Pie taste-off

While Lydia was at preschool, I took Mary to Trader Joe’s and picked up a pumpkin pie. All of my kitchen is 99% packed, so cooking or baking is out of the question. The girls are obsessed with The Perfect Pumpkin Pie, and since we have read this book a million times in the last month, I decided that they needed to eat pumpkin pie.

As we were about to eat, the doorbell rang. Paige showed up with boxes, and since their timing was fortuitous, they joined us for pie and a play date. After the play date, we had nap time and quiet time.

After that, I decided that we needed to have a pie taste-off. Harmon’s was having a sale today, so I picked up another pie and headed to Paige’s house. We ended up staying there until bedtime. Paige made a delicious lasagna, and we all tried the second pie. Trader Joe’s was the clear winner, hands down. It’s also half the price, so once again I have cause to mourn that we will be so far away from Trader Joe’s in Orem. I hope we get one soon!

Here are some pictures from the play date:

Mary was pretending to sleep.

Mary was pretending to sleep.

IMG_0314 IMG_0313

They were pretending it was sleepy time.

They were pretending it was sleepy time.

A disgruntled call and house pictures

After I visit taught this morning, we headed down to spend the whole day in Orem. I visited preschools, and by the time our preschool hunt was over, the girls were hungry. Enter The Worst Drive-Thru Experience of All Time. And we eat a lot of fast food, so I think that statement has value. As I pulled up to pay, I noticed a sign with a number to call if you have comments about your customer experience. Boy, did I!

Sadly, just as I dialed, another call came through to my phone, so the call was lost. No matter, I thought. I just searched “recent calls” and called the most recent number. A very cheerful voice answered, and I proceeded to rant for the next five minutes about my experience. After I reviewed each complaint a second time to make sure the customer representative was taking notes, the voice on the other end said, “Um, Lily? This is Chelsea. Are you trying to call customer service?”

Chelsea! I had called one of my favorite friends instead of customer service, and she had patiently listened to me itemize my complaints in an aggravated manner twice before I stopped talking long enough for her to clarify my mistake. Oops! I am taking this as a sign from God that I complain too much. When my dad died, he left behind STACKS of complaint letters to businesses, hotels, municipalities–you name it! If it serviced customers, he had complaints to write! I think I might have inherited this tendency. Today’s experience tells me that I might need to reign it in a little.

Anyway, I proceeded to head to Chelsea’s house for a play date. After that, we kidnapped Olivia and took her to our new house during the tail end of the home inspection. After that, we headed back to Chelsea’s for a deeeee-licious dinner of calzones, salad and fruit.

I snapped a million pictures because the listing is now off of real estate sites. Mom and Grandma, I realizes as I uploaded these that I totally forgot to take a picture of the kitchen, but it’s right next to the dining room. Oops! Enjoy anyway, and next time we go I’ll take a picture. I also forgot to take one of the basement bathroom.

basement room in front of the bathroom. We'll put the treadmill here.

basement room in front of the bathroom. We’ll put the treadmill here.

basement room #1. Guest room?

basement room #1. Guest room?

The inspector, Chase and Abe standing in the furnace room. Cute Olivia is in the foreground.

The inspector, Chase and Abe standing in the furnace room. Cute Olivia is in the foreground.

Basement storage closet.

Basement storage closet.

Basement room #2. Office?

Basement room #2. Office?

basement family room with kids play area behind.

basement family room with kids play area behind.

Half of the kids' basement play area.

Half of the kids’ basement play area.

Other half of the basement play room.

Other half of the basement play room.

basement stairs.

basement stairs.

First floor bathroom.

First floor bathroom.

laundry space in mudroom.

laundry space in mudroom.

Mudroom entrance.

Mudroom entrance.

Upstairs bedroom #1. Mom's office.

Upstairs bedroom #1. Mom’s office.

Mom's office's closet.

Mom’s office’s closet.

view from Mom's office.

view from Mom’s office.

Entrance to girls' room.

Entrance to girls’ room.

Girls' room.

Girls’ room.

Girls' room.

Girls’ room.

Mom's bedroom.

Mom’s bedroom.

Mom's bedroom.

Mom’s bedroom.

view from mom's bedroom.

view from mom’s bedroom.

Nursery.

Nursery.

Nursery closet.

Nursery closet.

Upstairs hall closet #1.

Upstairs hall closet #1.

Upstairs bathroom.

