Sunday, October 14, 2012

A New Hobby...

Last week, the U was on Fall Break, which means Kyle and I (and the fish) packed our bags and headed down to lovely St. George. Besides being about ten degrees warmer (which is always appreciated) we get to spend time with Kyle’s family. As an added bonus Conference was on while we were down and nothing beats watching Conference in your jammies while eating cinnamon rolls and knowing that you have a full week off from any type of responsibility.

It was also a great week for a couple of other reasons:

1: Kyle was able to finish all of his secondary applications for med school. Now we just get to wait and see which schools want interviews!

2: Paul (mi papa-in-law) finally got a knee replacement and while it’s a painful road to recovery he was on enough pain medication to make every hospital visit pretty funny.

3: I got a sewing machine and actually made a quilt. Yes, you read that correctly, a real quilt.

I’m not lying when I say that I have a Pinterest addiction. Not only are there amazing recipes on there but there are so many craft ideas I just want to try them all. The only problem (aside from the endless amounts of money that I would like to have) was that many of them required some kind of sewing. Since hand sewing is not something I have hours to spend on (remember, I have a Pinterest addiction that needs satisfying) learning how to sew on an actual machine seemed reasonable. Except for the fact that I’ve never even touched one and they used to scare me.

Well, I told Julie (mi mama-in-law) and she set right to teaching me how. Of course there was this adorable picture of a puff quilt that I had seen on Pinterest from Honey Bear Lane (here’s a link to some of her awesome puff quilts

 It took me the whole week but I think it came out really cute!

Yeah, those individual puffs took me forever.

Tomorrow after work I'll head over to a fabric shop to pick up some more fabric. I think my next quilt will be a brown and cream one. This could be my newest addiction.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

When the dogs bite, when the bees sting....

Everyone who knows me understands that if I had my way, spiders would be annihilated, wiped out of existence. There is nothing remotely positive about them. “They kill bugs!” exclaim spider advocates. Well, so do a myriad of other creatures.

Kyle, on the other hand, can’t stand bees, wasps, or any other flying insect that can sting. He doesn’t scream, break out into tears, or throws shoes in an attempt to kill them but he clearly hates them and for good reason. He’s been stung twice within the last month.

The first time he got stung was right before our trip down to St. George for a couple of weeks. We had planted this cute little garden and we were just starting to get harvestable goods (of course). The car was all packed and ready to go but at the last minute I wanted to grab anything out the garden that I could. So Kyle and I walked down to the garden, grabbed some tomatoes and jalapenos, and started walking back to the car. Being the loving husband that he is, he offered to carry everything. That’s when it happened. A wasp stung him right on the Achilles Heel.

Yikes! Huge, swollen ankle.

I’m pretty sure Kyle is allergic to bees/wasps. Not the “deadly” kind of allergic, just the “whatever appendage was stung doubles in size” allergic.  That being said, if he were ever stung on the face or neck I would take him to the emergency room. So, his ankle was super swollen for a good four days down in sunny St. George.

The second time, which just happened a couple of days ago, occurred when we went to take our dog Leonard on a walk. Okay, so he’s not really our dog (friend of the landlord) because we would never name our dog Leonard but we are the ones who water it and take him on all of his walks. I just CANNOT wait to get our own dog!!!

We Love Leonard!

Kyle and I were going to go on a walk and wanted to take Leonard but since his leash was locked away upstairs (the landlady is not very good about leaving the leash out for us even though we constantly remind her) we thought about leaving him behind. As we closed the gate he just gave us the saddest, hurt, ‘how could we leave him’ look. I couldn’t justify leaving him, so I asked Kyle if he’d get some rope from the wood shed and make a little leash. Well, somewhere along the way Kyle got stung, right in the calf. When he got home from school yesterday his left leg was literally twice the size of his right leg.

It’s a known truth that when you’re married sacrifices are going to be made and Kyle has really sacrificed a lot. It’s nice to know that I have a husband that will take a sting for me.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The First Day of School...

