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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

{Birthday Recap}

On Friday we started with a humongous double layer chocolate chip cake for Katie's class... last year in Elementary school, so we decided to let her get what she wanted. It was delicious!

Maddie LOVES her makeup!

Then when the girls came home, they had a HUGE care package waiting from Papa Rod & Grandma Debbie. They had a blast opening the package!

Then on Saturday morning we left early in the morning for Dallas, where we met up w/ Mike's sister & her family, and Mike's parents. Katie, Tiff, Deb & I left the gang at noon to eat lunch at a yummy Mexican food place. There Katie was sung to and given a birthday sopapilla. She's not one to enjoy attention on herself!

After that, we left to get a pedicure! Katie's always wanted one, and it was one of her gifts from us. She picked an electric blue color. The "I can't understand a word they're saying" Vietnamese ladies gave her a flower to put on her big toes ... just because it was her birthday. She was stiff as a board through the entire procedure, while Tiff, Deb & I relaxed the entire time. We were enjoying ourselves. ::giggling::

Then, Grandma Deb gave Katie her gift... which was a trip to the mall to pick out any outfit she wanted! It took a while to find just the right store, but once Katie saw Aeropostale, she dashed for it, and w/in 10 minutes we were out the door with a complete outfit, 2 shirts & a pair of navy blue pants for middle school next year.
After that, we picked up some Papa Murphy's pizzas (too many.... we were all so full!), and a few movies, and headed on home. Made a cake, gave Katie her other gifts (more clothes from Aunt Tiff & Uncle Dan!).... and headed to Old Navy to exchange a shirt & a pair of jeans for a bigger size & another color.
Papa Paul had the fire extinguisher out ... just in case. ::giggling::

It was a fantastic weekend! Katie was in clothes heaven the entire time!

Friday, January 23, 2009

{Happy Birthday Blondie!}

Miss Katie will be celebrating her 11th birthday here shortly...

Katie was born Kaitlyn early early in the morning. She was a week overdue, but so so tiny! She only weighed 6 lbs 7 oz for being a week over. She was such a good baby. So sweet and full of smiles!

My dad is the one who gave her the nickname "Blondie"

When Katie became a big sister, she was & still is THE best sister! She was so careful around her little sister, so loving. She is such a wonderful sister, cousin, granddaughter, niece, & daughter... so giving of herself, always sacrificing for others. She has a tremendous amount of love for her family.

Katie is also a wild child.... you would never have known it unless you REALLY know her. She loves to test the limits, and often gets hurt doing so. In the above picture, she is sporting a jazzy splint because she flipped her Barbie car over with her sister in it! She broke her arm... Several years later, she lacerated her liver on her bike handlebars. After several days of being in the hospital, and taking it easy for 6-8 weeks.... she was considered whole again. She also has a huge love for all things that go fast (like ATV's). She recently made her daddy proud by showing off her shooting skills (picture to come soon in another post!).

Katie also loves sports. Her favorite passion is soccer & Highland Dance. She once played on a team of soccer full of BOYS! She was the only girl, and she held her own! Katie has won numerous awards/trophies & one scholarship for Highland Dance. She is a beautiful dancer.
When Katie was 8, she was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Katie has an immense love of music. When she's not bopping to Taylor Swift or singing along to the Mamma Mia soundtrack, she loves her karaoke machine. She is also an '80's girl... :)

Happy Birthday Katie! You're a STAR in our eyes sweetie! We love you!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

{always check your childs' homework}

(Here's the reply the teacher received the following day)

Dear Mrs. Jones,
I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer. I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot. From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.
Mrs. Smith
How FUNNY is that? I have to say that little Miss Maddie has done that to us on a few occasions. She answered a question not to long ago "what is your favorite cartoon?" Imagine my surprise when I see her answer.... "FAMILY GUY". gasp! Who let my child watch that show?! Yep... daddy did. ::grrr!::
Then on another occasion not too long ago, she wrote all the chores she did, one of them was mowing the grass. Ummm... yeah, a 6 year old is not going to be mowing the grass. I sure hope the teacher doesn't think too badly of us. ::blushing::

Friday, January 16, 2009

{a fly on the wall}

My friend Jenni had a fantastic idea..... so I'm copying what she did. :)

Ever wonder what REALLY goes on in your blogger friend's home? Ever wish you could be a fly on the wall and wonder "hmm.. what really happens there?" or "wow, that gal is so awesome, how does she do it all?" or "what kind of mom is she?!"

