Monday, December 15, 2008

Vote Please

Here's some of our family pics that I'm trying to decide on for Christmas cards (if I ever get them out - they may be New Years cards instead). Which one is your favorite?




And thanks to our good friends the Youngs for taking our pictures! We think yours turned out pretty darn cute too!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bailey - the dog - is apparently engaged...

Two cute cousins "Making a Wedding for Bailey".

Lately Annalise has been obsessed with our dog Bailey. She plays cowgirl, where she's the cowgirl and Bailey is the horse. She'll make corrals for Bailey and insists she sleep in them, she'll lasso the poor pup and is constantly terrorizing her.

And new to the routine is asking me every single day when Bailey will have puppies(p.s. - Bailey was fixed a year ago). Finally I told her she can't have puppies b/c she's not married. Yah, that only worked for a day or two b/c now she asks when Bailey is going to get married. I caught her and her little cousin Macey covering Bailey with rose petals (all the petals off my rose bush actually) because the were "making a wedding for Bailey". :-) And just now she asked me if we could go to the marriage store so we could get Bailey married. :-) Yep, I think I have some explaining to do.....

Monday, December 8, 2008

I Can't Tweeze My Eyebrows!

Joe and I went rock climbing on Saturday. I wanted some variations to my workout and wanted to find something we could do together. Little did I know how sore it would make me. I thought my legs and biceps would be sore. Nope. My fingers are KILLING me! And my forearms too! In fact, I went to tweeze a few stray hairs on my eyebrows and yikes! I was very much reminded of the previous days activity! So here's to rock climbing and Joe and I getting certified next Saturday!!

Oh, and of course I must mention (in case Joe ever looks at this blog), that he beat my climbing time on each climb! Once only be mere seconds! I swear, he's like a monkey the way he climbs! I, however in my competitive nature, did three more climbs than he did. Yeah, that's right! And I'm going to practice so next time I can beat his time. I have to find one sport that I'm better at than him. Good luck to me!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Thanksgiving 2008....We are so blessed.
"Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever."
Pre-Thanksgiving Crafts - what cute little turkeys!
The women, slaving away of course.Oh and one weird brother got in there too!

Cousins enjoying dinner @ the kiddie table
Joe and Ava snuggling after the feast!

Apparently Ava's thankful for flowers.

THE MEN. Enough said. :-)

Post-Thanksgiving decorating time.

And the magic of the Christmas Season begins.....

Yackity Yack....And Don't Talk Back!

I have a plan to end all sassy talk from my daughter. And my floors have never been cleaner.....

Yes, that's right - from now on, when Annalise decides to talk sassy to me, she'll do her 4 minute "reflection time", and then she'll get to mop my floors......just to make sure she remembers. This particular day they got mopped twice. :-) Ava just thinks it's fun to help mop - she wasn't sassy - thank goodness!

Monday, November 17, 2008

First Annual Movie Under the Stars

Movie Under the Stars
Joe and I need to start some fun traditions so the other night we decided to kick the holidays off with movies under the stars. We'll do this every year around this time and also on Christmas Eve. We watched a really cute little Christmas movie that Joe's cousin produced and cuddled up under blankets on the trampoline to watch a movie on my laptop. At first I was hesitant, but it turned out to be so much fun and I'm excited for Christmas Eve to do it again. Although Annalise is worried that Santa will see her out there and not come b/c it's dark and she's still awake. :-) I think Santa will be kind enough to wait till she's in bed!

Halloween 2008

Happy Halloween a little late!
Such cute little Trick-or-Treat kiddies!

Annalise hamming it up for the camera!

Sure this kitty looks cute, but wouldn't you know it, she gave me a guilt trip b/c she wanted a necklace like her sister. SOOOO, stupid me found a neclace that looked similar to a cats collar. And this particular necklace wasn't on the cheap side AND we bought it in Sedona on our honeymoon. And YES it was lost about 2 hours into the night.

Our favorite neighbor kids at our annual Halloween Soup Festival! That's just a fancy name for our annual soup potluck, but boy was it yummy and lots of fun!

If this doesn't look like a princess and her hero - I don't know what does!

Hmm. maybe my necklace disappeared after this photo was taken...
They are the cutest Kitty and Princess I ever did see...... and I'm not just saying that! In fact, it's been comfirmed by a very reliable and wise source === THE GRANDPARENTS!! ;-)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Veggie Technique

Yeah! Ava and Annalise now love another veggie - bell peppers of all colors! Bell Pep's are one of my favorite veggie b/c they are packed w/vitamins, so I'm so glad my kids like them now too.

Here's my technique for getting kids to eat their veggies. It's worked with both my kids and they now eat (with no complaints): sweet potatoes, broccoli, salad, carrots, asparagus (I can never roast enough), zucchini, eggplant, celery, beets (only Ava), green beans, peas, and as of tonight bell peppers.

1. When they are infants I only offer veggie baby food - no fruit until they like all the veggie tastes - then I'll incorporate the fruit.

(When they can start eating solid food)
2. I don't give them any veggies on their plates (they still will eat baby food veggies at this point) when they are toddlers until they ASK for some off mine. THAT is the trick! Especially with salad. Ava's been loving salad since she was about 1 1/2 years old. Not bad for a little kid! I'm telling you, making them ask for something that you present as too good to share, will get them to like the veggies.

