Monday, February 28, 2011

100 more things! {Brian's List}

100 Things That Make Me HAPPY
By Brian Taylor

100. Cookies
99. Doughnuts
98. Enchiladas
97. Rib Eye Steaks
96. Dairy Queen Blizzards
95. Peanut Butter
94. Camping
93. Riding the quads
92. Cleaning Grandma’s House
91. Making people laugh
90. Being the center of attention
89. The Super Bowl
88. Joe Montana
87. Working on bikes (Building them, Painting them, repairing them)
86. doing ALL of the chores
85. Cussing for no reason
84. Teasing my boys
83. Wrestling with my boys
82. Watching my boys grow up (The time goes by so fast)
81. Fixing things that Amanda has put on Kenny’s Honey-Do List for him
80. Living with the Kuhn’s
79. Brian Douglas Taylor Jr.
78. Jacob Taylor
77. Genevieve Nicole Taylor
76. Kristjana Maillie
75. The way that Amanda is always worrying about me and stressing herself out worrying about me
74. Amanda Kuhn
73. Kenny Kuhn
72. Erick Simon
71. Eminem
70. Going to Suns games with Kenny
69. Being on TV at the Suns games at half time and the pregame show
68. Feeling wanted and welcome
67. Food Stamps
66. Responsibility
65. Land Surveying
64. Cutting down trees
63. Watching How I Met Your Mother on DVR
62. Christmas Time
61. Thanksgiving dinner with my family
60. Fireworks
59. New Years Eve
58. My birthday
57. Jager bombers (They taste so good)
56. Doing crazy things that no one else would do without me doing it first
55. Being a leader
54. Anything FREE
53. Nap time
52. Watching football on Sundays
51. CSI: Miami
50. ESPN Sportscenter
49. Sponge bob Square pants
48. Cherry Dr. Pepper
47. The drive-in theaters
46. BBQ ing steaks on the grill
45. Geocaching when you’re camping
44. Providing for my family (when I had a job)
43. Giving someone flowers just because
42. Going to church
41. Forgiveness
40. Trust
39. Loyalty
38. Shelby
37. Hope
36. Sheba
35. Rocky Road Ice Cream
34. Cold Stone Creamery
33. Second chances
32. Taking the kids to the Monster Truck Shows
31. Bedtime
30. Hot Showers
29. Linkin Park
28. Slipknot
27. China Chili (Chinese food restaurant)
26. Jumbo Jacks
25. Curly fries
24. Harbor Freight
23. Criminal Minds
22. Seinfeld
21. Soccer
20. Basketball
19. Bike rides with the boys
18. Swimming
17. Washing the car
16. Having a loud car audio system in my vehicle
15. Spring time weather
14. Challenges
13. New Socks
12. Old T-shirts
11. Warm hugs from Grandma
10. Fist bumbs with the boys
9. Old friends
8. Good deals anywhere (Craig list, yard sales, eBay, ect)
7. New car smell
6. Forensic Files
5. Three musketeers
4. Halloween
3. Johnny Test
2. Air conditioning in the summer
1. Love for a child, and love from a child

I paid him $10 to make the list... it was worth it ; ) 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Are you listening?

A had many reservations about going away this weekend, but the biggest one is I didn't want a repeat of last year. My mom and I had been up at the retreat when we got the news about my grandpa's aneurysm and as silly as it is I was terrified my grandma would be taken home one year later... You have NO idea how thankful I was to have phone service all weekend (many others didn't) and could check in constantly! 

The retreat was put on by Tapestry, a women's organization in the Baptist church. Their theme for the retreat was "The Thrill of His Voice" and the speaker was Shelia Jones (here is a link to her blog) and their theme for the year is "Are You Listening" based on 1 Samuel 3:9-10 "And Eli said to Samuel, "Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, "Speak LORD, for Your Servant is listening." So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Then the LORD came and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak, for Your servant is listening." 

