Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's always fun for everyone when Grandpa and Grandma Come!

Today we went to the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson. If you want to claim a love for zoos this one will win your heart HANDS DOWN!
This was how our day went:
Get up- Get ready- GO!
"Dad, how are is Tucson?"
"Mom, is Tucson in California?"
"Dad, are we getting close?"
"Grandpa, do you know where Tucson is?"
"Grandma, Have you been to Tucson?"
"Dad, how much longer?"
1 1/2 hours later...
exit 22nd St. go East to McDonalds... aka: the nations most ghetto Golden arches south of Verde Valley (it definitely rivals). Pile out of car and head in for squatting practice in the women's restroom. Stand on one leg to flush el- toilet and then mummify hand with t.p. in preparation of opening the bathroom stall. Magically unwrap hand, turn on water, soap up, rinse and dry hands without touching ANYTHING all the while your nose is strategically positioned down your shirt sniffing out fresher more "non-pollutant" air quality.

Walk or run back to car -passing transients along the way... Except Grandma who had the brains to look up and see what was coming so she turned and took the long way, through the drive through, back to the car to avoid uncomfortable situations.
Exit- Go North to Reid Park Zoo...

Grandpa and Grandma with the kids...

These Giraffes were like the ones on Sesame Street... you know... loving each other with their necks! They were sooo cute!

Look what hatched! Larry , Moe, and Harry.

It's always fun for everyone when Grandpa and Grandma come. They always want to go play and enjoy EVERYTHING while they are here. We made it home in 1 1/2 hours... imagine, the same time it took to get there and not much else changed on that ride either....

"dad, are we getting close to Mesa?"
"mom, how much further?"
"Dad, I have to pee."
"I'm hungry"
"Are we close?"
...... ........ ........

Lazona PIT BBQ

As one of the LOVELIEST of Thanksgiving Family traditions goes: OUR Ward family (but mostly all the E.Q. pyros) gathers on the Eve of Thanksgiving for horderves (Carne Asada tacos) in an effort to heap the Thanksgiving jewel into the fiery furnaces!
Some of our friends included Bro. Brunner and Bro. Waldeck... and they sure were excited to be there!
Coley and this cute little toad! I've seen him in primary but I don't know his name. Shame upon me for not knowing somebody in my very own ward! However, if he's a friend of Cole's then he is a friend of mine and he belongs in the family album!

The King of the pit... Chino!

Bishop Brown and the man who started it all... (the carne asada tradition) Randy Moore.

Eli and Curt

The Mighty fiery furnace

WE WELCOME Grandpa and Grandma with McKay and Cole to visit this much gloated over tradition that we experience each year

Grandpa and Grandma Mecham with a heap of animal flesh in the background! mmmmm...
(I hate to claim my transgressions openly to public, but I could really do without the turkey, the ham or the roast... never-the-less, I am improving in my carnivorous ways! I did partake of a little turkey smothered in gravy, cranberry sauce and extra pepper! And I even tried the ham on my egg this morning! I must say... Next year we will leave it in the pit longer but the smokey flavor does make it palatable! Wouldn't tinfoil dinners full of veggie delight and cream of mushroom soup be delightful in that pit?!) I LOVE the PIT! And it got the approval of Grandpa and Grandma Mecham... as did the turkey and ham!
A day late... Happy Thanksgiving!

Because I have been given much, I too must give...

Cole's preschool class had a Thanksgiving program on Tuesday! They worked really hard learning their songs and poems and even a short play! They made cornbread muffins for all their guests and served us a Dixie cup of water to wash them down! It was SPECTACULAR! Cole was the May Flower in the play! After all, the Pilgrims had to get across the ocean to meet the Indians for the "first Thanksgiving" somehow...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No Buddy Like a Brother

