Sunday, April 26, 2015

Weekly Digest, April 26, 2015

We didn't take many pictures this week - most of the goings-on were our typical daily routines and not very exciting.

One morning Sammy was sitting at the table eating his breakfast when Ellie decided there was enough room on the chair for both of them.  She inserted herself in the tiny space behind Sammy and started hugging away.  Sammy was less than thrilled with the arrangement:
Especially when she started pushing for more space:

 ...Until he realized he could just sit back and smash her head into the back of the chair:
Gotta love sibling rivalry!

On Friday night we went to Ikea for some new bedroom furniture for the kids.  They were super excited and it was great to get their rooms re-organized and cleaned up.  Ellie keeps exclaiming how much she loves her "new room" (she inherited the boys' old bookcase and most of the picture books).  Sammy has stayed up late the past two nights drawing monster trucks on his desk.

A few days ago Maxine was researching restaurants in the Salt Lake area and came across a German bakery called Vosen's Bread Paradise:

We woke up early on Saturday morning and made the trek up to downtown SLC and gorged ourselves silly. In order from left to right-  chocolate pastry, raspberry "croliner", chocolate croliner, raspberry berliner, maple croliner (so amazing), hazelnut pastry, and chocolate Kouign-amann.  The croliners were an interesting take on "cronuts" and were filled with pastry cream.  Surprisingly the weakest link was the Kouign-amann, which is usually our favorite.  This bakery also had a little chess table set up and Isaac was really interested so I taught him some of the basics and he caught on really quickly.  Now he wants a chess set.  :)

After we left we were driving down the street and saw a Japanese cultural festival going on so we parked and took a gander.  It didn't start for another half hour but it was neat seeing all the cool Japanese stuff.  We went into a Buddhist "Temple" but it was pretty much exactly like a small LDS chapel complete with basketball court.  I was going to take pictures of cool Buddhist stuff but there weren't many great photo opportunities in the basketball court.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weekly Digest, April 19, 2015

So we had a pretty busy week and there are a lot of pictures to share.  Fun times!

Last Sunday night Maxine put up a Facebook page for her home-business bakery, "Maxine's Bakery".  She's already sold a bunch of baked goods and has lots of orders for more.  And I'm grateful that there'll hopefully be less goodies around the house to tempt us.

So this week the weather was really bizarre.  On Tuesday it actually rained mud!  The winds got up to 65 mph and we heard many reports of trampolines causing havoc all over Salt Lake and Utah Counties.  And then on Tuesday night it snowed.  And then on Wednesday there was an insane snowstorm that finally gave Sammy the good snowman-building snow he's been wanting for months.

For some reason Ellie was miserable out in the snow.  She's never really had a problem with it before and later in the week she was fine with it but here she is freaking out:
Maxine and Sammy's creation:  "Mr. Silly."
And of course the following day all the snow was gone:

On Wednesday night we drove down to the Marriott Center on BYU Campus for "Hope of America".  Isaac's class (and tons of other Utah County classrooms) participated in an event that included songs and dancing to celebrate American culture.

Last week Ellie was vomiting and couldn't keep much food down and this week that trend continued.  I took her to the doctor on Thursday and he said it just sounds like she's so constipated that it's just causing her to vomit.  We put her on miralax every day and she's been doing much better.  It's not the best solution but for now she's a lot happier.  But she was NOT happy to be seeing the doctor.  She cried almost the entire time we were there.

Some random pictures of the kids this week:

We've been doing homemade pizza nights on Fridays and Maxine discovered a fantastic sourdough pizza crust that's become our new go-to recipe.  So amazing.

Yesterday afternoon we went to the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point.  It's become our annual tradition and the kids sort of look forward to it every year.  But really they were just excited to feed the ducks and were a little disappointed when we finally got there to find that there were no ducks.  But there were a TON of fish.  We brought a bunch of matzo bread and the kids created a feeding frenzy dumping tons of crumbled up matzo into the water.

So our kids are TERRIBLE photo posers.  We manage to occasionally get a decent photo after about 10 or so tries.  They still rarely get the concept of "look at the camera" and even when they do they like to sabotage the picture with goofy faces or really fake smiles.  We've discovered that our best pictures are when the kids aren't posing or even know when they're getting their picture taken.  But we've decided to include this one to show what 95% of our photos look like:

A couple times a month we like to go to Harmon's and get ourselves some fun cheeses for our date-night in. We were in the mood for a cheddar and goat so we got this "Ivy's English Vintage Cheddar" and a Humboldt Fog because you can't really ever go wrong with Humboldt Fog.  And we made a nice little oil and vinegar dip with our fancy oil and vinegar that we got from O & Company.  And so this was our dinner last night.  

