Sunday, April 26, 2009

Our "bucket list" gets a little smaller...

Sorry pictures are out of order. Sometimes Blogger and me are good friends, but it appears today we have had a falling out.

Since everybody gave such good ideas to add to our "BYU Bucket List" awhile back, we have been busy having fun trying to accomplish them. Here is a report for the Y hike (by the way, Trina, we didn't plan it enough in advance to invite you along, but you'll have to make it out sometime for that Creamery ice cream! Let us know when you can come to Provo for a get-together. We could even do the Y a second time, if you still want hike it!)

Here are my Mom and Dad somewhere along the trail. They booked it up the hill in less than 30 minutes without even getting breathless--pretty quick for a couple of would-be grandparents.

The slope is a lot steeper than it looks in this picture. Yep, this is the Y in person.

Even though Utah is a dry, wasteland desert for the most part, I still find its landscape breathtaking at the most unexpected times. Tired brown weeds, gray clumpy rocks, and a faintly blue sky all somehow add up to gorgeous in this arrangement.

I didn't notice the "B" and the "U" until somebody pointed it out for me.

Jerry has very impressive leg muscles. I, on the other hand, have very impressive milky white leg skin. But I glory in my melanoma-free state.

View from the ground level.

Jerry and I won free water bottles recently for correctly guessing our blood-pressures. Nice to have another BYU souvenir, and I definitely used mine during our hike.
Headless Mom behind me is using Jerry's waterbottle.

Friday, April 17, 2009

To dispel the rumors

Lest anyone mistakenly think (by the contents of those last two posts) that we are budding hippies, I caught Jerry on camera last week enjoying a good ol' generic ice-cream/Shasta rootbeer float.

We have to date broken all but two of the glasses we got for wedding gifts, so when we found these Coca-Cola glasses on sale recently it seemed like a cute idea. However, it makes Jerry have subliminal promptings to drink more soda now, so we may have to put them away except for special occasions.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gross Horm..., I mean..., Growth Hormone 化學生长激素雞

Attached is a picture showing the difference between chicken with growth hormone and natural chicken.

You can see three differences:
1. The natural one on the left has smaller pieces (with 14 piece total);
2. and darker.
3. The growth hormone one on the right is mechanically trimmed (attached with more tendon, fat, and bone chips; with 4 piece total).

The price is not even that big of a difference. (A dollar per pound different.) I still remember the chicken in Hong Kong was way more yellow, because they are from natural farms in China.

They taste a lot better, too! I still remember calling my mom asking her how to make traditional Chinese chicken soup. As I followed the exact instructions from my mom, the soup was never the same as it was Hong Kong. Hmm…, I wonder why…???


我仍然记得问我的媽媽如何做中式鸡汤。 我然後遵守了從我媽媽的指示/教導,那湯結果與香港的不一樣。 Hmm…,為什麼…??? (化學的東西方不如自然的好)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Going Natural...or so I thought

Hello, Springtime. Today is gorgeous; I went on a little walk this morning and did my scripture study while reclining on the lawn. ESL classes ended this week, I think, unless someone else plans to do it during the summer.

I recently colored Easter eggs and decided to use non-store-bought dyes. Sweet Husby is usually game to go along with American holiday traditions, but didn't join me for this one because he had a lot of homework. So I only did two eggs to start and hope that maybe we'll both do more later this week.

Anyway, back to the natural dyes: I started by trying to boil the eggs in spinach, but they just turned a pale brownish yellow, even after I soaked them in the fridge for a few hours. So then I tried adding some curry to the spinach soup and it did add a few yellow/brown speckles to the eggs--but I still felt a little miffed about the utter pastel coloring it gave overall. Removing one egg, I started over with it by using a cold dye mixture of red grape juice, red wine vinegar, and chokecherry syrup. The resulting deep scarlet hue was glorious to behold, until I read the ingredients on the red wine vinegar and found out it had Red #40 in it. So much for going natural. To add insult to injury, I dried the egg by hand instead of patiently letting air do its job... all the deep red color came off in my napkin, and I ended up with a muted earth tone purply-pink as it was. This is the bottom egg in the picture. The top egg got to soak a bit longer in the spinach-curry soup, and then I finally used blueberries to give a nice marbly blue/brown effect. This egg resembles a dinosaur egg to me, and I like how it turned out.

