Saturday, December 29, 2007

Three Years

December 28, 2007 was the three-year mark for the existence of the William and Anna Heath family. Happy anniversary to us! We didn't get to do anything tremendously exciting for it, we actually ended up playing guitar hero as the highlight of the day, but it's only our third, cut us some slack!

William gave me a beautiful Venetian glass heart necklace, which came with a leather band. Not only was it sweet, but I later looked up the "traditional anniversary gifts" chart and found that traditionally the third anniversary is the leather anniversary, but on the modern chart it's crystal/glass. Bonus points to Will for unknowingly accomplishing both!

Year four is supposed to be fruit/flowers traditionally, or appliances on the modern chart. Totally looking forward... I love fruit.

This video is of my favorite Guitar Hero song. Someone passed it with a perfect score on the expert level and posted it to YouTube. I really just like the melody.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas 2007

Merry Christmas! This year we spent most of Christmas Day with Will's family, and had a great time. We played games and ate food and did the gift thing. I really enjoy watching people get gifts that they are excited about. It's a good feeling. In the days leading up to Christmas, I spent a lot of time at a neighbor's house, Emily, because she is the neighborhood digital scrapbook guru, and she helped me to make the following scrapbook pages for my Grandma and Grandpa, who invited our whole family to join them on an Alaskan Cruise this past summer. (FYI, if you click on the link, it will take you to a slide show that does not end up back at this blog, so you'd have to navigate your own way back.)

Everyone in our family wrote a thank-you letter, which is where all the captions on each page come from. The letters in full were included in the book given to Grandma on Christmas eve. Yes, I realize there are many typos, but I won't be able to fix them until I get my own digital scrapbooking software.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find the camera on Christmas day, so I don't have any pictures, but maybe when I do find it I'll take a picture of Molly with her Christmas present, a squeaky toy. She loves squeaky toys so much that she usually destroys the squeaker within a couple of days. I had forgotten about this and didn't realize that any time she wanted to play she would grab her toy, come right up and stare straight at me and "squeak squeak squeak" until I gave her some attention. Oh well, it's only a matter of time before this squeaker goes out, too.
Anna and Dad set up the new Christmas tree in the Faber's entryway before Christmas
Making Christmas cookies to give away for the holidays
We made Christmas trees and candy cane cookies this year

Friday, December 14, 2007


Update: I did it! I graduated!

I think I officially graduated with my Associates in Culinary Arts yesterday. I didn't go to graduation, though, so I'm not completely sure.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Have I Mentioned That I Love My Job?

Okay all you people with cute kids, check out what my kids can do! One of the classes at school wrote us some letters. Most of the time the kids will call me "Lunch Lady," as in these letters, and sometimes they'll just call me "Teacher." I love it when they call me either.

(In my browser, you have to click the 'play' button twice to get it going again once it has stopped)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

This has been a pretty wonderful time, for sure.

First off, Will decided to grow a goatee along with a coworker. It lasted for about a week, and I got a picture just before he shaved it off. It's not that he doesn't look handsome with facial hair, and he does like the fact that when you have more hair on your face, that's less to shave, but ultimately he lost a lot of kisses when he had a scratchy face- mistletoe or not.

The snow has been amazing. I don't remember it snowing like this for years. Lots and lots of the white stuff. Molly loves it. I don't think there is another time of year where she wants to spend more time outdoors- which is sad because it's the exact opposite for me.

Will's work Christmas party involved a lot of bowling. The company (plus spouses or other invited guests) took up 6 lanes, and we all got to wear Santa hats. I tried to take a lot of pictures, but because people are always moving around when bowling, most of them turned out blurry. The only one that really came out okay was this one of Megan Itri (who works with Will and also happens to be my sister) and her hubby, Todd. Aren't they cute?

Okay, I know I said that we wouldn't have any more pumpkin-themed blogs this year, but I lied. You see, we've had this pumpkin on our porch since before Halloween, and it hasn't softened or rotted or anything. I think it might have helped that the outdoors has rotated between refrigerator and freezer temperatures, but I finally got around to carving a jack-o-lantern. Yes, I did try to make it relevant to this season.
And you all visited our Christmas card site, right? Hmm. Now maybe I should start Christmas shopping.....

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Stress- The Radio Lab Way

It's the holiday season. Do you feel stressed? I like to relax by reading or listening to something soothing. My most favorite thing to listen to is, unlike most people, not music. I love listening to talk radio, especially NPR shows like "Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me" the news quiz, and "This American Life" a show of stories that happen in America, and most especially, "Radio Lab" which is most entertaining as well as informative about tons of different subjects. Here's a link to an episode on stress. The episodes are an hour long, but if you need to take a short break, I think the website breaks it down into smaller segments.

