Jonas Brothers + Oldest Daughter = Heaven

My first guest blogger is a lovely, talented soon-to-be eleven-year-old girl. Her name is Cara. You may have seen her featured on this blog before… (Any comments from her mom will be in blue.)

This is no ordinary post. This one is about what happened on June 20, 2009 from 7 to 10 pm. My birthday present. This is about my night with the Jonas Brothers.

It all started during the school year, when my friend, Pheobe, the crazed Jonas fan, mentioned their first show of their world tour and how she had gotten tickets to it. I began to feel very jealous of Pheobe.

Ok, now skip ahead to June 19, day before the concert at the new Cowboy Stadium. I asked mom about going to the Jonas Brothers concert in San Antonio on August 13, my birthday. My mom said they were all sold out. But then she said she would check on EBay. (I really did not want to drive to San Antonio...) Sure enough, there they were - Jonas Brothers tickets. Except that these were tickets to the concert tomorrow night!!! And they only cost $60.00 for 2!! (This was a STEAL! They were tickets on the floor! When we got them the face value of the ticket was $85 for one...)

Next night. We are on the road and it is packed so my dad dropped my mom and I off on the side of the road by the new Cowboys stadium, we took a couple of pictures in front of it, and walked in. Inside we looked over the edge and were amazed at what we saw. Did I mention that we got floor seats?!
When we got to our seats, Honor Society started playing. Then about 30 to 60 minutes later, Jordin Sparks sang about 4 songs. (No Air, Tattoo, One Step at a Time.)

Then, we waited 1 & ½ to 2 hours for the Jonas Brothers to perform. (I don't think it was really that long but it felt like it...) When they came on stage everyone was screaming. We stayed in our seats for about 20 minutes and then moved closer so we could see better.
This was a cool rotating stage they played on.
The two above pictures were taken of the jumbo-tron screen. The one below was with my camera of the stage. We were close! (I didn't bring my camera but now wish I had to get better pics for Cara...)

The back of someone's t-shirt...They sang, in order, Paranoid, Poison Ivy, Live to Party, Play My Music, That’s Just the Way We Roll, Fly With Me, A Little Bit Longer, Much Better, Year 3000, Tonight, Gotta Find You, Turn Right, When You Look Me In The Eyes, Sweet Caroline, Hold On, BB Good, World War Three, Battlefield(Sang with Jordin Sparks) (AWESOME!), SOS, Lovebug (my favorite with cool waterfall action...), Before the Storm (Sang with big surpise guest Miley Cyrus), and Burning Up. In the middle, they showed a video of Joe Jonas dancing to Beyonce’s song Single Ladies in a leotard! The video is at the end of the post. At the end, my dad came and picked us up around 10:50 pm. We got home at 12:00 pm. (It took us FOREVER to get out of the parking lot and drive less than 4 miles to our house...) But I had had the best night of my life.
Thanks Mom! You are the BEST!


Fruit & Veggie Co-op

My ward started a fruit and vegetable co-op several months ago. The cost is $20 and they make a run every other week up to the Dallas Farmer's Market. You never know what you're gonna get but it's always a fun surprise.

So what does $20 get you this week??? When it's all boxed up like this it feels like Christmas morning opening presents...

Here it is all pulled out and sorted...
...tons of apples, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, cherries, red peppers, corn, cantaloupe, lettuce and a pineapple. If anyone local out there wants in on the co-op, it's open to anyone. The more, the merrier!
I'm pretty excited about the pineapple because of this handy unitasker I got at the most recent Pampered Chef party I went to. It's called a pineapple wedger.It's just like an apple wedger but larger and makes fresh pineapple SO, SO, SO easy! It cores and slices the pineapple for you! I pink, puffy heart it so much! It says it is also useful cutting cucumbers and pears but I haven't tried that yet...
With the red peppers I'm gonna make this tasty dish I found on this blog awhile ago. It is delicious and makes a TON. Seriously. If you're taking dinner to someone this recipe will make a 9x13 for them, a 9x13 for you and some to take to that single sister you visit teach as well.


