Monday, March 30, 2009

Now I have to name it!

I bought an Oregon Pioneer Sourdough Starter at Nichols Garden Nursery (a local rare seed and herb company) last week and activated it. This is the same kind of "starter used by early Oregon pioneers, in the 1850's. This starter was taken to the Alaska Gold Rush of 1898 and became the basis of the legendary sourdough starters up north. The more you use this "starter" and keep renewing it, the better it becomes (or at least, that's what the package says.)

I made my first batch of "hotcakes" with it yesterday for lunch and they were a big hit. I have big plans to make many other sourdough recipes.

My friend, Jacqueline, asked me "did you name it yet?" I had no idea I was supposed to name it! I guess it IS a living thing, and if I'm going to name a hula hoop, I should certainly name my sourdough I asked the kids to help come up with some names.

Here is the list:

Herman (that was Ben, I guess he's naming the sourdough after the hermit crab we killed last week)
Fred (everything is named "Fred" at our's a very long story, probably long enough for an entire post. If this one wins, I'll let you in on it, otherwise, I'll spare you the gory details)
Zeek (totally random "Pioneer" sounding name)
Guido (Since this is the name Steve "wanted" to name our oldest child, you can only guess where this one came from)

So, please go over to the poll and vote for the name of our newest member of the family and I'll try to take better care of it than I did the hermit crabs ;)

Sunday, March 29, 2009


We love to explore the tidal pools on the Oregon Coast. You'll find many bigger and better tidal pools up and down the coast, but we love the rocks at Nye Beach in Newport. We look for sea stars, hermit crabs, and anemones. This time, Abby chose to stay up at the room while the boys and I went down at low tide to climb the rocks and look for beach life. Ben and I found lots of anemones and hermit crabs, Kraig and Reed found a big sea star (sometimes the rocks are covered, but this time, they seemed a little scarce.) Ben and I decided to take a couple of hermit crabs up to the room to show Abs (completely ignoring the "take only pictures and leave only footprints" wisdom.) We found a paper cup and picked up two little ones (because, to be honest, the big ones freak me out a little.) Ben named them Herman and Mr. Krabs (imagine that.) The plan, was to bring them back in the morning.
When we woke up and looked in the bucket, they were both "claws up." Ooops, that was a mistake....sorry Herman....sorry Mr. Krabs, we promise not to do that ever again. Your death will not be in vain.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Ride on the Magic Dune Bus

We spent a couple of days on the Oregon Coast with grandma and grandpa...our first stop was in Florence. Massive sand dunes characterize the area around Florence. Located on the northern edge of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (ODNRA), Florence is best known for the hiking, bird watching, horse back and dune buggy riding activities available in the dunes. We scheduled a tour on a Dune Bus at Sandland (a dune buggy only WAY bigger!) We were in the very back seats and I think we got the best ride on the bus...I would say it was a cross between a tour bus and a ride at Magic Mountain. My advice, DRESS WARM!!! It was stinking cold! It was so fun!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How often do you put BBQ and BRAVO in the same sentence?

My mom and dad are visiting us from Idaho and they like to eat out while they're here...I try not to take it too personally (but they think I make weird food.) Tonight, we went to a new BBQ place in downtown Albany called Bo-Mack's. It is a family run restaurant "Mama" and her 7 (yes, I said SEVEN) children are out front, and I suspect that their dad is hiding somewhere in the back. The food is delicious, no where near'll find very few thin people frequenting this place of business, but to die for none the less. The thing that is really special about Bo-Mack's, is the impromptu a cappella harmonies by the Knebel family.

This is how it works...if it's not crazy busy (so I'm not so sure you'd get this on a Friday or Saturday night) and some one rings the cowbell, the Knebel "children" assemble up front and sing a beautifully harmonized gospel song. They are open to requests, tonight we heard Amazing Grace and let me tell you, it was quite amazing. We had to hear one more before we left and they sang Brother and Sister.