 Jackie K and I left work at noon to meet up with Jackie F and Merrit, our car pool buddies so we could get up north early. Jackie K packed us the most delicious brown bag lunch ever! She said she was going for the club sandwich at Paradise bakery... yummo! We had a laughter filled safe, drive up north. This was the first time I have met Merrit who is just a hoot and we hit it off immediately! 

We got to the cabin and set up our beds. It ended up being just the four of us in our room so we all got bottom bunks (I usually choose the top, but the heater was blowing so hot I didn't think I would like being up there... later I wished I had been in that warmth! lol). Friday night we went to eat at an over priced place in town called Iron Springs cafe... unfortunately bad food seemed to be the theme of the weekend... The company was great though so we still had a good time. 

I tried to write about all the sessions to share the message with you (my 3 blog readers lol) and to remember for myself later, but I just couldn't express the teaching the same way she did and really don't want to mess it up or say the the wrong thing. I would be a terrible devotional writer... but I will share the highlights that I brought home.

Sheila talked a little about fasting. This is something I really haven't thought much about in a long time. When I was LDS I remember having fast Sunday once a month, but I don't remember much else about it, except I was always hungry (remember I was teenager and baby Christian at that time). She talked about the experiences she has had with fasting and the wonderful blessings that come from it. I was amazed and terrified when she said her longest fast was 40 days! My first thought was, "HOW??? You would die!" Later I found out fasting doesn't have to be from everything it can mean anything from limiting your diet to just water raw fruits, vegetables and water to fasting from something like TV or FB.  She said God usually guides her to know when to start/stop and what to fast from (like just a water diet or bread and water or fruits and veggies etc). When I got home on Sunday I was telling Kenny and my brother all about it and my brother said his church did that once. It was a 28 day fast and people chose something they loved, to fast from. There is a lot to it and I was really intrigued. I can't wait to study and learn more about the process and knowing what to fast from and for how long.

Also, she talked a lot about prayer and marriage, both of which I needed to hear.  I am starting a prayer journal and am very excited about it. She encouraged us to look at what we have in our lives and decide the motivation for doing it.... that might be a tough one, but I am going to take baby steps and tackle it.

As my friend said, "I love it when the Lord lights a fire under you!" And man has He this weekend! I have a renewed thirst for the word and want to work on some relationships in my life with the people I love using the Bible as my guide.

OOOH and it snowed!! It was so beautiful!! I tried to take pictures when it was snowing on us, but they didn't come out. 
 Saturday night
 Sunday Morning


 Look at the snow blowing to my friends ! 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

chinese auction

I asked a friend of mine, Beverly,  to go with my to the Home and Garden Party Chinese Auction tonight. We  made an evening of it by doing a little dollar store shopping and then having dinner at Chili's  before heading to the auction. 

These auctions are also known at quarter auctions. Basically you buy a paddle for $2 and then as each item comes up for bid if you want to bid on it you place a quarter in the cup... Your paddle has a correlating ping pong ball will your number on it and IF you have put in a quarter and they draw your number out (like a lottery style drawing) you win the item. Simple as that!  
Here are the items they auctioned off : 

About 5 mins before the auction started Beverly mentioned to me that she wasn't really lucky at these things and usually didn't win.... great maybe she could have mentioned that sooner lol!! We had horrible luck the whole night, but did end up winning an item each (normally I do home with numerous items!) 

She won this: 

and I won this: 

I ended up giving mine to my buddy Jackie who does tons of holiday stuff at her house and I know she will end up using this little "spreader" set more than I ever would! 

