20 October 2009

My First Concert

Well, while everyone was off getting rained on in Hillsboro, Oregon or listening to Elder Bednar, in person!  I had my very first Concert!!

It was amazing to be performing with these other teachers. I have become more active in the Spokane Music Teacher's Association and that has opened doors for me. This summer I performed with other teachers at Becca's music camp and then this past weekend. These are associations that I am truley grateful for. I have learned so much and have been inspired to be more, for myself, my students and my collegues.

We played the Waltz from Faust. It's an Opera, but the waltz is the most famous and has been arranged for many different instruments. Our arrangement being for 2 painos, 8 hands. I played with 3 other ladies, my partner was Mary. We had so much fun! Although the other piano skipped a measure and threw Mary and I off, I hit all my runs and my trouble spots! That was good enough for me. I ordered a DVD and CD of it, and we had pictures taken just like professionals. Oh, wait, they consider themselves professionals! I felt honored to be considered their friend.

I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be. Some of the others were. I decided that it was just like Recitals for my students. There is no more preparations that you can do, you perfrom how you practice and I felt it would turn out ok. And it was, thank goodness!!!

I played in the first half and the second half was one number. It was Rachmaninoff's Second Concerto, about 40 minutes long, duet. One piano playing the piano score and the second piano playing the orchestral reduction. It was fascinating to watch, anytime one part had  measures of rest, the pianist would change, so there was a rotating exchange of about 12-15 performers, I should have counted but didn't.

I enjoyed playing with Mary a lot. She wants me to do a duet with her for the Food Bank Benefit that she organizesm for Second Harvest. That is sometime early next year I think. She is amazing to play with.

09 October 2009

Jenn's Tomato Bisque

Tonight was out dinner group. This is what I made and posted on out dinner group blog. I (and my family) really liked this, and I even have non-tomato eaters in my family.

"Yes, I called it my tomato bisque because I totally made this up after browsing my recipe books and "wingin' it".

5 lbs. Tomatos
Olive oil
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
8 cups vegetable broth or bullion
3 cups Half & Half

Toppings: shredded chicken, saute'd mushrooms, cut avacados, cheese

1. Cut tomatos in quarters, and place open side down on a greased cookie sheet. Combine spices, sprinkle on top of tomatos. Drizzle with oilve oil. Bake in a 450 oven for 25-30 minutes.

2. When the edges start to brown and juices are being released, remove from oven. Let then cool slightly and remove skins.

3. In a large pot, combine vegetable broth with tomatos. Blend tomatos with hand blender or in batches in a blender or food processor. Slowly add half & half and blend together.

That is the bisque recipe. Then I treated it like a tortilla soup. Shredded chicken, saute'd mushroons, cut avacados, parmesan cheese. Place toppings in bottom of bowl, ladle soup on top. This does make a full pot, so if you have a small family, you might want to half it. I did discover, as my family ate the leftovers that it thickened up too, so yummy! Hope you all enjoyed it! Love, Jenn =)

08 October 2009

Catch Up

It has been a while and I decided that I can't play catch up, just start from where I am. We have had some great letters from Jacob and he was actually transferred today. His new area is Las Sendas, still part of Mesa. He sounds good and is excited to have a new area and people to work with.

My pictures for today are from this past weekend. Richy is marching with the Central Valley Marching Band. He is not really marching, he is in the pit and has to push a lot of equipment. I was ableto chaperone this weekend, which is always fun. These are the warmups for Pre-lims. Richy is sporting the new uniforms, they hang the gauntlets on the back, so they hook them on the back to help keep their form.

With his back to Mead's performance, he starts his focus time!

Richy and Brandon, on the field, ready to go.....

They performed well, not their best, but hopefully they got all the nerves shook out. CV scored ok, came in 2nd in the Prelims with Mead ahead by 1.2! As the kids finished, it started to sprinkle.....and sprinkle....and sprinkle....then rain...rain....rain....then pour...pour....pour. It poured for hours and in the end CV & Mead pulled out. It was too dangerous with our equipment and electronics, and the turf was flooding, I think Parker didn't want kids to get hurt (sprained ankled, or break something, damage instruments, etc) in Tri-cities, when we have bigger fish to catch later in the month. Pouring! Pouring! Pouring! Who knew it ever rained there.

