Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Just's that for a title?

Here is the design I came up with for the baby shower announcements. It's cute, it's simple...not too fancy since I have to make 48 of them. The inside has all the shower information printed on the lighter pink cardstock. I sure hope Camille will like them. It's not like I gave her a choice. I'm more of a I'll do what I want kind of girl. Is that bad or what?! 1 down...47 to go. When I get these done I've gotta start on my Christmas cards. Those will take forever! Still have to come up with a design, but they will HAVE to be simple. Making 300 this year. Last night Cole earned his webelos badge as well as over a dozen other awards. It was his LAST pack meeting because my baby is turning 11 next week. It's actually kind of sad to me. I've been doing cub scouts for so many years now with all 5 of my boys, that it's hard to believe it's over. He will move on to boy scouts., but Mark is the one who helps with that. I've always done the cub scouts. I'm so proud of all he got accomplished. It wasn't easy with the move and trying to fit in with a new group....sigh. Time passes much too quickly.

How cute is this wind chime?!?! Don't laugh...I LOVE it! It doesn't make this soft little ching ching's more like clang clang clang. Makes the boys nuts. That in itself is worth it to me. ;o) I love that it's dishes and silverware. I've gotta get a hook so I can hang it up out back. Does this make me a redneck? If so, I'm okay with that. Good people. :o)
I know I'm still being a not so good blogger and I STILL haven't had time to visit blogs or answer emails. I will try to do better. I've had to pick up Cody and Cole from school on two separate days. Cody wasn't feeling well and Cole was doing a handstand and fell on his head. Totally jammed his neck and sent a shock wave down his spine. Took him to the chiropractor. She said he did a real number to himself. I had young women's tonight. I had the girls make cork boards for their rooms to pin up their YW calendars and handouts on. I found cheap ones for 4.99 at Ikea. They painted the frames, then I let them use my quickutz to cut out whatever they wanted to embellish and personalize it. They had a great time. I'm surprised how fast I've learned to enjoy this group of girls. They are all so sweet and I think it's really going to be a great experience. There's been lots of other things keeping me busy, but I'm so tired and my eyes are twitching real bad, so I'm off to bed.

Monday, September 24, 2007

new photos

Brek, Brittany and the boys spent the day over here yesterday. I took a few pictures of them while they were here. They look crisper when the pixels are not reduced for blogging purposes. I love the one of them walking when its blown up cute. We had so much fun playing with the boys. Mark's personality right now cracks me up. I love to watch and listen to him. John is smiling more and more. He is the sweetest little baby. Brek and Brittany sure have been blessed with some special little boys...and handsome to boot. Our whole family has been blessed by them.
I want to thank you all for your sweet and supportive comments to me. I honestly believe you give me the confidence to accomplish anything and that is appreciated more than you can ever know.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bad bad blogger

Cee emailed me to let me know that I hadn't blogged since Monday and she wanted to make sure I was okay. How sweet is that?! Truthfully I've had a really busy week and have been gone more than I've been home. I hate times like that because I'm a home body at heart and now my house is seriously neglected and I'm too tired to do anything about it. By the time I'd fall into bed each night I'd tell Mark that I didn't blog again today and my body won't let me get up to do it. So not only have I not blogged, but I haven't been able to catch up with many of you either. So sorry!
Linda asked if I was okay since Maricopa has had a huge tire fire burning. Here is a snapshot of it from my driveway. It looks pretty bad. I know the smoke from that is toxic, but it really hasn't been a problem for us. The wind carried the smoke to the valley so I could actually smell it more in Mesa than I do here. So Linda, the answer to your question is yes, we're okay and still breathing fine. :o) I'm working on these right now. They are covers for the Young Women's Presidency so we can slide them in our 3 ring binders. So fun to use some pink. I wanted to sew on them, but some boy who shall remain nameless messed around with my sewing machine and I've broken 3 needles trying to fix it. I can't seem to get the tension right...grrrr!!!
Beth had asked what our responsibilities are to the girls. We teach lessons in church on Sunday's, We have to plan a Wednesday night activity every week. Some are spiritual, some are goal oriented, some are fun. Once a month the activity is combined with the young men. On the cover I listed the 7 young women's values. They are faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, and integrity. One of our responsibilities are to help them with their personal progress. They are to complete 6 goals in each of the 7 areas as well as a 10 hour project in each area over a span of 6 years. We are there to make them feel loved, deal with the emotional drama that teanage girls go through, help to teach them to be responsible, caring, creative, confident, fun, respectful, honest, moral women.
No pressure, huh?! :o)
My next project is my niece Camille's baby shower invitations. I have the cute paper, the ribbon, but no design yet. I'm going with a garden theme so I think this paper is perfect. Even the dark pink paper is called watermelon. :o) I can't wait to experiment and play a bit. First I have to clean...then play! Wait till you see how I'm serving the food for the shower...WAY CUTE!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I won...I won...I won!