I once had a friend tell me that 3 years apart was a good age difference because "they will always love each other". Well, guess what? She was right! Cole told me today that he had a "crush" on McKay! I asked him what did that mean... and he said it means that he "really really likes him". In fact, Cole asks me at least 45 times a day, "when can we pick up my buddy from school?" The fastest way to get shoes on Cole is to promise him that we are headed over to school to get the kids.
When Cole was a wee little tyke (he's more like a block now!) we would sit him up (McKay would sit in front of him for hours and talk and play with him) and Cole would dive forward at McKay. Then they would wrestle and roll around while Cole spit all over McKay with open mouth sloppy kisses and laugh. McKay tried to teach him to crawl and walk. He was determined to grow him up so that he had somebody to build Lego's with and shoot K-necks guns at! His wish came quickly. The only problem with brotherly love of this kind is that I have one jealous Bailey who openly begs for a sister to adore the same. (insert Taylor Prince here.)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

ˈgra-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

A week of THANKS GIVING...

The definition of gratitude:

Gratitude, appreciation, or thankfulness is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.

Count your many blessings name them one by one... I am grateful for many things. Here is a modest beginning:

1)My Heavenly Father (2) His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ (3)The promptings of the Holy Ghost (4)The gospel of Jesus Christ (5)My amazing husband (6) Bailey (7) McKay (8) Cole (9) The freedom to worship as I choose (10) A land, choice above all other lands, to live in (11) My mother (12) My father (13) my 3 fabulous sisters (and Loyd) (14) my 2 goofy brothers and their spouses(15) Nate's incredible family... mom, dad, 2 brothers, 3 sisters, 3 brothers-in law, 2 sisters- in law (16) 11 nieces (17)13 nephews (18) the blessing to know and have a relationship with my grandparents and Nate's grandmothers. (19) two living grandmothers, and a grandfather who have influenced my life tremendously (20) a temple close to my house (21) a temple recommend... a treasure (22) a church around the corner (23) wonderful visiting teachers (24) spectacular home teachers (25) friends galore... irreplaceable (26) pets... 5 chickens with the personalities of humans and a mean lizard who ate the other two (27) the health of my children (28) a healthy body (29) my husbands job... at least for now! (30) Nate's willingness to work hard for our family (31) an opportunity to be a stay at home mom (32) flowers... I absolutely love love love flowers! (33) a marriage sealed for time and all eternity (34) my callings at church... primary teacher, camp director, visit teacher supervisor, visit teacher (35) I am truly grateful for my capable hands (36) strong legs... I love to run (37) education; mine, Nate's and the education of my little ones (38) teachers who love and care for my children when I am not in class with them (39) sight... so many pretty things to see (40) that I can hear (41) that I can taste the wonderful flavors that I put into my mouth (42) food, to fuel my body (43) clean water (44) big yard (45) plants (46) my house... a shelter for my children (47) a car to get me to and fro (48) my running shoes (49)pictures... a still shot of memories (50) experiences (51) trials that I have grown from (52)ability to serve (52) especially during the holidays I am thankful for Mary, the mother of God. (53) Joseph, his mortal father, who had a monumental responsibility to raise the son of God (54)the atonement of Jesus Christ... which guarantees the gift of the resurrection (55) Eve, the mother of all living, who partook of the fruit so that we might have a better understanding (56) countless aunts, uncles and cousins who have touched my life (57) my baptismal covenants (58) the opportunity to partake of the sacrament each week (59) sunshine (60) clouds (61) heavens above; blue, gray, or twinkling at night (62)the unique characteristics of many different animals (63) ability to communicate (64)a worthy priesthood holder in my home (65) scriptures (66) a living prophet (67) the book of Mormon (68) the prophet Joseph... a man with remarkable courage and a fearless testimony (69) the brave founding fathers of our country and its constitution (70)laughter (71) air conditioning... THANK YOU! (72) mountains - they offer a grand solace (73) memories of my childhood... what a fun time to be alive (74) life itself (75) talents- a gift to play the piano (76) gift of repentance (77) opportunity to pay tithing... the blessings from doing so are numerous (78) modern day technology- it is mind boggling (79)an appropriate time to celebrate something... I love a good celebration! (80)cheese (81)ocean- mmmm.... (82) I am thankful when I can be a part of something special- like the miraculous recovery of Christian and Stephanie Nielson... I am a changed person for witnessing this bitter-sweet event (83) hugs from my children (84)kisses from my husband (85)book time with Cole (86) toe nail polish- many of good conversations with Bailey have come over polishing parties! (87)smiles from McKay- Nothing is more contagious! (88)modern medicine (89) indoor plumbing - our Heavenly Father surely loves us! (90)clothes...they keep me warm and protected... but more importantly, everyone else should be grateful that I wear clothes! (91) the ability to love another and feel of another's love (92) mental stability (93) kind acts of others on behalf of my own (94) the understanding of individual worth- I recognize it to be a treasure that many are searching for (95) good music... I believe it will sound in the halls of heaven (96) my bed... however often I complain of a kinked neck, I am sooo happy to lie down in it each night. (97)modern feminine hygiene products and toilet paper... I still wonder what the pioneers did... and my heart swells with the sight of quilted northern (98) washer... laundry means I have clothes, but I am sure glad I don't have to do it all by hand (99) a bishop and leaders who are inspired by the Lord (100) a pure understanding of the plan of happiness and life eternal

And the blessings go on... and I am grateful and astonished by the abundance of gifts that our beloved Father in Heaven pours upon my life. They are undoubtedly visible in every direction that I turn.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Welcome to the Christmas edition of Getting to know your friends

Today I received this e-mail stating that if I didn't partake I was a scrooge and "it is the season of joy and giving and"... and since I think its fun to pass along nonsense, I filled it out... After all, I don't want to be a scrooge. And if I didn't send it to 35 people within the next 10 seconds I would have bad luck through the holidays... and I don't want bad luck EVER! You know the deal...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? (Is this a question? if so...) Christmas wrap with a bow please... and I like tags and dangly ornaments if I get to have a preference.

2. Real tree or Artificial? I love REAL... There is something aromatically sensational about a real live tree. However, my first married Christmas, Nate and I lived in a quaint little apartment and we had a live tree... and as the short version of the story goes; one day I was looking at the tree and it was moving... There had been a hatchling of bitty spiders all over my Merry Christmasy house. HO HO HOLY SMOKES! Since the arachnophobic side of me took over, I now and forever more, have a FAKER...(or more politically correct - which I loath politically connectedness's) artificial tree. And I don't have spiders. And it doesn't need to be watered. And it doesn't die. And I don't have to figure out how to dispose of it on January 1 (if it makes it that long before it ignites) And I light a pine tree candle and get an artificial aromatic sensation!

3. When do you put up the tree? Post Thanksgiving. And I would put it up before that if mi amore would let me!

4. When do you take the tree down? sometime after New years.

5. Do you like eggnog? If it is spiked!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My Grandma Woolf and Grandpa Paul gave me a homemade wooden pic nic table one year! It was just my size. I loved that thang. I can actually smell the wood and stain just thinking about it!

7. Hardest person to buy for? Parents. They have everything.

8. Easiest person to buy for? Cole. He will have one of EVERYTHING in the store and make time to play with all of it.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Absolutely! Isn't it the symbol of Christmas?

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail- C'mon!

11.worst Christmas gift you ever received? Ummm... is it okay to post that? After all, where is the gratitude?! However, I took personal offense when in years past my ~positively perfect in every way (but one) ~ husband shopped for me on the Christmas Eve and so whatever he could find at Wally World was in my sock on Christmas morn... Don't remember what, but I was shocked! That is BOULDER DASH... I tell you... I hold grudges and consequently I am still having difficulty forgiving him of this transgression... even though he has mended his sinful ways and bashfully hides each and every time I decide to remind him of his ONE iniquity! Last year Bailey told me to "build a bridge and get over it". Don't worry, I hold animosity for her saying that too! Where was I... Worst gift... anything that was picked up on Christmas Eve.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Miracle on 34th St. (not necessarily in that order)

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Does it ever end? I shop when I find a good deal or I see the "perfect gift".

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No... However, I did see a gift that I gave be recycled once. It made me feel good that the individual I gave it to could use it for something! Heck, if She doesn't want it, give it to somebody that does... and save some cash during the holidays!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Can't lay off the cheese ball and crackers. My thighs remind me of it daily... Cheese ball, that is.

16. Lights on the tree? I thought it morally wrong to put up a tree with no lights?! One year I even wrapped them myself... My tree looked like a UFO landed on my front room floor. I nominated Nate to do it the next year.... What a treat! My tree looked like he stood on one side of the room and practiced pitching. Needless to say, I now call in the professional... my mother.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Oh Holy Night. If I turn it up loud enough and sing, I sound just like Celine Dion. It's astonishing! I didn't know I had such an amazing voice.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Home. I went to Disneyland with the kids one year. I have to say that it was the only time I didn't like Disneyland. There were so many people there that they were denying entry. Don't go on Christmas...

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? yes

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One on Eve- Christmas morning is magical with kids.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? angry people who forget to enjoy the business of the Holidays... after all, aren't we busy celebrating the birthday of our Savior?

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? We traditionally give an ornament to each sibling (family). The one's I have received have become sentimental. We also choose one each year to sum up the year. We have some from the different states we've lived and one from our honey moon... (specialness...) each time a child joined the family. It brings tree joy!

24. Favorite food for Christmas dinner? carne asada tacos, homemade guacamole, fresh salsa, home made tortillas...

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Nate in a stocking.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What does $602.16 - $402.46 =

If you have a smart friend who is willing to walk you around the grocery store for 2 hours with a book full of coupons and a Fry's weekly add sheet in hand, you can save a BUCKET load of money!
I lucked out. I have one of those friends... and so today we went shopping (and it was fun because I got to see Becky Hermosillo do a dance on the toilet paper isle while singing the "F- R-E-E dance" and I pulled a wagon train of grocery carts through the isles piled FULL of amazing deals all the while asking smart friends "how many do I have" and "how much will this cost" since my brain was on OVERHAUL! I love smart people. To sum it up, I got $602.16 of groceries for the whoppen' price of $199.70!!!
Here she is:
* 6 Cottonelle T.P. * 6 boxes of Tide * 6 Lipton onion soup boxes * 6 blistex lip balm * 9 boxes feminine hygiene (never expires!- love that) * 2 Chocolate milks (does a body good) * 6 hefty zip lock sandwich bag boxes * 1 yummy Simple Orange Juice * 6 toothbrushes * 6 packs of batteries * 6 cans of PAM cooking spray * 9 bottles of baby soap (so I can wash Coley and then sniff his neck!) * 6 containers corn starch * 5 boxes of hash browns * 30 lbs of sugar * 18 gallons of Arrowhead water * 6 jars of Skippy PB * 1 cranapple juice (indulge a little) * 3 panty hose (for my church legs) * 24 cans Swanson chicken broth * 6 puffs facial tissue (with VICKS-mmmmm) * 6 bottles tylenol and 6 bottle advil (for the headache I acquired during my number punching at the grocers) * 7 bags of yummy frozen veggies * 4 containers of whip cream (for my own personal use) *4 canned milk * 2 vegetable oil * 1 jalapeno (salsa night) * 1 bunch cilantro * 1 bunch bananas * 3 amazing avocados (for my toast) * 1 leafy green CRISP head of lettuce * 6 zucchinis (to feed my addiction) * 9 yellow onions (to add to every recipe that I make!) *2 stuffing mix (Thanksgiving is around the corner, you know.) * 2 cottage cheese *2 sour cream * 2 tin foil (pit BBQ is around the corner) * a beautiful bowl for storing veggies * and a 6 foot receipt!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hey! Rookie...

McKay is a soccer all star. I like to think he takes after his mom! hehe.. It was all he could talk about. Soccer. Soccer. and his last fifty goals... Soccer. So, it surprised me a little when he decided to give baseball a whirl this past fall. Ummm... Can we say, NATURAL! Way to go ROOKIE!
McKay stacked his cards well... He called Grandpa to be his coach. And as Grandpa's go, his couldn't say NO... especially since Grandpa's passion (second to Grandma and the Grands) is baseball, he thought he had died and gone to heaven.

