Sunday, February 28, 2010

On the Upswing...

Good things are happening-- we have been so blessed lately!

1. Grant starts his new job tomorrow! We are very excited to have a job and a regular income, even if not excited to end our six months of free time...

2. Yesterday was the first competition for my studio girls! They did so well and danced better and with more heart than I have ever seen! To top it all off, each team placed with their lyrical dances! Minis got 2nd overall, Juniors 1st overall, and Seniors 3rd overall (in their respective categories). I'm so proud!

3. I made a fondant cake! It turned out pretty well for my first one. I made a few mistakes that I'll fix next time around but overall I'm pleased. It is a half smiley face, half frowny face for my school presentation tomorrow on "Dance as Emotion."

I made my fondant way too hard and it was extremely difficult to work with... better next time.

And, in case good things aren't happening in your life, watch this clip and it can be your one good thing. We're watching this movie right now for the... 24th time...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tragedy Strikes Again!

We Tanners are no strangers to tragedy. You may recall the loss of our first waffle iron, Waring. We are also currently coping with the slow decay of our mango tree, Plantie. Well, today we mourn another loss: the unexpected, though prophesied loss of our ghost shrimp, Telly.
We woke up to find his lifeless body among the gravel. The autopsy results are yet to come back but we can only think of two reasons for his sudden death. First, Howard may have bumped him off when we weren't looking. However, this seems unlikely as Howard and Telly seemed to get along just fine. Second, and probably more likely, Telly expired from overeating (the plague of America!). We have yet to see Howard eat an entire pellet of food. Most of the time Telly would eat the pellets before Howard even showed interest. Perhaps his poor little invisible body just couldn't handle it.

Funeral arrangements are being made. His body will be interred down the flusher probably after Grant gets out of the shower. Virtual condolences, flowers, and money will be appreciated by the mourning family.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Homemade Goodness

My friend at school had some really good salsa the other day. I was craving it so much yesterday that I decided to make it. Disclaimer: This salsa was made with absolutely no recipe (read: experiment) so don't blame me if you make it and it's bad...

1/2 can beans
1/2 can corn
2 roma tomatoes,
1 slice red onion, chopped
small can of pineapple
juice of 1/2 lime


We don't ever buy chips so I cut up some corn tortillas, threw some oil on them & popped them in the oven-- not as good as store bought but pretty good nonetheless.

On another note- see all the computer cords? It's been a crazy, computer-filled week...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Meet Howard!

For our 1.5 year anniversary, we decided we'd had enough time as just a couple and needed an additional member for our family. So, we headed to PetCo! There were lots of cute shelter dogs there, begging us to adopt them. But, as cute as they were, after we passed them I remembered all of the many, many reasons we don't want a dog. We made our way back to the fish and looked all over for Howard (we decided he would be called Howard beforehand). We decided on a zebra danio (see pic) until the PetCo man convinced us otherwise.

He said that they only carried one fish that did not require a filter. Since we'd already bought our fishbowl at goodwill (of course) we weren't down for the filter idea. Thus, Howard became a betta fish.

This is NOT Howard. This fish probably cost a LOT of money.

We spent quite a bit of time debating over which Betta was to be Howard Tanner. PetCo had probably 40 or more Betta for sale and I think we looked at every one at least a few times. Well, we looked at all of the cheaper, male Bettas a few times. Frugality is a necessary trait to be a Tanner. Thus, the $15 fish weren't even in the running. After a pretty intense swimsuit competition, side-by-side color comparison, and swim-off, we found Howard!!

We love how he has a dark face but vibrant blue backside, big fins, and a little red accent underneath.

We also bought him a little buddy. This is Telly!! Telly is a ghost shrimp and my parents were 100% sure he wouldn't last the night (due to Howard's supposedly belligerent nature). We are proud to report that Telly is alive, active, and very hungry. He eats Howard's food... and we can see it inside of him because he's see-through... kinda gross... Oh, you can see Telly at the top of the bowl, just to the left of the plant. He has some kind of black food in him...

Howard loves his new home and the fact that he has lots of space to swim. They were keeping him in about a cup of water at the store so he is very pleased with his new parents for his freedom. His favorite activities so far are: swimming, keeping his eyes open, staring at the light when we shine the flashlight on him, and not eating. We've tried to feed him twice and he's not too interested. Telly's favorite activities are eating Howard's food, hiding in plain sight, (because he's see through), and swimming.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ski Texas

There are many great things about snow in Texas:

1. Snow day! I didn't have work tonight and I don't have to go to school tomorrow. About 5-10 inches have fallen across the DFW area. While this would be minor in Provo, here it is HUGE!

