Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Candice and I met at Washington Elementary School in the 6th grade and were pretty much inseparable that year and into junior high. We spent every waking moment together at each other's houses and I was even lucky enough to go on vacation with her family.

Candice introduced me to the LDS church where I attended from the ages of 12 to 18. I was baptized by her Step-dad, Jeff when I was 14 as was my mom sometime after that. I met some of my favorite people at that church and have wonderful memories of the people, adventures, lessons, FOOD and fun. My mom and I have reminisced about the old 28th Ward when we have attempted to attend other LDS churches and it just wasn't the same.... We miss it! The group of friends we made those years will last a lifetime even if we don't share the same faith any longer. I still feel very guilty when it comes Candice's family for my decision to leave the church since her family was who invested so much time into me, although they have never been judgmental or made me feel that way (its all in my own head!)

Anyway, all that to say Candice made a HUGE impact on my life but somewhere along the way we simply grew apart. We attended different highschools and eventually after college we stopped talking. Our moms are something if not kindred spirits and stayed in touch all these years. Since FB started I have reconnected with Candice's family (even camped with them, did the Mud Run etc), but have never been able to reconnect with her... not sure why.

My mom and I wanted to bring a little something over to the family after the funeral on Tuesday so she made fudge and we went by for a 'quick visit' and ended up staying for a few hours  talking and laughing. At one point my mom started laughing at Candice and I and said, "You guys still finish each others sentences!" I had forgotten how much I enjoyed her company.

It was a really nice time, the four of us- together again just laughing and talking as if no time had passed.... let alone 10 years!

Candice and Stargret are just awesome people and I am thankful to know them!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Green Table Gifts

We found ourselves a gem. Green Table Gifts in Chandler offered a Amazon deal (through living social) and Jackie, my mom, Stacy (from work) and I decided to go to their special event class to make an advent calendar out of a muffin tin and magnets- GENIUS ! 

Jackie made my mom and I a delicious dinner (a yummy turkey,bacon and ranch sandwich on a crescent roll, chips, apple and cookies)  and we ate it on the 80 min driveout to Chandler. 

When we arrived I was super surprised to find an adorable boutique type store filled with handmade items from over 30 different vendors... awesome! The classes are just a supplemental fun thing the store does even though they don't actually sell crafting supplies... interesting concept. 

Our kind,chatter box teacher was wonderful and the project was completely stress free.... 

Great food. Great friends. Great project. Great new store! 

Saying Good Bye

Weird how I keep getting drawn back to this building, to the people and the church I spent so many of my teenage years in and then walked away from... a baptism of a friend's child, a craft day and now a funeral.

As we walked in we were greeted by familiar faces with solemn smiles and hugs. We approach the viewing room, but I decide to stay outside. I don't want to see Dee'sbody... its sticks with me when I see people like that- Terry, Ron, Dave, Quint.... I just don't like it. I want to picture Dee with a huge smile on his face and full of life, the way he always was when I saw him. I didn't go in to say hi the family... or Candice. A missed opportunity because I didn't get to give her a hug and talk to her before the service ended and they followed the casket out for the processional.

The service was very nice. The Eulogy (given by Vince Lee) was quiet surprising... I really didn't know much about Dee and what he did with his life... a first wife and another son, a career in aviation control, parachuting for fun, a pilot, sealed in the Temple in 2000 with his wife and son, Jeff.  I didn't know any of that but I knew his family meant the world to him and he was a kind, generous man who truly loved and cared about other people.

Stargret's brother, commented that it is strange the he was asked to speak since it is not usual that you would get so attached to your sister's in laws, but the fact is they were attached to Dee (and Wanda). I can relate, how often do you get attached to your friend's grandparent?

The fact is I adored Dee just like my own grandparent. As many people mentioned today Dee just made you feel like he belonged and you belonged. He counted me as part of the family when I used to spend so much time with Candice (and in turn with him and Wanda)... church every Sunday, swimming at their house, vacationing together etc. He shared his love of fishing with me and when I vacationed with Candice and her family in Idaho there were days where Jeff, Dee and I would go out fishing solo. Even in later years after I left the church whenever I would see him he would give me a bear hug and act like I was his favorite person in the world.

I will miss Dee Thompson and although this is a time of mourning, Bishop Al Wolf was right to say this is also a time of celebration and rejoicing because Dee had his affairs in order and we know where he is now. Jeff, his son, takes all the comfort in the world in knowing that his family is sealed for time and all eternity and he will see his parents again someday. Although, I don't believe you have to go through a special ceremony to be sealed to your family I do believe families are forever and Dee is being reunited with his loved ones that have passed before him.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving #3

Most of the family had to work on Thanksgiving day so Michelle hosted a the Big Meal on Sunday so that everyone (except Andy and Joanna) could come.

