Sunday, December 7, 2008

Missy & Cameo's Certification Party

Certified or Certifiable?

My good friend Cameo and I wanted to celebrate with all our friends. What were we celebrating? That we finally passed our RID NIC test of course. Yippee. We invited all our friends to Majerle's Sports Bar & Grill in Chandler. We had about 25 peeps show and it was a lot of fun. Our friend Mary made these awesome RID NIC crowns for us. Thanks Mary!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Let Us Give Thanks!

This year for Thanksgiving, we were invited over to Brent and Cheryl's. Kendra and Kara and Cheryl's brother Duane were there too. We had a wonderful time and it was really so nice to just get up and hang out until it was time to goto their house.
Even though we were going somewhere else for Thanksgiving, we couldn't resist making a deep fried turkey.
You must be very careful when lowering the turkey into the hot oil. It is a slow process to get it in there. It is also very important that the turkey is completely thawed and that there is no water going into the oil.
About 40 minutes later you get a golden brown, delicious, beautiful turkey. We did two turkeys. One for us and one for our neighbors. It helps to split the cost of the oil too.
Cassi and I made this chocolate chip pecan tart. It was a big hit and there wasn't any left over.

Calvin and I made the cherry pie. He was a really good helper and liked rolling and cutting the crust.
We also had a pumpkin roll which is pumpkin cake and cream cheese frosting. Brian thought that this was the best. 

It worked out great! Everyone got something that they liked and it gave me a chance to cook at a leisurely pace and involve the kids.
Cheryl tried a lot of new recipes this year. These cranberry fruit cups were great! We also had southwest corn, peas with bacon and almonds, mashed potatoes with gravy and of course Kendra's green bean casserole.
After we got home a storm rolled in. We got pea sized hail that all washed out the drain pipe and collected on the grass. 

Thanksgiving was really fun this year and we are very grateful for our family and friends.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sisters in Seattle

Seattle, Here we come!
Angie, Missy & Beth at Chateau Ste Michelle

Beth, Angie and I decided to meet up in Seattle for a girls weekend. We had a wonderful time exploring Seattle. We stayed at the very trendy W Hotel and had a beautiful view from the 21st floor. Shopping was just a few minutes by foot away.

Of course my favorite part of the trip was Pikes Market.

Colorful, Fresh Fruits and Veggis

Beautiful pepper garlands.

What are these???

The colors of all the fruits and vegetables were amazing. I could have stood there for hours just looking at everything. There were things that I had never seen before and even rainbow carrots. They were even throwing fish just like you see on TV. Imagine living near a place where you can get fresh cheese, bread, fish, fruit and vegetables. That would be awesome.

We paid homage to the very first Starbucks. 

We ate terrific food like this clam chowder...

And this potato and rosemary pizza...

And this wonderful breakfast at Elli's.

We watched cheese being made at Beecher's. I love the big cheese shovels.

We also were lucky enough to be able to go with Angie to try on wedding dresses. Sorry no pictures of the bride to be in her dress here. You will have to wait for the big day to see her in it, but I must say she was stunning. 

After dress shopping we went out to the Chateau Ste Michelle vineyard. It was really neat to see how the wine is aged and bottled and even better to have a free wine tasting. I even managed to bring home three bottles in my suit case. ha

Of course the weekend went by too fast. We had a lot of fun connecting with each other and connecting with the city. I guess its a good thing that we left wanting more.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf - National Interpreter Certification.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cami's Birthday Weekend

To celebrate Cami's birthday, we decided to have a birthday extravaganza weekend! On Saturday we invited friends and family over for a BBQ. It was a little tense for a while as we couldn't get the smoker much over 200 degrees and optimal smoking is more like 240. We made a beef brisquet and two pork shoulders along with cheezy potatoes, my famous baked beans, a yummy asian slaw (yes, I said yummy) and the best rolls ever from Von Hansens. (I know, I know, too much food.  .  . What's new?) Everyone came over at around 4:30 and played outside until dinner was ready. 

Unfortunately we were a little behind schedule and had to finish the meat off in our gas grill, but I think it was definitely worth the wait. 

When I asked Cami what kind of cake she wanted, I thought she would have wanted a popcorn cake or a star wars cake. Cami surprised me with her vision. She simply wanted "a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting with strawberries on sticks." Ok.  .  .  Really?? So here is how it turned out. I got everything right except the strawberries were up side down. hmmm. Better luck next time.

The expression on Cami's face was priceless as we sang happy birthday to her.

On Sunday we are taking Cami and her friends to see Madagascar 2. 