2. It feels like home! Today Grant said, "One of my favorites feelings is when you step on a huge pile of snow and it crunches under your feet. I just felt that and it was awesome!" Good one.

3. Skiing! Obviously, this doesn't make a lot of sense. There aren't too many mountains around here. In fact, the biggest hill we could even think of was a berm next to Kohl's in the next town over... not too promising. However, on the way to our friends' house we noticed that there were hills leading up to all the freeway overpasses!

So, we pulled over under the overpass (clearly not legal...) and I booted up. Grant had a bum knee from his hiking trip last week and didn't want to ski so I was a lone adventurer. I hiked up the "mountain." It was an unsurprisingly quick and easy hike.

The front side was was grass but was also pretty steep and ended in a gutter. I didn't trust myself so I went down the more gentle slope. Unfortunately, the side I chose was cement...

Successful run!

I did lots of turns instead of bombing it because I didn't want to end up in the road. Dad, aren't you proud of my nice turns? I made sure to keep my weight on my downhill ski... sort of... :)

This picture shows the scrapage on the cement. Worth it...

About this time I looked across the road and noticed a cop sitting at a stop sign. And I mean sitting... for a long time... probably watching us intently.... Notice our car just hanging out on the side of the road...

So we packed up quickly and took off ticketless. Ski Texas: Mission Accomplished!

Who says it rarely snows in Texas?

A lot of people say it almost never snows in the Dallas area. We must have brought winter with us when we moved here, because we have seen it snow twice already (plus a freezing rain storm). Check out this quick video I took this morning:

I love snow!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Grand Slam that Wasn't Meant to Be...

We had exciting plans for today! It's a special day for us because first, it's our 1 1/2 year anniversary! And second, because it's free "Grand Slam" day at Denny's.
To be honest, the food isn't that appetizing alone, but the fact that it's FREE means that we'll come running. We planned to meet our friends, Logan and Emily, there at 6:30 because the lines would be crazy. We even went to bed early in preparation. But it wasn't meant to be...

Once again, a migraine came to ruin the day. I woke up sometime in the middle of the night, took my medication and tried to fall back asleep. Grant texted our friends when the alarm went off because there was no way I was getting up. Luckily, they slept through their alarms. A disappointing morning, but what can you do? There's always next year :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Trip to Big Bend National Park

On Sunday afternoon I arrived home bruised and pretty much broken. But I had a wonderful backpacking trip in Big Bend National Park. It's located right on the Texas-Mexico border where the Rio Grande takes a "Big Bend." Unfortunately, Kelsey couldn't come because of school :(. I went with three guys from my ward. Luckily, Kelsey's Mom was in town when I was gone, so she wasn't too lonely while I was gone.

I have done a lot of hiking in my day, but I have never experienced terrain like that of Big Bend. Its mountains peak around 7,000 feet and then descend into desert landscape.

Here is a collage of my favorite pics -

The trip was great. Here's a quick recap:
  • Wed. Night - Arrived at 2a.m. after 10 hr. drive. Tried to sleep through wind and rain.
  • Thurs. - Woke up to a spectacular view (see top left of pic). Drove to the Rio Grande and tossed rocks into Mexico. No, I didn't see any amigos swimming across the river. Hiked 3,000 to 4,000 vertical feet in less than 3 hours. Enjoyed the sun set looking off the top of Southeastern Rim. Made some Philmont dinner and got some freezing rain.
  • Friday - Sprained my knee and spent the rest of the weekend hobbling the remaining 20 miles. The slower pace helped me enjoy the amazing mountains and desert terrain. Hiked until 8p.m. under the brightest moon light I have ever been in.
  • Saturday - Got sun burnt (in January!) hiking in the desert. Jim and I took a wrong turn and ended up 6 miles from where we needed to be. We found a road and hitch-hiked to the designated meeting point to reunite with Russ and Rick.
  • Sunday - Made it home in time to see my mother-in-law Beth before she left town.
The trip was quite the adventure. I know this sort of thing may sound like sheer misery to some people. But for me, there is nothing better than enjoying God's awesome creations through hiking and camping. I love it.

If anyone wants to see more pics from the trip, click here.