Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I sort of feel like Barney from How I Met Your Mother when it comes to this challenge (he always thinks people are putting him up to a challenge when they even mention something and they aren't challenging HIM at all). During the craft party my friend Janesse mentioned her sister had put out a challenge to her family to organize something each day for the next week... sounded like a fun idea to me! SO I did it and it felt good! I could only participate Sunday thru today since my cousin came into town on Thursday and then we went camping. 

Sunday- Master Closet- I spent 2 1/2 hours working on our master closet Sunday eveningThis is supposed to be a walk in closet... but it has gotten so crowded you can only tip toe in there... Part of the problem was my cedar chest was moved in there when my brother was living here and we just never moved it back out... instead we just stacked stuff on top of it.  I took everything out, vacuumed and dusted the shelves and base boards... which had not been done since we moved here in 2005! My hubby ended up getting ride of an entire bag of shoes (woot woot!) and a few clothing items and I got ride of 3 garbage bags of clothes. Well I haven't actually gotten ride of the items because I am trying to decide if I should have a yard sale or just donate the items. Plus I want to try a crochet rug I saw out of old t-shirts...
 2 1/2 hours later - taa dah!
Day 2- Monday- Kitchen island- This project was another 2 1/2 hour project. I was so irritated that this one door wouldn't shut all the way,  so this project was a high priority. When we first moved here and unpacked everything we had... the island was empty! Now we have SO many appliances and gadgets they can't all fit in the island and are stuffed in both pantries and the hall closet! Sadly we barely even cook! I am happy to report after my project ALL appliances happily live in the island now : ) When Kenny walked in from the gym he said "wow it smells lemony in here" I guess I went a little crazy with the pledge. Ha ha - but it looks SO much better! I will probably freecycle my old kitchen towels and misc items I need to get rid of... 




Day 3- Dresser- 45 mins -Tuesday- Dresser - Tuesday night I had plans with my buddy, Blair for dinner so a big project was out of the question... The dresser took Kenny and I about 45 mins. It went from this - 

 to this!
I threw away all my socks and bought a new package :) Need to get some new chonies too... Kenny actually said, "Thank you for making me do this, I found so many black socks I didn't know I had!" LOL so awesome. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Too Much

Its true. I have been known to over book our lives... I like to be busy, but sometimes it gets to be too much. This may have been one of those weekends. Kenny wanted to go to the cabin for the day so that he could fix the a vent that had broken in the trailer (again!), but I was already signed up for the Sewing Sampler class at Scrapbooks Etc... he said said he didn't mind going on his own so he headed North and I headed East! The sewing class was fun and we made a nice little set of kitchen accessories- a plastic bag holder, hot pad and potato bag (you microwave potatoes in it).

I splurged and bought this kit to make this gorgeous Halloween Apron... Look I know I don't cook, but I just love to collect Aprons! They are just so cute.

After class I hit a few yardsales (very few because it was getting HOT). I ended up getting a BOX of hardback books for $2... I couldn't review all the titles before I purchased them because they were so stinkin' hot! There are some Bible studies, a Beth Moore book and more... heck ONE of those books would have cost more than that on amazon. I also got some cute high heals and a few other items.
Meanwhile Kenny had driven up the cabin and was enjoying the weather and chatting with his Nana. When he worked on fixing the trailer she was right by his side holding the ladder and helping him out. She is never one to sit back when there is work to be done. They went out for lunch at the local steakhouse and both enjoyed Kobe burgers (a new found favorite for Kenny). They hung out for awhile, but Kenny wasn't feeling to great so he headed home.

That evening we had plans to have dinner with Jereme and Melodi and then go check out our first Flash Mob. We got a Rotisserie chicken, Cesar salad and mashed potatoes from Costco all for just $20.

Kenny really wasn't feeling up to going out, but encouraged us to go.. so we did and he rested while we were gone. 

We had thought about participating in the Flash Mob, but weren't sure what to expect and didn't have the time to learn the dance so we just decided to go and watch. The Venue was a really neat place called Dos Gringos in Old Scottsdale. 
We had some snacks and waited for the 9 PM. I was cool how you could feel the vibe that something was going to happen. We noticed different people who might be involved and others who would be totally surprised by it. It didn't happen till about 9:10, but when the song same on people popped up and took a place out in the open areas. Although the mob took place in the middle of the outdoor seating of the restaurant/bar it was a little more 'expected' in that venue than say a grocery store where it would be completely unexpected.