Other natural dyes I would like to try: turmeric ( to get a deep golden yellow); onion skins (a different shade of gold/yellow); purple cabbage (strangely enough, reportedly results in blue).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The New Apostle 新的使徒

耶穌基督在世時,組織了祂的教會。教會是「被建造在使徒和先知的根基上,有基督耶穌自己為房角石」 (以弗所書 2:20)。 祂選出十二使徒來領導教會。


新的使徒: 尼爾‧安德森長老, 上次在總會教友大會, 回答了我們的個人疑問。他講到怎样每人有不同的挑戰,但是通过耶稣基督的贖罪我們可以靈聖上癒合。
We love General Conference. We prepare for it months and weeks in advance like it's Christmas--but minus the “holiday let-down” when it ends, because Conference gives us such a feeling of renewal and contentment with our lives. Highlights for the Tam Family:

In last October’s General Conference, we both listened with a specific gospel question in mind that we wanted to have answered. This question held connection to our current life trials at the time, and we felt overjoyed and relieved when one speaker, Elder Neil L. Anderson, completely answered our concern. He spoke of how everyone has different challenges, but through Jesus Christ’s Atonement, difficulties of mortality can be healed after the resurrection. A few months later, we got to thank Elder Anderson in person when he came to our Stake Conference as a visiting General Authority. Imagine our delight yesterday to find out Elder Anderson has become our newest apostle. We feel easy acceptance of his authority and calling. How grateful we are to have living prophets and apostles on the earth today, just like those Jesus Christ called when He organized His church two thousand years ago.

Another part of this Conference we really enjoyed was Elder Holland’s testimony of Christ. The Savior was rejected of men, and even at one point left without the help of His Heavenly Father, suffering completely alone. He experienced this loneliness for a purpose, to feel all that we mortals may sometimes feel—but we must not ever let Him be rejected and left alone again. Rather, stand by His side, because He remains ever willing to do so for us. We love and honor the Savior Jesus Christ, and know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by Him.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Last-minute Ideas, Anyone?

Approaching our final few weeks until graduation--but who's counting down?--we have noticed some key items left on our "Must-Do-while-at-BYU" list. This checklist might not exist in any formal venue, but surely it must be acknowledged there are some traditions and activities that most students participate in while on this special campus. Maybe since both Jerry and I are transfer students, we failed on a few of the classics. We will do what we can to rectify the situation. Marked in blue are a some "BYU Basics" we have done already. (Regular black print means we did not accomplish, but might still fit in).

-Volunteer at the MTC
-Hike the Y (if it ever becomes springtime around here, we should get this one done...any takers to join us?)
-Get married
-Make fondue on the bell tower lights
-Visit the museums…Bean, Peoples and Culture, MOA, and what was that other one?
-Sample the International Cinema (we both got really excited over the showing of InfernalAffairs, and I got terrified from going to see The Orphanage alone without Jerry to hold my hand)
-Take a Social Dance class (I did this one before I met Jerry...maybe we can still attend one of those Wednesday night salsa club lessons together...?)
-Take Mission Prep from Randy Bott (only I did this one...)
-Take Marriage Prep from Brent Barlow (another one from me only; Jerry missed his chance!)
-Attend a football game (we managed to fit in one basketball game...pathetic, we know)
-Feed the ducks at the pond on south campus
-Live at Wymount
-Attend devotionals/forums (wish we did more of it!)
-Order a kids meal (ice cream for dessert!) at the Creamery on 9th (did this one more than once...!)

Any great traditions we missed? Please help us get the most out of our last month of studenthood here at the Y! Any additional ideas are welcome.