Monday, September 29, 2008

Twin Cousin

My cousin, Kara, came to visit me on Thursday. I've missed her so much!! It was so good to hang out with her. I haven't seen her since my wedding and well, we didn't have tons of time to talk as I was...a little busy.

She brought her kitty, Claire, with her. I hadn't met Claire yet so it was quite a treat. She is so pretty! She is a small kitty who is a beautiful ginger color. She loves to be petted and was apparently adapting well to traveling across the country in a car.

We went over to my sister's house and made homemade peach jam (which is fantastic by the way, I already finished the jar of sugar-free jam; So good!!) and played with Megan. We went back to my house afterward and discussed the fact that Drek and I are board game freaks and love to play at any opportunity. Kara also loves to play board games. We then discussed how some people are fun to play with, and others are...not. Good sportsmanship is something you need to learn while young. No one likes a sore winner or loser. We practiced good sportsmanship by playing a game of Settlers. It was then time to go out to eat with the rest of the family. Around the table, we played It Came To Pass and had a great time overall. That night the family played Munchkin with our Munchkin-Fu cards and Kara's Cthulu cards while I created an odd version of homemade apple empanadias. I say odd version because although they tasted delicious, they didn't look like empanadias. Ah well, it was my first attempt. Kara gave me a mini-lesson on knitting. I've been trying to get Ismael and Kris to teach me, but time keeps being a factor. Kara taught me about circular needles (which I love!!) and how to cast-on. I love casting on!!

Friday was more games and more knitting lessons. Saturday was The Relief Society general Broadcast. I got of work a little late, so I only caught the last two talks, but they were wonderful. Elder Uchtdorf's talk was incredible. I loved the idea that to have God's happiness, we must create! We are children of the most magnificent creative being in the universe, so creating is what we can and must do! I love to create meals, stories, games and parties. And now I am thinking I want to create through knitting!

Afterward I loved walking home with Kara, Lani and mei-mei (who came down from college to see Kara). We ate ice-cream and Kara gave me a final knitting lesson in which I learned the basic stitch, the purl stitch, and that if my tension is too tight my yarn will keep breaking.

Sunday I had to say good-bye Kara. I was pretty depressed about it. I kept snapping at Drek and I didn't have a great experience at church. After church I just lazed about being sad until Rissy called and dragged me outside to plan the Saboteur. This cheered me up immensely. Just so you all know, this game is going to ROCK!!!!!!! Our ideas are oh-so-good. Sign up now, because seriously, amazing.

Also, I am now feeling the need to knit. I have no needles, no yarn, no idea how to do a project, but I have the urge to knit and I am eager to learn. Come back to visit soon, Kara, I miss you already.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

September BAMC: Marathon

September's BAMC was, in my opinion, very good. The word was change. I took this challenge to heart and read three wonderful books.

The first book is Pushed: the Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block. Krisling has really got be interested in thinking outside the box when it comes to labor. I had no idea there were other options besides hospital with epidural and hospital without epidural. This book was amazing!! It has not only changed the way I think about childbirth and modern maternity care, but also changed some of my aspirations. I wanted to be a Douala when I was in Infant Massage school, now I am even more interested. I think it's something I would not only be good at, but I would really enjoy doing. Of course I need to do more research, but I am highly intrigued.

The second book I read was Marathoning A to Z: 500 ways to run Better, Faster, and Smarter, by Hal Higdon. This book was very simple to read, and well well the other book I read: Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide by Hal Hidgon.

These books changed my lifestyle. I am indeed running better and smarter (I'm not sure about faster, but, farther yeah), however, the point is that I'm running. I'm excited about it, I'm enthusiastic about it and my habits have to support my running. I have to go to sleep earlier at night, I need to eat healthier and things like that. As it turns out; I really like running!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Fruitie Ootie Bar??

