Friday, April 29, 2011

TITLE FOR A BLOG POST? I got nothin.

Micah left to look for a place to live in Seattle today.  It’s funny how I just realized that I have never lived anywhere that has had more than 3 bedrooms my entire life. And I am 5th of 7 children. So many people probably would have felt that was too much for one house. Or one car even. (Sometimes, no car…)

Now we are looking for a place that can “fit” three people, and I feel kind of silly. Sure sometimes I need my space, and kids do too, but when you have a place all to yourself, does it have to be THAT big!? Nowadays a “big” family is like, 4 or 5 kids. (Maybe even 3). What’s the deal? I guess a lot of people want their kids to have their own rooms too. Which is fine, but I also wonder what’s wrong with sharing a room when you’re growing up.

I think the only nice thing about a spare room is to have it open for guests. I never want to think “oh it will be nice for extra storage.” Storage for what? More stuff? BLAGH!

There are only really two things I like having a lot of (that I can think of now) – books and art. But I suppose anything can become too much.

And, I suppose I will be happy if we find a place with a washer and dryer.

And lots of windows. *Sigh*

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Totally addicted…

I know Easter is over but I just had to make a few more since all the dyes are out. IMG_4252





Now they all look so happy together.

Birthday cake.

Yesterday Micah turned 29. I should have taken more pictures, shoot. We had fun. 

Micah opening a present from his sister. Long live Amazon.


Upon receiving a gift from his parents, The Count of Monte Cristo, he exclaimed “See, this is what people did before television!”

The only bad thing about having lots of books (or being a bibliophile, as Micah calls himself) is when you have to move with them. Guess who gets to do that in a few. short. months.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter.

We’ve been pretty busy this weekend with our Easter celebrations. Hope your Easter was good too. I finally finished a few Pysanky, and will hopefully make some more before we put away all the supplies.

What I like to do is pencil out the basic design on the egg before I start working with the kistka (stylus).


The first lines I draw with the kistka will be white.


Heating up the kistka.


When making pysanky, you dye the egg in a certain order – lightest colors to darkest. I’m starting with yellow.


I didn’t take pictures of the rest of the dyeing (it already takes a lot of time to do), but eventually you get to the point where you remove all the wax and get to see your finished pysanky.



Here’s Micah making his.


Another one I made, before removing all the wax:


And the finished product.


It’s a lot of fun. I totally recommend giving it a try.

In other news, we made Paska (didn’t make it in a traditional cylinder shape, and didn’t put the sugary glaze, but it was still good.) And Micah made a delicious ham.



We like Easter!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Making Pysanky – Emptying the Eggs

Egg Summer

Ostrich egg pysanky. Not mine, but something I’d like to do someday.

After learning a bit (through many mistakes!) making Pysanky last year, I’ve decided perhaps we are ready to show the world the whole process behind it. We’ve made a few improvements and have some tips that might help you in your own egg decorating adventures (though I don’t suggest doing pysanky with really young children, I think it can be done with kids as young as 8. I could be totally wrong here though.)

So one of the hardest things about making pysanky is that you have to blow out the insides of the egg. I used to try to do this with my mouth, and it got very tiring after just a little while. I would also use the two hole method, making a hole on the bottom and on the top. That would make it so I had to cover up two holes with the wax to keep the egg dye from going inside the egg. Also, I would make the holes with a nail or pin, which was very difficult, and would often break the egg.

Well this year we got all fancy, and used a drill to make the holes.


The tiny drill bit made a nice, small round hole on the bottom of the egg.


Then, in order to only use one hole, (and a tiny one at that!) we used a syringe and an IV catheter to blow out the insides. Yes, we like to recycle medical supplies. There have been many perks like this after Micah starting working at a hospital.


Now I realize that not everyone has access to a power drill and IV catheters, but using a sharp nail and your own lung power is still an effective method. I found a wikihow article giving even more options, here.



I think this method worked out quite nicely, and now we have a whole bunch of clean eggs to make pysanky with. For many of you, this could be half the battle, since most of us just dip the whole egg in dye and call it a day. But you all know I am a little more ambitious than that. Stay tuned for the next part of the process. 


I only got to spend one Easter in Ukraine, but it was glorious. Easter Sunday, I remember riding the bus to church and seeing people on the streets walking to church with baskets full of goodies. I also remember visiting with an investigator (someone interested in learning about the church) and watching her make homemade Paska. Paska (also see this wikipedia article) is a super traditional food that is only served at Easter. They don’t call it Paska “bread” or “cake” because it is like a special thing on its own. The closest thing I can relate it to, taste-wise, is Jewish Challah. But it’s pretty distinct, especially when raisins or other dried fruit is added. Also, Ukrainians often make it with a sugary egg white frosting on top, with multi-colored sprinkles. Kinda kitschy, eh? Also pretty charming. Here is what you might see at a Ukrainian supermarket:


(We plan on making some this Easter, like last year, except not using a recipe that feeds a million people…)


I miss Ukraine.


