From Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale

People disappear when they die. Their voices, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living mempry of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continut to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humour, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.

--Diane Setterfield



Sunday, June 28, 2009

Our Growing Girl

Jaedy-bug is growing so fast.

She can:

pull out, drop, pick back up and replace her binky

eat rice cereal, peas and squash (and keep her hands, face and bib amazingly clean... she watched us eat for a while and then after about two or three bites she had the hang of it)
58 seconds of Jaedyn eating.
video

splash and play in the swimming pool (we have not waterproofed her yet, but she is not afraid of the cold wet water at the pool)

find her feet (she "caught" them for the first time yesterday)

roll over from tummy to back (she watched cousin Holly, who was at our house this weekend, roll all over and the next day started trying. Monday she could do it by herself)

pass toys from one hand to the next (I watched her do this for several minutes today)

grasp furry things like cats and bunny rabbits very tightly
27 seconds until she gets it in a power squeeze!
video

We are so happy with and for our little girl!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Food

I am cooking... that's not really important. The important thing is that I have taken a few photos to show off. Showing off on the internet, that's what is important, Right!

So in no particular order we have:

The way my kitchen looks after I use it... and before I get disgusted enough to clean it. Which was right after I took the picture.


Breakfast Burrito, it's kinda washed out but believe you me it was GOOD.


Bread from the bread machine. The important thing here is that I sliced it thus. And I had no slicing guide on my blade. I have never been able to slice bread this well!


The Spice Cake I made yesterday. It is so yummy, and I tweaked the recipe so I though I'd post my recipe here, for posterity's sake. The original came from Better Homes and Gardens.


Spice Cake Recipe

Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 35 minutes
Cool: 1 hour
Stand: 1 hour

Ingredients

* 3/4 cup butter
* 2 eggs
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1-1/2 cups sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 cups milk
* 1 tablespoon white vinegar
* 1/4 cups plain yogurt

Directions

1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, measure out and cut parchment paper to line one 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set pan aside.

2. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger; set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

4. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.

5. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined.

6. Add vinegar to milk; set aside.

6. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

7. Alternately add flour mixture, yogurt and soured milk to butter mixture in 1/4 cup increments, beating on high speed after each addition until well combined. The mixture should be very creamy.

8. Pour into prepared pan(s).

9. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes for the 13x9x2-inch pan, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

10. Cool cake layers on wire racks for 10 minutes.

11. Remove cake layers from pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks. Frost with desired frosting.

12. Makes 12 servings


* Calories 265,
* Total Fat (g) 9,
* Saturated Fat (g) 4,
* Monounsaturated Fat (g) 3,
* Polyunsaturated Fat (g) 1,
* Cholesterol (mg) 47,
* Sodium (mg) 182,
* Carbohydrate (g) 41,
* Total Sugar (g) 25,
* Fiber (g) 1,
* Protein (g) 4,
* Vitamin A (DV%) 0,
* Vitamin C (DV%) 1,
* Calcium (DV%) 7,
* Iron (DV%) 7,
* Other Carbohydrates (d.e.) 3,
* Fat (d.e.) 1,

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pictures from our trip to Texas

are found here: http://picasaweb.google.com/Nerra.B/June#
I'm getting lazy... I know. I will write up stories to go with them soon... or later... who knows.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Quigley Quibbler May 2009

May was such a fun month! We got the idea from James and Alicia to keep a family book. Part of the family book is a Weekly Planning Page. On these pages are recorded our favorite activities of the week specifically written out for inclusion to this our Quigley Quibbler. The last week of April and into the first week of May we went to the Roozengaard Tulip Fields with Paul and Diane, had a great date night, had family over for dinner at our place and Arren was able to get up and work out each morning. The tulip fields were so impressive. It was late in the season, but there were still blossoms as far as the eye could see. Jaedyn stayed with Pop-pop and Granna Di while Scott and I went to see X-Men Origins. We had a blast, unfortunately the same could not be said for Jaedy or the grandparents… We have a table now and we had Paul and Diane over for dinner. At the table. I was very excited. After we finished James, Alicia and the boys showed up and had their own dinner at our table. We got to show off our apartment and the progress that had been made.

The next week we went to Alicia’s parents for Tres de Mayo and saw the Reflections of Christ traveling gallery. Scott really enjoyed driving the 3000 GT (he has fond memories of Megan when she had the car) and visiting Mamma’s Hands an ‘extended-stay’ shelter for abused women and their children. There are some really great service opportunities and we look forward to visiting again. The women we met were so sweet and the property was SO beautiful. Arren started going to a music group for moms and kids (Jaedyn is the youngest by about 9 months) and had a fabulous time at book club with Maris. Also Arren’s brother, Miles, graduated from Boot Camp that week.

The second week in May we got together with Arren’s Aunt Janelle for lunch. It was so fun to see her again and hear how everyone is doing. Arren also got together with Alicia and her mom and sisters and cleaned house. We moved Alicia’s stuff in and set it all up and turned James’ place from a bachelor pad into a real home. James and the boys were out at a Stake Father-Son Campout while the gals cleaned and they were quite surprised when they came home. Scott also volunteered to do church security for the week. Each night we hopped in the car and took a short walk around the building, checking doors and windows and verifying the lights were out etc.

The week after we were supposed to send out the Quibbler but we were having so much fun with the following:

Helping Paul and Diane move. Well, this was not fun, but it was definitely an adventure for them. We were glad that we could be there to help them the whole day. We did have fun going to the Patterson’s for dinner. Lori is Arren’s cousin and the daughter of Janelle. We met up at their house and I got to meet Lori’s little girls (who are SO CUTE) Dea and Dylan and her husband Derek. For whatever reason I was nervous to visit… I shouldn’t have been. We had a blast! The food was just as I remember Aunt Janelle’s cooking (ie perfect) and the company was amazing. Dea and Dylan are awesome (so endearing!) and it was fun to chat with Lori, Derek and Janelle. Later in the week we got together with Scott’s cousins the Nault’s for pre-wedding festivities. We went to Snoqualmie Falls and hiked to the bottom of the falls. After the hike we went to Kevin and Christie’s place with Bean, Pam and Holly Nault for dinner and a movie. It was fun to make some new friends. Scott enjoyed talking cars and stuff. The girls cooked and took pictures of the babies.

That week Arren also started working on James’ yard. I can do ‘whatever’ and I am hoping to make it look really good. Weeds were pulled, limbs clipped, and seeds planted. Scott surprised Arren with a walk to a nearby park and a picnic waiting at the park. We will have to visit again soon.

Memorial Day we went to a beautiful park for Nault / Hernandez wedding. It was a fabulous day and Arren had a fun time taking pictures of the couple. Wednesday the 27th was our Five Year Anniversary. We dropped Jaedyn off with James and Alicia and drove north. We had a destination in mind, but only got to a riverside park before we decided to stop and eat our picnic lunch. The river was cool, there was a train bridge over it with a cool shack and a live band played music close enough that we caught the quiet sounds of country music. We also had a mini photo shoot of Arren in her wedding dress.

Which fit! Once again Jaedyn did not do so well with the baby sitters, but for some reason everyone still seems to enjoy her company. We started her on a more time strenuous schedule to help our sitters know what to do with her. Friday, Pam Nault and I went to a session at the Seattle Temple. It was fun to have some church-y girl time. That afternoon we (Pam, Holly, Scott, Arren and Jaedyn) went to a park at Lake Washington and hung out. After Bean got off work we split for a picnic and regrouped at the park. We love family and are REALLY enjoying having so many of them around.

Next week we are traveling back to Texas to visit more family. Can’t Wait!