Monday, July 30, 2012

Unlce Tom's Funeral

 I'm so glad I was able to be in LA for my kind and sweet Uncle Tom's funeral service. His dear wife passed last October, so their three children had to say goodbye to both parents in 9 months. Sad, but sorta sweet. Uncle Tom served a few years in the Army, so he was given a gun salute and a trumpeter played a few songs. I have this video for my sibilings to see that weren't able to make it. It was very powerful to have music playing while the pall bearers took Tom's body to his final resting place next to his wife and my dad (and eventually my mother).

  I adore my three cousins- Jane, Matt and Tom.

Meme and Uncle Tom's entire family - their 3 children and 9 grandchildren.

It was sad to say goodbye to Uncle Tom, but it was nice to say hello to my dad.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

"Special Musical Number"

My amazingly talented husband sang a duet today with our good friend, Michael Simmons. The cellist is an adorable16 years old high schooler in our ward, Andy Vo, and I was on the piano. The song Peter chose was the Mack Wilberg/Mormon Tabernacle Choir's version of Homeward Bound. 

I recorded it with my phone on the pew, so my apologies that it's not the best quality recording. But, you can hear how great the two voices sounded together. Simply beautiful, right? I love Peter's singing voice.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Personal Goal for this Week

Back in San Diego,* I was always at a piano. I taught it 6 lessons days a week, I was Ward Organist, and Choir Accompanist sometimes. Since we moved to Tucson, I haven't had much time, at all, sitting next to my old friend.

I sat down the other day and noodled though some songs. Peter just loves when I play while he's reading, and I love making him happy. I can tell that I have not been playing much and was tripping up on some songs that I've always been able to play. So, I'm making a goal for this one last week off before I school starts next Monday.

I'm going to practice the piano for a half hour each day this week.

I'll let you know how I do. I'll tell you about another goal while we're here. A long term goal I have is to be able to play through the whole soundtrack to the movie "The Pianist." It's all (but one track) Chopin, who's my favorite because of the beautiful sound and because he's Polish. I can play 4 of them at like a 'B+' level, so 6 left to go and hours of polishing up. I'm miles and miles away from getting this song, but I think it's such an amazing song and presentation of a song.

Wish me luck!

**Please take note, I didn't say back 'home.' I'm working on not always referring to SD as home. I need to start thinking of Tucson as my home. It's coming on a year now...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Do you know about Mel's Kitchen Cafe? I think it is such an amazing blog and am pleasantry surprised how many of my friends already use her recipes. I can read her blog as if it's a smutty romantic fiction novel! She gives me great ideas and she's always posting fun new recipes.

My sister Anne and I have seem to have a personal goal to cook every recipe on her blog. Most all of the dinners and treats I cook are from here, and everything turns out! I like the level of cooking- it's not a frozen-ready-made dinner and it's not Julia Child's reduction sauces, it's a happy place in the middle. I have really found a love for cooking through her recipes. I love cooking (and Peter loves that I love cooking)!

I listed a few of them- just so you could get a few ideas. I'd love any links to recipes you like!

Peter and I love Sausages, so this Jambalaya is one of our favorite dinners!

I think this Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken is one of my favorites this year.

Good on a cold day, White Chili Bean Soup is delicious.

Loved this Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu. The sauce made it awesome!

Great White Enchiladas! I've made it as a casserole and as individual enchiladas.

Made this Carmel Apple Cheesecake probably about 6 times, everyone loves it!

Heavy, but amazing. Oreo Cheesecake.

Andes Mint Brownies! Oh yeah!

These Buttermilk Lime Shortbread Bars are basically a fancier Lemon Bars.

We love Tres Leches Cake. Put some strawberries on this and it was a winner for a summer dessert.

BREADS (I had never really baked bread before Mel introduced me)
Easy rolls, similar to the ones you can buy at Costco.

This loaf reminds me of Macaroni Grill's Herb Focaccia bread. I serve it with Balsamic Vineagar and EVOO.

These breadsticks are so easy, cheap and impressive.

Pumpkin Choc Chip Bread a winner in the fall!

I could list about 30 more recipes that are amazing! But I'll stop here...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Book of Mormon!

