Saturday, November 29, 2008

boys and eggs

Is it ever a good day when the police are at your door early in the morning? I think not!!! It's especially not good when the neighbors are complaining about having their houses egged and you just so happen to be missing a dozen eggs. Dumb boy with a dumb friend! Grrrrr!!! There's been plenty of power washing of houses happening today as well as sweeping up egg shells. Thank heavens they got it all off without any permanent damage. Eggs have the magic ability to remove paint. (which is criminal damage, in case you were wondering) Being a mother of boys who choose not to use their brains is no picnic, that's for sure.
Back to working on the "pre-lit" Christmas tree that is now only partially pre-lit after numerous years of use. I just added 600 more lights and it still isn't as bright as I'd like...dang!
Thanksgiving re-cap to come...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

best friends, sisters, wrestling, cards...

When one can't sleep...she blogs, of course! Darn restless leg syndrome has me up, plus I knew I was in trouble this morning when the aerobics instructor announced she had some pent up aggression she needed to get out. We all paid for that with an extra hard work out. As hard as it was, it's kind of nice to be challenged like that. The weight is coming off SO SLOWLY now. I'm down 25-26 pounds depending on the day. I've gotta get through the holiday eating fest and at least maintain.
We had out best friends, the Koozer family over for dinner the other night. It was so much fun. We just love their whole family. I made chicken cordon bleu lasagna casserole. It's so dang good and it makes a ton so I only make it for company and parties. I also made the garlic bread and Missie made a normal lasagna (for those non alfredo sauce loving people) and salad. We had such a great time visiting. We laughed so much. Hal is the most genuinely funny people I've ever met and it's so nice to see how much he loves his sweet wife. While we were all talking we discovered that I am good friends with Missie's sister Carrie and didn't even know they were sisters. Such a small world. Crazy thing is, they look so much alike and often times talk alike too. The first time we saw them in church Mark leaned over to me and said "she looks like Carrie" I said, "I guess she kind of does" After that I never thought about it again until the other night because I got to know her just as her instead of as Carrie's sister. Now that I know, so many familiar things just pop out at me. It's just too funny!
I posted the recipe a long time ago and I don't know whee so here it is again...
This is the recipe from memory...I'm not big fan of measuring. I'm more of a dump it in, that looks good kind of girl.
Chicken cordon bleu lasagna casserole
6 chicken breasts cooked and diced or shredded (I bake them with water in the jelly roll pan. Olive oil on top and season with salt, pepper, lawrey's, onion powder, garlic powder. They stay moist that way)
2-3 cups of diced ham
2-1 pound boxes of pasta Whatever shape you like. I use penne or bowtie
1-16 oz container of cottage cheese
1 container of ricotta cheese
1-6 oz container of shredded parmesan cheese
1 pound block of mozzarella cheese-shredded
1 pound block of swiss cheese-shredded
Alfredo sauce
2 sticks of butter
4 oz. of cream cheese
1 quart of heavy cream
1-6 oz. container of shredded parmesan cheese
2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
If you are making alfredo sauce to eat on pasta make it normal, but for this recipe add in 3/4 to 1 cup of milk. It helps keep it moist and saucy.
Simmer butter, cream cheese, heavy cream and extra milk. When melted add parmesan cheese garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Simmer until cheese is melted. Cook your pasta until tender and drain. Dump everything into a large bowl and pour the alfredo sauce over the top and mix well. Pour into a large pan or two 9X13 pans. Reserve half of your mozzarella and swiss cheese to sprinkle on top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Friday we had our "sisters day"...minus Rene' who had to work. We met up at Coleen's house and went to Bill Johnson's Big Apple for breakfast. It's my FAVORITE place to eat breakfast! I love it! Plus it's such a hearty meal, we're set for a long day of shopping without getting hungry. Notice the picture of us girls together. I'm 5'4" Coleen WAS 5'2" and Julie WAS 5'3". They shrank! I'm honest...they really did! I look huge compared to them. Then there is little Rene' who is only 4'11". I tower over her and I'm not a tall girl.
Did you know that I have mean sisters who play slug bug with like real hard punching and everything? They don't even care when you say "I don't play those kinds of games and I bruise easy." My heart was racing because they have trained eyes too look for those stupid cars and I just knew they'd see them before me. It made my stomach hurt. After being punched HARD in the arm twice I opted to sit in the back seat and let Julie and Coleen smack the crap out of each other as they called out "yellow slug bug...white slug bug" My arm still hurts! Dumb girls! We did had a great time shopping all over town. I'm looking forward to black Friday shopping. Not so much the getting up at O' dark thirty or standing in line in the cold, but the excitement of the day is pretty fun. To me it's the kick off to Christmas.

