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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Movie Review - "Sorcerer's Apprentice"


Brady and I saw The Sorcerer's Apprentice. When we arrived in the theater there was only one other person there for the movie. Only 3 people in the whole theater. That should tell you how popular this show is.

It was OK, but not my favorite. I always judge a movie as "will I purchase this" or see it again. In this case, I won't.

It was entertaining, but I kind of got board.

I liked this review: "The action sequences between Cage and Molina aren't elevated as much as many would expect, due to the story centering around the kid's battle, not Balthazar's. This is another standard Disney formula wherein the kid is undeserving, unprepared, and uneducated in the ways of the Samurai but is thrust into the center of the fray, regardless. Those who would rail against this formula, obviously weren't there to see a Disney movie"

I guess I wasn't expecting a Disney movie :-D ....
The whole time I kept wondering if Jay Baruchel, the apprentice (Dave), was the son of Christian Slater because he has the exact same voice and it was bugging me. I know I'm weird - but I couldn't get used to this voice coming out of this body/face. It should have been coming out of cute Christian Slater. For me, it just didn't fit.

The Becky Barnes, apprentice's girlfriend (Teresa Palmer) looked a lot like a blonde Kristen Stewart .... and has about the same acting skills as Kristen.... which is none.

For kids, I thought the use of science was a motivator to get excited about what science can do. It's not magic, it is science. The possibilities of what you can achieve if you study and use science in your life.

Wait until it hits Redbox to watch this for a dollar.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Eagle Foothills Fire

(The pictures are from KTVB channel 7) There was a massive wildfire burning in the Eagle foothills Wednesday afternoon. As I was driving home from work, I could smell the smoke through the Boise valley.
When I turned on the computer and TV to see what was going on, I saw there was a huge fire burning in the Eagle foothills. It was started by lightening.

This wildfire continued to pose problems for firefighters throughout the afternoon because of the winds. Also, getting enough water to fight the fire was an issue.
A storm moving through the valley earlier in the day sparked a grass fire east of Highway 16 near Linder and Homer roads.

The latest estimate is that 4,857 acres have been charred. The fire moved east across the foothills toward Highway 55
The story was live for several hours on each of the local channels. We watched as 4 helicopters flew back and forth dropping water. Since the fire was in a rural area, there isn't quick access to water. The helicopters were getting the water out of nearby ponds in housing developments and nearby swimming pools.

There were 300 firefighters from the Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department of Lands, Eagle, Star, Meridian, Boise and Caldwell fire departments battling the wildfire. A call went out for additional firefighting help. Crews made a heavy aerial assault with helicopter water bucket drops and retardant drops from air tankers.

The BLM had five air tankers, two helicopters, 12 engines and two Hot Shot crews - one from Boise and one from Vale, Oregon - working the fire. A Hot Shot crew is made up of 21 members that are specially trained in cutting fire lines quickly. Three bulldozers were used to cut fire lines.
The area is mostly farm land. There were horses in danger as we watched neighbors helping neighbors rescue the animals.

The winds picked up again Wednesday afternoon and fire officials say additional homes northeast of Homer Road and Ballantyne, stretching east to Quarter Drive were threatened by the flames.

Three homes and a barn were destroyed by fire, and forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes.

Officials say no one was injured but, the blaze destroyed structures are in the area of Homer and Smoky Ridge, and Homer and Skyline Drive.

Ada County Sheriff's deputies and Eagle Police officers evacuated homes in the area. A call also went out on a geocast, a type of reverse 911 that warns residents about dangers such as this.

Residents were told to go to Eagle High School at 574 N. Park Lane. The Red Cross set up a shelter at the high school and provided cots, blankets, water and food.

As of 10 p.m., fire officials report the fire was 100 percent contained.

The next day they showed the aerial shots of the burn area. The fire fighters are amazing to see how they saved many homes.

Bravo to the many people who fought this battle and saved all of these homes. No one was injured. What a great blessing. My heart goes out to those people who did lose their homes - it is a very sad thing. But THINGS can be replace, love ones can't. They did a great job keeping everyone safe and were able to put the fire out. I hope this is the last one we see this fire season.  