Well, here is a list of things that one would hear around my house from my lips:

From Me:
Get out of bed... NOW!
Why aren't you out of bed yet?
Your sister doesn't want to play with you... go find something to do
Quit fighting you two!
Remind me to start giving you an allowance.
I'm going to have a talk w/ dad about this....
Unload the dishwasher
Why isn't the dishwasher unloaded yet?
Get OFF the computer!
Go clean your room/bathroom ..... it's a mess.
We're going to have a talk when we get home.
Go do your homework.
No more food!
Do your best and make good choices!
Maddie.... go brush your hair.
Maddie, quit crying.
Don't fart on your sister.
Turn OFF the TV! It's past your bedtime!
I love you
You make me SO proud!
Things Maddie says:
Katie won't play with me
Katie hurt me!
It wasn't me.
Things Katie says:
I'm hungry.
Maddie won't stop bugging me!
It wasn't me.
I'm bored... there's nothing to do!
How come Maddie doesn't do anything?
How come I do all the work around here?
and the final thing that I usually say:
Tell your sister you're sorry!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

{Sweet & Spice}

I have been dying to try my friend Calli's recipe of Chicken Tortilla Soup. I finally gathered all the ingredients for this soup, and after serving it to my family, it is a WINNER! Enjoy this recipe that will for sure keep you warm! Couple it up with my recipe for sweet cornbread, and you'll be in heaven!

Cindy's Famous Tortilla Soup

2 Chicken Breasts
5 Cloves of Garlic
1 Large Can (I think I used 3 normal sized cans) of Green Enchilada Sauce
3 (8oz) Cans of Tomato Sauce (I used 2-15 oz cans)
2 Cans of Corn (drained)
2 Cans of Sliced Olives (drained)
1/2 Teaspoon of Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt

Cook the chicken breasts in enough water to cover along with the garlic, cumin, and salt. Take breasts out, cool, and shred. To the chicken water, add all the other ingredients. Bring to a slight boil, then turn down to medium and add chicken. Cook on med-low for about 10 minutes, or until chicken has had a chance to reheat. Put in a bowl and serve with cheese, sour cream, and shredded tortilla chips. I also didn't use sliced olives... I used chopped olives, but it still turned out very yummy!
Golden Sweet Cornbread
1 c flour
1 c yellow cornmeal
2/3 c white sugar
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 c milk
1/3 c vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9x9 pan w/ Pam. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeals, sugar, salt & baking powder. Stir in egg, milk & oil until well combined. Pour batter in pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
This is fantastic with butter & honey (or honeybutter!).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

{Grandma's Funeral}

We started our trip on Thursday to Arizona. Early in the morning we wake up to get moving. Went to move Mike's truck, and it wouldn't start. After 15 minutes, he rolls it so I can pull out of the driveway, and we take off. Gas pump went out. GRR! We drive on I-10 going west towards El Paso. It was an unbelievable beautiful trip... full of valleys that turned into mountains. We saw a ton of windmills along the way, and it was an awesome sight (yes, I ended up taking 15 pictures of those things!). We saw two trains that were heading towards each other after we passed Las Cruces, New Mexico. Mike & I knew the trains were on two tracks, but the girls didn't. Boy did they freak out... they thought the trains were going to hit each other, and when they didn't, they just laughed and laughed! We finally hit the town at 6:30 Arizona time (we gained an hour). We were tired, beat & just plain tuckered!

We had Mexican food with my MIL & SIL Marcie & her little girl Presley. We had Taco Bell for lunch, but this was good Mexican food! I ordered a Big Daddy which was a fried flour tortilla w/ refried beans, lettuce, cheese & tomatoes on it (like a tostada). I didn't order the "Tiny Daddy" b/c I thought it would be little. Out comes this Big Daddy that's the size of a large pizza. I kid you not. It was HUGE!

Friday morning I wake up too early, and decide to hit the gym at the hotel. {{funny side story: I tried to explain to Maddie the difference between a hotel & a motel. I told her that we were staying at a motel b/c it has doors that leads to outside. A hotel has its room doors that is inside. She said "I'd rather stay at a hotel b/c it'll be much comfier there!" Mike looks at me and said "ha ha... she's a snob just like her mom!" GASP! Turns out Madison thought a motel meant we were sleeping OUTSIDE!}} Well, even though the motel shows there is a gym, they didn't have it set up. DARN! So, I ate some breakfast and gazed at the beautiful mountains.

The "girls" (meaning my MIL, myself & my SIL's) left to go to the funeral home to see Grandma. We had a wonderful, tender time with her. We decided to go to lunch afterwards. We head into another Mexican restaurant and see the guys w/ all the kids are there. ha ha! We still eat at our own table... I had stuffed sopapillas that was divine! It had beans in the middle w/ green chili meat sauce over it!

That night we were all a little hungry, and so my FIL suggested ice cream. Sounds good to me, until somehow... someone (named Mike) suggested Mexican food (AGAIN!), so we ate at one of the same restaurants we went to. I was not hungry, but I still ordered something (why, oh why?!). I had a cheese crisp: fried tortilla w/ cheese & diced chiles on it. Yumm! Afterwards, we finally get ice cream. By then I think most of us are sick. (why am I talking so much about food in this post?)