The whole place was filled with smiles and laughter. I think everyone enjoyed the Flash Mob experience. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Craft Party

Becky, Bev, Mom and Blair

Its really no secret I have some sort of hoarding problem when it comes to crafting supplies... Yes I do some craft projects but not near enough to justify the entire room I have stocked full of awesomeness... So I thought how can I share these things... I have purged A LOT of stuff and given it to friends and acquaintances, but I had an idea in the back of my mind to have a PARTY/CLASS! I am most productive when I have a specific time set aside to work on a specific project (ie classes at Scrapbooks etc to make cards or a mini album). I decided to model my party in the same fashion. I picked a bunch of simple projects and set up stations around the living room and kitchen. I ordered Pizzas and my mom brought a veggie tray, lemon bites and brownies...yummo! 

Amberle's added touch to the HB card 

The projects we worked on 

I invited crafters and non-crafters a like... I was nervous about having about 10 people to 'teach' the projects to, there being only one of me and all, but my mom helped out a lot and the girls started helping each other. It was awesome.

One of the highlights of the night is when Blair sewed for the very first time in her life with a big old smile on her face and let out a squeal!

My friends Janesse and Amberle came with their beautiful new babies and we all stayed up till 2 AM talking and crafting. It was amazing... I don't even know what all we talked about, I know we created some pretty fabulous coasters ha ha.  I felt bad because they still had to drive back to the other side of the earth to go home and I could just walk to the bedroom and crash.

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves so I would say it was a success, however it didn't make much of a dent in my supplies... I will just have to have another party! I am thinking bi-annually?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chinese Auction

I have talked about these Chinese Auctions before , but here I go again... I don't need anything and in fact I am trying to purge clutter, BUT its so much fun... So I took two ladies from work (Kim and Donna) to their first auction and we all had a great time. We each won something, but Kim and Donna did both got their numbers called when they didn't bid-- painful.  The snacks are always my favorite... BLT dip with pretzels and praline dip with marshmallows... yummo. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I think Melodi and I were the most excited when we discovered we could purchased 1/2 off tickets to the Circus for opening night as neither one of us had ever been. Kenny and I decided to take the boys too and make an event of it.

I really don't think they boys knew what to expect, but they are pretty excited to go anywhere we take them (at least in the beginning ha ha ). 

We took the boys to eat at McDonalds before we headed off to catch the pre-show entertainment. The pre-show was pretty awesome. The boys (and I) got to try on authentic circus costumes! I was surprised how heavy they were! 

Little Brian 


Brian, Me and Jacob 

They also got to meet clowns-
Little Brian, the clown and Jacob
And try a dance-

Jacob looking at the elephant and holding on to Uncle Kenny 
The boys sat and stared and were very quiet during the entire show....
 At intermission we went out to get them some souvenirs and snacks... I was SO disappointed to find out the light toys were $20 each ... I just couldn't justify spending $40 on toys that would be history in a week after we had already paid for tickets, parking and dinner.  We settled for $12 cotton candy that came with a hat. They were quite pleased!

Little B 'juggling' 
Elephants- my favorite part! 

I wasn't sure they boys even liked the show, because they didn't say much at all the entire night... until we got in the car to drive them home. They were little chatter boxes talking about the different things they saw and heard. I think their favorite sight was the elephant pooping into a giant shovel (not part of the show). 

We dropped the boys off just after 10PM hopped up on soda and cotton candy- best part of being Aunt and Uncle! Ha ha Brian Sr! 

My brother later reported that the boys would put the hat on and pretend to juggle :) I think they had fun! Next year I will be more prepared to pay the crazy prices! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day and Dad's Birthday

I lucked out and had the boys on Father's Day morning so I took the opportunity to help the boys make cards for their dad and grandpa. We brain stormed ideas about what they loved about dad and made a list inside the card. It was really cute and included things like, "When you tickle us, wrestle us, feed us, take us to the park etc" They were especially excited to give their dad this "Fart Extinguisher" we made...  they also were very proud of the body wash they picked out at Walmart. 

My mom even included Uncle Kenny in the mix and got him a fun t-shirt
ice cream cake :

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rockin Weekend

 We hadn't planned on babysitting the boys this weekend, but once given the opportunity I can never pass up time with them! We had a Groupon for Rockin R Ranch out in Mesa that was expiring Monday so I quickly made our reservation and purchased tickets for the boys ($22 each for kids! So much for saving money with a Groupon!) We picked up the boys on Friday afternoon and decided it would be fun to try to find some Cowboy clothes for the boys to wear to "The Cowboy Cookout" I was surprised how excited they got to pick out clothes! We really lucked out at Other Mothers and got them both nice pants, western looking shirts, cowboy hats and boots for little Brian. We didn't end up finding boots for Jacob, so he settled for 'work boots' and was very pleased with them. The boys really wanted guns to go with their cowboy clothes so we went to Walmart (because you know I can't say no) and bought cap guns. We bought one set, so they each had a gun and a holster and it works out perfect that one of them is right handed and one is left handed. Since the set only came with one belt Kenny had to 'make' them another one out of an old belt he had. It came out great!

