Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Semester Grades

I am pleased to report that Scott received his grades for his first semester. I'm even more excited about his marks to use the Little House on the Prairie venacular.

P MGT 632 Quantitative Decision An A 3.0 Fall 2008 MAJOR
P MGT 662 Communication in Public A- 3.0 Fall 2008 MAJOR
P MGT 684 Administrative Environme A- 3.0 Fall 2008 MAJOR
P MGT 612 Econ Dec Making for Mana A- 3.0 Fall 2008 MAJOR
P MGT 641 Organizational Behavior A- 3.0 Fall 2008 MAJOR
P MGT 642R Executive Lectures in Pu A 0.5 Fall 2008 MAJOR

Hooray for Scotty! Way to go! Now how exactly should husbands be compensated for such good grades? That will take some further thought.

In addition, I received my own set of grades. My marks are as follows:

  • HM MGT 632 Cooking for Scott's team on the fly - A
  • HM MGT 662 Budgeting - B+
  • HM MGT 684 Special Editor for Scott's Papers - A
  • HM MGT 612 Buyer of Proper Snowgear - C-
  • HM MGT 641 Holding the family fort down in all aspects - A
  • HM MGT 642R Being Scott's number one cheerleader - A
  • HM MGT 681 Laundry - D

As you can see, I need to repeat a few courses to pull up a couple of grades. At least I have a few more semesters for that.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

When do you call the fire department?

I wish I could say I was busy cleaning the toilet or something but actually, I was busy at the computer when Emma and Grace decided to pop some microwave popcorn. Grace is the instigator and Emma the "go to" gal. With combined efforts, the bag of popcorn made it into the microwave and the timer set. I got updates from Emma like, "Mom, I pushed the wight buttons!", "I can mell the popcone cooking." Great, I respond, type, type, typing away. Suddenly, Emma runs to me and says "Mom, come he-o quick." I run to the kitchen to see smoke billowing out of the microwave and this number on the microwave screen.

Emma then says, "oh, dang. I pushed the wong numb-o." Don't worry, I say. Good job for trying! Smoke is now stinking up the house, the bag of popcorn is now smoldering in the garbage can outside and all the doors in the middle of a welcomed snowstorm are open. My fire-alarm guard cat, pumpkin, is meowing to make sure I know that the smoke is burning all of our throats and Emma is yelling for me to shut the doors because it's too cold. I don't think anyone can be harmed from popcorn smoke inhalation. The throat burning is dying down, thank goodness. I'm sure it will ultimately be to blame for some sort of cancer I'll get later in life. Nice to have another excuse besides all that eco-friendly stuff I refuse to believe in.

The other thought that went through my mind at the height of the emergency: Oh great, what if I have to call the fire department and there are rice krispies spilled all over the floor! That would be embarassing.
My sweet cohorts...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Tale of the Twenty Four Pound Tom Turkey

I chuckled to myself when people would ask me, "are you going home for Thanksgiving?" My mental response usually was, "umm, we've been married for 12 years, home is where we are living which is here." I'm proud to report that I didn't let myself get melancholy once this week in thinking about how many Thanksgivings we've actually spent totally alone as a family. (A majority of them) It's a badge of honor. I love my little family and glad I get to share the holidays with them.

We were pleased to be able to help Scott's cousins adjust to their first Thanksgiving without their parents (Scott's aunt and uncle are on a mission). We are pros. They were kind enough to invite us to their Thanksgiving dinner and our contribution was the turkey. Wait, did I say "OUR", I meant to say SCOTT'S contribution was the turkey. I cannot take credit for the spectacularly cooked turkey Scott pulled off. Did I marry well, or what? Scott is a fabulous chef and he did an awesome job. Don't worry, I contributed in the things I do best: worker bee in the final hours of the meal preparation, setting the table and documenting the day with photos. I'm really good at fawning over those who did cook. Really, it's a gift I have.

Here we go, the pictorial tale of the 24 pound tom turkey:

Preparing the brew to brine the turkey for 18 hours prior to cooking. Thanks "myfoxutah" for the recipe. Think a lot of salt, some honey and spices in a lot of water and broth.

Scott removing the sacred neck and gizzards. When Scott asked for something to hold them in, I responded with, "how about a trash can." No go. The organs stayed. Luckily he boiled them while I was away at Twilight with Becca. I'm also refraining from posting the close-up shot of the turkey neck. You're welcome.

Scott wrestling the bad boy into the oven roasting bag that would eventually hold the brine. When he called me to assist, I did what I do best, "hold on, let me take a picture first." Luckily, the turkey didn't end up on the floor due to the delay.

Onto the next day, THE day. Scott trying the initial roasting pan.

