Wednesday, April 28, 2010


My favorite fruit is a strawberry. I love them anyway you can serve them, though my least favorite way is dipped in hard chocolate. I think it's all because from a young age I was forced to spend hours with them every June. School would get out for the summer and a'pickin' we would go. My mom would drag us down the room to the strawberry farm and we would sit in the hot sun for what seemed like hours and have to pick strawberries. We had quarts and quarts but it was still not enough. Finally, we would be done and then, home to clean them, puree them, sugar and jam them. A few made it into things like strawberry pizza and strawberry shortcake.

Though the above sounds like drudgery, think a hot biscuit just out of the oven. A tender bit of steam curling into the air as you pull the flaky morsel apart. Then, lather it up with some nice chilled homemade strawberry jam with junks of real strawberries that are still firm and taste like they are just out of the field. Got it? Yum!

So consequently, the drudgery has been a great experience for me and one that I have perpetuated into my adulthood and mothering. Today Hannah and I, along with her friend, Jarom, drove about 1 hour and 45 minutes to pick strawberries. A little far yes, but well worth it. There were so many beautiful berries. It was a beautiful day and the kids turned out to be pretty good strawberry pickers while I could keep them on task. Eventually they just made sand castles in the dirt while I finished the picking. We ended up picking just over 26 lbs. That is a lot of berries. Most of it will jam though I'm limited in my freezer space. I know I can just can it but I really like the freezer variety.

Tonight I made tasty strawberry muffins and strawberry pizza and a torte are calling my name. I think I'm in trouble. Hannah and Jonathan love them too. I couldn't even get the berries in the door before Jonathan had one in each hand. I was able to get them cleaned and the tops off though before he made too much damage. I am so excited. Yay for Spring and the early Texas warmth. Now we wait for Peaches next month.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Springtime means . . .

Well it means a lot of things for our family. It usually means gearing up for a crazy summer but I actually think our spring has been crazier than this summer will be.

It also means flowers and our garden is growing. The exterior to our apartments are pretty drab so I bought some flowers to spruce it up a little. It so much nicer to come home to a pot of pretty, bright flowers and a growing tomato plant than to a stucco wall and a patch of dirt.

Our garden is doing well. We had a few setbacks but things seem to be growing well. We pulled a few carrots this week and I enjoyed them for dinner last night. I have a lot of weeding to do but weeding and keeping Jonathan out of the other plots is quite the challenge. Yesterday morning Hannah woke me up at 6 and Jonathan followed at 6:30 so we got up and went out to the garden before my crazy day got started.

I got a little bit done but I was really hoping to spend a couple hours out there and get all the carrots weeded. Well it didn't happen and we came home after about 45 minutes because Hannah needed the restroom. It's pretty bad when Jonathan who spent a total of 10 minutes in the garden was the dirtiest of the lot. I tried to get a picture of him but he wouldn't stand still and look at me.

Once it looks nicer maybe we'll get a picture of the garden up too.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

So proud

Today we had Stake Conference for church. This is a meeting where all of the LDS members in an area, the Stake, meet together and have one two hour meeting. It is always a great learning experience for me but with kids it can be challenging. We use to go to the room where kids were allowed to run around and be a little noisy but it still didn't allow us to hear anything and really the kids were always rowdier than we wanted on a Sunday anyway. So today, with plenty of snacks in the diaper bag and coloring books we were determined to sit in the main room and see how it went.

I was so proud of Hannah she made it through the entire meeting in the big room. During the intermediate hymn she went out with me to get more water but she basically sat through two hours without any problem. I was pretty proud of Jonathan too. He basicallly woke up at 4:40 this morning and so he was really tired but he lasted until the last 45 minutes. Then he and I walked the halls and went back for the closing song and prayer. They did a great job and I was even able to listen to most of the meeting.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Time Out Day

Last night and this morning were a little rough with Hannah so after a little break down by me, I decided we needed a family time out. I needed to spend some time just playing with the kids. I usually have so much to get done and they are so good at playing on their own that we don't play enough together.

We started our time out with popcorn, m&m's, and stories in my bed. Hannah loved it. Jonathan lasted through one story and then he just wanted the m&m's and his ball.

Then I thought we should at least spend a little time outside and I had already destroyed a cardboard box so, we made ladybug wings. I cut out some wings for both kids and armed with paint and lots of paper towels and an old tablecloth we ventured out into the sunshine. I put paint shirts on the kids and just decided to let them have fun. Consequently, for a few hours Jonathan's knee showed signs of becoming a little smurf-ish. He sat in front of me and painted it blue with a few orange flecks. I ended up painting his blue and yellow wings but Hannah painted her's a lovely orange with blue spots and red with yellow spots. They had a really good time. After painting his knee, Jonathan wondered around searching for sticks.

Then it was lunch time. I made quesadillas and nachos like my mom did when I was a kid. It was tasty. We started enjoying it outside when I noticed a opossum wandering slowly in our direction from the parking lot. Just in-case you were wondering, opossum are nocturnal so I wasn't thrilled about seeing one at noon. Hannah assured me though that it was "just a opossum," but we finished our lunch inside.

