Monday, February 25, 2013

Vinegar Taffy

It was Sunday afternoon and I needed a sugar fix.  We are trying to go two weeks between Winco intervals, and there wasn't a lot from which to choose.  So I made vinegar taffy, after the recipe that Dan-o gave me, that I think he got from his grandma:

Vinegar Taffy:

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1 T. corn syrup

Stir vinegar and water together.  Boil all ingredients together with lid on pan until sides of pan have been washed free of any sugar crystals.  Boil on medium until it forms a hard ball when put in cold water (about 272 degrees on Taylor metal thermometer).  Cool in buttered pie tin, turn sides in once, then stretch with buttered fingers until opaque.

 I lacked the candy thermometer but remember Dan-o teaching me what hard ball meant, and when it reached that point, the boys helped me pull it.

 It was good and fun and reminded me of train watching in junior high and high school.  Once, we made taffy at Dan-o's, watched a movie, and then went out to do doughnuts in the snow.   The police pulled us over and interrogated us, one by one, to make sure our stories aligned.

When he interrogated me in the snow, about 30 feet from the cars, he said, "What did you guys do tonight?"

I'm like, "Well, we watched a movie--no wait, first, we made taffy, and then watched a movie, and then we did some doughnuts and then you pulled us over."

He launched into some lecture about hitting garbage cans and then fleeing.  I denied doing so, but he was still skeptical.  He called our parents and Dan-o's dad showed up first and said, "Boys will be boys."

Then Hobble's dad came and was like, "I got people stealing lumber off my lots every day and you're worried about these kids doing doughnuts?  These are good kids.  And the lack of tread on the back tires?  This is a front wheel drive car."

Then my dad showed up and he was very displeased but didn't say much.  I had several run-ins with the Utah police, but they were for benign things.  Once, I was spraying the weeds at Dad's office.  The police pulled over and asked, in a real stern tone,

"What are you doing?"

"Spraying for broad-leafed weeds."

"What are you using?"  Again, the tone.

"2,4 dimethylamine salt."

"Two four, what?  What is that stuff?"


"Ah, weed-b-gone.  And you get that, uh, you get that, uh, at, uh, where do you get it?"

"I get this at IFA but you can get it at Wal-mart."

"Oh.  The grass looks nice.  Just getting into landscaping myself.  Have a nice day!"  He stomped on the gas and took off in the crown vic.

Good grief.   Woulda been better if he had started out, "You know, this yard always looks nice.  How do you keep it up?"  See, easy.  I think they interrogated me about using diazinon, too.  Eh, whatev.

So anyway, the taffy was good.  Last night, though, Kira woke us up after having vomited all over herself and her bedsheets.  We bathed her and then put her to bed with us, and then Scott complained about a tummy ache and barfed too.  Woof.  I can't stand the smell of vomit.  Probably some food poisoning.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Morgan and the Christmas Bear

A couple of months late.... For Christmas we took the kids on a train ride. Danny, the biggest kid, and Scott like trains. I found a deal on groupon and we decided to give it a whirl for a christmas themed train ride. Morgan and the Christmas Bear (or something like that) is a book about a girl who lost her bear. Turns out the bear becomes life-size and alive. The cast did a great job and there was a lot of entertainment of singing, Morgan, the bear, Santa Claus, cookies and hot chocolate. The kids had lots of room to roam around and we all had a great time! The best part was Kira very seriously telling the characters where the lost bear was. She wanted them to solve the mystery. Great fun!
Afterwards we met up with Seth, Bec and their adorable kids at the Sacramento Train musuem. They were in Sacramento the same day so it worked out perfectly. It was so great seeing them. I love walking around downtown sacramento but it was soooo cold that day so the musuem was the perfect retreat from the cold. Always a fun time. Wish we lived closer!

Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Week

This year I posted some thoughts on facebook to spread awareness for CHD Awareness Week (FEb.7-14). Day 1 of CHD awareness week (Feb.7-14). 1 in 100 babies are born with some type of heart condition. Spreading awareness is the first step to increasing support and blessing the lives of thousands of kids and adults who live with a my Tyler.

Day 2: Grateful for the surgeons, doctors, nurses, researchers, social workers, child life specialists, nutritionists and therapists. They helped beat the odds more than once for Tyler. They dedicate their lives to blessing heart kids and their families. They see loss, yet continue to care. They untangle lines, administer meds, explain things 100 times if needed, find better methods, give hope, comfort and support. Words can't express our gratitude.

Day 3: While Tyler is doing well, their isn't a day that goes by that we don't think about his heart friends who have lost their fight with HLHS. Their lives were too short. They will not be forgotten. Kylie earned her wings this week as she awaited a new heart. Love and prayers to her family during this difficult time! Help spread awareness!
Nearly 2x as many children die from CHD's each year than from all forms of childhood cancer combined. Spread Awareness!
Day 4: I was told to terminate my pregnancy several times at 26/27 weeks. When I said no, I was told that I didn't understand the severity and that most in my situation terminate. I want to spread awareness that a CHD doesn't mean your life will not be whole. In many ways my son lives a more full life because of his heart. Everyday is seen as a gift. I am thankful for everyone I have crossed paths with, both angels and survivors, who have taught me the real meaning of living a full life.

When you are told your baby has a heart defect you are surrounded with questions, uncertainty and fear of the unknown. In time, the fear and lost dreams are replaced with peace and new dreams. There isn't a day that goes by that I am not grateful for Tyler and his special heart. It truly has taught me so many wonderful life lessons, blessed my lives with heart kids and moms and made me grateful for all the medical professionals that help improve the lives of others. We are blessed!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Scott's birthday party

 Scott finally got the birthday party he has been talking about for two years.  Last year, Tyler was in the hospital so Scott didn't get any party.  This year, he invited over a bunch of kids for pizza, cake, and a movie.

Another one of Pop's masterpieces.

 I'm pretty stoked about this lot of 12 month clothes we got from craigslist.

 Movie night was pretty loud, even though they sat pretty quietly to watch Hotel Transylvania. The TV has a built-in DVD player and the audio output doesn't have a strong signal, so they had the PIONEER at half power.   He got a bunch of gifts.  Thanks, everyone, for making Scott's 7th birthday a success!