Thursday, September 25, 2008

She may kill me, but.....

After my last post, I received this comment from an anonymous reader:

"Emma is more right than she knows! They are both invertebrates, and arthropods. The lobster is just a big sea bug. They sprang from the same evolutionary branch a long time ago. Wish it were a lobster....."


Did some wacky shellfish expert from Harvard whose currently studying the DNA similarities between chickens and sea life, google the right combination of "lobster", "chicken", and "salt", find my blog, and leave a comment with his biological spin to Emma's confusion? Thanks Professor Crustacean know it all.

Several minutes after deciding that was the case, my mother called me asking how to leave a comment with her name attached to it because she had just left one and had to leave it as anonymous.


I should have known...

...since she is the reigning Miss Crustacean and all.


Lobster 001

She's still waiting for the call to let her know when they'll need her for the float.

Friday, September 19, 2008


15 minutes ago, while on the phone with Clint, I heard Emma screaming my name in terror. My reaction time was a tad sluggish because I had to wrap up my conversation with Clint, so by the time I was able to see what the commotion was, she was standing on the toilet yelling, "A lobster just went into your bedroom!"

A what?

"A lobster just went into your bedroom!" she yelled. I was confused; she seemed so adamant, and for one split second I actually scanned my bedroom floor for a lobster. After quickly realizing I was being ridiculous, I asked her to again repeat what she saw. She was in near hysterics, and yelled again, "I just saw a lobster go into your bedroom!" I looked again on my bedroom floor and found the source of her concern.

A tiny scorpion.

Now, is it just me or should she know, as a 2nd grader, what the difference is between a lobster and a scorpion?

Don't get me wrong. I'm greatly concerned that there was an uninvited scorpion in my house, and even more displeased that had Emma not been in the bathroom at that exact moment, it would have gone unnoticed until it was in my bed biting me. We've only ever found one other scorpion in the house, and it was the day we had sod delivered to our home for the front yard. I'm assuming all the current work in the back yard is disturbing whatever habitat they've created for themselves, but honestly, I can't get it out of my head that my daughter doesn't know the difference between a lobster and a scorpion.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I've Learned

This past week I have learned:

You cannot vacuum and read at the same time.

You should pee before going to a comedy club.

Velveeta never really goes bad.

Kayaking is much more fun but much more tiring than I previously thought.

If the pricing of a t-shirt is ambiguous, Gap will honor the lower price. If you ask if you can go back to the display to grab a few more t-shirts for the same price, they'll tell you not to push your luck.

Breakfast with a friend is a really great way to start the day.

I can only go 5 weeks between coloring my hair before my gray gets out of hand.

If I'm the one with the most opinions about a certain event, I'll be put in charge of it.

If you sit outside of Cold Stone at Marketplace on a Friday night, it will seem that everyone you've ever known will walk past you, making for many sweet reunions.

A simple phone call can sure change a few things around here, mostly face time with my husband.

I have a twisted need to have much more on my plate than I can possibly handle.

My mailman's name is Greg.

If I don't think about what I say, I can really screw up a conversation.

Along with that, I'm not good at backtracking my way through to clarify my point.

If you're in a car with multiple people, don't fall asleep with your mouth open because they can and will place things in it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Congrats & Condolences

Today, I may have shown you this -


But I was actually feeling like this -


It was mentioned that each bishopric member has a young family and to please be mindful. I'm thinking about vinyl lettering that thought onto the bishop's office door.

This picture was taken today. I wonder how much more grayer my hair will be in the picture we take the day Clint's released from his calling.

iPhone 003

Could I sound more pessimistic? Seriously though, I'm thrilled. I think. Well, maybe not. Except I'm joyful. But scared. Optimistic? No. Um, how about sanguine? Yes, that sounds about right. I'm sanguine.
"So, how are you doing today Jaylee?" people will ask me.
"I'm sanguine," I'll respond.
"Oh, that's nice," they'll say, as they mutter to themselves that the new councilor's wife is a wack job. And guess what the new councilor's wife was doing at the exact moment the new councilor was receiving the phone call asking him to come in and see the Stake President? She was telling a dirty joke to a bunch of women. But, in my defense, it was a pretty funny dirty joke. Next time you see me, ask me to tell it to you. I will, unfortunately, have to tell you, "No, I can't, because I'm the new 2nd councilor's wife and I'm sanguine."

