Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Top 5 Things I Missed While In Utah

I just returned from Salt Lake to an amazing writer's conference. Before I jump into the top 5 things I missed while in Utah, here's the top 5 things I got to do in Utah!

1- Have a one-on-one meeting with an editor from NY who looked over the first five pages of my manuscript. After my nerves recovered, I was grateful for his feedback.

2- Meet an agent face to face. I told her about my book and she said it sounded "cute" and "marketable." Considering the uber-competitive world of book publishing, I'll take it as a positive sign!

3- Sift through old pictures of Lester's childhood at my in-laws. Some of them will make for great blackmail, but they're all adorable. :-)

4- See my wonderful parents who drove 300 miles from St. George just to spend Saturday evening and Sunday morning with me.

5- Meeting with other fellow LDS writers and authors. They are an awesome, creative bunch of people.

NOW, the top five things I missed.

5- The kids' last days of T-ball, swimming, and music class.

4- The Easter egg hunt at the Vial farm.

3- A fun day at the Children's Museum.
("Look, Daddy, I'm a Lamanite!" Alexis painted her face all by herself!)

(Daddy painted Brandon's face with a mustache and beard. Like father, like son!)

2- The finding of Tom Worm. The kids and Lester were weeding in the front yard. They found a worm they named Tom. Lester put the worm into the flowers. A few minutes later he noticed Brandon throwing dirt at the flowers. He asked Brandon what he was doing. "I'm feeding Tom Worm!"

1- And the number one thing I missed (but not really), was the beginning of potty training Brandon. The quote du jour on this one (uttered when Daddy requested Brandon use the potty): "But, Daddy, I don't have any pee-pee in my p****!"

Monday, March 10, 2008

Prayers and Tears Come Easily Now

By now everyone knows about Ross Barfuss, who is being called a hero for giving his life trying to save that boy. You can read the latest updates here.

Deanna, Ross's mom, is my visiting teaching companion. I've grown to love and admire her spunk and spirituality. I especially admire her request to pray for the other boy's family.

I also am in awe of our ward family who spent all yesterday combing the beach in search of Ross.

My heart is sad for this wonderful family, but my prayers will go on.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Teal Cake, Be Gone!

I have finally redeemed myself. I had a hankering to make something with Dutch cocoa, since I had a whole new can of it. Mahina recommended trying the Texas sheetcake recipe on the Pioneer Woman's blog.

As a side note, I discovered my baking powder had November '98 stamped on the bottom of it! I am blaming the teal cake fiasco partly—okay, mostly—on the ancient baking powder. That sounds better than admitting I'm not a so-great chef. :-)

So with the teal cake disaster fresh in my mind, Alexis and I tetatively whipped up the sheetcake. Several positive omens were in our favor:

- I had to borrow sugar from Mahina. Between the two of us, I EXACTLY the right amount.
- I did not attempt to use food coloring.
- The recipe did not call for baking powder, fresh or otherwise.

We peeked into the oven as our sheetcake was baking. It smelled and looked divine, except for one small problem. It was higher on one side than another. But being a sheetcake, the difference in height was not too noticeable, especially when slathered with chocolate icing.

But most importantly, it passed the taste test! Everyone who tried it loved it. And it even looked like the picture on the Pioneer Woman's blog:
It's nice to have at least one recipe I can make well.