All I have to say is WOW! Great food, a very delightful family, and to top it all off, if you're lucky, a beautiful song. I just have to say two thumbs WAY up for the Knebel family and their fabulous new restaurant!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Run Like a Girl

I don't think I've kept it a secret that I HATE running, I WANT to like it, but I don't. Steve bribed me a couple of summers ago to run with him for two months. He offered me a new pair of jeans. So, I ran for my two months, bought my hot boutique jeans on him (one size smaller,) and ditched him. Of course, now, the jeans don't fit because I quit running. I know it's great cardio, I just really hate my life while I'm doing it. Of course, it doesn't help that Steve is running backward and around me in circles because I'm so slow.

Unfortunately, I'm surrounded by runners. Steve and Kraig, our friends Joel and Lisa, Sarah, Julene, the list goes on and on. So, I feel a lot of social pressure to run.

Last fall, Lisa started doing a hard sell for me to do the Nike Women's race with her in San Francisco and I kept telling her "you keep forgetting, I HATE running." Then Lisa got pregnant, so I thought I was off the hook. I should have known that Lisa would give birth in July and plan to run a full marathon in October....crazy girl. Crazy and inspiring....OK, I'll give this a second look for 2010. So, I told Lisa I would seriously consider it for next year.

Lisa sent me a novice training schedule, if I started this week (which I am,) I SHOULD be prepared to run a full marathon in October...My plan is to be ready a year from October, but first, I should learn to like running, so that means I need to start now.

Today was the first day of the schedule, I had to run 1 1/2 miles. I did it, I ran the whole time and wasn't totally dying by the end, but I'm SLOW....more than a 12 minute mile. Tomorrow is 3 miles (double trouble,) we'll see how it goes.

I almost hate to blog this, because it makes me seem a little more committed. I won't commit to the full marathon, I may just do the half. But for now, I'm going to learn to LIKE to run like a girl.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Oh, the Drama!

Last night, Steve and I were lying in bed (and we thought everyone else was in bed too,) and I say to Steve, "do you hear someone crying?" He says, "you deal with it, I have to work tomorrow," (thanks honey.) So I get up and sure enough, Abby is sitting on her bed SOBBING big LOUD, (for our benefit, I'm sure) HICCUPING SOBS. She is my drama queen and I seriously have a hard time with this...I'm probably not a very good girl mom. So I ask, "what's going on?"

Me: "Why do you think that?"

Abby: "I just tried to log on and I couldn't find them!" (hiccup)

Me: "What were you doing out of bed?"


So by this time, I'm a little annoyed....I seriously got out of bed for this?

So I inform her that we would deal with it in the morning, AND if she didn't be quiet and go to sleep, she would be folding laundry out in the family room where I wouldn't have to listen to her.

By the way, the Webkinz are NOT dead...I don't know if she mistyped something, or if maybe you can't log on to the Webkinz site after a certain time (which would be a real bonus, but I doubt it.) But when I logged on for her this morning, all six critters were alive and well. SHEESH!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Find your niche in specialty wards

I thought this was a fun thing to share...ENJOY!

Robert Kirby Tribune columnist – Salt Lake Tribune

Most Sunday mornings, you'll find me on a pew in the Rosecrest 1st Ward chapel. It's where I'm supposed to go to church. Lucky for me, it's also where I want to go. Technically, Mormons don't have a choice. For church, we're bound by the geography of the ward boundary. We worship where we live.

The only time Mormons can switch wards without also contacting a Realtor is when we attend specialty wards. For example, I went to a Spanish-speaking ward in West Jordan for a while.
Specialty wards allow members with specific common needs to worship together and support each other in their exclusive part of the Lord's vineyard. There are (or have been) lots of LDS specialty wards, including singles wards, college wards, deaf wards, ethnic wards and nudist wards.

