Monday, June 30, 2008

Waco Fun

Warning: This is a long blog entry so read only if you have the time!
So, our trip to Waco thus far has been tiring. We arrived in Dallas, Texas and after waiting an hour to get our rental car we were on our way to Waco. We arrived at our hotel and then immediately went out to find a place to live. We looked all afternoon and into the evening. We found a couple of areas that we really liked in Hewitt, Texas which is just south of Waco. We decided that this area was probably the area to shoot for. The next day we went to the Waco second ward and were greeted very well. We were invited to eat dinner with some very nice members, thank you Keller family, and were given a lot of good advice on where to look for housing by others. We also met a couple who were moving to the area as well, the wife joked with me that we were going to be competing for the same places, I assured her there was enough for all to have. Brother Keller took us out to see more areas and while we were driving we found a place that really spoke to both Alan and I. We wrote down the address and a phone number along with others that we saw. On Sunday we had an appointment with a lady and she didn't show up, this was the beginning of our bad luck. We were still able to see the property however and it was disgusting inside. This was our first real disappointment. We also found a duplex that we had seen on the internet that looked really promising in an area that we really wanted to be in. When we went into the duplex we were very disappointed in the way it had been maintained and especially in the pink matted down carpet, yuck! On Monday we had an appointment with a rental company and the agent called me to let me know that her grandmother had died and that she was giving the appointment to a colleague. She hadn't returned our call so we decided to look on our own again, we visited a property company which a very exuberant landlord/owner from New Jersey, he had a combo Jersey/Texas accent, it was very interesting. He was very excited for us to look at his properties we looked at a couple and decided that this could be an option if we couldn't find anything else. During this conversation Alan received a call from the duplex we had both liked from the night before. So, we met up with Mike, a guy who seems to have a story for everything, we loved the place. It was a great price and very well maintained. We talked about all the famous people he knows or has met, The Simpson Family (Jessica Simpson), Ted Nugent, Elvis's good friend, and a guy I didn't know the name of but apparently he was in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and of course David Koresh (he said he talked with him in a restaurant and Koresh invited him to his compound, a friend of Mike's told him to stay away from him, seems like pretty good advise considering the outcome.) The Realtor finally called us and we met up with her. Although she was very nice, she now had two loads of work to do and didn't have much time for us, so we rushed through a couple of properties all which left a little something to be desired. And we decided that we would take Mike's property. We called him and met him at his office. As he walked in so did a girl who looked oddly familiar, it was the girl from church who had joked with me about stealing her new home. We had stolen it, she had just returned from the property where she was looking at the same place we had just decided to take. She looked a little disappointed, but Mike sent her out to see another property just like it in another neighborhood. It had a bigger backyard area and Mike suggested that we look at it and decide whether we would want that one. We decided that it would be a good idea and so we headed over there. We looked at it and thought it looked good, but we didn't get to see the inside. Then we saw her there too, so we talked with her, she said "Are you looking at this one too?" We felt kind of bad, like, we were taking her new home from her. We decided that we liked the first place better anyway, it is in an area with a lot of members, and there is a nice area in the back where a lot of chickens like to hang out. Anyway we signed for the first area and hope it turns out well, I just hope the rooster doesn't wake me up too much.
Alan and I waiting at the airport, it was the moment I realized we were alone without the kids.
Our new home!
Baylor Science Building, it is very nice. We went here on Monday and Alan got to talk to his professor about a recent trip he had taken where a shark had eaten the cable that was connected to the geology equipment that was going to be drug across the ocean floor. He showed us pictures and it was pretty crazy. Hopefully the project will go through on the second run as this is what Alan was going to do his thesis work with.
We are coming back Tuesday and are excited to see our baby boys again. By the way, sorry this was such a long post.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Alan

Well, Alan had a birthday this week, if you missed it, it was the 25th. He is now closer to 30 than 20 so he thinks he is old. Well, whatever Alan. Anyway, we did have a nice little get together last Sunday for him, here are some pictures of it.
The boys played with a slide that was broken, but they found a fun way to play with it anyway.

