Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Best “poo” I ever tasted ;)

One of my favorite holiday traditions (and favorite treats too) is making fudge with my mom and sister-in-law. You may think I’m just saying it, but I promise I’m not: my mom’s fudge is the best! It takes a long time (about an hour and a half) to make, and a whole lot of work, but man is the finished product worth it.

My mom was dismayed when she made a batch of fudge a couple weeks ago to discover her candy thermometer (which is about 25 years old, PSBTW) does not work properly anymore and would have to be retired. She bought a new one but hasn’t been brave or ambitious enough to try it out . . . until today.

While the rest of us played a rousing game of Aggravation (which my nephew and I won twice in a row –wahoo!), my mother stirred a batch of fudge together. As it got closer and closer to the point where it had to come out of the pan and be worked with our hands, we all ran over to the sink to wash our hands and butter them up so we could help out.

The new thermometer helped, but the fudge still didn’t quite turn out how we expected. It tastes fantastic but didn’t set up correctly. Sometimes that happens, even though my mom is ever so careful as she makes it. We’re going to leave it be for a few days and hope for the best.

The best part of the experience, however, was my darling two-year-old niece’s comment about the fudge as my mom finished stirring it on the plate. “Ewwwww!” she exclaimed. “That looks like poo!”

Yes, she’s my brother’s daughter all right.

She’s at the age where she says many things that are cute. I’d love to write about all of them, but that’s not the point of the post. But, gosh dang it, we all started laughing hysterically at this comment. We couldn’t help ourselves. And she isn’t necessarily wrong, although I can’t stand to even think about my mom’s delicious fudge being compared to something so yucky!


Here we are working it and hoping it turns out just right.


Just look at what a mess it left on our hands!


Trust me when I say it’s very much worth the effort we put into it. The finished product speaks for itself, even if the analogy leaves something to be desired. Winking smile Ahh the honestly of children. You’ve got to love them.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Images of Christmas Day 2011

Once again it was a fantastic Christmas spent gathered with my family.  Although I have to be honest and admit that Christmas Day on Sunday is not usually my favorite, this year I found it to be quite nice. Having our church service, which brought the real reason for the holiday front and center, was a nice touch. It meant that finishing up our actual Christmas Day was stretched out far longer than normal, but it turned out to be just fine.

This year I started out a little differently. On my way home I stopped in Logan to visit my siblings there and to celebrate Christmas with them since it appears they won’t be able to make it to my parents’ house once again this year. I don’t like it, but it’s not unexpected.


Christmas Eve fun at my parents’ house. How cute is Santa dog? Dot, the beagle, wasn’t so keen on the costume and had it off in about 30 seconds.



Christmas Day fun. We started off opening our stockings and making donuts. I don’t have so many pictures of that I’m afraid because I was too busy enjoying the day.


For the third year in a row, someone got tired and fell asleep right as we opened the presents under the tree. This year instead of falling asleep on her mommy though, she crawled up and fell asleep on me. So sweet!


Reading about one of the best characters EVER in children’s lit: the Pigeon books by Mo Willems. I can’t read them now without thinking of Miss Sassypants, but that doesn’t make me enjoy them any less.


Check out KK’s beautiful new dress, and big sister looks beautiful in her new outfit too.


Finally, my personal favorite gift, talking bobble heads of Sean and Gus from Psych. Thanks to the Bibliophile who sent them to me. I laughed so hard when I opened them up, and I was really glad I waited until Christmas to find out what they were since they arrived early.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My new tool/toy

Remember how I posted back in November about wanting a smart phone? I was very torn about it at the time, wanting it, seeing the potential benefits and yet not quite ready to commit.

After an interesting conversation with my brother and several experiences involving getting lost, I finally bent to the pressure. I’m happy to admit that I finally caved a week ago, and I’m now the happy owner of my very own iPhone. Yippee!!


I’m familiar with the general format of the phone, since I already own an iTouch, and it operates in much the same way. I figured that I was going to enjoy the phone, but I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I do.

Every day it seems I discover something else the phone can do that is so fantastic! I love having access to my email all the time, I love texting, I love the schedule and reminders, and although I haven’t used it yet, I’m sure I’ll love the alarm clock when I use it.

One of the major reasons I wanted my phone was for the GPS feature. I haven’t had to search for directions yet, but I know that whenever I do, it will come in handy.

In the meantime, I’m doing my best to not be obsessed with it, but it’s really hard! It’s a great tool . . . as well as a fabulous toy. The camera is really nifty too.

Maybe I’m not such a black thumb after all . . .

