Monday, March 28, 2011

White Pass Winter Carnival

We could really get used to the weather here. We have not had any "real" snow since the first of the year. Most days are a perfect 50-60 degrees. What makes it even better is if we WANT snow it is only about 50 minutes away. We had heard that the local ski resort does a Winter Carnival every year for the kids and we put it on our "must do" list. It was really quite fun and....FREEE (you know how that is my favorite). Little Annie had to immediately "taste" the snow to be sure it was "good" (yuck). She decided she liked it :) We are pretty lucky that we have another kid that is pretty happy to just GO!
Here is one of the snow sculptures. It is a big bear surrounded by a "crystal" fence (broken icicles).
This was a really cool troll sculpture. There was a pretty dumb volunteer that on her shift decided to let the kids climb on the sculptures (that people were competing with and had spent days and days on). Keaton KNEW it was too good to last (and it was....she was corrected about 2 minutes later) lucky for him he had already scurried to the top.
This is Savannah and I in front of some kind of lizard thing?
There was a huge castle that you climbed to the top of and then you could slide down on tubes. There was also a cool tunnel going under it. I suggested Lee take Savannah down the tube hill. He reluctantly agreed.....
He shouldn't have......(luckily he kept her upright and she didn't freak)
Keaton was a pro and could have gone all day!!!
Here they are waiting in the line. You can see Annie peeking through the "teeth" of the castle.
This is Keaton in front of the dragon sculpture. He has a big hunk of the ice they used. It felt weird, like they treated it with something.
It was a pretty fun event. Next year if we are still around we will bring our own sled's so we can go down one of the other hills so we don't have to wait so long for the castle hill. Beautiful clear day....a pretty good day for the Palmers!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Loaves and Fishes

(picture from crossroads initiative)
These last couple of weeks I have been caught up in a church assignment. I still don't have a calling so it was nice to be "needed" for a special project. It was kinda a crazy assignment though. They wanted me to make the dinner for a Relief Society party for 60 people. That wouldn't have been that bad until you add in the budget of $60 (without having anyone bring anything). I am about as frugal as they come so I took it on as a challenge. I looked at spaghetti but even if I thought a pound of hamburger could be stretched for 10 people 1/4 of my budget would be hamburger. I went through 100 scenarios like that and was getting pretty frustrated. A buck a head just isn't very much. We had a pretty good ad though and I got 5 pound bags of potato's for 75 cents and 2 pound blocks of cheese for $3 and so I did potato cheese soup with my strawberry salad (really toned down), homemade breadsticks, and pavlovas for dessert. The only way I was going to pull it off was if I hand made rolled and twisted all the breadsticks and put a tray of pavlovas every night in my oven to dry.
I poured myself into the whole thing and worked like crazy to pull it off. I had 3 ladies come over one morning to roll about 1/2 of the 130 breadsticks (which we individually froze then put together in a container) and I took 4 ladies "packs" for the soup so I didn't have to do that but otherwise I did the rest.
My health had started to turn on this pregnancy and so I was sure I paced myself to pull it off. Imagine my horror on Sunday evening when I took Savannah's ice cream cake out of our deep freeze in the garage and it was mush. Luckily the breadsticks and pavlovas were fine. Lee cleared the compressor area and we thought we had solved the problem. Monday I went out there for something and I realized that the breaker had flipped and we had no power to it. The breadticks were in a block of mush. I was hoping when they refroze the flour would let them be pulled apart. No luck...I went to check on them later and they were a solid block of breadstick mess. I started to panic. This drove my blood pressure even higher. It was getting to the critical stage where I would need to call the Doctor. I stayed up all night worrying about it (because if you are an Earley woman in your brain you think that helps).
The next morning my BP was even higher. I figured I would try my best to get them apart and then if I failed I would have Lee get Costco rolls (and blow my budget). I e-mailed my kind friend Sara who was over the event and told her what had happened. She immediately called and said she was on her way to Costco and to go lay down and not worry about the breadsticks. I cried over the loss... (seriously all the time and effort and ingredients) then took a 2 hour nap.
When I got up everything went perfect. I loaded the van quickly, and when I went to go through the 800 boxes in the garage to find stuff for the table I found what I was looking for in the FIRST box.
Everything went smoothly at the church. 3 of the 4 soups showed up and they were great. The 4th soup showed up about 1/2 hour before the event. It was all black and completely burned to the bottom (which she had scraped to get up). I panicked a little. Her soup was inedible. We decided to dump her soup and take the milk and cheese we were going to add to it to the others to "thin them down a bit". My portion sizes were a little small I thought (15 people for one lg crockpot) so I was worried. We boiled some water just in case we had to throw some powdered potato soup in. The ladies arrived and we put out our goods (the table looked great if I do say so myself). They ate, they made yummy noises, they asked for recipes, they ate some more. When all had eaten and were full we went into the kitchen and there were still 2 crockpots full. I kinda chocked up. I thought of the scripture story of the loaves and the fishes: And they did all eat and were filled: and they took up the fragments that remained twelve baskets full (Matthew 14:20).
When I got home my BP was back to normal, the job was over. I was reminded once again though that this is His church, He is in charge, He cares about me (and will send a dear sister to care for me), and He will make everything o.k. if we do our best. Miracles happen even today. He has not forgotten us. He will come in our hour of need. Even when he has such heartbreak and need in Japan He cared enough to help Kira...after all she could do.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Florida Part 2