There's one more book to add to my review post, but I wanted to give it a separate entry. I actually finished reading The Book of Mormon this morning! I'm really proud of myself.

I started The Book of Mormon last fall when we moved to Tucson. On average, I'd guess I read 2 chapters a day, 4-5 days a week. I could do the math and see that my average is lower, but I do try most mornings to sit, pray and read. Being honest, I've never felt like I have been good 'feasting' from my scriptures. I know I could cross-reference and ponder more, but for now, I'm just focusing on reading and trying to start my day with it. I love it! I'm so glad I read it!

I believe this to be a Divinely inspired book. I know that I live my life in a way that is happier when I try, and try again, to live by the principles of this book.

I think the last time I read it, cover to cover, would be the fall after my dad passed away. My family tried to read it in that 4 month span before Christmas. I may have read it one more time, but don't remember. Ideally, I'd try to read it in Polish next, but I think I'll just aim for starting over again in English tomorrow and stick to my Polish Liahona. :)

Life is good, friends. Life is good.

Book Reviews (aka- "Book Dropping")

I love to read! I wouldn't consider myself a bookworm, but I do always have a book or two that I'm clicking through. I also try to mix-up what I read, and not just read one category of books. I know my book choices aren't always the most intellectual, but I do try to put some good titles in there.

Cute Raquel Bell gives her mini-book reviews on her blog, I want to do something similar. And I'm sort of proud of myself, these are all since January.

This was my first step into Science Fiction. Peter and my brother Dave loved this one! So I wanted to give it a try. I thought it was great (although Sci-Fi can be really far out there). I hear they're making a movie of it, which makes sense. It's an awesome story!

Peter grew up watching the movie of this classic old book. We watched the movies years ago together and he loved singing the songs. It's a quick read, so I read it and loved the way they twisted words. Peter would be a citizen of Dictionopolis, and I would be a citizen of Digitopolis.

Heavy! Eye-opening! This is my girl's Holly's recommendation. She's recommended it for years, and I finally got to it. I cried at the end, some women have life so hard! Especially in the Middle East/Afghanistan. If my mother read it, she would say that Mariam's life could be related to the Savior. :)

This one made me laugh! And, made me feel like I am a pathetic piano player/teacher! Amy Chua says she feels like she is making fun of herself and her parenting, but really, felt like she was bragging and making Americans looks lazy. I probably showed Peter about 6 different paragraphs that were so offensively funny!

A fun little period piece, recommended by Raquel who I mentioned above, and she didn't even know she recommended it. :) I could see my mom liking this book. It's a piece set in the early 20th Century, a little whodunnit book with some fun twists.
 A few of my siblings have read this book, because they knew Brandon at BYU. A fun YA book that I read in like 4 days. Just a cute story about fairies, satyrs and centaurs. Funny how SciFi seems like a stretch for me, but youth fantasy books are delicious to me!

And this one was recommended by Tasha. A classic. I got several complements when people saw I was reading Steinbeck for leisure (you can tell I'm not too well read, if I have to brag about it on my blog). Crazy story! Messed up Cathy, but such interested characters. I love California!

I hadn't realized it before, but most all the books I read are recommendations. And most of the recommendations come from my friends who read my blog. I like that I could give ya'll shout-outs. I love recommendations, pass them along anytime!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

SLPA Program


I haven't mentioned it on my blog, but most people around me know that I've been waiting to hear back about University of Arizona's Summer Speech Internship Program. Clarification - it is not a Master's Program. It's a program designed for students who earned the Bachelor's Degree, but do not go onto the Masters. They can do the summer program to get their license. It's perfect for me, because I did earn a Bachelor's in Communication Disorders from USU, but the online program did not organize an internship/license. 

I still hope to get the Masters in the next year or two, this will just make me look so much better! I will do this practical work in the summer, then in the fall I can work in a school as a Speech Language Pathologist Aide. There is a difference in pay, but don't do the paper work or make the big decisions. It's more hands on, while the actual therapist is working with the Parents and doing the paper work, I would be meeting the children and doing more of the leg work. I hope to get Master's, but for now, I'm just excited to get into this program and know that I'll have an awesome job in the fall.