The Stress Episode.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Testing Jasmine's Christmas Recipe

This year my sister Jasmine asked for a recipe for Christmas. It had to be something she could make at home pretty easily. Preferably chocolate. I revamped an older recipe and am giving it to her for Christmas. It's called "Jasmine's Chocolate Bread Cake" and it's served with a White Chocolate-Almond-Maple Sauce. I tested it at home and served it to Will's family and mine. So far all the thumbs have been up, and I think I would personally give this one four stars out of five. But the real test takes place back in Oklahoma with the Dickerson family.....

Delicious Bread Cake

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gifts for Molly...or Molly for Gifts?

Ellie came to Provo last week to play. Dad pointed out that the Molly-Ellie relationship is a symbiotic one. Ellie loves Molly. She likes chasing molly, calling Molly Elmo (Ma-mo), petting her. Molly gets a good deal because when Ellie eats, she doesn't know how to keep all the food on the table, yet. And even if she did, I suspect that she would try to feed the animals, anyway.

Molly gets some welcomed gifts from Ellie.


At home, on the other hand, Molly has decided that she enjoys the Christmas tree skirt, and often settles in right under the bows, just like a Christmas gift. I was tempted to put a ribbon on her.

The prettiest-wrapped gift under the tree.


I was reading the blog of my good friend, Toni, when I came across a post titled "I was Tagged." She listed 6 things about herself, and then offered the challenge to me to do the same. I suppose this is what "tagged" means. So, here goes:

1. I hate cooking at home. Give me someone else's kitchen, sure- or a commercial kitchen, even better. I feel guilty whenever anyone finds out I have a culinary arts degree and then makes some comment about how lucky my husband must be. Poor guy.

2. I love the Christmas season more than the actual day, and I don't get sick of the songs.

3. I love shoes. I hate shopping.

4. I care about almost everything anyone else cares about. Y'know when someone starts talking about something wierd, like the trouble they had with the toothpaste this morning, and everyone who is listening is thinking "Why is he telling us this?" instead of actually listening? Well, at this point I am usually thinking "oh, really?" I'm not sure yet if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

5. I wish I could have a baby, but since this doesn't seem to be happening, I would rather spend money to foster or adopt, rather than spend money in the doctor's office. I hate being a patient, and for some reason I feel like not having a baby is an opportunity, not just a burden.

6. I've read Alma 5 every single day for the past two weeks. It takes me 20 mintues.

Friday, November 23, 2007

School Pictures

A couple of weeks ago we had school pictures taken. It feels weird to know that I'm going to be in the "faculty" section of the yearbook. No one ever does more than glance over the lunch lady's pictures, but I'll be there nonetheless. I got a package of pictures of different sizes, but I honestly have no idea what I will do with them. I decided that if I post a picture here then it will be preserved and I don't have to keep a bunch of wallets, 4x6's and whatever else they gave me. So here it is, Anna wearing the School Crest on her shirt. Thank you all for humoring me.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The A&W Christmas Card

Happy Holidays! According to my brother-in-law, Mike, We can officially start singing Christmas songs today, should we so desire. And you, lucky you, can start viewing our 2007 Christmas card because I have provided a link to it below! Just click on our picture in front of the Christmas tree.

And should you get to the end of the Christmas card and want to know the answers to the "Who Read What?" trivia, click on Molly. She'll be happy to tell you the answers as soon as she finishes this chapter...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Chef's Table "The Best Of Utah Valley"

Tonight Will and I were treated to a very nice dinner at Chef's Table, often considered Utah Valley's nicest restaurant, along with Mom and Dad Faber. It so happens that they had received gift certificates and I had received a complimentary meal for two (by virtue of working at the restaurant durring the Christmas season 2006). The gift card covered the whole meal for Mom and Dad, and Will and I simply paid a tip. It was dee-lish.
Mom commented that she would often fantasize: "One day we will go out to eat with one of our children and we will not be the ones paying." Well, my friends, eight kids and I get the honors to be the first. Take that!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Third and Final Installment of the '07 Pumpkin-Themed Blog