Even though we weren't really lucky it was a nice night out anyway and each spent less than $10 at the auction. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I had planned on writing a blog post about every game, but somehow along the way the games become mundane and there wasn't different to say about each game.Kenny still absolutely loves to go, but I have become a little bored with it.  We are now 75% through the season and I realized we haven't done a lot of things we said we would do... We were going to eat at tons of restaurants down town , explore the area and experience everything we could as season ticket holders. To date we have not stayed after for one of the free weekend concerts or come early to watch shooting practice. We haven't used our upgrade passes or put a message on the jumbo-tron! We have only tried one new restaurant down town (Tee Pee Tap Room and  - and we weren't impressed) and barely explored what else was around. We have 11 games left and I want to do a bunch of those things before the season is over since we have made the decision not to renew or tickets

There are a few games we didn't blog about that were important. Like the game Kenny took his Nana to as part of her Christmas present on 01/26/11 when the Suns beat Charlotte. They went out for a nice meal at Texas road house and to the game. It was a nice night out for both of them. Kenny has taken my brother to 3 games and my brother really enjoyed going and having some adult time without kids! 

Out of 33 games we have been to 22 games together, Kenny has taken a guest to 5 games and I have take someone once. We were able to give a set away, trade one set and sold 3 sets. 

Tonight I had a revitalized excitement for the game when I grabbed the tickets out of the almost empty ticket book! We walked around down town, explored some of the shops and scoped out which restaurant we wanted to try next time we were out there. 


I loved this evening. When I got home from work everyone was in good mood and little B was on purple for the day! When I walked in Jacob came running and gave me a hug and Little B showed me his behavior chart. Everyone was busily telling me about their days and I felt like two people were talking to me at the same time... it was wonderful. Kenny and I had to head off to the game and only had an hour at home, but it was a very full happy hour. I love the Taylor boys (all 3 of them!) 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A quick visit

Tonight Michelle and Emma came by for a quick visit. The twins' therapists is moving away and Michelle wanted to make her a homemade thank you card with the twins picture in it... ummm that is right up my alley!! We whipped up this card-

We got to see Miss Emma's new sun glasses. Hopefully these will help protect her eyes when they are out in the sun. 

Sometimes it makes me sad when I think of all the time we missed out on since we have known each other for 10 years and pretty much just in the last year (since the twins were born) have started spending more time together ... but then again we were different people back then. Anyway, now we get along great and I love visiting with Michelle. She is always upbeat and has lots of things to talk about. I have always been envious of how the Buckleys got along. When we lived with Nannette for a few months while our house was being built I got a taste of their everyday life. Michelle, Trevor and Andy all lived with Nanette, but Kim would often come over and visit too. They would eat dinner together, watch shows (Amazing Race I think was one of them) and just hang out and talk. I always thought it would be fun to have family or friends around who would just come over (maybe even unannounced) to just hang out. My parents live down the street, but we rarely spend time with them. Now that my brother is living with us my mom comes by more often, but more just to say hi to the boys and go on home. My buddy, Blair, moved out to Surprise a couple years ago and we both thought NOW we will hang out more, but she is still a good 20 minutes away so we still hardly see each other unless it is a planned gathering. All that to say I loved that Michelle took the time to come visit tonight! She is working some crazy long hours so she doesn't have much down time and I am glad she chose to spend some of it with us!

Monday, February 21, 2011

My happies

I saw this on a another blog a long time ago and wanted to make my own list of 'things that make me happy'. I started a few times and finally got it done : ) Here is my 101 (in no particular order).

