Friday, July 31, 2009

What a catch!

We went to Koosharem Utah for 6 days last week. The older kids fished every day with Grandpa Pearson and Uncle Thad. It was their first real exposure to fishing and on the second day they came home with some great fish! Hailey's was a 3 pound rainbow trout.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Easy Eggplant and Yellow Crookneck Lunch

The eggplant lunch was so good the other day that I decided to have it again. I added yellow crookneck this time and it was even better! Fry up both veggies with olive oil, minced garlic (from the jar), Vietnamese chili garlic sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. So good and fast!
I use the chili garlic sauce in everything, from Chinese fried rice to stir fried fresh green beans, to add some heat and flavor.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

3 friends, 1 ice-cream cone

The ice-cream was too expensive at Roaring Springs for me to want to buy more than one cone. I laughed at the girls solution- they each got one side because they didn't want to "share germs". I'm sure there were no germs shared!

Fun Weekend with Emily and family

A week and half ago, Emily, one of my favorite friends from long way back, came to visit for the weekend. That's Emily with her back to the camera. She came to be a part of the family a month before I started college and now my kids call her kids cousins..... I still love to reminisce with Emily about our summer working together picking corn and watermelon for a local fruit stand in the Hagerman/Bliss area . We had lots of scrapes and adventures - like flooding the farmer's melon field on accident, almost backing our boss's pickup over an embankment (one tire was hanging over and he had to come save us!) getting so thirsty after picking melons for hours in the heat that we drank from the canal (disgusting!!!) and driving my dad's old tractor to work one day when we couldn't get any other vehicles to start. We also picked blackberries while floating in inner tubes and discovered a mysterious cold, cold pond down in the, fun anyways, back to the present: Emily's sister was the official photographer for the weekend since I forgot to get my camera out much at all-- thanks Christine! Our kids played and played on the trampoline with the hose since it was so hot and we went down to swim in the river too. I love it that our daughters match up in ages and are friends too! Here's Hailey and Hannah...
and Heidi and Katie.Emily's girls down at the river-
During their stay we had to walk over to see the falls of course! They were still pretty even though the flows are back down.
My sister, Havilah, came over to visit with Emily too and went with us to the falls. Thanks for getting this fun sister photo, Christine!
Oh, and Christine took a family photo for us too- no silliness around here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Abundance

After returning from our Utah trip, I spent the morning out walking and weeding in the garden, indulging the agrarian side of my nature.....
The grapes seem to be keeping ahead of the deer this year! Maybe I'll be able to put up lots of juice -- Yahoo!
And the volunteer hollyhocks growing in the raspberry patch are looking pretty. In my book, if something has a flower on it, it's not considered a weed. :-)
Today's menu will come from the garden: stir fried garlicky eggplant for lunch and vegetable stir fry for dinner. I was thinking today, why do I like eggplant so much? I really don't's kind of weird.
Take a look at the branches of the plum tree! They are loaded and I plan to pick them a little under ripe this year so that I can get to them before the porcupines do.Now, after sharing all this garden loveliness, I need to post a disclaimer: I want you to know-- my gardens are weedy, the morning glory is growing like crazy, my beans hardly germinated this year, etc. etc. A friend of mine, from out of state, told me she never visits my blog because the garden pictures last summer made her too jealous. Aaack! That's certainly not my intention. So to keep it real around here, I'll share what my "other" garden looks like this year. You know, the one I grew pumpkins, squash, potatoes, artichokes, beans and corn in last year..... the one Joel rototilled twice for me this spring but then I never got around to planting anything in except gladiolus and asparagus....Please don't ask where the gladiolus are- I haven't a clue.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Margaret Thatcher

I am reading a biography of Margaret Thatcher right now entitled- "There is No Alternative- Why Margaret Thatcher Matters". The title may seem a little strange, but the book is riveting! Where we are headed as a country right now is so similar to what Britain looked like in the 1970's. My brain is too slow right now to type up an actual review of the book- so here is a review from Amazon:

“I strongly recommend ‘There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters,’ by Claire Berlinski… Mrs. Thatcher clearly understood that the great threat of socialism was moral and not economic. Socialism is bad because it destroys freedom. It destroys self-reliance, destroys individual initiative, and transfers power from the citizen to the politician and the bureaucrat. Every American who wants to know how dangerous it is for the government to have such enormous influence over AIG, Citibank, Chrysler, etc. should read Ms. Berlinski's study of Mrs. Thatcher......."