It was such a beautiful day so we spent lots of time outside playing with the 3 adorable Ross kiddos.
Matt- could this kid be any cuter loosing his pants??? 
Matt and his Grandma (Nanette) 
I made more pies. SIDE STORY: The pies dripped and oozed all over the door and down to the bottom of the stove leaving a horrible black mess.... I decided to use the self cleaning option and soon black smoke was barreling out of the stove!! We quickly opened all of the doors and windows and 4 hours later we had a new clean stove!!

Emma - Can you see her adorable pig tails? 

Kenny sharing his pie 

The whole family 
Michelle used a brine on the turkey this year and although she felt like it tasted pretty much the same I thought it had a deliciously moist flavor and it literally fell off the bones when Trevor tried to carve it. All the fixin's were excellent too.

After dinner and dishes we were all sitting around (maybe trying not to doze) and watched the kids dance- simply adorable.

The Hunger Games

It bugs me to be out of the loop. It seems like I was reading a status update a few times a week that mentioned the Hunger Games... The books are about a post apocalyptic world in a country called Panem where the US used to be... Each year "The Capital" hosts a televised event (reality TV show??) where one boy and one girl ages 12-18 are chosen from each of the 12 remaining districts to participate in the HUNGER GAMES... which is essentially a fight to the death, with only one winner. 

The whole premise scares me and I was thinking I wouldn't like the books since it is not my normal read... but decided the masses of people can't be wrong... oh and they weren't! Once I started reading I didn't want to put the books down. 

I have to admit, although I really enjoyed reading the series and couldn't put them down until I found out what happened... (seriously I was reading them at the demo derby by the light of my brothers phone... addicted much?) they did actually give me nightmares! I don't think of things like war, famine and lack of freedom very often. Oh I am thankful for our soldiers and all the freedoms they protect, but I have never really slowed down to think about each one of those freedoms... wow. Anyway, great books- add to the craze; read them too ! 

PS. Apparently I love to read teen books... 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving #2

Barb invited us over for a small Turkey dinner with a few of her close friends and family. It was also a semi- birthday celebration too... although she did all the cooking!  All the food came out great, but it was a difficult process since her septic was backed-up and she couldn't use any water in the house! So frustrating! Tammy and her boyfriend, Kenny and I, Barb and Sarah all ate to our hearts content! Love this time of year! (sorry no pictures)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

This year Black Friday officially started on Thanksgiving Thursday. Going in I thought it was a great idea that the stores were opening so early rather than making us wake up at 3, 4 or 5 AM to come in.... I think it is easier to stay up late than to get up early... later I would eat those words. 

I don't know how I did it, but somehow I got Kenny and my brother to agree to come with me this year.... they were both Black Friday Virgins. We began our adventure at Wal-mart... well we intended to, but there was seriously NO parking so we parked a good half mile away at Target (or next stop on the list) and walked over to Wal-mart. I was laughing so hard when Kenny and Brian help gasping and OMGing at the crowds and number of cars... Men have not idea about serious shopping huh!? 

Kenny doesn't like crowds... Wal-mart was so packed there is no way they were not violating fire codes... you couldn't even walk freely in the isles. Kenny opted to camp out in the greeting card isle with our stuff (since we didn't have a card and our hands were full) while Brian and hunted for all the deals through the mass of people. We all got pushed, heals ran over by carts and were drenched in sweat even though it was a cold night by the time we were done. We got most of everything on our list at Wal-mart ; cheap PJs for the boys, crockpots, tupperwear, Transformers, T-shirts , toys and more. The one item we didn't get was the $2.97 waffle iron which they were out of almost instantly. 

We made the 'hike' back to the car and had about 40 mins to wait before the next store opened; Target at midnight. We about 300 people deep and the line was wrapped around the building so we were waiting in the dark alley behind the store. A police car drove up and stopped my brother since he was away from the crowd smoking and asked what the crowd was all about. LMAO... he was an older man....

When we finally made it into the store we could have had our pick of any ad item... pretty shocking really... too bad we weren't in the market for a PS3, Wii or flat TV! We grabbed our items and got into the massive line. It ran very profitably and we were in and out in no time. 

Since our next store, Kohls had opened at midnight we walked in, got in line and took turns grabbing our desired items... Kohls was probably the worst line... we waited and waited and waited... Our lack of sleep was starting to set in as it approached 2 AM and we were loosing our enthusiasm... 

