Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our December Diet

All we did for the month of December was EAT! Apparently, we have friends and neighbors who love us just the way we are (veluptuous) and want to keep us that way. This cute cookie jar was delivered to our door with THE BEST Pumpkin cookies I've ever had...the tin next to it was filled with the best sugar cookies EV-ER. The Snowman platter with candies in it was filled with Scrumptuous homemade fudge and the polka dot and striped candy dish was filled with almond M&M's which were pretty Diddly arn delicious.

These cinnamon rolls were DA Bomb!!

and so was the tiramisu!

Some sort of streussel cake...I didn't even get a piece of this stuff.

I did, however, eat ALL of these!! I love nuts! If you've got nuts, you're my best friend!! And I will eat them!! (that sounded horrible)
one of my favs was this homemade fudge...she tried to wrap it all up in name brand paper but I swear, we could taste the LOVE in it! There's no foolin' us Jolene!Sarinah's candy didn't last long enough for me to even get the camera out...they had it eaten before I could say "wait!!".
This cranberry nut bread sits on my counter tonight...enjoy yourself little loaf...for tomorrow you will be no more!!
Of course, we washed it all down with a little bit this...
and a little bit of that...And, this, my friends, is why mama needs a new pair of running shoes!!
My apologies to those whose treats were not shown here...I didn't think of taking the pics until the day before Christmas...or somewhere around there.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


The 3 year old got to hang the candy canes this year. but everyone took turns eating 'em...

and there were tons to be eaten!!

Thank goodness for strong branches...

And toothbrushes!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Memories

Wow!! Time sure has flown by!! I just logged on to write a new post and saw that I hadn't blogged in a month. Guess that's what happens when you're making 8 million tamales!! I never thought I would be as busy as I was. I decided that I would only commit 2 - 3 days a week to my tamale work and the rest of the week was for family and Christmas stuff!! I stuck to my 2 days a week but it seems I just never got around to the Christmas stuff. I checked my calendar and it was suddenly December 20th....and I'd done absolutely NO shopping!! I'm not quite sure what it was but I just couldn't get with it this year. We didn't even get the tree up until the 16th. Anyways, Christmas came wheter I wanted it to or not and with that came lots of wonderful memories. Like...Jareds birthday.. parties with Santa..and a surprise visit from Josh.. Then of course we had Steve's company Christmas picnic..stubborn children...and unsuccessful family pictures.. (guess that's what I get for trying at the picnic) We taught our kids about crack and how unattractive it can make you...beat eachother up...spent time with old friends... and said our goodbyes...

Another great year with family and friends...It's a wonderful life!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I'm feeling a little jipped this morning. I went on to the pioneer womans blog to catch up on her book trip only to find that MM and boys tagged along and signed books with her!! What did we do so wrong here in Phoenix that we weren't special enough for this treat so many others got to enjoy? I'm demanding my $ back!! Or a special trip out here just for me. I'd make her some tamales...and my famous chicken tacos. Think she'll come?

a little later in the morning: Okay, I sent her this...Hey Ree, I live out here in Mesa, Az where it's still 80 degrees...AND where MM and boys did NOT accompany you to the book signing!! Though I enjoyed meeting Melissa and your MIL I must admit I'm feeling a bit jipped not having MM's signature in this treasure of a cookbook...not to mention the boys!! Please advise me of how soon you can get them out here as I plan to have some fresh tamales waiting for them and maybe some chicken tacos before they leave. Oh, btw...your invited too.
What do you think she'll say?

Monday, November 23, 2009

My party

Wow!! It's been a while since I blogged last. I have been rather busy. This whole working out of the home thing is still throwing me for a loop!! My poor kids grades are suffering and I know that has to do with my not being here to help them. Scouts and Sports practice is missed more than it is attended because I'm at work and they just don't remember. Jared played a whole season of flag football including the playoffs and I made it to 1 game. I haven't been to church in forever because I have only had 1 Sunday off since I started working there in early August and no Saturdays off. I'm totally hating it!! Yes, I'm just feeling sorry for myself. And as my hubby would say...Thanks for attending my pity party!! Even if you didn't RSVP.

Friday, November 6, 2009

the CEO and the Pioneer woman

So I was getting ready for work yesterday and thought to myself "hmmmm, I wonder when the Pioneer woman is going to be here". I knew she was coming because I had read it on her blog recently. So I run to the computer fearing I had missed her and much to my surprise she was scheduled to be here that day!! I told myself that I would definitely find a way to be there and that I wasn't going to call 8 million people and tell them because then that would add to the crowd that I would already have to fight to see her.

