Friday, March 25, 2016

Happy Easter!

He Lives!  And because He lives - all of us will, too.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Great Paper Airplane Contest

Barbara, Veronica, Carlos, Vincent, Anthony and Carmen gear up for the competition
Last week our office had a contest.  A special kind of race.  A PAPER AIRPLANE smackdown!

Brian, Doug, Mengzhao and Frank have their airplanes at the ready
It was a simple concept, really.  Make a paper airplane out of one sheet of plain paper.  No cutting or tearing of the paper was allowed.  Fly it from the marker in the corridor and see who can stay in the air and fly the farthest.

We had a long hallway as our race field.

Frank G's plane makes a disappointing crash landing
Everyone who participated had to make their plane in full view of other participants, in the conference room.  Then, they got two tries to fly the plane down the long "airstrip".

Frank B's plane fared little better
Employees were strategically placed along the corridor to judge on range and height of each throw.

Carmen, our receptionist, tosses a winner!
Amazingly, it didn't take an engineer to make the best plane, or to throw it the farthest.

Barbara gave it a good try
This was a lot of fun, whether you flew a plane or not.

I caught Vincent's plane in mid-flight!
I'm glad so many of our employees got into the action and participated.

Nikita photoing the attempts
Amazingly, some of the best engineered planes went awry.  If you look closely at the photo below, you'll see one plane stuck into the ceiling tiles along the wall!  That was pretty funny, actually.

The aftermath: The floor was littered with the remains of the paper planes
A good time was had by all.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Morgan's Kitchen Shower

Morgan and Ronei
My young friend Morgan got married recently in the St. George, Utah, LDS Temple.  In an odd turn of events, because she's currently attending school out-of-state, her shower was held about a week later in her home town of Whittier.  I hear her official reception won't be held for a couple of months when the groom's parents will be coming for a U.S. visit from their home in Brazil.

...And so it was that a bunch of us ladies gathered last Saturday to celebrate Morgan's nuptials and have some fun with a kitchen-themed shower.

Andrea reads off the list of spices to (L-R) Morgan, Evangeline and Mary Beth
We started off with a game to guess some commonly used herbs and spices.  I only got five right, out of a whole tray full, and still won the prize!  They were the herbs and spices I use most often, though, so that made sense to me:  Paprika, Parsley, Cinnamon, Sage and Fennel, if I remember correctly.

There were many you'd go, Hmmmm... smells like spaghetti sauce... and others you knew but couldn't quite place.  I felt terrible that I missed some like Basil that I've actually grown!

Heidi, Janice, Ellen and Jeanne
The shower was held at Jeanne's fabulous home in Friendly Hills.

The Bride's sister, Heather
I went through all my photos and realized I hadn't taken a single photo of Morgan's mom during the whole afternoon. Isn't that the way it goes sometimes?  Oops, sorry Meredith!

Morgan taking notes
We haven't seen much of Morgan in the past few years.  After graduating from High School, she left on a LDS proselyting mission to Ecuador for 18 months, then went away to school in Cedar City.  She is a busy, and accomplished, young lady.

Our Beautiful Morgan
She and her new husband were leaving the next day to return to school and their new home in Cedar City.  They still have a bit of schooling left to finish.

I kinda love this photo (below) of Sara and her squirmy worm baby daughter.  That's just how kids are, right?
Sara and her baby in motion
Sara's husband offered a cooking demo for us, geared to help the Bride make some healthy and easy breakfast/brunch choices.  We later ate the yummy egg dishes for our lunch.

Brother Soto did a fun cooking demonstration despite his daughter's "help"!
I had never thought of adding shredded yams to a dish in place of cheese, but it was not only low in calories, it was very melty and tasty!

Sara, Heather and Morgan
 We all gathered around the kitchen island to enjoy the demonstration.

We were a rapt audience
I got some good tips from Brother Soto's demonstration.  We were a rapt - and very hungry audience!
Jeanne had recently remodeled this kitchen
Jeanne has a spacious, and rather fabulous kitchen.  She recently remodeled her home and doubled (or possibly tripled) the kitchen in size.  It has a shelf-lined walk-in pantry as well.  It's just lovely.

I loved this peacock china pattern!
I love this house.  I've been in it many times before, but not since the latest remodel when it went from merely fab to spectacular.

