Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Merry Christmas Blog

Due to forgetfulness and the Christmas time crunch, we are doing a Christmas blog instead of our cards.

I would reinterate all of the things we have done this year, but in reality, this is a blog so most of you already know.

What I did want to write about are the things we have experienced this Christmas season and just how blessed we are by our loving Heavenly Father.

This holiday season has been bittersweet.

We are so excited to have our own little Christmas and start new traditions, but everyday we come across a slight pain of sadness from missing our families and distant friends this holiday season. From wishing we were riding a ferry down a freezing river to see some string of lights, or staying up late and playing games til we're too tired to make much sense, to getting all of the Christmas Eve preparations ready for another gathering that night...we miss you all so much.

This year, we decided to go the weekend before Christmas to the temple as a family. Though little Edana of course couldn't go inside, she loved her chance to talk about when she "has a boy and gets married in the temple". We have loved our little girl's desire to see the temple and constantly talk about the day when she gets to go in there. We hope to encourage this throughout her life and feel so blessed by the motivation a two year old can give us in going to the temple more.

Though maybe not a lot of outward changes are happening with us this year, we feel so many inward changes and how our persectives of life and our eternal goals are slowly coming into place.

Our goal this Christmas is to draw closer to the spirit and to really contemplate what a glorious holiday this is: the birth of our Savior!



"He lived a perfect life so that He could be the infinite sacrifice, the unblemished Lamb promised from the foundation of the world. He suffered the agony of the guilt of our sins and all the sins of the children of Heavenly Father that we might be forgiven and go home clean. He gave us that gift at a price we cannot fathom. It was a gift He did not need for Himself; He was without the need for forgiveness." -President Henry B. Eyring, Dec. 2009 Ensign.






May we all remember what this holiday is and feel the pure love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that He holds for all of us.



Merry Christmas!!! We love you all so much.

Love, The Colorado Eyrings









Monday, November 16, 2009

Swap blog..

I've seen other blogs do this, so I thought I'd give it a try.
I know that there are alot of you out there that are so creative and talented with homemade items, so I wanted to try starting up a swap blog: everyone makes an item and then swaps it with a new person.
To see all the details of this swap, check out the new blog
http://craftersbakersmakersunite.blogspot.com/

Remember: you can make ANYTHING. If you don't do crafts but bake, bake some cookies! If you don't do either of those but design awesome things, try designing that person's blog or burn a cd and design the cover! As long as some part of it is handmade you can join in the fun and in turn receive awesome homemade stuff!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fall Favorites..

Sooo many pictures. Sooo little time.
Here are some of our fall favs:Edana wanting to go to school.

Two Healthy lizards. Finally!
those girls got bangs!

pumpkin carving














Edana's new style. (mom, dad, she insisted on the pink hair...and no i did not dye it.)









two new cakes that were made




Our birthday boy





























Airforce v. Army





daddy's little girl

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Banana Jelly Bean






that is what Edana was for halloween this year...






Probably the cutest Jelly bean I've ever seen!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

MARATHON





ok. It's time to do this.

I will admit, I have been putting this off for sometime, mostly because of some internal struggles on the outcome of the marathon. For the last week I've been saying, "At least I finished!" but truthfully, I felt like a loser inside. For two years I have
been training and hurting over this run and because of my silly pride I ended up finishing with mostly older folks, that were just cruising by me.














But I've come to realization that I DID IT! Yes, maybe not the speed I wanted but I DID IT!







So now, I'll just toot my little horn.


Toot, toot, toot, toot.....















The run itself was gorgeous. When I was able to focus on what was around me, the view was incredible. To pass by actual volcanoes is a very humbling thing. Yes, they are inactive, but still humbling.


When it comes to marathons, I've decided the commrodory is what it's all about. To be up at 4 o'clock in the morning with thousands of other people just as crazy as you, if not crazier (one guy was doing his 20th st. george run!), and to instantly have something in common with everyone surrounding you. Noone was rude or grumpy from the cold. To see so many strangers huddled around campfires, enjoying one another's company...it was great. It gave me the sense of belonging...even if it was my first time.



I'm not going to go into mile by mile details, but just to inform those that are curious, St. George Marathon is NOT all down hill. I've decided this is some cruel joke that people like to tell first runners...maybe it's just to give us hope.?? Luckily, the biggest hill is near the beginning, so it's over with fairly quick.