Upstairs bathroom.

upstairs hall closet #2.

upstairs hall closet #2.

master bedroom.

master bedroom.

walk-in closet adjacent to master bedroom.

walk-in closet adjacent to master bedroom.

master bath.

master bath.

view from master.

view from master.

kitchen space for fridge.

kitchen space for fridge.

pantry.

pantry.

living/dining.

living/dining.

living/dining room.

living/dining room.

living/dining room.

living/dining room.

piano room.

piano room.

on back deck.

on back deck.

back of house from basketball court.

back of house from basketball court.

looking other way on basketball court.

looking other way on basketball court.

front of house.

front of house.

IMG_0231

our cute mailbox.
looking across the cul-de-sac.

looking across the cul-de-sac.

view from front yard.

view from front yard.

Sequestered (sort of)

We forgot to take pictures until the girls were getting ready for bed. That probably happened because I sequestered myself in the house–there are rats outside–and didn’t do anything of note all day. I played with the girls, packed some boxes, napped and cooked.

When Abe got home, we went to dinner at Bob and Katheryn Sonntag’s. We think they are so great, and dinner was very yummy. I daydream that we’ll get Katheryn to design our new yards. Here’s hoping!

And here are the pictures too:

IMG_0139

Mary refused to take off her Minnie Mouse dress today, so she ended up wearing it to the Sonntag's.

Mary refused to take off her Minnie Mouse dress today, so she ended up wearing it to the Sonntag’s.

Also, Paige sent me the pictures from the preschool parade. You can see the updated post here.

Also, here’s one of my baby pictures I came across. Does this remind you of anyone, Mom and Grandma?

IMG_0161

Rat sighting.

As we were pulling in from church (and my calling was great today! I feel bad for making such a stink about it for so long.), I saw a GIANT RAT run into the rock wall by the driveway. It took my breath away. I screamed, and then Abe started asking me if I was sure it was a rat and if I was sure of its size. After I emphatically declared I was absolutely sure, he got really quiet and then said he had a confession to make.

Turns out he found a dead rat that was the size of a cat in our driveway THREE MONTHS AGO and never told me. He thought I’d go off the deep end. Good thing he didn’t! We wouldn’t have ventured into our yard once this summer, and we certainly wouldn’t have ever eaten outside had I any inkling we were but yards away from a rat nest. Anyway, I researched it online, and apparently it’s only a matter of time before they make it into your house. When I read that statement by the Utah Department of Public Health, I nearly had a panic attack.

If Abe saw one three months ago + it’s only a matter of time until they come in the house + I keep my window with a broken screen open all the time + most common point of entry is roofline–where my window is = THERE MUST BE A RAT IN MY HOUSE.

I would honest to goodness trade that for the apocolypse, zombie or otherwise.

I went straight to bed and shook under the covers until Abe gave me a blessing, and then I was able to sort of kind of function again. Did I mention I have a phobia of rats? Recurring nighmares of rats? Once again, Lily is Facing Some of Her Greatest Fears, and all I can say is, there couldn’t have been better timing for our move.

Off of the rats. So after I got it together, we had the Andersons over for dinner. I forgot to blog yesterday, but we have been on a dinner-with-friends marathon. Yesterday Rich and Misty had us over for dinner in a pumpkin (practically my favorite meal ever), today we hung out with our pals, the Andersons, and tomorrow we get to go to dinner at the Sonntags’ house. We sure will miss our friends here, although the Andersons go down to Orem all the time, so we entertain high hopes that we will at least still get to see them regularly.

Here are the day’s pictures.

IMG_0101 IMG_0106 IMG_0110 IMG_0115 IMG_0118 IMG_0120 IMG_0122 IMG_0127

 

dinner with the Petersons

We had the usual harried Sunday, with Abe going to hours upon hours of meetings on top of our regular three-hour church block. But it was better day than expected. I spent the afternoon cooking and preparing for dinner with the Petersons, and our evening with them made the whole day great.

We just loved visiting with Clint, Diana and their three kids. Diana read an incredibly lengthy version of Snow White to the kids at their request. My heart went out to her the minute I heard her come to the part where the queen tries to dispose of Snow White via poisoned comb. Poor Diana! She had to read through that whole fiasco and I think at least one more before finally coming to the apple and the blessed end. My voice would have given out long before.

At any rate, this was one of our most favorite dinner get-togethers ever, and it makes us even more sad to move. But move we must! Right now Lydia is having a tantrum. I didn’t take any pictures, and if I took one now for the blog, you’d see Lydia screaming at the top of her lungs. Not a pretty sight, so we’ll skip pictures today. More tomorrow!