Thank you everyone that came and made Cami's birthday special and thank you for all the gifts. We have great family and friends!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The kids are taking ice skating lessons and can go to open skating for free. So we decided to take them and let them practice what they learned on their first lesson. They had a lot of fun. Calvin met a little girl named Emma, that was making goo goo eyes at him and they held hands going around the ice for a while. WHAT!!!??? Yeah. He's a cutie. She was pretty cute too. They were excited that they were both 5.  He was holding my hand before he met this girl, we took a little break and when we went back on the ice he didn't "need" to hold my hand any more. I think he was showing off for his little friend. Brian said I better get used to it. He went all over the rink and didn't fall down too much. Unfortunately those hard plastic rental skates suck! They hurt so bad that I am going to look on craigs to see if I can find a pair for myself.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Garage Sales Rock

My neighbor, Dani, is a queen garage saler. I went out with her yesterday morning and can completely understand why people fall in love with this hobby. (or is it more of a sport?) There was a neighborhood nearby having a sale and there was TONS of participation. Which means that there was TONS of stuff for us to look at and buy. I got a cute smallish carved wood bear that will be perfect up at Brad & Sara's in Showlow for $10 bucks. I know that they sell for around $60 normally. I got two brand new kids sized camping chairs for $5 for two! I got some guess jeans for Calvin for a dollar. I got a big Williams Sonoma decorating kit for $5. I also got two brand new very darling purses for $5 a piece. It was a lot of fun. Next time I will try to bargain a little more. It is interesting the psychology behind a garage sale. Some people price their stuff as if we were shopping at Nordstrom and some people were literally giving their stuff away. Dani got a silk plant for .25 cents. I can't wait to shop again.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mmmmmmmmmm. . . mmmm. . . Fleischkeuchle

I know that I have talked about these before and no one really knows what I am talking about. I thought I would post a picture. The actual fleischkeuchle are on the bottom and the thin strips of dough called the shoe strings are on the top. 
Perfectly golden fried pockets of love. That's how I describe them. Easy to make? No, not really. Especially without the help of my sister who normally rolls out the dough. The dough was a little wet last night, but that didn't stop us. This is my favorite food in the whole world. Probably also the most fattening food in the whole world too. But a couple times a year. . . very worth it. My husband does a wonderful job with the frying even though he does sneak a little taste of the shoe strings. I have it down to a science now and can whip them out pretty easily. It wasn't always that way. Mostly because my Grandma doesn't really measure anything or use a recipe. I had to do a lot of trial and error. But I have it down very close to hers now. hehe Making these brings back memories of being in my Grandma's kitchen and watching/helping her make them and my Grandpa fry them. If there was a big group of people they would even use two fryers. They would always make some with cheese (velveeta) and some without. We only make them "with". So yummy.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Cake Pops

Frank & Mummy

Happy Halloween! We had our annual Halloween party last night. It was really fun. We had a pasta bar with red meat sauce and white alfredo sauce. We also had chicken and meatballs from Von Hansens. After dinner, the kids got ready to go out trick-or-treating. Uncle Brent was brave and took the older girls all over the place. They had to come home to drop off all their candy and were ready to go back out again but Brent was worn out. Daddy took them around to a few more houses. The kids came back and we watched a movie projected on a white sheet that we hung on the garage. We watched Halloween Town and The Haunted Mansion. The popcorn was also very popular. We went through 4 bags of microwave popcorn and and entire batch of carmel corn. none left:( But a lot of happy customers. yay


Each year I make a different halloween cake. This year I have been itching to try the technique of making cake pops that I found on Bakerella. I started with the mummys. They gave me a real hard time. I learned not to make them too big or they will fall off the stick. I also learned that it works better if you freeze them prior to dipping them. Needless to say, it was much easier to make Frank. I also learned that even though the long sticks look cool, the short sticks really work better and are easier to get in the fridge. I opted not to even put a mouth on Frankenstein because he was so cute just as he is. Here are a few of my new friends to wish you "Happy Halloween". 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This is Halloween, this is halloween, halloween halloween

Me as "The Bride of Frankenstein"
This weekend has been busy with Halloween activities. Friday night our neighbors had a family pumpkin carving party. The kids had fun although I was left to finish the pumpkin myself. Good thing I only brought one instead of three like I originally planned. They always have their house decorated to the max!! Lots of candles and everything Halloween you can imagine. They also had their dining room table set up with all kinds of scary treats for the kids to put in their goodie bags. Cami didn't want any eyeballs or skulls. darn 

Saturday my friend Deb and I went to an adult costume party. I dressed as The Bride of Frankenstein. This picture doesn't do justice to my amazing makeup. I am going to do a repeat next week on Halloween and will try to get a better picture.

