Humpty Dumplings

This week we have been waiting for the baby to come. (He still hasn't.)

Last Sunday I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting. Alison wrote it for me since she hadn't given a talk in so long (not since we moved in to the ward; I've spoken six times since then). It seemed to be well received, although I had to cut out two thirds of the talk because the other speakers took so long.

On Wednesday we had some young women from the ward clean out our goat shed. They had asked for work that they could do to earn money for Girls Camp. (We offered the job to the young men first, to earn money for Camp Helaman, and they weren't interested. The girls were willing to do it, though.) It is pretty clean right now.

On Thursday Alison, Rea, and Sara went to Amy's house so the girls could play with Logan. They had lots of fun together. Sara especially loved helping take care of baby Dustin; she loves babies. Hopefully that will continue when we have one.

We went to a food storage themed relief society night on Thursday (husbands were invited). They talked about canning meat as well as storing eggs for a long period of time. Since then Alison and I have been talking about buying a freeze dryer. It would cost about $4000 dollars to get one that would be easily usable in the home. That is too expensive, but we have been considering going in with other people to pay for it. If 8 people go in together for it it would only be $500 each (that is still a ton, but you could save $20 on a #10 can of freeze dried ground beef, and the other freeze dried foods are similar in terms of savings). If anyone is interested in buying a part of a freeze dryer, tell me :).

On Friday we had a family date night where we all saw a movie (How to Train Your Dragon 2). My work gives us tickets, free popcorn, and money for candy for one movie a year, and this was it. Sara mostly cuddled with Daddy, but Rea enjoyed it somewhat. It started at 7:30 pm, so both girls were pretty tired, but they were well behaved.

On Saturday we made another Romano, which ended up way more acidic than we expected it to be. Apparently the high temperatures of recent are not good for the cheeses.

After the cheese was well on its way we went and picked some of Grandpa Mike's cherries. We ended up with about forty lbs of cherries. We are currently freezing some of them. We will probably also can some of them. The girls can eat several pounds a day if we let them, so we're eating a lot too.

We also made a herbed Paneer (which is our go to cheese for when we have extra milk because it is so easy).

That night Sara actually answered the question "Why?" with a logical reason! This is the first time; usually we ask, "Why do you want to go outside?" and she responds "Because outside!" or something along those lines.  But yesterday we went to Macey's, which builds customer loyalty by giving kids free tootsie rolls at the checkout stand (it works really well; the girls throw fits if we go to another grocery store and they don't get candy). Sara ate her candy on the way home and when I got her out of the car, she showed me her hands and said "Sticky hands!" I said, "Why are they sticky?" and she answered, "Because ate candy from Macey's!" Yay for logical thought.

Alison woke up yesterday morning with the solution to our ongoing mozzarella problems: she realized that at least two of the three times we've succeeded, we used milk that had not been previously frozen. We decided to test this idea, so this morning we used the morning's milk and the pH meter to try mozzarella again. It worked! We need to try it a few more times before we're sure it really works, but this might be the last key we have been missing. We'll let everyone know if we start succeeding regularly at mozzarella, between the pH meter and only using fresh milk. (If this is true, it makes me wonder if using frozen milk has any effect on our other cheeses. Maybe while we make a cheese a week we should let the milk hang out in the fridge instead of freezing it.)

Rea has been coming up with some beautiful names recently. Some examples include 'Tulip Bloom', and 'Sparkle Touch'. I think that perhaps she is reading too much My Little Ponies. Those are her favorite easy readers from the library. Lately she's started reading the books aloud to Sara while Mommy and Daddy are busy. She even read some to herself while we were being home taught today. (This is more enjoyable for her when she's read the book with us a couple times and she's memorized most of it.) Her reading is getting better and better.

Alison got a "natural yeast" (aka sour dough) start from a friend in our ward, and we've adapted our constantly-in-the-fridge bread dough recipe to use it.  This makes a whole wheat sour dough bread, which is awesome. I've never heard of anyone selling this, but it tastes amazing.

For Father's Day, we made cherry limeade, steak fajitas, and apple dumplings. Yum! Sara dubbed the dumplings "Humpty Dumplings," which we thought was very cute.

The baby was due this past Wednesday, so we had a 1 in 10 chance of him coming today (he didn't). Tomorrow there's a 1 in 9 chance of him being born, and so on. If he hasn't come by Wednesday the 25th there's a 1 in 1 (100%) chance of him being born that day, because Alison will be induced, but we don't expect to make it that long. Probably next Sunday you'll get all the stats and pictures on our new boy.

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