Tuesday, 26 February 2008

The Life of Pi

My sister Andrea and I have ventured to start a book club. Online. On our blogs. Currently, there is only her and me in it. Really, we're okay with that. But if anyone else would like to join us, or just join in for a particular book, or just join in the conversation--feel free. Our actual plan includes reading the book and then writing an essay about it, mostly as a way to keep those mental skills that have been tarnishing since college sharp.

The Life of Pi is our first book--as you may have guessed. Here's a link to the summary. Happy reading!

Oh, the link to Andrea's blog is on the sidebar--Life at 169. You can read about her take on all of this there.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Une Raclette

Leo and I (and the kids) were treated to a Alpine tradition the other day. It was absolutely delicious!!! We had une raclette. All of us ate and ate and ate; even Ana with her perpetual dislike of all foods that aren't beans and rice had nothing bad to say. This is raclette cheese. I think if I had the money I would easily convert to buying fancy, imported cheeses. It just tastes so, so much better. This Christmas Leo and I were at Whole Foods quite by accident and ate almost a whole tray full of different imported cheeses ourselves. (Silly store for having no one by their sample trays to shoo us away!)
This is basically the meal we had, boiled potatoes with grilled raclette cheese on top. Words fail me on how such a simple meal can be so good.
We didn't have one of these, but this is the device they use in Europe to melt the cheese. It's kind of like fondue, everyone has their own little pan to melt cheese on. My brother-in-law, Brett, went on his mission to Switzerland and he said this was the meal the elders always hoped they'd be served.

In other news, I'm sick. Blah. I hate how being sick slows you down. Leo was sick all last week and recovered the day I started to get sick. He goes back to work tomorrow, but at least he was around to baby me one day. My honey is the sweetest man around--I swear!

I just love how Elena's growing up now. She's so fun!!! She pulls me and Leo by our hands all the time to dance around and play ring-around-the-rosies. She loves to dance whenever music is on (mostly be twirling around in a circle till she's dizzy.) And Ana has been doing really good too. Well, besides issues on Saturday where I had a total out-of-body experience and thought I was my mother when Ana was cleaning the bathroom and I ran my fingers around the bathtub to check if she had cleaned it all and then making her re-clean the bathroom three more times before I was satisfied. Wow. It's so weird how quickly that hits you. I remember so vividly being on Ana's end of things and thinking how demanding and irrational my mother was. (I guess it did hit extremely suddenly in our case though!) She did give a great FHE lesson tonight and helped Dad make mashed potatoes. We spent quite a while convincing her that they are called mashed potatoes. She was determined that they are called smashed potatoes. Hee. Hee. She is also adjusting to the new rule that she has to answer Leo in Spanish. Always before Leo would speak to her in Spanish and she'd answer back in English. Now, we decided to change that and make her practice speaking Spanish more. I kind of *secretly* dislike it though, then I can't understand as much. I guess I really better buckle down and start learning Spanish.

Now I have to share one more amusing story (at least to me) that I just thought of. At the adult stake conference this past weekend a speaker had a heavy Spanish accent, and so Leo and were guessing throughout his talk where he was from. (We were listening too!) Anyway, Leo started out by guessing that if he was from Mexico, it had to be southern Mexico. And then he said, well, maybe he's from Spain. Which I disagreed with because he didn't sound at all like our friend Azucena and her lispy accent. Anyway, we went up to him afterwards and asked him where he was from, and yep, he was from Colombia! Hee. Hee. I laughed so hard at Leo for not recognizing his accent. Granted, he was from southern Colombia, a place called Popayan. Him and his wife are both doctors and were very nice. He gave a very impressive talk about faith, by the way.

Friday, 22 February 2008

The Indignation

Ana and Leo were upset that I didn't post seperate pictures of the cars they wanted. So here they are.This is Ana's Lamborghini. She liked how the doors open.
And Leo's Lotus Elise. He's spent the last week mooning over this car on the internet. He even was reading a person't blog which was all about someone's Lotus. Goofy guy. But I still love him.
Okay, while looking up how to spell Lamborghini, I found this car, and decided I wanted it, instead of the Carrera. It's a 1963 Lamborghini 350GTV. Poor Leo, his wife and kids have expensive tastes. Hee. Hee.

My Adorable Children

Here's Elena in her cute dress from Thailand (my friend Jenny lent it to me). I love it!)
Ana looking adorable as always.
This is Ana dressed up in some fancy duds. Here comes the next Selma Hayak.
Putting on a pose!
Leo comforting Elena after her traumatic picture taking experience. (I didn't post the pictures of her flopping on the ground and crying after I didn't let her have the camera).

A few more picts from the auto show.

So here's the car I told Leo I wanted from the auto show, it's a Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo. You know, just a pocket change car.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Missing My Honey

Some tests I took to pass the time.

Take this test!
You're brown, a credible, stable color that's reminiscent of fine wood, rich leather, and wistful melancholy. Most likely, you're a logical, practical person ruled more by your head than your heart. With your inquisitive mind and insatiable curiosity, you're probably a great problem solver. And you always gather all of the facts before coming to a timely, informed decision. Easily intrigued, you're constantly finding new ways to challenge your mind, whether it's by reading the newspaper, playing a trivia game, or composing a piece of music. Brown is an impartial, neutral color, which means you tend to see the difference between fact and opinion easily and are open to many points of view. Trustworthy and steady, you really are a brown at heart.