I feel like I'm going to bust out of my britches once in a while too. Have to move on to PLAN B: run home and get the other roasting pan that my dad gave me a few years back. My dad did not chintz on kitchen wares. Thanks Big Vern! We were thinking about you and know you would be so proud!

Unfortunately, an amputation was still necessary. Off the wings came but don't worry, we are provident livers here, the wings got tucked in underneath the bird so they wouldn't go to waste. I mean, really, we have to keep the dumb gizzards for heaven's sake. You think he was going to let the wings go? No way, jose.

All dressed (massaged, spiced, and who knows what else) and ready to go!

After a few hours (and a full choreography of turning the oven up and down, putting on the foil, taking off the foil, stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight)....

The cook's job is never done. Here he is pictured with the hostess with the mostest, cousin Julie. (By the way, those are construction paper turkey feathers on the door behind Julie, not a special cap she made for the occasion.)

Carving away. Glad a 24-pound turkey can feed 13 adults and 12 kidlets.

We were especially lucky to have Becca and Kyle (niece and her hubby) to share in the turkey glory. They were kid entertainers extraordinaire! Such a handsome couple!

Grace enjoying some mashed potatoes.

With Scott's cousins, we change the song from "grab your partner" to "grab your baby"! We were so lucky to be included with such a festive group.

What I haven't photographed are the ziploc bags full of turkey bones and leftover meat that Scott dreams about making turkey stock and sandwiches with. Although he has made a couple of sandwiches, he is almost up on his turkey stock-making days. I have an internal clock that informs me when it is politically correct to toss them.

Awesome job Scotty! You made one of my least favorite foods so yummy!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Provident Living

So, I guess my darling child does not inspire comments. So sad. I'll move onto another subject that has been brewing in my head. With this economy combined with being "starving students" now, we, like many others, have had to tighten the belt. Here are a few things that have saved us some pennies so that hopefully the dollars will mind themselves.

1. Do a load of laundry a day. A load a day makes it so that the kids don't need as many clothes. I'm sure an economist out there would say that doing a load a day could be less cost effective on the energy bill but in my house, we just don't need as many outfits, socks, underwear etc.

2. Unsubscribe to retail e-mails. Out of sight, out of mind. I don't think to click onto a retail website unless I get an e-mail first.

3. Don't go out to eat. This one is obvious and self-explanatory.

4. Drive the speed limit. This helps on many levels. Besides avoiding paying ridiculous fees on speeding tickets, I actually do get better mileage. Trust me, I know.

5. Eat in portion control. Shocking that a box of triscuits can last me two weeks if I eat them in suggested serving sizes. Hmmmm....

6. Although food is cheaper at Walmart and Target, all the "extras" that end up in my basket certainly make up for any savings on food.

7. The above applies to Costco except that I have been able to exhibit control and only buy FOOD that we actually do EAT before it expires from Costco at a cost savings.

8. Use the library. Another no-brainer. I just hate borrowing but it's working okay.

9. Throw away the volumes of catalogs that come in the mail especially before the kids see them.

10. Only drink water or milk. Soda speaks for itself and juice just doesn't do anything for us. We're better off eating the actual fruit than its juice.

11. Don't buy cold cereal. Sounds crazy but it's so expensive, increases our milk bill unnecessarily, and unless it's Fiber One or Kashi (or something like it) it's just not that good nutritionally. Everyone is hungry not more than an hour later if eaten for breakfast. Scott's note: Fiber One is colon care not nutritional care.

12. Do Flylady instead of hiring a housecleaner. This one is a bummer and is still not proving to be a replacement but I'm trying. This one is coming back to the budget as soon as I can manage it.

Wait a minute, half of these things are from my "how to lose weight" list. What's up with that? I hate it when things are so inter-related.

This is just a small sampling but I'm amazed that for once in our married life, we are able to stick to a budget successfully. That feels kind of good!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Now What?

I took this photo in raw, without a flash, played in Photoshop but now what? It's nothing fantastic. Obviously, I have more learning to do.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things....

Eat your heart at Oprah! Here are my most recent favorite discoveries:

1. The Pioneer Woman... (Thanks Becca for the tip!) Not only is she so interesting and brings you into her world of modern-day ranching but she is so free with her own hints and tips. Here's what I came up with after searching through her photography section:

Can you tell which is the original? Will I be brave enough to shoot pictures only in raw and never with a flash as she suggests? Oh my!

2. $.17 stamps as well as $.59 stamps. Who needs to mail things these days with e-mail and internet? Well, I do. I've been wasting money on stamps when I'm over one ounce. I've been putting two $.42 stamps. Did you know that each additional ounce over one ounce is only $.17? I'm a provident liver now!

