Tuesday, April 29, 2014

People...I finally figured out how to get a "blogroll" on my new blog so that means I won't miss yours anymore :) However, I only have a list if you'd updated their blog in the last year and aren't private :( Now I am going to work on making it easy to add mine to a feed...

Our new blog is at blog.melissasnowprince.com
This blog contains links to my other sites too :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sadness in Happiness...


Last weekend we traveled to Texas to attend the funeral of my nephew Goodwin. The loss of his life was desperately sad. He was coming to a family who wanted him dearly. His crib was set up... his newborn clothes were washed and folded and put into his drawers. The grandparent's plane tickets were bought and the sister's drawings for him filled the house. The beginning of his life was quickly approaching...

But in some moment along the way his heart stopped and a precious soul that somehow didn't belong in our world returned to his home....he was beautiful...

I had so many thoughts and insights over this sweet and sad time. At some points, my brother-in-law or sister-in-law said different things that struck me so deeply I had to work hard to keep my feelings in check because I didn't want to detract from them. Among those moments was the reaffirmation that even in happiness we have deep sadness. And that is okay...we learn and grow so much in sadness while would we ever want happiness all the time? ;)

Despite this beautiful world, despite the goodness and kindness and love, despite all our blessings and the wondrous joys God has given us and despite our undying gratitude to our Father and our unwavering faith in His plan....we still have times of immense pain and sorrow. Our happiness and our sadness exist together. Happiness and sadness are intertwined throughout our journey in mortality and life's experiences can exchange one for the other in a moment. Yet...there is a peace in Christ. It is not a "happiness" nor does it remove our sadness but it carries us until our journey's end...

In French the word adieu means "to God" and so dear Goodwin we bid you to God...adieu sweet one...adieu...

Friday, September 20, 2013

Savory Custard

I don't normally do recipes on this blog because I have a few other places that I contribute to so...
However, I know that most of you don't use them but my fellow whovians might need this recipe!!! It is for a savory custard to use with your fish sticks...
For the last year I have just been making a sweet custard which I thought worked great...of course, I do like to dip my french fries and potato chips in ice cream/frosties...So I decided maybe I'd change it up a bit this time and go with a savory custard.
Alton Brown and a few others have posted different recipes. Some made it out of mayo but I wanted a "true" custard so this is closely related to Brown's but made with stuff I actually have in my house...

1 1/2 C 2% milk (I did a mix of 2% milk with a little cream)
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp mustard
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp pepper + 1/4 salt
dash of garlic salt
1/2 - 1 tsp dill
pepper and salt as needed

Combine milk, cornstarch, lemon juice and mustard. Whisk so there are no lumps. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Take a part of the milk mixture and add it to the beaten egg. Stir so there are no lumps. Slowly add milk and egg mixture back into the milk mixture stir constantly. Bring back to a boil or until desired thickness is reached. Add dill and salt and pepper...
Basically...just make it like you would any normal custard. It does make a lot. I think you could cut it in half and just use the egg yolk...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

musique - John and the boys...

John and the boys also have lists from our family reunion. These are their lists...

Clearly the boys will probably have different songs every time but these are their favorites this last year or so...
BOYS
1. Big Girls Don't Cry
2. Elevation - U2
3. If You're Gonna Play in Texas - Alabama
4. Sieze the Day - Newsies soundtrack
5. Yoda - Weird Al
6. "TNT" - A Minecraft Parody of Taio Cruz's Dynamite
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2rDbRUDkds
7. Standing Outside the Fire - Garth Brooks
8. Star Trekkin - Dr. Demento
9. Silent Night
10. My Front Porch Looking In - Lonestar

This was John's list...
Worthy is the Lamb + Amen - Handel's Messiah (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUHpXP-w2DU)
The trumpet shall sound - Handel's Messiah (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU_ttF4WTxY)
I Know That My Redeemer Liveth - Handel's Messiah (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg7aXEvCeXY)
Mache dich mein Herze rein (from St. Matthew's Passion) - Johann Sebastian Bach (conductor Philippe Herreweghe) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoBcr-bAg2c)
Rocket - Smashing Pumpkins (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th-AqMvvBzE)
Yellow Ledbetter - Pearl Jam (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hs8y3kneqrs)
Kommt, eilet und laufet (from the Easter Oratorio) - Johann Sebastian Bach (conductor Philippe Herreweghe) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eL1k6I_RHN8)
Sanfte soll mein Todeskummer (from the Easter oratorio) - Johann Sebastian Bach (conductor Philippe Herreweghe) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_hIDGRbdfM)
Kite (from All That You Can't Leave Behind) - U2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrdAcJEPb4o)
Bad (from the Unforgettable Fire) - U2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXGJvmCZyHM)
Kyrie (Mass in G Minor) - Johann Sebastian Bach (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSqoBaXrziE)
Shapes Song 2 - A.J. Jenkins (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTeqUejf3D0)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Why you can't win... :)

