Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Great Pepper Challenge

It all started with a Youtube show Taz watches and has us all hooked on now. Good Mythical Morning. It is so funny and if you haven't met Rhett and Link, you should take some time to do so...they are hilarious!!  So, on one episode they do a hot pepper challenge.  They start with a low ranking pepper on the scoville scale and go up to a habanero. The scoville scale ranks on how many heat units a pepper has.  It starts at 0 and goes up to 2,200,000 with the hottest pepper, the Carolina Repper.   Taz has been wanting to try this for a long time.  So I found a Red Fresno pepper at Wal Mart which ranked 3,500-10,000 on the scale.  I bought one and brought it home.  Now Rhett and Link have to go 2 min. without eating or drinking anything to help cool the heat, so we figured we'd do the same for Taz.  He ate the Fresno and didn't even make it 1 min before he dove into the ice cream and then downed the bread trying to get the burning to go away.  Cynjyn, Garry and I had a good laugh at the whole thing. 
Then, the next day, his friends were coming to spend the night and I went and bought some more Fresno peppers and some serrano peppers.  The serrano's rank 10,000- 23,000 on the scale.  We warned them we were having this little pepper contest and most of them were in.  Charlie was reluctant because he wasn't feeling well, but somehow they talked him into doing it.  Becca and Cynjyn were in too.  We started with the Fresno Pepper.  They all look happy and ready to start. 
Seconds after the eating and they are looking a little less enthused. 
Charlie and Marcus are trying to get it down, Ryan is saying it's not too bad.
Andrew, Michael and Taz think Ryan's crazy. 
Cynjyn starts to feel the burn.
Now they all are and they are up and dancing around with Garry timing them for ten min. until they can cool the burn.  Cynjyn is holding her ear saying it's burning her ear!
Still feeling the burn.
Now the ice cream cones into play.  We made them immediatly eat a sarrano after that.  They all said that wasn't even hot and was like eating a pickle compared to the fresno.  Then they begged me to go to the store and get habanero peppers so they could try those.  100,000-350,000 on the scale are those babies.  So Garry and I ran to WM at 10:00 pm and grabbed some habanero's and some more ice cream. 
Charlie, Marcus and Michael aren't so sure they want to do the habanero, but Ryan, Taz and Andrew do.
Cynjyn sit's this one out, but Becca is willing to try a tiny bite.  Ok, the before group pix and they look ready and willing. 
Then they get it down and all the fun is over!
That heat kicks in and they have to go 10 min!!  Notice in the background Charlie, Marcus and Michael who immediately went to the sink and expelled their peppers!  Ryan is Snapchatting the whole thing.  Garry's videoing and I'm taking pictures. 
Taz starts to sweat and turn red and his eyes are watering. 
Andrew gets up and does push ups and physical activity to take his mind off the pain.
Cynjyn is consoling him and getting a good laugh and deciding she is grateful for her decision to not partake. 
Becca is eating ice cream way before 10 min.  Ryan and Taz are still waiting it our, Charlie is having some ice cream even though he didn't even swallow the pepper.
Finally they make it 10 min and dive into the ice cream.
Taz can't move and Andrew is still doing those push up's even after the ice cream.  Ryan is standing over the sink unable to move.
Marcus spent the 10 min. fanning his mouth and then had to sit down.
Michael is so done!
Then a half an hour later I go into the hall and Ryan and Taz are spent and Andrew say's he's not too bad!
Now, Rhett and Link do another episode where they do a Ghost Pepper and have to wait 10 min, so that's where we got the 10 min from since they say at about 6 min. it reaches it's peak burn.  A ghost pepper is 855,000-2,199,999 on the scale.  We can't find a ghost pepper anywhere in town, so luckily we just did the habaneros.  Then those crazy boys Rhett and Link do a Carolina Repper pepper!  The hottest pepper in the world.  Luck for my boys, we can't find those anywhere either.  So, the next morning Ryan asks Taz how he's feeling.  He says ok.  He asks him how his night was, he says ok.  He asks him if his body expelled the pepper yet, Taz says yes.  He asks him if it was as hot going out as it was going in...he says yes!  I loved hearing this conversation!  It was a fun night for us spectators, and I think the boys actually had fun too. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Joyful January

