Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Wedding Cheesecake

My brother got married earlier this month and he and his wife asked me to make cheesecake as their wedding cake. Um, I've never really decorated a cake for anything save a couple of cakes a few years ago. (I'd like to believe I've made improvement.) Plus, how do you decorate a cheesecake? Anyway, here's what I came up with. I was quite pleased with the result and, more importantly, so were the bride and groom.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Takin' the Good with the Bad

This week has been full of ups and downs. We'd been planning all summer on taking a vacation to Salt Lake City but kept putting it off as other things have come up. So we finally decided that last week was the week to get it done or else it probably wouldn't happen before school starts, or before I have this baby, or before the Second Coming.

Jeremiah thought he would mow the lawn on Monday so that it wouldn't be too overgrown by the time we got back. He mowed the front lawn and then the mower wouldn't start when he began on the back lawn. Neither of us is a mechanic so we said, "Hmm that sucks" and pretty much left it at that.

Then Tuesday morning we got up and I was fixing breakfast. I had the oven on so I could bake some bacon. While I was standing at the stove I heard a muffled pop and looked inside the oven to find glowing embers scattered across the bottom of the oven. We were headed out of town that day so I thought we'd just try to replace the heating element when we got home.

Off we went to Utah. We had a great time, we visited Hogle Zoo, the Clark Planetarium, ate lunch at the Lion House Pantry, played at the Discovery Gateway Children's Museum, visited the Living Planet Aquarium and strained our necks looking up at fossils at Thanksgiving Point Museum of Anciet History. Plus we got to spend time with family and friends who were kind enough to let us crash at their homes.

We got ready to head home on Saturday afternoon and before we even reached the freeway the van started acting up. We stopped and had the oil changed since it had been on our neglected to-do list before the trip. But after driving a little further the 'Check Engine' light was flashing and our van was still misbehaving. We located a Tunex who ran a free diagnostics test and determined that 4 of our 6 cylinders were misfiring. Not a good thing when you're 200+ miles from home.

We made it to Evens and Kelly's house and were planning on staying there until we could get the van fixed. Then we got the call saying that Jeremiah's grandmother had passed away. Although there was nothing we could really do, we all felt like we should try and make it home to be with family. Luckily Evens and Kelly purchased a 2nd car a couple of months ago so between the two cars there was room enough for both our families.

Yesterday our home was filled with relatives who needed a place to congregate and remember Grandma. The weird thing about death is that a lot of times it brings family together . Although it wasn't the ideal circumstances bringing us together it was nice to be able to share stories and laugh together. I made a huge pot of spaghetti and the neighbors were kind enough to lend their oven so that we could heat some garlic bread and later bake some "dump cake." I was grateful that our home was accomodating for that purpose and that people felt comfortable gathering here.

Like I said, it was full of ups and downs and I suppose life is always that way. This week just seemed to compress a lot of experiences. I'm thankful that my family was able to have a nice little vacation. We had fun together and I think that time made us realize that although we also experienced some personal misfortune, that things really could be worse. Although we will miss Grandma terribly we are thankful for her release from her pain and suffering. She was a wonderful woman and I am so grateful that my children have known her.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


This morning Jack woke up just as Jeremiah was leaving for work. Jack is a daddy's boy and was in tears, crying, "I want to come wif you!" over and over as Jeremiah tried to get out the door. It was heartbreaking. I picked up Jack while he continued to cry, "I want to come wif Daddy!" and sat with him on the couch to try and comfort him. Isaac was also awake and walked in to the room carrying a sucker for Jack.

Isaac handed the sucker to Jack and he stopped crying immediately. His small act of kindness (and the inclusion of something sweet, I'm sure) calmed Jack far more quickly than my hugs and reassurances. It was just a sweet moment. It made me thankful that my children have siblings. I'm sure that if it had been just Jack and me he would have calmed down eventually. But I was glad to see that my children have learned, by having siblings, to think of others. Isaac thought of Jack and how to help him calm down and the smile Jack gave Isaac while he said, "Fank you!" was full of love for his big brother.

I know everyone has their own reasons for the number of children they have, or don't have, but I am so grateful for these great kids that my Heavenly Father has blessed me with. I've been kind of nervous about adding the 4th, but as I look at my kids I know that things will be great. Every time we add a family member it feels as though they've always been a part of the family. And when I witness those sweet moments like what happened this morning it makes me excited to welcome another of Heavenly Father's sweet spirits into our family.