This morning I got a call from my favorite scrapbook store, Scrapbooks Etc. This is how the conversation went
Her...Hi this is____ from scrapbooks Etc.
Me...Hi, what can I do for you?
Her...I have great news for you.
Me...really? Is my Christmas paper in?
Her...No, but you did win the quickutz prize!
Me...Are you honest?
Her....yes, you really did win.
Me...oh my gosh! I love you!
Her...LOL! I love you too. Come in anytime to pick it up.
Me...thank you so much!'re very welcome.
After I hung up I gave out a squeal and couldn't stop giggling. I am convinced that I won because I said yes to my new calling. :o) My fabulous, cutely packaged prize consisted of

The QK Revolution table die cutting system

The pink squeeze hand tool

Magnolia grand cookie cutter complete alphabet set
Moxie skinny mini alphabet set
Cookie cutter dies-nesting hearts
Cookie cutter dies-basic phrases
Cookie cutter dies-basic shapes
In all, it's a value of over $500!!! I am completely blown away and tremendously grateful.
Can you believe it? I surely can't! I still giggle when I look at it. I love Quickutz! I watched Susan demonstrate the revolution at the CK convention. I wanted it, but couldn't afford it. She was also kind enough to demonstrate the Silhouette, so I plan to try cutting some things when I have a few spare minutes at one time...probably Thursday night.

I picked up this wonderful book today at the LDS bookstore. It is packed full of ideas and such great online resources. I have a presidency planning meeting tomorrow because we need to have Wednesday nights activity planned out as well as several other things.

Last night was the 4th night in a row with little sleep. This time it was because of all the thoughts of my young women's responsibilities were dancing in my head. My stomach hurts. It's overwhelming to me. I think it's because all the callings I've been given over the past 21 1/2 years were in my comfort zone. I've done nursery, primary, cub scouts, achievement days, ward activities, and 14 years of Enrichment. All of those things I could do with confidence. In my mind Young Women's is the one truly scary calling that I never wanted, because it's totally out of my comfort zone. That my friends is where the blessings lie. I know in my heart that as I serve in this calling I will have my own personal growth. I know it won't be easy, but nothing worth while is ever easy.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fun stuff

This was the line outside the bazzill warehouse sale Friday morning. I took the picture through my windshield, so excuse the smushed bugs. Once you got in you could fill as many boxes as you wanted with cardstock. Each box held 125 sheets for $20. It worked out to be 18 cents a sheet as apposed to 50 cents or more in the stores. They even had scalloped paper that is normally 80 cents a sheet. They also had a bunch of stuff, like mini albums, brads, envelopes, shirts, buttons, boshers, just different embellishments, etc. I didn't get any of that. My main goal for that sale was to get all the cardstock for my Christmas cards and that I did! There was a lady there who bought 22 boxes of paper....yes I said twenty two! Doug let her husband use a dolly to carry it all. Plus she had a big box full of embellishments. I'm sure she was the high sales winner of the day. After that I went to the CK convention. I met Lisa Bearnson for the first time and she signed my bag. She was genuinely sweet and so cute. I knew she was thin, but she really is skinny. I'm not thrilled with this picture. A bit too close for me, but she looks great. It didn't help that I only had 4 hours sleep, my eyes were bloodshot and I was in desperate need of tan in a can. Becky Higgins signed my bag a few years ago. Here is the stuff I got. Last convention I really wanted the Army National Guard frame. I was kicking myself for not getting it. This time I got the last one. I can't wait to embellish it and put Chad's pictures in it. Love love love this shirt!
I was thrilled to find the zip and flip from cropper hopper to organize my brass templates in. I've been looking for something for years. They slip right into a cheap 3 ring binder. So happy about this in-expensive and easy storage solution. After convention I ran buy the scrapbook store because they were having their own festivities. Then I went home, picked up the boys and headed to Coolidge for the Maricopa/Coolidge high school football game. I met my friend Jenny and her kids there. We ate a delicious small town BBQ before the game. Coolidge spanked our team. It was bad.
My pantry was TRASHED, so I spent several hours on Thursday and Saturday organizing and cleaning it. In case you were wondering, there are NO before pictures because I don't feel much like humiliating me. It was a disaster from the shelves to the floor. Cole had tried to help me by stacking the cans as high and tight as he could. What he didn't know is I organize them in a way that I know what I have and what I'm running low on, so I had to re-do all his work. He was okay with it after I explained it to him. Organization makes me so happy. I could go stand in there staring at it...and I HAVE several times...weird I know. Just one of the things that make me tick. :o) Now I need to tackle each room in my house, one by one.

