Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What a Way to Spoil a Nice Weekend

I am fired up right now. I wanted to report on the wonderful holiday weekend. It really was a wonderful one for us. Alan's sister, her husband and four kids came down and it was so great to have them. The kids were just having a blast together and tears were shed when they drove away Sunday morning. But on Saturday afternoon my brother and his kids were involved in an accident on their ATV. They are all fine - my brother has a broken hip but none of the kids were seriously hurt.

That is not why I am fired up. I am fired up because I used to trust the news. I love watching the news and I have always believed that they report the facts. I know that some stations are terribly biased with politics etc... BUT I figured with local news they would at least try to get their facts straight. This is not the case. Do not be fooled by what you see and hear on TV. The reporting on the accident has been so out of control. The recognizable truths in the story are getting fainter and fainter. One station reports with a few made up facts and the rest of the stations repeat it with their own mistakes added. A whole hour was devoted to this "story" on a local talk radio station yesterday.

I know this is a downer - this is terrible but I hope something big happens in the world or in our valley so that something really news worthy can be discussed. Then I can go back to blogging about good times, my messy house and my crazy kids.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Blogging Help!

Sometimes I can't control the spacing of paragraphs on my posts. The post below is an example - I kept going back and putting 3 or 4 lines between and it still wound up all jumbled together. Does anyone know how to fix this?

I've Been Tagged

Twice! Once by someone I don't know - and then again yesterday by Jennifer. I've been thinking about this. I don't know if I can think of seven random things that I have not already shared here on my embarrassing blog! You already know that I secretly want to go on Amazing Race and that I hadn't cleaned my fridge in a long time before last week.

But I am going to try real hard to do this. And then I am going to have to try real hard to pass this on to seven people. I guess if you follow the rules - particularly number 3 over there - I should tag seven RANDOM people, I guess that is how I got tagged the first time. But because I am a chicken I will tag people I know.

About three years ago, I turned the t.v. on at 9:00 in the morning and on TBS they were showing Dawson's Creek. I had never watched that show before so I stayed tuned in to see what all of the hubbub was about. During a commercial break the announcer said that it was the premiere episode of the show. I tuned in everyday and watched the entire series over the course of a few months. It was my dirty secret - I was addicted to a teen-angst drama! I recorded it if I wasn't going to be home. I had to know if Joey was going to end up with Dawson or Pacey! It ended with the finale which was a few years after college and every one was settled in to their adult lives. Want to know who she ended up with? The answer is in white - highlight it for the secret! PACEY!!! And I was glad too!


I love my suburban in a way that is unnatural for a woman to love an over sized SUV. I wish for a new one with less miles but I don't want to change a thing from my old one - except maybe the dent in the front drivers side panel from where I ran in to the ordering thing in a Sonic stall. Here are all of the cars I have owned: 1985 when I got my license I inherited a green 1971 Chevy Blazer that had a big rust hole in the side, no seat belts and no back seat. When it died I drove my mom's Pontiac Catalina until she got a new Dodge Colt. When I graduated High School my dad bought me a used Chevy Malibu (I couldn't find a picture of one) and told me I could keep it or trade it in as a down payment on a new car. I promptly drove that Malibu to Honda Cars of Mesa (closed on Sundays by the way) and got a brand new yellow CRX SI with a sun roof! I loved that car - and I paid it off in three years. And then sold it to go on a mission. When I came home, I bought another new Honda - a scaled down civic. Shortly after Alan and I got married we sold the civic to his sister and I got a Chevy S10 Blazer. After the twins were born and we couldn't afford two car payments we sold it and I didn't have a car. Then we bought a used Ford Aerostar with no rear air! Our next van was an Oldsmobile Silhouette that I totaled in 2003 and the settlement allowed us to purchase my beloved Suburban!


I like to eat raw lemons with salt.

I love books on CD. I drive a lot each day so I love to listen to a good book. I can plug headphones into the console between the two front seats and listen to the book while the kids are listening to Radio Disney or whatever. It is not unusual for my kids to find me sitting in the garage crying my eyes out listening to the end of my book.


I LOVE my brothers and sisters. My brothers make me laugh so much. We have so much fun when we are together. If I am ever in a "mood" I can just think of so many funny things about my brothers and it fixes everything. My little brother, Jeremy, and I had a blast growing up. We were constantly plotting against, running from and tattling on our older brothers. His one-line e-mails crack me up and sometimes I think he "gets me" when no one else does. And he introduced me to my wonderful husband!


