Saturday, October 30, 2010

Primary Program happiness

Dawson and Haydon did very well saying their parts in the church Primary Program on Sunday. They both memorized them and spoke so clearly. In every children's program there are some characters. There was the little guy who almost ate the microphone at the pulpit,the start over a couple of times reciter, the mega-volume child and of the course the little shy one who couldn't remember a single word when he looked out at the congregation in absolute shock.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Working on a book review in Jamaica

Welcome to Monster Fest 2010. We continue the October celebration of books past and present that are sure to haunt your dreams. The recently released paperback “The Doomsday key” by James Rollins is a frightful beginning for our festival. What could be more terrifying than genetically altered crops? Toss in world domination conspiracies, the plague, religious relics, the Celts and the Norwegians and you’ve got a truly strange brew.

“The Doomsday Key” is the sixth book in the Sigma Force action series and definitely one of the best. It isn’t necessary to read the previous books but after reading this one you will be tempted to go back and read the series in order. The first few chapters reestablish the characters before the adventure begins so a little patience is required – but then it’s a fast paced ride.

Commander Gray Pierce and his team must race against the clock to solve an ancient riddle that prophesies the end of the world. There seems to be a link between the deaths of a famous geneticist, a Vatican archaeologist and a Senator’s son when they are found branded with the same ancient pagan cross symbol. There is also some mysterious connection between the ancient Doomsday Book and a recent genetic crop research project. The team splits up to follow leads in Norway and the British Isles. In both locations motorcycle chases, snowmobile adventures, explosions and fires continually threaten the lives of the good guys.

Rollins is Michael Crichton and Dan Brown rolled into one. He combines modern scientific ethical dilemmas with historical religious mysteries. I like the generous amount of pages spent on explaining peat bogs, for example. You can feel better about wasting time reading an adventure book when you come away with random trivial knowledge that has absolutely no practical application.

Did I mention the black mummified finger? That alone is a qualifier for a Monster Fest book selection. The wonderful Michele Richings will be reviewing her choice for creepy literature as the official guest reviewer for the next two weeks and I expect her choices will be equally nightmarish.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wedding shower for Michelle

Michelle and my nephew Michael are getting married in November. We have a tradition of a family shower and here are a couple pics from the shower I did on Saturday. Thanks Cheri for taking pictures since I was too busy to do it.Lori (future mom-in-law) made delicious minestrone soup and Tyfani (future cousin) brought her famous homemade rolls - we are working hard in the kitchen and the lovely bride is sitting nearby visiting with one of our girls. Little Roman is watching standing next to his mom.

Since the weather was cold and rainy I tried something new for our refreshments. A steamer bar. I purchased a cocoa-latte machine and guests made their own steamers or flavored hot cocoa from the recipes sitting on the counter.Recipes included Coconut Tres Leches,Mexican Hot Cocoa, and Timberline Cocoa. We mixed in chocolate syrup, or caramel or coconut milk and then topped with whip cream and sprinkled with crushed toffee, cinnamon, or marshmallows or cocoa shavings.Very yummy with pumpkin tarts and donut holes. And of course our take-home gift was a bag of M&Ms since they are Michael and Michelle...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cruise pictures - to torture everyone

We had the most wonderful dinner partners. Phil and Terry entertained us with their stories about Greece (where Phil is from) and New York (where Terry is from). He introduced himself as a retired jockey, horse trainer who fixed races! We introduced ourselves as the boring Balzottis from Utah. They were celebrating their 41st anniversary and still in love. We were lucky to spend the week with them!

We had a singing Maitre D'named Konstantine who seriously sounded like Frank Sinatra. He and the waiters serenaded us every night and danced for us.

Since we don't buy pics on the cruise we have our waiter do it. Ok, not that great.

The night after we got home Mark put this towel creation and a chocolate on my pillow. Almost like being on the cruise again - so funny. That's why I love him!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The turkey that got away

This is a bad picture of the huge wild turkey leaving my backyard being chased by a little hawk. I couldn't believe the hawk, which perched on a tree branch 10 feet outside my back door really thought he could catch a turkey. If I had his optimistic attitude I would have tried harder to catch it for my Thanksgiving feast!

Some people shouldn't write to columnists

I find this funny!

I know it's hard to read, but all moms and future moms should try.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dawson's winning goal

Last game of the season, the score is 0 to 0 and just before the whistle blows to end the game Dawson scores the winning, and only goal of the game!