Quill Pens and the Resurection

Saturday we started making our first Caprino Romano (which means 'roman goat' in Italian). It is a cheese traditionally made in Rome out of goat milk. It is a grating cheese (like Parmesan), and has a complex piquant flavor.

One of the strange parts of making this cheese is that it requires hand pressing for five minutes. It is sort of like mashing your hands into a hot-tub full of playdough. Hopefully it turns out :).

Craig moved the beehive to its final location yesterday as well. The final location of the beehive is 20 feet or so south of the goat shed. He built a fence around a small portion of our back yard to protect the hive from the goats (it is likely that they would jump all over the hive and break it). He expects the bees to arrive on Wednesday, and he is very excited about having bees. I am interested to see how much work bees are so we can get some bees of our own if they are easy enough.

Alison has been making more paneer and yogurt most days. She made a lovely yogurt parfait as a part of dinner Thursday. Whenever we make paneer we always forget to salt it, so it ends up being very authentic.

The girls have been very active this week. They go outside almost all of the time and visit other people's houses fairly often. They all went down to visit Heather this week and had a fun time. They want to go to Wheeler Farm next some time in the next couple weeks with Amy and their boys.

Alison and I found some tapes of the first few episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation at the DI. I  have been told that I need to watch Star Trek by some friends, so I decided to get them (so that we can legally watch them at our leisure). We watched the first episode last night as a lazy date (we didn't get a baby sitter planned, and we just spent a lot of fun money on tickets to Wicked, so we decided to be cheap).

The show was moderately good, but nothing amazing. Since we bought more than one episode we will probably see more eventually, but it is not like we need to see it soon.

As the other half of our date we had the first barbecue of the year. The grill is still working, but it might need a little work to make it run well. Perhaps I will make time to do that.

Today the girls had some sniffles and coughs, so we decided to take them to Sacrament Meeting and then take them home. Andrea was fascinated, as she is every Fast Sunday, by the fact that anyone who wanted to could get up and talk. As per the handbook, Alison told her that anyone who wanted to get up had to be able to say things by themselves; no parents whispering in their ears. Andrea has always insisted that she could do it, but when Alison says she has to say it to us before she can go up, she refuses. Well, this week she whispered in Alison's ear: "I know the Church is true. I know the prophet is real." Alison told her that if she added "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen," that was good enough, so they went up. Rea stood up at the microphone and then told Alison that she'd forgotten what to say. Alison encouraged her and she started whispering her testimony to Alison again. Finally she turned to the microphone and said, "I know the Church is true. I know the prophet is real. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." When they sat down, she was glowing and wanted everyone to know that she bore her testimony for the first time. If you see her soon, congratulate her; she is very proud. She felt like it was a little too short, but she was happy that she had done it.

Mike let her stay a few minutes after Sacrament Meeting to practice the Mother's Day song with the rest of the Primary in the chapel. After the first run-through, the music leader stopped them and told them that Rea was singing louder than all the rest of the kid
s put together. Apparently the other kids did much better after that.

When we were making all that cheese yesterday, we made some ricotta out of the whey. Grandma Sheila had recommended to me to put dill in a cheese, so I made a herbed dill cheese and pressed it just a little, and then invited my parents over to Sunday dinner to sample it. I also made Udon, which was not quite like the stuff we ate on a street corner in Japan (best Japanese food of our entire trip!), but was excellent. The cheese was good, too. It was fun to have my parents over for the evening.

As we were reading scriptures tonight, there was a picture of someone writing with a quill pen in the Book of Mormon Reader. Andrea asked why he was writing with a feather, so Alison explained the idea behind a quill pen. Rea wanted one, so Alison suggested they get a book from the library about it and try to make one from a chicken feather. Rea considered that, and then suggested that instead we could wait a really long time until one of the people who lived when they had quill pens comes alive again, and then ask them. She really enjoys the idea of the Resurrection!

As I write this, Sara is lying in bed singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star at the top of her lungs. She likes to sing herself to sleep. It's very cute, except when she got tired in Sacrament Meeting today and laid down on the bench and started belting out All the Pretty Little Ponies!

Sara also empties the sand out of our sand table all over the yard. We put one bag of sand in it on Friday and told them it had to last all summer. It's already mostly gone. They might have to have a way to earn more sand, since they both love the sand table so much. Rea understands the importance of keeping it in one place, but Sara can't seem to fathom it. She just loves moving it around.

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