Sunday, August 31, 2008

Come Come Ye Saints

Alright, I missed last week. I'll blame it on my computer crashing, but frankly, I probably wouldn't have done it even if it didn't crash.

Here's another song of the week. I thought this one would be easy, but it took my longer than I expected to make it through the song without screwing up. For those of you don't listen to church music unless it's Sunday, I'm sorry I got this done so late today. Maybe you can listen to it next week.

Come Come Ye Saints

I kind of started pounding on the keys as hard as I could by the end of this one. Probably not the best approach, but I'm doing everything I can to make my songs not all sound exactly the same, hence the purpose of the song of the week. Happy sundaying.

Friday Night Pizza

Its our little tradition to eat pizza while watching a movie (rented or one we own) every other Friday night. We always make the pizza, oh wait with the exception of a Digorno frozen pizza once, because homemade is just cheaper, MUCH tastier and quite easy really, plus we like to try all sorts of different stuff. This Friday night we made BBQ Chicken pizza. We've made different types of BBQ pizza before, but this one we've done twice now and its by far the BEST! So we'd thought we'd share the "recipe" (if pizza really needs a recipe that is).

BBQ Chicken Pizza- Serves 4-6 (or 2 really hunger adults and 2 toddlers)

1-2 cooked chicken breasts- shredded (we barbecued ours since it was easiest at that time)
1/2 to 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (we like Famous Dave's Rich and Sassy)
Half a medium red onion-chopped (got to be red, they are the best on pizza)
2+ cups monterey jack cheese (I recommend a mix of cheeses, more flavor)
2 TBS fresh cilantro

I mix about 3/4 of the shredded chicken with the BBQ sauce, then spread it over the dough. Add more BBQ sauce if you'd like, but as a warning, too much makes for very soggy pizza. Believe it or not, less is more on the particular pizza. Sprinkle most of the red onion on next. Then add the cheese. Next, add the remaining chicken and onion. Finally, sprinkle the cilantro on top.

Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes (varies by size and type of pan)

Pizza Dough

This is the pizza dough we like best (so far). We let the bread maker do the work, but its just as easy to make it yourself

1 1/2 cups warm (borderline hot) water
2 TBS olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
4 cups flour
1 TBS seasonings of your choice (garlic always, and oregano are what we do usually, this time I added a little cilantro to go with the BBQ pizza)
4 tsp yeast

Add in order to bread maker and set on pizza dough cycle.

-If making it yourself, moisten yeast in 1/4 cup of the water. Put remaining water with the oil in bowl. In a separate bowl, mix salt, sugar, flour and seasoning. Add dry ingredients to the water and oil. Mix well, then add the moistened yeast mixture. Mix well. Knead on floured surface (bout 10 minutes, more or less depending on how vigorously you knead). Place in greased bowl, turn once and loosely cover. Let rise 30 minutes in warm place.

It makes enough for 2 crusts (or 1 crust and some breadsticks :), I often freeze half the dough for later. When the dough is done, divide in half. Roll half out on lightly floured surface to make pizza. Grease the pan or whatever you'll be using (we don't actually have a pizza pan or stone, so we just use a cookie sheet) and sprinkle with cornmeal. Transfer rolled out pizza dough to pan and add toppings (if we want a softer crust at the time, I let it rise for a bit longer before adding toppings)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Frisbee on the Beach

Ok, so this took place while at the beach house but really I just had to do a separate post for just these pics :)...Sam


Hannah (nice catch)



The Boz and Ray battle: Ray looks as though he is headed in the wrong direction on the first one. This is only because Boz shoved him out of the way. Boz fights dirty :). Ray makes his come back though...

Best for last! First of all, Luke's face alone makes this a good picture, but the best part is; notice where the Frisbee is (that little pink line). Hmmm...

The Beach House

This was my 3rd year participating in the annual Millar beach house trip near Santa Cruz, CA. Instead of just 3 days, like in years past when we flew in from Utah, we got to stay the entire week! Daily hanging out in the sand, flying kites, playing Frisbee, swimming in the "hot pool" (Elyette learned to hold her breath and swim under water in the hot tub:)), going to the aquarium, watching the Olympics and playing the Candy Game can't be beat.This little odd ball loved getting buried! :)

Catching seagulls (none were injured in this rather hilarious experiment)

The boys at Laguna Seca (Boz is taking the pic)

More fun in the sand.Jack and Grandma at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Sam :)Whats vacation without getting drunk!?!

Just kidding, actually poor Jack had a fever the first 3 days there then got a nasty diaper rash and all sorts of other not so fun things. He had a rough time and we're sad family didn't get to see lots of the real Jack. He's fine and well now though and back to his busy little self. Actually, with all this fun, eating junk, late nights, no naps, no nothing (definitely not complaining about that) we were all a little hung over for a good 2 weeks. Funny how vacations need some recovering from too, but WE LOVED IT!

I love my boys!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Goodbye Gymnastics

Monday was Elyette's last day of gymnastics. It was a fun weekly class for kids 2 and a half to 3 and a half that was actually a pretty good price- in the Bay area! Impossible, I know :). We loved it! Elyette was good at following directions and I was so pleased with her willingness to try new things, despite her perfectionism. Speaking of perfectionism, it was pretty funny how she'd get really mad at all of us when we cheered even if she fell. She'd just yell "no, I fell" thus it wasn't perfect and she didn't want praise :). And while watching Olympic gymnastics she'd start getting discouraged and say "can't do gymnastics". Hmmm, takes after her mother :)...

We'll also miss Elyette's coach, Roni. He was great. He worked well with her perfectionism and became a quick friend of mine (we were raised similarly and shared Boz and my feelings on family and this area. He also knew some of Boz's old gymnastic coaches at Diablo). He also let Jack participate and even helped him at times. Heaven for Jack (especially the trampoline). We'll all miss gymnastics!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Busted Again!