Last week I was so excited about Kyle’s MCAT scores (we’re still very excited about his scores) that I forgot to talk about my experience subbing on the first day of kindergarten. I knew going in that it was going to be crazy. Subbing kindergarten is always crazy, but the first day enhances the craziness by about infinity.

There were a couple of things I expected to have on that very important first day. Things such as a detailed lesson plan, a couple of parents hanging around to make sure their child was okay, and two separate kindergarten classes (morning and afternoon). 

My wishes were in vain. The lesson plan was pretty much this:

“Dear sub. Thanks for coming. Have the parents help you. Coloring pages are on the back table and there are books in the library that you can read to them. Recess is at 10:45, lunch is at 12:05, and they leave at 1:25 today.”

 Okay, not great, but doable. Then I realized this kindergarten class was all day (all day kindergarten is the WORST!). The bell rings and parents and kids start trickling in. Some kids were just added in so they didn’t have a spot or a nametag. Talk about traumatic! When you’re five a nametag is the most important thing in the world.

While the kids are finding their seats and putting their backpacks away the parents started asking questions, lots and lots of questions. Somewhere along the line the parents realized that I wasn’t the actual teacher (it could have been the sub badge that I was wearing but assuming something like that can be dangerous). A couple of parents were actually upset, which I can understand, being the first day of kindergarten and all.

I didn’t have to deal with parents for long because most of them left once their kids put their backpacks away. After 30 minutes not one parents was left. Not even the parent of the little boy who was screaming and crying bothered to stay.

Kindergarteners are squirmy, fidgety, chatty, and have the shortest attention spans of any living creature known to mankind. I had to change things up every five minutes just to keep everyone together. The only kid in the room that was able to do something for longer than five minutes was Mr. crier. He laid on the floor like a limp noodle and cried for three straight hours.

It was crazy, just pure crazy, but I walked away that day knowing a couple of things that put my mind at ease:

   1)    I never had to go back to that class again
   2)    No sub job would ever be that difficult
   3)    I would never have 20 kids 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

MCAT's and all that....

Yep, its September. The year is almost ¾ of the way through and this is the first time in 2012 that Ive gotten around to blogging. For the past nine months I kept telling myself that I should try and post something new on our blog but lets face it, Im really good at procrastinating. For the rest of the year, there will be something new every week (maybe).

This year has definitely proved to be a busy one and there are a ton of things that I could talk about but Ill keep it short today.

As some of you may know, my husband, Kyle, is at the University of Utah studying pre-med physics (sounds terrible, I know) with the hope of becoming a doctor sometime within the next decade. Trying to get into med school is quite the endeavor.

One of the biggest hurdles that potential med school students face is the MCAT. Its a standardized test that encompasses three areas and two writing segments and after looking at some of the practice MCATs, I can attest that they arent pretty. Welcome to Kyles summer of endless studying. Not only did he have summer classes and was a TA for a physics class, he had to tackle that unruly beast of a test as well.

Well, Kyle took that test at the end of July, and then waited for a month to see his results. I remember about three weeks after his test Kyle would check everyday to see if his results had come in. It was agonizing, especially since we knew that our future would be determined by that one test.

Finally, finally the day came and the results were posted. Kyle had gotten a 36. Thats good. Thats really, really good. Thats 97th percentile good! So, with that test score and his 3.97 GPA, Kyle can get into some top ten med schools (think Harvard, Stanford, Duke, and UW)! The only thing thats left to do is to apply and wait for interviews.

Hopefully in six months we know where were going for the next 4-8 years. Im secretly hoping for Harvard or Duke!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

We're Back!

It's pretty bad when I have to go back and read everything in my own blog because it has been a couple of months since my last post. There is a reason for my prolonged absence, though, and I'll warn you now, it's super addicting and just by mentioning its name you too could be sucked in. Yep, it's that bad. So Pinterest has officially taken over every spare minute of my free time. There's something about finding a new recipe or craft or outfit idea all in the same place that makes it very nice and convenient. All of the meals Kyle and I eat are recipes taken from Pinterest. At the very bottom of this blog I've included our new favorite dinner recipe, Slow Cooker Jambalaya.