OK, I made up that last one. There are even seasonal "snowbird wards" in places where Mormon RV owners congregate.

I talked it over with my friend (despite a restraining order) Ken Wallentine. We think the specialty-ward idea needs to be improved on in our ever-changing and increasingly divided culture.

For example, there needs to be a late ward, a ward Mormons who are perpetually late for church could attend and not feel bad about dragging their herd in 15 minutes late. The only problem with a late ward would be showing up late for a meeting that was supposed to start late in the first place. Eventually, you would end up with a ward that ran out of time before it started. "Welcome to the Tardy 3rd Ward, brothers and sisters. We will close now by singing hymn No.. 145."

Given the high birthrate among Mormons, I thought about the need for maternity wards. Except that we already have those. They're called married student wards.

A Star Trek ward might do well. The bishop would preside from "the bridge" instead of the stand. High-council Sunday would be referred to as a "Klingon Sunday."

Harley riders congregate to the exclusion of just about everyone else. Why not an LDS biker ward? White shirts and neckties go well with black leather.

Ken really wants to attend a concealed-weapons ward. He says church would be a lot more interesting if real personal risks were involved in disagreeing with a lesson..

There could be a texting ward for teenagers. Bear your testimony with your thumb. In 25 years, they'll all belong to carpal-tunnel wards.

At the less-active ward, maybe there'll be a meeting and maybe there won't.

Testimony meeting in an anger-management ward might be interesting. Nobody's going to sleep through, "HEY! I KNOW THE CHURCH IS TRUE, STUPID!"

A big hit would be the Multi Level Marketing ward, also known as a "Gadianton robber ward." With all the financial scamming that goes on in this culture, it would be nice to have them all in one place for a three-hour block weekly.

I think a Democrat ward is a good idea, although in Utah the best we could probably hope for is a Democrat branch.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Bad Surprise

I'm so disappointed...we have loved the Pix Theater in downtown Albany since it was renovated and opened. It is an old fashioned, one screen theater (you can still hear the movie in the bathroom, just like back when we were kids.) We often wait for movies to get to the Pix rather than see them at the multiplex because it feels like a better family atmosphere. We love to take our whole family and I noticed just the other day that it has gone "21 and over," which means they are now serving alcohol. So, even though they will have matinee shows where kids will be welcome, all of their evening showings will be adults only. This is one revenue generating avenue that will back fire with the Farrar family and I am saddened by this.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Our Golden Boy

Happy Birthday Kraig! 17 on the 17th...his "golden birthday."
I swear that he was just born yesterday, and then I blinked and he's become this amazing young man. Quiet and bright, but funny...quoting the best movie line at just the right moment. Honoring his Aaronic Priesthood in every way. So kind to the youngest brother...he will be a great dad some day.

It's hard to believe that it was really 17 years ago that he was born. Kraig was a breech baby born by c-section and had a perfect round head with a fluff of red hair on top. I thought I'd given birth to a leprechaun...which was pretty fitting, considering that it was St. Patrick's Day.

Kraig has chosen a birthday menu that is going to make all of us have a belly ache:
Waffles with Strawberries, REAL maple syrup, and Ice Cream

little smokies wrapped in bacon
and THE cake (dark chocolate, triple layer, ganache filled, caramel frosting, with a layer of ganache over that)

I'm just hoping no one throws up tonight ;)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hoop Babies

My latest order from Frogs and Pollywogs...a local toy store. I'm happy to introduce:

Pickle Juice

Bella Hoop

Snake Eyes


Hip Hoop (U of O colors)

Believer (OSU colors)

I Heart Hoops

True Blue

I name every hoop I make. At this point, it's starting to get a little challenging to come up with new names. ;) These are all "kid" hoops and "little kid" hoops, The adult and big kid hoops are a different size...I have two of those ordered for this week too. This is a great project for our family...Steve makes the hoops and helps me tape; and the kids help come up with names. Kraig figured out that if we were going to make a million dollars I would need to make 83,000 hoops this year (apparently, that AP calculus class is paying off)...Since each one takes between 30 and 60 minutes to make, I don't really see us getting rich.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Monopoly on Prayer