A few months ago when I went on a work trip to Idaho with my supervisor, we met the most amazing plant lady. She runs a shop filled with plants, and I couldn’t believe how alive the air in her shop felt, which I know sounds cheesy, but it’s true. As I researched the script on her company, I discovered the reasons why.

It’s because of the amazing affect plants can have on the air. Did you know they can detoxify the air better than an air filter? This lady does these amazing things called a living wall, which is a wall made out of plants. It’s super cool! I could put some of the facts here, but that isn’t the point of this post, so I’ll skip the stats.

Anyway, as a gift because we connected with this lady so well, she gave us both orchids. I wasn’t sure how in the world I could get my orchid home so I temporarily gifted it to my sister who then brought it back to me when we went to Yellowstone.

It sat on the table in the house for about three months until one day it was unceremoniously deposited in my room. This means it was no longer okay for it to live on the table. * Sigh * I can’t say I’m completely surprised, but oh well.

This turned out to be a good thing though.

At the time it was brought up to my room, I was seriously worried that I was killing my plant because it just didn’t look good, even though I was following the plant lady’s instructions on how to care for it.

I’ve continued to care for it in the best way I can, and just a couple weeks ago I discovered my efforts are being rewarded. Look!


I was so worried that I secretly have a black thumb, but maybe it’s okay after all. Yay!

Monday, December 12, 2011

It matters, Tammy, much more than you think

Greetings readers who still check out my blog. December has been a busy month so far, and I haven’t had time to write in here as I would’ve liked, but oh well.

I had an experience in the last week that I really wanted to share so here goes. I discovered shortly after receiving my calling as the Temple Co-chair for my ward last summer that it involved something else important I hadn’t been told about, that is Family History.

I haven’t been too sure what to do with this part of my calling but at ward council a couple months ago, they told me it was time to start teaching the family history class during Sunday School . . . in only two weeks!

Yeah, that kind of panicked me out, especially when I realized it was a week I wasn’t going to be in church.

Luckily, blessedly, it got pushed back a few weeks until after Thanksgiving, meaning I started teaching it a week ago. I was nervous to be teaching the class because it’s not a subject I consider myself to be well versed in. But, the manual is well organized and comes complete with DVD segments to supplement the lesson.

I carefully prepared that first week and rushed off to church a little early for tithing settlement, hoping all would be well with class. I was dismayed when I came to my room after Sacrament meeting and discovered the small classroom empty. One of the guys in my ward not only helped me bring the top-heavy TV into the room but also recruited some other class members to come.

So, it was me teaching a class of five men. Yeah, I know. Winking smile

A very touching thing happened as I taught this lesson. One of the class members is very interested in family history and has been working on it since he was a teenager. He shared an experience during the lesson that brought tears to his eyes, and a strong spirit to the class. I could tell just how much it meant to him, and I hoped the rest of the class was as touched as I was.

As I’ve thought about this experience through the past week, I’ve realized why it struck me so much. It’s because this work matters. It matters more than most of the things I do. It matters more than the time I spend reading, texting, Facebooking, writing in my blog, running around, or even some of the many other activities I do. It matters because it’s one of the three-fold missions of the church. And I’ve been called to get my peers excited and prepared to do the work themselves, as well as myself.

So, this class I was so nervous to teach has become real to me, helping me to better understand exactly why this work is so important. All I am is the mouthpiece, but it helps when I have a strong belief in what it is I’m doing.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The dark side

Today I read a blog post that I’ve been thinking about all day. It was talking about this person’s experience with a friend of his, a girl whom he’d always considered to be a kind sort of person, until she did something that showed a mean streak underneath the kind exterior. His point in posting was not to point fingers or condemn her, but just to talk about the fact that most people have said mean streak underneath the seemingly happy disposition.

I’ve been thinking about this post ever since I read it this afternoon. I suppose it struck me because in some ways it reminds me of me.

I am what most people would consider a kind person with a sunny disposition. But I also know that like this girl spoken about in the post, I do have a mean streak. I try really hard to repress it and not let it rule my life, but it somehow it still comes out, in ways that I don’t like. I behave just like the girl he talked about in the post.

I wish that I didn’t have this dark side of my personality, and I wish it didn’t come out as frequently as it does. Or the thing that seems to draw it out is situations where I get frustrated and/or upset about something and then talk to everyone else about it but the person who upset me. Yes, I know it’s passive aggressive and, yes, I know it’s extremely poor communication.

I’ve been trying hard to work on it for the last year and feel I’ve made some progress but not enough to fix the problem. * Sigh *

I suppose that means I’m just going to have to try harder to get rid of this dark side of my personality, most likely through better and more open communication.