Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"My tummy hurts..."

Stomach flu with small children means:
  • A two-year-old who will cry from thirst and hunger.  Do I give in and suffer the messy consequences, or listen to his pitiful crying?
  • Mason repeating, "Don't need to barf, Mama," throwing up between words, and simultaneously pushing away from whatever barf receptacle you're offering.
  • A sick four-year-old girl who is up half the night, but who makes you proud as she makes every effort to make it to the bathroom.
  • Bree in the bathroom crying after accidentally messing her pants, saying, "It's all my fault," but who rallies admirably when I reassure her that it can happen to everyone (even adults) who gets the stomach flu.
  • Me imagining I'm feeling the beginnings of stomach pains, and praying that I will escape it.  And a house that smells sickeningly of Lysol.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

San Diego Wedding

Last Saturday Bree and I were lucky enough to attend my great friend Kristina's wedding in San Diego.  (Chad had to work, and I bribed a friend to babysit Mason).  Girls' weekend!  Kristina has been my friend since we met in sixth grade.  We were together in honors classes all through junior high and high school, and we attended community college together in the Running Start program, and graduated with our Associates Degrees before we got our high school diplomas.  We starred in school plays and musicals together.  And when we were sixteen Kristina joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She's an amazing example of faith to me and everyone she's touched.  Her new husband Brad's mother caught me in the bathroom at the reception and said, "Kristina told me you were the one who gave her a Book of Mormon."  Her eyes welled up with tears as she thanked me for sharing the Gospel with Kristina, because so many lives have been changed as a result, including Brad's and his family's.  I was touched, and was grateful to her for reminding me what a wonderful conversion story Kristina's is.  I can only take a small part of the credit, of course.  Kristina had an awesome group of friends during those teenage years, all of whom were great examples to her.  And Saturday I felt a lot of pride watching Kristina take that wonderful step, and seeing her so happy.  Bree, of course, became instant best friends with everyone on the temple grounds, as per her custom, including the family who only spoke Spanish.  To them she said, "Muchas gracias" (credit due to Dora the Explorer).  I was constantly pulling her out of the way of wedding pictures...and there were a lot of weddings that day!  She wanted to be in all the pictures, and could not stop hugging Kristina and touching her dress.  That evening, the dinner cruise reception was awesome, and Kristina and Brad had a beautiful sunset ring ceremony.  The food was delicious, and Bree monopolized the dance floor for a large portion of the night.  The adults in our party also embarrassed ourselves, showing off our white dance moves.  Bree and I had a great time, and were completely worn out by the end of the night.  We made sure the traditional honeymoon basket found its way into the right car, and said our goodbyes.  It was a wonderful weekend, and I'm so glad I made the trip.

Children's Museum

We have been pretty busy around here lately.  For one thing, preschool started this month, and the kids are loving it!  Two of my friends and I take two-week shifts teaching preschool on Tuesdays and Fridays.  It's been awesome... especially since my turn hasn't come around yet!  I'm actually excited, and have been requesting library books for story time that relate to my unit's theme: "The more we get together".  We'll be learning all about families and friends.
Last Wednesday we had our first class field trip.  We carpooled down to Mesa to the children's museum there.  For only $6.50 a person (half that if you have awesome buy-one-get-one coupons like Mackenzie found online), you get hours of play and learning experiences.  There were giant blocks, a playhouse with a kitchen, story room, and garden, an art room, exhibits to experiment with sounds and video, and the featured Japanese Manga exhibit, which is why I have a photo of all the kids inside a furry cat-bus.  Apparently there is a Japanese comic with a giant bus that is actually a live cat...don't ask me.  Bree, however, is very familiar with the Japanese cartoon "Avatar", and knew how to act appropriately in the Japanese house, saying to her friends, "Welcome to Chang Palace."  It was a lot of fun, and was a deliciously air-conditioned respite from the 110-degree heat outside.  We'll definitely visit again.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Time to sell!

Tomorrow Amy and I will brave the Globe swap meet, attempting to sell our homemade goods to the throngs (hopeful word) of people flocking (another hopeful word) to our booth!  Wish us luck!

Oh, and check out our business' website!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Today Chad and I sampled six different cupcake flavors from Sprinkles, the world's first cupcake-only bakery. Thanks again to my awesome Visiting Teacher!  Actually, Chad didn't get to taste the Key Lime, since Joanna came over, and I jumped at the chance to get her opinion.  Sorry Chad.

I am really impressed.  And three pounds heavier.

Red Velvet: moist, subtle chocolate cake with superb cream cheese frosting.
Key Lime: a summer flavor, and one of my favorites. Key lime cake with lime-vanilla frosting and lime zest.  There was also a surprising lime glaze under the frosting, which really added a nice zing to the entire bite.
Black and White: dark chocolate cake that was a little dry for my taste, and yummy vanilla buttercream.
Chocolate Marshmallow: same chocolate cake with marshmallow creme in the middle (a little unappetizing for me, rather like Twinkie filling), and bittersweet chocolate glaze (too bitter we thought).
Peanut Butter Chip: peanut butter cake with semi-sweet chocolate chips (I wasn't too big on the cake flavor, and thought milk chocolate chips would have been better), and amazing peanut butter frosting with chocolate sprinkles.
Lemon Coconut: moist vanilla cake with lemon coconut cream cheese frosting.  I am not crazy for coconut, but I loved this cupcake.  The flavors and textures were wonderful.

In summary: If you live near a Sprinkles, you must go.  Warning: a single cupcake will set you back $3.25, but if you've never been, it's worth trying at least once.  My advice is this: steer clear of the chocolate cake, and if you're a cream cheese frosting fan, make sure you pick a Sprinkles cupcake topped with the stuff.

Best Visiting Teacher Ever

Last night my Visiting Teacher Barbara called, asking is she could drop by.  I said, "Of course!" knowing that Barbara always comes bearing excellent gifts.  But I was not prepared when I opened my door and she presented me with cupcakes from Scottsdale!  She knows that I've been fine-tuning my cupcake recipes, gearing up to start selling like crazy.  So she brought me cupcakes from two of the nearest (over 1 1/2 hours away!) cupcakeries, Sprinkles and Scottsdale Cupcakes.  I was beyond touched.  I could not wait to taste them all, and make notes on what ideas I might adapt for my own purposes.  What follows is a highly critical assessment of Scottsdale Cupcakes (and Barbara, lest you think I did not enjoy the cupcakes because my opinion of them may not have been the highest, be reassured that with every disappointing bite, my excitement at beating my competitors soared!).  So I put a movie on for the kids, and Chad and I sneaked into our room with a plate of halved cupcakes.  We tasted all four flavors from Scottsdale Cupcakes.

From left to right:
Tuxedo: slightly bitter supermarket-bakery-caliber chocolate cake with yucky white frosting.  I called the shop, and she swore up and down that the frosting is real buttercream, so I'm not sure why it didn't taste good.
Deluscious: bland vanilla cake with cookies & cream frosting (the Oreo flavor was nice, but I still didn't like the frosting).
Cosmopolitan: moist cake, but I couldn't tell it was supposed to have a cranberry flavor; VERY tart and over-powering lime-vodka icing.
Momo: yummy cinnamon & sugar cake with Madagascar vanilla frosting, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.  Definitely the winner of the bunch, but that frosting ruined it.

In summary: I cannot account for the great reviews this place gets in local print.  I would choose my own homemade cupcakes over theirs any day: better tasting for half the price!

"See my mohawk Mama? It's spiky."

It's Chad's doing.
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