I think I am a pretty good cook. I think that is pretty common knowledge. I enjoy cooking. One of the main reasons I put my menu on my blog is because I do enjoy cooking, and I like to share the things I enjoy. However, I try not to be arrogant or braggy about my cooking. That being said, I am not going to try now. Last night we had spaghetti for dinner, (pictures later) and it was pretty good.

I made some garlic bread. I love making bread. I love eating bread. It consisted of probably 80% of my diet as a child from when I ate solid foods until 18. So I made the french bread first, let it rise, and stuff. Then I made a little paste for the garlic topping. We were going to eat at 6, Amy's parents and grandma were coming, but Amy was so hungry she wanted to move it up to 5.

So the bread came out of the oven real close to 5, and I cut it while it was still steaming, spread the paste on and threw it under the broiler real fast. The paste was melted into the bread before I got it in the oven. I took it out, and cut it, then sneaked a bite. Let me tell you, that garlic bread was so freaking good! Seriously, it was the best garlic bread, EVER! I knew it was going to be good, I like home made bread way better than store-bought any day of the week, even home made bread that is not that good, is still better than store bought. To be honest, I don't really like store-bought bread at all. And garlic bread made from home made bread is going to be good. But I did not expect it to be this good. I could sell this garlic bread for $20 a slice, it is that good, and people would come back to buy a loaf for $300.

I also have never seen garlic bread disappear that fast. I cut one loaf, put it on the table, then sat down. By the time I had my food served up, the whole loaf was gone, and so I got up and cut the other. By the time I sat down again, the other loaf had only a couple slices left. Garlic bread is always a favorite, but it doesn't go that fast, and there will be pieces left on plates, the girls will eat a bite, then leave it. Kate ate 2 slices! That is huge. Kate's usual meal is 3-4 bites and then she is done. I don't know how she has the energy she does, but she eats nothing. I have rarely seen her eat that much bread. I wish everyone reading this could have tasted it, it was so fantastic. Next time I see any of you, tell me to make it, you will not be disappointed. Man I am long winded.

The ride of my life

I was browsing on a friend's website when I came across this link to a newspaper article. Hopefully he will keep it up for a long, long time. I set up a permanent link to it on the side bar as well. What great times. If I can get some, I will post some pictures from it. No promises, though. Looking back on it, we sure did suck at raising money. We only raised $1,500 or so. I have a feeling I could do a lot better nowadays, but you live and you learn.

Pictures of the DL trip

I am having a hard time getting time to write about the trip, but it is coming. Here are some pictures to hold you over until then. I will pare them down a little later, but they are all there now.


Delivering the news

To give you a little history, in case you are not aware...

For family home evening in March, I wanted to have the girls make some goals and make some steps to accomplish their goals. I asked who would like to set a goal first, and Kate's hand shot up.

Kate: "I want to make a goal"
George: "OK, what is your goal"
Kate: "Go to Disneyland"
George: "OK, so to accomplish the goal, you need to set a time for it to be accomplished. When do you want to go."
Kate: "Right now."
George: "Well, we can't go right now, it is night time and it takes a long time to get there, it is far away."
Kate: "Tomorrow."
George: "We can't go tomorrow, it is too soon, besides, we will have to save up money, and get time off work. How about in 2 months?"
Kate: "OK."

So we set the date, and for Kate to accomplish her goal, she needed to be cooperative getting ready in the morning, and get up early, etc. We read the goals every night and every day, and it was very present in her mind. She did excellent, she got up right away, and got dressed and ready for school with no complaints at all.That is a really big accomplishment. Any time she started to give us grief, we reminded her about her goal, and she straightened right up. I was very impressed with her dedication to it.

Amy wanted to go a little earlier than the middle of May, and she wanted to surprise the girls. So we planned it out, and purchased the tickets in a package through Costco Travel, and planned the dates, but didn't tell the girls. We didn't tell many people, because we didn't want anything to accidentally slip out.

Sunday, the 22nd was the day we were going to drive down, so we went to the 9 am ward instead of out 1 pm ward.

AA funny story about that. We went there and Kate was asking about primary and stuff, and we said that we were at different ward. We asked her to see if she could see anyone she knew to prove to her that we were not at our regular ward.

