Thursday, February 28, 2008

This is my chance

We didn't really go to church much when I was a kid, not until I was 8. By then I had missed most of primary. Due to my lack of exposure to the Primary I have very few memories of sharing time and I certainly don't remember all those cute songs they sing. I have felt very deprived because of this hole in my religious education. I long to have those years back, especially during the yearly Primary Program as the children sing their little hearts out and throw their fists in the air for Scripture Power!

Well, I am happy to report that Heavenly Father loves me, and has seen fit to call me to be a teacher in the Primary Program. Although I have no idea what I'm doing, I'm very excited to do it! My first shot is this Sunday with the 8-10 year old class Peter, Emma, Sarah, Drake, and Shahilah. I'll be teaching the Enos Prays lesson. If anyone has good ideas for me, I'll take them. Like I said I pretty much don't know what I'm doing when it comes to teaching children. I'm hoping to pick up a few skills before Baby Fin gets here.

I wasn't officially called and sustained until Sunday, but I still got to go to Activity Day on Saturday. It was fabulous. The kids traveled through Old Testament times. They had three different stops. They learned the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors then got to make colorful coats out of brown paper grocery bags. Then they heard the story of David and Goliath and had fun slinging marshmallows at Goliath's head. The last stop on their travel through time was in a huge tent where they were told the story of Lehi's dream. When they came out of the tent there were Liahona's there for each of them to decorate. It was so cool. The kids loved it and I loved it. Here are some pictures.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Make Your Own

For those of you who want to make your own fortune cookies here is the recipe I used, I found it on About.com. It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun. I'm so glad I had Kasey there to help me. The whole process goes much smoother with two people.


Fortune Cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 teaspoons water

Preparation:
1. Write fortunes on pieces of paper that are 3 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 9-X-13 inch baking sheets. 2. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg white, vanilla extract, almond extract and vegetable oil until frothy, but not stiff.3. Sift the flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar into a separate bowl. Stir the water into the flour mixture.4. Add the flour into the egg white mixture and stir until you have a smooth batter. The batter should not be runny, but should drop easily off a wooden spoon.5. Place level tablespoons of batter onto the cookie sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart. Gently tilt the baking sheet back and forth and from side to side so that each tablespoon of batter forms into a circle 4 inches in diameter.6. Bake until the outer 1/2-inch of each cookie turns golden brown and they are easy to remove from the baking sheet with a spatula (14 - 15 minutes).7. Working quickly, remove the cookie with a spatula and flip it over in your hand. Place a fortune in the middle of a cookie. To form the fortune cookie shape, fold the cookie in half, then gently pull the edges downward over the rim of a glass, wooden spoon or the edge of a muffin tin. Place the finished cookie in the cup of the muffin tin so that it keeps its shape. Continue with the rest of the cookies.

Fortune Cookie Tips
1. Make Up the Fortunes Ahead of Time- -This will give you more time to compose the messages. The strips of paper used should be 3 to 3 1/2 inches long and no more than 1/2-inch wide.
2. Use Cold Baking Sheets- -Fortune cookies tend to turn out best when you start with a cold (and greased) baking sheet. Since most recipes make more cookies than can be placed on one 9 X 13-inch baking sheet (the cookies spread out during baking), it’s best to use two baking sheets. That way, you don’t need to wait for the sheet to cool down before baking the next batch of cookies.
3. Cookie Size: Larger is Better - Many fortune cookie recipes call for making a 3-inch cookie. A cookie this size is more difficult to work with and fold than a slightly larger (3 1/2 - 4-inch) cookie. Another plus is that the larger cookie fits snugly into the cup of a muffin tin. This saves you from having to hold the cookie for several seconds after folding, to make sure it keeps its shape. My own preference is to use one level tablespoon of batter to make a 4-inch cookie.
4. Tilt the Baking Sheet to Spread the Batter - The key to making fortune cookies is a batter that is evenly spread out on the baking sheet. This can be difficult to accomplish with a wooden spoon, since the batter tends to stick to the spoon. Carefully tilting the baking sheet in all directions gives better results.
5. Start By Making Only One or Two Cookies - The instant the cookies are removed from the oven, the race begins: you have twenty seconds at most to add the fortunes, fold the cookies in half and then shape them into the standard fortune cookie shape. It’s best to start with one or two cookies – that way, you’re not feeling pressured.
6. How to Tell When the Cookies are Done - The cookies are done when approximately 1/2 inch of the outside is golden and they are easy to lift with a spatula. The middle part of the cookie remains quite light in color.
7. Wear Close Fitting Cotton Gloves - You need to work with the cookies when they first come out of the oven and are still very hot - wearing cotton gloves makes this easier.
8. Be Prepared to Work Quickly - As noted above, you only have up to twenty seconds to work with the baked cookies before they cool down and stiffen too much to be workable.
9. How to Fold and Shape the Cookies - Remove the cookie from the baking sheet with a spatula and flip it over in your hand. Lay the fortune in the middle of the cookie, and hold it there while folding the cookie in half.Still holding the the folded cookie in both hands, between your thumb and index fingers, pull the ends down over the rim of a glass or a muffin tin, or the handle of a wooden spoon, until the ends meet. The opened side of the fortune cookie should be facing upward, towards you.

