January 22, 2008

Who, What, Where

A few months ago our family visited my parents and my sister's family in Seattle. There, we were introduced to what has now become one of our favorite games, "Who, What, Where." Its kind of a take on Pictionary but rather than drawing one thing, each player takes a Who, a What, and a Where card and then has to draw the scene those cards describe. For example, George Foreman playing ice hockey in the desert. Or, Jay Leno pole-vaulting in a hot air balloon. You get the idea.

One of the things I've enjoyed most is learning that Jeni is a really great artist! Above you'll see one of her drawings from a recent game. Keep in mind this was done in less than 5 minutes! See if you can guess the Who, What and Where. I'll post the correct answer here in about a week.

The Answer: Adam and Eve cheerleading in the jungle. Nice job everyone!

January 16, 2008

Behind the Wheel

A few days ago as I was getting ready to take Maddy somewhere, I came out to the garage and was greeted by this scene. Frightening! You can see the excitement on Maddy's face as if we were actually going to let her drive.

For many years I've let the kids drive to Church (steer) while sitting on my lap. They're both too big to do that now so Maddy probably figured she'd take the next step. Thankfully the keys were in my hand or we would have found her backed into the fence. She's so anxious to grow up and she's even got her first car picked out - a bright yellow Hummer. Keep dreaming Maddy, keep dreaming. In fact if this behavior continues she will be lucky to be driving at 18.

And as far as a car....Jeni and I are trying to locate my '86 Volkswagen Rabbit (that was a hoppin' car), or even better maybe we can find Jeni's high school infamous Station Wagon, wood paneling and all (hopefully it's been reglued by now.)

January 11, 2008

Tilapia with Pineapple and Vanilla

While visiting Kansas City on business a few weeks ago, I ate at the Cheesecake Factory and got my absolute favorite dish there, the Miso Salmon. This week I was craving the dish again and unfortunately there is only one Cheesecake Factory in Utah. It is in Murray and is so popular its not uncommon for 2-3 hour waits. Plus, its about 45 minutes from our home so I thought I'd see what I could do on my own.

Unfortunately, I didn't have any Salmon or Miso and didn't have time to run to the store. After 30 minutes of pouting and 30 minutes of trying to recall whether or not Iron Chef ever did a show using Tilapia (the only fish I had in the house), I convinced myself I could make something just as good as Miso Salmon (if not better.)

Here's what I did - I formed a bed of white rice, added a grilled pineapple and topped it all with the Tilapia basted with pineapple juice. Then, I poured a generous serving of a pineapple vanilla reduction over the whole thing. After a dash of parsley, it was finished. Ok, so it wasn't as great as the Miso Salmon and I definitely was not as organized as the Iron Chefs (the fish was cold by the time the reduction was done), but I thought it tasted pretty good.

I've left 10 messages with the Cheesecake Factory to have them replace the Miso Salmon with my dish but nobody is calling me back. From now on, every time I eat there I'll ask for the Tilapia with Pineapple and Vanilla and I'll make a big scene about them not having it on their menu and that all the classy restaurants these days have it. Then I'll look disgusted as I'm "forced" to order the Miso Salmon.

January 05, 2008


When we lived in Las Vegas, Jeni talked me into adding a dog to the family. Two of Jeni's siblings already had Shih-Tzus and she liked their size, how cute they were, and that they didn't shed, so we found a breeder and added a cute black and white puppy named Gizmo to our family.

Gizmo was with us for four years and weighed 7 pounds, and that was after a big breakfast. We had a lot of fun with him and he was very easy to have around. There were only two issues we ever had with him. First, he snored incredibly loud for something that small! And second, he was a wanderer, which led to his demise. Over the years he had run away countless times but we always managed to find him. In Houston, we weren't as lucky. It was such a loss to our family that we didn't rush out to replace him.

After Jeni's recovery last year, she was ready for a new dog so we found a local Shih-Tzu breeder. We were given papers showing that the puppies were pure-bred so we added a new member of family, Baxter. Everything started off fine and Jeni's sister Rebecca even purchased one of his brothers, Sam. As time has passed and as cute and cuddly as they both were, both started to develop interesting traits. Sam (otherwise known as "P-dog") has urinary incontinence, but he resembles Gizmo and has stayed under 10 pounds. Baxter, on the other hand, lacks the laziness, look and weight of a Shih-Tzu. In fact, he looked so much like a St. Bernard, that we almost named him "Bernie." Today he weighs nearly 20 pounds and is full of energy and personality.

Watch the video below and you be the judge. Shih-Tzu, St. Bernard or some strange combination? Either way, we have come to really adore our What-Tzu.

January 03, 2008


I enjoy life and there are certain things in life I enjoy more than others. At the top of my list would definitely be the Gospel, then the relationship I have with Jeni, Maddy and Joey, and then in a close third would have to be egg nog.

A few years ago as our family celebrated the Holidays at Jeni's parents in Missouri, Jeni's brother Scott and I brought in the New Year with a new tradition - an egg-nog-a-thon! We sat apart from each other on New Year's Eve at a table with very small, shot-glass like cups in front of us and the competition was on. The winner? The one who could drink the most egg nog in one sitting. No leaving the table, no restroom breaks, and the egg nog had to remain in your body until the competition was over. I won that year after Scott put up a valiant fight but after about 15 rounds bolted to the restroom.

Last year nobody would challenge me so I won by default.

This year, on the 3rd anniversary of the inaugural event, I found my match in the person of Kelly Woodbrey, our good friend and also our Bishop. Kelly and I are similar in many ways - we both taught seminary, we both work in HR (Kelly for the Church), we are both fiercely competitive, and we both love egg-nog! So on New Year's Eve as our families celebrated together, Kelly and I sat down with a gallon of egg nog in front of us and our small glasses and the race was on. I started getting nervous after about the 20th round as Kelly looked completely unphased, ready for more and I was starting to get pale and pasty. Thankfully, after consuming nearly 80 fat grams, 1600 calories, 500 mg of cholesterol and 160 grams of carbs EACH, we decided to call it a tie in the name of "wanting to be able to enjoy all the rest of the food everyone brought."

So after 3 years I am 2-0-1, which is ironic because that's probably the same number of pounds I will gain over the years if I continue this craziness!