This is the "pre-post" to my next post. It is about my June this year but "my June" was influenced by this experience. In some ways I feel like this is a post for everyone (at least all 3 of you who read this blog). I bet everyone has felt this way at least once a week...

A few months ago someone asked me about what I do for school lunches. I mentioned a few ideas and asked her about what she likes to do. My older children and hers are similar ages. She mentioned some ideas that she uses. Then she asked me if I did all the different things we had talked about (should have seen it coming right here). I told her I actually don't do any of them now. I used to do a lot of them but I have my boys make their own lunches now. And that is how I walked into that trap.... She pounced. "Really, you don't make your kid's lunches. Oh, I could never do that...it is something so special for a mother to make your lunch. I just want to send my kids to school and have them know that their mother loves them." And there you have it...BAM!!!!!

But this is why you can't win...

If I had been TOTALLY honest I would have said. I "let" my older boys make the lunches. I don't do it because I am lazy. I think it is good for them. I am going to send them out into a world at 18 where I can't even talk to them. They need a few basic skills. They need a chance to make healthy decisions for themselves and start to realize and plan for what they need. I don't leave them to fend for themselves.  They make decisions based on what they are willing to do. I make egg salad and tuna for them so they can make their own sandwiches along with peanut butter. They decided they don't want other types because they are "too hard" to make. I let them have juice once a week but they had to choose what they want to drink the rest of the week. They chose water and v8's. I keep a steady supply of fun and healthy snacks. I still make muffins or even cookies for their lunches. BUT...Josh and Hy know in the morning that they have to pull out everything and pack up those lunches. They naturally worked out a system where Josh makes the sandwiches before he goes to school. He then packs his lunch. Hyrum is then in charge of packing his lunch along with Math and Seth. Hyrum likes doing it. Josh is okay with it. :)

See the problem...the truth is just fine. In fact, until the moment that woman opened her mouth it had never occurred to me that I would be judged on the making or not making of my kid's lunch. When you read the actual explanation of what the real situation is it is clear that I love my children and that I am not trying to hang them out to dry. And while every person may take a different approach to the making of lunches based on their current life situations and what their children prefer, it had never occurred to me to worry about what other's do also because it is completely and entirely LAME to do so...but then the seeds of doubt set in for a few moments...do other people really love their children more than me? Am I really a slacker? I quickly assured myself that I am not a slacker (at least not a big enough one to be called out on it :) and I love my children plenty. These are easy to answer because I know the truth and I know what I do. But then the next round of doubts which are worse...I know I am not a slacker but do other's think I am because of the things I do?

To "win" this game you have to live life on offense. You have to attack first and claim your territory as the best. You have to be the person who makes the statement like "only mothers who makes lunches love their children" :) You have to be the person that causes everyone else to be on the defense when you are around. You get to be the person that lives their whole life acting like high school...You are the person that everyone "admires" but no one really "likes."

And that dear readers is why you will never "win"...because you are a beautiful person. This battle presents itself everyday in some new idiotic form from the food you eat to your child's haircut. So...

Dear World...you win. You are absolutely right! I am not the best mother. I am a lazy a large portion of the time. I could totally be a better person and on top of that I could probably look a lot better too! I am putting up the white flag. In fact, I'll even let my kids playing video games while I drink Dr. Pepper if it will make you happy...now that you have won just let me be. I am busy being happy and fulfilled and sometimes sad and overwhelmed. I am working on being a better person while failing miserably but I am also working on indulging my 1 year's obsession with waterfalls and big scoops (this is actually a very serious condition that drives us to distraction!) I am busy just trying to get somewhere in life...

PS - Today Math got up and made his eggs for breakfast because he wanted to. I was very proud. It must be because I don't love him enough :)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Solace

Today I just woke up a little "off" so we went to the canyon to find solace and our happy place. We had a lovely time...







