Thursday, February 28, 2013

San Diego!

This past weekend I joined Rob in San Diego.  He had a CE course there and I decided to come along for some sunshine and time with my brother (who lives there).

Rob was mostly stuck in class the whole time, but I had lots of fun.  We left the kids in the capable hands of Rob's two sisters, and had a nice little getaway.

Steve was so great to pick us up from the airport (two separate days since Rob came a day earlier than I did) and drive us around while we were there.

Sunday he took us by the temple.  I have always wanted to see this temple in person.  I think it is the most beautiful temple and let me tell you, it does not disappoint in real life.  It is just beautiful.

 We stayed at a very nice hotel right downtown within walking distance of the hotel where Rob's course was.  Behind our hotel was a small shopping village and then a park along the harbor.  I spent each morning walking along the water and sitting in the sunshine.  It was great!

 I saw the same statue we saw while in Florida. 
 This statue is right next to this old retired aircraft carrier.  It is now a museum you can tour.  I was interested in doing so, but didn't take the time.  And yes, those are blossoms on that tree!!  in February!
 Saturday I joined Rob for a delicious lunch.  My sandwich was so huge I had to take a picture.  Turkey, bacon, avocado....oh yes!
 Rob and I agreed that San Diego is a very clean city.  I realize we were downtown in the tourist area, but I have been in a few big cities and this was definitely clean in comparison.  I loved the beautiful flowers.
 Steve and his girlfriend Yihua met me Saturday afternoon and took me to Coronado beach.  It wasn't quite warm enough for swimsuits, but we enjoyed it.  Yihua is from China and in Steve's graduate program.  I was happy to meet her and get to know her a little.

 While walking along the beach we saw this magnificent work of art made by a professional behind a fancy hotel.  How does he DO that?
 Here is the front- not quite as good of a picture because of the shadow.  If you look closely you can see a monster wreaking havoc to the buildings.
 That evening Steve and Yihua took us to an authentic Chinese restaurant for Chinese Hot Pot.  Apparently this dish is only available in a few big cities in our nation.  It was a fun experience and very tasty!  On each table is a burner on which a pot of broth is placed.  Ours is divided- half spicy and half not- for me!  Then you order veggies and meats.  The meat is brought out thinly sliced and raw.  You put the meat and veggies in the pot a little at a time, wait for it to boil which means it is done, and then grab it with your chopsticks and eat, or dip in dipping sauce and eat.  Steve taught me how to use chopsticks and I managed quite well.
 We had several kinds of mushrooms, cabbage, sugar snap pea sprouts, bamboo- it was all good (well, except maybe the tofu- I am not a fan)
 Sunday I took a taxi to what I thought was the nearest church building,but it turns out it was the Mormon Battalion Historic Site.  So I took the tour and had a blast!  If any of you readers are ever in San Diego this is a must!  The church has done such a good job making this tour interesting and definitely family friendly.  I learned so much that I never knew, and the whole time wished my kids were there.

 During part of the tour they asked for a volunteer and dressed him up like a soldier.

 In the back of the building they had "gold panning" and other hands on activities.
 I found some nuggets! :)

 At the end of the tour they take your pictures!  Steve picked me up from there and I was telling him how much fun it was that he decided to go through it with me. 
 We flew out Sunday afternoon and the next day enjoyed this in Idaho!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Warning: Rob is out of town and I am taking it easy after a tiring day. I just wrote this post and it is extremely long and rambling. Feel free to skim or skip it. I am in a "stream of consciousness mood," apparently. Also, I am too lazy to go all the way to the computer, turn it on, wait for it to do whatever it does before you can use it, download the pictures, then post the blog. So I am just blogging on my iPad. However, the app doesn't usually show the horizontal pictures completely, so some of the photos might look like you are only seeing half-because you are. Most of them should be okay, though. Also, I can't figure out how to intersperse the photos with the text, so sorry it is just text, then photos.