3. Facebook. I love this fast way to have two-way communication with friends and family.

4. Rhodes frozen rolls for homemade pizzas on the grill. Take the frozen dinner roll dough out to thaw for a bit and then anyone (including kids) can stretch it out. Put a little bit of olive oil on one side, cook on the grill to cook that side, add sauce, cheese and toppings to the cooked side and put it back on the grill. Fast, easy and yummy! I've used wheat rolls too...mmmm.

5. Double burner griddle for the stove from Pampered Chef. I leave it on my stovetop and use it for everything. Who knew it would be so handy?

6. The soundtrack for Hairspray. Not sure what turned me back onto this music but I just love these songs. The true question is whether or not it will outplay the Mamma Mia soundtrack. Something to watch for.

7. Scrapbooking on Photoshop. My love of photoshop only increases as I continue to discover all it's potential but scrapbooking on Photoshop is just so fun, I can hardly stand it! I can get caught up on scrapbooking even though I may not necessarily spend the money to print out the pages at Costco yet. My finished pages are just in a queue waiting to be let out. The possibilities are endless!

8. Printing 12 x12 pages at Costco. Obviously related to the above favorite thing. Costco is the cheapest and handiest place so far to print out 12x12's. I'm waiting for the prices to be reduced even more but that hasn't happened yet. The only risk is protecting the pages from being crushed by flats of chicken broth and raw hamburger juices.

9. Having the kids conduct family home evenings (not lead the music but actually conduct). This has brought new life to our FHE gatherings. To hear the kid in charge 'welcoming everybody' and 'turning the time over to so-and-so' is so funny and endearing all at the same time!

I'm sure there are more but I can't think of them right now. On another exciting note, I have to take Ben after school to a recording session where he is singing in a school choir that is recording a new primary song for the church. Why do I think this is so cool that I am almost getting emotional about it? I'll post more details when I hear more.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Favorite Author

I rarely recommend books. I love, however, when I am recommended a book that I instantly adore. This is what happened when a good and trusted friend gave me the book Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. (Can I mention your name trusted friend?) She happens to be friends with the editor who recommended it highly to her. It's a unique tale and truly magical! It's pretty clean and just a sweet story.

Imagine my glee when Sarah Addison Allen's second book, Sugar Queen, was just as delectable if not more so than her first! Oh joy, oh rapture! I can't wait for her next book to come out in May of 2009. Check it out for yourself on or wherever you like to shop for books and see if it's something that would suit your fancy too!

I just tried to "friend" Ms. Allen on facebook. I hope she wants to be my friend. I'm determined to get her to Utah for a booksigning.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In Need of an Actuary

Isn't an actuary a person who measures risks? I need my risks calculatecd on my chances of getting a speeding ticket. I just got my 2nd speeding ticket in only two months and all in the same city! What on earth is going on? Well, besides apparently I don't know my speed zones, I am starting to believe that Provo Police has me under surveillance so on the rare chance I actually leave my house, they've got me covered. During most of a week, I exist in an area that includes short of a 2-mile radius. What are the chances of getting a ticket when I am on the roads so infrequently?

Just a helpful note, the speed limit on University Parkway between the stadium and the baseball field is 30 mph. I made sure and questioned the schoolboy, allegedly a police officer, who pulled me over about this. Why is it 30 mph when there isn't a house or neighborhood in sight? His answer was that it was because it was a school area. Yeah, a school full of ADULTS you ding dong. Just get your backpack on little boy, hop on your bicycle and scoot along. (Don't worry, I refrained from saying the latter.)

So, if you happen to be behind me getting very impatient as I'm following absolutely every speed limit...TOO BAD! You'll have to take it up with the officer who is likely not far behind me.

Scott, have fun watching the kids while I go to traffic school. Apparently I need it since studying the DMV booklet hasn't seemed to help in the slightest.
Some photos from a day playing in the leaves to end on a good note...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Sock Round-up

Today I have spent an inordinate amount of time finally facing that laundry basket that has all the leftover stuff in it. Stuff = mismatched socks, clothes I don't know if should be tossed, doll clothes, etc. As this isn't a favorite task, as indicated by my procrastination of it, my mind went adrift asking many rhetorical questions.

  • don't waffle irons have power switches?
  • does my cute little baby insist on climbing on top of the dining table? Or the piano, for that matter.
  • is it that when I do laundry, my 4 year-old has 15 pairs of underwear and my 7 and 10 year olds only have maybe 1?
  • do I think my PC is much easier to use than Scott's mac?
  • does our cat insist on sleeping in Grace's crib?
  • am I so excited about seeing a flock of 20 California quail in my Utah backyard?
  • doesn't it snow already? We are ready!
  • does Scott drape his pants on a chair only six inches from the closet instead of hanging them?
  • is Emma so cute when she looks at the rain turn to snow outside and says "the sky is all out of rain"?
  • is it when I tell Sarah that I wish the laundry lady would come, she answers in a not so nice tone, "THAT'S YOU!!"?
  • didn't Scott run my photo through Photoshop before posting it on our blog?
Well, there are many more but that about covers it for the moment. Here are some unrelated photos for fun....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Home away from Home

I am really enjoying graduate school--the only problem is I live in one building. A few weeks ago I actually went to the library. It was nice to get out and see the rest of the "world." I thought I would share some pictures of my home away from home.