So we look over and see Brother Bassett, who is in our ward at the 9 am ward! It was totally funny. We were wondering what on earth he was doing there. After Sacrament meeting, we asked him and he said he had a job interview that day, so he had to go to the earlier ward and we told him our plans. It was quite funny.

We went home and got the girls to change their clothes, and loaded everything in the car while they were doing that. Then we told them that we had to go to Mommy's work to get her phone charger since she left it there. We had to get a couple last minute items at Target before we left, so I took the girls there and Amy went to get her phone charger. We knew it would be really fun to tell the girls their surprise, so we got the video camera out and video taped it.

We told them that we were not going to Mommy's work anymore. Then we told them to guess where we were going. They guessed Auntie's apartment, then Home, then Grandma and Grandpa's house. Then I told them the place we were going had a castle, and they guessed Sunsplash, (A waterpark near us that has a castle). Then Sarah said, as if she didn't think this would really be it, "Disneyland?"

Then we said yes, and they said "Really!?!?" Kate: "I meeted my goal?" They were so happy and cheering and it was really cute. I am working on getting the video up on the blog, it is worth it. At the end, Kate crunches up her body in a little ball, and says "Ohhhh! This is so great!!" Words cannot do it justice, you will have to see it. They were both in shock and sat there with these cute little happy surprised expressions.

Last time we went to Disneyland, we stayed in this hotel called the Annabella right by the park. It is a pretty nice hotel and pretty reasonable. The girls loved it because there was a small room off to the side with a bed, mini-fridge, and TV. They loved that little room. For some reason, we had to take apple juice with us last time, and we kept it in the mini-fridge. So on the way down, Kate asked if we were going to the same Disneyland. We said yes, and then she asked if we brought apple juice. It was so funny. I totally forgot about that, but Kate remembers having apple juice when we went to Disneyland last year. We didn't talk too much about it, but she was really looking forward to that.

On the way down, we had the girls watch some DVDs. They were starting to get anxious when we were about halfway there. I told them they had to watch 3 more movies before we would be there. They had already watched 2. So during the movies, Kate would ask, "Is this number 3? Is this number 4? Only one more left and we will be at Disneyland?" She was excited. Sarah just sat and watched the movies and was in seventh heaven that she was going to Disneyland, and getting to watch movies. She was so good the whole way down. They both were.

I'll kill them all!

OK, another park story. This one is so good, it deserves its own post.

There happened to be lots of bugs at the park (see previous post). There were also lots of baby spiders. One baby spider crawled up on my leg. I was sitting in a little lawn/beach chair with my knee up and it crawled to the top of my knee. Then it raised its butt really high in the air, and let out a fart. Just kidding, it let out a string of silk, and was trying to fly away like spiders do. If you haven't ever seen it, it really is cool. We told the girls to come look at it. Kate said, "I will get it." We told her not to get it, to leave it alone, it was trying to fly away. Amy and I were focusing on it, when out of nowhere, I see one of Kate's new Crocs fly through the air and slam down on my knee, totally killing the spider.

Amy and I were totally surprised by this and just looked up at Kate in shock. She had a really serious look on her face and said in a deadpan, "I killed it."
George: "We didn't want you to kill it, we wanted it to fly away."

Amy: "It was just a baby spider like in Charlotte's Web."

George: "Yeah, there are a lot of baby spiders around here."

Sarah: "Spiders are good for us, if it weren't for spiders, bugs would destroy the planet."

Kate: "I'll kill them all."

Sarah: "There would be so many, they would eat every..."

Kate: "I'll kill 'em all!"

Sarah: "...thing up."

Then they ran off and played. Kate has no fear when it comes to bugs of any kind, but she also has no love for them, no love at all. She kills mercilessly and without remorse. She does not like bugs at all. If she sees a bug, and can get near it, she will stomp it out. So far, fortunately, she has only exhibited this tendency toward bugs. I hope it stays that way.

A bad boy, a mean mom, and a huff

Today we took the girls to the park for a little picnic. They love to do that and we thought it would be loads of fun. So we packed everything up and went. Of course there is a play structure there and the girls wanted to play a little more than they wanted to eat. They were going back and forth between the blanket and the play area.

