Monday, March 23, 2009

Girls' Day In

I don't often get to have a girls' night out but last weekend I had a girls' day in. I walk with two friends in the morning and we decided to use a Saturday and enjoy good food and play with our Wii Fit. Kind of funny considering the menu was definitely not aligned with goals to lose weight. Hyrum took the kids to help clean our church building and the other husbands watched their kids except one but he sat in one place and didn't make too much noise.

It was great fun. I love having good food, good fun and best of all good friends. We had a pretty good laugh over heading the soccer ball and the hula hoop. We ate brunch lasagna, gingerbread scones and some fresh fruit. The food was yummy so if your into indulging you can get the recipes from Taste of Home. It is my favorite place for yummy recipes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Break

Last week is Spring Break at UT. It is a wonderful thing that we never had at BYU. The first year we lived here we took Hannah on her first ever camping trip. We ended our trip after less than twelve hours at the camp site, packed the car at 6 am and drove into the sunrise, cold and wet. This was all after driving 8 hours to west Texas. Hannah was dry and warm but still not happy. Last year we decided to spend a few days in Houston with Hyrum's brother and his family. We drove down Sunday night and Tuesday morning, Hyrum left bright and early for some work in Palo Alto. It wasn't quite planned that way. I drove home Wednesday with Hannah all alone and Hyrum got home on Saturday. We did have fun with the Wrights, though.

You may have guessed that the last couple of spring breaks, though fun in their own way, weren't quite what we planned. This year we decided to keep it simple. One day, one city, and no camping. We spent yesterday in San Antonio. We've talked about going since we moved here and lately Hannah has taken to asking if Daddy is at the temple whenever he is gone. We figured we'd take her to one and show her what our nearest temple looks like. If we were going to drive all the way to San Antonio for that then we had to see the Alamo and other sites.

We stopped at the temple only to find that it was closed at the moment so we turned around and headed to the Alamo. We parked at the Mall and walked down the road to the Alamo. There it was, that iconic piece of Texas history. There was an enormous line outside so we looked and moved on to what remains of the Mision San Antonio de Valero (the Alamo). We bought our traditional fridge magnet and patch and then moseyed on down to the Riverwalk.

The Riverwalk was really neat. It is below street level so the noise is just from people enjoying their day and not from cars driving about two stories above you. There were barges giving tours and restaurants lining the walkway. At one point it actually goes into the mall. No doorways or anything just right to the food court at the Mall. We ate lunch at a place called Casa Rio. It was good Mexican food. Hannah liked throwing her chips to the ducks. We sat right next to the river.

After that we made our way back to our car and drove a few miles south to the rest of the San Antonio Missions. There were five total, all but the Alamo still function as part of the San Antonio dioceses. We stopped at the Visitor's Center and walked through the Mision San Jose. It was a beautiful day with plenty of sun. By the time we finished Hannah was begging for a nap. We got in the car and started the 1 1/2 hour car ride back home. We decided to stop at the temple again to see if it was open and let Hannah walk around if she was still awake. We helped her stay awake with pretzels and fruit snacks. She was so happy to finally see the temple up close. The stained glass windows are just as nice outside as they are inside and Hannah loved smelling the flowers. It was great end to a great day. I'm glad that we have finally had a complete and satisfying Spring Break trip.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Brrr . . .

The weather here has been in the high 70's and even in the 80's. I think that's a little too warm especially for March but, that's what we've had. This morning that wasn't the case. I think Austin rivals Chicago for a windy city. I woke up this morning to the front window clattering in it's track and a howling wind blowing into our apartment. I shut the window and figured the front would take a little while to bring the rain. 20 minutes later I opened the door to meet my friends and it was raining, not a gentle rain but big drops accompanied by the still howling north wind. I walked up to my friends apartment--fast--and together we decided to brave the elements and walk our two miles. By the time we finished we were wet and cold but hey we finished our walk. I'm so glad cold weather is back. It can hang out for a few more weeks.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Texas Independence Day

I'm a little late, but, better late than never. March 2 is Texas Independence Day. When Hyrum and I started dating we had a particularly fun date to celebrate Texas Independence Day. Since then we have made it a point to celebrate this holiday every year.

This year it fell on Monday so we waited to have our festivities until Friday. What did we do? We had a party. We invited a few friends over and I made way too much food. We had a great time though. Mostly just chit chat and later we busted out Apples to Apples. I made good ole bean dip, fruit dip with strawberries, grapes, and apples, and some tortilla roll-ups with ham, turkey and an assortment of cream chees filling. We washed it all down with my favorite lemonade. It was fun to have friends over and miraculously our kids slept through the whole thing. Yay for random holidays that give us a reason to celebrate.

Jonathan's Hair

So you are all probably wondering what color Jonathan's hair really is. The poll closed on Thursday, his 6 month birthday. I really thought we might be able to tell for certain by then but, we can't. I'm not too surprised just because Hannah's hair was slow in coming too. We'll keep you posted. Chances are good that it will be red but we truly could get a blond or brunette out of him. We'll see.

So yes, my baby is 6 months old. I can't believe it. I really didn't think I would make it past six weeks and here we are. Yesterday we went to the doctor's and had his six month check up. He has slowed down in the weight gain but only a little. He weighs 19 lbs. and 7 oz. He's been averaging exactly 1 lbs a month since he was 2 months old and he was just 5 oz. shy of that this time around. The doctor kept asking me about 9 month milestones and then reminding himself that Jonathan was only 6 months old. He's a whopper. He's about 28 3/4 inches tall and he has a big head too. He is growing but we're glad that it is all in proportion.

He is a rolling champ. He rolls and pivots and spins around like a top to get where he wants to be. He acknowledges us when we say his name and talk to him and boy, does he move. I thought it would be calmer than Hannah but no, he is a mover. He sits up by himself for a few seconds and then fall over in a controlled fall. He is getting up on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth. Occasionally he will launch himself forward to get a toy. We're just waiting for the crawling to begin. I hope it tires him out so he will sleep more. He is a happy kids and loves to smile at us and especially Hannah. Those two are special friends. Such fun.

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

I love homemade vanilla pudding. One of my favorite Thanksgiving pies is a vanilla cream with a graham cracker crust. Yum. So here is a recipe for vanilla pudding. It is the easiest recipe I have found and tastes great too. Strawberries add a fun flavor especially for the coming summer picnic season. If you want, this will make enough pudding to make a vanilla cream pie. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Vanilla Pudding

2/3 cup sugar
4 tbsp cornstarch
3 cups milk
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tbsp butter or margarine
2 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan mix together the sugar and cornstarch. Gradually add the milk and egg yolks. Stir it until blended and them cook on medium heat stirring constantly until mixture boils. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it right to the top of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for several hours or until cold. This will keep in your fridge for a few days but the faster you eat it the better.