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Look Ma, I Is Domesticatedtion

This afternoon, I honed in on my homemaking skills. I took pride in being a woman. I practiced the art of familial nurture.

Then I decided I was done and yelled at my kids to go to bed so I could write this post.

I love tomatoes. Wait, I'm blogging. I should say it like this: or
I heart tomatoes.

I love tomato soup. I've grown up eating the campbells version out of a can, (with milk, cuz water is ew) and was oblivious that homemade tomato soup was an option. A few months back, a crafty friend of mine posted a recipe for tomato soup she had made for her family. I was intrigued and decided to try it out. It did not go over well; Clint said it was a little to "healthy tasting". I suppose he was correct, since it was missing the artificial red look and tin metal taste of the canned version. The recipe didn't use milk, so it was truly a healthier tomato soup. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but agreed that since he is not a tomato lover, and egad, the soup actually tasted like tomatoes, it was not a viable dinner to add to our rotation.

But then I came across this website and found a different recipe for homemade tomato soup that looked delish, and it called for a whopping 2 cups of heavy whipping cream. I figured it would be safe to attempt again, which I did tonight. Oh, how yum it was.

Jaylee's (actually, this lady's) Yummy Tomato Soup

3 lbs of vine-ripened tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups tomato juice
(not V8, it actually needs to say tomato juice)
1 cup cooking sherry (haven't you heard? The alcohol cooks out. I think... Crap. Don't tell my bishop)
3 T white sugar
1 bouillon cube
(the website I got this from used gluten free bouillon. I'm just waiting for the day they come up with gluten free gluten (oh, by the way, I used 2 cubes because I like the extra flavor, and guess what - they weren't gluten free))
2 T chopped fresh basil
It's fun to change the colors

Use a 5-6 quart crock pot. Wash all your tomatoes and cut into quarters and place them in your crockpot.


Here is a picture of all of my tomatoes placed in my crock pot in case you had any questions as to how the tomatoes should look when they are placed in your crock pot because sometimes people want to see pictures of tomatoes in crockpots

No need to peel them. Add the onion and then cover with tomato juice, sherry, bouillon, sugar, and basil. Stir, cover, and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.

You can leave it chunky, but my dinner table must be "chunk free", so I blended the soup in small batches and placed it into a sieve for some extra smoothness. Then I blended again what didn't make it through the sieve, and it all went back into the crockpot. Now if you're not careful, and think to yourself "but when I make my smoothies, I fill the blender up to the top and there are no problems", please take a look at my shirt and pants:


I actually had one of those moments that you see in the movies where the top of the blender shoots up and the contents are splattered across your wall. Some also landed in my toaster. How the heck am I supposed to clean that out? I think it exploded because of some heat differential being more buoyant than the air particles, and the blender atoms couldn't contain that amount of centrifugal force for the duration of the liquefy cycle, so the fluidity of the soup couldn't occupy the same space because an object in motion stays in motion and an object at rest stays at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. Or, something like that. Seriously, small batches is the name of the game.

Moving on, after your soup is liquid enough, add 2 cups of heavy cream and stir. I added a bunch of shakes from my kosher salt box (maybe 10?) so you should only add 5 since you're normal.

Here are the end results


I don't have the setting on my camera that makes your food look visibly appetizing (like my crafty friend has), so just take my word for it. It.was.good. I hearted it. My family hearted it to. Also, it made a load of soup, so next time I'll freeze half of it. I can't with this batch because (and correct me if I'm wrong) previously frozen milk based soups do not make for decent meals. So, next time I'll add enough cream for our personal servings, and freeze the remainder of the un-creamed soup. I'm sure I'll be making this recipe again (you've seen the size of my farm).