Wednesday, August 28, 2013

musique

For our family reunion we had to submit our favorite songs. My uncle then put them together and we tried to guess what songs belonged to who...it was really fun. My cousins are super into music. I am not (as much) but it was fun and everyone has blogged their list so...
Here is my music post...

This is the list that I submitted to my uncle. It was hard but I tried to pick a list that covered who I was at different times in my life along with my all-time favorites.

1. Rocky Mountain High/Poems, Prayers and Promises - John Denver
2. Ding Dong Merrily on High
 
3. Mysterious Ways/Promenade/Mothers of the Disappeared/So Cruel/I Still Haven't Found What I am Looking For - U2
4. Spaceboy/Disarm - Smashing Pumpkins

5. Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini - Rachmaninoff  
6. Bring Him Home - Les Miserables
7. I'm Gonna Miss You - Milli Vanilli
 
8. Chewy, Chewy - Ohio Express
9. Abide with Me/ O My Father
10. Angels We Have Heard on High
11. Battle Hymn of the Republic
12. A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief
13. Take On Me - Aha

But...I am going to do a top 10 for all my different "favorites" because I want to. This is a pretty stable list but they change every so often. I don't think I have time to add the Pumpkins but someday maybe a top 10 from them!

I start with my two all time favorites John Denver and U2 basically in order of my most favorite...

John Denver (ack...this was hard. I have more than 10 favorites)
1. Rocky Mountain High
2. Poems, Prayers and Promises
3. Like A Sad Song
4. Annie's Song
5. Take Me Home Country Roads
6. Bread and Roses
7. Homegrown Tomatoes
8. Fox Fire Suite
9. Rhymes and Reason
10. Looking for Space

U2 (also hard!)
1. Mysterious Ways
2. Still Haven't Found What I Am Looking For
3. So Cruel
4. Sort of Homecoming
5. Promenade
6. 40/October
7. Mother's of the Disappeared
8. Bad
9. With or Without You/Bad (especially on Rattle and Hum for both)
10. All I Want Is You

Christmas
1. Ding Dong Merrily On High
2. Angels We Have Heard On High
3. White Christmas
4. Silver Bells
5. Silent Night
6. Hark, the Herald Angels Sing/Joy to the World/Away In a Manger
7. Winter Wonderland
8. I'll Be Home For Christmas
9. Sleigh Ride
10. Santa's Beard/Blue Christmas/Christmas-Baby Please Come Home

Hymns (this one is hard too because I love so many so I kept going and going. Sorry if I left out some commas here and there. I'd have to look up all the songs to know exactly where they go because there are so many in the hymns :)

1. Battle Hymn of the Republic
2. A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief
3. Have I Done Any Good
4. Abide with Me/Know This That Every Soul Is Free
5. O My Father
6. Lead, Kindly Light
7. Each Life That Touches Ours For Good/Have I Done Any Good
8. A Mighty Fortress Is Our Good
9. They, the Builders of the Nation
10. All Creatures of Our God and King
11. For the Beauty of the Earth
12. The Spirit of God
13. Where Can I Turn For Peace
14. Oh, May My Soul Commune With Thee
15. O Love That Glorifies the Son
16. Lord, Dismiss Us With Thy Blessing
17. How Great Thou Art
18. How Firm a Foundation
19. Be Still My Soul
20. In Humility Our Savior

Sunday, August 25, 2013

FB strategy

So, this year I am still doing the facebook page for the art program at our school. I got to take a break from fb during the summer and that was nice. I would log on about once every two weeks to check the page and see what was happening...
I decided on a good working plan for myself since I have fb anxiety :) I just read the first 3 or 4 updates that I can see on my computer screen and never scroll down. This way I don't get overwhelmed. Part of the problem is what do you comment on, what do you skip, what do you just like, do you bother with a long comment or just stick to "so cool" or "so great," what if sometime doesn't like your comment, why do I always spell something wrong when I comment, what if you can't clearly convey what you were thinking in 200 characters, do people even want a comment on their status? I don't know...too much non real social anxiety. So this way I can comment or like freely. I'll never over do if it is once a day! I decided that maybe I should add updates and sort of jump in to try and overcome my anxiety and also combat the feeling that I am invading a strange facebook land every time I am there.
Wish me luck as I will probably have to get on at least once a day if not two or three times...I hope all of your status updates will be at the top!! :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

