Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Well, to catch you up, Casey is traveling again- going to Kansas this time. Not so far away but it is a really busy case and it keeps him hopping. I am seeing the last my Secretary days- I turned in my two weeks and my last day is May 5th. Then Casey and I are heading out to Utah for the St. George triathlon! At this point I still don't have a bike for my triathlon but Casey and I are still looking and keeping our fingers crossed. I went to a bike shop to get measured the other day and they were really helpful in teaching me what to look for in a bike for myself. Today I did the biking and running portion in 1 1/2 hours and I felt really good afterward so I think I will be able to add the swimming with no problem.
I did decide to do Pampered Chef- I have my first show tomorrow (Thursday) and I'm really excited for it. I hope it turns out well. I am expecting about 10 people which I think will be a good amount. I got my New Consultant kit full of products a couple of weeks ago and I had a blast- I spent at least two hours playing with everything and reading all of the recipes and care instructions that are included with them. I'm really excited to be able to show them to other people.
Last Saturday Casey and I made the most AMAZING cinnamon rolls. It was a recipe for the bread maker though so when I figure out how to translate it to be made without one- I will post here. :-)
So, I really wanted to buy a big professional camera to take all our pictures and to shoot some of the wildlife around here- but I'm now giving up that hope in exchange for a new laptop! Then Casey and I will both have one and mine will double as our home desktop which I am super excited for since our desktop has been acting up lately.
Well, that is about all that is new here- just surviving and taking life one day at a time. I hope you all had a Happy Easter!
Monday, March 9, 2009
So Saturday we had it all planned out- we got up early, made yummy waffles and we were just sitting down to breakfast when I got a reminder text about a big stake enrichment activity from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. that day. I couldn't believe I had forgotten! The Relief Society has been reminding us for about 3 weeks! But I weighed my options and was thinking about things that had been going on in our lives and I decided to stick with our original plan and I'm so glad I did. We got all packed up and rode our mountain bikes 8 or 9 miles to the trailhead and then did the 7.5 mile trail. Casey was really awesome- very encouraging and helpful, he was super supportive and gave me tips and demonstrations so I could learn how to handle trail riding better. We had an absolute blast together and I think it was just what we needed.
We were planning on getting Greek for lunch at this place, Ali Baba's. Casey went there for lunch one day with his team and really liked it so we've been trying to go; it turns out that the only day they don't serve lunch is on Saturdays!!!! So we settled for some leftovers in the fridge and Casey ran errands with me which ALWAYS makes them go by faster and they are always more fun. Casey also got a cute haircut but I didn't get a picture of it so I'll have to take one when he gets home. We ended up going to Five Guys Burgers with some friends for dinner. It wasn't the greatest hamburger place- but really not too bad- the fries were disappointing though. For dessert we walked to a little gelato place in the same shopping area- a first for Casey and I. It was good- I'm not quite sure what makes it different from ice cream. As far as I can tell it is milk based and doesn't contain gelatin although the name might make you think otherwise. I guess the main difference is that it has less butterfat than ice cream which makes it melt faster. I think I liked it more than Casey did, although I do agree that the amount of cookie dough chunks in our chocolate chip cookie dough was highly disappointing. :-)
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
1. When cooking pasta- you do not need to add oil or salt to the water. Salt will give it a little flavor- but usually you are just going to cover the noodles with a yummy sauce anyway. If you don't want your noodles to stick- putting oil in the water is not the way to do it. All that does is make it harder for the sauce to stick to the noodles and sauce will make them less sticky anyway. If you are using pasta not covered in sauce or you are saving leftover noodles and don't want them to be a hard clump in the fridge- add a little bit of oil after the noodles have been drained and are back in the pot- then stir it around with a big spoon to coat them. They will not stick together but its also possible that nothing else will stick to them either.
2. When cooking- you do not need to use expensive extra fine virgin oil, regular cheap olive oil will do just fine. Everyone wants to eat healthier and olive oil is one of the healthiest oils we can have in our diet, so it is understandable why everyone wants to buy the very expensive extra virgin olive oil and it can be worth your money- if used wisely.
Olive oil is rich in polyphenols, antioxidants and lots of other big words that most of us don't know. These big words have health benefits like lowering cholesterol, protecting cells against heart disease and cancer and can help slow aging. Whether olive oil is extra virgin, virgin or 100% olive oil depends on how many pressings the olives have gone through. Extra Virgin oil is made from the first pressing of olive oil and contains a higher portion of plant extracts- that is why it is healthier and, of course, more expensive. It is best to save this kind of oil for use in foods that will not be exposed to high heat. The compounds that make this oil so healthy will break down when exposed to high temperatures and what you are left with is pretty much the same as the cheap, basic 100% olive oil- so why not use that kind to begin with? Save the expensive stuff for salad dressings and Italian dinner night (imitate Macaroni Grill and pour some Extra Virgin in a dish, grind up some fresh cracked pepper and use it as a dip for warm chewy bread. Then you can savor the flavor of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and you get all of the nutrients that you pay for.)
If you don't want the strong taste of olive oil in a dish that you are making- try canola oil. It has better fats than vegetable oil (mostly monounsaturated which are healthy fats- the body can easily break them down for nutrients) and has a very neutral flavor. It is great for things like browines or other sweets where the olive oil taste might be undesirable or make it taste a little off. I use a canola and vegetable oil blend so that I still get the richness of vegetable oil- but its not so bad for you.
Well that's my diatribe! :-) I hope it was educational and helpful to you. If you guys like what you read then I can keep posting tips like these as I continue learning through my classes. And if you have any cooking questions I would love to learn more and answer your questions.
All my love and Good Eating!
Monday, February 16, 2009
by Russell Kelfer
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, "Wait."
"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.
"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign.
"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply."
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting for what?"
He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.
"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.
"You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.
"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.
"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.
"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait."
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Here is the dates: March 2nd they pick 50 applicants for the "short-list." People vote on the person that they think would be best for the job. Queensland Tourism picks 10 people, plus the person who got the most votes, the "wild card candidate," and flies them out May 3rd for additional interviews, psychological and physical testing etc. May 6th they announce who they have chosen to the be island caretaker of Hamilton Island!
Now, there are over 14,000 applicants right now and there are still 9 more days for people to submit applications. But Casey and I have put together a really good video and I'm really hopeful. I would LOVE to go. If I was chosen Casey would try to transfer to the BCG office in Australia.
We made two videos, the first one we submitted but I really wasn't pleased with it. Casey and I talked about it and decided that it wasn't up to "Casey-Courtney standard" so we made a new one that is much better. We are in the process of submitting it to the the site now. I've posted both of them for you guys to see.
Let me know what you guys think- meanwhile, I hope you have fun exploring our website and seeing what we are up to.
Love you all so much!
~Courtney and Casey