* Hugs from Kenny. Not that I need to prove he is the best huger, but when my grandma first met                  Kenny she said, "Wow he is such a good hugger! If you decide you don't want him I will take            him!"
* being able to help someone
* the TV show How I Met Your Mother
* pedicures (also getting long fingernails!)
* I love how the boys scream "Aunt Amandas!!" when they see me : )
* sending packages to people just because
* cuddling with Toby
* yard sale shopping/ thrift stores/ freecycle etc- I love getting a deal!
* Fridays (after work)
* traveling and seeing new places
*  Dr. Pepper
* my new phone (I know its dumb but I love it!)
* reading blogs/ writing and sharing pictures on our blog
* Mexican food
* going to Scrapbooks Etc for class
* The semi-annual yard sale at Scrapbooks etc
* finishing a project
* butterfingers
* taking pictures
* getting mail (the good kind not junk or bills)
* staying in my PJs all day
* going out to lunch
* the fact that I haven't pumped gas in probably 3 years
* rain
* sharing Cold-stone ice cream with Kenny at the Suns games
* surprises
* how my clothes magically get washed and hung every week...
* our little red and white travel trailer and all the memories attached to it
* Kenny's perfect smile
* my coworkers (most of them!)
* That Shelby is Kenny's favorite and I am Toby's favorite
* That our dog, Hope, is still alive, healthy and active
* coming home to a clean house that smells good
* scented candles
* Kenny and I repeating the silly things the boys say
* driving the red truck
* hearing from old friends
* my LDS friends (sometimes I miss being LDS)
* camping
* new books
* making lists
* scrapbooking
* Jacob's giggles
* 3:30 PM
* how Kenny takes care of things for me (like errands, paying bills, etc etc)
* FB (although this does not always bring happiness...)
* seeing/doing things only a small percentage of people do (getting a BS degree, sky diving,                                          seeing the falls at Havasu)
* my garden in bloom
* playing cards with my family
* Kenny's spaghetti
* seeing a good movie and sharing a soda with my hubby
* riding the quads
* long talks with Blair
* Chipotle
* getting hand-me-downs (especially craft ones!)
* when the sermon seems to have been written just for me
* the Bible
* Jesus!
* getting sweet text message from Kenny
* the rare Sunday afternoon nap on the couch
* sleeping in
* receiving a compliment
* making someone's day
* giving the perfect gift
* checking the Groupon every morning
* doing a good job
* taking time off work to go do something fun
* our home (although I would like to pick it up and move it onto an acre.. or five)
* listening to music
* when things turn out better than expected
* the smell of fresh cut grass
* the Twilight books
* having a new purse
* having a Kohls 30% off and $10 off coupon at the same time
* I love how Kenny is on board to do almost anything (and if he doesn't want to do it himself he is                        supportive of me doing it)
* having a full house
* knowing someone cares about me
* 'bountiful baskets'
* playing a song on the piano
* when Kenny starts my truck on the cold mornings
* Carolina's tacos
* Bath and Body Works lotions
* remembering to use reusable bags
* coming home after a trip
* feeding the ducks at the park or deer, goats etc at the petting zoo
* Jamba Juice
* bonus checks
* knowing my family is safe
* shooting fruit (yes with guns)
* being season ticket holders
* new projects
* Brian's enchiladas
* getting off work early
* how excited my nephews get about the little things in life
* throwing a successful party/gathering
* visiting family (not necessarily family functions)
* my tattoo of stars on my foot
* being married
* getting flowers at work from Kenny
* having cash in my purse
* 3 day weekends

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cool things from our boring weekend

Saturday morning it was cool and raining and I went yard saling and saw this- 
Our bountiful basket for the week 
At the grocery store I saw this 
I made some ice cream cards and Jacob cracked me up how he pretended to eat the ice cream
Here are the cards 
We went to Home Depot and the boys noticed themselves on the TV... they proceeded to dance and be silly and Jacob said "Go Suns!" 
Pretty clouds Kenny and I saw coming home from our movie- 
The boys helping paint more fence slats 
Sprouts in the garden! (these are radishes) 
I finished another table runner - here is the back 
and here is the front
Here are our finished lady bug and Sponge Bob fence planks 
OOOOH and I got all this loot from FREECYCLE! It was a large garbage bag of baby girl clothes for Blair's new baby Hailey: )

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Crafty Night

After work, Jackie and I went out to Mesa for our monthly card class. On the way we stopped in downtown Scottsdale at Outrageous Oils and Vinegars to pick up a bottle of the 18 year aged Balsamic Vinagar for my friend Jereme's b-day tomorrow. It was Jackie's first time at the shop and she said she loved it and would be back. All the driving around gave me a chance to try out the Sprint Navigation app on my phone and I was super pleased with it! It even checks for traffic delays! I love it ! We ate dinner at Freddys because I had 2 free custard coupons that were about to expire. We got to class just in time for our teacher to announced she is quitting teaching at Scrapbooks etc in April! So March and April will be our last chances for card class! I send a message to Kenny to tell him the sad news (he is in Vegas) and he said , you absolutely can't miss class in March and April then! (love that guy!)  A new teacher is taking over so we will probably try her out, but it just won't be the same. Leslie is just such a jovial person and always fun to be around. She puts so much into her classes that we look forward to it all month...  Her homemade treat for the night was ice cream! I tried theAlmond Joy flavor (yes after my concrete from Freddy's... why can't I lose weight again?)--- it was the BEST ice cream ever!! I so need the recipe! Here are the cards we made tonight-