We talk often of simple pleasures...they are all around us to be found so here is one...
Our air compressor...
I know it is odd but I love our air compressor. We bought it many years ago right before we left Austin. It has come in handy for many years but that is not why we love it.
When we moved here everyone knew that John rode his bike to work. The first few months as the boys biked around with friends it became well known that we were one of the only people in the neighborhood with a bike pump that could be found easily. All the children in the neighborhood stopped by to get their tires filled. After a few times we got a big extension cord and hooked it to the compressor. Now the compressor sits plugged in all the time ready to be used. We have someone stop by almost once a week to get a tire filled. Just flip the switch and let the compressor fill for a minute and then you are ready to roll. I love having the kids in the neighborhood stop by. It is fun to get a chance to chat with them and ask how school or summer is going. Now we are just waiting for the adults to catch on and want us to start filling up real car tires :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Summer...

Summer is gone...it was insanely busy and stressful. Google reader is also gone so I am just going to assume that I will be the only one using this blog...which is perfect for me :)

I am sure a bit of summer will trickle into more posts but I just want to jot down a few summer favorites...

Antares and Arcturus. My mind is gone so every year it seems I have to relearn the sky. This year I really enjoyed these two. I have spent other summers dwelling on other stars. I think I am finally over my 10 year love affair with Cygnus. Something about these two gems spoke to me this summer. They were brilliant as I watched them travel each night through the summer sky.


“If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.”-Emerson

Speaking of Emerson...another part of summer I have enjoyed was re-reading Emerson and Thoreau, reading John Muir and researching Ansel Adams. I started in the spring which inspired the post alfresco. I am still working my way through all I want to read but my spirit has been renewed. I also worked through many of the films from Ken Burns (National Parks, Lewis & Clark, Dust Bowl) which I just love. Due to dedicating so much of my life to art education, this time around I focused a lot on the art done about the parks and found many wonders to inspire...

Sara and Anne (and family). Another set of gems I got to experience this summer :) These two amazing women have been a part of my life now for over 14 years (technically Sara is probably at 17 years ;). I still remember turning to Anne when I needed suggestions and advice while pregnant with my first baby or when I informed Sara in Taco Bell that John had been robbed at gun point on his mission when his family still didn't know (apparently mail from Europe gets to Utah faster than Texas) or babysitting a new born Zoey...since those times these lovely ladies have been constant friends and support. Over the years we have grown closer and I am always so happy when I get to chat with them whether it is for hours on the "nursing couch" or hours following our teenagers around, my sanity is always increased. These two also brought along my nieces Bethany and Zoey who I really enjoyed getting to know better this summer as they are all grown up :)

This year brought visits from some of my all time favorite people...Tonia D, Kristen B and the forever awesome Prices. Hanging with old friends is always wonderful. Oh how I miss my Austin family! 

Lava Hot Springs and the amazing and glorious Snow family. I hope everyone in the world is lucky enough to have relatives like mine. Some of the most thoughtful, intellectual and fun people in the world. Always an excellent party!! I love them all!!

The garden. Besides being full of tomatoes and zucchini and a dozen herbs we tried spaghetti squash, pumpkins, and blue hubbard squash with great success. It is fun to try new things...my lavendar is suffering a bit (a lot)...any thoughts?

Mountains. I am always grateful for mountains. Nothing stirs my soul quite like mountains but this year we got to spend a lot of time in the mountains. This summer also marks the first and only time I have out run John on a trail. I don't expect it to happen ever again but it felt awesome! :)

The leaves started turning this week, summer is over. As Hyrum said, "It seems like the instant we go to school summer ends." This year that is so true. The 90's  disappeared from the forecast today when they started school. And now my heart turns to the spectacular season that is autumn!

Next year I want to try and remember to do a few things I missed this year...get better with wildflowers and native trees, more canning-didn't do enough this year, even more hiking and perhaps finally get a telescope and exploit my love of the sky and for sure I want to find a t-shirt/summer shirt that I like next summer so I don't have to wear all the same clothes for 3 years in a row :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sam: I love butterflies. They make me so happy and then I won't feel sad anymore...

Sam: PLEASE...I need ice cream. It is not good for my body but it is really good for my tummy.

After losing Candyland and not taking it very well we had a discussion on what happens when you lose a game. John explained to Sam that he should say, "Good job mom, that was fun." Sam looked at me and said, "Good job mom, I want to beat you."

Watching the supermoon, Sam exclaimed..."The clouds look like a milkshake." We had just talked about the milky way so that might have added to the comment ;)