Monday, November 29, 2010

Lions in London

Our ever-faithful Lyn the Lion Correspondent has this to say about these babies:

"These are all from Trafalgar Square in London.  There's a big oblesk on top of these 4 lions.  And a statue at the top of the oblesk that is Lord Nelson (who helped win the war against Napolean...he was a sea captain.)"
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As always, muchisimas gracias to our dear Lyn.






Friday, November 26, 2010

laughing and hugging and eating

A random list of the highs and lows of my Thanksgiving:

Highs:

  • Amy's pan of pecan-topped yams.
  • Lindsay's stuffing, made from her grandmother's famous recipe.  
  • Beverly's green salad (as usual).
  • Having twelve adults and seventeen kids (ages 10 and under) all within one room.
  • Listening to the story of the time that Scott and Lindsay went to pick up a free piano in a small town in Minnesota, with a friend who had a too-small truck.  The piano fell out of the truck, ruining the piano and seriously denting the truck.  I laughed so hard at that story, I nearly started crying.
  • Teasing Eli about a monster in the backyard.
  • Getting hugs from most of my Cantwell nieces and nephews as thanks for the (eight) pies I brought.
  • Chatting and chatting and chatting with the Cantwell girls.





Not as highs, but definitely not lows:
  • Getting busted for bringing only eight pies when it was known that I had made nine.  (I left a french silk in our fridge at home, not wanting to share.)(Ohhh the shame of it all!)
  • Having twelve adults and seventeen kids (ages 10 and under) all within one room.
  • Putting a very tired, grumpy, irrational Heather to bed at the end of the night.

All in all, a glorious day, and a great way to kick off the holiday season.


FYI, the pie breakdown was as follows:

  • Two Lemon Meringue (which I made by following the directions on the back of the pudding box)(Lemon Meringe is a Cantwell favorite)
  • Two  Key Lime (which I made using Steve's recipe.  You can read a semi-funny story about that recipe here.)
  • Two Apple Crumb (for which I used my mom's canned pie filling)
  • One Coconut Creme (again, using Jello pudding and pie filling mix)
  • Two French Silk (only one made it to Thanksgiving dinner)
You might be thinking to yourself, "Geesh!  That's a lot of pie for around 30 people."  You're right.  But, old habits die hard, and on my side of the family, the pies are in some ways, more important than the turkey.  (Blasphemy!) We like to have enough pie for seconds, thirds, and if possible, perhaps even breakfast the next morning.

Then, when it's all over, we're all burned out on pie and don't have it again for another year.  But oh, what joy those 24 hours of pie gluttony bring!

Oh-and just in case you're getting overly impressed with me and my cooking abilities, let me remind you that I don't make my own crusts (because really, when you can buy two perfectly good frozen crusts for $1.89, why spend the time and money to make the sub-par kind that I turn out?), and that over half of my pies used a mix or prepared filling. 

And now, after a glorious day, it's time to go to bed.

(No picture today.  I'm too lazy/stuffed/sleepy to find one.)








Thursday, November 25, 2010

Yes, I AM the weak link (creatively) in our little family

(but someone's got to be practical around here!)






Happy Thanksgiving!

With oodles of love from . . . 



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Charlotte,





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Eric,





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and Heather.




Tuesday, November 23, 2010

exactly what you've been hoping to read about--right here

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So, awhile back, we found ourselves with some Brussles sprouts in our fridge.  I had tried Brussels sprouts for the first time in many many years a few months previously (follow that?), with disappointing results.

(Alas.)

But, this really short story has a happy ending.

(Hooray!)

This time around, I found a recipe for "Crunchy Sweet Brussels Sprout Salad".  I don't particularly care for the name, because to me, a salad is something that is served cold, and this concoction is served warm.  So, in my mind, I call this baby "Crunchy Sweet Brussels Sprout Delight". 

Whatever you call it, it's delicious.  Now that I know this little number, Brussels sprouts are welcome in our home anytime.

* * * 

And, as long as we're talking about Brussels sprouts recipes, you might be interested in this recipe for Brussels Sprouts Gratin, posted recently by one of my (second) cousins.  I haven't tried it (yet?), but I can vouch for Mary Ann's choices.  Everything I've made from her blog has been mmmm mmmm deee-licious.

* * *

As long as we're still talking about Brussels sprouts, here are some little known facts about said vegetable:

  • They contain high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, and dietary fiber. 
  • They are believed to have potent anti-cancer properties (along with broccoli).  However, if you boil them, it removes some of those properties.  Steaming, stir-frying, and microwaving are all okay.
  • If you overcook your Brussels sprouts, they release a glucosinolate sinigrin, which has a sulfurous odor.   Blech!
  • There's a whole line of kids clothing named after Brussels sprouts.  (Does that seem weird to anyone else?  Next thing you know there will be a "Liver and Onions" outlet for child couture.)