Some of the things I learned along the run:

  • Gu is still the top gag-inducing product one can take for supplements on runs (yes, this is a comparison to the jelly beans, gel balls, and power bars)













  • Orange slices are literally little slices of heaven

  • Peeing in the brush really doesn't cover anything. (at that point I really didn't even care)

  • running backwards intimidates those behind you, even if you reassure them it makes the knees feel better













  • You can scream out any random word and people will cheer along with you


  • wrapping a knee that already hurts will do nothing


  • 26.2 miles is a LONG way

I am so overwhelmingly grateful that I was able to do this. That despite my pride, my Heavenly Father answered my prayer and sent me a little running buddy (thankyou Neshelle, wherever you are!). I am so lucky for all of the love and support of my family. I can't believe that they would drive all the way to St. George to cheer me on. It meant so much to me and I probably really didn't convey that, that day. I love you, my family. Look at all of the beautiful people that came to cheer me on.










Thankyou also to everyone that wanted to be there but couldn't. I am so grateful for just how many people were cheering me on. Thankyou so much for your support and love.

And thankyou, Papa Jones.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fall Food

Some awesome recipes to warm a fall afternoon.
This first recipe I fell across while looking for an awesome grape jelly recipe at the library. We recently were lucky enough to go grape-picking at the Pinkal's house. After this visit, I am determined to one day have my own beautiful garden and become self-sufficent. The Pinkal's really are an inspiration to me and if you haven't met them, you really should.
Grape and Walnut Schiacciata

from Outstanding in the field by Jim Denevan

  • 3/4 c. warm water

  • 1 pkg. (2tsp) yeast (I use Saf yeast. it speeds up the rising time)

  • 1 tsp + 1 Tb. sugar

  • 1/3 c. olive oil, plus extra for brushing

  • 2 c. flour (I used unbleached, all purpose)

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2 cups stemmed small seedless black or red grapes

  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts (not a fan of walnuts, so I used sliced almonds)

Combine the water, yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in a small bowl. Whisk briefly to combine and set aside for 5-10min. until foamy. Whisk in 1/3 cup of the olive oil.


Whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and gradually pour the yeast mixture, using your hands or fork to incorporate the flour little by little. When the dough begins to come together, add half of the grapes and mix with your hands to incorporate them into the dough. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for 5 min. until smooth, breaking the skins of some of the grapes as you knead.*NOTE: The book did not state or even elude to just how sticky this process becomes, so I would stress on folding the grapes into the dough as much as you can...seriously.* If grapes roll out of dough, knead the dough without them and then work them in quickly at the end.



Alternatively, use an electric mixer with the dough hook attachment. After the flour and salt are whisked together, beat on low and gradually add the yeast mixture. When the dough comes together, add half of the grapes. Turn the mixer to med-low speed and mix until smooth, about 2 min.



For the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Brush the top with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside until the dough has doubled in size, 1 1/2 - 2 hours. (Not only did I use Saf yeast, but I also microwaved a rice bag, wrapped it in plastic, oiled it, and set it with the dough, cutting the rise time to around 30 min!)


Brush a 13x9in baking sheet (or casserole dish) GENEROUSLY with oil, including sides. Press the dough into the prepared pan. Sprinkle walnuts (or almonds) and remaining cup of grapes on top and press down to flatten into dough. Brush top with oil and set aside to rise for additional 30 min.


While dough is rising, preheat oven to 425 F. Sprinkle remaining 1 Tb. sugar over the top of dough and bake for 20 min.


Reduce temperature to 350F and bake schiacciata for an additional 10 min., til golden brown. Let cool for 5 min. in the pan, then turn out onto a cool rack or wooden board and serve warm.



This next recipe was taught to me by my friend Tamara, out in Norfolk. She cooks like you wouldn't believe and her philosphy with cooking was to not be intimidated by recipes and to just try. I'll be adding some other recipes I learned from her in the future, like her awesome pie crusts (yum!), but for now on to something entirely too good to pass up.



French Onion Soup

from Tamara (serves 6-8)

  • 4 large sweet onions, peeled and cut into rings

  • 1/4 c. butter

  • around 4 Tb. flour

  • 6 c. beef stock ( I use the beef boulion granules, so 6 c. water with 6 tsp granules)

  • 2 c. water

  • 3/4 c. creamed sherry ( you can use plain sherry, but I'd suggest creamed. Sooo much better! thankyou, Tim!)

  • around 2 tsp salt, plus whatever to taste

  • french bread loaf, or baguette
  • mozzerella cheese, shredded or sliced

Melt the butter in a large soup pot, over medium heat. Add the onion rings and stir to coat rings in the melted butter. This is the longest part. The longer your onions are cooked and browned, the better your soup will taste. In the beginning, your onions will fill the pot like this


at around an hour of cooking they should look like this.



