Tuesday, January 31, 2012

10 card extravaganza

I met my mom, Jackie and Merrit up at the Occasional Artist in downtown Glendale.

Here are the cards I made from tonights event: 
Weak, I know only 3 out of the 10... but by the time I got to class it was already late and I still have a million things on my to do list and still wanted to have a little bit of fun! 

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Sweet Surprise!

Today I came into work and found this: 

Its an adorable homemade notebook cover with a cute flower pen to go with it! My friend Carol surprised me and few other ladies at work, just because. THEN another friend Donna, surprised me with some yummy cotton candy!  

I guess today was all about surprises, because I had a surprise planned for my piano teacher too... Homemade marshmallows! 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Weekend

Friday night my mom and I went to the Occasional Artist in downtown Glendale for their craft mixer night. We made this adorable home decoration! We used cute out letters and dabbed paint around them on pattern paper to create this look. Then we cute out cute phrases from old books to finish off the project. Very cute, simple idea!

While we were gone my brother and Kenny worked on his car. They were adding some internal green lightening... the project ran well into the night.

The boys kept busy playing video games most of the night... about 10PM I could see Jacob fading fast:

A while later he had a little bit of a meltdown and wailed and said, "This level is too hard!" Its not funny I know... but we were all so tickled by it. Life is just too hard sometimes.

Saturday morning I ran some errands with my parents and the boys. We went to the 'candy store' AKA ABC Cake decorating. and then hit the dart store. That evening Brian, Kenny and I went for a late dinner at  China Chili, one of my brothers favorite places ever. Their chicken fried rice is amazing! After dinner we went to see Blair's boyfriend, Allan's band, Virulent at Marque theater.

Sunday morning Brian, Kenny and I did an 11 mile bike ride in the Canal to prepare for our bike ride coming up. That afternoon Kenny and I went to Blair's house for Hailey's birthday party!

Hailey is One!

I cannot believe that Hailey is already 1! It seems like she was just born! I can't believe a year passed so quickly. I hate that I don't really know her... She is a friendly baby and always lets me pick her up when I come visit (which isn't often enough) 

We headed over to Blair's to celebrate Hailey's first birthday with her family. 

Had Cake: 

And ate it too :

I love that Allan 'helped' Hailey open her gifts, she sure is a daddy's girl !

Hailey wasn't very interested in her gifts, but sure liked the wrapping paper and liked to taste each item : )

Here is what we gave Hailey (along with a shirt and princess sippy cups):
I made this skirt! It took me 3 hours and I used fabrics I had on hand.... I had intended on making a skirt for Jaylen in September, but I was a big old chicken. I finally tackled the pattern, but I sort of hated it when I finished it... it looks like a clown skirt or something. I got lots of reassuring comments on FB and most importantly Blair loved it (Hailey didn't seem to mind wearing it either).

Hailey, Allan and Blair 

Hailey and Tamera 

I love Blair's big, loud family parties and feel honored that we are considered part of the family. 

Happy First Birthday, Hailey! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012



Dogs don’t make up our whole lives by they make our lives whole.

Monty was such a good dog for my mom. He was her first and only dog that was just hers. Kenny and I helped her find him when she lived in her apartment back in about 2006. He was a huge pain in the butt in my opinion, but a constant, faithful friend for my mom when she needed one.

A few weeks ago it became apparent that Monty was sick. He slowed way down, wasn’t barking (the boy loved to bark) and was extremely lethargic. My mom took him back and forth vet, until it was finally determined that he had an aggressively growing tumor. They could remove it, hope it wasn’t cancer and hope that is wouldn’t grow back, but the vet wasn’t very optimistic about the quality of life he could get from the months or years the operation would buy him… My mom made that very difficult decision to put him down.

My mom asked that I go with her and Kenny watch the boys so that Brian could go too. Not so much that we were going to say goodbye to the dog, but just to be there for our mom. She took him to the same Animal Hospital I had to take Faith to 5 years ago… at least it wasn’t the same room. The surroundings sure did stir up a lot of feelings. I really felt bad for my mom. Its not a task I would wish on anyone.