And that's what I have for today. 







Picture of Brussels sprouts (Did you know that they grow like that?  I didn't) compliments of cbmd.
Speaking of that picture--what do you think about the multi-colored dishtowel?
Specifically, do you think it's crocheted?  I can't decide for sure.. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

You are the Sunflower Seeds in my Salad Bar of Life

Can I just say how appreciative I am of all you lion watchers?  Seeing these pictures of lions from all  over the world, in museums, cities, countries, random driveways, and everywhere else is one of the little joys that make my life extra enjoyable.

(Kind of like when you go through a salad bar and they have sunflower seeds at the end, you know?  Nothing makes a salad extra special like sunflower seeds.  You wouldn't want a whole salad of just sunflower seeds, and I don't really want a whole life that is just stone lions.  But, the sunflower seeds and the lions made the rest of the salad and the rest of the life all the more enjoyable.  So thanks.) 

My long-time friend Macayla recently took what looks like an extra-grand vacation to Hawaii with her husband.  While she was there, she snapped these pictures for our viewing pleasure.  If you'd like to read her post (and really, who wouldn't?)  you can go here.

This wooden lion:

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is poised outside of this establishment:
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which is located beneath this feature on this mountain:
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Hear me now:  If I ever make it to Hawaii, 
I will eat at the Crouching Lion Inn Bar & Grill. 


(Thanks Macayla!)


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Eric Has His Day

It's the second annual random video week here in quirksville.


These are three of Eric's top picks for our viewing enjoyment:

Watch this first:



and then watch this for a laugh:



and then if you want to see some more (this doesn't count as part of the three), you can click here.





Now, for something completely unrelated, we have what is quite possibly Eric's favorite scene in all of cinema.  (it's a scene from Airplane!, which is a movie I don't count among my favorites, but I will admit that this scene is pretty funny.)

Watch for the eye patch lady around 2:48.  She doesn't have anything to do with the scene really, but the fact that she's there is a highlight for me.









Friday, November 19, 2010

Cute Kids Cabaret

It's the second annual random video week here in quirksville.


This could be my all-time favorite for the week:

(athough the Daylight Savings Dads definitely gives it a run for its money)



Generally, I'm not a big fan of "the singer face"  (I know you know what I'm talking about here.), but in this case, it just adds to the whole production.  Love it!

And here's the second one.

My brother (who e-mails us with funny jokes and stuff for our birthdays) sent us this little beauty last September.  Sometimes when I feel like Heather is requiring too much of my attention, I remember this little girl and I count my blessings. 




(Tune in tomorrow for an Eric Extravaganza.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sesame Street Special

It's the second annual random video week here in quirksville.


Today, we've got two great Sesame Street Videos.  The first is compliments of Jeri, who posted it on her blog several months ago.  It cracked me up then, and continues to crack me up now.

(Sometimes I'll play it for Heather, just to see her shocked face towards the middle--you'll see what I mean. )



The second (actually third) one you might have seen already, if you're a facebooker.  About six of my friends posted this not too long ago.

You'll want to watch this one first, just so you can appreciate just how similar it is to the second.





(My favorite:  "ON MY NOSE !")


See y'all tomorrow!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

About a week and a half too late to be useful, but still fun.

It's the second annual random video week here in quirksville.


I saw this video a few weeks ago (right before daylight savings).  It totally cracks me up, and reminds me of my dad AND my father-in-law. 

(Warning--there is one four-letter word (of the farmer-swear variety), sung/spoken at around  1.46)



I can totally see Wayne (Eric's dad) asking us if he can get us anything at Costco,  because they have everything we need and it's real cheap. 

And as for my dad, let's just say that when I hear the line, "Don't touch the remote!  You don't know how it works!"  I am transported right back to a certain basement in Cedar Knolls.  

My very very favorite part though, is just how serious these dads are about their fatherly responsibilities.  They pretty much know that when it comes to their kids that are not living under their roof, if they (the dads) don't tell them (the kids) about daylight savings, those clocks may never get changed, and that would be a complete travesty.


As a girl who still calls her dad for the weather forecast every time she's going to be on the freeway for longer than two hours, it's a comforting reality. 



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

All Stop Motion All the Time

It's the second annual random video week here in quirksville.


Today it's all about stop motion.