Red Butte and dinner with the Pe’as.

This morning we went with Lalitha and Eden to Red Butte Gardens. It was a beautiful day. In fact, Abe and I keep having conversations about how amazing the weather this year has been. I wish this year would just repeat over and over for the rest of my life weather wise, but since I can’t count on that, I just have to try to make the most out of every gorgeous day.

IMG_9908 IMG_9909 IMG_9912 IMG_9915 IMG_9918 IMG_9923Then we went grocery shopping with Lalitha and came home. I was the only one who napped, and when I woke up, Lydia informed me that she and Mary climbed onto the piano. I guess that means no more naps for me, or at least no naps while my children are awake.

I spent the rest of the day cooking. We had FHE with our friends, the Pe’as. Since we’ve been reading a lot of books about Halloween, Lydia has become very confused about what ghosts are. We decided to brush up on the doctrine of resurrection and our beliefs about how the spirit and the body are related to each other. Afterward, the kids pictured colors of ghosts.

IMG_9925 IMG_9930Abe and I have been trying to get around to folding four giant baskets of laundry for almost a week. We are going to try to fold some tonight while watching Stardust. We have a new habit to squeeze in movies: ten minutes a day! I wish I were kidding, but that’s actually what we’ve resorted to.

P.S. Mom and Grandma, Paige sent me some cute pictures from our hike Wednesday. If you want to see them, I added them to that post (link here).

Coconut oil and Karin’s birthday dinner

Just a real quick plug for coconut oil, since it’s 12:47 a.m. I have been drinking it and applying it regularly ever since the lice debacle, and I have noticed a HUGE difference in my skin/internal functions…um, TMI? But seriously, that stuff is amazing. Grandma, I hope you and mom find a way to acquire some. You need to buy the cold-pressed unrefined virgin coconut oil. It should look white and smell like coconuts. Here is the article that converted me to coconut oil.

Anyway, my hair is practically ruined from my lice treatments, so today I soaked my hair in coconut oil all day. I also used it as an all-over moisturizer and even took the brave step of using it in replacement of deodorant! It was risky, but I took the leap. I thought it was working, but to make sure, I had Abe smell my arm pits when he got home from work. All sorts of risks taken today…but guess what? The coconut oil works! It is a total natural deodorant!! I am now considering purchasing a 5 gallon vat wholesale, but in the meantime, Mom and Grandma, you really need to try it!

The rest of the day revolved around cooking dinner for Karin’s birthday dinner. And Jere’s in town, so we got to visit with him after dinner. That was so nice. It was very sweet to hear him and Abe discuss how much they love their jobs, especially since they both transitioned to their jobs from working situations that were extremely taxing.

Karin brought Mary a whole bunch of birthday gifts, and both girls looooved that.

Karin brought Mary a whole bunch of birthday gifts, and both girls looooved that.

I should have taken a picture of the dinner, but just so I can have the recipe on file, I stuffed each person a pumpkin with this. Things done differently: I cooked the rices separately in the rice cooker. I cooked the wild rice in chicken broth and the basmati in a combo of water and apple cider. I added 3/4 lb (!) of Irish cheddar, a kind that was practically wet and very crumbly. I moistened the individual stuffed pumpkins with a couple tablespoons of heavy cream and more cider before baking. This was the best variation I’ve had on this idea to date. Again, should have taken a picture. Drat!

My cake was a total flop, but Karin was so nice about it. I asked Abe to buy a replacement cake on his way home from work, but he convinced me that it’s the thought that counts. I sort of agree, but when it comes to chocolate cake, I kind of prefer that it’s done right. Thankfully, no one spit it out in disgust. I need to write down recipe corrections in my cookbook so those same mistakes don’t happen again!

Happy birthday, Mary!

I have thirty something pictures of today, so let’s get to it!

Mary woke up to see her new bicycle in the room. She climbed right out of her crib and went to it.

Mary woke up to see her new bicycle in the room. She climbed right out of her crib and went to it.

sep27pic31 sep27pic32

She couldn't reach the pedals.

She couldn’t reach the pedals.

Abe solved that problem this way.

Abe solved that problem this way.

It was raining, so we went to the aquarium instead of the zoo.

sep27pic2 sep27pic3 sep27pic4 sep27pic1 sep27 sep27pic5 sep27pic6 sep27pic22Then we came home and had pizza for lunch.