Aaron came over to introduce us to the the future of Sour...Sweet!! No, really. There is a fruit; Called "Magic Fruit" That after you eat it, it makes everything sour taste sweet. This fruit has been put into pill form by the Japaneses, and sold to thrill seekers everywhere.
We decided to have a sour party. Ismael was the only one brave enough to join our little group. We wanted to have a variety of tastes, so we had lemons, limes, crushed red pepper, spicy Cheetos, grapefruits, orange juice, lemon juice, and a bunch of different kinds of sour candy. We dissolved half a pill on our tongues and...AMAZING!!
The best things were the lemons. Oh, they were so good!!!! And the orange was fantastic. Oh the delight!

Monday, September 22, 2008

It Sounds Like Rat and Patootie. Rat Patootie. Which Does Not Sound Delicious

Creating new dinners is going well. This past week I think my best accomplishment was not dinner, but made-from-scratch brownies. They were amazing. I thought I did a fantastic job at making Eggplant Parmesan, but Drek didn't like it as much as I did and it is way to unhealthy to make for myself. I also really liked my attempt at Mushroom and Spinach Manicottii, but the recipe was highly confusing as it did not call for spinach. It was still delicious, but I need to try it again, this time, with the spinach.

My new obsession is Ratatouille. The first time I made it that traditional way: as a stew. But I wanted to mimic the famous Disney movie a little more, so I found a recipe for Baked Ratatouille. It turned out...baked. I didn't like it as much as the stew and it still wasn't anything like the movie. After some more research I found Ratatouille Remy Style!! A recipe for the movie dish. As it turns out, the recipe in the movie is the Turkish version of the dish. I'm looking forward to making it and seeing if it is delicious.

Today I am making General Tao's Tofu again, tomorrow I am modifying the dish to see if it can be turned into Orange Chicken. I mean Tofu.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ay, Avast!!

It be Talk like a Pirate Day. Arrr. I can't celebrate all that much. I be doin' 12 hour work days yesterday, today and tomorrow. I also be havin' to be all professional-like, so if I be talkin' like a pirate, I be walkin' the plank.
Aye, it be a hard life for us on the land. The sea be callin' me, and one day I'll answer.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Saboteur II

Oh, so great. What else can I say??

Rissy was in charge of this one, I was just a humble player. Being a player is a blast BTW, so much more fun!! Anyway, she did all the work. I did not help at all.

We met at the park and started off with "The Chains That Bind Us". We were all tied to a rope and once every minute had to let on person from either end free. That person could then either add candy to the pot, or betray the team and take the exception. The exception meant that fifty candies would be subtracted from the pot, and he people tied had to stay tied up for the next game. Right away I was suspicious of Megan. She had seemed reluctant to play, but perked up right away. This could be because we were having fun, but could it also be that she is the Saboteur??
My plan was to be the last on the rope, that way I could take the exception but candies would still be added. Alas, they found out my plot and I was voted off the rope. Good thing too, cause Curt decided to betray the team. He chose the Exception with Ismail and Shana still tied up. Very suspicious behavior.

The next game was "Find A Penny..." This was a very clever game. I was highly impressed with Rissy at this point. Shana and Ismail (still tied together) had to wade around in the fountain looking for pennies. One penny (among hundreds) was green on one side. The tied team had to throw the pennies out of the water to us, the sorting team. The sorting team had to find the green penny and run it over to Rissy. The faster we did this = more candies. We did it pretty fast, I thought, but the finding of the penny was just...odd. Curt made it into this huge thing and I was suspicious of him. Cavan was the one that found the penny, and now that I think about it, it was odd.

Next up: Lava Monster!!! People were on top of picnic tables, trying to keep the candy safe from lava monsters (me and Ismail) I ROCKED this game and won an exception. Still suspicious of Megan. Very suspicious.