Little Brian 

For dinner we went to Kenny's favorite little Pizza place in Surprise. The boys just love Pizza !

Jacob sure knows how to eat a good Pizza! 

Saturday we mostly bummed around all day and then in the late afternoon got all dressed up and ready for the what the boys kept calling, The Cowboy Cookout. They were just too cute in their clothes!!

We got to the place early enough to try the gold panning, see a magic show, taste test some biscuits cooked in a dutch oven and see an old fashion medicine man show. The guy who did the Medicine show was really great. He told his whole story in Pig Latin!

Then it was time for dinner. We ate BBQ chicken, beef brisket, beans and baked potatoes on tin plates. The emcee joked that the meat had rattlesnake sauce on it which really freaked Little Brian out and he didn't want to eat his food. Kenny and I were a little frustrated the boys barely ate  (Jacob did okay) because of the price we paid for the meal, but what can you do?

The 'show' was just a music show so I was a little worried the boys would get bored of it, but they seemed to really enjoy it. Kenny and I liked it a lot. After the music show their was a pretty neat gun show outside which of course the boys loved and kept talking about.

It was a pretty expensive activity and I doubt I would go back, but it was a fun thing to do once.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Etc Buck Auction

Scrapbooks Etc has a new program where you can earn Etc bucks... well since we don't live very close we don't accumulate many bucks, but we decided to go to the auction anyway. I had seven bucks and my mom had three bucks. They had some really nice items they were auctioning off.. like homemade quilts, aprons, bags etc.
I was lucky enough to find an apron in the 'buck store' to buy. It was a fun little trip out to Mesa, but we both agreed we wouldn't go back next time unless we had more bucks. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Our Soaring Adventure

We thought about flying, but driving was much less expensive... about $30 each in gas instead of over $200 each for an airline ticket. We had never met Peggy before so we really lucked out that she was such an awesome traveler! Her and Becky, our coworker, have been friends since they were 13 years old and lived inYuma! There was no lack of conversation that is for sure! They joked about them talking so much and Kenny and I wanting some peace and quiet, but in reality they had lots of interesting things to talk about and we enjoyed them. We made the best of our 7 hour drive and made lots of pit stops and ate lots of junk food- Reeses and cheese snack mix- yum! We stopped at the four corners, of course, and even took time to look through all the shops
We checked into the Durango Lodge and went exploring in downtown Durango. We found a great little book store that was literally busting at the seams with books! We all found something we couldn't live without and made our purchases. As I was paying I told the gentleman working there that there was a show about this type of situation (Hoarders) and he said - I didn't do this I just work here. lol They even had a storage shed and a vehicle filled with books as well! 

After searching all over the resort town for a reasonably priced meal (most places were between $20-40 per plate!), we ended up eating at Francisco's, a Mexican food restaurant, in the center of town. The food pretty good, but not the traditional AZ type Mexican food we are used to. The company was great and the 4 of us sat their talking for hours (they were nice not to kick us out! lol) 

Saturday morning we woke up pretty early, considering Colorado is one hour a head of us, and enjoyed a free bagel and doughnuts at the hotel. We headed to the train station filled with pure excitement for our adventure! 

The first class car we got to ride in was SO nice and comfy and since there was only a small group that day we got to spread out and live it up! 
I was so impressed with the train and just sat back enjoying the fresh clean smells, the cold Colorado air blowing in from the open window and taking pictures. We saw a few deer running along the side of the track and lots of people waving to the train. It was cute how practically ever person, walking, sitting in their cars etc all waved like we were old friends. 

The coal burning train was built in 1881 by Chinese and Irish workers in just 11 months! If you think about that as you travel the winding track through the tough train you realize what hard work they must have poured into that project. The train isn't the quickest way to travel normally, but to get to the Tall Timbers Resort it is... the only other way in is to HIKE! Emily, our escort on the train told us we would actually be traveling more quickly on the ziplines than on the train! WoW.

Before we knew it the 2 hour train ride was over and we had arrived at the Soaring Tree Top Adventures Resort.

We put our things in a locker and were off to get geared up in our harnesses for the day. The harnesses they use are first class... used for people who work on bridges, sky scrapers etc. Then we walked over to the old Lodge and after a short presentation on the equipment and the process we were out the door on the second story onto the first zipline.

The first 5 ziplines were only about 2 stories high and between 50-100 feet long... they were to get acclimated before we got into the more exhilarating part of the course. To get to the highest point of the day, 10 stories in height, we we pulled up on a helicopter lift! Pretty fun!
As we zoomed from tree to tree I tried to enjoy ever second of the experience- the beauty that was around us, the amazing weather and the sheer joy of soaring through the tree tops. The Sky Rangers (as our guides were called) were amazing in making the experience wonderful... you really didn't have to worry about anything but having fun.