But wait, there's MORE!

I made cookies! That's two somethings in one day! I can barely do 1 something. The recipe is here if you want it. They were a little too rich for my Dorito loving palate, so I probably won't be making these again. Here's a trick for these cookies. When you're creaming the peanut butter and cream cheese together, don't pull the cord far away from the outlet because you may pull the cord out while you're creaming the ingredients, and you may set the hand held mixer up right, and you may plug the cord back in, and you just may end up witnessing another splattering of your walls because you didn't turn the blender off before you plugged it back in, and you'll see the pieces fly everywhere, but not be able to find them until you arrive at your in-laws house to borrow some cinnamon, and they chuckle because you have tomato soup all over your clothes and creamed filling in your hair.


Also, make sure you use both beaters because you may spend 5 minutes wondering why the heck it's not creaming before realizing you've been one beater shy the entire time.

Viola! Jumbo Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches (just typing the name added 100 calories to my hips)



From the website www.howtobealazyparentandstillenrich
number 28 - "Make sure your child licks a beater at least once in their life. The choice is yours whether to give them the second beater or not. Better get them used to disappointment now instead of later."

Nuggets of wisdom, from my home to yours.

Ack, there's also a finale! Pie! I made a pie! And if you've been wondering about my Apple Pie in a Bag recipe, I do actually use a bag.


I'm domesticated out.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day '08

Last week, I was speaking to my mother, letting her know that we would be camping over the Labor Day weekend. She scoffed and asked me why Clint makes me go camping when I don't enjoy it. I explained to her that I enjoy certain aspects of camping, but overall, no, it's not my preference to spend three days peeing on a fallen tree and picking bark out of the back of my thighs. After speaking with her, I realized that I should let Clint know how I felt about this hobby of his. I'm not sure what my true intentions were for speaking up; I think I was trying to passive aggressively tell him "See! See what I do for you because I love you!? See the sacrifices I make so that you can take part in what you deem to be "a relaxing vacation" but what I see as a "bark in my butt" adventure?" We sat down to discuss our trip, and I ended up disclosing my closely guarded feelings about camping. I told Clint that I really don't like to go camping, and could think of no fewer than 7 things I'd rather do over the Labor Day weekend. He promptly told me he didn't believe me because each time we had gone in the past, he knew I had a great time. I guess my tolerable attitude towards the entire event lead him to believe that I was roaring to go every time.

I should be more clear about the certain aspects of enjoyment I was referring to. They are, in no particular order, the food and the family. I tolerate the camping so that I can eat all day long (our food while camping is gourmetish), and laugh my butt off at Draney antics. But, I feel strongly that the amount of work performed while camping far exceeds the amount of relaxation that occurs. Now, I should be clear; most of the work isn't performed by me. Clint does the set up, take down, and the other abundant manly chores, and my MIL does most of the meal preparation. I'm usually in charge of keeping the camping chairs warm, or delegating tasks, which usually takes place from said camping chairs.

So, here's a quick run down of my weekend. You tell me if I'm right in my beliefs, or if I'm just a big whiny sack of poo.

This picture was taken from a moving car, which accounts for the blurriness.


It took us 40 minutes to drive 5 miles. It could have been avoided if we had packed lighter which would have helped us to leave before 5pm, but instead, it took us 3 hours to pack; I bring EVERYTHING since being in the middle of the woods 40 minutes away from the nearest store makes me feel like I have NOTHING. Clint's all for camping with whatever he can carry on his back, but he's had to make certain concessions for me and my suburban ways. I'll never understand those campers who strap on their chacos, pocket a granola bar, and call themselves ready.

Our campsite was a 30 minute drive off a dirt/jagged rock road which was not intended by God to be driven upon. We forged ahead and created our own campsite where no man had set foot before. Okay, I'll admit it was very nice to not worry that I'd run into another neighboring camper while doing my business.

