Sunday, July 29, 2012

London Summer Olympics 2012

I don't know when I first fell in love with the Olympics.  Maybe it was when I was a kid as I watched and hoped maybe that would be me on the podium accepting the gold someday, although not likely since I've never really been an athlete unless you count me and my stationary bike in cycle class, swimming against my siblings in our bite size family pool, or running on country roads, where sometimes I feel like I'm quite the athlete.  I'm sure my excitement for the Olympics increased from the SLC Winter Olympics, even though I left town the day of the opening ceremonies to visit my friend Aubrey in Seattle so I would be away from the crowds some.  I will never forget living in SLC when the Winter Olympics were held, the visitors that Tenielle and I had (including Grandpa Swensen and Aunt Gene, mom, dad, and the younger kids), the Olympic Spirit in the air, and the week I stayed home from work; watching the Olympics as I coughed up a lung from my only bout of pneumonia.
As I watched the opening ceremonies on Friday night in between the few patients I had and then watched the parade of nations with Tristen and Mitch, it occurred to me that we live in an amazing world.  Not that I didn't already know this, but it just seemed a little clearer.  I thought out loud how there are so many countries in the world, that have so many people, how does Heavenly Father know each of us?  Mitch answered it perfectly, because we are all His children.  I needed that reassurance that day.
My favorite Olympic events are swimming, diving, gymnastics, cycling, and anything else that shows off the hot, fit bodies of the male Olympians!  I like hearing the stories of Olympians and how they got to where they are today.  The last few days I've seen several clips of Raising an Olympian and how behind all Olympians there is a  supportive mother.  Just 45 minutes ago I spoke with my dear friend Emily.  It was 3am in London and she is there "working," (well she was finishing some laundry).  She wasn't going to go, but 7 days before the Olympics started, work had her go.  She has been telling me for over a year that if she goes that I should go with her.  Well, now I'm really going to get my passport this week for the next time an opportunity like that comes along.  The funny thing is we have been playing phone tag for the past few weeks.  Bummer for sure.  I can't wait to here all of her Olympic adventures.
For the next 2 weeks, I'm going to enjoy these Summer Olympics and of course think that I'm on the cycling course as a potential gold medalist, when really I'm on a stationary bike in a gym, or as an amazing swimmer when really I'm in the family pool in the back yard, or that I'm the fastest runner, when really my short legs just get me through my evening jogs on our country roads!

Friday, July 27, 2012

How Can It Be The Last Friday Of July 2012

This month has flown by faster than I'd like.  One more month of "summer" and it will be over.  Hopefully the summer weather will hang on through at least September.
1.  Yesterday was a sad day...I finally got the title to my car, thanks to it being in storage and having to get it from NC and today I got Idaho plates.  Not quite sure how I feel about that, but now I don't have to worry about being pulled over for out of state plates, even though my uncle says they can't do that.  The best part of the whole thing was I thought I'd spend my entire day at the DMV.  Nope, in and out in 10 minutes!
2.  Given that I didn't spend the entire day at the DMV and that I forgot my paper work at home when I went to get my passport, I had the entire afternoon free.  Tristen talked me into going to her house.  Abe had dropped Olivia off at her house for the day.  We had a lovely lunch of grilled ham and cheese and spicy tomato soup.  We then went to the lovely wal-mart where I got some main staples and the wrong hot curlers, that I will have to take back, you know since my other ones are in storage.  Then we went to Mc Donalds for an ice cream and strawberry lemonade.  Then back to Tristens where we watched Olivia and Aidree play in Tristen's makeshift slip n slide.  Tristen made lasagna rolls and I made zucchini fries for dinner.  Yummy!  Yes, a full day indeed.
3.  I have been watching the fields as they have been growing over the past few months in my travels back and forth from Nampa to Boise.  It is a reminder that Heavenly Father is amazing and created such a beautiful world that we live in.  I can't believe how big the corn is and the wheat is just now being harvested.
4.  My dad is the best tomato grower ever.  Our tomato plants are going crazy with lots of green tomato's.  Only another month and we will have harvest.  His trick...just a shovel of cow poop from his pasture.
5.  We had a very fun 24th of July celebration, which I was in charge of on Saturday.  We had dutch oven cooking, old fashioned games, a parade, and the highlight snow cones!
6.  I finished another amazing book; These Is My Words this week and then passed it on to my Aunt Thalia.  Hope she enjoys it as much as I did.  I loved it so much that I've started the sequel already.
7.  My VT brought me blackberries from her yard.  They brought me memories of when I would purchase them from the farmers market in CLT.  Of course they weren't nearly as delicious and juicy as the ones in the south, but they were pretty good.
8.  I talked to my cousin Emily for an hour a few nights ago.  I sure miss her.  We had such fun when we lived together in Kentucky.
9.  Pool days with the ladies doesn't ever get old!
10.  I accomplished one of the goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the year!  I put together and published my first blog book.  I started with the first year 2009, which is only 48 pages.  I'm scared to see how many pages the following years will contain.  I ordered it last night and can't wait to get it!  Hooray for accomplishing goals.  Only 2 more years to publish and I'll be caught up.