When your onions are nicely sauteed down and brown, add the flour and stir together til you get a oatmeal-like consistency.


Add your beef broth, water, salt and sherry. Bring to a boil and keep at a low boil for about 4-5 min, stirring occasionally. If you can still see some flour bits, whisk the soup a little til they break up. At this point, taste and add more salt if you'd like.


Slice your bread and place one slice into every soup bowl. Place your cheese ontop of the bread and then ladle the soup overtop, melting the cheese.






If you have oven proof bowls, ladle the soup in first, place the bread slice ontop of the soup, topped with the cheese and broil til your cheese is nice and melted.






Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Fall Craft

With two extra kids in the mornings for the next few days, I decided that we needed some activities. Fall activities.


I love fall. I love fall colors. I love fallen leaves. I love the chilly air on sunny days. I love it.

So, we decided to paint our own fall trees.























It's all pretty much self explanatory, so here are the pics.




Sunday, September 6, 2009

Later Gator!

Yesterday, it occurred to me that we are not your typical family. While most enjoy Labor day weekend sleeping in, grilling hot dogs, and watching football, we were rushing around at 5 o'clock in the morning trying our hardest to be on time for Larry's important class: Gator wrestling.














Yes. Gator as in ALLIGATOR.
Colorado Gator's is a working farm filled with all sorts of animals. From ostriches, donkeys, goats, sheep, to rattlesnakes, pythons, bearded dragons, and of course...gators.













The farm originally was intended for the tilapia farm that it was and still is today. The fact that it is now a gator farm is by accident: the gators started out being a "fish disposal" for the bad tilapia they had. Now, after years of rescuing alligators and other reptiles from careless pet owners, the gator farm is not only a tilipia farm, but also an alligator reserve.

Upon entering the gator farm, tourists can be led to believe they have stepped into a theme park based off of a Louisianan Crocodile Dundee. Deceased gators skins are everywhere and the men working there have a similar resemblance to this 80's hero. Along with this awesome decor were pictures of other crazy individuals riding on alligators backs, one of the famous youtube girl that had gotten bitten in the face while there, and pictures of men that had actually lost their fingers by these gators because of carelessness.



As crazy as this gator wrestling class is, we actually were not the only ones insane. Three other guys, all jumpy with nerves, were there just to take this class.











This was their instructor, Jay.

The only way I can describe Jay is by likening him to a Tarzan raised by gators. He lives and breathes gators.



















Not only did we get to witness this man surf a 600lb gator, but while the wrestling students and wives stood behind a 6ft wire fence, examining a batch of gators the guys had to wrangle next, Jay flung his body completely over the fence, landed on a gator's back, held onto it while being drug 10ft and completely submerged in the alligator infested water, tied a rope around the gators neck, then stood up a declared, "That's the best way to do it. You have to ambush them before they know your there." Though he comes off at first as careless, he has great respect for these gators of his. He quietly admitted that the first time he was bit by a gator was when he was 5 years old!





This guy is crazy but in a very respectful kind of way. The only reason he lets others do this wrestling class is not for all fun, but alot of it is actually to help him catch and medically treat these animals.

















While there, we actually were able to witness a gator that needed surgery to remove a cyst. It was surreal, crazy, and disgusting to witness it, but Larry loved it!
I love my husband. I love the fact that I have never seen him so nervous while on our way to Gator farm. I love that out of all the big guys wrestling, he was always the first one to volunteer to catch a gator. I love that while I cringed and walked away for all of the medical procedures, he was happily sitting on the gator's back, watching intensely. I love that while all of the other guys screamed the first time they pick up their gators, he just bent over and picked one up.



















video




The boys all start out with small 3 ft. long gators, a 100lb alligator snapping turtle,
videoand then worked their way up to a 600lb/ 11-12ft long gator rightly name, Kamikaze. I will never be able to get over the heartpounding realization that my husband was wrangling a gator that was three times his size!





While one would think this excursion would be a once-in-a-life-time thing, Larry is already planning to go back. Because of the fact that these men were some of the few to actually wrestle Kamikaze, they were told that come next August they were more than welcomed to be the wranglers for 2010's Gator Fest: a gator-like rodeo where men (and occasionally women) will compete to see who can catch the largest, as well as the most, gators. I have never seen Larry smile so big.

For other videos of Larry's excursion, click on this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OD3orZHtCg and then you should be able to look up our other videos from this one!