28 July 2011


To encourage the girls to stay hydrated and avoid getting sick at the high elevation, the stake instituted its Annual Hydration Challenge. Each ward competed to drink the most liquids per-person by the end of the week. Right after setting up camp, we filled up three 5-gallon coolers of water, lemonade, and Tang, and we re-filled each one at least once throughout the week. We pounded an average of 13 cups a person the first two days, took it easy the third day to recover, and averaged 15 cups a person the last day to try to win it. We thought we for sure had it in the bag, but we NARROWLY missed first place! It was tragic. We cried. We were literally peeing at least ten times a day. And it was so clear you couldn't even tell if you had actually peed or not! We had a night-potty-crew of girls who volunteered to be woken up so no one had to go to the bathroom at night alone. Even now, almost a full week later, any sound of trickling water (washing hands, doing dishes, garden hose) triggers an urgent need to pee. Still.

Lots of fond camp memories. Elise, our ward's only YCL, rallied all the girls and begged and begged them to keep drinking, even after they were sick, and the girls did it for her because they knew she wanted to win so badly! Because we hit our personal goal, we're scheduled for a pizza/cookies party in a few weeks, and I can't wait!

"Because of our hydration, we've had over-urination ALL NIGHT LONG!"

25 July 2011


So...I survived girls camp! We had such a blast! The girls were great, the stake planned great activities and firesides, and we had almost zero drama! Everyone was helpful when we asked, took care of each other and included each other, and it was just an awesome week in the mountains.
Anyone who knows my family knows we love to eat, we love to camp, and we love to eat GOOD FOOD while we camp. Needless to say, I just couldn't bring myself to delegate the Menu to anyone else on my camp commitee.
Day 1: foil dinners. It had rained that day and the day before, so all the wood was wet and it took forever to get decent coals started, so we had a late start. I felt really bad, until I found out a lot of other wards ate even later than we did. Pineapple upside down cake turned into batter-over-fruit, which actually wasn't too bad if you weren't expecting cake. But kind of a rough start.
Day 2: french toast and sausage for breakfast. A sister in the ward saved us by letting us borrow her three-burner stove. I decided I want one for Christmas. Lunch was pizzas in the dutch ovens. Awesome success. Cafe Rio chicken with cilantro-lime rice for dinner. Yum.
Day 3: breakfast kabobs. For those of you who live in a hole, that's bite-sized bagels, ham, apples, and pineapple dunked in melted butter, rolled in cinnamon sugar, skewered, and roasted over the fire. Divine. The girls had so much fun cooking over fire, and it was fun to see their reactions to cooking a new way. Thanks Mom. Lunch was spaghetti with garlic bread that we also toasted right over the coals, and stew and dutch-oven cornbread for dinner. Yes, with homemade honey butter. We don't mess around. Peach cobbler for desert. Turned out perfectly, tasted amazing, but only like three people ate any. Turns out nobody in Provo likes peaches or cooked fruit?!?!? Confused.
Day 4: breakfast burritos. We had originally planned for dutch oven German pancakes, but we had lots of leftovers and didn't want to wake up at 5:30 if we could help it. Especially by day 4. Sandwiches and leftovers for lunch (which for me turned into an amazing chicken taco salad) and, wait for it, RIBS and sweet potatoes for dinner. Like Phil and I had just done the week before, we built up some amazing coals with a log cabin fire (which we taught to our first years) and literally just threw them in! When I first started the girls started freaking out and asked what the heck I was doing, but then they all wanted to toss them in the fire. Again, VERY fun to watch their reactions. The ribs I started vefore lunchtime, and they just slow-cooked in the dutch ovens all day, with one coals-replacement in the middle. So good, SO worth it. It was Bishopric night, so we needed to impress. Too bad he didn't make it until way after dinner, but we saved him some and it was still so good. Even though I forgot to bring brown sugar, the cinnamon sugar worked really well in its place!
So other than the first night, everyting went really smoothly and tasted delicious! Success in the food department! More to come!

13 July 2011


I love outdoor cooking. So tonight we got some charcoal going, and roasted up some skewered steak, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Yes, I am ashamed I didn't take pictures, but, trust me, it was phenomenal. The meat was tender and seasoned perfectly, the bell peppers slightly charred on the edges, and the tomato hot and melt-in-your-mouth yummy. We even wrapped a sweet potato in foil and tossed it right in the middle of the coals, and it came out perfectly! Especially after we smothered it in butter and brown sugar. Not too unhealthy if you call it dessert. Then we tossed a frisbee in the backyard, and Phil had to hop the fence a few times, until I started getting eaten alive by killer ants. We rented True Grit from Blockbuster, which was so-so, and now Phil's off playing volleyball and I'm going to bed early.

A much better past few days than I ever could have hoped.


I never understood the phrase "Ignorance is bliss."

But it's starting to make sense right now.

Some things you wish you just didn't know.

Because now you have to deal with it.

And it's gonna suck.

09 July 2011


I've always loved the Fourth of July - the family softball game, BBQ, swimming, endless card games, watching fireworks...
Notice: in CA, you WATCH fireworks.
From a distance, lit by licensed professionals, synchronized to a lovely musical program on the radio.

In Utah, the 4th is different.
You light your OWN fireworks.
Which you have to PAY for (WHAT?!?!?!)
Like, with blow torches and stuff.
In the street.
With minors in the vicinity.

It kinda freaks me out.

Not to mention, this year aerials were made legal in Utah.
Yes, those big, exploding, goodness-gracious-great-balls-of-fire.
I knew our neighborhood of adorable young children was destined to catch on fire.

For example: Monday.
The annual Street of Fire.
In the Bishop's cul-de-sac, we all circle around on the sidewalk and watch the fireworks in the middle of the street.
The Bishop always sets up a ladder and assembles a mass of "boom-booms" to go off at the same time, creating a tower of light.
This year, one of the "minors", a wise-beyond-his-years teenage boy, thought it would be smart to give one of the aerials a 4-foot head start and lit it off the ladder.
Because "he knows what he's doing".
Once it ignited, it fell over, on the ground, tipped to its side, facing...
Well, us. Phil was there.

First one shot off, went backwards into a group of teenage boys, second went STRAIGHT AT US, stopped a foot from out feet, and exploded. I can't remember the last time I screamed so loudly. I just thought "This is it. This is how people die on the 4th. I'm going to die. I hate this holiday."
I was screaming too loud to hear the other teenage girls' screams, since apparently the third went right at them.
We didn't die. But that boy is no longer my friend.
And I'm not sure what we're going to do next year.
Go America...

05 July 2011


It's raining
I'm sitting on the front porch
reading The AutoBiography of Benjamin Franklin.

I think this officially makes me a US History nerd.
Especially since I just finished Common Sense.