So today I got a new calling in church. I am the new first counselor in the young women's presidency (girls ages 12-17). I was blown away by this new calling for many reasons....
  • I have never served in the young women's organization.
  • I have ALL boys!
  • I don't have a clue what to do with girls.
  • I haven't been in young women's for the past 22 years. Surely things have changed since then.
  • Being a good leader to these girls is a HUGE responsibility.
  • What I do know is that it's a very time consuming job that comes with a lot of sacrifice, but it filled with many blessings at the same time.
  • I'm scared to death!
  • The good part is that I really do like the President and 2nd counselor. They are very cute and sweet women. I feel lucky to be serving with them.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

baby sitting and before & after

I went to town today to take care of the boys while Brek and Brittany went grocery shopping. I cannot begin to tell you how hard it is to take care of two kids that are less than a year apart. It was all good while John was sleeping and Mark and I got to play together, but when he was awake and needed my attention, Mark was NOT happy. He's still a baby himself and doesn't comprehend me not giving him my undivided attention. At one point I was rocking both boys in my arm, which isn't easy because Mark kept ripping John's pacifier out of his mouth and I had no free hands to do anything about it. I don't even think it's possible to feed and change a baby while keeping the other baby happy and out of things he shouldn't be in. I sure love these boys and I commend Brittany and Brek for taking such good care of them around the clock. It's one tough job...even for a few hours. Getting smooches and smiles from them make it all worth it.

I also took Pappi to the groomers. I'm so sick of dog hair everywhere! My vacuum cleaner is sick of it too. His hair was so long and falls out it clumps and one by one, so off it goes. He was so happy when we got home. He rolled around all over the floor. I think he looks younger with short hair. He wouldn't cooperate with me for a good picture so this is the best it gets. He sure is cute, and YES I am aware how fat he is. He is a naughty little get in to things he shouldn't kind of dog. :o)
Cody was suspended from school today for 5 days. Nice, huh?! A boy shoved his girlfriend to the ground, Cody shoved him back, the boy punched him. They both got suspended. I do understand the zero tolerance, but poor Cody is in trouble for defending a girl.
Last night I booked a room at the Welk resort in San Diego for October. We haven't had a real family vacation in several years so we're really excited. It's 45 minutes from the beach and Sea World, but I did lots of research and it turns out to be cheaper to get a beautiful 2 bedroom, 2 bath, living room, kitchen, dining room, balcony, washer/dryer at this gorgeous resort than it was to get two crappy rooms close to all the fun stuff. Plus anytime we request adjoining rooms we never get them. This way we know where our boys are and since we'll have a kitchen I can cook to save some money on out to eat meals. We are only staying 3 nights. We plan on going to the beach, Sea World, and to tour the USS Midway. Since we are on a budget I was wondering if any of you know where I can get discount tickets to Sea World?
Gotta hit the showers...Iv'e got an early yet fun morning ahead of me...details to follow!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11 and recipes