I taught my self to play the piano. I knew how to read notes because I had an awesome music teacher in elementary school who made us learn how to read treble and bass scales and because I played the clarinet in the band. My parents bought us a real piano when I was in 7th grade and my dad said if I could teach myself to play hymns, he wouldn't make me have lessons. I learned how to play hymns. Unfortunately I haven't improved much. (I practically stole this one from Jennifer - when I read her number 3 - I thought - hey! me too!)


I hate cleaning, I love a Sonic burger with green chiles, my favorite color is red, I love toile prints, I secretly love the pop cds my kids buy, I don't love wearing jewelry, I do love really high heels, the back of my neck is SUPER sensitive, I can't stand maple frosted doughnuts, I sort-of collect Eiffel Towers and Santas, I keep a journal just of restaurants that I eat in, I love sushi, I can't stop buying purses and everything I do - I do for my FAITH, FAMILY and FRIENDS!!
I am tagging:

Sunday, November 18, 2007

National Occult Day

I don't know much about occults. But I did go to church today.

I love Sundays. I don't think I always loved them, but I really do now. I know as a kid it was about what we couldn't do. Our summers were torturous as we looked out the back windows at the forbidden swimming pool. My little brother, Jeremy, and I found creative ways to spend our Sunday afternoons. We would play school, or church (with the sacrament of course - and when we got a little keyboard one year from our grandparents, our meetings were more spiritual as we learned how to play Count Your Blessings and God Be With you - the easiest hymns in the book) or we would play our own version of Fear Factor. We would make strange food concoctions and the other person would have to taste it while blindfolded and try to guess what it was. I remember vanilla wafers loaded with mustard, raw onion with peanut butter on it, and mushy graham cracker milk.

These days my Sundays are not quite as exciting. Alan leaves early for meetings and I get up and have a little peace and quiet. I read my scriptures, prepare lessons and just enjoy the quiet. An hour later when I need to wake up the kids, my hair is dry enough to start blowing it out. When we get to church, I can always feel a difference in my day. I love seeing the members or my ward and stake all there to worship. The girls and I find a place to sit, Devon sits with the Deacons to pass the sacrament. My kids are finally old enough that I can listen to the talks and feel the spirit without Cheerios, sippy cups or coloring books.

I love Relief Society. I love to be with the sisters and learn from their lessons and comments. I spent almost four years in Young Womens so it has been nice to be back in Relief Society. I have been called to be a Relief Society teacher - next week is my first week teaching - I'm kind of excited about that.

After church we have a little snack. I prepare dinner and then take a little (30 - 45 minute) nap before choir practice. After choir we have dinner and read scriptures, it is usually only 5:00 or so, and we play a game or take a walk. We love having Alan home on Sunday evenings - when he is gone all day it seems like a treat when he comes home. I don't know why that it is - on weekdays he is gone all day and we don't make a big production of him being home...

I wish the world respected the Sabbath more. In Europe, calendars begin each week on Monday so that Sunday really is the seventh day of the week. I love it when business are closed on Sunday - I will give them more business when I find this out. Chick-fil-A is one that is closed on the Sabbath and I just found out that London Gold is closed on Sundays (they sent us a calendar) - we have never shopped there before but I'm hoping I can talk Alan into shopping there for my Christmas present!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bizarre Holidays

I am thinking of changing the entire content, outlook and purpose of my blog. Yesterday, when I knew it was National Clean Out Your Fridge Day, I went looking for some kind of web site to link to that would verify that it was true. I stumbled upon an awesome web page that lists all of the bizarre holidays. I totally want to celebrate each one. I want to have a reason every single day to celebrate something. For example, today is National Button Day! I did some research and found out that it was originally supposed to be the Monday in November before the general elections. On National Button Day everyone could display on their lapels which candidate they were supporting.

I don't have any political buttons but I do have a button with FBDO on it. I got it in 1986 at the sneak peak double feature with Top Gun. Two movies for the price of one! But, I digress.

