Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday
Time for a pity party! This morning I woke up and still felt tired, also it was cold, and wet, and our car was almost out of gas, and I needed to go babysit my niece and nephew, and my nephew was soooo cranky today, and my house was a DISASTER AREA, and I smelled bad and my hair was gross, and I need to find a job, and Kayla is sick, and oh man oh man did I need to take out the trash, also there are ants in our bathroom, and our bed is still not made. Wah!

Then I went out to the mailbox and found this:I seriously know how the Grinch felt.

"And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day. And then - the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of *ten* Grinches, plus two!" -How the Grinch Stole Christmas

I have a new calling at church. After working with the 12-13 year olds for more than 3 years I have a calling in the Relief Society presidency. I am really excited about this new calling and all the great people I will meet, but I will miss seeing those sweetheart girls all the time. Thank you for fixing my crummy day girls!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Provo in the Fall

When I was in Germany more than once, ladies at church would ask where I was from. I would always tell them Provo. (Yeah it's not really true, but I didn't really know how to say "Chino, California, but most recently my husband and I have been living in Orem, which is near Provo." Ok, I probably could have said that, but I was lazy.) Each time I said Provo I was shocked at the reaction. You see, I was feeling pretty good about myself for living somewhere exotic like Thiede, but these ladies at church would look at me with wonder and say "Provo? It is my favorite dream to go to Provo!" I was pretty much flabbergasted about this. I liked Provo and all, but my favorite dream is to go to Disneyland.

For some reason it is cool to think Provo is lame. People around here (mostly annoying college kids who have suddenly become sooooo smart) refer to Provo as "The Bubble" meaning a place where you are insulated from the "real" world. (Don't ask them what the "real" world is because the answer will be too stupid to bear.)

These ladies in Germany had the right reasons for loving Provo though."So close to the beautiful temple!" This is something I think it is easy to take for granted. Those ladies would drive for more than 3 hours every week to go to the temple."And Salt Lake with the prophet!" Again, I never thought about how special it is to be able to sit in the same room and hear a prophet speak.



"And by BYU!" These ladies probably didn't have football in mind, (ok, they for sure didn't). Isn't it marvelous that there is a university where young people who value their faith can get an excellent education and strengthen each other? Isn't it also wonderful that they play football?


Another thing I love is watching the seasons change on the mountains, and having mountains nearby. Mountains are fabulous, a place where the earth stands up and says "Look at my awesomeness!!!"

So if you ever hear anyone complaining about where you live, remember that every place has wonderful things about it, and some lady in Europe might be wishing she could visit there!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dear People Who Build Houses,

What the heck? Why is it that the thermostat in the house is never next to the bed in the master bedroom?

The problem is that when you fiddle with the thermostat you don't realize the gravity of what you have done until you wake up in the middle of the night. For example, when it is freezing outside, Handsome Bryce comes home, all a-shiver, and rushes to turn up the heat. Usually he turns it up to something like 88 or 90, in a desperate attempt to thaw out. Once the threat of frostbite subsides we forget about the thermostat and hop into bed...until 2:00 am, when we wake up and it is somehow 400 degrees in our room. Bleah. It is so hot all you can do is cast the blanket off and suffer. It is too hot to move at all, much less to trek to the kitchen and shut off the heat.

Scenario number 2 is the opposite situation. I hop off my Gazelle and think, sheesh! It is so hot in the house! The thermostat gets switched waaaaay down, as down as it will go. Then I forget about it, until 2:00 am...
So seriously construction people and architects, what is the deal? Why do the thermostat controls need to be in the center of the house? Should they actually be accessible to everyone in the house? Really, isn't the master of the house (who stays in the master bedroom) the only person who has any business touching the thermostat anyway? If you want to avoid having your name cursed at 2:00 am I better see some changes soon.
-Rachel
I Do Not Wish I Were on a Cruise
This is today:It is gray and chilly and there are teeny tiny snows falling everywhere. I still do not have a job, and there are no sporting events to watch tonight. Normally these sorts of things inspire Bryce and me to say, "Let's just go on a cruise instead", but not today.

Here is an article about the cruise ship we were on a few months ago. Seriously! The very same ship is being pulled back to land by two (comparatively) tiny tug boats! So even though the weather is gloomy I am grateful today to be in my toasty warm house with my hottie husband!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Umbrella Painting

I bought this umbrella yesterday. It was boring.One coat of primer
2 coats of blue paint
One coat of hearts
Ta da! Not boring anymore!
I am thinking about doing more with the inside. Silver hearts or silver stars. What do you think? (No, I will not paint a fake "Starry Night" on the inside, so just forget that idea.)