13 August 2009

Italian Seasoning

Yesterday, I made homemade Mayo and used it in my homemade pasta salad and homemade ranch dressing. I made homemade Honey BBQ sauce, and chocolate chip cookies. Needless to say it was a busy day in the kitchen and I didn't take any pictures! It was a crazy day and I ended up with an entire load of dishes just from my messing around. Part of all the homemade stuff is out of necessity, but at least I enjoy it!
Today, as I'm making dinner, at least I thought to take pictures of the "already-done" homemade Italian Seasoning. This came about from a last minute need (ie, running out in the middle of another recipe), and being pretty sure I had the right combination on-hand, but not knowing what it all entailed. So, here is what I found:
Italian Seasoning
3 Tbs. dried basil
3 Tbs. dried oregano
3 Tbs. dried parsley
1 Tbs. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Mix together in a spice grinder or put into a small bowl and crush with the back of a spoon. (http://www.recipezaar.com Recipe # 82770)
I love the look of all the spices! It smells so yummy! Like walking into an herb garden (no, I don't have one, but in my next house I will)!


1. As you can see from the picture, I use a Mortar and Pestle. This recipe is actually too big, so I kind of do a few ingredients at a time and then blend together with a spoon.

2. Makes about 7 Tbs.

3. Great for Italian foods, pizza, etc. Also great for Oven Fried Zucchini. Slice your zucchini, dip into beaten egg, then bread crumbs mixed with Italian Seasoning, bake on a sprayed cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 25 - 27 minutes.

As a side note, I served the zucchini with my ranch dressing. Becca had to get in on the fun and take a picture of her cereal bowl. How creative and silly! Those of you who know her, will appreciate it the most. This is Classic Becca. Enjoy! Love, Jenn =)

10 August 2009

DCI fun!

Mallory & I spent the last 2 days in Indianapolis, IN, living out a dream of Mal's for her Graduation present. We were there for the DCI (Drum Corp International) Championship. Other than the jet-lag that killed us West coasters, it was a lot of fun.
Our parking was just a block from Lucas Oil Stadium, in some guys backyard. Hey, it was half of what the stadium parking was, what a deal! We watch Open & World Class Corps and in between walked to a park a few blocks away, where the corps warm up. It was a FanFair! Booths of the local attractions where we made our own fan buttons, a free cup from a local university, free frizbee, pen, stuff like that.
Mallory looks excited!!! We met a couple who had come from England just for Finals. That is dedication! We also met some old cronies that meet together every year, parents of kids in different Corps, a lady that wouldn't stop talking during the shows, and a local couple that only stayed for the first half (if we had known, we would have told them it gets better at the end!).
Our favorite Cavie DrumLine! Mallory is friends with the Center Snare, although there are 8, he is on the left (the short one). He graduated from CV and visits during camp sometimes. We found the venue where they practiced and caught a little bit of that. The corps were spread all over the area and we tried to find ones that were close and by the time we got there, they would be finished. But, we did get a little of the Cavies.

Mallory took almost 300 pictures, so I won't bore you with all of them, I'm sure she will pick the best ones and post them onto her Facebook, if anyone is interested it them.

This is the "V" of the Vanguard. Very famous, usually the end of their show has the cymbal line flashing the "V", this year they ended with a Guard member being lifted and her standing on the cymbals. No "V", so this was the only one we got. =(

And the final retreat.