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Suns Game

02/15 Suns Game- Kenny has to make a trip to Vegas once per month for work and had planned on leaving this morning, so I needed to find someone to go to the game with me or sell the tickets. I invited Blair and I am SO glad I did, because we had great time. This was the first time she had been away from Hailey (she was born 3 weeks ago today!) and it was a much needed break for her. I was surprised how much Blair knew about the Suns and basketball... I figured we would just go and chat the whole game, lol. The Suns squeaked out a win for the night and Blair declared she was their lucky charm : ) After the game we stopped atMcDonald's to get our free fries (since they won!) and headed home. When I dropped Blair off, I got to sneak inside and see precious baby Hailey for some snuggles.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Body World

Going to see corpses on Valentine's Day seems really weird... Our friend Jereme asked us to go and the date just worked out. Kenny and I don't usually do anything in particular on Valentine's Day and I have been wanted to see this exhibit for years, so we excepted. If you haven't heard of Body World it is an enormous exhibit that display the human body in extraordinary ways... using real human volunteers.
What a trip! I don't really know what I was expecting, but the exhibit was more than I bargained for... It was like a bad car accident, you don't want to look, but can't help it. I had a sick feeling in my stomach through the entire exhibit. Poor Kenny didn't like it much and couldn't get through the exhibit quick enough. It was marvelous and horrifying at the same time. Many of the exhibits still had the eyes, eyebrows, nose, lips, ears, belly button etc. but the rest of the skin was gone, exposing the muscular system. Also, this is not a G rated exhibit and I was really surprised at number of children there. Each room focused on a different system in the body. For example, the digestive system. You could see the system in a body (with no skin), then just the system (no body) and then it was dissected further and further until it was the inside of the small intestines, etc. We saw things like diseased lungs, brains, kidney stones etc etc. Also, there were many artificial body parts shown in the 'bodies' which I found pretty interesting since I have a friend with an artificial hip. I think the most fascinating part was the baby room... They showed babies from a spec of dirt size to a full term baby. They also showed a placenta and a pregnant women about 5 months along. It was clearly the most fascinating room and was a bottleneck in the tour as everyone seemed to want to linger there. It was one of the weirdest things I have ever seen in my life. I don't think I will ever go back, but I am glad we did it once. I asked Kenny if he was glad we went and he said, "Yeah, I am glad its over". 
After the exhibit we checked out some of the other parts of the museum... it was good for kids, but not really us. Although, we did like trying out the bed of nails, which felt oddly good. 

Sugar Fairy AKA The Birdie -

 I am sure I have talked about this tradition in the past but if not I thought I would write about it now. Back when we were dating I started this silly tradition of doing a 14 day countdown (countup?) to Valentine's Day. Each night I would set my alarm clock for some odd hour like 3AMand I would get up and drive over to Kenny's house and leave a trinket of some sort on his truck (candy bar, homemade muffins, scratcher ticket etc). Thinking back on it I am surprised my parents let me do that! We ended up calling it "The Birdie" because the whole idea about it was that he had a secret admirer... since the items were being left on his truck we joked that it must have been a bird leaving them. Anyway, I carried on the tradition for 8-9 years. This year I prepared for it like I always do (much easier now that I can just walk outside to put it on his car or leave it on his pillow!), but on 02/01 Kenny went to the doctor for a follow up on some blood work he had done...  the doctor told him everything was great except that he needed to stay away from SUGAR... Since I had already purchased most of the days I went ahead leaving him candy, cookies, gum etc for the first 10 days (bad bad bad). Then I had to switch it up giving him a massage (from the person who comes up here to our work),  This year Kenny renamed The Birdie the Sugar Fairy... Anyway, next year the "Sugar Fairy" will need to be more creative with her treats.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Reap What You Sow

