Sunday, March 25, 2012

Jaded at the Gym

I started getting exhausted by going to the gym every evening.  My job during the day involves a lot of physical work.  By the time I felt strong enough to start my routine at night I just didn't feel the excitement like I did the first month.  I also learned that you need to drink a lot of liquids when the body sweats.  I knew that already but apparently I wasn't drinking enough.  After over loading on Powerade, lemon water and a little Apple Cider Vinegar my insides felt better.
Three weeks ago I changed.  I now go early in the morning and what a difference.  I lost my exercise partner since she has to go to school early.  Yes it's hard to get out from under warm covers, but once I get to the gym I feel more strength and energy then I do at night.  Isn't that interesting.  The body feels lighter because of little food, and you feel more invigorated because of rest.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Jake !

 Elder Carlson turns twenty-one tomorrow.  We probably won't be seeing him that much when he gets home from Alaska this July.  I thought I would share stories about him growing up, only I'll refer to him as Jake.

     When Jake was a baby and a little boy he was always so cheerful and happy.  He loved being outside and being apart of nature.  If we ever started getting cabin fever, outside we would go no matter the season.  When we visited grandparents either in Salt Lake or Southern Utah, Jake would say,"let's go on an adventure mom", usually meaning, let's go on a walk about.  

     As Jake got older I noticed he really liked being around his peers.  His younger sister was only fourteen months younger and she also liked following J around.  She was much quieter and a good listener.  I have a few video's of them playing make believe and enjoying one another's company.  Jake would tell his sister what to say and she didn't seem to mind.  As a parent it was fun to watch and observe.

     When he turned eight he was really excited to be a part of Cub Scouts. I was one of the parent volunteers who went to Cub Scout Day Camp.   I  really thought we were in boy heaven.  The camp was so well organized and the boys had a blast.  Jake seemed so thrilled to be with a bunch of boys his age and doing what boys like to do most.  Shooting, biking, rafting, crafting and just having fun.

Birthday parties were a big deal in our family.  Simple but fun.  Once again as a parent it was such a delight to watch my kids feel so much joy being around their friends celebrating a special day.

     Twice a year we had the opportunity to go to Kanab, Utah and spend a few weeks with my mom and step dad.  Jake always seemed so relaxed and happy.  My parents lived out away from town so one evening we were picnicking by a small lake about a mile from the house.  Jake wanted to go back to the house on his own.  I think he was around ten and it was starting to get dark.  Later he told me on the way back he got scared when we were out of sight, so he knelt down and prayed that he would find the house and not get lost.  I thought that was pretty neat for a ten year old.

Halloween has also been a favorite holiday in our family.  One year when Jake got to school in his Star Wars costume he was excited that Mr. Z was wearing the same costume.

                GW always liked taking a group photo before going trick or treating.

     Jake tried a lot of different sports growing up.  Thanks to the Provo City sports program we were able to afford and try different kinds of athletic events.  When he was about seven playing on the soccer team,  he didn't seem to care where the ball went. He just wanted to run around and visit with all the boys out in the field. We tried to tell him where the ball was going but he would just smile and wave to us.
When he turned eleven he informed us that he wanted to try out for the baseball draft.  I was surprised since he hadn't played pitch ball since he was six.  Jake didn't care he wanted to try out since some of his friends played baseball.  Come to find out the team that took first place the year before had last pick of the draft so Jake got picked to be on their team.  He always played left field and showed good sportsmanship.  The second year with the same team they managed to win State Championship which was fun to watch.  Even though Jac didn't get to play much towards the final games he was glad for the experience.

     After going through all the levels at the city swimming pool, his last teacher recommend that I sign him up with the Provo Peaks Youth Swim Team.  He was thirteen at the time and had no idea that it meant swimming laps every morning for two hours.  When I picked Jake up the first day he was not happy with me.  I told him to give it a week and then he could decide.  He ended up staying for two summers which I thought was great.
     From age seven to eighteen Jake had the same piano teacher, Mike Carson.  He challenged J to practice hard.  It was great having live music all those years.  Mike has become a good friend and example.  We still feel very blessed to have him in our home each week teaching Jake's younger sisters.

     For two summers Jake had his own lawn mowing business.  We tried to go with him when the lawn mower needed the car and trailer for work out of the neighborhood.  Some of the jobs were pretty tough in the hot sun.  He also liked being involved with the Provo High Marching Band.  Jake liked beating on the drums and we were able to attend many parades in the Utah Valley area.