Well, I just want to put it out there that this book is a great read and worth looking for at the library. (after I give it back, of course....)

Sewing Projects

Now that we've been home for a few days, I've been working as much as possible on some sewing projects. Summer is going by too fast and I have to get some creative time in before our crazy schedule comes back!!

Here is a crochet hook "cozy" I just finished. The button flap pocket stores smaller metal hooks. I used a vintage look hanky and some leftover crocheted lace that I made for an apron last year for the main pocket part. I love my wooden crochet hooks!

Here is how the crochet cozy looks when you roll it up....
My inspiration for the crochet hook project came while I was making a crayon cozy for Heidi for this spring.
It fastens with a little elastic loop and a button. Heidi loves the kitty fabric.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Alturas Lake

We just got back yesterday from our annual tradition of staying at the cabins by Alturas Lake with our friends, the Alberdi's. The Stanley basin was particularly beautiful this year because of all the rain and cooler weather we've had this summer. The wildflowers were out in abundance and there was still patches of snow in the ridges of the Sawtooth mountains. Sigh.... I just love beautiful places!

I have to share a funny snippet of conversation I overheard on the drive to the cabin. Reagan and Heidi were discussing death- don't ask me how they got on that topic.

Heidi: Well, when people get old they die.......
Reagan: Yah, like Dad when he turns 38.... (oh dear Joel, only 2 years left!!)
Heidi: You can die in a car crash too...
Reagan: Or when a nail pokes you!

I was trying so hard not to laugh. I still feel like a relatively young parent, but now I realize in the eyes of my 5 year old, I am only 4 years away from dying of old age! :-)

Here are some pictures of our time at the lake: Taylor singing a lakeside ballad.....
The kids playing in a tiny inlet to the lake..
Heidi enjoying herself....
Tom Shaw and the kids burying Taylor in sand. It was so fun to have the Shaws up there too!
Our tradition is to take a picture of everyone in front of the cabins the day we leave, but the picture turned out too dark. So here's a better one taken at Galena summit as we were leaving the valley.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The conclusion to our Pennsylvania trip

The last 2 days of our trip, we spent in Honesdale Pennsylvania. It is a very small picturesque town in north eastern PA. It was one of Joel's favorite areas on his mission because it was so beautiful. We were a little hesitant at first to drive that far north after driving to the southern most part (almost to Maryland) the day before, but I'm glad we decided to make the drive. We checked out the place he and his missionary companion lived in during those 4 months in Honesdale. It looks like the room is available if he wanted to move back. :-0
We stopped and walked through the Honesdale cemetary that evening because it looked so pretty. This particular memorial was dedicated to all the children who have died because of abortion.
There were some gigantic mushrooms growing in the cemetary too. I just had to snap a shot.

That night, Joel and I stayed at the James Manning house Bed and Breakfast in Bethany, which is an even smaller town right outside of Honesdale. We've never done a B&B before and it was such a fun experience! Joel hadn't been too excited when he found out I had put a bed and breakfast in our itinerary. Being in someones "house" and having to make conversation with strangers sounded kind of strange and uncomfortable to him. I almost called and canceled, but hey, isn't it good to get out of your comfort zone sometimes?? :-) He ended up loving it! The home was built in 1819 and was beautiful and quaint. We both love old homes because they have so much character and this one was no exception. It was set on a 2 acre property- surrounded by woods, flowers, and gardens. The hosts were so much fun to talk to- the conversation ended up being a very enjoyable aspect of the stay! Now it feels like we've left behind new friends in PA. Oh, and the breakfast was SCRUMPTIOUS! I want to email and ask for the recipe of the egg bake we ate. I usually don't even like breakfast egg stuff very much so that shows how delicious the food was! Here's Joel reading on the bed- little did he know there was a TV hiding in the just wouldn't have been the same experience to have a TV blathering on and on about Michael Jackson in the background, when we could be listening to the birds chirping outside the 200 hundred year old windows.....
Saturday afternoon we rode on the Stourbridge Line- the first railroad line in the United States.
It passes by the Lackawacken river for most of the journey. Wonder how to pronounce that doozy of a name? Say this sentence: due to "lack of waxun'" my eyebrows are pretty bushy-- there, now you said it!
The railroad company did a little "outlaws/stickum up" type reenactment for us. I was wishing the kids could have been there to enjoy it because by this time, we were both getting pretty homesick to see the children. We flew out of Harrisburg the next day, with a connection in Chicago......and after MUCH airsickness again on my part, we landed safely in Boise. Yahoo!! Probably won't do a trip like that for another 10 years because I don't know how people can afford to travel very regularly...but we had a great time and lots of memories!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fun times in Pennsylvania