Back to the buttons. I used to love playing in my moms big bucket of buttons. I loved the way it felt to put my hand down in there and let all of the buttons run out of them like sand. I guess to be honest, my favorite buttons now are the ones on my remote control. I also love the radio button in my suburban, the Caffeine Free Diet Coke button on the soda fountain at Valero, the snooze button on the alarm clock, and the buttons on my favorite jeans. One of my other favorites is what we call the "pause button". It is a phrase borrowed from Steven R. Covey's 7 Habits for Highly Effective Families. It describes how one needs to think about what one says before saying it, take a few seconds to pause before you react so you can become a less reactive person and more of a proactive person. Not to be confused with another commonly used phrase in our house - "you are really pushing my buttons - leave your sister alone!"

So for National Button Day - think of buttons you love. What you find cute as a button, your belly button (if you are easily offended - don't click that one), or what that strange button on your stereo does.

Happy Button Day!

P.S. We are going out camping/riding today so tomorrow I hope to be able to celebrate National Take a Hike Day!

National Clean Out Your Fridge Day - Part Two - After

I did it! It took four hours. I almost threw up about 8 times. But it is done! My legs hurt from all of the squatting and getting up to dumb my wash water. But now I am ready for all of the groceries I need to buy. I couldn't take pictures yesterday because I couldn't get the %*#^$&?! drawers back in. I have promised myself that I will clean up every spill and accident as it happens so I never have to do that again.
Why do my fake curses want to be an e -mail address?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

National Clean Out Your Fridge Day - Part One - Before

Today, November 15th, is National Clean Out Your Fridge Day. I have known this day was coming for a couple of weeks and have been looking forward to it. Not really looking forward to it like I really want to do it but more of a something that I have needed to do for about 6 months and I can't think of any more excuses not to do it kind of thing.

So in my ongoing effort to totally humiliate myself - I am announcing right here on this blog that I am sure to have the filthiest fridge in my zip code and possibly beyond. I am posting pictures to prove it.

I need to do some grocery shopping but I refuse to do it until my fridge is clean. You can tell I don't even have any milk. I also don't have a lot of fresh fruits or veggies - please don't judge me.

The one picture of the white shelf - all of those crumbs are from a go-gurt that exploded sometime at the beginning of the summer. At first it was just a sticky mess but I ignored it long enough that it hardened and flaked away leaving bright pink crusties.

The picture where you can witness Alan's Root Beer fascination (it really is his perfect root beer float fascination - but that is another post for another day) that is the shelf where the milk would usually sit. You can tell that it is the milk shelf by all of the crunchy milk residue.

So here it is in all of its glory. I will post the after pictures soon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tasty Tuesday - squash dinner rolls

I know it is Wednesday, but with Monday being a holiday - it feels like Tuesday.

Before I post this yummy recipe - I have a dilemma. What do you do for a 6 year old who doesn't want breakfast before school? Every morning it is the same thing. I list about 6 or 7 things out for her that I am willing to make. No good. Then I list out for her some things that I really don't want to make for her but I will if she REALLY wants them. No good. Most mornings she goes to school after having maybe a couple of drinks of milk and a bite of toast, or one bite of an egg. She hates granola bars and breakfast bars etc... She wont eat cereal, oatmeal or pancakes. The only time I can get her to eat breakfast successfully is if we have left over lasagna or spaghetti. Should I just make up a big batch of spaghetti and dish it out in breakfast sized portions? I wished the made lasagna flavored pop-tarts so I could just throw it in the toaster and she could eat it on the go.

Okay - since I don't have a recipe for those yummy sounding pop-tarts (or, just so you know one of my dirty secrets - I call them poop-turds for laughs - the kids think it is hilarious - I sometimes have the sense of humor of an 8 year old boy) I will share a yummy recipe that I tried on Sunday. I got it from the November Sunset magazine. I think that I am going to make a double batch of these for our Thanksgiving dinner.

Squash pull-apart dinner rolls


1 1/2 cups warm milk (microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes)
2 1/4 tsp. dry yeast (one envelope)
4 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup pureed squash or canned pumpkin
5 tbsp. vegetable shortening (thanks again Pam for letting me borrow some!)
4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp butter, melted, plus more for pan
2 tsp. poppy or sesame seeds