Our next stop was Game Stop. The guys picked out their games and I waited, and waited and waited in line. For such a small store I was surprised how long it took. 

Since Sears (or final stop) didn't open until 4 AM we decided to go to Denny's for some late night food or breakfast. We weren't the only ones who thought of this! It was packed too! And so we waited... Late night Denny's trips after the school dances or later after a night of drinking... somehow with it was different this time. Pure exhaustion. My brother and I got a case of the giggles so people probably thought we were drunk... I think Kenny was wondering too lol. After we ate I was feeling really sick and thought I might throw up... Brian did too. Not sure what the deal was, but it passed so we headed to our last stop; Sears. 

I happily snagged the Mario sweat outfits (sweat pants, tshirt and jacket included) I had been eying for the boys for just $10 each originally marked $54 each and Kenny got himself a super duper jack... I usually don't like to let people pick out their own gifts, but I knew I wouldn't be able to pull of getting that 100 lb monster in secret. 

We finally got home at about 6:30 AM up for almost 24 hours.... Both Men said they would never do it again and it wasn't worth it, although I think they enjoyed the adventure more than they will admit. It was the best Black Friday ever for me and I got about 80% of our shopping done in one night! Who needs sleep anyway?? 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

Today when I woke up my heart fluttered with excitement, I though, "Today is Thanksgiving I finally get to see my Grandma"... I of course quickly realized my mistake and cried.

I climbed out of bed and let Kenny sleep a while longer and just lounged around watching TV and playing on the computer. Finally I couldn't wait any longer and woke Kenny up to go get us a newspaper so we could look at all the Black Friday deals! (BTW he had to get up anyway since he had offered to drive the boys to Crystals house for their visit). While Kenny was gone taking the boys I started making the pies...

Since I was making 3 different pies for 2 different days I decided to cheat and buy premade crusts to save time. I made everyone's favorites- pumpkin for Brian, Pecan for my dad and Apple for Kenny. Although they came out looking a little ugly they tasted just fine!

Kenny and my brother showed up just as the last pie hit the oven. Then played their PS3 game while I got ready to head over to my moms.

My family seems to eat very fast and no one lingers long to chat. Before I knew it the feast my mom had cooked was eaten and the men had scattered - out front smoking, in the other room playing video games and napping.

Mom and I watched Eclipse (so excited she loves the Twilight series now too!) while I poured over the ads for Black Friday and I made my lists.

Tonight is going to be a blast!

I can't believe I didn't take any pictures besides the pies... I was just in a downer mood and the boys weren't there so I totally forgot.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Beating the crowds takes on a whole new meaning when you visit Santa BEFORE Thanksgiving! Who cares though really? The boys were excited and happy and didn't have to wait hours to visit Jolly Old St. Nicholas!

I love the display arrowhead had up this year. A place to write and mail your wish list to Santa, a Christmas tree made out of tricycles and much more.

I wish they would let you take pictures with your personal camera ( I did sneak one)  because you can't get the candid shots with the professional photo set up... Jacob and Little Brian had the biggest sincere grins on their faces as they climbed up on Santa's lap.

When they were done Jacob came up to me and said, "See he real. He live at the North Pole" and his eyes were filled with wonder. Adorable.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Twilight Marathon

Blair and I had been looking forward to this movie coming out... well pretty much since the Eclipse movie came out and I read all the books within a week or two! When my FB friend Krystall posted about the Marathon I was instantly texting Blair to see if she wanted to do it- duh of course she did!

We snagged our tickets ($30 each!) and when I posted on FB about it another friend of mine Christina decided to join us.

Christina and Blair arrived just shortly before I did, but luckily the movie theater is a block from my office so I didn't have to take an PTO and got there just after they did. The line was long and we ended up in the front section of the theater BUT we got the last row which made leaving convenient (we just hoped over the back of our chairs) .

The whole thing was pretty exciting... goody bags with coupons for FREE Chipotle (um my total favorite place), popcorn and soda along with a lanyard and EDWARD souvenir cup.  It just delightful... sitting there with two really fun girlfriends, in a comfy theater watching an a amazing love story unfold... I LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT!

Blair, Me and Christina 

I was worried that it would be too much to sit through 3 movies before our 'featured presentation' but the timing and breaks were just perfect... there was plenty of time to get refills, snacks etc and have a bathroom break between each movie.

It was crazy to see all of the people lined up waiting for the midnight showing while we got to go in and relax and watch Eclipse... made me me feel very VIP : )

Despite the poor reviews from critiques the women in the theater , including the three of us, thought the movie was fantastic! I will buy it on DVD the second it comes out... And we call can't wait for the 5th and finally move to come out in November 2012!