My hopes for today are that if you have a flag, you are displaying in in honor of all the victims who died on 9/11 and for their families who are left behind. It's just a small way to show that we remember and we always will. I can't help but think of Chad and all the other soldiers who are so far from home selflessly fighting on foreign soil to protect all of us. Keep all of them in your prayers. I missed a call from Chad this morning. I did't even hear the phone ring. So sad. I saved his message so I could listen to his voice whenever I need to.
Here are all the things I made for the luncheon. The empty spot on the counter was for the subs. We got over to their house before church to set up, then went to hear their talks (which were wonderful, by the way), rushed back to set out all the cold stuff just before they all came in. I only had a minute to take a couple of pictures to share.My salsa is always a hit. Several people tried to take the bowl home with them. I've heard several times that it is the best salsa they've ever had.
4-5 tomatoes on the vine
2 bunches of green onions
2 - 10 oz cans of rotel milder tomatoes with green chilies
1 - 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 - 4 oz can diced green chilies
1/2 to 1 cup water
salt, lemon pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Lawry's seasoning salt to taste
Dice tomatoes and onions small. I use most of the onions. I cut off the roots and the ends plus remove one layer if necessary. mix everything in a bowl and season to taste. Remove half and put in a blender or food processor and pulse a little bit. Add back to the rest and stir. That really helps to get it to the right consistency of smooth and chunky.
Potato salad is always a favorite too. For those of you are who sticklers for measurements will not like my recipes because I don't measure...especially mayo based recipes.
Potatoes -How ever many you need depending on how many you need to feed. I think I used 8-10 big ones
1-2 dozen hard boiled eggs, diced
1 jar of dill pickle relish
best foods mayonnaise
miracle whip
(I use 1/3 miracle to 2/3 mayo) I just scoop on and mix till it looks right. I add more if needed
yellow mustard...just squirt in.
salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika
Boil potatoes whole with skins on until tender. Boil eggs, peel and dice save a few to slice up on top. Peel cooked and slightly cooled potatoes. Dice into small bite sized pieced. In large bowl add diced potatoes, eggs, relish, scoop mayo and miracle whip on top, add mustard (maybe 1/4 cup...who knows) season the mayo before mixing together because it helps to get the seasoning mixed throughout. Slice eggs and lay on top. Sprinkle with paprika. Pasta salad
1 bag salad roni
1/2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 bag frozen peas
ham or spam
miracle whip
salt, pepper, onion powder, accent
Cook noodles, drain, rinse with cold water
Dice up cheese teeny, dice up ham or spam teeny too. mix everything together just like the potato salad with the mayo and miracle whip being a 1/3 to 2/3 ratio. Season to taste

What is pink fluff you ask....this is it. Mormons are known for their jello concoctions. I got this one from my sister in law Mary Ann. I don't know what it's called. I call it pink fluff.

2- 1lb containers of cottage cheese

1 large 6 oz box of cherry jello

1-2 cans of pineapple tidbits drained

1 large cool whip

Mix cottage cheese and jello until dissolved, add drained pineapple (I use 2 cans because I like them), fold in cool whip and refrigerate.

Last recipe for today. This is Mark's favorite. I got this recipe from my good friend Paula. I know she calls it halves salad because all the ingredients are in half cup measurements, but I don't measure. Plus I don't use everything she does. I know she uses artichoke hearts in there, but I don't. You can if you want them.

Pasta Salad

1 box of colored twirly pasta

1/2 bag frozen peas

1/2 lb of diced mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup diced olives, drained

1/2 cup diced ham

1/2 cup sliced green onions I don't use that many. Probable half that


1 envelope good seasons Italian dressing

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

3 tbsp. water

1/2 cup olive oil

Mix together and pour over pasta salad. Mix well and refrigerate.

Thank you all so much for your sweet comments on my last post. That made me feel better. I know a lot of you don't understand the boundaries thing, but that is how our church is run. It really does make sense because we do so many things together and it's set up that way so that we can look out for each other and know who goes to each ward. That way hopefully no one gets lost. Each ward really is like a big family. There are almost 13 million members world wide, so it's important that there is consistency throughout the church. Mark came home last night and we talked about the new changes. He assured me that all would be fine. He had a peaceful feeling about it all day. I know these things are inspired and good things will come. There are always blessings to be found in trials.

Have a great day!

