Thursday, October 22, 2009

And the rains came down

Last week I experienced my first taste of heavy Houston rains. It rained all day and night and we woke up to a lot of water everywhere. I'm used to light rain just running off down the mountains, but here it doesn't have any place to go, so it stays. I am amazed at how much water there actually is in a rainstorm.And I have a new appreciation for the ugly, steep ditches that are on the sides of the road. They are about 5 ft deep, and it's a good thing.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Weekend with Erika

My old roommate Erika drove down from Dallas to spend the weekend with us! It was so much fun. Erika is leaving on a mission to Brazil in 3 weeks.
Erika got here Friday afternoon. We met up with Ann at the quilt show downtown. I must confess I was expecting a small cultural hall-sized show, with a few quilts. I was so wrong. The quilt show was huge. It filled up the whole convention center! There were tons of people there and lots of really incredible quilts. It was really neat. Thanks again Ann.
After dinner, we decided to try out the Kemah Boardwalk, as Steve has seemed really excited about it. We enjoyed walking around in the beautiful weather, fun atmosphere, and watching street performers.We also enjoyed the shark benches and catfish feeding spots. We didn't feed them (unless you count them trying to eat Mark's spit). We topped the adventure off with a ride on the Boardwalk Bullet roller coaster. It had been so long since any of us had been on a roller coaster so we forgot what to expect. and we all still like them.Saturday morning Mark ran the Company Cup, a Baytown 5K for the employees of sponsoring companies. (I'll post about this later).
The afternoon was pretty calm. We went to a Vietnamese noodle house for lunch. Thanks again Erika. After lunch we attempted to make caramel apples. I've been craving to make these for a long time, so thanks Er for doing them with me. The caramel turned out really well, just a bit soft. Instead of dipping the apples in the caramel, we drizzled the caramel over the upside-down apples. We had problems with the chocolate. It wasn't runny enough to drip, so we had to put it on like frosting. So the apples don't look very professional but still taste good!
Saturday night we went to the ward talent show. It was very long but entertaining. There were skits, musical numbers, poem readings, story-telling and our favorite- the "elastic man" (he was super flexible and kicked himself in the back of the head while standing up. pretty sweet.)
It was awesome to have Erika in nusery with us on Sunday and hang around for the ward linger longer, before she went back to Dallas.
Thanks again Erika for coming to visit. Mark and I were glad we got to see you again before you leave. We will miss you.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

On Duty

One of the things that Mark and I were looking forward to when we moved back down to Texas was coming back to the ward here. We love feeling like we are a part of the ward...and they put us right back to work. We got called to the ward missionaries again, and to be nursery leaders. We have enjoyed our callings so far. There are 5 kids in the nursery, one who just came in today for the first time (and the sweet little angel didn't cry at all). The others are already 3. There is another little boy that will be coming in, but he was very upset by the idea today so he went with his mother again.
So last week after they set us apart, the Bishop met with us and asked us to speak in Sacrament meeting today. Mark gave a really good talk on choosing to love, especially in the home. I spoke on working together in the home.
We also got invited to be in the stake choir. I hadn't realized at the time, but our stake choir is invitation only (anyone ever heard of that before?). So we are off again to choir practice.
Busy, but so glad to be part of this ward again.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Table Upgrade

We got a new kitchen table today, and look how happy Mark is. The last one was sold last week to make way for the new one, only to find that they had just sold out of the table we wanted. But today they were back in stock, so we now have a table again. It is much bigger and more comfortable than the last one.While Mark was putting the table together, I put together dinner so we could immediately break it in.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Anybody want a peanut...butter?

Friday night, Mark and I went with our ward assignment to the Church's Houston Cannery and made peanut butter. To be more precise, we actually had nothing to do with the making of the peanut butter, but we bottled about 5,500 jars of it. (Others in our group were in the making end, and went through about 4 bags of peanuts each weighing in at 2,200 lbs). We had a great time, and though undermanned ran the double shift without a hitch. Mark and the Elders Quorum President put the lids on and tightened them for about 3 hours straight- which is supposed to be a 3 person job as the conveyor moves quite quickly. but they didn't miss a jar. I had less energetic tasks and was, therefore, freezing all 4 hours. From boxing the jars, to unpacking empty jars, to my longest role- feeding empty jars into the filling machine. It was very enjoyable and smelled really good- like roasting peanuts, which also reminded me of my mom's flank steak marinade for some reason.

The Work Wall

This week at work, I have been working on making 18 copies of this painting. They are still being worked on. But this is my little spot where I paint all day, and stick the paintings to the wall to dry. Fun, fun.