Getting out of the parking lot after the movie was an absolute nightmare.... took me about 45 mins to get out.... luckily I took a few hours PTO on Friday morning so that I could sleep in before going to work.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Since I have written about the Scrapbooks Etc yardsale so many times before I won't waste my time with details here... just know it is practically a holiday to me and my mom! We look forward to this 'event' for months and get giddy with anticipation for days before.

We made it to the doors about 9:35 AM and there were already about 20 people ahead of us in line! We both cleaned up on goodies and deals.

My favorite deal was this 'ribbon monster' for $25!!

Mom and I ate a quick lunch at 'our Subway' before heading back to our side of town.

After I dropped my mom off I barely made it to the house in time to meet up with Kenny and Donna for our Double Decker Bus Treasure Hunt !

We met at a neat little Bar (the name escapes me!) in downtown Phoenix for our debriefing and list of clues!

We of course choose to sit on the top deck which was pretty neat being so high up (the bus was higher than a semi!) The overhead passes sure did seem low! We happened to sit in the middle of a large group of older <drunk> senior citizens who could seem to hear each other unless they were yelling in our ears... We moved after the first stop! lol

The first stop was Heritage Square. We walked around and enjoyed the beautiful weather while we hunted for our answers. We thought we were so smart because we got all but one right... turns out most people did the same...

We had a little bit of a drive to our next destination which was the Old Scottsdale area. We had a picture diagram to follow which was a fun twist and even funnier that NO ONE followed the right way.... We made it as the 6th team back to the bus so no bonus points for us again!

The last stop was Mill Ave in Tempe- by far my favorite stop even though I didn't take any pictures. Although, Kenny and I both graduated from ASU we took all of our classes at the West campus so we didn't ever experience the downtown Tempe night life... This area is just too neat. We want to go back and do something like a progressive dinner and check out a few restaurants and shops.

By the time the Treasure Hunt wrapped up (no we didn't win... heck we didn't even place- although we did get most of the answers right) it was after 6PM and we were all starving so we decided to go to the Golden Corral. I have been to a number of buffets (the cruise ship, Vegas, Hometown buffet etc) and Golden Corral is by far my favorite, because the food doesn't taste like buffet food! We all really enjoyed our dinner and waddled out of there about 8:30.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Flying School

Wow. Amazing. Spectacular. Awesome. These words can't even begin to describe the adventure we had today! Last year I purchased a Intro to flight lesson at Westwind School of Aeronautics. I had initially thought I would have some interest in taking a lesson, but since Kenny is so good at driving everything we decided he would take the first lesson and check things out. Luckily our instructor, Steve Kenny was extremely nice and let me tag along for the lesson- double bonus! 

We started with the simulator. Just the site of the elaborate machine seemed pretty intimidating... all those controls, knobs and switches. When we turned the machine on and the screens were illuminated with charts of air space, numbers etc I had almost completely lost interest. Kenny spent about 15 minutes on the simulator with the instructor explaining the different controls and what everything did, meant etc. Steve assured us we shouldn't worry if we didn't catch everything and only expected us to retain about 10% of what he said--- it sure is a lot to take in at once! 

Then it was time to find our aircraft. When we walked out into the parking area I was absolutely shocked at the size of the planes... they were seriously SMALL! 

When we came up to our plane - N1590W - November, One, Five, Niner, Zero, Wiskey- the instructor patted the plane and said "this is it" and the entire plane shock... Wow did my nerves get me then! Kenny and I laughed nervously. Steve is probably the perfect instructor for Kenny because he is super safety conscious and meticulous just like Kenny! After a good 20-25 mins of inspecting the plane it was time to board the tiny 4 seater. I climbed into the backseat, buckled up and put my head set on. The guys climbed in and after more explanation and instruction, Steve fired up the engine. WOW. Before I knew it we were rolling toward the runway. Steve instructed Kenny how to drive the plane on the ground and keep it straight : ) Then we lined up and awaited our turn for take off. Steve advised Kenny that he would be taking off, which came as a bit of a surprise, but Kenny was up to the challenge. We took off heading West out of Deer Valley Airport and were airborne in a matter of seconds going over 100 miles per hour... 

