Thursday, March 31, 2011

If you know Zach at all you know this is the perfect gift. It was a present from my father just because. It will hang in his office at BYU but would fit just as well in our library at home. Here's to all the 'readers' in the world, just waiting for your next fix.

Monday, March 28, 2011

An Exercise in Mimicking

The other night I made popcorn and Mac was delighted to watch the corn kernels pop in the air popper. He made the most adorable "excited" face and squeal. Of course the camera is in the back room while this is happening so I tried a do-over sans popcorn. Of course you can't make a 16 month old replicate excited. He did his best to try and mimic my face though.

Oh well, still darn cute. I'll just have the camera on hand next time we make popcorn.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


On Friday night Zach and I attended a Passover feast with my mother held by Victor Ludlow, Professor of ancient scripture at BYU. He's been holding these Passover feasts every spring for the past 38 years. Since he does more than one a year, he's officiated at more Passovers than most Rabbis. It was a lovely evening spent enjoying this Jewish tradition that has lasted for more than 3300 years.

The most memorable part of the evening for almost everyone involved is the partaking of the "bitter herbs", or raw horseradish. My stomach gets queezy just thinking about it. Just sniffing the terrible requisite appetizer brings tears to your eyes and starts you to coughing. The first time during the evening you taste the bitter herbs is awful. The second time, when it is eaten with the sweet Haroset, is worse. The third time, when eaten with the matzah bread and haroset is absolutely painful since you have to chew the terrible sandwich before it is swallowed. The taste lingers in your mouth and nose before it travels down to an already upset stomach. It is to remind the Jews of the bitterness of slavery but also of the bitterness of sin. Never in your life will you forget the first time you partook of the bitter herbs.

At another point in the evening a piece of unleavened bread, or matzah, is folded in a napkin and hidden. This is called the Afikomen and Christians understand this to represent Christ. This piece of matzah is always part of the second of three pieces (Father, Son and Holy Ghost), broken and wrapped in cloth and then redeemed at a price. The price is paid by the Patriarch of the table whoever that might be. On Friday night that happened to be Zach since the only other males at our table were students. The Afikomen is secretly passed around on laps under the table and at the appointed time the Patriarch calls it forth to redeem it from whoever is the lucky winner. There really is no limits on the price that can be asked for this piece of Afikomen.

Professor Ludlow told a true story of a nine year old girl that happened to be the lucky winner of the Afikomen and she asked her Grandfather for a meal at McDonalds, just the two of them. (This is where the crowd says, "Ahhhhhhhhhhh".) This girl had been paying attention though and she added on the phrase, "In Honolulu" because she knew her grandparents were planning a trip there that year. Well true to his word the grandfather took this little granddaughter to McDonalds, just the two of them, in Honolulu while grandma ate catered food in the hotel. It made me think of Zach's parents since they are going to Hawii this summer for their anniversary. I'm sure some child, grandchild, or favorite daughter in law could extract such a promise from him. What say we have a Hutchins Passover? Any takers?

Well my mother ended up with the Afiekomen and their exchange went something like this- Mom: When you buy a house, a room just for me. Zach counters: A shrine to your memory and a house down the block. Mom: A shrine with a door and a window. Zach: Done, but no specifications about the door, window or floor space. He is a man of his word. Expect to see a shrine with a door and window in our house some time in the future.

The actual date of Passover isn't until April 19th. I suspect I will hold a children's version in our home when the time comes this year. It is a feast filled with meaning, tradition, and fun. L'chiam! To life!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Speaking of the Torah

"Rabbi Chananya, the son of Teradyon, said "That if two sit together and interchange no words of Torah, they are a meeting of scorners, concerning whom it is said, The godly man sitteth not in the seat of scorners (Ps. 1:1); but if two sit toghether and interchange words of Torah, the divine Presence abides between them...R.Simeon said, If three have eaten at a table and have spoken no words there of Torah, it is as if they had eaten of sacrifices to dead idols...R.Chalafta, the son of Dosa, of the village of Chananya, said, When ten persons sit together and occupy themselves with the Torah, the Sheschina (the glory of the Lord) abides among them."