Lee and I are pretty bummed at ourselves. We really didn't get a great picture of our family at Disneyworld. I guess we will have to go back :) Here is a look at our Disney adventures.

This was taken at Downtown Disney. They have these ladies sprinkling "princess dust" on the kids. It makes them stop I think and look in the store. We had them do a dusting on Annie but Keaton wanted in on the action. Good thing the other lady had a "pirate duster" :).

This is the fountain at downtown Disney. You can't see the fountain well but this shows:
A. the great weather (at night even we were fine in short sleeves)
B. look at that girls hair! All I do is comb it and it comes out like that. I am just amazed at the convenience since I don't know that I have the patience to put a lot of time into kid hair :)
C. I forgot to flip some of the pictures...ugh.

This is the kids and I with the classic Epcot shot. I was surprised at how well we liked Epcot. We LOVED Soarin', and Keaton and Lee LOVED the Mission to Mars ride.

The back part of Epcot you go "around the world" and can stop at an attraction in each "country". Our favorite was Mexico. It had a fun Donald Duck ride that was fun for all of us.

Savannah has a great ability to sleep anywhere. That is what makes it possible to do so many fun things with her. It is a pretty convenient feature of this little lady!
This is Savannah and Keaton "testing" the Dumbo ride at Magic Kingdom. Savannah still thought it was "TOO SCARY"!

We really liked the Animal Kingdom! Keaton loved the Dinosaur fast ride (although Keaton loved EVERY fast and scary ride). They both loved to climb on these big statues!
This is waiting for the Kilimanjaro adventure ride. We got fast passes so we ate our lunch while we waited (we brought tons of lunch stuff and snacks in a cooler to keep from buying food there). The Kilimanjaro ride took by Jeep through Africa and showed many animals. Savannah was a big fan.

Our FAVORITE part of the Animal Kingdom was the Lion King Show. OH MY GOODNESS it was great! Keaton even got to be a part of it. Not so sure how "ready" for show biz he was though. He kept that one hand in his pocket the whole time with an "awkward" look on his face. He was glad he did it though.
The boys had to go on the fast Dino ride ONE MORE TIME so Annie and I waited for them. She was a pretty good sport with whatever and when worse came to worse a Dumdum sucker would buy her love again :)
P.S. We also LOVED the bug show at Disneyworld. It was 3-d and interactive. Pretty great!
This is Savannah and I on Small World. ABSOLUTELY her favorite ride. I think we went on like 6 times! I didn't really think about it but most of the rides (even the kids rides) have a "SCARY" element. She would whisper in my ear SCARY! She was a pretty good sport but Small World she couldn't get enough of.
She also loved this outside play area. I hated to spend a ton of time there because it was just a little park (that we could go to for FREE in any city).

We really loved our trip and mostly loved spending time as a family. We are thinking in 10 years or so we will have to go back....we HOPE we can wait that long!