 I am having a really hard time being productive... We are busy, but mostly with entertainment type activities. I have been really terrible with everything from practicing piano to getting up for work on time. I don't know how it happened, but somewhere along the way I got really lazy. I stopped doing anything that was hard... I have been lackadaisical about everything; cleaning the house, my work, cooking, church and personal Bible study, spending money, bringing my lunch and even my hobbies! I used to blame it on the fact that we were so busy, but the truth is even when I have spare time I don't want to do the 'work' I just want to watch TV or play on the computer! Apparently, I like to read about what everyone else is doing, but I don't want to do anything... (well anything that is not all about the fun). It has affected my weight, mood, marriage, family and probably more that I am not even aware of. This is hard for me, because I have always been a highly motivated, hard working person. During my college years I worked 3 jobs for awhile while being a full time student and my last semester I took 24 credit hours while still maintaining a job at 30 hours per week. Somewhere along the way I lost my drive and purpose.... and I want it back! 

I have an impending CPCU test that has been hovering over me like a black cloud for about a year. It is my FINAL test to complete the designation (and be about 1/2 way to a masters), but I have taken the test 3 times and failed. Its not just the failing that has me lacking motivation, but also the money. Each test is $230, yikes. My co-worker that is younger and smarter than me just finished the program and I am insanely jealous! I have to get this done! Also, they have changed the class and if I don't pass this time I will have to buy new books on top of paying another testing fee! My test is paid for and schedule for March 15 and I haven't even opened the book! 

I can't seem to find time for a garden, finishing projects or practicing piano. Those are all things I think I want to do... 

So how do I get motivated? How do I make myself use the time I do have wisely? How do I make myself bring my lunch rather than go out everyday?? How do I do 'hard' things? I am spoiled rotten and its not pretty. 

My brother keeps up the house now so that is one 'have to' that is marked off the list and I am so thankful for that! We still take care of our room, bathroom and the office so this weekend I made myself do it. I also did the laundry (Kenny usually does all that)... and it felt good! There is something about doing it for yourself (and hubby) that feels so much better than having it done for you all the time. 

I pulled out several sewing projects and since we were home most of the weekend because the boys were sick,  I sewed. I finished this table runner! I started it probably 2 years ago when I made one for my mom for Mothers day! 

Its easy to do for the boys, because they love everything and get excited about everything. I bought a few wooden hearts (29 cents each!) for the boys to paint for Valentine's Day for their Grandmas and we put magnets on the back of them.

 I was shocked to see how much they loved to paint and how good they were at it!! After we finished the hearts they wanted to paint more... I tried to think of what else we had that they could paint since I have loads of paint from back when I did tole painting. 

Then I thought of my unpainted garden fence (another project I never got around to).... My brother removed a few slates for us and we went to town decorating them! The boys loved helping. Here is what we came up with so far. The plan is to make each slate different. Productive, yet fun! 

Speaking of the garden, a month ago,  when my brother moved in he redid our yard (can you believe its been a month!). He leveled it out, cleaned it up and even cleared out the garden!! SO I had the perfect opportunity to plant a garden!  I planted my starter seeds this weekend in several pots. They were seeds intended for Spring 2010 so I have no idea if they will sprout. 

With regards to CPCU and Piano... I don't know what to do to get motivated... Maybe I should set a time each day to practice, and just force myself to follow through. I really enjoy Piano and I am paying $20 per week for my lessons (that is when I don't cancel... which is pretty often) so I need to put the effort in to.  As for CPCU I am planning on reading at work on my lunch hour... maybe that will help me from going out to lunch at least a few days per week and get me where I need to be.