This one is my favorite:



And this one is Eric's selection:

(Note #1 about Eric's--it's 8 minutes long, but repeats once.  So, once you hit around 4:15 or so, you can stop watching if you wish.)

(Note #2 about Eric's--this isn't actually his favorite selection.  His favorite selection can be viewed here, but it included too many illustrated heads being cut off for me to feel good about posting it here.  When I told Eric this, he decided that he was going to start his own blog (apparently forgetting that he already has his own blog), so that it could be the "alternative to Charlotte blog", and he could post whatever he wanted, without regard to my squeamishness.)(I'm not holding my breath.)








Monday, November 15, 2010

I really wonder if that kid has any lines, or if he's just ad libbing it the whole time.

It's the second annual random video week here in quirksville.


Here are three short but absolutely hilarious videos.  I put these on my "favorite list" about ten months ago, and I still go back to watch them again and again.  My personal favorite is the first one, but the second and third are not too shabby either.









Happy Monday!




 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

that's my girl

It's Random Video Week Again!

Hooray!

This video isn't exactly random, but I've been meaning to get it posted up here for a few days, and so I'm taking the opportunity to kick off RVW today with this little gem. 

Earlier this week, I was upstairs doing a little bit of de-cluttering (which is something that I loathe thinking about, but once I actually get in there and do it, I quite enjoy.)  I had the CD player in the bathroom cranked up kind of loud, because I was working in the bedroom, and everyone knows that any kind of housework goes better if you've got some peppy tunes going, and they've got to be going loud enough so you can sing along without drowning out the actual singers.  (Right?  Please tell me you agree!)

After a while, I noticed that Heather was no longer hanging out on the bed, looking through storybooks.  I went in search of her, and this is what I found:  (I snuck downstairs to get the camera before the show ended)

 

That kid cracks me up. 

(FYI:  The music you hear is a song called "Road to Moscow", written and recorded by the mostly-disbanded-but-apparently-still-sometimes-performing-because-I-just-found-out-they-have-a-new-album-out as of September band, Colors)




Thursday, November 11, 2010

Brendan Strikes Again

All this Biggest Loser game play is getting me really mad.  

Almost mad enough to make me want to stop watching.

But we all know that's not really going to happen.

Dang you Brendan and Frado!  


AND

Dang you Patrick and Mark!!  

Why don't you stand up to those jerks???



In other observations, how nice was it when Lisa called a spade a spade in the weigh-in?  She is totally a "place holder" for those two, and she (and everyone else) knows it.  Nothing like a little blatant honesty in front of a national audience, huh?  

AND, how cool is Jesse?  How he said that he was glad that he could leave the ranch feeling good about everything he did?  How it was an honor to go home with Aaron?  I love those guys.


(However, I don't care what you say, there is no way that a stick of Extra gum is going to be an adequate replacement for a slice of Key Lime Pie.  Please, let's keep these product placement blurbs at least semi-believable, huh?)

Okay.

That's the end of the self-righteous judgement for today.  

(Tune in next week for more?  We'll see.)


Monday, November 08, 2010

the tale of the tiger lily (which is not exactly what I intended to write when I started this post)

So, for those of you who don't read We Are Corrys on a regular basis:

My brother (Jacob) and his wife (Melissa) share a family blog.  There they put stories of their kids and their lives, their thoughts, and their experiences.  You know, like a lot of family bloggers.  For example, Jacob recently put up some stellar hints about teaching a kid to ride a bike that, had they been around when I was a kid, just might have changed life for all the third graders at good old South Elementary.

TANGENT:
I received a yellow and green tiger lily bicycle for Christmas when I was in the first grade.  As it turned out, I didn't actually learn to ride that bike until I was in the 4th grade.  I've never been terribly coordinated, and that, combined with my strong aversion to pain and fear of experiencing it in any measure, caused my initial bike-learning experiences to be dismal failures, and that's putting it mildly. (That same aversion to pain later resulted in my not seeing a dentist for three years when I was in my early twenties, which then resulted in me having seven cavities filled in one month, but that's a story for another day).    So, I put the bike in the garage and left it there for three years.

That wouldn't have been a problem, but at my school, every year the third graders got to go on a class-wide bike hike in the spring.  I lived in dread fear of this day, knowing that my shameful secret would be exposed and I would be the object of ultimate ridicule for the rest of my life.

So, I did the only thing I could think of to do.  I prayed.  I prayed and prayed that somehow there wouldn't be a bike hike that year  (Looking back, it would have been a better idea for me to pray for help in learning how to ride that bicycle, don't you think?).  So, I probably shouldn't have been surprised when, for reasons that I never completely learned (although I'm quite certain that it had more to do with school liability issues than my bicycle disabilities), the 3rd grade bike hike was canceled that year, and for every year afterward.   