So why Pennsylvania? It's kind of a long explanation, but I am the leader of a youth service club for a non-profit insurance company and every three years they reward their leaders with a trip (if you are an active club that meets certain guidelines). The trip this year was to Hershey Pennsylvania. Joel and I were excited because that is the same area he served on his mission! We never ever ever travel- only to Phoenix to visit his family (and we do that pretty infrequently too) so this was a new adventure for us. THANK YOU to my mom, grandma and sister, who all worked together to watch the kids while we were gone!!
Modern Woodmen Insurance put us up in the Hershey Lodge for 4 nights and it was so much fun to be there with so many other friends from Idaho. I'm not really exaggerating when I say that half the moms in our homeschool group are service club leaders for this organization! We only had one day of meetings so the rest of the time we were able to explore the town or do side trips.

Monday, we went on a walk in the woods with Jenny and Travis and baby Hyrum to see a "deciduous forest". We loved the blooms on this tree which I told everyone was a magnolia but later found out was a mountain laurel. Oops, what do you expect from a westerner? I can correctly identify sagebrush and cheatgrass though!
Kristi and I visited the Hershey gardens and butterfly house the next day while our husbands rode roller coasters at the Hershey amusement park. (I'd had enough motion sickness from the plane ride- I didn't need to stand in long lines to experience more of the same. ...oooh it makes me shudder just thinking about the plane rides....)

The next day we went to Lancaster to see the Amish. To be exact, we were in the small towns of Intercourse and Bird-in-hand because Lancaster itself is too urban to see many Amish. All over town there were buggies, men plowing their fields with horses and ladies hanging the family laundry out on the line, next to their perfectly weeded gardens. We stopped and took a buggy ride from an Amish fellow who says he makes a living doing buggy rides part of the week and making harnesses the rest of the time. It was very interesting to be able to ask him questions and learn a little more about the Amish way of life. Here's Joel, just hanging out with the locals....
This particular buggy had the prettiest high stepping horse. There were horses everywhere!When Joel and I returned to Idaho, all the kids wanted to learn more about the Amish- they are so intriguing! So yesterday we did an afternoon of reading and learning from an informational book for kids that I picked up while I was there. We had a great discussion.

The following day Joel and I traveled south to Gettysburg.Gettysburg was full of Civil war monuments and tourists. I didn't realize that I scheduled us to visit the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. We were there July 2nd and the battle was fought July 1-3. So rather than visit many battlefields or museums, Joel and I just took pictures of the flowers. Look at this beautiful one Joel took. We probably could have stayed and watched some reenactments but we'd had enough of the crowded streets so we jumped back on some small country roads to find our way to my old college roommate's home.

Shannon was one of my favorite roommates in college (in the same category with you Lish!) and it was SOO fun to see her and her family! They had the most amazing place- 50 or more acres, with forest all around their yard. Hay fields, garden, privacy, wild raspberries- in my opinion you can't ask for anything more! They raise a few chickens, turkeys, goats, beef cows, dogs, cats and horses because they like the "simple" life. Shannon wishes their life was a little less simple sometimes. ha ha

The beautiful driveway up to their house-
The whole family except for Willow, the 4 year old.
Shannon was kind enough to remember that it was my birthday and made me a cake. What a great friend!

I'll be back later with the rest of my travelogue. The kids and I need to go get ready for our soccer, mowing, and piano lesson day. But I'll leave you with a picture of a beautiful hydrangea. Why, oh why, can't they grow like this in Idaho? Okay, I'll stop all ready.