We sat with Monty in the room while we waiting for the staff to prepare. It was sad. Even my brother cried.

At least he is no longer in pain and can run, and bark all he wants now. I am sure his barking is already driving my grandma bonkers while he waits for my mom.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Surprise in the Mail

Its funny how a little surprise in the mail can come at just the perfect time on the perfect day. Kenny was having a bummer day today, nothing specific just a down day. We got a package in the mail from the Wagy family and naturally being the awesome man Kenny is he waited until I got home to open it.
His sister, Jennifer,  sent some beautiful family photos, a note and a tin can packed full of name tags that belonged to Kenny's dad. There were tons of them from the Ghost Busters to the California raisins! A treasure for him, for sure. I love to see that natural smile spread across Kenny's lips. Not that I don't see it often, I mean the guy is always laughing and joking, but this smile is different. Pure joy and contentment.
To anyone else these might be plastic trinkets, but to Kenny its a link to his dad and he loved looking at each one of them. He especially loved the ones that still had Ron's name on them. 

Thanks for the super awesome surprise Jennifer and Susie!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Trip Down Memory Lane

So I have extra time between work and Piano on Tuesday afternoons and I often find myself just driving around looking at houses. Today I went to on of my family's old houses.

This house is at 2525 W Seldon Lane in Phoenix, AZ. My family rented it in the early 80s. It is actually up for sale right now for $50,000- that is crazy cheap, but it is only a 1,000 ft2 house and it was built in 1959. 3 bedroom/ 2 bath.

I remember it being so much bigger... and nicer :) It probably was nicer when we lived there- probably wasn;t bigger though ; )

My earliest memories were in this house:

* I remember sitting at the coffee table eating Bologna and Cheese sandwiches with my dad while watching I love Lucy or Andy Griffith at lunch time. My mom and brother weren't there.
* Our dog Holly Girl
* Playing in our TP in the back yard
* my brother falling off the roof (there used to be a tree by the front door) and cutting his head open. He begged me not to tell... of course I did anyway, but its not like she wouldn't have noticed all the blood on his forehead.
* I remember being in the kitchen with my mom... nothing more specific just being in there with her
* I remember my baby sitter whom I called Grandma Rena (she lived on the next street over)
* I got my first scar at that house... I ran across the street, fell and skinned my knee. I still have the scar.
* I remember when my dad decided to burn the weeds with gasoline and lit the entire chain link fence line on fire.
* I remember when the house was robbed... everyone was evaluating their rooms to see if anything was taking... my room was so messy I had no idea if anything was gone (like they wanted any of my 4 year old stuff ha ha ).
* One night my brother and I were going to run away from home... we got our bikes out and I don't even think we made it to the end of the drive way when we heard a dog howl and turned back.

My very earliest memory was actually in the living room of this house when my parents told me that my Grandpa Max passed away. It was 1985 and I was 2 years old. I don't have any specific memories of my Grandpa Max, but I remember that night when they told me he was gone and how mad I was and that I loved him a lot...

I had my 6th birthday party on that porch. We played musical chairs and did the egg race stuff.

I know of a lot more things that happened in that house because of photos and stories that were told to me, but all of these things are actual memories.

Have you ever been asked what your earliest memory was? Its hard to pin point, but if you can find the place you lived or look at pictures you might be able to jog it. I really can't believe that I remember my Grandpa Max Lang especially when I recently found out the year he died was 1985 making me 2 years old... thats crazy.

Anyway, that was my trip down memory lane.... maybe next week I will find another of our old houses and write about it. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Super Stuffed Potatoes

4 small baking potatoes 
1 lb ground beef
1/4 lb Velveeta Cheese 
1 small tomato chopped 
2 green onions sliced 
1/2 cup sour cream 

Bake Potatoes. Brown meat then mix in Velveeta, tomatoes and onions until Velveeta is melted- stir frequenetly. Split Potatoes, mach insides with fork, top with meat mixture and sour cream. 