At one point, Sarah came over and said there was a boy who was throwing sand at them. Then Kate came over and said she would throw sand at him. We told them not to throw sand back, but to put their hand up and say in a loud voice, "STOP! I DON'T LIKE THAT!" It is surprisingly effective on even the bulliest of bullies. They didn't do that for some reason and Kate ran over to get a stick off the ground that she said she was going to hit the boy with. I told her no way, so she picked some grass and went to throw it at him. We couldn't exactly see what was going on, but I guess this boy kept on doing it. Suddenly, we see this mean mom march over and say to Sarah, "If you push him again...Did you just say you were going to punch him the hardest ever? Who is your mommy?"
Amy got up and walked over there and started talking to the lady. She said that the boy was throwing sand in their eyes. The lady said "She told him that she was going to punch him the hardest ever and I am going to make sure that doesn't happen!" Then she stormed off, with him, and gathered up her things. There was another lady with her with I think 2 kids, and she got her stuff and they all left!

What is up with that? Amy and I were totally laughing about it. We had a good talk with Sarah letting her know that she is not to hit, and needs to use her words, and our words just went in one ear and out the other, it seems. But when they were playing, we were totally laughing about it. I have never seen someone leave a park because of a playground tussle. I am not absolving my child of any wrong-doing, but I wouldn't expect to leave, or expect someone else to leave over it. Sheesh!

I told Rebekah and Jethro that story earlier today and Rebekah said the lady was probably thinking that her child would never throw sand at someone else. That is so classic. I have been in situations helping out at the girl's schools and just being at parks and witnessing these little holy terrors whose parents are completely oblivious, because they are too busy gossiping with their friend or talking on their phone. I have seen their children do things, then the parents say to someone else, or to my face, "My child would never do that." I don't make a practice of confronting parents, it is so not worth it. I just have to laugh at them. I mean, kids will be kids, they have to work stuff out. They are going to get hurt, they are going to get bullied, they are going to live.

Imagine, if you could, a Granite Bay mom, and that would accurately describe this woman. As Hunzy would say, "a witch with a capital B."


The DL

Well, it is time to post the stuff from our trip to Disneyland. It was great. But first, here is a flashback of previous good times at the DL. Click here to see the highlights from New Year's Day 2004 through Jan 3, 2004. This was the time that Kate got the ROToVIRUS!!! She looks fairly healthy in most of the pictures, but the virus was brewing...

You can click here to see the picture highlights from last year when we went. It was loads of fun. This was the first year we discovered RideMax. More on that later. We were there for three days, and it was pretty empty. Disneyland publishes the slowest times of the year to go and we plan our trips for those times. It was still crowded, but manageable. We still had to wait in lines for the characters.


Tonight we had home made tacos. Amy usually makes the tortillas from scratch, but tonight we just took corn tortillas and fried them in hot oil to make the taco shape. It is really easy to make them. Just grill up some ground beef and season as desired, add cheese, beans, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, sour cream, Parmesan cheese on the outside of the shells if you are feeling frisky, catsup, whatever you want.


Home, Finally!

A Long day, long drive.
Home before Three, up at Five.
Disneyland was great.


Surprise, We're going to Disneyland!!!

Today, we surprised the girls with a trip to Disneyland. it was really fun! Amy E. had them spend the night at her apartment und got them ready for church in the morning. Our ward starts at 1:00, so we went to the 9:00 ward. Then we took the girls home, changed clothes, piled into the car and started driving. Of course, the girls wanted to know where wewere going. We made them guess, and told them. It was really cute, We captured it on video, I will post it when I get back.

Super Saturday

This day was busy. One thing that I really appreciated were the tips about my fridge creeping open. I think the winner is Staci. she said to more heavy stuff in the door. I keep 2, 1 gallon jugs there in the door. I took those out of the dour Friday night, and Saturday morning... the fridge door was closed! And it was tight! Thank you Staci, you rock!

I totally forgot to take a picture of dinner Saturday. We had broiled chicken, totally easy!

I am doing this on my tablet from my hotel room at Disneyland!!! I will post more detail when I have a keyboard.


Puff pancakes...

Well, I was going to take a picture of my dinner items and post them in my calendar with the recipe, but I forgot to take the picture before we ate them. This is what is left of the poor, poor, puff pancakes.

We must call them puff pancakes, or Kate will not eat them. If we call them German pancakes, she is all upset and says they are gross, but Puff Pancakes are yummy!