Jonathan has a bath and then his nap. Hannah started watching Cinderella and then we both fell asleep. Oh how I love sleep. Then we all woke up and made dinner together. We made pizza. Jonathan likes to explore so when he started looking at the knives the kids were dismissed. They got to stay up late and finally at 9 pm my house is almost all clean and my children are asleep.

A pretty good day. Take time out every once in a while. It was nice.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Weekend With the Irish

My new job has given me the opportunity to do a few things that I love: work from home, enjoy some flexibility, and do some more travel.  My travel is for work purposes, so I don't get to always choose where to go, but I occasionally get to go outside the country to visit with customers, potential customers, or other Subversion developers.  The only downside is that Heather doesn't often get to come with me.

This past weekend has found me at a hostel in Ireland for the latest Apache Retreat.  Essentially, the Apache Software Foundation rented a hostel in the Wicklow Mountains south of Dublin for a few days, and a bunch of us developer types got together to give talks, hack code, and put faces with email addresses.  One of my personal goals is to help Subversion integrate with the ASF, since we're now an official top-level project.  The organizers arranged some abnormally fantastic weather for the weekend, and even though it was a busy few days, the event was great.

Among the ruins at Glendalough

I managed to feel surprisingly rested when landing in Dublin at 8:30am on Friday, and had several hours before it was time to get to the hostel.  I rented a car and picked of fellow Subversion developers, and spent the next few hours teaching myself to drive on the left side of the road.  (Even though I was driving a standard, and having to shift with my left hand, the hardest part ended up being knowing where the margins of the vehicle were.  Never mind driving: steering from the right-hand side of the car is a new experience.)

We visited Glendalough, and did a hike through the woods.  Even though Austin has had spring for a few weeks now, it's just now happening in Ireland: there was grass in the fields, but no leaves on trees, and the sheep had yet to be shorn.  Our hikes took us past some waterfalls and through the Irish countryside.  I managed not to get us killed while driving to the hostel for the event.

The Irish Countryside

Saturday morning dawned clear and cool, and I decided to avail myself of the chance for a short walk on the nearby Wicklow Way.  Using a flyer from the hostel, I hiked for roughly 3 miles to an overlook of Powerscourt Waterfall, the highest in Ireland.  Even though I hadn't brought my boots or other gear, the hike was enjoyable, and I returned to the hostel in time for the first of the sessions.  The rest of Saturday was spent coding and discussing, and I even gave an hour-long talk about Subversion to about 10 people.

Powerscourt Waterfall

I took the opportunity on Sunday to visit the Bray Branch for church services, and then perfect my left-hand-driving skills while trying to find the Dublin airport Hilton in a town with a severe case of address apathy.  After a brief detour through London to get home after my original flight was canceled, I made it back home, about 100 hours after I left.  In the end, it was a whirlwind trip, but Ireland is definitely somewhere on my places-to-return list, hopefully next time with Heather.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Things toddlers say . . .

Before Hyrum leaves for the day or on a trip he will often remind the kids and I to be good to each other. Well the other night he was leaving for Mutual and asked Hannah to be good for me. Her response, "Be good for the Bishop, Daddy."

We busted up laughing. She later asked me why. I told her we just love her and that her comment was witty and clever. Great fun.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Big News

I am such a slacker, I know. I haven't been very good about updating our blog but I have really good reasons:
#1--I have been so busy for the past few weeks that I really haven't known if my head was screwed on straight. I'm coordinating a dinner for 240 people in a couple weeks and I've been trying to figure that out, I started trying to potty train Jonathan, and life is just busy and it's all my fault.

#2--Family visits and my husband out of town mean that all routine stops or at least gets seriously messed with. It's a bad habit but it's true. Hyrum is my motivation to get things done and we're so thankful for that.
#3--I've been battling morning sickness. Nut #3--Almond, will be joining our family around October 28th. (If your confused about the nut thing I'll explain later.) I hope the baby comes early enough that I can dress it up in our pumpkin costume I made for Jonathan for Halloween. I'm not out of the woods yet but I am feeling much better and even managed to run on Monday morning. Hopefully that will become more regular again.

So in the last month I finished my tree skirt after 15 months of working on it. Then I realized that since we'll be in NY for Christmas, I won't get to use it this year. I am all caught up on my blocks of the month. I finished a little receiving blanket for the baby. I've gotten started on a couple more sewing projects and we're working on our summer vacation plans. We also planted tomatoes, twice, carrots, garlic, and beans in our garden. We're excited about that.

The weather has gotten nicer so we've been spending our afternoons at the park with friends which is always nice. Last weekend we celebrated Easter by listening to General Conference. We realized that we have to figure out something different because we didn't get a whole lot out of it with our kids around. We're looking forward to reading it and listening to it later. Listening to the Prophet and apostles and other Church officers was sure a great way to remember the Savior and his sacrifice.

Life is good. It is really busy but we are doing well. We really excited about our new little one. We are slowly making steps to make sure that our home is big enough for all of us.