It was a great trip, I think we had White Castles everyday, if not twice! At least I grabbed an apple from the Hotel, otherwise we would have officially eaten junk the entire trip. I slept for 9 hours when I got home, then had a full nights sleep. It felt great, now that I'm back on track for the week. Love, Jenn =)

05 August 2009

Summer Relaxing

I got some great pictures at the lake this summer. It has been fun experimenting with the settings on my camera and fussing with different ideas for projects. My wheels are turning, I just have to get caught up on them. I always feel behind. But here are a few for your enjoyment.
Look at this cute little buttercup, just begging to have her picture taken!!
And this daisy...
Mystery flower? Reminds me of the Cockle-shell nursery rhyme....
And this beauty!!
Can you see the dragon fly on the twig?
Then he flew around for a while, and I got this one, with my Macro-zoom!
Got some of Becca playing and she noticed........
A Woodpecker hole, high in the tree!
And who should peek out of his home?
When he flew around I got a shot of him. He wasn't very cooperative in turning around to get his best side!
I have really enjoyed taking picture with my new camera from my birthday. It has been fun, I have a few more sunset pictures, but I need to get them all in the same file! Love, Jenn =)

27 June 2009

14 & 18

It has happened. Another birthday, May 11. Yes, I have 2 children who share the same birthday exactly 4 years apart. Trust me, you can't plan that, as all my mom-friends know. Every year Mal and Richy have cake together.
It has been a journey of different ways to celebrate. Richy has moved from crackers, egg & milk free cake, real cake, and in 3rd grade a giant chocolate chip cookie. Mallory has had a real cake for most of her years. In high school she has had variety, DQ ice cream cake, assorted cheese cakes, and this year, yep, a giant chocolate chip cookie. Nice for mom, 2 kids agreeing.
Soon, the candles will over-take the cookie. I'm glad they like each other. They do have fun together.
Any unique birthday situations in your families? Love, Jenn =)

21 June 2009

Track April 30

Richy doing the high jump. He did pretty good, he has good form, body-type and all, but needs help with technique and of course patience.
Getting the baton passed to him. Not as good as the first race.

Getting caught up, Love, Jenn =)

17 June 2009


Mal was so excited to go to Prom this year. It was on April 25th, the theme was "Masquerade". So, the black and white dress Mal found was perfect! There were a few snafus with a date, but her friend Mitchell Dumais came through for her! He is a Junior and the Jr. Drum Major past year, and a great friend. They also call him "Nigel"........he-he, band kids.
Mal and her friends, Courtney Wasata (left) and Randi Wilson. Their dresses were really pretty, Mal was the only one who was warm with the freezing weather that night. The whole gang. Senior girls with the Junior boys, Courtney & Ian, Mal & Nigel, Randi & Shaun. They had a lot of fun. They went to Couer d' Alene for dinner, the floating restaurant, The Cedars and then the dance at the Fox Theater. She had a lot of fun and wasn't worried about her dress falling down, being able to breathe, or being cold!
Gotta love my Mormon girl! Love, Jenn =)

14 June 2009

I'm back in the Blog World!!!

Well, it seems like forever since I've checked in. My friends are like, "where are you?" Life has been so busy and now that school is getting out on Wed, (yes, thank you Winter snow and too many snow days that we are now paying for....) I can start to get caught up on the 439 pictures I just downloaded to my computer. I put them in a "Clear Camera" folder and will post as I move them to the right file. If anyone has a great way to organize their pictures, I'm up for suggestions. Upcoming posts will be about Graduation and additional family (I just noticed my dad added all his the pictures he took to his file on my computer - way to go Dad!!!), Prom, more Track, Birthdays, Lake (bumble-bees, geese, turtles, & sunsets along with a few water sports and boat drivers!), and of course, catching up Jacob's Mission Blog, which has been neglected also. Hope you will tune in over the next little while........... But, on to the burning question in a lot your minds........
"What ever happened to your cups, Jenn?"
Funny you should ask me about that, and I have a picture to prove it!! If any of you need a refresher on the subject, you can check out the history here. Feel free to read the comments and suggestions offered by all.
Now, I've been home from Utah about 3 weeks, my dear sister is over for dinner before I take her to the airport one lovely, Sunday evening. She asked me about how my adventure was going and if I had tried any of the suggestions that had been offered. I replied, I hadn't had the opportunity, I was going to try that week, now that we were home from taking Jacob to the MTC. She pickes up my stuck mess.........

and "POP"

they come right apart!