It is too bad I only got a picture of the last 1/4 of them, because they turned out so nicely, and they puffed up so high!

Look on the calendar and you will see the dinner item. Unfortunately, when it gets toward the afternoon, it goes to the next day on this agenda view. I don't know why it does that. But when it comes up again, you will see it, along with the recipe. This is a favorite in my family, especially with Amy.

The light bulb graveyard

Well, here is a picture of the light bulb graveyard. Fortunately there was a lot of mostly empty boxes in there, but I did run out. I am about half-way through. I found a super deal at Raley's. They have a 4-pack of light bulbs for 1.99!! That is pretty good. That is about what regular bulbs cost. Also, I found some flood lights at Walfart for 7.97, and the incandescent floods cost 6.97, so they CFL are not that much more. I do try and turn the lights off when I am not using them. I think there are some other energy sucking devices in my house, like a refrigerator that does not stay closed, it will open by itself. 3 nights in a row, I have made a point to go down and close it firmly, but by morning, it has crept open. I don't know what I can do about that save buying a new fridge.


Light bulb project

Stay tuned for the status of my light bulb project. It is coming along quite nicely. I will post a picture of the cupboard that holds the extra light bulbs. It is pretty funny....

I want a limo, too!

Yesterday, on the way home from school, Sarah says out of the blue, "Dad, I want to buy a limo." We have never really talked about limos before, so I started talking to her about it. I asked her why she wanted one, and she said because she thinks they are cool, and sometimes you don't have to wear seatbelts. I don't know where she got that idea. I asked her what color she wanted, and she said white. Then I asked her what kind of limo, a car, SUV, truck, what? She said she wanted an SUV one, an Escalade. If you haven't heard me, I always say esca-LADE! So when Sarah said she wanted an Escalade, I said, "What kind? I don't recognize that kind of car. What is it." Then she would roll her eyes, and say, "An Escalade," with that little 'I'm trying not to smile' smirk. I always try to see her when she says it because she makes this really cute face, and she says it in a deep voice, it makes me laugh. So I angled the mirror, and she kind of looked out the window and said, "an esca-LADE!" Then she totally started laughing. It was really cute. She then started talking about how she wanted to paint it. She said she wanted the top of blue sky, and a thin black line to outline the clouds and flowers, and butterflies and bees and lots of colors. Then Amy said it would look like a hippie limo. And Sarah said "Hippies don't exist." Then Debbie Downer came along and said we should learn about hippies and the Vietnam War.

Here is an artist's rendering of the proposed "Sarah Limo."


Sweet angel

Sarah has really grown into such a sweet angel. When she was a baby, she was very sweet and up until Kate was born, she still was. When Kate came along, Sarah wanted to help a lot, but gave Amy some hard times. While Kate was an infant, Amy was taking night classes at school, so I would watch Kate and Sarah would help me.

She was so loving with Kate and always wanted to be with her and help s take care of her. She loved to share her toys when Kate was really tiny because Sarah could take them back when she wanted. These are a couple of my favorite pictures of the two of them. They are much different now. Now that we have another baby coming along, I know Sarah will be even more helpful, but I am not sure about Kate, yet.

Sarah always loved to feed Kate. I would set up the Boppie around Sarah and lay Kate on it then give Sarah the bottle. The Boppie could practically fit around her twice! She did a great job even though she was only 2. Well, she was 2 months away from 3.
When it was bed time, Sarah would always want to sleep with Kate. We couldn't let her, but I often put Kate down to lay with Sarah for a few minutes and that made her happy.

One of my favorite stories is about the time, Kate threw up. Babies sometimes spit up and sometimes they THROW UP! One night, after Sarah fed Kate, Kate was laying on the floor on her back. She out of nowhere threw up. I mean she THREW UP. It was like there was a hose of formula shooting out of Kate's mouth. Sarah was standing right there and I think it made her kind of sick. I hurried over to turn Kate on her side, so she didn't drown, and Sarah started gagging. Her gagging wasn't the classic dry heave that we all love, but more of a "Baaaa-aa, Baaa-aa, Baaaa-aa!" It sounded so funny. I was trying hard not to laugh, but Sarah was just standing there looking at the pool of barformula, and she wouldn't look away. Finally, I had to tell her to walk away because I thought she was going to barf, too. They were both fine, but I will remember that experience forever.

