Sunday, July 19, 2009

A good day

In May Nathan turned fourteen and shortly after was interviewed by the Bishop in preparation for becoming a Teacher. At the end of the interview Bishop asked Nathan if he wanted his grandfather to ordain him. Nathan asked if his brother could do it and the Bishop told him absolutely.

My father instructed Ryan as to what needed to be said and Ryan spent this week preparing.

Today Dad, Amy, Sebastian, Grandma W and Grandpa W came to our ward. After Sacrament meeting we all met in the Bishops office and Ryan, along with Dad and Bishop, ordained Nathan as a Teacher in the Aaronic priesthood. Ryan did very well and he even got in a little blessing for his brother. I am very proud of him. It is so nice to see him turning into such a good man (as I pat myself on the back).

The best part is.......(drum roll).......I didn't cry! I am sure the kids are thankful.

Ryan's Birthday celebration

On Tuesday the 21st my oldest son, Ryan will be 19. About two weeks ago I asked Ryan what he wanted to do for his birthday and he said that he wanted to go to dinner with the family at BJ's Restaurant.

Ryan wanted a pen tablet for his laptop to use with his graphic designs. He has been looking at the different types for months and finally decided on the Bamboo by Wacom. Once I knew exactly what he wanted I ordered it and had it sent to the office. As you know I have this habit of playing tricks on the kids, so having it delivered to the office was important to that he would not know I had gotten him something. I recruited Tara and Nathan and we allowed Ryan to hear a conversation with us discussing his gift and the fact that he could return it if he didn't like it. He said something and Nathan told him that he didn't think he would like what I got but at least Mom said he could exchange it.

Tara and I went to the mall Friday and bought Ryan a shirt at Pacsun to give him as his gift, after all I needed to have a something to give him to convince him he wasn't getting the tablet. I packed the shirt into a small slightly feminine box and made sure he saw that is all we were taking with us to the restaurant. Tara thankfully carries very large purses and was able to just fit the real gift in her purse to keep it hidden.

Dad, Amy, Lisha, Junior, Monte, Adam, Marie and Sebastian met us at the restaurant and we had a good time talking and enjoying each others company. The waiter brought us Ryan a Pazookie (big warm cookie with ice cream on top) and we sang Happy Birthday. Ryan then opened his gifts. He got some really cute cards from Monte and Adam and Marie, Dad and Amy gave him a Brookstone in door remote control helicopter (I think Dad wants one too), Lisha & Junior gave him a shirt and of course it my "gift' was the shirt. After opening all his gifts he thank us all and being the good son didn't show any disappointment in not getting what he really wanted.

We sat and talked for a few minutes and I casually placed the other gift in front of Ryan. He then knew mom was up to something. Needless to say he was very happy.

Here are some pictures of our evening.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cherry Browned Butter Bars

So those of you who know me well understand my need, yes I said need, to try new recipes. I love to try different things and my children, as well as the rest of the family, are always good about humoring me. Recently the smitten kitchen posted a recipe for Cherry Browned Butter bars and I knew immediately I had to do something with it.

On Friday I set out to pit the cherries and discovered, once again, that I don't own a pitter. How is it I can't seem to remember to get one? Me, the queen of the kitchen (I only hold that title in my demented mind), doesn't own a cherry pitter? It just doesn't seem right. Oh well, so I get to work with a paring knife and and meat thermometer. After pitting two pounds of cherries I am ready to get to work. I make the crust and discover I have forgotten to buy more parchment paper....aaagghh, foil it is then, and bake it to a nice golden color.
(Please excuse the pictures, the teenagers ran down the battery in my camera and I had to use my phone)
From Goodies

After the crust has cooled I carefully lined up the cherries. The kids had a great time teasing me about this. I, of course, wanted the cherries lined up in perfectly straight rows. Note to self; cherries are round and therefore will roll. I rolled, straightened and nudged (as the kids laughed and teased me) and finally decided that it was as straight as I was going to get without nailing the cherries down.

Now the filling. I cook the butter to a beautiful nutty color (Nathan was amazed to learn that butter browns) and mix together the rest of the ingredients. I CAREFULLY pour the filling over the cherries as Ryan says "Hey mom, that cherry moved," and "watch out they are rolling." Needless to say I then convinced most of the cherries that moved to behave and got them back in to place. All ready to go in the oven!
Ignore the cherries that disobeyed and got out of line. :)
From Goodies

So the house starts to smell really good and after 40 minutes I pull my prize from the oven. After allowing it to cool I cut it into squares ready to be eaten by the masses.
From Goodies
From Goodies
They are a hit!

I doubled the recipe found here and made it in my 10 x 15 Pyrex pan.

July 4th!

Let me start by saying thank you to all of those who have served this country and made the freedoms we have possible.

This year I combined a vacation day with the long holiday weekend. I spent time doing things around the house, spending time with my kids and family and cooking of course.

Tara and I started the 4th by getting our hair done by the great and wonderful Jen.

The family got together in our yard to celebrate, except for Adam and his family who we missed. We also had a few friends join us. Amy made chicken skewers, Grandma made baked beans and salad, Tina and James brought the potato salad and drinks, Lisha did a great job on the watermelon and I made (perfect party) potatoes, brownies, strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting and cherry browned butter bars. Needless to say we had plenty of food as usual.

We spent time talking and enjoying each others company and when it got dark the kids lit fireworks. My street usually has so many it looks like a fireworks factory caught fire, but this year it was pretty mild.

Lisha, Junior and Monte hung around for a while after everyone else left and the kids all finally came in about 1 a.m.

I hope everyone had a good holiday.

The Graduate

On June 11th Nathan graduated from 8th grade. He has been growing so much (3 inches since January) this year it is hard to believe. It was a nice ceremony held at, where else, Almansor Court. He is very happy to be moving on the high school. Now the question is will I live through it?

Toga! Toga!

The last dance of the year for the high school is a Toga dance, it was on June 5th. Tara went to the dance with Lenny. Here they are being goofy before the dance.

Since then they are just friends, but I hope they have a lot of good memories of the time they spent together.

Nathan's Graduation Dinner & Dance

On June 5th, Nathan's school had the dinner & dance for all the graduating 8th graders. The event was held at Almansor court, in Alhambra. Nathan said he had the best time ever.

It is hard to believe that my little, not quite three pound, baby is now old enough to be moving on the high school. Of course, what may be the most amazing part of it is that I have allowed him to live long enough :) In all seriousness, I am very proud of him. He worked hard to get his grades up this year and is doing his best to be a little (sometimes very, very, very little) more responsible.

Here are some pictures of Nathan and his friends celebrating