Cole had a wrestling tournament this past Saturday. He had to be at the school at 3:30 in the morning to be in San Manuel in time. I've never even heard of that town, but it's far. Mark went there to watch and take pictures. Most of them were really blurry because he was sitting so far away. They competed against 16 schools and Cole came in 6th in his weight out of 36. Not too shabby for his first tournament. They didn't get home until after 8:00 at night....and that was early compared to the kids who had to ride the bus home. Cole rode on the back of the motorcycle and left 3 hours before the others. Talk about a bunch of tired kids.Some of you have been asking about Christmas cards. I didn't think I was going to be able to make them this year because of lack of time and budget. I normally start on them October 1st and already have the family picture taken. Plus I normally make 300. I just don't have it in me this year. I was forced into only making 125 of which only 50 are done so far. My friend Cathy invited me to her house on Saturday to scrap so I worked on them there. It's been a long time since we've gotten together. We had a lot of fun visiting while we worked. Her kids are so big and her girls are beautiful! Makes glad to have boys. My stomach would hurt thinking about them dating boys. We still haven't even taken the family picture, but it will be printed in wallet size and stuck in that white spot on the front. These are the most simple cards...kind of boning. With time being an issue, fancy just wasn't going to happen. The quote under the family picture says
"The best things in life aren't things.
Share the gift of love this year."
I printed the family message on the inside of the card. I'm hoping to gather my children and grandchildren this weekend for a little photo shoot. Wish me luck!'s going on 3:00 a.m. and I won't be able to survive aerobics or even function tomorrow if I don't get a few hours of sleep.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

photo shoot, bike, layout, craft instructions...

My sister Coleen wanted me to take her family pictures. Let me just say that it was NOT an easy task to do. There are far more bad shot than good ones. Her oldest son is autistic as well has having other issues. He is smart and funny as heck, but doesn't always cooperate when he should. The 3 younger are all foster kids and boy do we love them. They were all born with some sort of disadvantage. For the most part, premature deliveries and addicted to drugs, so they have been a bit delayed, but Coleen works really well with them and they are all such good kids....Just don't sit well for pictures. I did take 118 so she'll have plenty to choose from. I think she needs to print some of the ones where their goofing off. It demonstrates real life. :o)Mariela and Angel didn't smile in most of the pictures, but look how happy she is when she is trying to rip off Eric's nose. LOL!

Cisco isn't paying attention to anything, but I love this one anyways.

The girls

The boysKaden



Aren't they the cutest little kids?!

This past weekend, Mark sold one of his motorcycles. I actually cried because it's such a pretty bike, plus I know how much he loves it. Mark rode with the guy who flew in from Texas to buy it to Casa Grande then gave him instructions on how to get home from there. He said it was hard to see it ride away. Makes me sad. The guy called when he got home and said how much he loves it and how every place he stopped a long the way he got compliments on how nice it is. I think that kind of made it worse in Mark's head. He is glad it will be taken care of by someone who really wanted it.

I actually got to scrapbook on Friday night. I went to my friend Stacie's house and got ONE whole layout done of me and my goofy man. It's way too hard to be creative when you rarely scrapbook. It's true that if you don't use it you lose it. This layout was created from stuff that was part of a page kit, then I added some of my own things and tweaked it till it was my own.

Yes, these are the glass blocks you buy at home depot or Lowe's. To drill a hole in the bottom use a glass bit--also found at Lowe's or home depot, $15.00 ish --it looks like a tip--does that make sense? Put in sink, turn water on cold to a steady small stream on block. Drill hole, be firm but don't push it too hard, let drill bit do the work!!! Only takes 15 sec or so. Let the water drain out and dry. Carefully shove a 20-35 count strand white lights in the hole leaving out a long enough end to plug in. Apply the vinyl, which can be bought here. She has a real cute blog with lots of crafty ideas. It's actually cheaper than where we got ours. Wrap ribbon around the block. Tie a big bow and hot glue to the top. You're done!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Priesthood and cotton pickin'...