Next was an improved version of the game I invented. Two teams, one searching for GPS coordinates, one searching for addresses. Both teams have to work together to make it within the time limit. Also, there were riddles solving the riddles = candy. This game was awesome. I was first suspicious if Ismail, who missed turns and was deliberately slowing us down. Curt missed an obvious clue. If I hadn't found it, we might have never moved on. Megan won an exemption without even knowing she had...or did she know?? In any case, we didn't make the time limit, but we did answer a lot of riddles.

TRAFALGA!!!! Three Saboteur cards were actually in ticket bins. The only way to get them out, was to but them with tickets. And how were we going to do that? Why Deal or No Deal, of course!! Our team was not so good, only winning four tickets. We bought our Saboteur card, which informed us that for the next challenge, we would be blindfolded. The next challenge: Mini Golf.

I was blindfolded, Drek was my eyes. The point was not accuracy, the point was speed. We had 18 minutes to play 18 holes. It was crazy. I almost died several times. We did not make the time limit. The other team did better, they only had to be tied together. They did make the time limit. Ismail even got a hole in one, winning himself an exception.

To finish it off, the best game of all: GO KARTS!!!!!!!! Once again, I was blindfolded (I was used to it by now). I drove the go Kart, Megan was my passenger and my eyes. We used 9 o'clock, 10 o'clock, 11 o'clock and 12 o'clock to tell me how to turn. To make things more complicated, Rissy held up a sign everytime we made a lap. I could not see them, but I had to memorize the answers. The first two questions were "how many toes does a human have?" and "*picture of an eye* + *Picture of a phone*". The last question was a math question. Megan read it out load, and instead of figuring it out, I just asked her what the answer was. We were both concentrating more on the wuestion and less on the driving. We ran into a wall. Curses!! And we were doing so well. Megan solved the math problem, but becasue of the crash, she forgot a small part of it, resulting in a wrong answer. Shana and Curt answered all three right, and got the fasted time, resulting in a special prize for them: A gift card to Trafalga. Ben and Cavan crashed three times, and Cavan answered the questions out of order. I blamed this on Drek. He was obviously not communicating effectively. The question was, is this on purpose...??

So, much blaming and conversations ensued. At this point, I know it is not Nick. I know it is not Shana. After a slip of the tongue, I know it is not Megan (curses!! I had been voting for her the whole time!!) After more thought, I realize it cannot be Ismail. I am fairly sure it is not Drek. That leaves Cavan and Curt. It is so Curt!! He has been suspicious from the start!!

We take the last quiz, I vote Curt. We take pictures and then the Saboteur stands up.

Cavan?? What the...?? I NEVER suspected him. Not the whole game. Dang.

We add up the quizzes and guess what?? It turns out Megan was my lucky charm. I voted for her all through the game, but she had enough in common with Cavan that I got ten question correct!! Megan was second place, with 8 correct questions. Everyone else was close together with either six or seven. So, take that Mark. You won without knowing who the Mole was, I won without knowing who the Saboteur was. Hooray.

I had so much fun!! Rissy and I are already making plans for Saboteur part: the third.


Sunday, September 14, 2008


Thank you, K-lizzle, for posting that last entry. I will be more careful about leaving my account logged in on other people's laptops. For the sake of posterity, allow me to clarify.

Friday after work Drek and I went to his work's BBQ. It was very exciting. Drek works with a lot of hilarious people. I highly enjoyed the experience.

After that we went to Krisling's house. We talked, ate watermelon, and watched Casino Royal. This was very important because Krisling had never seen this before. Alas, she had never seen ANY James Bond movies, and if we are going to See Quantum of Solace for her birthday, I thought I should get her hooked on 007.

Drek drove back home and I camped out on Krisling's couch for the night to guard the house against any intruders that were small enough to fit the hole in the door where the door handle used to be.