A lady in our ward is a widow. Her husband passed away in November.  He was young, our age, and had a son on a mission and a son that is a senior in High School.  He struggled about 2 years with cancer and the cancer finally won.  I can't imagine how hard that would be to face the rest of your life with out your love.  So, the RS in our ward put a bucket outside her front door and we are spending the year filling her bucket.  They pass a sign up sheet around to make sure it's done daily, or we can fill it anytime we want.  I signed up for a day early in January.  Cynjyn helped me make a Joyful January Jar.  We filled it with quotes and the idea is to take one slip of paper out a day in January and read the quote and feel uplifted and loved.  I hope it worked, because she is loved.
I wore a dress and boots one day to school and as I walked out to my car after work to go home I looked down and just thought I looked like Laura Ingalls Wilder with my dress that was kinda like a prairie dress and the boots.  Brought me back to my childhood when I watched that show on TV and LOVED it and the books. 
A couple of ladies in our ward had an afternoon tea where several of us came and snacked and visited the afternoon away.  It was very pleasant and I really enjoyed it.  We don't get together much with our ward friends anymore and I miss those socials and gatherings and talking to friends who I only see on Sunday's usually.  It was nice and we all left saying we should do it more often.  (Back:  Amelia, Hadley, Angie, me Heidi and Cari)
Garry and the priest were in charge of YM/YW combined in January and did 4 square volleyball.  This was Cynjyn's team.  I'm grateful for Jen and taking pictures and then sending them to me so I can see the fun they had.  Garry took a few, but not cute group ones like this! (Maggie, Cynjyn, Olivia, Kimber and Heather)
Cynjyn went to the mall and bought some clothes with her bday money from grandma and friends.  She got these cute overalls.
Trey came into town and was heading back to school.  He came on Friday and spent the night and was leaving Sunday morning.  Taz had already invited Garry and I to go to Taken 3 with him, so Trey tagged along. 
Cynjyn and her friends wanted to go out to a fancy restaurant for dinner.  They chose Olive Garden.  Some of the mom's wouldn't let them go if they weren't chaperoned, so we sacrificed and volunteered to take them to OG.  (Norma, Cynjyn, Adrienne, Kate and Kaela)
We got to the restaurant and they reserved a table and we did.  It just so happened that they seated us on opposite sides of the restaurant.  Lucky for them...they had their privacy. 
We enjoyed our dinner very much and the company.
I sent Taz over to snap a picture of the girls and it looked like they were having a great time.  We finished way before them so the four of us sat out in the car playing Trivia Crack against each other waiting. 
I had to visit a ward in our Stake for their Ward Conference.  We have church 9-12 and their church was 11-2, so I went to our ward and then came home and got Trey off and then to their ward.  Garry had a nice dinner ready when I got home and the table was even set nicely with folded napkins.  I asked why so fancy and he said because he had the time!  What a guy.
Yes, It's January 12 and my upstairs banisters are still glowing with Christmas decor.  I just love them and could leave them up all year, but alas, I finally took them down the next week.
Mid terms came in the second week of January.  As per tradition, I took the kids out to lunch on the last day, Friday.  Taz chose Claim Jumper.  He filled up on bread and then only took about 3 bites of his widow burger.  Cynjyn had club sandwich and cesar salad and I had the mini sliders. 
Cynjyn wanted a cookie and ice cream dessert and it was huge.  Taz didn't eat it and we took a lot home!
Monday was Martin Luther King day and no school.  Gus invited Cynjyn Alyssa and Raejean to go to King Putt and do some mini golf and laser tag.  They were there 4-8. 
This past Friday Taz had an academic letter breakfast.  It was to honor those with an academic letter.  That means all A's all year.  They do it for the previous year. So when he was a sophomore, he earned the letter for his Freshman year.  I missed the breakfast last year because when I got the letter, I thought it was 7:30 pm and so I didn't make it.  This year I made it and so did Garry.  We enjoyed a nice breakfast put on by the culinary class and then they presented the awards.  Taz got a stripe for his letter because it was his second year (sophomore year). 

Great job and we are proud he takes his academics seriously. 

That same day I decided to make some homemade chinese food for dinner.  Mom had Instagrammed some that she'd made and I'd been craving it all week.  I have time to actually cook on Friday's so I went for it.  This was started at 4:30 and we ate at 6:00.  It is time consuming.  I pre chopped everything and then assembled and cooked as I went along.  This was for the egg rolls and they were the yummiest of the night. 
I also did fried rice, won tons and sweet and sour pork and egg foo young.  The egg foo young was o.k.  I didn't do gravy for it and I really missed that.
And finally Saturday, Cynjyn spent the afternoon with her friends at the mall and then at our house making tutu's for spirit week this week. 
And that is our Joyful January.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Where have all the blogger's gone??