Monday, November 08, 2010

Exciting News!

This is to announce the opening of my own personal little Etsy shop! It is ostentatiously named: McEwen's McExcellent Emporium. Right now I only have two items in the shop, but more are coming! Here's the link if you want to share with your friends:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/mcrachie?ref=seller_info

Friday, November 05, 2010

Inside Joke

Bryce and I are so excited about BYU basketball. (Looking forward to basketball helps us get past the pain of this football season.) We like to make T-shirts to show our enthusiasm. This year our shirt would feature our favorite player (really everyone's favorite player, for good reason) Jimmer Fredette. We started with some plain white shirts. (Ok, we started started with a plain white 3XL shirt for Bryce because normal shirts are too short, then I sewed it to fit him, different post on that later.)

We made a design in Adobe Illustrator, it had three colors (including white). Then we cut each color layer out of Masonite using a laser cutter. (The laser cutter is my favorite thing, except for Bryce, and Jesus.)
Bryce taped shirt shield to the edges of the templates.
Ta da, there are all three layers.
Next we put the template over our shirts and spray painted each color in. This was fun, because I am pretty sure that once the little neighbor kids saw that we were playing with spray paint they decided we were suspicious gang members, which is pretty hardcore.
After that, we let our shirts dry and had these beautiful finished products. (By the way, I literally just rolled out of bed for this picture, but my hair would probably have looked like that even if it was the afternoon.)

The only problem with our T-shirts is our little tag line. It says "Jimmer für Sie da!" so it will only appeal to the narrow group of people who both, speak German and are Jimmer Fredette fans. :( I will explain it to you though so you can appreciate how sparklingly witty we are.

In German the words "Immer für Sie da!" mean "Always there for you!" so it reads both "Jimmer is there for you" and "Always there for you". See that's pretty good? Oh whatever, Bryce and I think it is funny. Inside jokes are never as good when you explain them.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Jalapeno Jelly Jam

Yesterday I made some jalapeno jelly. It was my first time making this kind of jam. I started with some peppers, red bell peppers, jalapenos, and some green chilies.
I used the recipe inside the box of pectin. The recipe seemed pretty snooty to me. It kept emphasizing to follow the recipe exactly. It even had instructions for "What if my jelly never sets?" the instructions were "Follow the recipe exactly" which, seems like the recipe reprimanding you, "If you had just listened to me in the first place this wouldn't have happened". I can't be bothered with exactness in recipes though, so I pretty much departed from the recipe immediately.
Jalapenos are spicy because they burn the inside of your mouth with acid. It's true. They will also burn your hands with acid, so the recipe commanded me to wear rubber gloves. I have rubber gloves, but they were last involved in a chemical experiment so I don't think they are food-safe anymore. So instead I made my own hand protection.
The recipe also wanted me to chop everything by hand, whoever wrote it seemed to begrudge the use of food processors. "If you do use a food processor use it on a pulse setting, DO NOT puree, a jam should have small pieces of fruit in it." Well, humph, who made you the authority on jam? (Ok fine, you are a jam recipe writer, but still, rude.) I used a food processor and pureed it a little out of spite.
I sanitized the jars
I sanitized the lids
I dumped all the peppers into a pan. I was suppose to use EXACTLY four cups, but I guessed.
I added all the ingredients at once, which is also forbidden by the recipe. (I wasn't trying to be contrary, I just got distracted.) I thought this looked just like barf.

The next steps were very fast, and foamy, so fast I didn't have time to take pictures of them. But during the next few minutes it went from looking like barf to looking like jam
EAT IT jam recipe writer! Not literally though, because I'm going to eat it, with cream cheese and crackers.

p.s.
My sister in-law is doing well. They said she might go home today. Thank you for your prayers.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Update
The surgery went all according to plan. She's recovering now, and will likely be going home in less than a week. Isn't it amazing that we live in a world where you can have brain surgery and be home in less than a week?

This is something she asked to read for comfort. Thank you for your prayers.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Be back Later
My sister-in-law is getting brain surgery today, right now actually. They are removing a tumor the size of a raquet-ball. Please pray for her.