Then, my phone rang.

me: Hello?

Hi Julie, It's Rebecca (my boss)

me: Hey Rebecca, what's up?

I have you scheduled to work alone today until 2.

me: oooookay? (rolling my eyes and wondering why she felt the need to call me and tell me this...I work alone all the time)

Well, rumor has it that Renato Cataldo is in town so I just wanted to give you a heads up. There's a chance he may stop by our studio (with excitement and a little nervousness in her voice).

me: alllright, who's Renato Cataldo? And why is he coming to see me?

UHHH, the CEO of the company!! And he's making surprise visits to some studios in the valley. (then she gives me the whole talk about what I should do if someone walks up to the counter and how I should be friendly and recognize them know, because I'm so unfriendly and never do that ANYWAYS!!)

So we hang up and I go to work. Then the phone rings at work and it's a manager from another studio...Hi Julie, It's Chris...has Renato shown up there? (all the while hyperventilating and sounding very nervous)

me: no but I'll call you if he does

okay. Thanks Julie...I'm so nervous.

me: no prob...bye!!

Once I hung up I wondered why everyone was so flustered by this? I mean, he's the CEO. He's a normal person like you and me. It's not like the president was stopping by. The way I feel about it is as so: If you're doing your job and you're doing it right, then you have nothing to worry about. Right?

So about an hour later, I'm on the phone with Rebecca again and who walks up to my counter but the CEO. He was actually quite nice and didn't have a negative thing to say. He asked me a few personal many kids?, all from the same marriage?, what I did before I worked there?, etc. Of course, I had to brag about my freshman who's on the varsity football team!! Then I had to argue with him when he said if it was Soccer then he would care. But since it's just football, he just can't get that excited. All in all it was a great experience and I was thrilled to have met him. Not many associates get that opportunity.

I was off by 2 and decided I would go meet the pioneer woman. I went by myself and met lots of really nice people. A little later in the evening I called Diane who lives just 2 miles from there and she came and spent the evening with me just hanging out and chit chatting. I'd never been to a book signing before and I've always wanted to meet the pioneer woman!! And yes, I did get her cookbook! Good times, good times!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

let's just say

Let's just say you had a 14 year old freshman football player and he had seminary in the middle of the day. And then, let's just say you got an email from his seminary teacher saying that he wasn't there on Friday, October 9, which was, in fact, a half day. So you called the seminary teacher and said "are you sure he wasn't there? Maybe he walked in late because I know he was at school that day". And they said "no, we're pretty sure he wasn't here". So when this 14 year old gets home from school, you ask him about the incident and he says "no mom, I was there..we sang hymn 19 and took a scripture mastery quiz". All the while sounding oh so convincing. So you say "well, I'll just call him tomorrow and make sure you turned that quiz in and that he has a grade for you and then he'll know you were there". So you both agree that that's a good way to prove he was in class and go on about your night. Later in the evening, the family sits down for scripture study and before we begin, you read them the words to a of your favorites actually..."did you think to pray?" Oh, how praying rests the weary!! Prayer will change the night to day. So when life gets dark and dreary, Don't forget to pray.
Then you send them to bed and remind them to say their personal prayers. Let's just say about 10 minutes later, that same 14 year old kid comes down, sits next to you, and says Mom, can I talk to you? Of course you say yes, because, how often does a 14 year old want to talk to Mom, right? And he proceeds to tell you that he did in fact miss seminary that day. Because his little football friends (all freshman) wanted to see what it would be like to be swept and what a better day than a half day to try it because then they would only be in there for 20 - 25 minutes (roughly). Of course, he didn't want to do it but he let himself fall to peer pressure (yeah, right!). You tell him how falling to peer pressure is a sign of weakness and that he is a leader, then you tell him that you are proud of him for telling the truth and ask him if it feels better to have that weight off of his shoulders now that he doesn't have to worry about being caught or having to lie which he smiles and shyly chuckles and says "yeeeesssss!! Mom stop!! You're making me laugh!" (Because you say things in a silly way so that you can see him smile). And then you tell him that he's still your superstar and you will advise him of his consequence tomorrow and send him to bed but not before making him tell his father the truth too.
So let's just say that was the situation...what consequence would you give?
being swept - when you are late for class, and have been locked out, security sweeps up all of the students in the halls and takes them to some classroom where they sit and do talking. (because we all know that's a lot more productive then letting them in to class a little late and to actually learn something and just giving them a tardy!!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