A picture drawn for me at church by Masha. Not bad for a 10 year old, eh? She tried spelling my name three times.

P.S. – I’ve been meaning to post this video – Both of the girls featured (Katya and Ivanka) were in the ward I served in for a large portion of my mission, and great friends of mine. The young women’s president was my neighbor and second mother on my mission. You can see the street and the church building, my home for almost my entire mission.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Now a video of a bunny.

Because you’ve earned it.

Our bunny does this sometimes in his cage. This jump is apparently called a “binky”. BOING SPROING!

Friday, April 15, 2011




So, I realize this is probably not entirely true. But it’s funny, because I wonder why don’t more people use gmail? Do they not know how much more organized and efficient their email time can be using it? Are they afraid that the whole world will turn upside down if they change their email address, and won’t get all their Jo-Ann's coupons sent to the right place? If you are thinking, “she just doesn’t know my reasons”, you are right. I don’t. And I really don’t care what email service you use. I might just respect you a little more if you use gmail, that’s all.

Another interesting thing, is that I am pretty sure that there are way more people “following” my blog than appears on my “Followers” sidebar widget. So I won’t nag you to officially become a “follower”, but it’s a lot more motivating to write blog posts when I know there are people reading it. Wanna be my stalker? I know you are. You check my blog every day. You are a creeper.

Just. Kidding. (I hope…)

p.s. Don’t think I am a horrible person. I understand that “computer skills” are not the most important assets to possess.  Just another one of those generational rifts.

p.p.s. Here is another cartoon from the oatmeal that might explain why I’m not all too excited about moving to the land of microsoft and starbucks:


Origami time!

You should know that I keep a huge ole stack of origami paper near my desk so that I can make something at any time. Today I found instructions to an  adorable model – a bunny shaped candy holder! Just in time for the Easter!


Where’s the candy to fill it though? :-(


Here is the video. All credit goes to Jacky Chan (No, not THAT Jackie Chan). I had to pause a few times to get all the folds, but it was pretty straightforward. This is all part of my training to get my black belt in origami.


And here is a random picture of a strawberry shaped like a heart.


More Easter things to come. I’ve decided that this holiday is big deal in our family, after living in Ukraine.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I’m a total total dweeb and YOU KNOW IT

One day I was playing around on my Wii and went on to the Weather channel.

WII WEATHER_qjpreviewth

It’s a fun little channel for checking the local weather and such. One of the perks of owning a Wii. (I know, so impressive….)

The weather channel plays two different songs, depending on what time of day it is. When it’s night-time, you hear this song:


Pretty? Yes. At first it sounded to me almost like a Primary song. Then, the more I listened to it, I realized that it worked pretty dang well with one particular primary song. Remember when the MoTab sang “I Know That My Savior Loves Me” at General Conference? (Click this link) That was the song we learned for the 2010 primary program – the theme being “I Know My Savior Lives” (I was teaching sunbeams that whole year and learned the song a little too well it seems). Here are the lyrics to the song:

1. A long time ago in a beautiful place,
Children were gathered ’round Jesus.
He blessed and taught as they felt of His love.
Each saw the tears on His face.
The love that He felt for His little ones
I know He feels for me.
I did not touch Him or sit on His knee,
Yet, Jesus is real to me.

I know He lives!
I will follow faithfully.
My heart I give to Him.
I know that my Savior loves me.

2. Now I am here in a beautiful place,
Learning the teachings of Jesus.
Parents and teachers will help guide the way,
Lighting my path ev’ry day.
Wrapped in the arms of my Savior’s love,
I feel His gentle touch.
Living each day, I will follow His way,
Home to my Father above.

So whoever of you can sing this song to the “accompaniment”  I provided in the link above, you totally win a prize. Seriously.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Distractions, contemplations

Too many things going on.

As much as I want winter to be over, I know now that I will be facing allergy season as spring makes its debut.


(I’ve always thought the concept of a bee suffering from allergies was funny. This might not actually be the case for the Nasonex bee, but in my mind he is, and it’s hilarious.)

Still, I look forward to spring.

I feel like a lot of talks from this past General Conference focused on suffering and pain, and why it is necessary that we suffer. On my mission, I felt like it was impossible to explain to investigators why bad things happened to good people. Still it is something we all wonder and I should be grateful that the topic was addressed so aptly by the speakers participating in conference.

Micah and I have also been thinking about the whole “problem of pain” issue. I have noticed that in my own dealings with pain, it has been my first instinct to do everything I can to distract myself from pain, in any way possible. Whether it’s listening to music, or watching a movie, reading, or making something, pain has less of an effect on me if I can able to put my mind in a separate place.  Sleeping is the hardest thing to do for me when there is pain. There are no distractions. Still, the human body knows how to heal itself and once sleep is possible, it is one of the most effective pathways back to health.

So while there is no amount real pain in my life right now (besides backaches and some trouble sleeping) I know it is going to play a part of my future, and it’s helpful when I can remember that there are ways to deal with pain, and a reason behind it.

Something I’d love to distract myself with: