Saturday, March 31, 2012

Shop till you drop...

I had such a great day today! I spent the day shopping, shopping and doing more shopping.... I met my mom at 7 AM  to check out the community yardsale in her development. Dad, Brian and the boys ended up joining us. We found SO many cheap deals! I got some really cool gardening pots, books and other things I didn't need. One yardsale was like a dream come true for the boys with two tables covered in toys, blocks, and books for their age group and the people were practically giving the stuff away! We got TONs of boxed science experiment projects to do with them all summer for $3! Plus their grandpa bought them a bunch of toys too... my brother was just thrilled (he thinks they have too many toys and not enough room as it is). I spent $20 and filled up my trunk! Craziness.

Around 9 AM my mom and I headed out to Mesa for the Scrapbooks Etc yardsale. It was AWESOME as usual and we both scored lots of treasures. We were very glad we arrived just after the doors opened, because we heard the line was around the building! There really wasn't much space to move and LOOK at stuff... it was probably the most crowded I have ever seen. We were jammed together and this 50+ lady, said  "You can't really even move in here, you just got to wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle yeah." I was laughing so hard and she just gave a little smile... maybe she had never heard that song.

After the yardsale my mom bought our lunch at Subway. Everything always tastes so delicious after you wrestle a bear shop at the crowded yardsale.

Blair met me at the house at 2PM for our thrift store shopping trip. She said she is tired of wearing maternity clothes and needs some skinnier jeans. She is almost at her per Mason weight already which I am really proud of her! We ended up only going to two Savers and a Goodwill.... I found way too many cute clothes and she only found about 6 shirts and one pair of pants. We ate dinner at Village Inn and ordered almost the same thing ; soda, salad and lemon meringue pie - yumm! It was a great evening as always. I just love spending time with Blair she is one of my favorite people in the world. We always laugh a lot and can talk about ANYTHING! Love her!

All this time Kenny was having a pretty good day too... He slept in and then worked on cleaning up the garage.. In the afternoon he headed out to Buckeye for a party at his mom's house. Barb's roommate, Vince was cooking the Javelina he recently got while hunting. They cooked him in a big hole in the ground. I was pretty sad to miss the BBQ, but had made the plans with Blair before we knew. Kenny brought me home a baggie of meat to try. It was pretty good : )

Today is also the anniversary of Kenny's dad, Ron's death. We didn't do anything special to remember him but we chatted about him today and yesterday. Today is also Kenny's friend, Matt Olson's b-day. They chatted on the phone for awhile and caught up a little bit.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Foodie Pen Pal

This month I participated in a swap called 'Foodie Pen Pals'. When I told my hubby about the swap he couldn't really understand my excitement, but as always supported my decision to participate. : ) 

I decided to by duplicate items of everything I send so that I can try even more new things and hopfully find some better, healthy snacks for me and my hubby.

When we were assigned partners I have to admit I was a little disappointed to learn the person receiving my package was a Vegan (sorry Rachael!) . I was sure there wouldn't be anything fun to send her... boy was I wrong!  Luckily, my friend Becky's daughter used to be a Vegan so she helped me to understand what they will and won't eat and where to find some yummy goodies... I shopped at Trader Joes-- wasn't too impressed and figured she could find most of those items at home so I went to a local Farmers market.... I struck gold! I got to taste and try lots of new things... The Pickled Perfection was probably my favorite booth... pickled cucumbers, celery, asparagus, eggs, and even mushrooms! They were by far my favorite so I snagged a container for me and for my pen pal. Next I discovered Kale Chips... YUM I have been back twice for more... great snack- but super expensive. They have crushed cashews on them which creates a 'cheese' flavor... SO good! It's it funny that the brand name is "The health Foodie" - couldn't be more perfect for this swap if you ask me! 
The Stuff I sent 

Kale Chip 

My package from my pen pal arrived right on time and I excitedly opened it to find all these goodies!

I am actually going through a Peanut Butter and Jelly phase right now so I had a lot of fun sampling the Almond butters. Each packet is the perfect amount for a sandwich.  I have to say regular old peanut butter is still my favorite, because the Almond butter has a little but of a texture to it and isn't as sweet but was fun for a change.

My favorite item in the package was the cinnamon sugar grinder... SO neat-o and I cannot wait to try it!

I tried the Strawberry Yogurt raisins and was pleasantly surprised! (since I don't love raisins). I took them to live in my junk drawer at work  : ) Great snack!

Oh and the Luna Bars... there are always so many new flavors to try.... I LOVED the Lemon and the Chocolate Coconut ones! The Chocolate Coconut one tastes like an Almond Joy!! WOW.  I will be buying more!!! 

Thanks again Foodie Pen Pal Kelsey!

 I am already signed up for next month, but if you want to sign up click here. Its a lot of fun! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

If Heaven weren't so far away

Today I had a melt down... being in the old neighborhood gets me every time... 

I miss her.

The rest of my life seems like forever until I will see her again. 

You know that song, If Heaven werent so far away? Well if it wasn't...

I would grab us some Churches fried chicken and marshmallow eggs (because they are in stores right now and we both LOVE them) and tell her everything going on in my life. My raise at work. That I passed my AIS test and earned a new designation. Troubles. Highlights. Everything. Because she would genuinely care. I would listen to her stories and advice. 

I would give her a hug and hear her say, "I love you sweetheart." and get a kiss on the cheek. 

And then maybe loosing her wouldn't be so hard to take. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hunger Games

This time I am at the front of a craze...instead of years behind like Twilight and Harry Potter! I didn't get to catch the midnight showing, but I did see the first Hunger Games twice during opening weekend!

Saturday evening I joined Donna and Becky to see the movie for the first time. I misunderstood which theater we were meeting at so I showed up to Arrowhead AMC and couldn't find them ... that is when I took out my (prepurchased) ticket and realized I was at the wrong theater! The girls had a good laugh at that.... lol . Becky was so sweet and treated me for my birthday- I felt so spoiled with my giant icee and bag of popcorn.

The movie was excellent and I think they did a great job following the book, although like any movie they can't fit ALL the details of the book. Donna and Becky hadn't read the book, but enjoyed the movie just the same. I was crying so much at the beginning during the reaping, and they were perfectly dry eyed! I think it was because I had the background information the book gave you that a movie really can't.

Sunday Kenny and I met up with Blair, Allan, Matt and Hannah to see the movie again. Matt had read the books even before I did and was very excited to see the movie too. It was a lot of fun joining their family for an outing. Kenny liked the movie and I enjoyed watching it a second time. Blair and I bickered about  being 'team Peeta or Gale'... its Twilight all over. lol

Looking forward to the second movie... are they making a second one??? They would be crazy not to since this movie grossed more on opening weekend than the last Harry Potter movie!!

Heart Happy

So here is a BUNCH of posts jammed into one for an update :)

Monday: So I can officially prove that eating at home cost more.... at least for us. We have been eating at home and our garbage disposal went out and we had to replace it... luckily Kenny could do all the work so it just cost us the price of the disposal (about $80), but still I thought I had a pretty valid point : )

I made this dessert for Bible study:

2 oz cream cheese, softened 
6 tablespoons peanut butter
3/4 cup whipped topping, divided 
1/2 cup plus 2 TBS graham cracker crumbs 
1 TBS sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons butter, melted 
1 1/4 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips 

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Fold in 1/2 cup whipped topping. Set aside. 

Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in butter until coarse crumbs frm. Press 1 TBS of crumb mixture into four parfait glasses. Spoon about 2 TBS peanut butter mixture over crumbs, sprinkle 2 TBS chocolate chips. Repeat Layers. Top with remaining whipped topping and chocolate chips. YIELD 4 Servings 

Simple & Delicious Magazine Mar/April 2006

Tuesday after piano I picked up this awesome craft storage container from a friend (Keri Tieman) who was getting rid of it. TOTALLY made my day! I have one just like it that already lives in my craft room.

On Wednesday I worked on my swap cards for the Scrapbooks Etc Card Swap. This is what I came up with: 

Thursday I got a surprise at work! Kenny sent me a Bonsai plant! He said he picked that so it would last longer. I really love it, although I know I will probably slowly kill it... Its 3 years old and has some flower buds on it. 

My mom got a new job and started today! Very exciting news for her and we are all excited for her too! 

Since my mom had her car my brother had to find a way to get Jacob from day care... He resorted to using my mom's 3 wheel bike that has the basket... he had to ride over 2 miles each way, across grand ave and the chain fell off at least 3 times during the ride... I know its not funny, but if you heard my brother tell the story you would be rolling on the floor laughing. He is such a great dad and would do whatever he had to for those boys! 

Later in the day I saw Jacob and he was smiley and happy and he wrapped his little arms around my neck as I held him and said, "I like you." Ahhh such a sweetheart. Love that kiddo. 

Mom and I were supposed to go to craft class that evening, but since she had to work later in the day she wasn't able to make it, but I still went and had fun making mine and her book.

These books are made out of coffee filters!! 

Friday was another great day. Our 'New Restaurant Friday" group (Beverly, Donna, Kenny, Jereme etc) went to Satara, a Thai food restaurant, right near our office.  It was SO delicious! I guess we (including Kenny) all like Thai food! I especially liked the spicy fried rice and the crystal noodles! Yummo!

Saturday was another full day!

My mom and I to SOS (Something on Saturday) put on by Jackie's church. This month's activity was how to make marshmallows!

It was SUCH a blast! We got to decorate the marshmallows and make a little bouquet out of them.  

When I first heard about the class I thought it would be silly to go through all the trouble to make something that only costs $1 per bag. Once you taste a homemade marshmallow, let me tell you, you will never go back! Yummm!

After the Marshmallow class my mom and I drove out to Mesa for the Scrappin' Sampler. We made these cute projects: 

After class my mom and I went to a store called Ruffler's Roost... OH MY! If you ever need ribbon of any kind for a project this is the place to go. It was overwhelming and amazing. We both just loved it! 

We ended the great day with a big family dinner at Rio Mirage. YUM

Sunday I tried out the marshmallow recipe:

They came out so good!
Kenny doesn't like marshmallows, but being the sweet guy he is he showed excitement for my project and suggested we made some rice krispy treats with them! They were excellent too! 
Oh and I made my flip flips with all the ribbon I bought at the Ruffler's Roost:

Sunday night Kenny and I Ding Dong Ditch the Taylors :) 

It was such a wonderful week!! 

Garden Update

Kenny built me a seriously heavy duty gate for my fence! I LOVE it because I don't have to hop the 4 foot fence every time I want to water the garden! 

It opens up, but the base is still there so we can keep the electric fence up... to keep the dogs OUT! 

Last week I got my very first sprouts! So exiting!! These are the radish sprouts in the hanging planters: 

Today when I watered I got to see even more sprouts!

The green onions peaked out: 

The beans sprouted yesterday, but I didn't take a picture until today: 

The Radishes continue to pop up and need to be thinned! 

Even the corn has sprouted! 

I have a few miscellaneous sprouts that I am not sure what they are... the seeds must have been misplaced during watering. I also have ONE cucumber sprout, ONE watermelon and ONE cantaloupe ... they must be slower to sprout. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tour De Cure - OH THE LEFT

My brother's step daughter, Krissy, is in Stugo. Her HS Stugo was hosting a stop in the Tour de Cure bike ride to help raise funds for the American Diabetes Association. When she found our she asked if Kenny and I were participating because it sounded like something we would do : ) I did a little research asked the guys if they were interested, signed us up and then told them it was a 34 mile ride and we each had to raise $150 to participate! I think the fund raising was the most intimidating part of the challenge!

We signed up 8 weeks out which was the perfect length for training (well at least the website had an 8 week schedule posted which is what we followed).

I asked around and found the best trails for us were all located in the canals. Our first trip (on 01/29/12) out took a little longer than expected because when we loaded the bikes in the truck my brothers bike had something sharp that stabbed my tire and popped it... That added about an hour to go to Walmart, purchase new tubes and then for the guys to change them... We finally loaded up the bikes and headed to Arrowhead to meet the trail at 75th Ave and Paradise Ln.

During the first ride I really struggled between 3-4 mile mark... now if I was only going that far I would have been fine, but knowing our goal was 10 miles... I stuggled. My GPS app was set in kilometers and gave me a false hope on our distance and speed... once I realized it wasn't MPH I struggled to keep motivated (this was that 3-4 mile mark). The guys decided to lie to me and get me to finish the distance. It worked. I was happy we did the full 10, actually ended up doing 11.09 1 hour 19 mins .

We tried to ride weekly and did a good job until we all go sick... and then the weather was bad and we 3 week gap in riding... Even though we didn't have time to ride in the canal we just rode near the house. We took old El Mirage road almost to the 303. It wasn't a bad evening ride.

02/05 12.22 miles 1 hour 28 mins
02/11 15.16 miles 1 hour 37mins
03/01 10.48 miles 1 hour 14 mins

Our final practice ride was on Saturday 03/10/12. We rode 27.48 miles in 3 hours 20 mins... it was a BIG ride. We took the canal from 75th Ave and Paradise all the way to the Bike Cafe on Glendale and the 51!

All of the rides were a lot of fun and we tried to take different parts of the canal each time. One ride we went up to the 101 and Olive and the other times we went up toward the street side. Each time we saw new things. I also did several mini rides during the week to train even more. The weather (with the exception of that one rainy, cold, windy weekend) was perfect for bike riding and we all really enjoyed it. We made somewhat of an after ride tradition of going out to Hooters. I know I know... but their Hot wings, fried pickles and Dr.Pepper are SO delicious! I actually looked forward to our rides/lunch each week. We had lots of laughs, fun talks and fun singing along to our music on those rides. I was kind of sad the event seemed to come so quickly and our training was over. I love those times with my brother and husband and so appreciate my mom watching the boys for several hours each time we went out to ride and have lunch. During the entire training process I actually lost 5 lbs and have kept it off... despite my horrible diet and lack of will power to quit soda! Also, beside the flat on the first day and Brian's chain falling off once we didn't have any bike issues the in all those miles.

Today was the BIG race day. I was nervous. We had only done over 20 miles ONCE and it hurt! On the 27 mile we had hills to climb in the last few miles and my legs really hurt (not just muscle soreness either).

During the first 1/2 mile of the race we all realized we were in trouble... Although, we started near the back we weren't IN THE BACK to start... but we kept getting passed... The riders were doing almost a full 2 miles FASTER than we our average training speed.... we all rode as quickly as possible but were loosing our place in the group.

By the time we made it to Krissy's stop (about 7 miles in) we were sure we dead last of our group... especially since the policy officers that were directing traffic were neck and neck with us... Krissy later informed us that there was at least 12 people behind us. Who hoo.

Kenny, Krissy and Brian 

Just passed the first rest stop we were diverted into residential. It was this area that a biker was hit by a car. He wasn't from our route, but it must have happened with in the hour, because he was strapped to a stretcher and ready to be transported. We never heard any more on him. It is pretty ironic that he got hit in the residential considering some of the business streets we rode on.

We were truckin' along pretty well (passed all those people at the first stop- ha ha) until we turned onto Carefree Highway... We had been warned that 1/2 of the route was uphill... but looking at it was VERY intimidating!! We hadn't practiced on any terrain like it! We just kept peddling and peddling.... the guys would stop and take a break to wait for me.... I didn't stop. Not once. I just kept trucking along. I was very happy we stuck together as a team (isn't the slowest person always thankful for that?). Kenny was near me most of the time and when he wasn't my brother was. They encouraged me and kept me going. One older male rider sort of made my day... I was standing up riding (to get up hill and give my legs a stretch) and he rode by and said, " Looking good.... real good." Seriously made my day even if he was my parents age. All of the bikers really were encouraging.... as they passed me I got all kinds of words of encouragement.

My brother GOT tons of attention too.... since he was riding his GT BMX with 20 inch tires (rims?). The tires are heavy and the bike is small with only one gear... I seriously don't know how he did it either. As I rode behind him most of the way it was pretty funny to watch as people passed and made comments like:

* You're crazy man!
* Are you seriously gonna ride that 30 miles?
* You are a stud!
* Wow, good luck man
* You have knees of steel 
* You are hardcore man! 

There were tons more that I am not remembering... and the looks... people would check him out as they passed us. Classic. 

We finally made it to the turn which was promised to be an easy downhill ride! We couldn't wait!! It was a decline, but we still had to pedal...bummer.... but that last 9 miles being at least slightly downhill REALLY helped!! 

At our last rest stop the guy from Landis Cyclery fixed the gears on my bike (and took this picture). He was awesome. 

We followed the arrows in the end because there weren't any bikers to follow....
And FINALLY made it to the finish!! 

34.81 miles in 3 hours and 49 mins.... 

We raised over $500 for a good cause that hits close to home (both my mom and Kenny's Aunt and Uncle are diabetic) 

After the race they had lunch for all the riders... we were all starving, but didn't eat much. They had Carolina's Mexican food, Olive Garden and Subway. Oh and we stocked up on tons of goodies like granola bars, energy bars etc. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Training Game

I currently serve on the Health & Wellness committee at work, which is charged with the tasks of planning activities for the office. It was decided that we would have a Spring activity and go to a spring training baseball game, since the complex is across the street from our office.

We tail gated in the parking lot. Jereme cooked hotdogs, veggie burgers and we served chips and drinks to go along with it. We had a few simple games set up for the kiddos and candy to give out as prizes. I was surprised by the turnout and it slaeemed like everyone enjoyed the event. 


Kenny and Brian
Becky and Amanda G 


Me and Jacob

After we were finished serving food, we packed up and walked over to the game. 

It was a great night! 

Bev, Jacob and Little Brian 

The company purchased the $4 lawn seats for everyone attending. We had never been to a Spring Training game so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The grass was very comfy, but it was really hard to see the game. 

We all ended up playing words with Friends on our phones, laughing wildly and leaving early!

Kenny and the boys