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Recipe: Zucchini Bars with Caramel Icing

It is zucchini season! Last year I found a new recipe that I thought I would try.
It is Zucchini Bars with Caramel Icing.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup margarine (I use butter), softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup coconut
3/4 cup chopped nuts
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together flour and baking powder.

In large bowl beat margarine and sugars until fluffy.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Stir in dry mix, zucchini, nuts, and coconut.

Spread in greased 9x13 pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Icing Ingredients:

3 Tablespoon butter
4 Tablespoon milk (I use my powdered milk mixed up)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup powdered sugar (I used 2 cups for a more frosting texture)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Bring butter, milk and brown sugar to a boil.

Remove from heat and beat in powdered sugar and vanilla.

Spread on warm bars.

Yum! The frosting tastes like a maple bar... yum!!

The bar has lots of texture with the nuts and coconut.

I really like it a lot!! Brady did not like the texture of the bar - but he like the frosting. He said the two didn't go together. He thought the healthy texture of the bar didn't fit with the sugary frosting.

I guess I'll end up eating these myself - unless I can find someone to give some to...
I am going to freeze some bars to keep it fresh longer.

Recipe: Chicken Noodle Bake

Fresh ingredients from my garden. Fresh carrots and celery - Yum!


I had to try a new recipe: Chicken Noodle Bake

Ingredients:
8 oz spiral noodles (I just eye balled it - because I only have bulk in my food storage)
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
3 ribs celery, sliced
1 1/2 Tablespoon Butter
3 Tablespoons flour
 1 1/2 cups milk (I used my mixed up powdered milk)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon dill (optional) I used 1/4 teaspoon
dash thyme
3/4 cup grated cheese


Cook noodles in salted boiling water in a large pan. Drain and return to pan.

Saute onion, garlic, and chicken in oil til chicken is no longer pink.
Add to noodles in the large pan.


Pour vegetables and broth into the same skillet you cooked the chicken.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
Add to the noodles and chicken mixture.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour until smooth.

Slowly whisk in the milk. cook over medium heat; boil for at least 2 minutes.

Add seasonings.

And cheese.

Pour over the noodle mixture, stir to combine, and pour in a greased 3 quart casserole dish. (sorry no picture). Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 - 20 minutes, or until bubbly


Serve! Both Brady and I loved it! We will definitely make this again.

Recipe: French Toast

This summer Brady has been making himself breakfast when he gets up. I've been very proud of his cooking skills and effort to make himself a great breakfast. One morning he wanted to make french toast and he looked through my recipe book, but couldn't find a recipe. He asked me to take pictures and put it in my recipe book and to teach him.
He makes me smile :-D.

I basically just throw things together, but for him I will put a recipe.
You will need:
Eggs - I use one egg per 2 pieces of bread
Milk - I use my mixed up powered milk I have in my fridge to rotate my powdered milk.
Vanilla
Our shaker of cinnamon and sugar

Bread of course.


I'm going to make 4 pieces of french toast, so I will use 2 eggs in a shallow bowl.

Add 1/4 cup of milk for the two eggs.


A cap full of vanilla.


Mix with a fork - you can add a couple of shakes of the cinnamon and sugar too.


Coat both sides of the bread.


Put on a hot griddle. I then coat the battered bread with cinnamon and sugar over the whole top of the bread.


Let cook for a couple of minutes and then flip over and cook the other side.


Yum! A nice breakfast of french toast, eggs, bacon, syrup, orange juice and chocolate milk.

I was busy taking pictures and setting the table - when I started to smell plastic burning.

Ooooops!


My microwave cover (that I put on the bacon to keep warm) was set on a hot burner on the stove. boo hoo!! I guess it will still work - just with more vent. At least it will still keep my microwave clean.. :-(

Brady's Cross Country Training Camp

Guest Post by Brady about Cross Country Training Camp, July 13 - 17th

After High Adventure, I had about 3 days to settle down, and then I was off to Cross Country Camp. Since my mom's car is defective and can't travel extra long distances, I got a ride with Rusty and another kid who also needed a ride. When we were almost there, the height from the mountains seemed to set in and I started getting a little car sick, but after walking around once we got there, I started getting used to the altitude.
After we set up a little, others started slowly showing up. There were 18 kids total, our team coaches Rusty, Liz, and Brice, a few graduated students, and two guys from NNU.

I wasn't going to the summer practices, so I was pretty much completely fresh into running again. The first run we went on, I felt pretty dehydrated. At the end of the run, I felt like I was about to get a Charley Horse in my calf at any second. After stretching and baby sitting the sink, it went away, and I slowly started to build my endurance throughout the rest of camp.


During the first night, the leaders had Brice dressed up like a wizard from Hogwarts (sort of). That night, we each took turns going up in front of the living room and stepping in to the sorting shoes. There were three teams that divided us up into groups of six. The teams were Griffendor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw. I was on Hufflepuff. During the rest of camp, we would have small activities that earned us house points. The team with the most house points at the end got awards.


That is Brice. He didn't look this ridiculous to us because the lights were off. The following pictures were taken with a blinding flash by Sora.



There I am putting on the sorting shoes.

(Good picture of the living room of the cabin)

A few days after, we got wife beaters and drew team logos on them. It was also optional to change the name of your team. Griffendor changed their team name to Slytherin, or the Death Eaters... it was a small mix of the two. Go figure. They did it because, "We couldn't do anything with Griffendor". Yes, we also had to come up with a team cheer and a skit.



That was mine. I tried to draw a badger, even though no one really knew what they looked like. I tried my best, even though everyone else's looked like stick figures, or Tasmanian devils, mine probably got made fun of the most *eyes roll*


I tried to do uniform letters at the beginning, but it didn't really work out, but it works. We got our idea from the three little pigs and the big bad wolf, only the house part is supposed to be like the house in The House Cup.


The competitions included several things like a string and nut game, a water balloon fight called civil war, an Oreo eating contest, a jello hose blowing contest, and egg toss, a head banging contest, a blindfolded obstacle, and much more, ending with a relay race.

 In the pictures, you see us doing a game where they froze a wife beater shirt with water. It practically was a block of ice, and our goal was to come up with any way to unfreeze our wife beater and put it on one of our team members. However, we couldn't use the hose, or go into the house. I was trying to stretch the rules and found a water bottle by a car outside. Technically, I wasn't breaking any of the rules, didn't use the house or the hose. However, when I was running over back to my team, Cindy, Rusty's wife, said that I couldn't use water. LAME! One team was banging theirs against a rock, while we were pounding ours with a brick. The other team... Lets say that a guy named Ryan peed on their teams wife beater hopping to unfreeze it... It didn't work, all it did was make the rest of the team not want to touch it. They were last by a long shot.


That's us blowing on the shirt, trying to breath heat it
.

That's us pulling it apart, you can see the brick we used at the bottom.

And that is our brick beaten wife beater.


Then it was time for the skits and the relay. There was a Dance performed by Slytherin, our team did a Candy Shop skit where we borrowed people and used them as furniture because there was nothing in the candy shop, then the last thing they needed was candy and the punch line was, "What do I need candy for, I got all the suckers I need." (I stole the idea from High Adventure the week earlier.)

Then the winning team did a Lord of the Rings based skit, only instead of a ring, it was a pair of dirty underpants, and they had to take it to some kind of giant washing machine where it could be destroyed. It was funny because they were traveling over the mountains and they said the underwear froze. Ryan said something like, "I think I can unfreeze them, I hear peeing on them really helps" Then when they were almost at the washing machine, Ryan (Frodo) said they were getting heavier, then Sean (Sam) said, "That's because you peed on them." It was really funny.


Then the relay came, even if we won (which we got dead last on) we still would have gotten last place. =(

Along with the team games we also had Sock Wars, which you throw socks at the other team (not house teams, just 9v9) last man standing, or who ever turns on the TV in the enemy teams base won. My team won all the matches we played. Then we played a game called Fugitive. We went to another cabin about 1 mile away from the cabin we were staying at, and we were trying to get back to our home cabin and ring the bell outside our cabin in order to win, but we had to do that without getting caught. It was high schoolers vs everyone else. At first, the teams seemed pretty even, but they picked us off slowly, and by the time it was 2 high schoolers vs about 8-10 helpers, it just wasn't that much fun anymore. We all got our fair share of battle wounds but only one of us came close to ringing the bell (as in he was on the porch, but didn't get the bell.)

And that was pretty much that week in a nut shell.
 and Brady

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