The Halloween party this year was so much fun. I volunteered to make a cake for the cake walk, along with some cupcakes. The cupcakes turned out great, they feature the classic jack-o-lantern, a mummy, a monster, and an overgrown grave with a spiderweb. They were so much fun that I made some extra for Will to take to work.
The cake turned out alright, too. It featured a super-chocolate graveyard. The headstones were all made from solid chocolate and there's one open grave- you could be next! I added some long grass to make the graveyard look overgrown, like the cupcakes, but I think the pure chocolate version actually looked better.
This year, as with every year, I had the hardest time coming up with costumes. I was looking through the costume box at my mom's house when I found a blond wig. I put it on - I kind of like wigs.
Shelly, my sister, also had to show off her Halloween surprises. She put on an all-black bodysuit and looked like a ninja. She scared everyone with her creeping around.
When they were done screaming, everyone saw my blond wig and asked me if I was going to be Miss Piggy for Halloween. Why not? I like the whole couples-dress-in-related-costumes thing, so naturally I had to make a Kermit costume for Will. The costumes turned out pretty awesome.
Now it's all over. I just hope that I can think of some more fun ideas by next year.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I'm As Curly As A Pig's Tail

I wonder how many people will be able to recognise me from the back now.

Relief Society Pumpkin Patch

We made the cutest stuffed pumpkins for a Relief Society craft activity. I'm so grateful for activities like this because I would never 'get around' to doing any thing of the sort if left to my own devices. I'm also lucky enough to live just down the street from where the activity took place, so that when I realized I forgot my camera I could just call the sweetest hubby ever to come take our picture. For some reason I really get excited about holiday decorating, but only in the last four months of the year.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


You heard it here first folks, for the first time in recorded history the Fabers have carved a jack-o-lantern out of (drumroll, please...) a pumpkin homegrown in their very own garden!! I got to help. In fact it was Dad, Nikenzie and I that decided to carve the funny face. I think it's beautiful.

Kenzie became our eye expert.

The finished product...

... Looks better all lit up.

The proud carvers.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Anyone know a cranberry therapist?

I really like Kirkland Signature cranberry juice from Costco. I drink it all the time. I'd say I could quit if I wanted, but I really don't think I can. Today, as I was tilting the glass of cranberry juice to my mouth, I found that I actually started swallowing before the liquid hit my lips. Yeah. I think I need help.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

Thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone! I had an awesome birthday. Since my wonderful husband cannot keep a secret, he gave me a birthday present, a game called "25 words or less", a couple of days before my birthday. We played it with my parents and all my younger siblings on Sunday. Then on the 8th, the actual day, we went out to eat with my sister, Megan and her hubby Todd. Then they took me home and gave me lemony birthday cake while watching Gilmore Girls. My mom is still planning a birthday celebration in Salt Lake City so that my older sister Jessica and her husband Matt can be a part of it, along with their sweetheart daughter, Ellie. Meanwhile, My sister Jasmine in Oklahoma sent me a cute card signed not only by her, but with the signature of her little son, Brayden, whom I'm assuming was also the one who wrote the name of his even littler sister, Kylee. They also sent some stick-on tattoos, which Will and I had some fun with.

Hey folks, I don't really feel any older, but I don't know how anyone can ask for a better family any day of the year. Can't help but want to share the love!

Birthday Body Art

Sunday, October 7, 2007


I'm working to develop a couple of talents. I'm trying to write more. I do the exercise where I have to type an entire page without stopping. I'm trying to be more musical. I'm practicing voice and looking for xylophone music. I'm trying to develop my drawing skills. This is one of the first quick sketches I have done since high school, along with the inspiration. What do you think?

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Yesterday was the Utah Food Service Expo in Salt Lake. As part of the expo, the Utah chapter of the American Culinary Federation held a mystery box competition for Junior and professional members. I joined a former classmate, Dareq, to compete. Our charge was to produce a three course meal for four in two hours using ingredients that were not known to us until our two-hour time limit began (and the use of common table items, which are basic produce, spices, and other staple ingredients.) Our mystery box contained: Fennel, edimame, a spaghetti squash, a whole duck, an entire striped bass, orzo, the subprime veal loin cut and... wait, what's this? a bunch of duck fat? No, it looks like a translucent chicken breast. It's some kind of organ. I suggest that maybe it's a sweetbread. Dareq says that there's no way it's a bread. No, not bread, I say, a sweetbread. He thinks it's a liver. I have never in actuality seen a sweetbread in my life, so I suppose he must be right.
Turns out he wasn't, as one of the judges pointed out. And a sweetbread is the thyroid gland of a calf; that much I know. What I don't remember from my studies is how to cook it. I worry so much about it as I am cutting out duck breast, fabricating fish fillets and butchering the veal, that I decide I need to stop thinking about it for a moment- and then I never think about it again. Oops.
Turns out we did pretty well with our meal anyway, despite the loss of points due to the lack of sweetbread on our menu. We compete against a standard, not each other, so there were a couple certificates of participation and even fewer bronze metals awarded. No gold or silver to the student teams. We somehow squeaked out a bronze, which I am actually pretty proud of considering our dishes didn't turn out the way we had planned.
At the end of the the awards ceremony Chef Wendy, the head of the competition, was thanking the vendors who donated or lent stoves, equipment and products to the event. She ended by announcing "A special thanks to Nicholas foods. They put together the mystery boxes, so you can blame them."
The line got some laughs, but all I have to say is: Touche, Wendy. Touche.