Saturday morning was the big day! The day I have been preparing for for months! The day of my 5k!! It was quite the learning experience. I did the 5k to prepare for my ultimate goal: running a marathon. I thought this would prepare in regards to running a long distance, but instead, it prepared me for the part of the marathon I had not thought to prepare for. I learned that I must get up crazy early in the morning and freeze to death in the cold morning air before being told when to run and where to run. I learned how to pin those numbers to my shirt. I learned how to sign it at the sign in table. I learned to have the courage to stand next to skinny blondes in tank tops and short shorts while my big end is dressed in pajama pants and a T-shirt and not let it bother me. I learned that I'm not competing with that crazy skinny girl who is the star member of the BYU cross country team, I am competing against myself. I learned I don't care how fast they go, the point is that I keep going. I learned I don't care when I cross the finish line, just that I cross it. I learned that I don't care what other people think of me, or worry if they think I look stupid, I'm not doing this for them, I'm doing this for me. In short, the experience was AWESOME and so much better than I could have hoped.

Kris and I stayed together the whole time. The cop that was following us made me very nervous, so I went up to his car window and asked him to leave us alone. He did. The course was not flat, it was up and down a mountain. A freaking huge mountain. It also took us through a very rich neighborhood, so most of our time was occupied with getting enough air to make it up the steep hill, and reading flyers on the houses the were for sale. We found this crazy 7 bedroom house that had a 2 story great room, and a fireplace in the master bedroom. That was our favorite. We picked sunflowers, laughed really hard, and crossed the finish line smiling and in high spirits.

Way to go us!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


My name is K-lizzle! I am freaking awesome! YOUR MOM.

I ran a 5K today and I totally kicked its butt. I am also the coolest person to ever walk the planet, for behold, I stayed behind and saved the Kris from certain lonely doom. Also I totally scared a cop!


Also I am basically James Bond. Except I am a girl. I am a girl James Bond. I am, Jamie Bond.


I need to move to the Salt Lake valley.... TOMORROW!!

Friday, September 12, 2008


I am now hopelessly addicted to pita bread. So. Good.

My genius husband is amazing. He made $80 yesterday playing the stock market. He is so smart.

I run my first 5K tomorrow!! I am so excited I've been having racing dreams for the past two days!

My neice, Meg, is the smartest little girl in the world. She can already sign like a pro, and she already talks really well.

My nephew, Toby, is entirly adorable. He is also already very musical. He will be a genius musician/singer/conductor when he grows up.

Both my neice and my nephew are the cutest kids you will ever see (the only exception might be Ben's little sister, Rachel, when she was a baby. She was an adorable baby. Like, world's-cutest-baby-ever kind of adorable). If I get permission from their parents, I will post pictures.

I'm getting restless. Very restless.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


"Then there's manure — all that animal waste generates nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that has 296 times the warming effect of CO2. And of course, there is cow flatulence: as cattle digest grass or grain, they produce methane gas, of which they expel up to 200 L a day. Given that there are 100 million cattle in the U.S. alone, and that methane has 23 times the warming impact of CO2, the gas adds up."

And just think, you're eating that.

Friday, September 05, 2008

My Attempt to be More Home/Wife-y

I love to clean. Drek pointed out that I love to clean on a deep level, as in, sterilize. I could scrub, wash, steam and soak all day. Keeping things tidy is more of a chore.

I spent Wednesday cleaning a lady in my ward's house. She had a C-section 3 weeks ago and is having trouble. I then went to my Mom's house and cleaned that. Drek got slightly upset, and took revenge by cleaning our house. Our house is now tidy!!! It looks amazing!!! Best. Husband. Ever.

Alas, I needed to get revenge, so I rented a carpet cleaner and cleaned our carpets, Our house in now "clean". Oh, our carpets are so beautiful! They should be framed and put in a museum.

Usually, I love to cook. I take that back, I love to create. Cooking is no fun if I am not creating. In the past cooking dinner has been a struggle. The problem is that I work all day, come home, ask Drek what he wants for dinner ("I don't know. Whatever you want.") And then rummage around in our cupboards looking for inspiration. I look for something fast, but healthy. My blood sugar is low, so I am grumpy, and thus dinner is usually cereal or eggs.