I came across this interesting excerpt in Commentary on the Book of Mormon, by George Reynolds and Janne M Sjodahl. I like the idea of discussing scripture continuously in Jewish community. There is a unifying effect that comes with discussing religious topics. It is good to talk about the Lord on Sunday, it is better to have Him as a constant presence in our lives. It is best to apply those doctrines in our lives, but we cannot apply them if we do not know them first.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hanging with the big boys

Mac has joined our Sunday night tradition of Book of Mormon video and popcorn. What kid doesn't like snacks and movies?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Welcome Spring

A little surprise from the hubby. I love Gerber daisies, they are so cheerful. The outside flora hasn't quite come into bloom yet but its just around the corner, I can feel it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A leprechaun visited our house last night for the first time. Gabe and David had a hay day waking up to find his sneeky little tricks. Among other things there was green milk, green orange juice, tipped over chairs, green kisses on the face, and a few tricks that I didn't even see myself. A bowl in the library and a stool in the living room, hummm.....

This stuff might as well be real gold. Not that I bought it of course, it was the leprechaun, but if I had bought it two days before St. Patrick's day it would have cost her over $6/ pound. Needless to say, the boys didn't get that many.

Can you see the clover?
Yeah, I don't think the boys did either,
they just saw the chocolate.

A mirror decoration left by our green little visitor

And some green leprechaun tinkle to round it out. I don't think they've flushed that toilet yet.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Between the braces and new bangs we could be sisters. We're not though, this is Zach's 12 year old niece Megan. Hard to tell us apart eh? The only hint that I'm 27 and not 13 is the fine lines on my forehead. Don't zoom in too much people. I'm even blessed with a teenage complexion- i.e. I still get zits. That doesn't seem fair- zits and wrinkles at the same time. Must be my youthful personality. We'll just call them laugh lines, that sounds better than wrinkles.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Head Shot

I set up to take my first head shot on Saturday and I needed some test material. These were my willing, albeit wiggly, helpers.

Friday, March 11, 2011

What's in a Name?

(This isn't me, I just took this picture of someone else)

I have this notion that I want to start a little side photography business and I'm debating on the name. Faithful blog followers, I need your help. Choosing menu items at a restaurant was never my strong point. This indecisive girl would greatly appreciate some assistance.

Top Choices In no particular order:

Hutchins Photography

Alana Hutchins Photography

Beautiful Mountain Photography
(a play on the Mountains and Temples here)

Bel Monte Photography

Bella MontaƱa Photography

Photos by Alana

Or if you you have some other great idea I'd love to hear it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

One Nice Thing

Last week we talked about love at home and family prayer in Relief Society. One lady made the comment that in her family they all say one nice thing about the person who is giving the nightly prayer. I thought this sounded like a great tradition so we've been trying it out. So far, so good. Previously the boys liked to give the prayers but now it makes it an extra special time. They get to hear positive things about themselves or think of something positive about another person. A tradition worth starting in your home too?

(Totally unrelated pictures of Gabe at his swimming lessons)

(Gabe can officially not sink for about 5 seconds in the pool while he flounders around in a forward motion. We'll keep practicing)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Baby Shower

This is one of the ladies I visit teach. Her husband is serving overseas right now so she is trying to do the single mom thing with her two girls. Its hard since she's been pregnant and exhausted. She's a trooper though and she's scheduled to go into the hospital this week for delivery. (That's an apt name for it, Delivered from your captivator. ) Her husband won't even be able to meet the little tyke until she's about 8 months old. Since its not her first girl, the event was more of a diaper/meal shower. Turned out well I thought. After making 45 cupcakes and a batch of cinnamon rolls I was fairly breathing in the confection today but there are worse things to have than a sugary kitchen. Other people brought more healthful things like fruit and vegetables to share.

Her two girls and another sweet baby that came to the shower

This is what she has to look forward to after 9 long months of waiting. God bless her. I know I'll be volunteering to baby sit whenever I can.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Under Construction

My kids like to play dress up. This kid's no different. Ain't he tough looking in his boot and hard hat? A few facial scratches for effect.

Favorite quote of the day that's going on my wall some time:

"God authors our lives with Love

He illustrates them with Children"