Lie Detector

The other day, Kate was talking to me in the morning. She was asking me questions and she asked: "Have you ever had a polygraph?" I was quite surprised. I asked her what a polygraph was, and she said, "You tell me!" I asked her where she heard of polygraph and she didn't give me an answer, she kept changing the subject. I think she might be a spy.


Daddy, I forgive you for being disobedient.

Last night we had an interesting night. We were eating dinner (Spaghetti) and Kate was using her hands to eat. I know that as the new baby comes she will be regressing, as will Sarah, and acting more like a baby because it is so new. I have already noticed them both doing it, or maybe I am just more aware of it now. But Kate was eating with her fingers and acting like she didn't even have a fork n knife. I asked her to stop, and finally had to tell her to stop or I will take her food and she will be completely done eating, including dessert if we have it. Well, she picked up her fork for one bite and then ditched it for her hands, so I took away her plate. She moaned and wailed, but soon left the kitchen because I am sure she was done, anyway. She had eaten a lot of her food.

After that, she was fine, we did a little shopping. We went to the mall, and the girls saw Miss Ashley at Nordstrom, where she works. She was very happy to see them, and they were very happy to see her. Then we stopped by Home Depot really quick and I dropped and broke a $12 light bulb. I felt bad about that, but it happens sometimes. I want to replace the bulbs in my house with CFL, but they are pretty expensive, especially the ones that are compatible with the dimmer switches. There are 69 light bulbs in my house, and these bulbs cost about $6 average. So it adds up pretty quickly. Anyway, the girls were good for the most part. They got to ride in the Home Depot™ racecart. They were thrilled with that and Sarah was singing. I said I liked her singing, and she quipped "I am the radio."

So, we got home, and got the girls ready for bed and had family home evening. Last night's lesson was on forgiving people. We talked about forgiveness and what it meant and focused on us forgiving other people. Kate said forgiveness is "when you hit someone and they are sad, and you walk up to them and ask them what you can do to make them feel better. Like a hug and a kiss, see? Like that!" While Kate was saying hug and kiss, she would hug you and give you a kiss on the cheek. Right after that she was being a wild child. She was bouncing all over the place. I had to get stern with her and ever sent her out of the room for a little bit. She kept begging for a treat because Amy mentioned she wanted to make a treat as part of family home evening, but it was too late and we didn't have time. Sarah was being an angel the whole time. She was being so sweet, and she has been very sweet for the last few months, and very helpful. We had some little rice crispy treats that I was planning on being the treat. Kate was just being a little terror, and I told her because of her behavior, she was not going to get a treat. That didn't change anything. So I knew I had to do something.

I haven't done this very many times, maybe once or twice. Kate is so dramatic, so that could be part of the reason. But I went downstairs, got the treat and brought it upstairs. I opened it in their room, and gave Sarah some. Amy saw me and said I shouldn't do it, but consistency and follow through is very important. After I gave Sarah some, Kate got very happy and asked if she could have some, too. I told her no. She started crying right away when she realized that she wasn't getting any. I asked her what I told her about the treat and her behavior, and she remembered that I told her she couldn't have any. She was crying and said "Daddy, I forgive you for being disobedient". I don't think she quite got the concept of forgiveness straight. I tried to explain to her that she didn't forgive me for her being disobedient, she asks for forgiveness. So she cried and wept "Daddy, will you forgive me for being disobedient?" I of course said I did, but she still couldn't have the treat. So she cried some more, then got mad at me, then went to sleep.

So this morning, wonder of wonders, she was angelic. She got up right away when I asked her to, which is rare. She got dressed right away, got her shoes on and hair fixed before I even got back from my run. So I made them pancakes for breakfast and I didn't hear any fighting, or anything. They were both ready by the time I was ready. It did take us almost 30 minutes to get in the car, but that is just kids and their slowness. Kate did ask if she could have some rice crispy this morning, but I told her not in the morning and she was fine with it. I think I made a bit of an impact. I will have to wait and see what happens tonight.


Joining the "blogger moms"

Well, I figured that since Amy E. has moved out, I had better get started on a blog for our family. George is too busy to get started setting it up- I know that once he sees that our blog exists, he will not be able to restrain himself from fixing it up.