Monday, July 23, 2012

In Need Of A Mini Vacation

I am so use to going on vacations; long and mini vacations.  However since living back home I haven't taken advantage of my single-hood and the opportunity that I can freely just leave when I want to.  I try to lay low in the summer and only travel when kids are in school.  Rates are cheaper and the crowds are thinner.  As I was driving home from the cute little Kuna Library with my sequels to These Is My Words I was thinking that it is past time for a vacation, at least a mini vacation.  I need vacations, not only to go on them, but to have something to look forward to.  I do have a trip planned to the Northeast the first week in October, but that is more than 2 months away.  I need something now.  I have 4 days the end of August and a week in September that I can go somewhere, but it's trying to decide where to go that is the hardest part.  I love Seattle and my dear friend Aubrey who lives there.  My friend Pam lives in Florida, it would be fun to see her and I've never visited FL.  Of course I love Charlotte and always love to visit.  I've never toured San Francisco, Santa Barbara or Portland, OR which are closer than the east coast.  I have a Dr. friend from CLT that moved to San Diego that I'd love to see.  I do love NYC but have always wanted to visit Boston.  Decisions, Decisions.  I'm sure I'll come to one soon.  I also have the week before Christmas off and think it would be fun to visit NYC then or maybe by then I'll need to go somewhere warm like FL or the Caribbean.  For now, I'll just enjoy all the travel magazine that Grandma Betty has been collecting for.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fab Friday

1.  Of course I'm still really enjoying the hot, hot days of summer!
2.  Thursday Tristen came over when it was 105 and we swam all afternoon.  It was so warm however that we didn't stay outside as long as we usually do
3.  I went VT this week.  I love my companion Lisa!  We are great friends.
4.  Mom, dad and I went to the hometown Rodeo this week.  It was even more fun because our cousin Abe called to see if we were going and if Olivia and him could come with us.  Of course!  It was Olivia's first rodeo.  She loves animals, but I'm not so sure she loved the rodeo.  It isn't the same as it was when we were growing up, because the seats are more comfortable and it's air conditioned.   I liked the old wood stadium seating and hot summer nights mixed with the smell of horse poop and beer when we were growing up!jk
5.  I am back to lifting what I did in CLT.  I love the burn from lifting so much, but I do miss my gym classes in CLT.  
6.  Mom, dad and I drove to Twin Falls to attend the temple.  It is a beautiful temple, but kind of seems like a long drive.  
7.  We got news on Thursday that our Boise Temple will re-open in October and be re-dedicated November 18.  We can't wait!
8.  I can hardly pull myself away from the amazing book that I'm reading this week; These Is My Words.  I actually have to make myself turn out the light and make myself go to bed.  One morning I woke at 3am and it was all I could do not to pick up my book and start reading.  My summer reading program is the best it has ever been!
9.  My favorite summer meal this summer are southwest chicken wraps without the cilantro.  I think by the end of the summer dad might by tired of them, but not me!
10.  Last Friday night I purchased airplane tickets for my childhood friend Jenny and I to go to the Northeast to see the Fall Foliage the first week in October.  I can hardly wait!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Horse Parade, Lavender Festival, Gumbo, Cycling, Dip Cones

This morning I got up early and got myself ready to enjoy the Summer day, only to find my mother still in bed.  How she could sleep through dad cutting the grass, I'll never know.  Mom and I finally got out the door just in time to run into road closures in downtown Nampa, but to find out it was because of the Snake River Stampede Parade.  We found the perfect parking spot with a front row view just as the parade had started.  I remember as a kid being in the parade fiddleing in the hot sun with the Jr. Jammers.  It was short and full of only horses.  Not even any candy.  
We then proceeded to Costco because I thought earlier this week there was a book that I wanted, but then I couldn't find it when I went back.  Guess I'll just order it online.  We then went to the lavender festival which was just down the street from our house.  It was fun and relaxing!  We I cut our own lavender, ate lavender ice cream, drank lavender lemonade and bought lavender lip balm.

