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Friday, July 15, 2011


My parents were demanding and had high expectations of me and my brothers.  I think I've probably portrayed that in some past posts. I was working long, hard hours at home and with my dad from the time I was very young.  Growing up, I felt that I was relied on heavily to keep everything running at home.

I have discovered I should have been more like my parents in the expectation department. I think in some ways I've coddled and over-indulged my own children and injured them on certain levels because of it.  (Probably my two younger children more than the older two.)

Recently, Camille, my youngest, came to me and told me that she wanted to learn to cook.  At first I thought, "Of course you know how to cook, you've been hanging out with me in the kitchen for 17 years, certainly you've picked it up over time."  But then I realized, that the responsibilities I have given her haven't involved any of the actual 'cooking'.  She sets the table, takes out the garbage, loads and unloads the dishwasher, sets out condiments and things like that.  So in an effort to rectify my severe lack of teaching, we have embarked on a rigorous week of cooking and we've been eating well these past few days as a result.

So far Camille has made Spinach Quiche, Beef Strogonoff,  Marguerita Pizza, and Marinated Grilled Chicken all accompanied with salads, fruit and vegetables.  She asks early each day what we have ingredients to make and then decides what she would like to learn.  She doesn't want me to do any of the work, just show or tell her and allow her to do it.  She even cut all the skin, fat and gristle off the meat (a chore I hate). She wouldn't let me grate cheese or even cut up vegetables.  She wanted to do it all.  (THIS IS GREAT!)

Camille believes the things she's made so far are too simple and wants to expand to more involved and difficult dishes, so if you have any suggestions for good training meals, I could sure use some more ideas...

Monday, July 4, 2011

June in Retrospect

June 2011 was one of those know the kind...filled with fabulous things, a few less-than-fabulous things and so much stress you're not sure how you will make it through.

School ended for Camille at the end of May, but my Philosophy and Algebra classes continued every Monday and Wednesday of the entire month of June (including three papers and a test during the month).  Camille attended a cold and rainy Girl's Camp June 6-9.  She came home and had her tonsils removed on the 10th.  She had a couple of very difficult weeks of recovery and just as she was starting to feel better, I sent her out to the mailbox on the 23rd where a wasp flew out and stung her on the hand.  That poor little hand blew up like a balloon because she is so allergic to the venom.  It was quite frightening to see her hand so big for several days.

Dani's last day of teaching at Baltimore Liberation High School was June 17.  She and Kelly flew out Dulles Washington DC Airport on the 22nd of June and spent a long, grueling day in the air or sitting at various airports across the nation.  They arrived in Salt Lake that evening where Kelly's Dad took them home to Eden to spend the night.

My Mom drove up from Arizona on the 25th and my brother, Jim and his five children drove over from Colorado on the 27th.  All this traveling was in preparation of Kevin's and Lindsey's wedding in the Logan Temple on June 28.  

The 28th was a wonderful day as friends and family of the bride and groom gathered at the temple for the glorious event.  The happy couple kept us entertained with huge smiles and glowing faces as we all greeted each other afterwards and took lots of photos.  We made our way to the Coppermill Restaurant at 1:00 p.m. for a wedding luncheon and more visiting. Afterwards we took five enormous coolers over to the Food Science Building at USU to pick up 23 gallons of Aggie Ice Cream we planned to serve the next day at the open house in Pleasant View, Utah.

The ice cream was a huge hit, but the Open House did not go as planned.  It was to be held in our back yard under a giant party tent, but micro-burst winds and rains drove us into the cultural hall of the church instead.  We did our best to decorate and make it seem like we were still outside for the party.  We even took all the patio furniture and sun shade awning into the hall.  We hung the 50 Chinese lanterns from a grid-work of wire and lights we hung above the crowd and strung the lanterns from that.  It was quite attractive, but didn't quite take the sting out of the amount of work and money I put into our yard over the past couple of months.

As I stood at Diamond Rental returning the tent and trying to decide what we could rent instead to decorate a church cultural hall, I was having a full-out panic attack.  It was probably my bulging eyes, shortness of breath, and general distraught-ness which urged the girl behind the counter to reconsider the 50% restocking fee and allow us to pick out some other items to use for decorating indoors. 

We spent the next day returning all the chairs, tables, linens, lights, lanterns, torches, soda machine and a truck to all the places and people we had rented and borrowed from.  We still have a few more coolers to return and all the dishes and new equipment we purchased to find storage for.

The reception in Declo, Idaho enjoyed the perfect weather we had hoped for in Utah.  It was a lovely evening filled with well-wishers, friends and family of the bride.  As the Crouch/Ahern family drove back home and staggered into bed in the wee hours of the next morning, we were grateful to be on this side of all the festivities.

Now that July is here, and most of the guests have returned home, Rob and I are feeling blessed and grateful for the love and support we have felt from so many family members, friends, and neighbors.  Thank you everyone for making this wedding such a memorable affair.  Thank you for loving our son and new daughter-in-law and supporting them in beginning their new life together.  Thank you for traveling away from home to show that support and love to Kevin and Lindsey and to their parents. Thank you for dropping everything on Wednesday and climbing on ladders and carrying and setting up an outside wedding inside.  Thank you for staying afterwards and taking it all back down again.  We can't tell you how much it all means to us!