Kraft Foods Magazine- Fall 09

Since we were just chillin at the house today I made this for lunch. I actually doubled the Velveeta and used about 1/4 of salsa and no tomato, onion of sour cream. Kenny loved it. It was VERY filling too. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Oreo Fudge Ice Cream Cake and Friday the 13th

½ cup hot fudge ice cream topping- warm
1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip whipped topping- thawed, divided
1 pkg (3.9 ox) Jello- Chocolate instant pudding
8 Oreo cookies, chopped
12 vanilla ice cream sandwiches

  1. Pour fudge topping into medium bowl. Whisk in 1 cup of cool whip. Add dry pudding mix, stir 2 mins. Stir in chopped cookies.
  2. arrange 4 ice cream sandwiches, side by side on a 24 inch long piece of foil. Top layer with cool whip mixure. Repeat layers.
  3. Frost top and sides with remaining cool whip. Bring up foil sides double fold top and ends to loosely seal packet. Freeze for four hours. 

I took this to Blair' Friday the 13th party and everyone loved it! It is an excellent substitute to the $30 Diary Queen Ice Cream Cake! I made this one for only $8.50 and nothing was really on sale so you could probably even do it cheaper. I would probably add more Oreo next time I made this.

The party was really fun, Brian, Kenny and I joined Blair and her kiddos for some scary movie watching. We watched the old version of  The Exorcist and Friday the 13th. The movies weren't very good, but we enjoyed chowing down on pizza, snacks and ice cream, playing with the cats and chatting with Blair (and then Allan when he got home). 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

10 for $10 at the Tempe Improv - or FREE

Advertising works on me... I check my e-mails and am easily enticed by Groupon deals, sales and specials... Today I received a deal for FREE admission to the Tempe Improv for their 10 comics for $10 night. Of course the tickets weren't actually free since I had to pay a $5 per ticket processing fee(not to mention the 2 drink minimum....), but still cheap ! Kenny has been wanting to take my mom with us to the Improv for a long time... The two of them laugh out loud a lot... to TV, radio, comics whatever. I mean its not that I don't laugh too, but they really get into it. I was actually surprised that she wanted to go, because she is such a home body. 

So the 3 of us headed to Tempe for a night out. I wish I would have taken pictures because my mom was all dressed up and looked so pretty in here gray ruffly shirt and black skinny pants : ) 

We ordered some chips and salsa and drinks before the show started and eagerly waited for the comics to get started. I personally though the first 1/2 of the comics were the best and laughed A LOT. 8 of them were local comics that I didn't recognize, but we did get to Listen to the Head Liners from this week and next week (not bad for $5 admission!) as well. 

My favorite comic was talked about marriage... I think his best joke was, "I got married young so I didn't have to waste a lot of time figuring out what my own interests were" LOL Kenny and I had a great laugh at that guy. 

My mom said the comics weren't great, but she still laughed a lot and enjoyed the night. The average show is about an hour an half... so I was expecting to get out about 9 PM so when we walked out at 10:15 I was shocked! It made for a late night, but I am so glad we went. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

He's Officially 5

This morning Jacob was a little upset when he realized he had to go to school even though it was his birthday. He got got the cool hat he is wearing in these pictures and my mom sent him with Angry Bird cupcakes so he ended up having a good day : )

Although we already celebrated his birthday on Saturday we all went to McDonalds to celebrate again. When they got there I told Jacob to spin around so I could take a look at him, he did and I said, "Yep you look like a 5 year old!" He was so pleased with himself.  The boys had a great time playing (and even Big Brian went up in the play ground which made the boys squeal with delight). I think Jacob could care less that they serve food except for the pickle on his hamburger.