Mary finagled her way out of pizza and into a cookie. Funny how that happened, but it's her birthday, so I couldn't say no.

Mary finagled her way out of pizza and into a cookie. Funny how that happened, but it’s her birthday, so I couldn’t say no.

sep27pic8 sep27pic10 sep27pic9After lunch, Mary refused to nap. She didn’t want to miss a minute of her birthday! Instead, she ran around the house in the bugaboo necklace you gave her for Christmas, Grandma!

sep27pic12 sep27pic11

She also played the piano…

sep27pic46 sep27pic45 sep27pic47

...and she played with Abe.

…and she played with Abe.

Abe took the girls outside to jump in puddles in the rain.

sep27pic23 sep27pic24 sep27pic25

Then I made dinner, and we celebrated Mary’s birthday with Tom, Suzanne, Clark, Swathi, Balu, and Mom.

We had Mary's favorite foods: Macaroni and cheese, squash, and salad.

We had Mary’s favorite foods: Macaroni and cheese, squash, and salad.

And cake!

And cake!

Cake!

Cake!

sep27pic43 sep27pic44

The inside was scrumptious but skiwampus.

The inside was scrumptious but skiwampus.

Then, gifts!

A Minnie Mouse dress! Thanks, Nana!!

A Minnie Mouse dress! Thanks, Nana!!

sep27pic40 sep27pic41

sep27pic18

Grandma, the girls adore their new suitcases!

Grandma, the girls adore their new suitcases! Thank-you so much. It meant so much to Lydia to have a gift on Mary’s birthday. Also, thank-you for the garlic case you sent me–I LOVE it!!

sep27pic38

sep27pic29

Mary zipped and unzipped her suitcase for an hour. Thanks, Tom, for assisting patiently that WHOLE time!

Mary zipped and unzipped her suitcase for an hour. Thanks, Tom, for assisting patiently that WHOLE time!

With all of her gifts. Happy birthday, sweet Mary! We adore you!!

With all of her gifts. sep28pic13 sep28pic12 sep28pic11Happy birthday, Mary! We adore you!

 

Birthday eve with my mom, Clark, Swathi and Balu

Today I baked Mary’s birthday cake, made dinner, folded laundry, and did some errands. It was so, so wonderful to have my mom around during the day. That made everything feel like a celebration.

Mom and Mary in their nightgowns.

Mom and Mary in their nightgowns.

The girls watched their new favorite Disney movie, Snow White, while I baked Mary's cake.

The girls watched their new favorite Disney movie, Snow White, while I baked Mary’s cake.

The roses outside. Our wonderful landlords were here doing yard work during the morning. They love my mom and were so happy to see her.

The roses outside. Our wonderful landlords were here doing yard work during the morning. They love my mom and were so happy to see her.

sep26pic13

Abe's work team. They all got to celebrate today because everyone met their quota! They celebrated by zip lining through Provo Canyon for two hours. Abe said it was really fun and beautiful because all the colors are changing.

Abe’s work team. They all got to celebrate today because everyone met their quota! They celebrated by zip lining through Provo Canyon for two hours. Abe said it was really fun and beautiful because all the colors are changing.

That's not Abe, but it is the zip line!

That’s not Abe, but it is the zip line!

We had dinner with Clark, Swathi, my mom and Balu. We tried to go on a walk afterwards, but we got caught in a torrential downpour. Abe and I decided to take the girls on some last minute errands, so we did that instead.

And now…happy weekend, and happy early birthday to Mary!!!

Ogden dedication

Today was the dedication of the Ogden temple, and that was broadcast all around Salt Lake. We didn’t have church because there were three dedicatory sessions instead. Abe and I swapped babysitting with the Andersons so we could go to a session together. It was an uplifting experience.

At home, we babysat the girls while the Andersons went to their session.

We had some 3 year old naked time. They felt averse to clothing.

We had some 3 year old naked time. They felt averse to clothing.

Abe set up an extra pack 'n play for Liv's nap, and Mary took a ride in it.Abe set up an extra pack ‘n play for Liv’s nap, and Mary took a ride in it.

I had no idea that Mary had grown so much! We set up the bigger pack n' play in her closet for her naps. Clearly, this one is almost too small!

I had no idea that Mary had grown so much! We set up the bigger pack n’ play in her closet for her naps. Clearly, this one is almost too small!

Mom, we are getting so excited for your visit! We can’t wait to see you soon!!!