     In this particular picture we took Jake's youngest sister to Disneyland and the ocean.  She had never been before and it was our fourth trip to California.  We really like going there and being with Jake is always fun.  His sisters adore him and they cried like babies when he left on his mission. Ok maybe I did too.

Jake's last two years of high school were spent at UCAS where he made new friends again. He still keeps in contact with them and probably will for years to come. He also worked as a janitor at a near by school until he left on his mission.

Our Stake went on a pioneer trek in Wyoming and Jake really enjoyed it.  He loved pulling the handcart and never seemed to get tired.  He met new people in his family group and had neat spiritual experiences.

Jake was the first Carlson in the family to get his Eagle Scout award.  That was a little more difficult accomplishment but we made it.

     Now he's up in cold Alaska, trying to share the gospel light where ever he goes.  During the winter there isn't much sunshine because it only stays up for a short time.  He hasn't complained much and he's looking forward to turning twenty-one!  Here he is on a P-day after catching some salmon. yum

Elder Carlson you have been a wonderful son and brother.  Keep up the good work and we'll see ya in four months.

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March and GW

     Twenty-two years ago this month I met this handsome guy.  It was the year 1990.  He had been at the home of a friend in West Bountiful when my brother came knocking at the door to ask whether his friend knew the whereabouts of a neighbor next door. My brother and this handsome guy looked at each other during the conversation, and when the friend finished, this handsome guy asked my brother if he was Kent Whitney.  They had a conversation and then my brother left. The friend looked bewildered and was told that Kent had lived next door long before the handsome guy had met his friend in high school. In fact, said the handsome guy to his friend, he had a sister who I never asked out. About then, the handsome guy bounded down the steps, ran out to my brother’s car at the curb and eventually talked my brother into giving up my phone number. After getting my phone number, he called and told me, "Marci, this is a voice from your past."  Then he introduced himself as Gary Carlson.  All I could remember were the wild Carlson brothers who lived close to our apartment when my family first moved to Utah around 1966.  Mrs. Carlson let us build a spook alley in their basement with sheets and blankets.
   I don't remember Gary being there, but my brothers and his younger brothers liked to hang out.  I only lived in the Colonial Garden Apartment Complex for two years. Then my family moved to the north side of Bountiful.  Later during my teenage years, I remember seeing a blond haired, tanned guy riding around Bountiful on a motor cycle. I think he smiled and said hi to me once. I knew he was a Carlson, I just wasn't sure which one.

Gary and I dated for three months after that first phone call in March.  Here we are standing next to my step dad and foster brother in Kanab, Utah.  I don't know why my mom wrote our names on our shirts.

We got married June 16th, 1990.
Nine months and two days later we had this little guy J#1, also during the month of March.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tamale Pie

My favorite school lunch last month was Tamale Pie.  It didn't have meat with it but you could always add hamburger or sausage.
My manager printed out the recipe for thirteen people instead of four-hundred.

Combine 2 cups of masa, 1 tsp baking powder, and 3/4 tsp salt, and blend together.
Add in 2 tsp of olive oil and beat to combine thoroughly.
Gradually add broth, (which is 1 tsp vegetable base and 10oz of boiling water),
scraping the bowl frequently.
The batter will be stiff, add 1/2 cup of cold water to thin it to the consistency of buttercream frosting.
The batter should not be sticky.  It won't spread, you will need to pat it on top of veggies.

Saute garlic and all the yummy veggies in 2 tsp olive oil until they begin to caramelize.
The veggies we used in our pie:
Zucchini squash, red onion, red pepper, and fresh mushrooms all chopped up.  Next you add spices, which include 2 tsp chili powder, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp oregano, and 1 tsp black pepper. (School lunches aren't aloud to use salt, so I personally would add 1 tsp of salt).
Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup water, then add  1# 10 can of black beans and heat through.
Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup of any kind of cheese you like.

Spread 1/2 masa filling in bottom about 1 1/2 inch deep full size pan, and chill in fridge.
After the masa is chilled add veggies then spread remaining masa mix over the top.
Add shredded cheese on top and cover with foil.
Bake at 350 for 40 to 50 minutes.

The younger grades were not interested in trying the pie, but the older grades seemed to like it.
So yummy!