After playing and eating and playing some more it was time to open presents- 


Angry Birds! (PJs) 

Little Brian as SO excited for everything... his brother's birthday, eating at McDonalds (he actually eats his food), playing on the play ground, seeing me (tee hee), watching his brother open presents etc. Although, it HE wasn't the center of attention he was really good about it and is really looking forward to his birthday...
Little Brian 
 When we walked out of the restaurant Kenny and Brian silly stringed the boys. Although the pictures don't really show it (because Jacob looks like he is on the verge of tears) they actually really liked it and Little Brian said, "Lets do that again on my birthday!"

It took some digging, but I found these pictures from 2009... Jacob's 2nd Birthday... I remembered that Brian silly stringed him then too... He took it better today than back then! 

Happy Birthday Kiddo! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Family Bible Study Night

I got a wild hair on Sunday and prepared 3 meals... I know you are shocked huh? 

I made this recipe for tonight's dinner- 


1 lb. dried blackeyed peas (2 c.)
Salt and pepper to taste
12 slices bacon, cubed
3 med. potatoes, cubed
1 lg. onion, cubed
1 lg. can diced Rotel tomatoes/green chilies with liquid
Worcestershire sauce to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste

Place peas with plenty of water (seasoned to taste with salt and pepper) in a large crock pot. Cook on low overnight. The next morning, saute bacon until crisp. Add potatoes and onions to bacon and cook until onions are soft. Add to peas in crock pot, along with drippings. Add tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauces. Cook on low all day.

It made SO much food I decided to invite my family over. My dad couldn't make it because he was late coming home from work, but my mom took him some. It came out really good but a little spicy for my mom, Jacob and Little Brian, but they still liked it. I think Little Brian's exact comment was, "Wow this is actually good." Lol he has so much confidence in his Aunt's cooking huh?? My brother recalled the last time we had black eye peas here... neither of the boys would eat it because they said it was looking at them... lol!

We pulled out this special plate (even though we were eating out of bowls) that Linda Lee, my teacher from YW gave us as a wedding gift (sure can see all the finger prints huh?) . Jacob was tickled to use it and is so excited for his 5th b-day in 2 days! 

Since we were already together we decided to go ahead and do out family Bible study for the week. We have been doing this for the past 2 months now... I really enjoy it and it helps us keep our house vacuumed and dusted and pretty much makes us cook at least once a week (although last week we did just order pizza). Sometimes my mom cooks for us or brings a desert to share. Tonight I made rice krispy treats which everyone loved. I gave Little Brian an extra large piece and said, "oops is that too big?" after I handed it to him. He replied with a big grin and wide eyes, "Who cares if its too big" and walked away. : ) 

Tonight we read about the Good Samaritan. We all knew that Parable, but it you can always take away something when studying the Bible .

There is always a lot of wrestling and horse play with my brother and the boys around... they are constantly asking my brother and Kenny if they 'want a piece of them' its pretty funny. Little Brian was bent over and Kenny was playing him when Jacob walked up and said, "Oww wedgie!" and pulled Little B's underwear up! Everyone thought it was terrible funny... great we are breading a bully... 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Oh Yeah!

Our plans got cancelled for today so.... Kenny finally put up the shelves I wanted in the spare bedroom! 
I love them! Thank you Kenny! 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Angry Bird Party!

Jacob LOVES Angry Birds! Kenny and I came up with an idea to make him a life size version of angry birds for his 5th birthday party! 
Brian got tons of boxes from his work and Kenny and I wrapped them in paper bags. 
We got angry bird plates and tapped the pigs to balloons and a red bird to a bouncy ball... We made a sling shot and set up in the park to surprise him! 

The sling shot didn't work very well for some reason... I was the only one who could get it to work... So we just decided that WE would be human angry birds! 

It was a ton of fun and provided a couple hours of entertainment in the morning before we headed to Jacob's bowling party.

My mom, Jacob, my dad and my brother 

Brian and Little Brian 

My mom, Me and Little Brian 

Mom, Me, Brian, Little Brian and Jaob 
Me and Jacob

It was such a fun day. I was surprised that my parents came out to the bowling alley and played with us, it was really great to have everyone all together. Jacob's mom didn't call... he didn't ask, but it still makes me sad for him. He is such a super awesome kiddo!