I'll start off with a rant of sorts. Black Friday consistently proves to be a low point for the human race. I mean, who brings pepper spray and uses it on other customers in order to get whatever "must have" electronic item of the year. Oh, and those people that get trampled to death, that's just sad. Yet Black Friday is such a big deal that this year they even started on Thursday. That being said Kyle and I did go on Thanksgiving night. We really didn't need anything, it was more like a study of human behavior and trust me, we saw some crazy people doing crazy things.

On Friday morning, and by morning I mean 9 am not 4 am, we headed out to Target to see what deals they had. That is where we found our best ever Black Friday purchase! What did we find? Well, it wasn't some super expensive electronic item that was on sale for half price (though I do LOVE the Kindle that Kyle got me and I literally use it everyday). We got a ping pong table! That's right, a ping pong table. After a few weeks of sitting in our office (since turned game room) Kyle spent a couple of hours putting it together. We have tournaments everyday. I won't say who usually wins but we definitely have a lot of fun.

See how are table barely fits in the room? 

Over Christmas Break I plan to post pictures from our wedding, our new car, our Christmas Tree, and basically anything else that may have been photographed in the last two months!

Slow Cooker Jambalaya 

2 lb. chicken, cubed
1 large onion,chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. chicken broth
1 T. creole seasoning
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. dried oregano
1 lb. smoked sausage

1 lb. extra large shrimp
1 3/4 c. rice, uncooked

Combine everything except for sausage, shrimp, rice in a crock pot. Cook on low for 5 hours. Cook smoked sausage in a skillet until a little crispy (make sure to buy the precooked smoked sausage). Add sausage, rice, and shrimp. Turn up heat to high and cook for 30 more minutes.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What happened to fall?

I knew it was coming. It's inevitable. Every year it rears its ugly head and there's nothing you can do to escape it, unless you live on some beautiful tropical island, and I don't. I live in Utah. A place that gets enough snow to hold the Winter Olympics, literally.

Don't get me wrong, I love having four seasons. Fall is super fun, with the leaves changing colors and making that pleasant crunching sound under some cute boots. Scarves and gloves and a wide assortment of pumpkin desserts that just make your heart smile. Summer, with its endless opportunities to go outside and have some fun, tan, and have BBQs with family and friends. Not to mention watching fireworks, hiking, and going to the lake. Then there's spring. Flowers and trees reawaken, the sun tries its best to reclaim your love, and fresh and clean smells makes the outside irresistible. And of course, winter. The happiness that the holidays bring, snow falling softly, amazing smells of sweets fill the air. They're all wonderful. But as I'm sitting on the couch, wearing sweats, and huddled under a big blanket I think, "What the heck! It's only October 6th and it snowed today!"

Honestly, I'm a little bitter about the whole thing (it didn't help that one of the students pulled the fire alarm today and I got to stand outside in the rain, which turned to hail and then snow). Sure, it didn't stick but that's beside the point. My toes are frozen and I should have another month before I have to worry about those kind of things.

On the bright side, the dreary weather means I can now make and bake all of those cold weather dishes I love so much! Hurray for soups!!! One of Kyle's new favorite meals is Dinner in a Pumpkin. Yep, it's exactly what it says. You throw deliciousness into a pumpkin, bake it, and eat the whole thing, pumpkin and all. The recipe can be found at the bottom of the post!

 No peeking!

Can't wait to start carving pumpkins!!!

Dinner in a pumpkin:

1 medium pumpkin
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons oil
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/4 Yoshida's sauce (usually found at Costco)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 14 oz. can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 - 2 c. cooked rice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut off top of the pumpkin and thoroughly clean out pulp and seeds. In a large skillet saute onions in vegetable oil until tender. Add meat and brown. Drain any drippings from skillet and add Yoshida's sauce, brown sugar, and soup. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cooked rice. Spoon mixture into clean pumpkin shell. Replace pumpkin top and place entire pumpkin on a baling sheet. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Place pumpkin on a plate, skin the pumpkin and dig in!