Matzoh, mozzarella, and rocket powered ponies

This post covers two weeks, since we apparently never clicked post last week after we wrote our post.

On Wednesday last week we had our Passover dinner. We ate matzoh, maror, haroseth, lamb, and drank a lot of grape juice. Sara didn't understand that she was supposed to ask me the questions (the youngest kid is supposed to ask the patriarch why we eat so many weird things) so she tried to answer the questions herself. In the end Rea asked them.

Sara said that matzoh is a boy, and that the girl is named Mozzarella. I don't know if she knew that the bread that we were eating was the matzoh.

On Thursday last week we went to "I Hate Hamlet", which is a play. It was a decent play. There was a crazy girl, a ghost of a womanizer, a Medium (bordering on small) a TV doctor, and a guy from Brooklyn, CA.

Last weekend we watched General Conference and celebrated Easter. General Conference was really good. I am glad that we were able to attend it.

Last Saturday we had our Easter egg hunt. The girls really liked it, and the cousins that came seemed to have a fun time as well.

We brought a cheese plate to the Brown's house for General Conference. We put the following cheeses on the plate: paneer, feta, terror, brie, blue brie, and store provolone. All of the cheeses were well received, however not all of the blue cheese was eaten before the end of the conference. All the others were. The most popular was the terror cheese. The surprise hit was the blue (it was our first palatable blue, so that was a good start). We hadn't opened the blue before the day that we made the cheese plate, so it was a mystery as to weather it would be good or not. We gave away a large quantity of cheese after the conference, so we have more room on our cheese shelf in our normal fridge. Now I will have to go through the cheese fridge and see if there are any new cheeses to open.

Timmy is now happily cruising. He wants to walk, but is not ready yet.

We made a tray of barley and sprouted it for goat food, but they wouldn't eat it. We might try again soon.

Sara bore her testimony in Family Home Evening this week. At first it was going well - "I know the scriptures are true, I know prophets are true" - and then she looked down and saw their Spike toy. She started adding, "I know dragons are true. Especially Spike. I know Spike is true." Mike and Alison just laughed helplessly. I guess she doesn't quite have the idea yet.

This week the girls' preschool had a spring break, so on Tuesday they went to the Aquarium with the Strombergs (it was Max's spring break too). Rea was very excited that she saw swimming penguins. Apparently the last time she was there, they all sat around and didn't do anything interesting. Sara's favorite thing was the scuba divers in the shark tank. They both also remembered a decorative stove near the otter exhibit, which looked like an old iron woodstove with doors in front that opened, but the "coals" inside were just red lights, not hot, so they could open the doors and touch them. For some reason, that was very memorable.

Tuesday night Rea went to the birthday party of a girl from preschool. We decided that from now on, our family policy is to make a gift to charity for every birthday party we're invited to. Alison doesn't want to go shopping and contribute to all the junk in people's houses, so charities are better. Rea chose to give a gift to the animals at the zoo for Tilly. Tilly didn't look very impressed, but hopefully it will go over better as kids get older. There was also a pinata at the party, which has inspired Rea with the desire to make one of her own. Alison promised they could make one for her next goal day party.

While Rea was at the birthday party Sara and Mike and Timmy went on a 'Daddy Daughter Doo Date' (which is what Sara named it). First we went to the DI and got her a doll, and then to Dairy Queen and bought an ice cream, and went home and watched an episode of My Little Ponies (which the girls love).

This week we have been reminded repeatedly of the fact that Rea is very good at math. She just said to us today: "there are five muffins left and that means that we can each have one more muffin and a quarter of a muffin" Apparently Timmy was left out of that calculation.

She also calculated 52 - 27 because she really wanted to. Her automated math program (Khan Academy) threw it up, and Alison marked it as much too hard for her as soon as she read it. However, it was a word problem about rocket-powered ponies and showed a picture, and Rea begged to do it. We got out manipulatives and worked through easier problems and made them harder and harder until she solved the original problem. Then Alison drew a rocket-powered pony for her to color. She was more proud of the picture than solving the problem.

Timmy has started climbing up things. He likes to climb up little kids' chairs onto the kid table. He also can get up on the girl's beds and various other places in the house. Hopefully he doesn't hurt himself.

On Wednesday we had a Sandy board game design group meeting. We played three games and I got good feedback. Hopefully we will be able to get more people there next time.

On Thursday, Alison bought some kefir starter. It's like yogurt, only a more powerful probiotic. Rea seems all better from her stomach problems, even with gluten back in the diet, and Alison thinks the probiotic is helping. She's hoping that the kefir will provide enough probiotics that we won't have to keep buying the powder, but we have to work out how to make it and use it first. It's still a bit tricky.

We made a cheese on Saturday. It was a cheddar. The make went well, but we left it cheddaring a little too long, so the pressing didn't knit the curds as much as I would have liked it to. I am thinking of dipping it in hot brine to help it knit.

We also made a cultured butter, though it didn't taste any different than a normal butter to me.


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