After Aspen Alley, one of my favorites, we stopped and had a wonderful homemade granola bar snack and received an awesome metal water bottle with chilled water in it (we got to keep the water bottle too!).

Our next set of lines were the switch backs, which were 3 lines sort of stacked on each other. Super fun! We tried and tried to get pictures of all of on the lines at the same time but it didn't work out. Peggy and Becky were on the lines at the same time and so were Kenny and I... I got a picture of Kenny taking a video of me.
Here is an example of the sky rangers' jokes- he jumped off right behind Peggy and told her she pulled him off the platform.

Right before lunch we had to go one of the most challenging things of the say (for me anyway) and that was jump off a platform attached to an automatic belay (used at the rock climbing gyms)... not sure why but taking that leap off the platform was scarier for me than all of the ziplining!

Since I LOVE food lunch was one of the best parts of the day for me! We got to eat on a platform in the trees right near the river! Although, it was pretty windy and cold the four of us toughed it out in the best seats, closest to the water.
Earlier in the day we had chosen our lunch off a menu... Kenny and I got pulled pork sandwiches on a pineapple/coconut bun with chips (which were made out of veggies, fruit, potato salad, chilled berry soup (which tasted like a smoothy!) and for dessert a ice cream sandwich made of cookies and homemade vanilla ice cream... actually everything was homemade. It was delicious.

The first line after lunch was another one of my favorites... across the river AND low enough to touch, or almost touch the water! Kenny did !

After lunch was more walking to each platform, but the ziplines were longer and more adventurous so I loved it more than the morning half. 

Here are some of my attempts at self portraits- 

These are the racing spans--- Becky and Peggy raced and Kenny and I raced. Kenny won...

Since we had a small group and were ahead of schedule they let us ride two of the lines twice... and Kenny and I got to ride tandem on one! It was really fun soaring across the river with my hubby!

The last zipline was the longest of the day... 1400 feet... thats 1/4 mile! When you got to the platform on one end you could not SEE the end of the line... The first section whipped through the woods and then you were in the wide open crossing over the river one last time... well except they let us ride that line TWICE! We gladly hiked back up to the top of the hill to experience that awesome line again!

Once we had completed a total of 30 ziplines (27 different ones and 2 repeats) we removed our gear and hung it on the racks for inspection later that night and had some nice cool water waiting for us!

It was sad to leave, but once great thing about the experience is it didn't really leave us wanting more... we were all dog tired! I would love to go back someday and take our nephews!!

The train ride back was quiet since there were tons of people sleeping! Kenny and I walked up 3 cars to the beverage car. It was pretty fun 'jumping' from car to car.

Remember when I mentioned before everyone was waiving to us... well on the way back there were lots of teenagers on the river, they didn't wave; they mooned us!! 

That night we decided to take Emily's recommendation and try Steamworks, a restaurant/brewery that served local beer. We all enjoyed the food, but I have to say mine was the coolest... I ordered something I would never order if we weren't on vacation (mostly because it cost $24)- Steamworks Original Cajun Boil- which included Alaskan Dungeness Crab, Wild Texas Shrimp, Audouille Sausage, New Potatoes and sweet corn... wow it was good, BUT HOT! I didn't care for the shrimp, but ate almost everything else they brought out! They put a giant piece of butcher paper down on the table and bring out your meal in a giant silver mixing bowl and dump it on the table... you eat it all with your hands! It was more than a meal it was an experience , for sure. 

Sunday was a lazy relaxing vacation day.. we slept in, had more free breakfast and then hit the town. We walked through lots of shops and looked around town. Kenny quickly grew tired of shopping and opted to get the car washed (it was pretty bad after the drive) and go see a movie. The shops were pretty interesting to look at, but I didn't buy much... the prices were high and I am trying really hard not to buy nick nacks or things without a useful purpose... I did take lost of pictures of interesting things... 
flowers made out of re-purposed bottle caps

a frame made out of recycled keyboards 

We spent some time walking along the river. It was so beautiful. The cotton floating down from the cottonwood trees looked like snow falling. I have never seen anything like it. The weather was amazing too. 

Sunday night the ladies all thought Kenny should pick the restaurant since he was such a good sport all day while we shopped. Applebees was delicious and afterward we just had to go to Baskin Robbins for dessert. 

Monday morning we left nice and early so we could get home and have a little time to recoup before heading to work on Tuesday. The drive seemed longer going home.... I was ready to see our puppies! I did finish these two projects while we were driving- 

We really lucked out having Becky and Peggy as travel buddies, because they were super awesome, fun to be around, laid back, positive and just nice people! Where we going next ladies? White Water Rafting???