Tristen and Mitch have continued my parents tradition of getting a baby sitter and going on a weekly date.  Well today they invited mom and dad and so I tagged along.  I'm use to being the third, fifth, seventh, ninth wheel.  We had a blast.  We met in uptown Boise for dinner at my favorite Brink Oven Beanery.  There I had my favorite turkey cranberry sandwich on sunflower whole wheat bread and the best gumbo on the west coast.  It is so good and I actually have been craving it all week.  
Tristen had her favorite turkey club and cheddar soup with a scoop of potato's.  Tristen and Mitchs meals were free because they had their birthday cards and because they had 4 or more in the party we each got a free drink which has chocolate syrup and seltzer water.  I'm a fan of seltzer water!  We sat there for a few hours laughing at all of Mitch's stories about camp as he just got back from a week with the boys in their ward.  They hiked into camp which took them 2 days to hike in and 2 days to hike out.  His poor legs were so bit up and scratched up.
Lucky us it was the Twilight Criterium a bike race which was around the city blocks.  I have been one other time with my good friends when we were in college.  I still remember how much fun we had that night.  It is a pretty cool bike race.

During some of it we experienced some rain, so we went up to the 8 floor of Mitch's office and watched the rest from up there.  Of course by then we needed a sweet treat so we got toasted coconut dipped cones from Fancy Freeze!  While out there another down pour came.  We haven't seen rain in forever.  It was nice though and cooled us off for a change.  We enjoyed the rainbow that the rain brought us.

Fresh Peach Pie

My dear friend Cassie has requested my favorite fresh peach pie recipe, so since I'm going to write it out, I figured I would just share it with the rest of you.  I'm kind of jealous that it is already peach season in the south, but I will continue to enjoy raspberry and cherry season here in the west, until of course peach season comes around.  I spilt a thing of raspberries at Costco in the parking lot today as I was loading them into the car.  I didn't have to say anything because the guy walking by said, "oh S_ _ t"  It was pretty funny.  I just picked them up and washed them off when I got home.  Raspberries are $2.99 for 12 oz.  That's the cheapest I've seen them in forever.  Mom even made raspberry jam a few weeks ago.  And we got 24 pounds of cherries for $18 from the bountiful basket that we split with Tristen this week.  Ok, enough about cherries and raspberries here's the peach pie recipe:

2C boiling water
1C cold water
2 1/2 C sugar (I usually don't put this much in, its too sweet for me)
1/4 c lemon juice
1 (3oz) package of peach jello (It calls for Orange which is good too)
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 C cornstarch

3/4 C powdered sugar (I usually don't put quite this much in either)
8 oz. cream cheese
Cool Whip

Bring 2 cups water to boil.  Make paste of 1 cup cold water, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  Add to boiling water.  Stir well and cook over medium heat until thick, approximately three minutes.  Add dry jello.  Stir and cook one minute.  Remove from heat and add lemon juice.  Chill

Filling:  Blend 3/4 cup powdered sugar with 1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese.  Spread in bottom and sides of cool baked shells.  Peel and slice several peach's recipe calls for 10-12, but I like a lot more peaches so I'd say 20.  Mix with chilled mixture and pour into crusts.  Refrigerate.  Use Cool Whip garnish when serving.  Makes 2-4 pies depending on size of crusts and number of peaches.  I also use the leftovers for shakes.

Hope you all enjoy and think of me when you make your peach pies.  This is by far one of my most favorite desserts!