Jakie has learned to do headstands, and he loves them.Grandma Jane and Aunt Karen
The boys and Uncle Evan
The boys with Dad and some of the Tylers
Boppus, Janis and Aunt Audrey
Aunt Sarah and Boppus

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fondant recipe

Some people have asked me for this fondant recipe, my mother in law gave it to me, she found it online, so enjoy!

Marshmallow rolled fondant

(makes about 3 1/2 lbs)

¼ cup Crisco vegetable shortening

1 pound (16 oz. bag) white mini marshmallows (Kraft)

1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

1 teaspoon Wilton butter flavoring

2 Tablespoons water

2 pounds of powdered sugar

Generously grease the inside of a large (4 qt) microwave safe bowl with the vegetable shortening.

In the bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer or a Bosch mixer pour in the powdered sugar.

Put water, flavorings and marshmallows into the Crisco greased bowl. Microwave on high for 60 seconds. Stir well with the wooden spoon to see if the marshmallows are fully melted. If marshmallows are melted you can move on. If not continue to microwave and stir at 30 second intervals until you have a smooth mixture.

Add marshmallows mixture to the powdered sugar. Put cover on the bowl and mix at med. – high speed until mostly incorporated. Pour mixture out onto a powdered sugar or cornstarch dusted counter. Knead fondant for at least 5 minutes adding powdered sugar if it becomes sticky. You want a nice smooth, pliable ball. Immediately wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then put into a re-sealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Let rest at least an hour before rolling out for best results. It will keep for up to 2 weeks at room temp. if it is wrapped well. The fondant will harden but can be microwaved again for about 12 seconds to resoften. It has to be kneaded until soft and pliable before you can roll it out or it will have cracks in it.

This fondant tastes good and is easy to work with, The following is a table of amounts of fondant needed for various sizes of cakes 3 ½ -4 inches high:

Cake lbs of fondant

6 inch 1 ½

8 inch 2

9 inch 2

10 inch 3

12 inch 3 ½

14 inch 4

16 inch 5

When you roll out the fondant, the size you need is the measurement of the diameter of the cake + both sides + 2 extra inches. It needs to be about ¼ inch thick. For example if you have a 9 inch round x 4 inch tall cake you would roll out a 19 inch circle, There are many websites that show and or describe how to cover a cake with fondant. You can tint the fondant different colors by using gel food coloring in small amounts at a time until desired color is achieved. You can always add more but can’t make it lighter if you add too much. Liquid food coloring

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fun times in Orem

We have been living with Alan's family for a week and a half and these are some of the things we have been up to.
We love going to the park so we went as a whole family the other day, here is Alan and Jacob sliding.

Jacob and Samuel playing at the park
Samuel in a tunnel
Alan teaching the boys how to hop like a frog
We also had a chance to go to Orem's Summerfest, we took the boys to see the helicopters, the firetruck, the ambulance and the old cars that were on display.

Samuel with his new fire hat in the fire truckMinda and Jacob in the fire truck

The boys love the water, so we had the opportunity to try out their new adorable swim suits again
Alan thought it would be funny to show the boys how to dip their heads in the water, so this picture is a real treat, Alan at his best.

The boys loved it by the way, they think Daddy is the greatest and love to copy everything he does. We are having a good summer and are glad that it is warm. You might have noticed that the boys also got haircuts the day they went swimming. I hadn't intended on buzzing their heads, I didn't want to give up their baby hair quite yet, but, I made a mistake and now I guess they should be nice and cool for the summer. We are excited that we get to take a little vacation soon by ourselves, we are going to Waco to check out housing. And that is pretty much what we have been up to.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ice Cream

The boys have discovered how much they love ice cream. We let them run around outside and eat their ice cream cones, you can see how much they enjoyed it.

I just really liked this picture of Sam, so I thought I would add it to this post, also, we have moved to Orem now, and are living with Alan's parents. Alan is working the swing shift at a factory here, where he is making drill bits for gas and oil companies.

For the Beauty of the Earth

We went to Pocatello on Saturday for Alan's cousins wedding reception and on the way home we saw this beautiful rainbow, it went all the way across the sky, I had never seen a full rainbow that was this bright before, these pictures aren't the best, but we were driving around so that is probably why they didn't turn out well.

This is the view at my parents house, it was really beautiful because it had been raining, I just really liked how it looked with all the mist in the mountains.