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This is not me, but I used to have a coat like this, and my tiger lily was very similar to this bike.  I'm borrowing this picture from a person named Valerie Everett

And now for our anticlimactic ending to this little tangent:  The next year, I decided that it was ridiculous that I didn't know how to ride a bike, and I got my father to teach me again.  I then spent the next six years with that bike (well not that bike--you can only ride a tiger lily  for so long before you have to upgrade) as my primary means of transportation. 

Anyway, this post is long enough, so to get to my point . . .

Jacob and Melissa share a family blog.  However, about four months ago, Melissa started a spin-off blog from the regular blog.  It's called Happy Quilting, and it tells her quilting journey, complete with experiences, tutorials, helpful hints, and picture after picture of beautiful quilts. 

I am not a "happy quilter", nor do I think it is likely that I ever will be, but I've enjoyed reading Melissa's quilting blog so much that I've decided to do my own spin-off blog about crocheting.  So, if you're into that kind of thing (Jeff Packer, I'm talking to you!), you can check it out at Salutationscrochet.blogspot.com

(Helpful hint:  If you're into slippers, watch that space!  I've got a slipper extravaganza planned to go up there later on this week!  Huzzah!)

The real message of this post though is this:  If you happen to have a nine-year old who has yet to successfully ride a bike, take heart!  There's always hope!

(And see your dentist every six months.  Take it from one who knows . . . )




Friday, November 05, 2010

a journey that you'll be sorry to miss--trust me.

Okay--this guy has taken Lion-spotting to a whole new level.

Nathan, (who lives in Vernal, but grew up in Cedar City and has the distinction of going straight from beginning band to honor band in middle school and is the younger brother of the guy who took me to my Junior Prom) has gone to great lengths to find a stone lion in his community, and has documented the entire process here

Seriously, you don't want to miss it.

Here's a teaser photo:

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I'll add his lion photos to the collection after the weekend is over.  I want to give you all a chance to read his story first, because it cracked me up, and I'm all about sharing crack-up love, you know?


UPDATE:

Okay, here are the photos for those of you who were too lazy to make that extra click:

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This is not actually a stone lion, but it's close enough.  Taken in Lagoon Amusement Park, Farmington (right?  Isn't Lagoon technically in Farmington?), Utah



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Lions in Fort Duchesne, Utah


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Close-up of Fort Duchesne Lion


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Close-up of other Fort Duchesne Lion



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Random Driveway, Vernal, Utah.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

just as fair


 The Road Not Taken
--Robert Frost


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And being one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;


Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.




I relate to this poem on some level.  I think most of us do.  We all have choices to make, roads to take, and none of us has enough time or freedom to explore every option or experience that we might like.  That's life, and personally, I think it's a good thing.  It forces us to make choices, and then gives us the opportunity to deal with the results of those choices.  Whether our roads bring us joy or pain or (as is generally the case) a mixture of the two, it's our life to lead and we have our roads to choose.  


On Sunday, I was listening to one of my neighbors.  She had been asked to be one of our Sacrament Meeting speakers, and prior to sharing the "doctrinal meat" of her talk, she took a few moments to introduce herself and her little family.  We all learned that she and her husband have been married for three and a half years, (Like Eric and me) have a little girl that just turned two (Like Eric and me), and they are expecting another baby in December. 




Last April, I found to my joy, that I was expecting another baby.  Then, about 5-6 weeks later, I had a miscarriage.  That child, had it grown to term, would have been born in December.  Experiencing that loss was unsurprisingly, a hard time for me.  It was a time full of lots of tears and lots of prayers and lots of loving support, and finally, lots of peace. 


So, as I listened to my neighbor last Sunday, looking at her bulging belly, I got a very small glimpse of how I might look and feel if I could have traveled along that particular pregnancy road a little bit longer.  As my thoughts lingered there, I waited for the scratchy achy feeling to begin in my throat, for the water to start collecting around my eyes. 


But this time at least, it didn't happen.  

Which makes me think that maybe I've grown a little bit.  Maybe I'm learning to make more peace with what I have (and let's be honest, what I have is amazingly gloriously, stupendously terrific), and have less angst over what I don't.  Maybe now I have more appreciation of the road that I'm on, and less regret over the road that I've left.  


. . . and perhaps that will make all the difference. 






 


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

opportunity

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Mom,

You've worked so hard for so many years for thousands of children.
I am so proud of you!
I look forward to seeing what other good things you choose to fill out your life. 
('Cuz you know, I want to grow up to be just like you.)

I love you!


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