oh so long ago

I met my hubby, oh so long ago, at Jack In the Box. I knew his brother from high school and he brought my future hubby in with him one night. He cleaned my dining room and I made him the biggest, cholesterol filled, fat filled burger known to man, and a huge shake!! Of course I did this because I thought he was kinda cute and we all know the way to a mans heart is thru his belly. HE says that I've been trying to kill him since day 1 (not with my cooking but with the heart attack in a bag). Anyways, it must have worked because from that day forward he's been putty in my hands. Now he may try to act big and tough but that man loves me and will do or give me whatever I want!! Maybe this is why we've been married so long...I keep his belly happy and he keeps me happy.
Speaking of being married so long, today was our anniversary...and what a great anniversary it was. A little dinner, a little dancing, some wine, what more could a girl ask for? Alright, so we didn't have any wine...and we didn't dance either...but it sounded good. We did dine Red know, for the seafood lover in him!! It was great..and so is he!! I mean, what would I have done without this in my life for all these years? Love you babe!!
Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, October 15, 2009 our eyes.

I've failed to mention lately how well my son is doing in football this year. Not that I know much about the sport but I do know what a touchdown is....and man, I love it when it's my son makin' em (yes,that would be him with the ball in hand). What I don't know is why the cheerleaders have a cheer that says something about red and black when they clearly wear white in half of their games...hmmmm? Another thing I don't know is why they have to be so rough with my baby!! And why I can't go spank those boys that are tackling him and then stare down at him like he's some fellon they won't let up 'til the cops arrive. Look at that!! Even his own teammates are just starin' down at him like..."punk, you better not get back up!!" Getting back to the touchdowns though, he's made 12 so far this year (I think) and it just does something to me when he makes one. I'm like the Lion King when he holds his little cub up for all to see..."this is my baby!! And don't you forget it!!" Last night, for example, he ran a 60-65 yard was sweet!! And the voice that I had just gotten back yesterday after having been sick all's gone again. But it was worth it!! Doesn't he look like a superstar?! He is!! least in our eyes!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

these twirps

I can't believe how quickly this year has flown by. 3 more months and we'll be in a new year. I swear with every year I age, the years go by quicker and quicker. I remember when I was young and good lookin' like these twirps...
(justin before homecoming)(steph waiting for justin to get home from homecoming) (jared at his 4th grade musical...Americans All)
And speaking of these twirps, aren't they beautiful? I sure do think so!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Growing up, my parents had many great friends. There were 3 families though (including my own) that were always and still are a BIG part of our lives. We'll call these families the Browns, the Smiths, and the Jones'. I won't tell you though which family was mine or where I play a part in this story. So the Browns, Smiths and Jones' were great friends. Since we were all in the military and away from any of our extended families we considered eachother family. We spent every weekend bbq-ing, camping, or just hangin out. We spent all of our holidays together... Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, you name it, we were together. All 3 families had kids and all of us kids were VERY close. Since our families were together so often we had no choice but to hang out with eachother all the time. Well, us kids have a HUGE secret..something that some of us did and later revealed to the rest of us!! So huge that it would probably be a box office hit. So huge that one of the families suffered for it and was impacted by it for years. So huge that, if ever our parents found out, it would ruin the beautiful friendship that they all still have. Us kids are still close too...some closer than others but when we see the others every few years, we can pick up right where we left off. HOWEVER, this secret I speak of, is never mentioned. I don't think we've spoken of it since the day it happened some 20 years ago. In fact, I think if it were mentioned, it would even ruin some of our (us kids) friendships now. I always wonder if when the parents are gone, it will be spoken of, or if it will silently lurk in our memories forever...left to die with whichever one of us kids dies last.
Do you have any secrets weighing you down? Please share...tell me we're not the only ones!!! Please!!

Afterthought: it has nothing to do with any of us "hooking up". We were never involved with eachother romantically...not even once...As far as I know.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's official

I got my patriarchal blessing last month...Sept 20th at 4:45PM. Though I ditched church that day (due to my not feeling well) it was a very spiritual day. Anyways, the typed version came in the mail today. I opened it with much eagerness and read it and read it again. I love it!! I just want to go on Oprah and read it to the whole world!! Does anyone even watch Oprah anymore? Maybe Larry King? Anyways, I want to read it to the world!! So I was thinking...I got my patriarchal blessing, my temple recommend, have lots of kids and occasionally bake my own bread!! I'm an official mormon!! Yay!! what now?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

time to have dad checked out

My parents recently moved here to AZ. I see them on a daily basis. They are very close to my kids and when they don't come over my kids panic. Which is why I was a bit stumped when I got this email from my dad last night.
Is this Stephanie?? Let me know if it's not because I have a real cute picture of her if it's not.