The entryway
If you'd like to see it in person, Jeanne's home will be a part of a Whittier Home Tour benefiting the Whittier Museum and the Bailey House at the end of April.  I'll be posting more details about this in a future blog post.

In the meantime, here's a glimpse of the formal dining room:

The formal dining room
 Now, where was I?

The luncheon also featured lots of yummy fruit.

Lots of fruit  And chocolate!
There were tables set up outside and indoors.  It was a lovely spring day, but (surprisingly) the wind was a bit chilly.  I love that gazebo! (below)

The home sits on a hill and has a terrific view overlooking the Friendly Hills golf course.  I've spent a terrific 4th of July up there watching the fireworks display!

Dining al fresco
 After lunch, we returned to the lounge for the gift opening.

Morgan opening her gifts
This was a kitchen shower to help the young couple get their kitchen set up.  They got a varied selection of useful kitchen items.
Morgan, looking very much like her mom in this photo!
Morgan complained she didn't really know how to cook.  I can only assume this next year or two will be interesting for her in the kitchen!  (I'm sure she will do fine.  Hunger and a limited student budget often work together to produce good, solid, and highly inventive cooks.)

My neighbor Sheree (below with her baby daughter and her mom) was in the Young Women's Program at church with Morgan.  It's nice to see these beautiful young ladies moving on - serving missions, getting their education, and marrying in the temple. I taught them for a while back in their high school years. It's strange to think of them as young wives and mothers now!

Sheree, baby Zairah and Ellen
I spent a very pleasant afternoon at this gathering.  (I know some of the nicest people.)  It's nice to get together every now and then - and this was a fun celebration.

I swear this is a longest sofa I have ever seen. This photo shows half of it.
They're long gone back up to school, but I wish Morgan and Ronei all the best.  (And good luck learning to cook, Morgan!)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Engineers' Night Out

The entrance to Luminarias is beautiful
Our office recently established a committee to organize some fun for the office staff, and one of the things they decided upon was going out after hours once a month for drinks.  I don't know what the committee is formally called, or who is on it, but they've come up with some fun ideas so far.

It all formally started in January with an after hours party that I didn't have the chance to attend. Last week, however, I remedied that!  This time the venue was just up the hill from our office building at a restaurant called Luminarias.

(L-R) Giuseppe, Frank, Gerry, Carlos, Mengzhao, Victor, Brian and Ana's arm
It turned out to be a lot of fun.  When my carload of ladies arrived, there were only two engineers at the bar.  We soon remedied that!  We ended up with more than 20 people there.

Edward and Giuseppe bellied up to the bar early, while Ana watched in the background
Luminarias is in a pretty setting and their bar has huge windows overlooking a hillside with a panoramic view.

Ana and Veronica
People trickled in throughout the evening.

Carmen and Ana
We decided to order some food.  Everyone was hungry, and the nachos and quesadillas disappeared so quickly I couldn't get a picture of them fast enough.

The chips were toasty and tasty
We snarfed them up with record speed.  (Well, I did, anyway!) The food, by the way, was really good!

We made short work of the super nachos and the quesadillas
We pulled a bunch of tables together in a corner of the room and enjoyed conversing with our co-workers and friends. 

Despite what it looks like in the photo above, our conversations were animated.  There was a lot of laughter!
By 6:30 the place was packed with nearly our entire office staff. For some reason, I didn't manage to catch many of the late arrivals in my photos, so you'll have to trust me!  We had a large group that came later and sat on the far end from me. I sat and nursed my Diet Cola and enjoyed the conversations buzzing around me until we finally left sometime around 7 pm.

I really like the people I work with and it's always fun to get together outside of the office for some well-deserved down time.

Thanks, guys.  It was fun!

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Soup Thief

Hmmmm... what is this?  Smells good!
You have to watch these kitties!  They'll steal everything in sight, including your dinner.

Yes, I hesitate to name names, but Jack has been known to appropriate my stuff from time to time. Okay, ALL the time.  Because, you know, everything is a cat toy.  I was surprised, however, to discover he liked soup.

This is pretty yummy!
I wasn't quite finished with that bowl of Chicken Corn Chowder, Jack!

B-b-but it was chicken, Mom!  This was yummy!
That little pink tongue hanging out is a sure sign that my boy is totally spoiled.  Yep.  Surprised?

Jack and I hope you have a great weekend!