Friday, July 13, 2012

100 Degree Days Of Summer FF

1.  Monday and Thursday I learned that the heat of 108 in Boise doesn't come close to being as hot as the heat from 90 and humidity in CLT.  I think I'll take a dry 108 any day.  The last 6 days have been 100 or greater, yep it's summer all right!
2.  I seem to be missing my CLT girlfriends a lot this week, however I am slowly making new girlfriends who come over in the afternoons on my days off to let their kids swim, while we chat and cool off by sipping icey, fruit drinks.
3.  I am grateful for all the firemen/women who risk their lives to fight all of the fires here in Idaho and across the nation.
4.  I had a patient this week who shared with me the anguish and guilt that he had been carrying for the past 10 days that he cheated on his wife whom he loved.  It made me grateful and humble for the opportunity to be the one to counsel this man and talk to him about forgiveness and love.  My heart went out to him for the mistake he made, but instead of judging him, I felt a little of what the Savior feels towards him.  It was a feeling that I don't think I have ever experienced in that kind of situation.
5.  I also had a patient this week that told me of his experience as a drug dealer.  It was actually pretty interesting and he was a totally cool guy.  He told me that that he would take different drugs across the country to sell and he never got caught until he moved to Idaho.  He said that there are doctors that would write prescriptions for him for $100 and slip them through the back door.  Totally crazy and stupid of doctors; a shame to the medical profession.  He has recently been released after serving 5 years.  He told me that most people he sold drugs to were normal every day people with carriers.  The crazy thing his wife had no clue that he was a drug dealer.  She must have really loved him, because she stayed with him even though he told her she could do what she felt she needed to do.  They now have a baby on the way and I think he learned his lesson.
6.  Serving others brings great happiness to me, even if it is as simple as water.
7.  Lemon Meringue Pie Ice Cream will be my favorite treat for Summer 2012!
8.  I finally made Quinoa and believe this will become a main staple in my cooking.
9.  Miss Bridget Nan Turned the BIG ONE YEARS OLD this week!  Oh how we love those blue, sparkling eyes, her chubby cheeks, her sweet personality and her precious hugs.  I'm so lucky to be her aunt.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Just Like Old Summer Days

I think today was about one of the most perfect Summer Days, except for those Summer Days that I read a book all day.  It started with meeting Tristen and the girls at Costco so that we could re-load on our Summer Fruit that we seem to go through so quickly these days.  We actually drove up at the same time and parked right by each other.  How often does that happen?  I broke down and bought a new phone there.  That's not what I went there for, but isn't that what usually happens when you go to Costco.  It really is about time since my ghetto phone was scratched and taped together with scotch tape.  I also got a pair of Lucky Jeans.  Tristen has a few pairs that she loves, so now we both have a new pair of jeans to love.  There is something about a new pair of jeans, especially in the Summer, because you know the first hint of fall you'll have a new pair of jeans to pair with a little sweater.
We dropped by Ulta, because my straightening brush broke last week.  Of course they didn't have the one that I typically used, but hopefully the new ones will work.  They also had their lipstick on sale for $2 (typically $8) and eye shadow $1 (typically $4), talk about a steal. I of course had  to stock up a bit.
I've heard on the news lately of the homeless people in Boise and the fact that they are having to be out in the 100 degree temps in the day.  I saw a story about a homeless husband and pregnant wife and their little girl who stand out on the corner in the Summer Heat to get diaper money.  There are really people in Boise who live like this.  I've thought about this ever since I saw the story.  So today Tristen and I bought 5 cases of water at Costco and took them to our homeless shelter in Nampa.  It was such a simple thing, yet brought me joy in the fact that I was able to serve others in need and to teach Tristen's girls about service (as Aidree kept asking what we were doing).  I loved the expressions of gratitude from the men who helped carry the water from the car to the shelter.  It made me grateful for my cups of ice I kept refilling from our fridge today.  They told us that they give out water to the people in the shelter when they leave for the day
When we got home my girlfriends were already there with their kids to swim for the rest of the Summer Afternoon.  Talk about relaxing!  Tristens kids are like fish.  They will stay in the pool all day.  We had so much fun that we of course will do it again on Friday and next Thursday when Tristen can come again too, since she works on Friday.  Looks like the rest of my days off this Summer will include pool time.  
For dinner we made yummy chicken, avocado, pesto sandwiches, fruit salad, and quinoa caprese salad with fresh basil from my garden.  Talk about the Perfect Summer Dinner, it totally was.  
Cousins Ben, Abe, Olivia, Eric and kids, and Robert and Thalia came over after dinner for a Summer Evening Swim and to enjoy our new Favorite Summer Treat; Lemon Meringue Pie Ice Cream on sugar cones thanks to mom stopping off at Cash and Carry this morning.  Remember that big thing of Ice Cream we used for Fathers Day?  Well there are at least 20 different Ice Cream flavors to choose from and since we loved the Lemon Meringue Pie ice cream that I got when we were in Weiser, mom got enough to last us the rest of the Summeror at least the end of the month.  Ben use to work at an ice cream shop so we had our own professional ice cream scooper!  It was  better than going to the ice cream shop because we got to lick our ice cream on our porch, while in our bathing suits swinging on our porch swing.  Indeed, today felt just like the Old Summer Days when I was a kid, as we soaked up every minute doing just what Summer Days were meant to be like!
Is that not just the happiest kid ever?
Can you see the big hole Aidree munched first in her cone?
The double scooper!
Bridget Turns 1 Tomorrow!  Oh how we love her!
A fire in the Boise foot hills started tonight and with all the other fires around has produced a lot of smoke, even though it looks like clouds.  The smoke and setting sun made for a beautiful view of the tree from our porch.

