the month, or the delivery man who made it to Spanish Fork one day later than planned. They know about the late fee, and, without us having to remind them, include the extra 5 bucks in their check. I like them cuz I don't have to be mean and say, "You forgot the late fee."

Type 4: Perpetually late...Every month they end up paying $20 in late fees. This is sad when the unit only rents for $20 or $40, and they rent two units ($40 in late fees). They're always trying to talk their way out of late fees, or seem surprised that they are late, almost certain that they paid extra last month. After they've been late for the 4th month in a row, I just want to say, "Is it really worth storing all that stuff if you are just going to be late every month?" They go in and out of foreclosure, but always conjure up the money to pay in the end.

Type 5: Those who have All Safe Storage on speed dial...We hear from them weekly, with some story about how their car broke down, how they lost their job, and were hospitalized. They aren't calling to make a payment, just to inform us of their problems and that they'll "be in by the end of the week." Of course, they call the next week with part two of their story, something along the lines of being sued and having twin babies die, saying once again they'll be in by the end of the week. On the third week they call, and you ask them how they're doing since their babies died, and they reply, "What babies?" (I'm not meaning to poke fun at their troubles, but I have heard all of these excuses before in the same month) We know them on a first name basis. When I answer and hear, "Hi, this is Geraldine...(sigh)" I know I'd better gear up for a story.

Type 6: Those who go to their unit on a daily basis...To them I want to say, build a shed. There is one guy in particular whose unit is right outside our bedroom window. I'll often hear him drive up at 6:00 am, as soon as the gate is accessible, and he'll grab something and go. He'll be back at noon, and again at 7:00. There are even oil stains on the pavement in front of his unit from his car being parked there so much.

All in all we love it. On days like today, I have answered the phone once, and helped one customer. More on storage unit life is sure to come.

The view from our bedroom window...I think you can see where the tire
marks end are where our "live-in tenant" rents.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Why are resolutions hard to keep?

Is it just their nature? Is there some cosmic being out there whose purpose it to ensure that we all fail? Or do we just completely lack self-discipline? Paul is sure there's a cosmic being. I mean, every year we essentially set the same resolutions, something along the lines of loosing weight, exercising, saving money, reading scriptures...occasionally there are some that are more original, but each year we are back to the same ones. Maybe it's just me, but history seems to repeat itself every year. I would call for us to unite and dedicate ourselves to being more committed, but I'm sure I'd be one of the first ones to fall out. So I'm just striving to do my best again, and gratefully I have a wonderful husband who reminds me of my goals, so they can last a little longer this year.

Speaking of Paul, he has another interview (#4) this Saturday at Southwestern in Dallas...it's ranked #19 in the nation, so we are pretty thrilled. And Hattie and I are going along too! We figure it's worth paying the standby rate for a long weekend at his parents house. But unless he absolutely LOVES Southwestern, we'll probably be at Texas Tech in Lubbock, since he's been offered a scholarship there.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Welcome the New Year

I suppose it's time I catch up a bit...the holidays seem to slow everything down a bit. We got to spend 6 days up in Ontario with my side of the family, and gratefully didn't have horrible roads. I must say I felt spoiled by Mom's wonderful cooking and many willing hands to hold Hattie. It seems like some days my interaction with her consisted of nursing! And even now, back in Spanish Fork, Paul has stayed home the last few days, so I'm still spoiled by splitting the daytime responsibilities with him.

Christmas was great...we were still able to fit in a bit of caroling with Val, Lisa, and Natali, and of course get some quality time with nieces and nephews. It was a white Christmas after all.





Other developments: Hattie has starting sucking her thumb pretty consistently! I think it's adorable and now she needs the pacifier less.

Another accomplishment of December was that I finished another quilt, one that I started in July as a Christmas gift for Mark and Kerri. Of course it was pretty slow going with being very pregnant and then having a newborn, so it's a good thing I started early! I finished the binding on Christmas Eve :) Here are some pictures of when we quilted it....Paul actually did ALL of the quilting...I just watched to make sure the bobbin didn't break. Paul's aunt has a machine quilter, and I've tried to explain how it works to some of you before, but always unsuccessfully....so check it out. He just had to keep the stylus in the grove, and the needle created a nice pattern for us.



We also went out for our anniversary, and got our first babysitter. It was a success, especially since Hattie is getting much easier to take care of.