Where have all the blogger's gone?  I really don't know.  I ask myself this everyday when I check my blog and NO ONE has updated in days, weeks, month's or years. 

Today at church, Cynjyn was making fun of me and my new app I got for my phone.  It allows me to add sparkle and movement to a picture.  I was so excited and she asked me why I bothered, why am I on Instagram?  So I told her why I started blogging and Instagramming.

Remember back in the day when you anxiously awaited at your mail box for a letter to arrive. Long anticipated news of those that you loved.  What had they been up to? Had anyone been sick?  Did any of them have a great accomplishment? What had happened to them that was just an everyday experience of life?  I remember that.  I first went away to college at BYU and LIVED for letters from home, letters from Garry, any news of anyone I missed.  I would call home once a week and talk to everyone, but a letter was just so exciting. 

I've always lived away from family.  I always loved hearing about what was going on with them.  It made me feel like I was there, a part of their lives.  So in 2007, my sister suggested I start blogging.  That way, I could have a written account of my life and my family's life and my loved ones that lived far away, could instantly see what was happening.  I loved the idea and this blog was born.  I did it for my extended family that I didn't get to see everyday.  An added benefit was that it also became my journal and a family history book.  A documented happening of our lives.  Soon, family members and friends started blogging and it was so exciting to see updates on my feed.  I loved opening my blog and seeing that 10 other friends and family had blogged too.  It was like getting mail!

I joined Facebook a long time ago, but never got into posting updates.  I love reading other peoples updates, but a lot of it is trivial stuff, which is great, but I also have many friends on FB who I would consider more acquaintances.  Also the aspect of how do you get a hard copy of those happenings and all the stuff you're putting out there for posterity's sake?  Complicated.  Then Instagram came along.  I immediately loved it.  Smaller and more intimate than FB.  You can be private, or public, see and like something without having to get constant updates and more actual friends on it than acquaintances.  Yes, IG was for me!  I could share something immediately happening with my close friends and most importantly my extended family!  My siblings and parents and nieces and nephews were on it and I could glimpse their lives and feel apart of them and feel close without living close by.  I loved it. 

Then something dreaded happened. me that has ruined this sharing of life.  My kids are constantly on Snapchat and snapping away pictures of their lives, and then they just disappear, gone for good, no record what so ever that anything happened.  To me that is dreadful.  Taz's friend got hurt and had black and blue eyes, she Snapchatted a photo to everyone.  I wanted to see how she was doing, but the picture was gone, lost somewhere in cyberspace, record permanently deleted.  All of a sudden, my nieces and nephews and kids were sending their photos that lasted maybe 20 seconds before disappearing.  Now they were no longer Instagramming anything...oh I saw that on Snapchat, really I want to see...oh I don't have it anymore.  UGH!

So back to our church conversation.  I started these two things to keep in touch with those I love.  Now, no one updates blogs anymore.  They are too busy, they think it's too much work.  They think no one is reading them. They think no one cares anymore. They think they've said it all on FB or IG of SC.  Well I care, I read, I want to stay in touch.  In a world where there is so much instant gratification and technology at our fingertips, we sure don't see a lot of our close friends and family anymore.  I miss that, but when they blog or IG for just a moment, I am in their world, catching a glimpse of them and what they are doing and I feel connected and in touch and I love it.  So I will continue to blog and IG and make records of my life and my family and I will continue to wonder what is happening with those I love and try to remain connected some way, some how.  If the urge hits and you have a spare moment, blog...document...record.  I'll be waiting.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Smile that frown away!

A few weeks ago I saw that Kim Kardashian said that she is seldom photographed smiling.  She posted a picture of herself and captioned it:  See I do smile...even laugh on occasion.  Not too often though because it causes wrinkles."  Well all I have to say to that is SAD.  I can't imagine a world without smiles!
Not the posed: here I'm going to take a unabashed SMILES!
The kind you can't hold back. 
Smiling for the sheer joy of the moment.
Smiling because of the experience you are having at any given time.
Smiling because you are surrounded by LOVE.
Smiling because you're off on adventures...into the unknown. 
Smiling because of a crazy thing you did.
Smiling because you're having a great time.
Smiling because someone is near you.
Smiling, holding nothing back because you are experiencing pure JOY.
Smiling because you are content.
Sharing a smile, creating a memory.
These are reason's to smile.  So I say forget about wrinkles...they will come don't pass up an opportunity to SMILE!
Share the joy...make someone's day...SMILE those frowns away!
Bring on the wrinkles!

Go ahead...make my day!!