We have a little dilemma at our house, and I'm wondering how to handle it. Ben INSISTS on saying EVERY prayer...blessings on the food, family prayer, and FHE. No one else is getting the opportunity. We've tried negotiating with him. Sometimes we have an "opening" and "closing" prayer for blessing the food, but let's face it, that takes a lot of energy to do all the time. I keep thinking that he is going to out-grow it, but he IS the baby and I'm concluding it could go on and on. Has anyone else faced this and how do I solve it without Ben screaming and crying during each and every prayer?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Steve on a Bike

Steve has been training for a Tri-sprint...kinda a mini triathlon. It consists of a 5K run, a 12 mile bike ride, and a 800 meter swim. The running is no problem for him, but he feels a little pressure to train on the bike and in the pool.

Last night he went out with some of the hard core mountain bikers in the Ward out to the boonies north of Corvallis for a night time bike ride. Frank and Joel are the experienced bikers, Steve and Jaimy are the newbees. Boy was he moaning this was how he described it:

They started right off going up hill and Frank kept saying, "not much the top of this hill, it will flatten out." Then at the top of the hill he said "well, it will flatten out around the bend," (lie #2.) After that, he followed up with, "really, it's not much further." Steve was DYING! A little further along in the ride came Frank makes another empty promise, "it's all down hill from here." At some point (after a scary downhill flight) Steve realizes that he's having to peddle...obviously, Frank can't be trusted, because he's going up hill AGAIN!!! At the end of his first hard ride Steve says to Frank..."I don't think you should come to see me for your next temple recommend are NOT honest in your dealings with men!" :) I didn't think my husband would ever play the "Bishopric card," it must have been a REALLY hard ride.
He whined a lot, but I'm sure he'll be right back out there next week.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Special Hoops

I had the best morning! I helped the Basic Skills (Special Ed) class at Calapooia Middle School make hula hoops. Then, gave them a little lesson on using their new hoops. The kids had such a great time and were so proud of the hoops they created...I was proud of them too. They dove right in and tried every hoop trick I taught. Some got it and some didn't, but all tried with glee. Just one more reason to love my job.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood....Princess Unruly Tresses

If you have read the Rebecca Wells book... Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (not my favorite Rebecca Wells book, but fun none the less) and are dying to know your "ya-ya name" check out this link

Princess Unruly Tresses...Mine is pretty perfect don't you think?

Leave your ya-ya name as a comment

Monday, March 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Kendra

I didn't give birth to Kendra, but I'm her "other mom." In my mind's eye she is still a chatty 5 year old with a big toothy smile, long blond hair, and a sprinkle of freckles across her nose...not the 19 year old, drop dead gorgeous (inside and out,) young woman she has grown into. She is at BYU this year and I miss her.

Kendra told Sarah (her real mom) that the only thing she wanted this year for her birthday was my chocolate almond cheesecake. I was, of course, so happy to do that for her. I baked, Sarah delivered, and Kendra got her wish. Here is the recipe for the cheesecake that Kendra requests every year for her birthday.

Chocolate Almond Cheesecake (for Kendra)

9 graham crackers, crushed

1/2 cup ground almonds

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup melted butter

Combine, press into the sides and bottom of a spring form pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool


3 8oz packages of cream cheese (room temp)

1 1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup cocoa

3/4 cup sour cream

2 Tbl flour

2 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 eggs (room temp)

1/2 cup almond flavored syrup (like for coffee) or you could use almond flavored liqueur

1/2 cup chopped almonds (toasted)

In the mixer bowl, combine all ingredients (except chopped almonds) and mix on low (so as not to mix in too much air into the batter) Pour into crust, sprinkle with chopped almonds, and bake at 300 for 1 hour...turn off oven, let sit inside oven (with the door closed) for another hour. Chill for at least 2-3 hours before serving.