From top clockwise:
Fish course: Poached striped sea bass on a bed of spaghetti squash with an Italian tomato sauce,
Salad course: fennel and orange duck salad with edimame beans,
Entree course: pan-fried cuts of veal with vegetable orzo pasta.

Sweetbread, anyone?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

No Use Cryin'...

In the school cafeteria, students come to lunch by grade, every ten minutes. In the few moments in between serving each class, I try to help the lunch monitor clean the tables and floor. (I have found that little kids have a habit of leaving garbage under the tables, whereas older children leave garbage on the tables, not even attempting to clean up after themselves.)
Today, when I was out among the tables, I noticed some strawberry milk spilt all over the floor. As you may have guessed, we have spills such as this virtually every day. No Problem. I just grabbed the mop and put up a "caution, wet floor" sign. But as I was finishing up, a little brown-haired girl with bright eyes said to me in her first-grader voice, "Thank you, Lunch Lady!" I couldn't help but get a funny grin on my face when I told her "You're welcome."
I don't know if the milk was even hers, but I appreciate that she appreciates. It also makes me happy to report that now I have kids of my own to blog about- more than three hundred fifty of them. Like the little boy that was amazed at a tiny banana that he picked as his fruit today. he put it up to his cheek like a telephone and said, "this is the littlest banana phone I have ever talked in to." I quickly grabbed another banana and put it up to my cheek. "What will you have for lunch today?" I asked him. He was bewildered for only a moment by the grown-up playing games with him, but quickly recovered and announced, "I'm having chili!"
"Good," I smiled, and hung up.
I also tried to convince an eighth-grader that we were installing hidden cameras in the cafeteria, and she had better tell her friends that we are going to catch those students that leave their trash on the tables. I hope that it starts rumors that go around the whole school and we'll end up with a spic-and-span lunchroom everyday.
Well, here's to dreaming. Goodnight kids.


Friday, September 28, 2007

I Don't Have Kids So I Must Talk About The Food

Today began my sojourn as a lunch lady. The kitchen in the new school has not exactly been put in yet, but neither has the gym, library or some of the walls and lighting, so I can't really complain. I get to see cute kids on a daily basis which, since I have none of my own to blog about, is a definite plus. In fact sometimes I feel a little jealous. My Molly dog had already taken her first step and was eating solid foods by the time we brought her home, and I doubt I will be telling you about her first word anytime soon. But let's be honest, she sure is cute and cuddly.

This evening Will and I and a couple of friends went out to Greg's Kitchen, the student-run culinary school restaurant. Tonight's theme was Classical French food. Now, I love brioche and the foie gras was delish, but I must say that that was the best pea soup I have ever had in my entire life. No kidding. I'll post the recipe as soon as I get it from a buddy in the class. Meanwhile, should you want to go there yourself, here's where you can find the info:
Mmmmmm..... I love this industry.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Not Hungry Anymore

Full Fridge

Now that I have had numerous years' experience in restaurants, a two-year degree in culinary arts that took four years, an internship geared toward helping me become a personal chef, a job as head lunch-lady at an elementary school, and have been responsible for my own meals for three years, I am finally getting the hang of grocery shopping.

Can you believe it?

I looked at sale prices in all our grocery propoganda (which comes in the mail every other day), I made a list of things we are out of, things we need for our next couple of meals, I stopped in on Costco on the way to Albertson's just to make sure the prices were the best, and then- bingo! made my purchases, came home, and put away the groceries. Yay! I saved nearly 25% on my entire purchase and didn't get anything I am not going to use.

Mom would be so proud.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Home Again Home Again Jiggidy Jig

I have now officially been home from California for a week and a half and am starting to feel as if the mess monster that my home was is now somewhat under control. Yippee! And now that the home is getting where it needs to be, it's job huntin' season. Happy trails!