Monday, September 10, 2007

New ward sadness

Well...last nights meeting couldn't have gone worse. The way the new ward boundaries were divided totally devastated me. I sat there looking at the map with tears rolling down my face, unable to control my emotions. As you all know I've have a hard time adjusting since we moved out here 6 months ago. It was hard to find women who were more my age/had older children/things in common. I sought out people that I seemed to click with because there are not that many. EVERYONE that I have actually made friends with are now in a different ward. Even the younger girls that I liked are gone. All but one of my favorite people GONE. It feels like we've moved again because we are starting all over. Even Mark has lost all of his favorite people. I've cried most the night and the morning. This is just really hard. I imagine by Sunday and we attend our new ward that I've have to put on a brave face and start the friend making process all over again. We'll have a new bishop and a new relief society president...none of which knows what I have to offer or the kind of person I am, so I'll have to prove myself all over again. I know I'll do it, but right now I'd rather crawl into a hole for a while. I really adored my old bishop and RS president. They are just really good people. You know what's ironic is that the first house we almost moved into is in the other ward boundaries WITH all my favorite people. I'm just so sad!
The luncheon was a success. Pictures and recipes to follow.

Friday, September 07, 2007

cute stuff and busy

How cute are these?! Ya'll know I love salt and pepper shakers, so when I saw these I had to have them. At least collecting salt and pepper shakers is relatively cheap. Plusalso they make me HAPPY! :o)
This is part of what I'm working on for the next few days. I did the grocery shopping this morning for the luncheon I'm catering for our friends missionary farewell. Most of the food is in the fridge. They are ordering 6 foot subs so I have to make the rest. Potato salad, 2 kinds of pasta salad, veggie tray with dip, fruit tray with dip, cheese and cracker tray, pink fluff, and salsa. I was suppose to make dessert too, but they called and the grandma wants to buy a big cake, so now I don't have to do that. I would have gladly made dessert, but don't mind having one less thing to make. First things first is to clean my kitchen. I can't start a big job like this without having it REALLY clean. Nobody is getting sick from food made in my kitchen, no siree. Mark just called and has apparently volunteered me to make salsa for a BBQ on Saturday, so I'll have to run back to the store to get more stuff to double the batch...sigh. It's HOT out there!
Sunday night we have a meeting to split the wards here in Maricopa since the new church building has finally been completed and the wards are bursting at the seams. It's exciting and scary at the same time not knowing where the ward boundaries will be divided...which friends will I still have in my ward and which ones will I lose to a new ward. I guess we'll see come Sunday night.
(if you click on the ward link, you'll need to click on additional information if you are looking for a description of what a ward is)
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

photo shoot

Labor day after the party we squeeze in a really quick photo shoot. We had to hurry because we were losing light so I didn't have time to really play, but got some cute shots anyways. These are of my sister Coleen and her husband Eric's family, My sister Julie, her son Kayce, my nephews Josh and Jeremy and Josh's girlfriend Stephanie. Took pictures of Eric's whole big family last week. They were all terrible...seriously!
Today has been a long long day of errands. Here's a run down...
  • read email while eating breakfast...if you want to call cookies breakfast
  • shower, hair & make up...girly stuff
  • get gas because I'm on empty
  • drive to town
  • meet Mark for lunch
  • go to post office
  • meet Mark at gas station because he needed to use my bank card to get gas because something was wrong with his. Called the bank, they are sending him a new card.
  • drop a check off to a sub contractor
  • pick up money from someone that I'm catering a luncheon for this weekend
  • scrapbook store to pick out cute pattern paper for this years Christmas cards. It was a zoo since creative escape is going on and they had a bus tour at the store at that time. Ran into my cute funny friend, Margie Romney-Aslett who's in town.
  • drive out to 10 buck 2 to go to the chiropractor. She said I was a mess...and she'd be right.
  • go to Coleen's house to drop off photo CD and kids shoes that were left at my house.
  • picked up a rubber duck from Julie to send to Chad
  • went to the grocery store for Coleen because apparently it's not so easy to take 4 small kids to the store just to get rolls.
  • Head back to Maricopa during rush hour
  • get home...pick up Cody and chocolate quest an address to take him to an activity where they are baking cookies
  • drive him there...come home...Mark's not home yet.
  • upload pictures and blog
  • where's dinner you say??? It's 8:17 and there is no dinner. Gotta do something about that. Night all!