Happy Birthday Kendra...LOVE YOU!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The YMCA Mud Run!

Survivor Mud Run 2009
Run, wade, climb, crawl and piggyback
your way through this 2.5 mile survivor
mud course. Teams of 2 to 6 individuals
will traverse a swollen creek, a twine
low wire, a high wall, a tire course all
the while collecting clues to the finish
line puzzle. T-Shirts are included if
you register prior to the registration
deadline (Feb. 20)
Think like a SURVIVOR
and come prepared!
Date: March 7
Time: 10 am
Fee: Individuals $25 (you will be
placed on a team)
Team $20 per team member
Start recruiting your team NOW!!!

The top three placers

1st...Steve and Kraig Farrar

Joel Phair and friend Jason (sorry, I don't know Jason's last name)

3rd...Joe Wiest and Scott Beer

Good Job guys!!!! What a way to spend your Saturday!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Now it all makes sense....

1 + 1 + 1= fifth...let me explain.

1. Reed got a rash a couple weeks ago...itched like crazy. We changed our laundry soap, rewashed all his clothes. The rash ran it's course.

2. Ben had a "cold" walked around with cheeks that looked as if he had been slapped (very very rosy) for a couple of days....I kept him home from preschool.

3. Mom wakes up and thinks why do my knees, ankles, and wrists hurt so much? Did I do something in my work out that would cause that? Then I was putting lotion on my legs and asked Steve, "is that a rash?"

Then the light turned on...oh my goodness! We have FIFTH DISEASE! It's mainly a preschool disease, little kids hardly even notice that they have it. Older kids (like Reed) are more uncomfortable...Adults experience pain for WEEKS.

Then I got a pit in my stomach, because the only segment of the population for whom this could be dangerous, is pregnant women. Two of our favorite people...Joel and Lisa (aka Jolisa) are having their first baby. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to this baby, I plan to spend plenty of time rocking and snuggling him. I miss having a baby (wistful sigh.) So I started racking my brain...could we have exposed her? The main way to get it would be to share a drink, so I don't think so, but I got right on the phone to Lisa to let her know. Joel runs with my boys all the time, so he needs to make sure he doesn't share water, or anything else with them, for that matter...we need to keep baby Sheldon safe! Sheldon isn't his real name...that's just something Mason came up with and it has kinda stuck. Kinda like when Steve called Kraig Guido during my entire pregnancy ;)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Rest in Peace Gramma Damma

I got some news today that is going to CRUSH our Grandpa when he visits...Gramma Damma Donuts is no longer. Good bye 5 am trips to Corvallis to buy donuts BEFORE Seminary, we will remember the devil's food cake donuts with fondness. BUT will not miss Reed throwing up in the night because he has eaten too much junk.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Easy like Sunday Morning is an oxymoron in my world. It seems like I would be able to get it together. Steve hasn't been available for the majority of Sunday mornings for the past decade. I've been feeding, washing, and dressing our offspring before church by myself for a very long why is it still so hard?

I THINK I'm trying to be prepared...we lay out clothes (or at least, the kids say they are laid out, but someone is always foraging for a lost shoe 10 minutes before we have to leave.)

I would like us to arrive at church with everyone COMPLETELY ready (including mom,) but I usually notice something is amiss with someone once we get to church. Last Sunday, Ben was wearing one black sock and one blue sock. Reed is often tying is tie and his shoes on the way. We also regularly forget belts, have dirty faces, arrive with breakfast or toothpaste drips on church clothes, sans lipstick for mom... and the mother of all blunders was when Ben came to church wearing TWO left shoes.

This certainly doesn't contribute to peace and happiness in our family. If I have to keep trying until I get it right......YIKES! I guess they will eventually grow up and move out right?