Take this test!
People who stand out as middle children due to their even-tempered natures are often kind and calm naturally without making an effort. They likely radiate tranquility and feel at peace with themselves most of the time. They may be skillful at controlling themselves when they feel upset or disappointed. When it comes to positive emotions, they take pleasure in sharing them with family and friends. They probably enjoy social activities in which friends and family get together. Because of their good tempers, they may be frequently sought out by others to help resolve interpersonal conflicts.

Take this test!
You make sure your children follow household rules. Research suggests that children raised by parents who use this style of parenting often grow up to have good levels of self-esteem and a strong personal, ethical code.

But without the proper checks on your parenting style, your kids could start to exhibit aggressive behavior.

Take this test!
Calm individuals generally have a positive outlook on life and a fairly low energy level. This lower energy level allows them to fully internalize and experience their feelings of optimism before moving on to the next thing. For calm individuals, positive emotions are paired with an internal state of peaceful reflection and contemplation.

Take this test!
Just because it's the windy city doesn't mean it's not sunny. And like Chicago, you're a warm and welcoming person who's sincere and down-to-earth. You're a great friend who has both feet on the ground and a steady grip on reality.

Like your city style match, you've got a lot going for you — smarts, sweetness, and, of course, good taste. Lucky for you, Chicago's got plenty to keep you busy and delight your senses, from blues clubs to great restaurants to the Magnificent Mile to Oprah. So pack your bags. Your sensible and sweet style has found its perfect match!
That was repulsive! I don't think it was accurate at all!

What you want out of work:
To effectively and efficiently produce quality work through your highly orderly approach.

Your colleagues think of you as:
Meticulous, neat, and organized.

What you have to offer:
Excellent organizational skills that ensure that your work is timely, of high quality, and as close to perfect as possible.

Diplomatic. Your leadership style can be characterized as Diplomatic. You are patient and poised and exude a sense of calm. When you're in a leadership role, you are tactful in your interactions and your relaxed disposition makes others feel assured in your presence.
Composed. You are more Composed than Passionate when it comes to your work personality. You have a calm temperament about you and function in a relaxed manner. As someone who does not get highly emotional about bothersome work issues, people tend to rely on your calming presence.

Organizational skills. You tend to be meticulous and planned and have an exceptional ability to keep your work orderly – a fact that is not lost on your fellow co-workers. You are diligent about being thorough and are exceptionally good with details and deadlines.

Independent. You show strength in your ability to be an Independent worker. While you no doubt can be quite effective working on a team, you feel much more productive when you have the freedom to do things on your own. You simply enjoy the autonomy that independent work entails.

Monday, 18 February 2008

La Gala de Valentino

This is what has been keeping me busy the last three weeks--it was well worth it though!! I was partially in charge of a Valentine's dance for our ward (congregation) and it ended up just completely wearing me out. Not so worn out though, that I didn't dance like crazy the night of. :)

Here's the invitations we handed out:

To the Lords and Ladies of the house:
Thy presence is humbly requested on February Fifteenth at Seven in the evening at the Grand Ballroom in
the Arlington Heights Chapel for
La Gala de Valentino.
For thine diversion dancing, delicious confections, and other
entertainment of the most amusing sort will be provided.
Gentlemen may adorn themselves with ties, bowties, cravats, or other neck stranglement accoutrements; although a top hat is not required. Ladies, clothe thyselves in lavish finery including gloves, tiaras, feathers, boas, diamonds and pearls, and perhaps prom, wedding or other enchanting gowns. If a more understated elegance is desired, that is, of course, acceptable as well.
**Pray thee do not o'erlook procuring a sitter for thy children for a nursery shall not be provided.

You can tell just from that how stellar our dance was. (Thanks Andrea and Tim for the help on them!) We checked out artwork (Monet, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, etc.) from the library and decorated the entire gym like a gallery and hung lights and had a few artificial trees with lights on them as well. It looked fabulous! The food was delicious as you can see. We laughed so hard taking pictures with all my vintage hats--see they're not a total waste of money! Everyone that came had their picture taken and will get a copy.Thomas was really the one in charge. And Jenny helped me set up and made the fabulous trifles. Kayli and Brett came up for the auto show, and Kayli was our fabulous photographer for the event. She also wore my wedding dress. And here's some more friends:Michael didn't listen when I told him that was a women's hat, neither did he listen when I told him it wasn't on straight. Hee. Hee.
I love parties!

The Chicago Auto Show

This is what Leo and Ana did all day Saturday. They went with my brother-in-law Brett and his son Jethro, and our friends Randle, Thomas, and his son William.

Leo said Ana seemed to have a fun time, besides a few episodes of tears over the things she didn't get to do (like a rappelling wall).
Jethro, William, and Ana
Leo definitely looks the most excited here.
They all rode on this track, which they thought was great. More fun. And some of the cars the guys were ogling. Leo now requests that we buy a Lotus Elise.
I told him as long as I could spend as much money decorating our house.