We like to go on Sunday wilderness hikes.  Today we intended to go to Cecret Lake up by Alta Ski resort but instead of taking "Little Cottonwood Canyon" we took "Big Cottonwood Canyon."  We got up to Brighton and realized we had gone the wrong way so we headed back down and just stopped at the first trailhead that looked interesting.  We found the trail up to "Donut Falls" and it turned out to be absolutely gorgeous and we had no regrets for taking the wrong way.  We didn't make it all the way to Donut Falls - the hike got really icy after a certain distance up the trail and most people were turning back so we just found a nice little spot by a stream and had lunch and a nice little Sacrament and just enjoyed ourselves before heading back down.  The hike was about an hour and a half total including our break and we got to hike in a lot of snow which the kids all loved.  It looks really cold but it actually wasn't - our light jackets were plenty and it was one of the best hikes we've ever had.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Weekly Digest, April 12, 2015

So on Tuesday I took a day off from work.  I went down to my old workplace (MPS) to visit and get a gift from my old supervisor (Jarom).  He's such an amazing guy - he and a bunch of co-workers chipped in to get me a bow I've been wanting to get myself for a long time now.  It's a survival bow that folds down into a compact little package.  A bunch of the folks at MPS and I spent the next couple hours shooting a cardboard target and having a blast.  (note - I did not take these pictures)

I was sad driving away from MPS - it was a tough sacrifice leaving that job.

After I got back we went to the Aquarium and let the kids play on their indoor playground.  And of course we have no pictures.

On Wednesday there was a freak snowstorm and it was coming down pretty hard where I was in Salt Lake.  Maxine said that they just got rain in North Utah County though.  But it was SO COLD!

Earlier this week we ordered three cubic yards of compost and the delivery arrived on Friday.  The truck was so big the driver couldn't dump it on our lawn so it got dumped right smack-dab in the middle of our driveway.  I had to dig out a path the next morning so I could pull the van out of the garage.  On Saturday I put together four new garden boxes and got them filled up with enough compost left to dump on a bunch of the unhealthy patches on our lawn.  Now we have eight garden boxes and a large berry patch!

So we've mentioned our sourdough adventures and Maxine decided to make a sourdough pizza for our pizza/movie night.  IT WAS AMAZING!!!  One of the best, if not the best, pizza crusts we've ever experienced.  The outer shell was light and delicate like a fine Parisian baguette and the inside was perfectly pillowy.  Anyhoo, I wish I had taken a picture - the whole thing was a beautiful sight to behold.    But you can imagine, right???

Other than that it was a pretty uneventful week.  Isaac was out of school for spring break and Maxine has been getting sick the last few days but otherwise pretty typical stuff.

And here are some photos and a video we took this week.  Most of the pictures we take were blurry - the kids were just really active this week.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Weekly Digest, April 5, 2015

On Tuesday Maxine took Sammy and Ellie to Thanksgiving Point Farm Country and Ellie finally rode the pony with no assistance.  

A while back I taught Sammy how to cross his eyes.  We finally got a picture of it:

For some reason the kids made American flags a few days ago.  I'm not sure why but they sure were happy to wave them proudly!  USA!  USA!!!

Passover began on Friday evening and we decided to have a Seder this year.  We invited the Menkes to come over as well, since Jake grew up celebrating Seder and we needed a "pro" to help us out.  Maxine made an incredible meal.  Braised lamb, matzoh ball soup, macaroons, and charoset.  So amazing.  The kids did okay but there are 15 stages in a seder and I think they started disappearing by around stage 10 or so.  

I woke up Saturday morning at around 5:40 to see the third total lunar eclipse in the current Tetrad.  Tetrads are fascinating - four lunar eclipses in a two-year period, with each eclipse falling on a major Jewish holiday.  Passover (and the other 2 spring feasts) symbolize Christ's First Coming.  Sukkot (and the other 2 fall feasts) symbolize Christ's Second Coming.  There are 7 major Jewish feasts, with 3 in the spring, 3 in the fall, and Pentecost falling somewhere in the middle.

Yesterday morning we had our annual cul-de-sac Easter egg hunt.

Yesterday we went to visit my Grandparents in South Jordan.  Typical of my childhood visits, my grandma put us to work on a puzzle within minutes of arriving. Maxine and I put a lot of work into it and got it almost finished.  Grandma was grateful - this puzzle has been a thorn in her side for a while.

Grandma Coco gave Ellie a new stuffed bunny.  Shortly after that Ellie went missing and I found her cuddling with it in a chair.  It was a cute moment which I promptly spoiled by taking a picture.

The other night a neighbor gave us some of her sourdough starter, and another neighbor gave us some of her kefir starter.  We've been in cultured city!!!  Maxine made some sourdough bread today that was perfect.  As in, the kind of bread you'd find at a high-class bakery in Europe or something.  SO GOOD!  She also made some challah bread to go with it for our Easter dinner at the Barringtons.

 Today the kids dyed some eggs.  The eggs were barely dry before they ate them all except that green egg.

 We had a wonderful dinner at the Barrington's with the Menkes and Grandparents Mann and Grandma Coco.  The kids had a blast, they looked for eggs, and we stuffed ourselves silly and then guiltily ate carrot cake and angel food cake.