I have solved this problem!! I searched the Internet for recipes I wanted to try, then laid out a two-week plan of who will cook dinners (I cook Monday, Tuesday Wednesday and Saturday, Drek cooks Thursday and Friday, the days I work late) and went shopping for all the ingredients. I only bought food needed for the two weeks, thus saving money, and was so excited to create!!

The result has been fantastic. I am much happier when I come home, I can't wait to cook dinner, we are eating healthy, and the food is AMAZING!!!!! I have a new favorite dish, and even Drek says he has a new favorite!! We also discovered that while we both love to say Gazpacho, it is no fun to eat as a soup. As salsa, it's great. As soup, it's disgusting.

I'm about to plan the next two weeks of dinners. Let the creative juices start flowing!!

My favorite recipe:Fresh Mozzarella Penne Pasta! Note: The does not serve four. It serves like fourteen. If making this, follow amounts on everything but the pasta. Only use half a bag (8 oz) of pasta.
fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
3 medium tomatoes or 5 to 6 Roma tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoons crushed red pepper or to taste
1 (16-ounce) package uncooked penne pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large bowl, toss mozzarella cheese with tomatoes, avocados, garlic, olive oil, basil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pan to keep warm. Add tomato mixture and toss to coat thoroughly. Transfer onto individual serving plates and garnish with Parmesan cheese.
Makes 4 servings.

Drek's favorite recipe: General Tao's Tofu! Note: This recipe is extremely delicious. I believe I can turn this into a tofu version of Panda Express's Orange Chicken. Details forthcoming. Also, grilled bell peppers are so tasty when added to the steamed broccoli
1 box of firm tofu
1 egg
3/4 cup cornstarch
vegetable oil for frying
3 chopped green onions
1 Tablespoon minced ginger
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2/3 cup vegetable stock
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
4 Tablespoons sugar
red pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon sherry (optional)
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
steamed broccoli

Drain, dry and cut tofu into 1 inch chunks. You can freeze tofu the night before to get a more chicken-like consistency, but it isn't necessary. Mix the egg and add an additional 3 tablespoons water. Dip tofu in egg/water mixture and coat completely. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cornstarch over tofu and coat completely. Watch out that the cornstarch doesn't clump up at the bottom of the bowl.

Heat oil in pan and fry tofu pieces until golden. Drain oil.

Heat 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil in pan on medium heat. Add green onions, ginger and garlic, cook for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn garlic. Add vegetable stock, soy sauce, sugar, red pepper and vinegar. Mix 2 Tablespoons water with 1 Tablespoon cornstarch and pour into mixture stirring well. Add fried tofu and coat evenly.
Serve immediately with steamed broccoli over your choice of rice.
Serves: 4

Monday, September 01, 2008

Build a Man a Fire; Keep him Warm for a Day. SET a Man on Fire; Keep Him Warm for the Rest of His Life

Yesterday was the third time Drek and I taught our class of thirteen year old girls. The first two tomes, I would classify as a "disaster", however, yesterday's class I would classify as "a surprising success!

I decided that the girls were old enough to teach their own (#&$^%$) lesson, so on Friday Drek and I went to 4 out of the 6 girls houses and gave them a little piece of the lesson to teach any way they wanted. It was a risk, and Drek had his doubts. He wanted to know what we would do when all the girls showed up unprepared.

Sunday morning, bright and early, one of the girls called and said she wouldn't be coming to church, and couldn't teach her part of the lesson. Drek saw this this as highly encouraging: We make the girls teach the lesson, they all find excuses not to come to church, we have no class to teach!

Alas, class time came and the rest of the girls were ready to go. One of the girls had enlisted the help of her family and did a fabulous job of teaching! One of the girls didn't do any preparation, but improved really well, the other girl (the one we were worried about) took charge, loved being in charge, and gave a flawless lesson. It was so great!!!! I think from now on we will have two of the girls teach the lesson. They learn better that way, and the other girls pay more attention.