After we arrived, which was around 9pm Friday night, Clint immediately started to set up shop. I asked him to hand me the suitcase that housed all of our clothing so I could put a jacket on Emma. Clint's face held a look of terror; he had forgotten to pack the suitcase. Conveniently though, Clint's backpack, which held his own clothing, was located amongst our belongings. Friday night was spent sleeping in our clothing we had worn that day.

Saturday was beautiful. Unfortunately, Clint and I were not able to enjoy the beauty of the day from the vantage point of the woods. Our morning was spent driving back out on the dirt road, that God did not intend to be driven on, to go purchase clothing for myself and my children.

4 hours later (yes, 4 HOURS!), we were back at our campsite, having driven back on the dirt road that God did not intend to be driven on, with Walmart sweat suits, underwear, socks, shoes, pants, jackets, etc. It was very tough to spend money on this pair of shoes.


Heck, it was hard to spend money on any of the items we bought. I had purchased for myself one shirt and a pair of jeans, both of which I knew I would not wear again. In the end, I wore the pants, shirt, and socks I arrived in, all weekend long so that I could return the unworn merchandise. I willed myself to deal with the stench of 3 day old pants, which had turned into a collage of many different patterns, weaving their way across my legs and lap, mostly consisting of Asher's nose drippage.

Okay, I do have to admit that Saturday afternoon was gorgeous and relaxing. Our dutch oven dinner and dessert were heavenly. Fine, 1 point to camping.

And then the rain came.

Saturday night was spent with the plink plink plink of rain all night long on our tent. We stayed warm and dry, and after waking Sunday morning, we were planning to hang out in our tent for awhile and wait for the storm to pass. It didn't pass, and about 10 minutes after waking, our tent started leaking. Rain had started to come in from the top and bottom of our tent. We quickly folded our blankets and sleeping bags, all the while yelling at our kids to stop playing in the water because they were going to get their socks wet and I didn't want to open up the package of socks I had purchased for Emma because I wanted my money back, and in my haste to leave Walmart, I had forgotten to purchase socks for Asher.

Sunday morning was spent in my SIL's pop up watching The Incredibles (they camp in style), while the rain continued on and on until I wanted to shove crickets in my ears so that I would have something new to listen to.

We did eventually brave the elements to spend some time underneath tarps.



Though, I do have to give 1 more point to camping because breakfast and lunch were fabulous. I'm telling you, food is a large motivator for me. I'll poo in the woods if you make me a breakfast burrito.

Ugg, I'll also admit that Sunday afternoon, after the rain let up, was lovely and relaxing. It was so much fun to watch Asher follow his cousins around and act goofy with them. It's much easier in that aspect than being home. It wasn't necessary to entertain him; he was contented to just run around. That was a great highlight. The filth wasn't.


Honestly though, the real reason I deal with the hassle of camping is because of the pure, unadulterated laughter that flows so easily all weekend long. The main reason I go camping is encapsulated in this one picture.

August 2008 Canyon Lake Camping 088

We ended up leaving late Sunday night since we did not have a functional tent. I'm sure Clint could have figured something out in the way of leak proofing it, but he was sweet/smart enough not to suggest it.

I guess, begrudgingly, I have to admit that I liked camping.

But don't tell Clint I said that.

If you've got a second, look over these pages. It's a form of the telephone game. Each person has a piece of paper to start out with, and they write a saying, quote, etc on the top of the page. The paper is then passed to the right, and that person has to then draw out what the saying, quote, etc means on the paper they've just received from their neighbor. The paper is then folded over so that the saying, quote, etc is hidden, and the paper is again passed to the right. At that point, all you have is a picture that is supposed to be descriptive enough so you can figure out what the original saying, quote, etc. was. You write down your best guess, fold the paper over so that the picture is now hidden, and pass it again to your right. It will then be passed around, and continuously folded over, until you have your own paper back in your hands. After sharing with each other what crazy interpretations we came up with, I think I laughed so hard a little bit of pee came out.

I sure have used pee and poo quite a few times in this post.

Telephone 001


Telephone 003

Telephone 002

Telephone 005

Telephone 004

Telephone 007

Telephone 006