Late one Sunday night, as Boz and I sat merrily chatting, we heard a faint murmur that hushed us both instantly. The petite soprano voice that made the sound grew closer and closer. Soon, a small, but frightening beast emerged from its dark cave. It was pale and yellow with black spots and stripes all over(complete with dress shoes). Its exhausted eyes looked pleadingly at me as it whimpered. I intensely peered at the creature. It's wild, twisted, blond mane look very familiar. Then suddenly, I burst into uncontrollable laughter as I snatched the camera.

Boz crept closer to the creature. Also on his face was recognition, followed by an amused grin. "Slimmy..." he called to the whimpering beast as he gently took its dark paw and led it to a mirror for we knew the stripped and spotted creature would not even recognize itself. It gazed in a sleepy confusion at its reflection for a moment in silence until we whisked it away to the bathroom to be cleaned. The instant one of its toe dipped into the warm bath water, strands of indigo swirled about. All the water was soon a deep blue, but our little beast remained untouched.

Soap, oil, dabs of rubbing alcohol, and all other sources we researched did little to fade its stripes and spots. Somewhat defeated, we laid the sleepy beast back in its also previously spotted, but now freshly cleaned, lair. Three days later, after many additional baths and a number of giggles from strangers, the little creature's dark stripes and spots finally disappeared to reveal a sweet, pretty little girl, called Elyette. We hope the little girl remains such, but given her reputation for transforming while presumably asleep, we suspensefully await the RETURN OF THE BEAST! dun, dun, dun...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Song of the Week

Here's the song of the week. I am a Child of God.

I am open for suggestions. Anything I do sound annoying? Too machinish? Not machinish enough? Everything sounds the same? Sound like I'm trying too hard? My breath stinks?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Smith Family Reunion

Combine 22 grandkids, 17 adults, 8 cars, 4 days, 3 houses (+ a campsite), 1 beach and what do you get? Mayhem or bliss? How 'bout both :). Last week my family had our first (hopefully biannual) family reunion. This was the first time that I was able to see all 8 of my siblings since Boz and I got married! Even at our wedding, though, not all my nieces and nephews got to be there. There are many more little ones now too! In total, all 39 of us were at this reunion (40 if you count Elisa's new little bun in the oven-CONGRATS)! It was AWESOME! Needless to say, I love my family! Here are some of the highlights from our adventure (some pictures are courtesy of my sister Elisa)
The Original Smith Family. Top:(left to right) Elisa, Marissa, center: Jennie, Dad, Mom, Stephanie, me, bottom: Amy, Matthew, Jacob, Rachel.

All of us: We coordinated colors by family, can you tell?

Kids Kraft: Tons of fun, we made kites, painted quilt squares, decorated little foam visors, and made sand bucket treats (using cupcakes, pudding, and crushed graham crackers as sand, very cute).
The Amazing Fight, I mean Race :). Basically, we were divided into teams and set out on a big fun scavenger hunt. A little harmless competition that ended in some heated battling, hehe, classic! (Timmy and Elyette look pretty cute in their shades huh?-this was for one of the hunt finds)

Girls/Guys Night: Boys watched movies (the boys continued some fun with a sort of "white elephant" with several awesome tools my dad was giving away to them) and we girls beautified some flipflops, ate chocolate, painted nails, made hair beads, and I even got to cut my mom and sister Jennie's hair (thanks ladies).

THE BEACH! The weather was so nice for us. The first day was clear and gorgeous. The second day was the same, but got increasingly windy. We never brought our camera down to the beach so thanks Elisa for the pics of everyone huddling from the wind and the weenie roast. The weeny roast was memorable :). It took a wall of sand and quit some dedicated time to get the fire going. The winds were so high that we basically all got some "crunchy" hot dogs. It was totally fun though, in fact, the weenie roast is one thing Elyette kept talking about several days later.
And lastly... Cousins!

The kids were in absolute heaven with all their cousins. Jack and Samuel were two happy baby boys that were very cute together and we hardly saw Elyette cause she was so busy running around with all her cousins, wearing the hugest smile.She loved picking up petite little Jackie (she's almost 4 months older than Jack). It looks like perhaps Jack was her previous victim. :(

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Piano sessions

I've reached a point in my life where I realized that I'm not getting any better at the piano. I'm not sure why. I figured that in order to get better, I'd have to practice and play in front of people. Since I don't really like doing that, I'll do the next best thing. I'll record some songs and stick them up here for the world to laugh at. That should make me practice and get better. Plus it helps me to hear what I sound like from another perspective.

So here it is. I'm going to make it my goal to add one song a week to this blog. That way I can see if I'm improving, and people can tell me what I can do to sound better.

Song 1: A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief

Layered Guitar

I made this song last night screwing around while Maegan watched some Jane Austen movie. Actually, it's more of an experiment than a song. I wanted to see how many guitars I could layer on top of each other before it became obnoxious. It starts to fall apart after about seven guitars.

The playing is sloppy and I didn't put any real work into getting the mix to sound good, but the more I listened to it, the more I thought it sounded kind of cool, so I figured why not stick it up here. At least I'm getting some ideas now of how to turn it into a real song.

Layered Guitar

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pioneer Day

Our ward's Primary had a pioneer day activity that the nursery kids and family were invited too. We were pretty excited we got to go and had a lot of fun putting together pioneer costumes. Jack was a Mexican pioneer :) and Elyette wore her little dress all day, she loved it that much. She really enjoyed herself at the activity (especially at the end when they got to make their own ice cream to put over apple crisp). Jack got worn out pretty fast. We had fun.