Saturday morning we get up and have to leave by 9:45 for the church. We thought the funeral was at noon. I had to get there in time to practice singing w/ my SIL's and other granddaughters "How Great Thou Art". Well, I was the only alto, and I was still congested. My SIL Tiffany was also congested... but we did the best we could. Turns out the funeral didn't start until one, so we were bored to death (not to mention hungry).... it was a beautiful funeral. Until we messed up horrible w/ the song. Tiff & Marcie (my other SIL) were a little emotional, and weren't able to sing, and you could tell how horrible we sounded without them. I had to stop myself from laughing out loud when the sopranos who were singing ::tried:: to hit the high notes. Oh what a sight we were!

Burial was beautiful. Mike parked right smack in the middle of a tumbleweek bush, and I had a hard time getting out. Got stickers ALL over me, and boy do they hurt! Mike was a pallbearer (all the grandsons were pallbearers). They all had a corsage and they took it off after placing the casket where it was to go. It was pretty sweet yet sad.

Went back to the church, and had a luncheon.... and guess what it was? Yep! MEXICAN food! At this time, I'm telling myself "no more mexican!" After the luncheon, we changed clothes & went to Ash Peak, an inactive volcano just outside the little town. Mike had been telling the girls' stories about the stuff he used to do, where he used to hike, etc. He promised to take them to the base of this volcano... so we packed some more people in our Expedition, and went off roading (it was a bit scary, if you ask me. I thought we for sure was going to topple a few times!). I found a few geodes that had some crystals in it, and the girls picked up some volcanic rocks.... awesome! For some reason, we still ate out that night. Golden Corral this time.... I'm surprised w/ the amount of refried beans we all ate, a natural explosion didn't occur w/ the gas that was emitted. :D

Sunday morning we left to head back home. Had a great drive home, and it's good to be home. We've loved being around the family... hope we can do it again soon!

{I Can't Sing.. I Can't Dance}

Today I tried out the Zumba class at my exercise place.

I remembered doing some Salsa dancing from my high school dance class, and thought "oh, it'll be so easy". Combine that with doing some salsa classes on the cruise I went on two years ago with my mom & grandma. I thought "I've got it in the bag".

Apparently NOT!

Our teacher was a 60-some year old woman. I didn't know if she was coming or going. She kepts saying "move your bottom, shake it out". All I kept thinking was "well, my bottom is moving all on its own ~ I don't have to shake it out!"

Like they say that white men can't jump. White girls can't salsa.

All the white gals in my class looked horrible trying to salsa. All the hispanic gals looked fabulous. They knew just how to display their arms & hands, how to move them, and how to shake shake shake that bum. Yep, white girls can't salsa.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

{In Memory Of...}

Mike's grandma

She passed away this morning.

We will miss you Grandma O'Dell!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

{A new fab recipe}

Last night Mike's work had their Christmas party. I had to bring a meat dish. I asked around for recipes, and my SIL Tiffany had this recipe to try. Coincidentally this is the same recipe that is posted on various websites online. So, it MUST be good, right?

Well, it was!

Here it is. So easy, only 3 ingredients. Eat your hearts out girls!

Sweet 'n Spicy Pulled Pork
1 1/2 c salsa (I used Pace Picante, medium)
1 1/2 c brown sugar
3-4 lbs pork roast
Mix the salsa & brown sugar together. Sit the pork roast in a crockpot, pour mixture over top of roast. Cook on high for 6-7 hours. It will shred by itself. I helped it along by shredding some more and pulling all the fat out at the end. No need to add water as the water will come out of the pork roast.
I don't eat pork... didn't grow up on it, so it's not something I buy, much to Mike's happiness. I don't know my pork parts either. My SIL said "pork roast". But my grocery store didn't have "pork roast". They had "pork boston butt roast" (what the heck is that? Is it a pork that hails its butt from Boston?), or "pork for BBQ carnitas". I had to sadly call up Tiff and ask "umm... what's the difference?", then spotted a meat guy, who helped me along. Apparently, pork for carnitas doesn't shred, so stay away from that. Man, I need a dummies guide to a pig, apparently.
Last night I got SO many compliments on this recipe! It was so yummy, so moist, and yet sweet but a little spicy! I took those mini rolls from Sam's so we ate it like a sandwich. Mike wants me to add a habanera pepper next time. Yikes!

Friday, January 2, 2009

{Goodbye 2008!!}

First of all... I'd like to say I'm not sad to say goodbye to 2008.

It was a very hard year for me. VERY hard.

Two major moves in one year just about did me over. Literally.

A few good things did come out of 2008... meeting new friends, a new job opportunity....

But I will be very thrilled to start fresh in 2009. I'm not a big believer in resolutions. I fail at them big time. But there are a few things I want to try harder at, so this is the year I plan on making it happen. :)
2009... be prepared for me.
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