Last Thursday was a special day. Mark ordained Chad to be an Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood. He gave him a really wonderful blessing that touched my heart. It's pretty neat when you can see your kids take these big steps in their lives...especially when they are decisions they made on their own. Our good friends Missie and Hal son, Charl also became an Elder. It made it extra special to be able to do it together and share the experience with such good people. These are such good boys. I am so proud of both of them. Afterwards we had a house full of family and friends over for dinner. (like 40 people) It was so fun to visit and laugh with them. We really had a great evening. Aren't my guys so handsome?! it illegal to pick cotton from a cotton field? A few things come to mind like trespassing and theft, but I don't know.

On the other hand. Taking railroad spikes out of the train tracks on the way to the cotton fields I'm pretty positive is illegal.These dang boys are always keeping me on my toes! They are all at the park, otherwise I'd be sending them back to the tracks right now with a hammer to put them back in. Looks like they will be doing it in the dark by flash light soon. They did say that they only took ones that were really loose or ones that were already out due to vibration from the trains. I've heard trains all day so I think the track is fine.

My pictures are STILL ginormous! What the crud!!! I can't stand it!
Taking Brianna's advise with the click and drag method to reduce the size of the pictures. Seems to work, but some end up a little distorted and you can't get them all the same size. What a pain in the rear.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween fun...

This year for Halloween we went to our wards "trunk or treat" party. It was so nice to be able to sit around and visit with our good friends. Mark and I bought costumes. We were planning on being the SNL Spartan Cheerleaders, but Mark decided that because we didn't have time to practice the all the goofy cheers, that we'll have to wait and do that next year. We can so do goofy so I know it would have been a lot of fun. He ended up being really late to the party, so I went out on a limb and dressed up as a biker chick since I wasn't about to run out and buy another costume. I did however break out my way cute pink leather chaps now that I can finally fit into them. It's hard to tell what's on my do-rag, but they are pink pigs flying. I told my boys that would be the answer to most questions they had for me. Question:"Mom, can I go over to Erica's house?" Answer: "When pigs fly!" LOL! I do need to be careful because they did threaten to toss some pigs in the air and count that as flying.Cole passing out candy. Cole and Cody. Don't ask! Boys are just weird! Me and my good friend Missie, whom I love and adore! I'm so glad her family moved out here. We have SO MUCH in common and we truly love their family. We clicked instantly. Plus she is my aerobics buddy with a common goal not to jiggle anymore. :o) She even said I had a cute butt with my levis and chaps on. Now THAT is a good friend! LOL! Gotta lover her! :o) One day last week aerobics was cancelled so we were good girls and walked the "loop" which from my house and back is 3 miles. Her house is a little closer though but it was a good walk.

Shannon, Me and Kathy - two of my other good friends. I do aerobics with Shannon too and she went to girls camp with me. Such a sweetie! Kathy is Stacey mom. (Chad's girlfriend) She is a sweetie too. We sure love both of their families. Just real good people!
Hunter, Chad, Stacey, Jennifer. Happy Birthday Sweet Jennifer! Don't ask what Hunter is doing...dork!

Jimmy and Shannon...they are so cute together. Fun people!Stacey, Carly,& Jennifer (sisters)Me and Miss Elizabeth. She is one of the cute young women that I dearly miss. She is daughter to Jimmy and Shannon. Missy ended up with my calling in young women's. I was thrilled because she is so much like me and I knew the girls were in good hands.

After the party we went over to the Maricopa High School homecoming football game against Globe. Just look at how gorgeous that field is! Holy Crud is it ever beautiful! I realize that we should have won the homecoming game. We were ahead for a while then lost it in the end. It was still a good game though. Hopefully we will have a better season next year. Before the game was over the high school had a fire in building 200. Lots of fire trucks and cops. Makes me sad since they just rebuilt the old school just in time for the new year. You can see the smokey haze over the field in one of the pictures. I hope the damage isn't too bad. Missies husband, Hal hung out for a little while at the game then he had to attend to police business. I'll have to find out from him just how bad the damage was.
Some of you had crafty questions that I haven't forgotten about. I'm going to call my friend and get details about the glass blocks and the nativity vinyl for you. I know there is a special technique when drilling the hole to put the lights in to keep the block from breaking. Details on next post or I will edit the bottom of this one, so keep your eyes open.
I so wish blogger would fix this ginormous picture problem. It makes my blog look ugly. Can you believe it's November already? I'm a little (lot) scared how fast the holiday's are upon us. Get this...we're still in the mid 90's here. Sure doesn't feel like fall.