Scary treats to tempt the children.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Here I am with my reunion committee. Now that I am one week post reunion I am ready to comment on it. Right after the reunion I was exhausted and feeling defeated. Now that a week has passed and I am "recovered" I am feeling much better about the whole thing. It was a lot of work. A LOT of work. But. . .It really was worth it. So many people had fun. They have been posting messages and have been very appreciative. Many of them even want to meet on a regular basis. I need to remember that it is not all about me; it is their reunion too. They don't know what I had envisioned as the "perfect" event, and if the reunion was flawed or not. I am the only one that know what went as planned and what didn't. Friday night's happy hour at Depot Cantina was perfect! The atmosphere was happy and upbeat. Our fellow alumni, Mike Rasmussen played for us and he was GREAT! It really couldn't have gone any better. They had to kick us out!! Saturday, we were really hindered by the gale force winds that forced us from our beautiful outdoor venue to the indoor one that was nice, but not the same. I know that no one would have wanted to be outside eating in the dust and cold, but my visions of mingling during a beautiful sunset were dashed as Deb and I drove out into a wall of swirling dust. We didn't get the band that we were promised. We were promised a band that would play a variety of music. We got a band that played a variety of country music and one Billy Idol song. (It was scarry) Don't get me wrong, the were good, just not what we had expected. The food was great and watching my fellow Buffaloes on the mechanical bull was even better. Sunday couldn't have been more perfect. The weather, being there at the school, the caterer and bounce companies showed up on time, Wallace was there as our surprise guest, touring the school, the kids playing and the adults catching up. I don't have one complaint. So overall, the weekend was a success.

Deb "on" the mechanical bull. :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Flower Time

It's finally cool enough to plant some flowers. So we went to Home Depot today and picked some out. Unfortunately they didn't have a lot to choose from. They look pretty good now that they are home and in the pots. I planted Garden Mums, Petunias and Alyssums. They are cute.

Rocky Point

Our family loves to go down to Mexico. We go down at least once a year but this year I have been lucky enough to make three trips. Our neighbor owns a condo down there so we decided that we should go down and check out his place at the Sonoran Sea. It was BEAUTIFUL!! They have a pool, which is actually three pools, with a swim up bar. Just steps away is the beach. We went with our awesome friends, the Nipar's. The kids had a blast going on the banana boat and on the jet skis. Debbie and I enjoyed snorkeling and looking for fish. It was a little nerve racking to see all the rays but they were just as afraid of us as we were of them. This was one of the most relaxing vacations I have been on in a while.
View of pool from our balcony.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Since we picked all those vegetables at the farm this weekend I need to do something with them so that they won't spoil. With mostly tomatoes and peppers, I thought salsa would be the perfect thing to make. The problem is I have never made salsa before. I contacted my pepper expert sister, Angie, and she gave me a basic run down on what to do. After a long three hour day at work I came home all set to make the salsa. Who knew it could be so simple? I'm not sure if I got the taste down exactly the way I want it yet, but it smells pretty good. I will know more once everything has a chance to mingle and cool. This batch made an entire blender full. I will freeze two of these containers and we can scarf one down tonight. Thanks Ang.


Amazing things happen every day if you can just find them. Last night my husband found one. A tiny little frog or toad, no bigger than a quarter, was directly in his path on the way up to our front door. So I went out and caught it. We brought it in the house and the kids got to look at it and beg to keep it. So we learned that wild animals like to be wild and it would be much happier outside than in a cage in our house. Our little friend stayed inside for about 30 minutes before I decided it was time to say goodbye.

Going to the Orchard (but the farm was better)

Arizona is a very diverse state. We are best known for our saguaros and deserts, but we also have mountains and forests and grasslands and even wetlands. We decided to take the family out to commune with nature. It is almost "Fall" after all. It is also apple picking season (if there were any apples to be picked). Our original plan was to head up to Date Creek Ranch North West of the Valley. Luckily my husband decided to check things out on their web page before we left. Seems that Arizona suffered some pretty bad freezes back in April that devastated this year's apple crop. So we decided to head south past Tucson to Apple Annie's Orchard and Farm in Wilcox, AZ. Their apples were also hit by the freeze, but there were still apples to pick.  We came home with 15 lbs of various apples. What does one do with 15 pounds of apples? Make apple sauce. It was my first try and I would have to say it was very easy.

But even better than the apples was the farm!! They had rows upon rows of vegetables (which I pretend to like for my children's sake) for the picking. So we all tromped out into the fields and picked yummy veggies. We came home with eggplant, various peppers, squash, zucchini, tomatoes and a cucumber for Cas. We even got enough for the neighbors. :)

A fun day was had by all.