No, kidding......we laughed so hard! So, I am not very strong and my engineer sister is way smarter than me! Must be all in the wrist, the twist, pressure applied at the right angle, I don't know.....But, the cups are safe, not broken or tossed, back in the cupboard with a good chuckle! Love, Jenn =)

24 April 2009

And the winner is...........

Richy is running track this year. This is his last year in Jr. High, so he has more opportunities for events. It was FREEZING COLD for our typical Spokane Spring afternoon, with periods of rain (and a burst of sun). Richy on the right with his friend Jay during the burst of sun.Mike was there the whole, long 4 hours, as they slowly went through the events. As a side note: I know it sounds weird but Richy is allergic to the cold. When he is not warm enough outside in the cold, the histamines in his cells start reacting, his skin breaks out in welts and gets terribly itchy. So, Richy starts to have a reaction, goes to sit in the car with Mike to warm up. While he is there, he misses the calls to register for the field events. He was supposed to do the high jump, but missed it. We'll try for next week. After I taught my lessons (and moved the rest to Tues until track is over) I made it in time to watch him during the running events. His races for this meet were the 800m and the 4x400 relay. On your mark, get set, go! Here he is crossing the finish line after running around the track twice. He came in 3rd over-all, 1st for his school, out of 24 kids. Awesome!!

Next, is the 4x400 relay, where each runner runs one lap. Here is Richy getting the baton to run the last leg. There were 3 teams.

And the winner is...........RICHY!!! WOO HOO!!! It was so exciting, they were behind the first 2 laps, the 3rd lap they were able to catch and pass, and Richy put on the steam and got a great lead. Richy told us after that he was expecting to be passed any second, because that is what always happens as he approaches the finish line. But after he won, he turned around and the next guy was just rounding the corner. Richy was so excited!

He had planned on coming home with us, but he wanted to ride the bus home with the team now. He is so Mr. Pop-U-lar! There were kids saying hi all the time, then he turns to us and says, "I don't know who that is!" But, he is always kind and polite to them. Such a great kid! Tune in next week..........Love, Jenn =)

13 April 2009

The Sound of Music

My Dad is the best. He has done it again. I think he sends me links, just so I can post them (hehe, just kidding!) He must have remembered that the Sound of Music is my all-time, bestest, comfort musical! I love it. I was in it when I was in High School at the Community Theater. I was only a postulate (beginner nun, wanna-be), but I loved doing the musicals. He sent me this link to an awesome video of one of the most recognized songs. There is an article about the video first then the video is embedded. They were right you can't help but smile, and we all could do a little more of that. Enjoy! Love, Jenn =) The Sound of Music

12 April 2009

Spring Break and then some

Time has flown by, it seems Spring Break was so long ago, but Jacob has just left. As he has mentioned in one of his letters, it's has something to do with the space time continuum. I'm a little slow on the draw these days. The day after we got home from SLC, I fell and broke my elbow. At least for today, it's in a temporary splint til we see new x-rays tomorrow. So, let's see how long it takes me to post......
We had such a great time in Utah. The short version....

Happy Birthday to Mike!

Sunday Night Jam,

Met with my friend Tammy, we grew up in the same home ward during our high school years..... Richy and Avery before pictures.

Becca and Avery before pictures, Avery was a favorite on the trip......

Blurry, candid, but reflects the mood of the trip...........

The girls being silly.........Zach, hiding.......stinking cute!

Looking toward the temple, from the 10th floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. You can see the Conference Center across the street to the right.

I have some great mom-kind-of snaps, flowers and such. I'll posy those later, along with the update on the glasses by the sink. Love, Jenn =) took 4 hours, minus facebook and other Internet searches probably 1-1/2, now onto 4 days of mail, ahhhhhhh!!!