April 27, 2013


We had our second and third classes and it was more hands on as we had hoped! Actually by the time I was done my hands…and clothes…and the table around me…we covered with icing! HAHA…but the cake looked nice.

We had to bring a cake for each of us and double recipe of icing—which meant four times as much for both Lady Hiva and I. Now, I did not like icing before this class, but now knowing what is in the recipe I almost want to throw up thinking about eating it (sorry to those of you that like icing…) It is literally Crisco lard, water, and sugar. The teacher of the class said, in her chipper tone, “It is great stuff! You can leave it out in a sealed container and it will be good for up to 12 weeks!”  YIKES! That is supposed to be a good thing?

Anyway, to move on from my rant, the class was fun. We first learned how to icing the cake then use paper towels to smooth it down so it almost looks like fondant. The room was full of laughs and conversations as we worked. The 7th grader in the class sat next to me and every chance she had she would sneak the icing bag down so nobody could see it (except me) and fill her had with a large goop and then lick it off with excitement. I just pretended I still was not looking…haha.

We then decided that we had icing left so we used the remaining icing and the fancy equipment we have and we decorated our cakes. I wanted to see what one of the decorating tips did…but instead of practicing on a paper beforehand, I tried it right on the cake. Brrmp! I then had a glob of icing that I spent the next few minutes trying to shape into something useful. Who knows if it did…

Cupcakes were really fun! It is a smaller area to decorate and therefore easier to try some fun things. We learned how to make leaves and swirls and other tricks. Class was over and there were several cupcakes that we had not finished and we still had icing left…so when we went home I talked Lady Hiva into decorating more with me. (she agreed and then just sat there and took photos while I did them—her excuse was she did not want to get her hands greasy again…LAME!)

I had fun, I experimented making roses (with the help of some British lady on YouTube). We also found the DC cupcakes recipe for cream cheese frosting...much better than the lard base of the butter-cream frosting.  All in all our new talent is quite fun! We are both enjoying it!

April 25, 2013

The Journey of Life Can Get Rough Sometimes

 Disclaimer: This is a story of our week. It has been a rough one in many ways—but also really great.

Sometimes that journey of life is simply hard. But Lady Hiva and I have learned that in the worst times we learn to appreciate and see the love and mercy all around us. For me, if all else fails, I GO RUNNING.

You all saw that just one week ago today we found out that my Aunt Donna had passed away. The family all gathered in Utah for the funeral (minus Lady Hiva and I because she still cannot travel) It was hard not to be there while they were all together.

Then Sunday we found out that Lady’s aunt in Utah died of a rare infection. She was one of the youngest of all her dad’s siblings and had children that are still in school. That was a surprise to us. She was a good lady, the first time I met her was in the Salt Lake Temple where she was a volunteer worker. So our prayers now had two large families shower with comfort and blessings.

Monday morning I realized it was a good thing we didn’t go to Utah because when I went downstairs of the house that we were housesitting the floor was wet! I followed the water and found that the main sewer line had backed up and there was sewer water—toilet paper and black chunky stuff all included (sorry for the graphic details, but I wanted you all the see how truly GROSS it was). I had to call everyone literally minutes before the funeral to get numbers for their plumber. I spent a large majority of the day with my best friend, the Shop Vac, trying to win against the waves of sewage filling the house. NASTY!

That night I get a text from Kell telling me to call him “ASAP” and those are the types of texts that pumps your adrenaline and gets the hair on the back of you neck standing straight up. I called and found out that my paternal Grandpa, Normy, had been run over by a tractor in an unusual farm accident. YIKES. He was life flighted to Salt Lake City—where the family already was because of the funeral and is still in recovery after breaking a back, leg and pelvis. Soon the long road of therapy will begin.

We thought all of this was bad then today when Lady called to see how her aunt’s funeral had gone she was told that one of her cousins that came from Hawaii for the funeral had a brain aneurism and is in ICU too.

The saga continues as my Grandma is trying to bring back Aunt Donna’s dogs to care for them here is told once she does not have the correct documents and the second time she is all ready to go and then realizes her wallet with all her money and ID’s went missing somewhere between the rental car and the airport check in. More stress onto an already stressful situation.

So, readers, this is NOT the week to be related to us!

Now, with all that is going on I mentioned that Lady and I have learned to see the good in life that balances the bad if we open are eyes to see it. Often, we are so focused on the negative or the problems, we miss seeing the blessings.

Blessing #1—Lady Hiva is still pregnant and we are concluding our 26th week. This is the farthest she has made it and still walking around. Vaitafe made it farther (28 weeks) but Lady was on strict bed rest in the Hospital for months. So the world seems to be falling apart but we are THANKFUL Tau’aho is not coming to visit us yet.
She looked so cute with her little round belly...I told her I wanted a photo. She gave in and when I asked her to smile this is what I got! LOL

Blessing #2—With all of the funerals and accidents family members have pitched in to share resources, time and whatever they could to get everyone there. I am thankful  for jobs, flyer miles, houses with extra floor space etc that made this all happen.

Blessing #3 Normy, for being run over by a tractor at nearly 80 years old, it could be worse than it is. He is hurting, ornery, and has a long road to recovery…but he is still alive.

Blessing #4 The missing wallet was rescued because the man at the car rental found and kept it because he knew someone would come back. There are some great people in the world.

Blessing #5 I get to run and see all of Heavenly Father’s beautiful creations. Nature is some of the best art. As I run I love to see the spring blossoms and the variety of green and to hear the choir of hundreds of birds around the forest and smell the fragrances of the flowers as I pass. I decided to run with the camera today so I could share part of this beautiful journey with you. (Yes, it must have looking awkward to see a guy running with a camera)

Much like our week, and the journey of life, my run is full of hills and rocks and unexpected turns yet there is beauty all around.

AND I promise…the next blog post will not be about death…or anything similar. It’s about cake and cupcakes! YAY!