12 oz. grilled chicken breast (marinate in olive oil and garlic salt overnight, then grill on barbecue for best flavor)

½ pack thick bacon

48 oz. (3 boxes) penne pasta

2 large red bell peppers- diced

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ tsp paprika

Gratinata Sauce:

2 tsp butter

2 tsp chopped garlic

1 cup Marsala wine OR 1/3 cup apple juice + 2 tbsp red wine vinegar +enough chicken broth to equal 1 cup

1 tsp Dijon or dry mustard

1 tsp salt

1 tsp chopped rosemary

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

8 cups heavy cream


Saute garlic in butter in large pan. Add Marsala wine, mustard, salt, rosemary, cayenne pepper, and heavy cream. Let it reduce down or the sauce will be too runny. (Learned the hard way...)Cook pasta according to directions. Cook bacon. Slice chicken into medium-bite size pieces.Combine sauce, cooked pasta, diced chicken, cooked bacon, bell peppers, Parmesan cheese, and paprika and mix thoroughly. Spread in pans. Top with chopped rosemary and mozzarella cheese.
Bake @ 475 for 10 minutes. If frozen, thaw in refrigerator the day of. Cover with foil and bake @ 375 for 1 hour. Remove foil during the last 15 minutes.

Number Of Servings: Yields one 8×8 and two 9×13 casserole dishes.Preparation Time: More than an hour


A Special Surprise

Funny Story.

We were out for an ice cream on Wednesday night and got a phone call from Bryan's dad who is on a mission in Oakland, CA.

"Where are you guys? I called your house...". Bryan answered that we were just driving around and the next reply was, "Good, then you can go pick up a stranded sister missionary from the airport!"

Sister Galli was on her way home to Argentina when her flight was delayed getting into Dallas (sound familiar?) and she missed her connecting flight to Buenos Aires. The airline offered her a hotel room since they only have one flight a day to Argentina and the soonest she'd leave was the next evening.

Apparently she was distraught at the idea of an entire day by herself in a hotel and tried to reach her mission president (in a mtg.), his wife (no answer), and finally the temple visitor's center where she got Sister Boyer on the phone. ☺

So what do you do with a sister missionary for a whole day? The girls were initially a tad distressed over the whole no TV, radio, Wii thing but got over it pretty quickly...

Here's a rundown of the day:

  • Make homemade waffles and fresh fruit for breakfast
  • Look at Sister Galli's missionary farewell book with Grandma & Grandpa's picture and letter in it
  • Wash Sister Galli's clothes (since she'll have to wear them all day today and tomorrow too...)
  • Ballet lessons from Sister Galli
  • Take Sister Galli to the park and have swinging contests
  • Spanish lessons from Sister Galli
  • Go to lunch at On the Border (because they don't have Mexican food in Argentina. Who knew?)
  • Play Pictureka and Disney Trivial Pursuit with Sister Galli
  • Sing every song learned in Pre-K for Sister Galli
  • and finally, take her back to the airport for her flight back to her family!

It was a fun day and a great experience for the girls and I!!


San Diego Part 2

On Saturday we went to the harbor to take a tour of the USS Midway. It is a Naval air craft carrier that is docked at the Broadway pier in downtown less than a mile from our hotel. The Midway was launched in the 40's and continued to serve the Navy all the way up to and including Desert Storm. It was decommissioned in 1992 and then was turned into a museum that opened to the public in 2004.

It's hard to get a full-length picture of the USS Midway. It's that big. Visitors can tour the ships bridge, flight deck, hangar deck, mess deck, primary flight control, Tactical Flag Command Center, enlisted and junior officer quarters, the captain's and admiral's quarters, sickbay and an engine room. Additionally, over 25 restored WW2 and postwar naval aircraft are on display in the hangar and on the flight deck including the Top Gun Plane and the type of Huey my dad used to fly. We took the self-guided audio tour that's provided and stopped at 60 different points of interest.

It was actually very intriguing and educational and I learned that while my father was stationed in Korea in 1976? he flew touch-and-go's off the USS Midway. Very cool tidbit! If you're really interested there is a website with tons of photos here.

This is the view from the flight deck of the Midway in the foreground is the statue called "Unconditional Surrender" (lol) of the famous photograph of a kiss in Times Square on V-J Day in 1945 when WWII ended. You can see how large it is with the tiny people surrounding it. In the background is the Coronado Bridge that we took to our next stop.
We went on to Coronado Island for lunch and a trip to the beach. We ate at a Mexican place called Azul Coronado where Bryan enjoyed the swordfish tacos. He says they were delicious... Any time I see a sign that says Gelato, you can bet I'm gonna stop... :)
Another friend I teach with suggested we check out the Hotel del Coronado. It is a beautiful beach resort on this island off the San Diego Bay. It's got these red turrets that are gorgeous. We walked all the way around this hotel to get the big picture. Shops, weddings, surfing, multi-pedal bicycles... you name it. Pretty darn cool.

We drove down the coast past the Naval Amphibious Base to get to a little less crowded area and stopped at the Silver Strand Beach. It was awesome to walk into the Pacific Ocean, see the seaweed wash up onto the shore and feel the powerful undertow.