1. In a large bowl, combine milk with yeast, sugar, and salt. let stand 5 minutes, then add egg and beat well to combine.
2. Add squash and shortening; mash with a fork until shortening is in small pieces. Add 1 1/2 cups flour and mix well with a wooden spoon. Gradually mix in more flour by the cupful until dough collects around spoon and pulls away from sides of bow (you may not need all the flour).
3. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead 2 minutes. Put dough in a greased bowl; cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter a large baking sheet. (I used a jelly-roll type cookie sheet but I think next time I will split the recipe and put them in a buttered cake pan to keep them from getting too flat.) Punch dough down, turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead until dough is smooth and supple, about 7 minutes. Cut dough into 4 balls; cut each ball into 6 pieces.
5. Roll each piece into a round and arrange rounds on baking sheet so they barely touch. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with poppy seeds; cover with plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes.
6. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I have to Share

It is an established fact that I love the raspberry - chocolate combination. Today I found a great new way to satisfy this love. Behold, Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies ice cream from Ben and Jerry's. I am not so naive that I don't know what the Magic Brownies name implies - I thought it was just a cute little play on words. Now I am not so sure - because this ice cream is truly magical. I'm just speculating here - but there may be some illegal substance in here that makes me want to eat the whole carton.

They don't have a link to it or a picture of it on the B & J web site so I will tell you that it is black raspberry ice cream swirled with sweet cream ice cream and fudgy brownies - and it is to die for. The raspberry ice cream is great, the sweet cream swirl is just that - sweet! and the brownies are crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside.

Alan and I went to Vermont about 4 years ago and were tempted to take the tour of the factory but there were 8 buses of Japanese tourists pulling up at the same time. To be honest, I don't agree with Ben & Jerry's politics but I was totally going for the free ice cream. I am recommending this flavor and it is on sale at Bashas right now. I wish the magic brownies could have no calories. Now that would be true magic.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Type 1 and Type 2 Embarrassment

I recently read a post on someones blog about type 1 and type 2 embarrassment. I should be embarrassed that I can't link to it because I have no idea where I read it. I have tried to find it on my regularly visited blogs but I can't find it. I tend to follow links and then wonder how in the world I got there.

Type 1 embarrassment is when you yourself do something embarrassing and you have those unmistakable feelings of red cheeked, hot necked embarrassment. Like I said, I don't really embarrass easily. I have done some pretty dumb stuff in my life and not really felt the sting of embarrassment. I showed the entire 1987 Senior Class at Mesa High my underwear and although I was embarrassed I didn't run off the stage in tears or anything like that. That is not to say that when I look back on things I don't get embarrassed - I do. But that is almost classified as type 2 embarrassment.

Type 2 embarrassment is when you get embarrassed for other people. Although I don't get embarrassed a lot myself - I do get embarrassed for other people. I have noticed that most of my type 2 embarrassment revolves around singing - bad singing. It could be singing that is too loud, out of tune or even when people make funny faces when they sing. When someone sings a solo in church I have a hard time looking at their face - I get embarrassed for them.

I bring all of this up because a notice came home from the elementary school that they were having a special flag ceremony on Friday morning in honor of Veteran's day. Included in the notice was an agenda of what would happen. The kindergarten is going to do a flag parade, the MHS ROTC will be there to help with the flag raising, and the after-school program is going to sing a patriotic song. Then I read that one of the teachers (Devon's 6th grade teacher from last year) is going to sing a solo of "America the Beautiful". I am already feeling embarrassed for her and she hasn't even started singing. I have never heard her sing, she may be great, but when I told Devon about it he said, "Oh, crap!". I don't condone that language but he is feeling it for her too!

I was planning on going to the ceremony. I have morning carpool and Nicole really wants me to go with her class. Now, I don't know if I can do it. My stomach is getting all full of butterflies and it is two days away! I know it will be disrespectful and possibly un-patriotic but I'm thinking I may have to whip out the cell phone for a quick game of Tetris to calm my nerves while she sings.

Monday, November 5, 2007

My Favorite Time of Year

It is true that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love that you are around your loved ones, there isn't the pressure of gift giving and it totally revolves around food. I love Thanksgiving! The weather here in AZ is always perfect this time of year. Most of my Thanksgiving dinners have been enjoyed outside in fact - it is gorgeous.

Thanksgiving is not what I am talking about however. This is my favorite time of year, not because of the good weather, the upcoming holidays or the fact that November is also National Pomegranate Month - it is because Amazing Race has started - FINALLY!

