Monday, November 7, 2011

Just Say No to Vembers

Happy November everyone!

Late Friday night it began to snow here in Bountiful, and I left for ward choir practice with an inch or so of snow on the grass and trees. :)

Since I last wrote two months ago, I agreed to teach two classes at work: a Ballet Level 3 and a Ballet Level 4. The level three class is just barely old enough for me to get away with a more technical and less creative class (so I don't have to run and jump and roll around myself), and both classes are basic enough that I don't have to teach arabesques or complex jumps or port de bras. I still have to be careful, but I am so excited to be teaching again. I just love my girls!

I've also been to a couple of doctors, and am now seeing a physical therapist for my back. She explains everything to me, which really helps me both to trust her and to be diligent with my exercises. I haven't experienced an relief yet (it's actually been a bit worse this week), but the goal is to slowly increase my exercises while keeping the pain from traveling down my legs (and so far it hasn't). And then we'll take it from there.

Back in September, we had a good Labor Day weekend. The weekend after that was stake conference, for which Tyson and I sang in the choir. The next weekend we had the Failners from our ward over for dinner and played Thurn and Taxis with them. I think that has become our new favorite game. :) (Thank you, Kevin and Jacqui!)

The weekend after that we visited Tyson's best friend Chris's mom, Terry, in the hospital. Actually, we visited her family in the hospital, because she was already unconscious and passed away that night. She had lived with cystic fibrosis, raised six kids, and beaten the odds for a very long time. She was petite and cheerful and funny and welcoming, and she is very missed. We are all comforted, however, by the knowledge that she no longer has to fight for every breath. The next night I attended the Relief Society broadcast, where I heard about the new book on the history of the Relief Society, and was so uplifted by President Utchdorf's loving counsel. :) The next day was Sunday, and we had Chris's brother Zach, with his new - and pregnant - wife, Nancy over for dinner.

The next weekend was General Conference, which was wonderful, as usual. :) We went down to Spanish Fork the night before and spent the night, and then got to watch conference on Mike and Caleen's big TV. :) Caleen also sent us home with pears, raspberries, potatoes, tomatoes, tomatilloes, peppers, eggplant, and squash! While Tyson was gone that evening, I rearranged the fridge and pantry, trying to make "room enough to receive it!" (Malachi 3:10) :D Sunday morning we slept in, made steel cut oatmeal, watched conference, and then drove down to visit Terry's family. (Hence no time for an email last month.) The following morning we attended her funeral. (There was no hurry because she had chosen to donate her body to research. This also gave Chris time to get a flight from Maryland out to Utah.)

The following Friday evening I stayed up late cutting, coring, peeling, and canning 11 quarts worth of the pears Caleen gave me, in the jars she gave me. I'm so proud of myself, but that was sure some hard work! The next morning we drove up to Idaho to attend Tyson's cousin's daughter's baptism. Tyson also took family pictures for everyone that afternoon. It was a beautiful fall day, and everyone was so nice! We had a huge lunch together, then went to the park across from the Idaho Falls temple to take the pictures. :)

The next Thursday, after work I went to a circus-themed murder mystery party with a bunch of sisters from my ward. I was assigned to be a circus goer dressed as a hippie. Type casting, I say! :D When I got there (hair straightened, and all decked out in homemade tie-dye), there had been some last-minute changes, and I was now Sampson the Strong Woman - oops! But whatever, we all had a great time, laughed at ourselves, and ate yummy food. :) That Saturday was the Relief Society's Super Saturday. I slept in, but still had time to go and learn how to make whole wheat bread, no-roll pie crust, and fabric flowers for barrettes and headbands. :)

The next week and weekend were delightfully uneventful. :)

Last Saturday we went to the Marujis' for dinner and a rematch of Thurn and Taxis. :D Sunday we went to the Kellys' for dinner with the Burrs, as a kind of farewell dinner, since Chelsea Burr and I visit teach Rebecca Kelly, and Chelsea is moving out of our ward. And Monday was Halloween! Rem and Amelia came over for dinner (witch fingers, goblin grins, and snake, with brownies for dessert). It was really nice to be able to spend time with them, and to ooh and ahh over the adorable little kids that came trick-or-treating. :)

Which brings me to this weekend, in which we did nothing. Well, not nothing, but it has been relatively quiet; Tyson didn't even have any photography work yesterday. :) Oh! There is one exciting little thing this weekend! The family that recently moved in to the upstairs apartment across from ours was featured in our ward's November newsletter. It turns out, the wife has a vegetarian food blog and loves to meditate, and the husband is a filmmaker!!! We finally connected yesterday, and she wants me to do a guest post on her blog, and I want her to help me learn how to meditate, and our husbands can talk about cameras and movies, and we're going over to their place next Sunday for dinner with another family in our ward who recently became vegans! When I talk to Tyson about them, I keep jokingly referring to them as "our new best friends." Haha!

And of course, I gots to talk about some foods! (even though it's fast Sunday, and I'm ready to devour anything :D ) I've included pictures of the banana cream and chocolate cream pies we ate with the Failners. Sorry that they're partially eaten, I was about to devour the last two pieces when I realized I hadn't taken a picture. :D There's also a picture of the corner of the french apple tart I made for a missionary's open house. I just had to eat a corner or two to make sure it turned out - the crust was so flaky and delicious that I hated to have to part with it. :) And then there's a new staple: cheesy baked penne in ramekins; and a new love: ratatouille tart with cornmeal crust - such a delicious way to use and eat those fall veggies! Then there are the pears and the apple butter I canned. And finally, Halloween dinner. I included the snake before rolling, before baking, and then before eating. :D

the pepperoni-less tail portion was for me :)
cream cheeses brownies dyed orange

Whew! Sorry to have to give you two busy months' worth in one blog! Of course, you could just not read any of it, and I would never be the wiser. ;)