Looking up is always a nice reminder that there is live outside of the Tanner Building.

The view from the new addition. Not a bad view I might add! I love Timp.

The inside of the new addition atrium.

Last week the new addition was dedicated by a "distinguished Marriott School Alum" It was a nice dedication and it was fun seeing President Monson as he left the building.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

If you want to see something funny...

take a short trip to and watch Scott learning how to throw a rope from Jack, the expert and Ben running fast! (Scroll down after some very beautiful wedding photos.) Thanks Amanda!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The First Snow

For a week, Ben has been diligently following the weather report for signs of the first snow. His wish came true on Saturday! Although the snow really didn't stick on the ground, it still ranked as a snow day in the kid's book. They went crazy outside, squealing and carrying on. I'm sure our neighbors were thinking, "not snow already!" but as for us, it was welcomed with open arms.

I decided to take the kids to a Pumpkin Patch in Santaquinn on this same, very fridgid day, to ready us for our Curtis Family Pumpkin Carving Party - Utah edition that evening. What I didn't know was that to get to the actual pumpkin patch, you have to take a hayride about a mile away. Very windy = FREEZING! I tried to talk the kids into just picking out a pumpkin from the bins at the main store, but no, they wanted the real thing.

We managed to thaw enough to carve pumpkins. Thanks to Uncle Scott, pumpkin-cleaner-outer extraordinaire (he, indeed, can clean out the pumpkin guts in less than 2 minutes wielding an ice cream scoop) and the chief Pumpkineer, Uncle Rich, we had a grand time. We were thrilled to have our Roundy cousins and Robyn at the party too!

The next day, Ben noticed that one pumpkin had been cleaned out but not carved. He and Sarah decided to carve a "Y" on it.

Need I say more?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Row B Stands for Birthday

As per the previous post, I'm taking advantage of all the things available here in Zion (you got it right Liz J...and by the way, I'm waiting for you to "come to, come to us, come to us" a la Oakland Temple Pageant). The one thing I asked for on my birthday was a ticket to see a session of conference which I've never been able to do before. I've stood in line many o' times but have never made it in to either the Conference Center or back in the Tabernacle days.

After hinting to Scott to score me tickets, I had to move on to a reliable cousin of his. She was successful in securing me tickets from yet another cousin who has major connections (lots of cousins on
that Jacobs side). In her pursuit of such things, the kind cousin with connections also got us tickets to a fabulous concert at the Conference Center two weeks ago featuring the Utah Symphony guest conducted by Erich Kunzel (of Cinncinnati Pops fame), Mormon Tabernacle Choir and two guest artists presenting "The American Songbook".

At the outset, let me just say this would be a fabulous concert even if we had had seats on the back row. For my first experience ever in the Conference Center, we had tickets for the front row!!! We got all the way down to our seats where we were met by a hostess with the mostest telling us there as a slight change in our seating for the night. President Monson had decided to attend the concert and would we feel comfortable sitting in the second row, Row B. "Ummm, ya." If the prophet wants me to sit in the lobby to hear the concert I will. Our seats ended up to be directly behind President Monson and his daughter. This is going to be one event tough to top. The music was spectacular! Too many favorites to name but its pretty hard not to love the Armed Forces Medley when active and retired servicemembers stand at the sound of their military branch song. "New Words" a song written by Broadway smash composer Maury Yeston is now a new top song in my itunes library after hearing it sung by Brian Stokes Mitchell (Ragtime fame).

These two pictures were sneakily taken from Scott's iphone on the night of the concert.

The kind cousin still gave us two tickets for conference, the Saturday afternoon session. Our tickets were once again on Row B. I kind of feel ownership now. I wonder if you can buy a timeshare on conference center seats? Luckily Scott and his dad only made me meet Senators Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch. I don't do so well with hobb-knobbing so I'm glad they took it easy on me.

Maybe someday this kind cousin will get me hooked up with her nephew who happens to be a guitarist for Maroon 5.

So all in all, I ended up being able to do lots of birthday celebrating in good ol' Row B. Thanks Row B. Thanks kind cousin.

Since I can't possibly post without pictures, here are some pictures of Gracie on her first birthday....thanks Susie and Anna for the birthday cake!