Last night was the first show of the new season, so my Monday morning ritual has begun. We typically don't watch t.v. on Sundays so my good friend Shannon tivos it and we watch it on Monday mornings. This has been our routine for the last several seasons. Sometime last season my mom came over on a Monday morning (I forgot I told her I would drive her to the Dr.) and I wasn't home. One of my neighbors drove by and said "I know where to find her" and she was right - I was at Shannons watching the race. Shannon and I have big dreams of getting in shape and one day going on the show. With each challenge we discuss how we would have done it better, how we could have located the clue faster, and who would be the driver etc... We are painfully aware of how much work we would have to do to get in shape to be able to do all of those things - but what an adventure it would be to travel the world like that.

This season there are some crazy teams - not a single married couple. Unless you count the 40ish "married" lesbian couple who are also clergy in some so-called church. There is a "goth" couple but they look more like transvestites, a father and daughter (whom I love - when they made it to the finish line he said "who's your daddy?" while doing a crazy dance), a grandfather and grandson team, two sisters, two busty blond friends, a brother and sister and a bunch of dating couples. I think some Mormon car-pooling moms are just what the show needs.

Here are seven skills I think I have that could help me on the show:

1. I know how to drive. I have even driven in crazy traffic. I think I might have a hard time with the countries that drive on the wrong side of the road but off-roading or dodging bicycles in China - I got (it can't be worse than the Jr. High car pool).

2. I can't run that fast - but I am big and I could trip or push others who try to run past me.

3. I will eat almost anything. You know how they have some kind of eating challenge on every race - I am not afraid of trying new things. Could be why I can't run fast (see #2).

4. I could bungee jump, drop out of an airplane or any of those scary stunts. As long as it is real and not simulated like that stupid California Soarin' thing at Disneyland. That makes me sick.

5. I am not a swearer. I wouldn't cuss at Shannon when we messed up. It seems like the swearers never go very far in the race.

6. I can carry a heavy backpack. I carried 60 lbs of twins for heavens sake and I carry tons of laundry up and down the stairs every day.

7. I speak a foreign language. If you have ever watched the show you know that bi-lingual people have it a little bit easier. Even in countries that speak a completely different language than the one you know, if you speak with a crazy accent someone might understand you.

Friday, November 2, 2007

National Blog Posting Month

According to Blogger - November is National Blog Posting Month. So many bloggers are going to post everyday in November. I can not commit to that. I am already a day behind so I am just going to do my best to post a little more often. That really is a commentary on my life however, if I am a day late - I can't do it. If I say I am going to start a diet on Monday and then have tater tots for breakfast then I can't diet this week - I will have to wait until next Monday. I can't watch t.v. shows that I didn't watch the very first episode. I don't come in half way through the season and try and figure out what is going on.

So, now that I have shared too much information about my mental status - I will say that even though I can not commit myself to blogging every day in November, I will try and get caught up.
We had a little game night to play one of our favorite games - The Werewolves of Millers Hollow. I say it is one of our favorites - but I know that Alan has fallen out of love with it. It is a game that involves a certain amount of lying to your friends. If you remember playing mafia, it is a lot like that just better organized. Alan almost always acts as moderator when we play with our friends and family and so he knows what is going on. I think he doesn't like witnessing me bear false witness against my neighbors like that.

I finally got a calling in our ward. I actually got two callings - Stake building scheduler and Relief Society teacher. I have been bugging Alan for weeks to tell me if they were ever going to give me a calling and at the same time kind of enjoying not having one. Of course he wouldn't tell me a thing but I couldn't be happier. I love to teach and only having to teach once a month to the women of the church is the best.

Our Halloween was great - the kids had fun and that is what really matters. Devon wore our Nacho Libre mask for the ward party but on Halloween he just put on his basketball uniform to walk around with us. He really hates trick or treating - he is not a candy eater and I am sure nothing is more embarrassing to him than going door to door - but he was a good sport and came along. Courtney was a nun (she was supposed to be Encarnacion to Devon's Nacho), Morgan was a witch and Nicole finally settled on wearing a poodle skirt and roller skates. Nicole was hilarious - we had so many costumes for her, a witch, a corpse bride, a beautiful vampire (she always wants the scary costumes) and instead she went for the easiest thing so she wouldn't have to wear make-up. I will try and put up some pictures.

Check out my friend Kelly's blog - she has a hilarious story to share. She is very brave to share it. When I was a kid, my mom left me at the grocery store. It was traumatic - I was 5. I vowed never to do that to one of my own. I've done it twice, I left one at church and I left one at home like Kelly. Her story is great - read it!