Flip Flops

I think this background is definitely fitting for the the rest of the summer.  I'm so in love with flip flops.  You all know that.  This isn't the first mention of it here on my blog.  I think that I wear several different pairs a day; all j crew of course since they are the only ones that I like.  I can't stand the plastic ones, they give me blisters.  I even have some that still have tags on them so that when my other ones wear out I will have more, because j crew seem to be doing away with them, especially the tall ones.  So glad that I bought a bunch when they were only $6 when they went on clearance instead of $25. I mean really who would pay $25 for a pair of flip flops, not me; unless I was desperate, like I almost was before finding them this past spring.  However I did lose one of my favorite flip flops while at the beach.  I still have the mate because you never know if it might show up someday in Nick's car, since that is where they were when I realized I only had 1.  When we were at the cabin Tenielle found her pearl earring that she lost 2 years ago; she kept the mate for 2 years.  They were from when she graduated with her associates.  So I'll keep the lone flip flop in hopes of finding the mate someday.  Remember the box of flip flops I found in the storage unit?  I never posted a picture of the proof so here it is.  Enjoy flip flop days, because before we know it will be snow boot days...

Friday, July 6, 2012

July 2012 Fabulous Friday

In less than 6 months it's going to be Christmas!  But for now I'll just focus on the fact that it is full blown SUMMER!  Did you know I love summer?  Just reminding you if you forgot!
1.  Monday night Tristen and I took a different walking route over to my Aunt Thalias to see our cousin Abe and his daughter Olivia because they drove in from Ohio that afternoon and to give Aunt Thalia the third Walk book because I finished it that day.  Abe and Olivia will be here for at least the summer if not forever as he just finished his residency and is deciding where to work.  
2.  Saturday we had the best cherry's of the season.  I love Cherry Season and have been eating as many as I can because cherry season only last a few weeks and we didn't really have cherry season in CLT, so I've missed them.
3.  I spent my first 4th of July in many years with my family, however I did have to work until 5, but then I got to spend the evening at Grandpa's having dinner.  
4.  Thursday we went up to our cabin.  I haven't been up there for 2 years, since Tenielle and I almost died when she wrecked us on the 4-wheeler.  Thankfully we survived without any wreckage.  I love the peace and stillness which radiates from the mountains, the smell of pine tree's, gathering on the porch to chat and eat licorice, the sound of horse shoes clanging, the taste of 'smores, how the darkness of night can be lit from the glow of a camp fire and the dirty faces of my nieces and nephews and mine for that matter!
I think Tenielle was tired, but she is a trooper because she stayed up and played cards.
5.  This morning Tony and Tanner along with Tony's Fiance' Emma (as of this past Tuesday) surprised us this morning up at the cabin. It was a fun surprise.  It will be fun to have another sister-in-law.  
6.  We celebrated July birthday's up at the cabin; there are a total of 7 this month.  The twins loved their Micky stuff.  They are so in love with Micky Mouse.  
7.  We went on 2 long 4-wheeler rides and a walk with my sisters ( I thought it was a leisurely walk, but the sneakers suggested something else; me in my flip flops I might add and they were in sneakers).  I enjoyed the beauty that Heavenly Father has given us.  
A storm last month took out a ton of tree's, reminded my of the southern storm damage.
8.  Tonight we had a delicious dinner at Copper Canyon, which is about the fanciest restaurant in Nampa.  The best thing about it was there were no kids.  Not that I don't love kids, but it was nice to enjoy dinner in a quiet atmosphere, especially after the rough night we all had sleeping under one roof!
9.  PS. Funny:  Aidree and I slept in a twin bed together (its a log bed that sits up higher than a normal bed).  All night I tried to prevent her from falling off the bed and was successful until 6am when she rolled off and I didn't catch her.  I guess you had to be there because it was pretty funny, especially when I asked her if I let her fall of the bed and she said through tears, "uhuh."