10. Fortune cookies can be tricky to make - it's important to make sure that the cookie batter is spread out evenly on the baking sheet. Instead of using the back of a wooden spoon to spread the batter, it's better to gently tilt the baking sheet back and forth as needed. Wearing cotton gloves makes it easier to handle and shape the hot cookies. This fortune cookie recipe makes about 10 cookies.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Good fortune for the Finlinson’s

Some times good news comes in small packages – small edible packages. I went home to see my family last weekend and I wanted to bring them a sweet surprise so with the help of my friend Kasey I handmade several fortune cookies with personalized fortunes in them.

Day 1, Friday
My Dad picked Sandy and me up from the airport (Wade couldn’t come on this trip) and we spent the day together. When Madelyn got home we went to the movie theatre to see Juno (not as great as everyone said it would be), then we went out to dinner. Somehow I talked them into going to a Chinese restaurant. Sandy was a good sport – she hates Chinese food. Just before our dinner came, I handed Sandy, Madelyn, and my Dad each a fortune cookie. Sandy’s fortune was “More hugs, smiles, and kisses coming soon”, My Dad’s fortune said “There is a new branch growing on your family tree” and Madelyn’s said “A sweet little treasure will be sent from above.” Sandy and Dad must have been more interested in the cookie than their fortunes but Madelyn picked up on it right away.

Day 2, Saturday
It took a lot of convincing but we talked my Aunt Peg and cousin’s - Stacie, Paige, Amy and her little guy Cash into coming over. I was pretty excited to tell them my big news. I waited until after lunch then handed out my trusty fortune cookies. This time there was lots of screaming and laughing. My Aunt Peg got my favorite of all the fortunes “Your family will grow by two feet this year” with two little baby foot prints after it. I put the lucky numbers at 8, 20, 2008 (my due date).

My Aunt Carol and her hubby Robert had a Japanese New Year’s party while I was there so I got to see lots of family and continue spreading the word.

Day 3, Sunday
We went to church. Every teacher in Young Women’s called in sick at the last minute so I got to give the lesson. It was fun to be back in YW even for just a couple of hours. And while I was there I got to see quite a few of my old teachers and YW leaders. I had great leaders and that made a big difference for me when I was growing up.

After church and a nap Sandy and I headed over to Dad’s for a fantastic dinner and some blue collar comedy until we were just to tired to keep our eyes open.

Day 4, Monday
My last day. We went to lunch with the Diaz and the Brown girls. Amy and Lindsay loaded me up with maternity cloths – thank goodness. We did a little shopping, a tour of our old family homes in Hayward, and a stop at In & Out (yummy) and before we knew it, it was time to go home, my Denver home. I had the most fantastic trip ever but I was so glad to come home to my cute little husband. He feels real good to hug.

Friday, February 15, 2008

White people love blogs

While our blog remains on hiatus, have a look at this sweet blog. I'm usually anti-generalization and base much of my social, political, and religious behavior on what is contrary to what onlookers may expect, but I'm affraid this list has me pegged on several points, namely 63, 61, 54, 44, 28, 19, 8, 5, and 4.

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/

Monday, February 4, 2008

Nuts

This is my favorite commercial from the Super bowl. I love the end when she pulls that wedgie out!