And attached to it was this pic...yep, that's the kid he sees every night. The one we've called Stephanie for 12 years!
I think it's time to have dad checked out.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another facebook funny

Okay, so here's what I posted on Facebook Sunday: had to work sucked. I'm really bummed because I heard I missed some big changes at church today. And just so you all know, I love my enrichment calling...please no changes!! Please!!
To which someone commented back: I was there and didn't notice any big changes. Was I sleeping or something? ;o)
Now normally this wouldn't be funny but maybe this will help you understand why it is: you didn't notice anything because I'm not in your ward anymore...I haven't been for almost a year...silly!!
Her final reply: No way! Boy, am I observant or what!??? :o) I have been to busy for my own good. Well, I wish you the best! :o)

Gee, I feel loved!! This explains why no one's called to say they miss me...they haven't even noticed I'm gone!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

2 best friends

Today at work I was craving popcorn ALL DAY. I go thru these spurts when I just REALLY, REALLY, want it and this week I've been in one of those spurts. You see, we have one of those old fashioned air poppers and it really does make THE BEST popcorn. Of course, after I make popcorn, my kids always want to be my best friend...until the bowls empty. Then they could care less about me or what I'm eating. So after work today, I came home and popped me a BIG, FAT, bowl of air popped popcorn with real butter drizzled on top. As all the chitlins gathered around, I realized how I kinda miss them when I'm gone. The way they all have to tell me something really important right when someone else starts talking...yeah...I totally miss them and their eagerness to chat with me. As I popped open my can of Coke and poured it in my glass the following conversation occurred:
Jarom - mama, can I have a drink?
Me - what?! You want some of my Coke?! Are you crazy?!
Jarom - Pleeeeeaaaassseee!! I'll be your best friend.
Me - you'll be my best friend?! Well then of course you can have some.
2 or 3 minutes go by
Jarom - Mom, can I have 2 drinks of your soda? I'll be TWO best friends (raising his eyebrows and smiling ever so intently at me)!
And then I realized how much I REALLY miss them when I'm gone.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cracked me up!!

So, as most of you know, I am a facebooker too. I love it. Have found so many old friends and many people have found me. It's always fun to find someone after so many years and see whats new in their lives and vice versa. Thank goodness I've never gotten any negative comments written about me because let me tell you...back in the day, I had my moments!! But the following came awfully close!! By no means did I take offense or was I bothered by just CRACKED ME UP!! In case you have a hard time following, let me give you a brief scenario. An old friend (i think) looked me up and apparently found me. This is the correspondence that we have had thus far.
copied and pasted from Facebook
Hi Julie. Its Patty, remember me. Farb Middle School. Just curious if you do remember and what you been up to. Im not sure if we were good friends. I know we were on and off, but i just dont remember. Hope your life has been good. You still look the same.

August 16 at 1:46pm
Hi Patricia!! I do remember you!! And you look just the same too!! We were good friends in 7th grade and then I moved. But I think we were good friends. I remember hanging out with you ALOT. How have you been? Where do you live now? Kids? How many? I want to hear all about you. I live in Phoenix now, married with 5 kids. for the full detail of my life you should visit my blog...I write in there always!! Anyways, I can't wait to hear from you. Julie

Hi, julie, nice to hear from you. I just got facebook, i was trying to locate heidi, which i did about 5yrs ago, but she moved and lost all her info, so we lost touch for years, til now. i found her name by accident. Im doing ok, in live in Northern california. i have 2kids. 13 and 16yrs. My husbands name is Sid, my 13yr old is Corbin, and my 16yr old is Vanessa, she's graduating high school this year. Very stressful and scary. The picture of me in my profile, is my daughter. I do remember you moved, to be honest with you, i felt happy, because you werent very nice sometimes(only sometimes) But we were kids. I did however wonder about you afterwards. we did used to hang out alot, and when we did, it was great. we just had a lot of influences by other people. Being a young kid is hard and its the best at the same time. im glad you did write back, i cant believe you have five kids. they are all very cute. Hope your parents are doing well, how are your brothers? email me back soon. i liked your blog, im not very good with them, and thats a matter of fact that i have a degree in computers...go figure!!!! Patty