It has been beautiful and sunny the past two days!! It has reached the low 50's and I am not kidding, it felt so warm. With this pregnancy I have been extremely tired and the extreme cold hasn't helped. Today I feel so much better. I am sure it is a combination of me getting further along in the pregnancy (first trimester is the worst for fatigue for me) and also the sunshine. I know that we can choose to be happy and all of that, but man it is just easier when the sun is shining!

Last night I "heart attacked" our house for the kids. On some of the hearts I wrote each child's name and on the backside a little Valentine message. I dispersed them throughout the house- both upstairs and down. I wanted to make the day special but didn't want to give them more junk food!

They were pretty excited about it in the morning. It definitely started the day off right. For breakfast we had heart shaped cinnamon rolls. I had made some last week for a Young Women's activity and froze the extras. It worked out great. (Have a mentioned that I am now serving in the Young Women program in our ward? I am no longer the choir director or music chairman- so weird!) Then, with a little Valentine note surprise tucked in their lunches, I sent the kids off to school.

During the day I decided to try out a new recipe for a Valentine treat to take to my VT ladies. I was originally planning on sugar cookies but then decided on these 'red-velvet marble cheesecake brownies" because I thought they would be less work. It turns out they were kind of a lot of work. They looked great, but I am not sure how great they tasted. I think if I do them in the future I will make a regular brownie layer, and just use red food coloring on the top layer. That stuff just has a funny taste.

Today I have been missing my Valentine as Rob is out of town. One of the young men in our ward was trying to earn money by making and delivering Valentines. So today I was delivered some beautiful flowers and handmade chocolates in a chocolate basket- very impressive. That was so sweet. I love flowers...and chocolate!

In thinking ahead about Valentine's Day I was wondering if I wanted to make a special dinner. I knew I didn't want to work too hard since Rob wasn't even here. Every time I see people's elaborate heart-shaped meals online I think to myself, "ugh, that sounds like a ton of work." I have decided I am really good at the day-to-day grind of getting the necessary stuff done, and done well! But when it comes to extra-fun-holiday celebrations (read extra work) I am lacking. However, I browsed pinterest yesterday for some inspiration, and came across these heart-shaped calzones. I got hooked. So I made them tonight, and, yes, they were a ton of work. It just takes a long time to cut out the heart shapes, fill the calzones, pinch them together- you know? The recipe suggested to have kids help, which I had planned on, but then they were having so much fun playing outside that I couldn't bring myself to call them in. But, everyone liked them! So, I guess that was worth it! Hooray for a successful heart-shaped dinner!

I hope all of you had a great Valentine's Day, and that you took time to appreciate the special people in your life!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Update and this and that

Not much has been going on around here (no more broken backs, at least!) but I feel I should update.  Before I do so I will mention that I fixed the photo of Seth in the hospital bed so that you can now SEE him!  Blogger really needs to fix their app!!  So scroll down after you read this post if you would like to see the picture as it actually should look like. :)

Okey-dokey:  Seth met with the doctor and has a great prognosis.  They do not want to see him again unless there is some unforeseen complication.  He is expected to recover fully and have no future problems.  He has to take it easy for another three weeks until his bones are completely knit back together.  This is hard as he starts to feel better. 

He had some exciting news today in that he found out he was given a principal drama role in the 5th/6th grade drama production this year.  I am so glad he has that opportunity.

I took this picture a few weeks ago when it was so bitterly cold.  This was taken around 11:00am.  You can see from the trees just how cold it was.  We are thankful it has been up to the balmy range of 30-40 degrees lately.

 While the storms outside may have relented, our tropical storm Sydney still rages in the house. 
 These two are pretty adorable helpers in the kitchen.

 Here is an example of what 1:00 church and no nap will result in Sunday evening.  Sydney made herself comfortable on the stone floor in the middle of the dishwashing process after dinner Sunday.
 Kids are so great, aren't they?