Tuesday, April 25, 2006


An eye surgeon here on island writes a column for the local paper which has become a favorite read. His subject usually centers around healthy living and last Friday it was on yogurt.

Although my children absolutely loooove yogurt, I was never a big fan until I visited Thailand. My favorite breakfast there was muesli with fruit and yogurt. The way the menus read make it sound as if the yogurt is a condiment, but in reality (which means, of course, my way of speaking), it's yogurt (like a cup or two) on top of a little fresh fruit and sprinkled with muesli. I was hooked! I don't buy the fruited yogurt anymore, just plain. We eat it on fresh oranges, peaches (when available), burritos, tacos, potatoes, in smoothies, and we most recently discovered it's wonderful on Grammie Haskins' peanut butter cookies (which are the world's BEST p.b. cookies with or without the yogurt!).

Dr. Khorram was right, prices here on island are expensive, so I was considering buying a yogurt maker. I have looked at recipes before, but they seemed so particular about times, temperatures, etc. that a machine just seemed easier. Many thanks to Dr. Khorram for his wonderful column and sharing his memories of his grandmother making yogurt--I love the "homely" way and it is so easy! Here's what I do: first, wash a pot and spoon in hot soapy water, rinse and dry. Pour 1 liter of milk (I just use skim milk which is what we always buy) in the pot and bring to a boil over low heat. While it's heating up, I follow Dr. K's suggestion and add some full cream powdered milk, but that's optional. The Indian restaurant in town makes their own yogurt and it's thinner and sharper than the storebought. Casey wants to get a little from them to make a batch because he really likes the sharper taste. When it comes to a boil, turn off the heat, skim off the skin from the top of the milk, and let cool until the outside of the pot feels only slightly warm. When cool, stir in a couple of tablespoons of yogurt, cover, and place in the oven with just the oven light on as per Dr. K's suggestion. Eight hours later, VOILA! Yogurt. . . yum!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

And Introducing. . .

Posted by Picasa THE CADETS

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Saipan Relief Society Cultural Night

After growing up in Maine (a beautiful place with many wonderful aspects, cultural diversity not being one of them), it is a cultural feast, or fiesta in this case, to be here on Saipan. I only took a few pictures tonight, but they make my point. Besides the many varieties of food on the buffet table, we enjoyed presentations from Pohnpei, Thailand, The Philippines, Japan, Chuuk, U.S., Peru, the Marshall Islands, and Kiribati among others. Some of the people that are in our church here that did not present tonight are from China, Samoa, Nepal, etc.

Pohnpei, Chuuk, the Marshalls, and Kiribati are some of the other Pacific Islands. There are thousands of islands out here with rich and widely varied cultures; over 1,000 islands make up the Philippines alone! The Pacific is amazingly vast--for example, Saipan is 10 time zones from Maine (going across the U.S.) with 7 of them being over the Pacific!

I mixed up a little in posting these, but it's too late to bother to try to fix it. Enjoy!

 Posted by Picasa


Pretty Young Women:)

Sioloa Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 21, 2006

Be Happy

A little something to brighten the day.

Friday, April 14, 2006

A Little Delusion

Ahhhhh...a quiet moment. What to do, what to do.... Casey just took off with Sam and Ezra to run Sam up to a Boy Scout campout and pick up a friend to come over and play with Ez for a while. Alexa is taking a nap. Kait and Eden have friends over also and are outside playing something; when the older kids were their age it was always Roxaboxen and I think this playing is similar but with a different title. Jacob is upstairs reading--he's grounded until tomorrow morning, so no campout for him.

Okay! That was a nice, quick breather. In the time it took me to write that paragraph Mal has come online and now I'm chatting with her. I then turned around and realized that the room behind me looks like a typhoon went through. The girls and their friends have come inside and started a video and Eden is popping popcorn for them. I just glanced at my watch found that it's time for me to get upstairs and make pizza for all the kids who are going to be here tonight!!! What was I thinking?!!!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The 7 Habits . . .

As we homeschool our two teenage boys (along with the three younger kids), we have been struggling with finding ways to motivate them to do the things that they know they should do and I believe they really want to do, but have trouble disciplining themselves to do. They come by it naturally--their mother is a world class procrastinator.

We've found that "school" vacations, especially long ones, are not for us--it is so difficult to get back into a routine--so we have decided to ignore summer break (luckily, that's easier to do here where it's always summer) and just loosen things up a bit instead.

One of the things we've decided to do is to read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It's been years since I read the book, and I'll admit that I lost some interest in it when I realized that it was just basically paraphrasing truths that are found in the scriptures--not that there's anything wrong with that:)--I'd just rather read the scriptures themselves. However, in looking around the web to find some support materials (anything works better with Sam if it's wrapped in a computer), I found that the Franklin-Covey website has a wizard to help with developing a personal mission statement. I think there is a lot of value here for these young men to actually state core beliefs clearly in their heads and aloud and on paper (yet another connection to church). Anyway, this seems like a great little tool that gives several different avenues to that end and then sends the final result (actually the rough draft--you can go back and change, update, whatever), to your email box.

We are also having them read Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl and . . . hmmm . . . . Okay-- another argument for the two-parent home. Man! I hope Case remembers that other book. . . .

Friday, April 07, 2006

Family News

Our "family" computer crashed and we had to buy a new hard drive...groan..., but we're back in business now.

The big news in our house this week is that Casey (actually Conner, Inc.), has been hired to direct the Lieutenant Governor's Water Task Force. Of course as he comes on the scene the water utility here on island is in extreme crisis mode. They are on the verge of being taken over by the Department of Justice (like the one in Guam was) because of EPA violations, so he'll have to be a magician to save this one. But hey, he's made magic work before, so we'll see what happens. If he can pull it off he'll be a hero at least to the local government which is pretty much a step or two from being taken over by the feds on a regular basis! After that little trick the goal is island-wide potable (or not) water 24/7.

One other news item about my honey--he's started playing drums again! Oh yeah. A couple of the girls in my Seminary class play for the Pacific Winds, a community concert band here on island, and they heard that "Brother Conner" used to be a drummer. Evidently whoever was playing drums for the band left so they were in a spot. He was afraid he would embarrass himself because he hasn't played in almost 20 years (I can hardly believe I just wrote that considering what an important part of our life his drumming was back then!) But he went to rehearsal this week for the first time and wowed them. ;) I think it was a lot of fun for him and we got to go to the Street Market last night and here them play. I realized that this was the first time that any of our kids had actually seen him play!! That seems incredible to me!

Sam is our newest licensed driver in this house. Coming back from class the first time that he drove the van completely alone he said that now he realizes how far he is above those "peons" who do not have their license--he obviously does not yet realize that "family chauffeur" is largely a grunt job. Ahh, well, let him have his moment...