Then he called his Dad... An assistant coach! Ya buddy! Doesn't get much better than that...

Unless you can also stack your team! Which, he did. This is McKay's soul buddy! They are like peas in a pod. Ikey is McKay's cousin that is his same age (well, a few months older). As if the story hadn't peaked, Ikey's dad was an assistant coach too! Rookie on the field, but a seasoned veteran in the planning department.

So... baseball, twice a week with Grandpa, Dad and Uncle Loyd, Ikey and a whole bunch of cool friends. Treats and Gatorade galore. A ball glove in one hand, a ball in the other. A buddy to play with. Beautiful weather for games. Bats, swinging and hitting... Running like your life depended on it. McKay decided baseball is where it is at! Life is good. And I have a new favorite ball player. My little Rookie. We can't wait until spring!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Let me tell you what I do with this many DELICIOUS APPLES

This is a dehydrator. My sweet Mother and Father (in law) gave it to us for Christmas... One of the most useful BEST gifts of all time!

This is a TREAT... dry apples. And they last a LONG time!

But don't fool yourself. I don't hand peel them. I used the NEATEST device on the market.... EVERYONE SHOULD OWN ONE.

1) You find this gadget at Pampered Chef. Its the apple/peeler/slicer/corer. You get one and hook it onto your counter.

2) Put the apple on the prongs.

3) You get your kids to turn the handle and the gadget does all the work perfectly! AND... the kids think it's the coolest thing and so you only have to play referee for the apple peeling tournament.

4) you watch your apple peel beautifully.

5) when all is done, you drop the core into the compost pile in the back yard so that you can grow your own garden with pure BLACK dirt!
***Then you put all the apple slices on the dehydrator, turn it on, and go to bed. In the morning your house smells like apple pie and you have preserved nutritious snacks for the famine~ if they make it that long!

Where does SUZ come from?

Okay... So I have lots of people ask me, "where does Suz come from?" Wouldn't you know it, I have a middle name... Suzanne. The story goes that my mom had a really cute friend that she loved, so she gave me her name. It evolved into "Suz" from my very own FABULOUS father.
There you go.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

After Halloween sales have us all wigged out!

The kids and I couldn't but help ourselves on the after Halloween sale isle in Wally World yesterday... The wigs were SPECTACULAR! Make mental note; a bucket of Halloween costumes (wigs, gloves, lashes, makeup, costumes) is HOURS of entertainment and would be the Christmas gift of dreams for boys and girls alike! But we couldn't wait for Christmas, so here is a sneak peak of how we spent at least 3 hours last night. Papa was at mutual, but he sure laughed when he got home. Me with a bad perm... My kids said it's cool to be a gangsta! I'm trying to be cool. A view of me sporting the Gothic druggie, look...

My bare face and trippple chin smurf approach with Punk Rock Beauty


Pretty in Pink... Bailey Bella

Meet McKayla. She is my Gothic daughter.

This is coleen. She is my gangsta daughter

But she can sure be an angel... even with frizzle !
So, today, I'm going back to Wally WoRlD and buying up more wigs (mullets, short dos, and even Dracula wigs!) and surprise costumes. Christmas will be fun this year! I heard there are only 48 days to go...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Dia de Los Muertos

smell my feet~ give me something good to eat...
Our Halloween Night tradition includes the customary costume display, soup at aunt Marci's and a trip around her neighborhood with all the other festive Halloweenies. (This years crowd included: Drum roll please... A Jedi Master, The extraordinary Clone trooper, Optimus Prime, Another very cool Jedi {they go in twos}, The ever fabulous Sharpey Evans and a Princess.)

Optimus Prime ~
Coley Bear Warnick Mecham

Clone Trooper~

The ever Fabulous, Sharpey Evans~
Bailey Buns Mecham

Meet the Simpsons: Marge and Homer
never mind Marge's lazy eye...