After all the walking at the zoo and miles traveling through the USS Midway and the walking all over Coronado Island, I was beat. Dead dog tired. So my honey took me to see this...

So, so, so good! It was an awesome way to end an awesome trip! Our flight home was much less traumatic, the girls were happy to see us and sleeping in my own bed again never felt so good.


San Diego Part 1

So, after such a stinky start to our vacation, Bryan and I got some much needed rest and began Day Two of our trip.

On a hot tip from our niece, Amanda, to have breakfast at Richard Walker's Pancake House on Front Street.

This is what Bryan got - Applepancake. It's more like an apple pie you eat for breakfast. I'm not kidding when I tell you that I spent most of last night researching how to make this at home because it was GOOD! Seriously. It kind of deflates when you dig in but the effect of the puff pancake was awesome.

Next we headed to the San Diego Zoo. It is huge. Just huge. We got there and took a 40-minute zoo bus tour to get a feel for the place. 40 minutes. That's big. They have a sky tram that takes you from one side of the zoo to the other and we ended up riding it three times. Here are a few of my favorite pictures of some of the zoo life.

We spent about six hours at the zoo and probably walked ten miles and finished it off with the sea lion show. Here's a clip of the little girl who was lucky enough to get a kiss from the sea lion!

After the zoo, we changed at the hotel and went to the San Diego Temple . It was gorgeous on the inside and outside. Very, very cool. There's an atrium at the top and a grand staircase that is unbelievable! By the way, my skirt was STILL wet from our airline fiasco the day before... :)

After the temple session we found a German restarant (again - thank you GPS!) called Kaiserhof Restaurant. I had the Schnitzel with spaetzle, cucumber salad, bread and green beans and Bryan got the Rouladen and red cabbage. I was in heaven!! Yum!


Every Day's an Adventure

If you know my dad at all you know all about this 'thing' he does. He does it every time - without fail... You say, "Hi! How are you today?" and he says, "Every day's an adventure!" Really. Every time. It's actually quite endearing.

Today Bryan & I had an adventure of the boring and frustrating kind.

Back in February we were planning to fly to Utah to attend Bryan's parent's mission farewell. We went to a Boy Scout spaghetti dinner/silent auction and bid on 2 Southwest roundtrip tickets to the destination of your choice. Obviously we won the tickets. Then we discovered that the Boyer's wanted the girls to come too. (Of course they did - who wouldn't want to see those two cuties???) So we ended up driving the whirlwind trek to Utah in March and ended up with 2 unused tickets to anywhere we wanted.

Bryan and I haven't been on a vacation alone together since before Cara was one. I know. It's sad. So after much thought and debate, we decided on San Diego. We made arrangements for the girls to split our time away with Suzy & Courtney (thanks you two!), packed our bags and planned a VACATION!

Our flight was scheduled to depart at 8:30 am and we had to be to Dallas by 7 which means leaving the house by 6:15 which means waking up at 5:30... So we had the girls spend the night with Suzy even though we were still in town the night before we left.

That night we were treated to a ginormous thunderstorm complete with tornado warnings and massive lightning. When we left for the airport the roads were clear and the rain had stopped - apparently only momentarily. We got to the airport and found our flight was delayed and then eventually cancelled because the storm picked up again quickly and the plane from Austin that we were getting on couldn't land. They had to go back to Austin! What? It was, it seemed, the storm of the century.

To make a LONG story short we had to trade out our tickets twice and finally got on a plane at 2:20 to Albuqureque, NM where we found ourselves delayed again!!! We left there at 7 pm and suffered through young babies whose poor ears wouldn't pop and two drunk guys on the plane who had foul mouths and dirty minds. Fifteen hours later we arrived in San Diego. Phew!

Picked up our rental car and a Garmin (GPS is a beautiful thing!) and checked into the gorgeous Westgate hotel. The lobby smells like roses and is a re-creation of one of the anterooms in the palace of Versailles. It's right downtown San Diego in the Gaslamp Quarter and boasts such former guests as Sean Connery, Katherine Hepburn, Robin Williams and Richard Simmons (ha!).

When we got to the room and opened our suitcases we discovered that they were soaked through! Apparently our luggage sat outside in the rain the whole morning in Dallas Love Field. Really? They couldn't bring it in? Or cover it? I mean SOAKED. Our room looks like a laundry mat exploded when we finally had everything laid out to dry... and we lost a whole day of plans.

But, we made it. We're here and we're together. That's really all that matters.