Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chow Mein

     Today I learned how to cook a delicious noodle chow mein for four hundred students and around twenty adults.  I felt a little over whelmed when my trainer, teacher, head cook, M looked at me while cooking and informed me that next time I was on my own. Scary!  M has been so patient with me these past six months, I have been very blessed when it comes to learning how to function in a school kitchen with such great ladies to work with.  We are constantly dancing to latin music on the radio. All except K, she won't dance.
     Nevertheless, the chow mein turned out great and I just might try the recipe at home.  Smaller quantities of course.

You take:
     6 heads of purple cabbage
     2 lg. bags of baby carrots
     6 stalks of celery
     10 lg. onions
     One heavy duty food processor with 3 different slicers

Cook in extra large wok with Canola oil.
Divide the veggies into thirds since you won't be able to cook all at once.
In three extra large cake pans, chop two large bags of Chinese noodles in each pan.
Mix the veggies evenly and stir with four cups of soy/teriyaki sauce in each pan as well.
Steam for one hour and vwa la!
It's not only yummy but healthy and colorful.

Serve with orange chicken and the kids will love it!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


      Yesterday at work, while I was laying breadsticks out on baking sheets, I heard Principle Smith's voice come over the loud speaker.  He was announcing that there was a lockdown in our school and it was not a drill.  My manager leaped from her chair in her office and came running out with a very concerned look on her face.  She informed me and the two other cooks that we needed to lock all the doors including the serving windows. I had never experienced a lockdown before, could this really be happening?  When you work in a school kitchen there are many things to lock up.  So we frantically ran around making sure we were safe and sharing plans in case the gunmen should break in.  K, my favorite cook, suggested we hide in the freezer, but I disagreed. One of my weekly jobs is to put frozen boxes away and I wear a coat, hat, and gloves (we would probably freeze to death).  Then out of nowhere, K decided to text her husband and tell him that she loved him.  I started to think about what if this was my last day on earth.  My kids have been taken care of throughout the years.  Pretty soon, K's granddaughters started texting from Payson saying that they loved her.  Next thing you know we saw a few policemen out walking around the school grounds.  K decided to text her hubby again to inform him that the swat team had just surrounded the building.
     While we were waiting and trying to work, my manager told us that one of the younger students at breakfast told her he had found a hand gun on the way to school.  Something wasn't right.  I started to envision the young boy playing in his dad's gun closet that wasn't locked up.  The boy decided to put the gun in his backpack, but chickened out on the way to school and just left the gun by the school field.
     Thirty minutes later the Principal came back on the loud speaker and told us the lockdown was over.  He sent an email to all teachers and staff explaining the situation.  Students would receive a note to take home at the end of the day.
     We were safe (sigh). Lunch was ready to begin and the school secretary showed up to get the computer ready to log in student ID numbers.  She informed us that there were two guns in the road, one near the school playground, and another in a crosswalk. A mother who was driving her kids to school found it.
     When I got home from work, J#2 told me that she had heard that Sunset View Elementary had been  on the news.  Apparently, some man had been cleaning out his truck and had put his guns on top of the truck.  When it came time for him to go to work, he forgot to take the guns off his truck and then he just happend to drive by an elementary school where they fell.  Thank goodness no one was hurt.
Lunch was finally served and we didn't even burn the food.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Elder Alaska

My Elder Carlson has been gone for almost nineteen months.  I really miss him sometimes.  I miss his laugh and going on hikes with him.  He seems pretty happy where he's at so I try not to spoil things.
Right now he's a district leader over missionaries in Wasilla Alaska.  That's where Sarah Palin and her family live.  We watched all of her Alaska shows last year and recorded them.

Summers are beautiful there but this winter the news said it's been very brutal.  Some how way up north is getting all the snow and we continue to have spring like weather.  Go figure.

Missionaries in Alaska do a lot of service activities.  Some of them involve hard labor.  Doesn't bother me, hard work is good for the soul!

Monday, January 16, 2012


I finally did it! I went and signed up at a gym today.  I haven't been on a running treadmill in years.  When I say years I'm talking at least over twenty.  I was surprised how good I felt.  My husband told me to take it easy at first so I did.  I wanted to run longer but there is always tomorrow.  The cool thing was that there were aides in the room who will help you if you have any questions.  My aides name was Trudy and she was so nice and cheerful.  Trudy showed me how to work the machines and she put me on a exercise plan with a chart so I could keep track of what I do.  I felt so pampered that my life seems kind of exciting again.

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 9, 2012


     Last week we went to the Provo School District Reflections program to watch Jewels play the musical composition she had written.  Come to find out, Reflections has been going on for over forty years.  I don't remember Reflections being promoted at my older kids former elementary school as much as it is at Amelia Earhart Elementary. Maybe I wasn't as motivated  about it back then.  For the past four years, Jewels has wanted to participate in most of the categories including literature, 3D art, dance, and this year in music.

     Around September, she came to me and asked what kind of music I thought she should compose.  The theme was, "Diversity Means".  Since Jewels grew up playing with stuffed animals instead of dolls, I mentioned to her that maybe she could write something about animals.  Well, it just so happened a few weeks later, we had a wood pecker on top of our house pecking away one morning.  Finally, I told the girls to go scare the bird away so it wouldn't put a hole in our roof.  Jewels came back into the house with excitement saying that she had never seen a wood pecker before.  She told me there were actually two of them, one being very colorful.  I told her the colorful one was probably a male. Why is it that most of the males in the animal kingdom are more colorful and pretty than the females?  Anyway, Jewels was inspired from that day on.  Not only did she come up with music about a wood pecker, but she also added a donkey, tiger, owl, and kangaroo.

     See if you can hear them:

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Trip Down Memory Lane

   A week before Thanksgiving, three friends from high school days wanted to meet for lunch at Thanksgiving Point.  One now lives in Virginia and was visiting family in Utah.  The other two live in Northern Utah.  It's been a while since we've seen each other, so I was looking forward to catching up.  I enjoyed every minute hearing about their families and talking about some of the things we did together after high school graduation.  Three of us went back east to be nannies, which was fun to remember.  Two of us actually lived in the same neighborhood and spent our days off together.  We lived close to New York City and we went to the Big Apple one day a week from June to December.  Taking the train and going to the city was quite the adventure.  My favorite outing was going to  a broadway play and eating at some yummy restaurant afterwards.  The two plays I enjoyed the most were, "Annie"and "The King and I", with the one and only Yul Brynner.  He was much older so we took our binoculars so we could see up close.  I remember Yul having a lot of makeup on.
     I learned to tip everywhere we went, including the lady in the restroom who handed you a paper towel after washing your hands.  You always gave the taxi driver a tip and one time we took a flight shuttle to Washington D.C. and we tipped the man who helped us with our luggage to our hotel room.  It was great when you got on the plane you would hand the stewardess a ticket after you sat down that you purchased at the airport. (kind of like taking a train ride) I remember on  our flight back to LaGuardia Airport flying over New York City at night and being in awe at all the lights.
     One night coming to my nanny home after a day full of shopping and sight seeing in the big city we noticed all the houses and buildings were dark.  When I got home to the family I worked for their lights were off and candles were everywhere.  The power had shut down every where including NYC.  It is now known as the, "Big Black Out of 1977".  Stores were looted and some people were out of control.  I'm just glad we made it home safe!
     Here is a picture right after high school graduation when we spent a weekend at the Homestead up in Heber City.  A few days after two of us flew back east for six months, one got married a year later and the other two went to rival universities.  I'm the one wearing the goofy sun glasses.