Is that not the funniest thing?! She told me!! Guess I was a brat after all. So sorry Patty!! I swear I'm really nice now. I think all of my blogging friends will agree.
Just thought I'd share.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

for the birds

I straighten my hair every morning.
I put on makeup every day.
I am sooo tired!
My feet hurt really bad (spoken like Napolean Dynamite)!
I have to dress up.
I can't wear flip flops!
I wear the same thing every day (black or white shirt and black or khaki pants).
I miss volleyball practice some mornings.
I miss scouts some afternoons.
This working stuff is for the birds and it's waaaaaaayyyy overrated!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Little Red Tomato

I don't sew. I don't quilt. I don't do anything with material. Heck, I don't even hem! But when I saw the little red tomato pictured above I just HAD to have it!! You see, I had a GREAT childhood. My parents loved me and my daddy spoiled me. All I had to do was bat my eyes at daddy and he'd buy me the world. And though I loved that and soaked it all in, daddy could only buy me the world. But mom...well, she could MAKE me the world! She was and still is an excellent seamstress. I remember, so well, many nights, seeing mom at the table, cutting her pattern, then pinning it on the fabric and cutting the fabric. And then to watch that paper and material work together to make some beautiful creation that made me feel like a princess was just awesome!! Dress after dress, I'd watch her sew. And right there next to her, like a faithful companion, always sat her red tomato FULL of pins. As she'd pull the pins off of whatever fabric she was sewing, I would poke them back into the tomato for her. I can't remember watching her sew without it. Then one day it was gone...and she moved on to some magnetic dish and like an old doll, or a treasured photo, the tomato was just a memory. And then one day, walking thru Wal-Mart, hanging on a wall in the craft department, my childhood came back to me. And for a $1.97 I could take it I did.
That's a heck of deal for a lifetime worth of memories wouldn't you say?

Monday, August 3, 2009

The worst day of my life!

My son Jared, who's 9 years old, often tells me he's bored. If his little buddies aren't home or simply can't come out and play he pouts and with much attitude says "This is the worst day of my life!!" I was talking to Tate's mother recently and she commented on how Tate says that same thing. If he calls our house and Jared can't play it is "the worst day of his life!" Or if he isn't allowed to play something it's "the worst day of his life!!". I figure it must be a 9 year old thing and they'll get over it. Today I took my baby girl to bookstore days at the JR HIGH!! Yeah, that's right, I said JR HIGH!! Isn't that horrible? I mean, this is my only daughter!! She was supposed to stay 2 or 3 forever!! When did she grow up? And furthermore, how do I stop this?! We got her schedule, PE clothes, etc... And when we walked out of there and she handed me her student ID, it hit me that my baby girl was my baby no more. And I knew exactly what Jared and Tate mean...This is the worst day of my life!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

wind and clouds

It's monsoon season here in Arizona. I love the storms we get...especially the windstorms. Man, when that wind blows it sounds fierce!! My kids say it's scary but I think it's quite pleasant. So today I'm sitting in the living room listening to the wind and watching this (my trees in the backyard)... when Jared (the 9 year old) comes running in. Out of breath and frantically calling my name (Mom) he yells, "Mawwwwm!!! You have to get out here quick!!" A little panic'd I say "Whats the matter Jared" as I get up and frantically head for the front door (thinking someone outside is hurt). "You HAVE to see this cloud Mom!! It's AWEsome!!" "Cloud? Did you just say cloud Jared? I thought someone was hurt!" "Oh...Sorry Mom, but you really have to see this cloud...and bring your camera". So I grab my camera and head back to the front door...all the while rolling my eyes and thinking "I can't believe I got up for a cloud". But when I went outside and followed the direction in which his finger was pointing (just above the Ridds house) I was awestruck. His excitement was definitely justified.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This and that

is one of the many reasons we love having mom in town. Can you say SCRUMPTIOUS?! my 30 year old cousin with my 12 year old daughter. Is she tiny or what? She paid me a surprise visit 2 Sundays ago...made my day!!
is Jarom and Steph in the windstorm earlier this was all Jarom could do to keep his eyes open. how hard the wind was blowing!! Look at her hair...crazy!
And this... is just a cuter pic of her in that same windstorm. She's growing up way too fast!