Friday, November 26, 2010

I Am Thankful. Surprise!

Dear Reader,

Thanksgiving this year was at my aunt and uncle's house in Ogden for the dinner and uncle's house in Sandy for dessert.


Seriously. So good. Thank you to everyone involved in that meal.

What else am I thankful for? Well, let me tell you:

Friends (you know who you are...)
Random Adventures
Friends who take random adventures with me
Awesome internships
The Gospel
Fluffy animals
Puppies and Kittens (see above)
Harry Potter
Children's Books
An excuse to read children's books all the time (thank you editing profession...)
Green trees
(comfortable) Couches
Cell phones
Food, food, and more food
20/20 vision (Which I do not have. But if I had it, I would be grateful)

There is more. But you'll have to wait until next Thanksgiving to find out.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Feasting on Squirrels

Dear Reader,

Some of you may not have known, but I'm the Relief Society Secretary in my ward.

Side note: We have the best Relief Society presidency of all time.

[no, really.]

Every month we hand out the visiting teaching assignments along with a treat. We also give a chance for a much and mingle with the girls so they can make visiting teaching appointments if they haven't yet.

This week we're giving the girls cookies, leaf cookies to be exact, with the theme "every leaf is unique" or something like that. Anyway, cute idea, blah, blah, blah, whatever.

The main point of all of this is that I wanted to show you the cookies we made. Here they are:

The squirrel is my favorite. Sampson (real name Sam...) gave me the cookie cutter for my birthday last year.

A photo of the blessed event. (the arrow points to the squirrel)

You see, it's funny because Sam hates squirrels. In fact, we met a terrifying squirrel in Hyde Park. I really think it wanted to fight us. [note the fists]

So you see? They are vicious little devils.

But I still think they're cute...

Friday, November 12, 2010

P.S. I'm famous.

Dear reader,

Earlier today (at around 3:45) I was walking back to the Church Office Building from an all-day training meeting at a stake center up the road. As I was about to walk back into the building, I heard a noise above me and looked up to see two men jumping from the top of the building onto the parking lot across the street.

It was awesome.

They jumped into an escape car and got away pretty quick, before the building security could catch up with them.

When I was leaving for my bus a little while later, I was stopped by a reporter from the Deseret News who asked me if I saw the parachuters and to explain what happened.

Anyway, newspaper is much faster at getting printed than books or magazines (shocker) and like half an hour after I interviewed with her she had posted her article. And here it is:

Yeah, it's not gonna win a Pulitzer or anything. But I'm quoted!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day

Dear Reader,

Today is Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day (or, I guess in America, Veterans Day). When I was in England two years ago they sold paper poppies for a pound at the tube and all the proceeds went to war veterans. I decided that I should make my own poppy in remembrance of the many people who have died because of wars.

So I did, at work. With computer paper, a red pen, and a sharpie.

I think it turned out okay....

If you're wondering why they use poppies as a remembrance of war, it is because poppies grew in Flanders Field, where some of the most terrible battles of World War I were fought. Their red color was like a symbol of all the blood that was spilled during that war. Around 16 million people were killed in WWI, almost half of those civilians. It's only fair that we take at least one day to remember them.

In Westminster Abbey they lay poppies on the tomb of the unknown soldier on Remembrance Day to honor the dead. The following poem is what really cemented the use of poppies as a remembrance of the war heroes.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

If you haven't yet, please take a minute to remember those who fought to keep freedom alive, not just in our country, but all over the world.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

This is Halloween.

Dear Reader,

So Halloween happened this last weekend. But I'm sure you figured that out on your own.

Natalie and I carved pumpkins on Saturday. This is one of my favorite parts of Halloween. I love scooping the ooey gooey innards out of the pumpkin.


The finished products. Harry Potter on the left (mine) and the happiest vampire you will ever see on the right (Natalie's).

That night I went to Natalie's ward party. She was a gypsy and I was Lois Lane. The thing was this was a dance party and I was wearing stilettos. Ouch.

And Sam was Ariel. The fork was my idea.

Sunday was Kelsy's Halloween food-fest. She made the most delicious pumpkin bars I have ever eaten. I'm serious. They were heavenly. Oh, and she was a cocker spaniel. Love it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sugar Rush

Dear Reader,

Last week I decided to become a baker. And by become a baker I mean I made muffins and cookies.

But still, it was a long process.

First it was the muffins. We had a Halloween potluck at work, and I decided (mainly based on my lack of butter) that pumpkin muffins were a good idea.

By the way: the recipe was super good. Here it is if you're interested:

Next I decided to make sugar cookies to bring in to work and for Kelsy's Halloween party. This was a very VERY long process. Making the cookies was one night's project:

The frosting of the cookies was another night's.

I think the finished product turned out okay for my first try with this recipe.

Let's just say it was a sugary week.

In case you're interested in this recipe, also, here it is (from friend Jana):

deb child’s sugar cookies
2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 egg yolks
2 t. vanilla
4 1/2 c. flour

first, cream butter and sugar. then, add egg yolks and vanilla. add flour to mixture gradually. the dough will roll out best if it has been chilled for a few hours. roll out cookie dough to 1/2 inch thick, and cut into desired shapes. place cookies on a buttered cookie sheet or a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK. remove the cookies from the oven as soon as they are the slightest bit golden on the bottom or edges.

2 lb. bag of powdered sugar
3 T. powdered meringue
1 t. clear vanilla
1 t. butter flavoring
1/2 t. almond flavoring (optional)

mix ingredients. [seriously, that’s about it]. Add water to the mixture incredibly slowly, until the icing is at the proper consistency for piping through a bag – but it should still be pretty thick. then, feel free to add some color. color frosting as desired. divide the frosting. use one portion to pipe outlines on the cookie with a piping bag. thin the remaining icing with a small amount of water and “flood” the inside of the outline with the thinned icing using a spoon. let cookies sit overnight for the icing to set.