I am not gonna lie the ride was BUMPY!! To be fair besides being Kenny's first flight ever it was also a cloudy day with lots of wind. We floated over Water World and Thunderbird Park (were we hike) and then followed the freeway North. In an effort to explain a concept to Kenny, Steve dropped the plane so drastically I thought my stomach would fall out of the bottom of the plane! I was airsick and dreaded finding the 'blue envelope' I had been instructed NOT to throw up in... Steve said, "Don't throw up in the envelope, get the plastic bag out of the envelope and throw up in that. " 

Water World 

Thunderbird Park 

A Cloud : ) 
 Luckily things started to click for Kenny and he really got the hang of it! Once we turned East and were flying over the mountains and under the clouds he really did a great job. Steve said he didn't even touch the controls during that time : ) 

After flying over the mountains and Desert Ridge mall it was already time to land. Kenny let Steve handle that because of the weather. 

Although it was scary it was really an amazing experience! Kenny and I couldn't stop smiling and talking about it all day. 

We went to lunch at Village Inn, my favorite, and discussed the possibility of flight school over lunch and pie! The school is really expensive so I don't know if we will be able to afford it, but I know this will be on Kenny's bucket list now because he is still just reeling over the experience. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Jewelry Party

There was a time I was too nervous to have parties and house guest, but now I will take an excuse I can find to have a get together at my house! When Blair decided to have a Lia Sophia party a few weeks ago I knew I would have one shortly after!

I was a little disappointed that so many people texted or called me the day of my party to cancel, but it really worked out just fine. The 6 of us could all fit comfortably in the front room and watch Emma run a muck!

Since we went to the fair a few days before and I had seen an idea on Pinterest for Salad on a stick I decided to make Fair themed food! I made the Salad on a stick, corn dogs, caramel apples and even found some chips that would give the same type of flavor as Indian fry bread (not that fluffy texture though!) Everyone seemed really impressed with the spread of food which is always a boost of confidence : )

Although it was a VERY stormy night and the reported worst traffic/travel time was between 5-6 PM (my party started at 6) everyone made it just fine.

We sat around and munched, talked and looked at pretty jewelry. I always feel bad about having these types of parties, because people will buy things that they don't really want just because they feel obligated so I made sure to make it clear to all of my guests that there was NO obligation to buy.... unfortunately my Jewelry lady Connie was super high pressure... yikes. I did end up hosting a 'qualified' show so I got to pick some items for free and some at a hefty discount! Woot Woot

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fair Take Two

Brian trying to beat the challenge and win a $100 
Uncle Kenny and Jacob 
Even though Kenny and I had already taken the boys to the Fair this year we wanted to go again since Brian wasn't able to go and Jereme and Melodi still wanted to go as well. Our first trip was for exploring and looking at the exhibits and show and this trip was all about the rides and games. We got in for free for donating socks to the Veterans and all of the rides and games were discounted to just $2 (although cheap still ads of quickly for a group).

We waited for our first ride and just before it was our turn to ride someone threw up.... I almost said, "Never Mind" and abandoned the adventure of riding Fair rides. We ended up going anyway and the ride was amazing AND I didn't feel sick at all... Can you out grown motion sickness???

We moseyed our way through the rides taking turns riding the ones we thought looked interesting and skipping the ones that weren't a good fit (NO SPINNING ones for me or Kenny).

This trip to the Fair was pretty monumental... Little Brian successfully road his first 'adult' ride!! He was SUPER excited to ride "Starship 2000" which is a spinning ride... luckily Jereme and Melodi were willing to go on with him. At first Brian, Kenny and I weren't very supportive of him because we figured we would pay the money and he would change his mind (which is what usually happens) and no of us wanted to take his place on that spinning machine! They said he did great and was just laughing the whole time. When he walked out the doors of the ship he was all smiles. I was really proud of him for facing his fears.

Jereme, Melodi and Little Brian 

Melodi, Jereme, Kenny and I rode the Farris wheel- I believe the same one Kenny proposed to me on- while the boys played a few games. Its always so beautiful at the top!

Little Brian 

Kenny and I 

Melodi holding Little B

Brian holding Jacob 
After we thought we were done riding rides we decided it was time for something fried! We got Indian fry bread, a giant donuts, fried zucchini, fried mushrooms, onion rings, hot dogs and french fries... it was ridiculous how much food there was!!

The boys, Melodi and I went to check out the butterfly exhibit. Jacob was fascinated!! Melodi and Little Brian left after about 10 mins, but Jacob wanted to stay. We even found a caterpillar! It was such a neat exhibit- and free!


I was in search of Chocolate Cotton Candy so I walked around to each vendor looking for it with no success... while I was doing that Little Brian and Kenny rode a roller coaster together and then Jacob, Brian, Kenny and Little Brian road the bumper cars. Kenny said that was his favorite part of the night. : )

Before we knew it we had blown through the night and it was time to go... there were a few tickets left on our ride pass so Brian and I rode another ride and laughed our way through the whole thing. Who knew we all loved Fair rides so much???