3. We all go through spurts of liking and not liking certain foods. So, if they start acting bored of a certain veggie, I delete it from the menu for a week or two. And soon enough, they'll start enjoying it again on their own.
Okay, that's it. I just had to share how happy I am that my girls are now begging for raw bell peppers!
******Update on little niece Bree: She started Chemo yesterday and so far so good. She's a real trooper and gave me several smiles the other day. It felt like such a privilege to hold this little girl. I really love her like one of my own children. And I love her momma like my own sister. We love you Justin and Kari! Keep being strong for your darling princess! You can read more of her story if you like on 'Justin and Kari' on my sidebar.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Prayers for Little Bree

This sweet baby girl is my 6 month old niece, Bree Cook (Justin and Kari's daughter). We just found out - very unexpectedly - that she has a rare form of cancer called Neuroblastoma. We originally thought (last night) that it was Wilm's Tumor, which is much easier to treat, with higher survival rates. As they just found out last night, we are still learning about her condition. Please pray for the healing of this sweet little girl. She is the most lovable litte thing and is always happy. Her parents are obviously devastated and will need prayers of comfort and strength. I'll give updates when I have them.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Why I'm SORE every week....

Many of my closes friends know that it's very common for me to say, "Ooh, I'm so sore". Well here is the reason:


Let me introduce you to my awesome personal trainer - Greg Lake. I've always been a bit of an exercise and health freak, but Greg has taken me (or shall I say, my tooshy) to a higher level! I am sore every single week from our workouts. Yeah it hurts - oh, does it hurt, but I like it. I know something is working when I'm so sore I can't sit, or when I can barely lift my two year old up. :-) Sometimes I call him Satan and sometimes I yell at him, but I know he's only pushing me because I pay him to. :-)

So, if you're ready to feel the burn, give him a call. You won't be disappointed. I tried 4 other trainers before I found Greg and he's the best by far. He comes to my home gym each week, so if any of you want to work out close to home, I'd let you use it. Otherwise, he has a gym in Mesa or can meet you at some of the local gyms.

Here's his blog address:, or call him at: 480-703-3068.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dreaming of Politics........

Or shall I say having political NIGHTMARES!! If any of you are Obama fans, please stop reading b/c you won't like what's on my mind. Actually, keep reading so I can change your mind, or at least encourage you to really research the candidates.

Am I alone in how frustrating this campaign for the presidency is? I mean ALL the news media is so bias it is ridiculous. Do they ever ask Obama any tough questions? NO. Do we know what he will do in Washington with all this "change" he's talking about? NO. Do they talk about how he's friends with a guy who bombed the pentagon 40 yrs ago and was happy about 9/11 attacks? NO. Do they talk about his support of horrifying partial birth abortions? NO. Do they criticize his wife for "not being proud to be an American, until now when her husband is running for President". NO. Does he have ANY and I mean ANY experience in managing ANYTHING? NO. Seriously, how the heck did he get the nominee? And why are Americans so ignorant that they actually listen and believe liberal media? Most people don't even research the topics at hand and what their candidate stands for. Try listening to 550am and 960AM - conservative talk radio. You will learn things that will blow your mind! And you won't hear them on TV b/c the liberal media doesn't want you to hear the good things about McCain and the bad things about Obama. They make Obama out to be some sort of hero. McCain is a TRUE HERO.

Now, I have not always been "into" politics. I admit, I usually just voted with whomever my hubby and Dad and brother thought was best - mind you always a conservative Republican. And I would watch the news to learn about the candidates- I didn't realize how corrupt it was at the time. But this time around I have really started enjoying learning about politics and the people who are making decisions that AFFECT MY FAMILY. (plus Joe recently told me he thinks it's sexy when a woman is involved in politics and current affairs) :-) I don't want higher taxes, I don't want to support terrorists by buying oil from them, I don't want a health care plan that the government chooses - IT WON'T BE GOOD HEALTH CARE - research the topic! I want a conservative that is PRO-LIFE, that will let me choose how I want to spend MY HARD EARNED MONEY, and I especially want a President that will PROTECT THIS COUNTRY and has the experience and guts to do so. I mean it truly scares me to think of Obama as President. I think our country will be a target of more terrorist attacks. Obama is a world class pansy. I just hope and pray that McCain gets elected. Plus, I LOVE SARAH PALIN. Sure she doesn't have as much "Washington" experience as previous VP picks might have had, but frankly I like that better. That means she's not so diseased in her mind about politics. I love that she's not afraid to "shake things up" and expose corruption. I love that they won't allow earmark spending. And I love that she brings youth to the McCain ticket. Plus she's a woman -so FINALLY SOME MULTI-TASKING in the big white house on the hill ! :-)

Okay, ranting and raving are over. I had to get this off my chest. Plus, I really have had two scary dreams about Obama winning. One where I heard some "classified info" that would harm his campaign, so he and his posse were chasing me around a cruise ship trying to catch me so I wouldn't tell anyone. :-) But seriously, it's unsettling. Register to vote if you haven't already. Request a mail in ballot - it's so easy to vote this way. Let's make the right choice and get McCain into the White House!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Little Bro Is Finally Married!

Hooray for Scottie! He married a gorgeous gal - Tiffany Hatfield this past month and we couldn't be happier for them. So congrats and we love you guys!

Oh So Pretty!

I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves! Sorry Babe, but I had to throw your's in just look so .....cute! :-)

So.....Am I Your Girlfriend?

So lately Annalise has been asking questions about girlfriend/boyfriend stuff (mercy me she is boy crazy just like her mama). She even has her dolls be boyfriend and girlfriend. Luckily the picture below is them dancing, not kissing!

So now the funny part of the story.....

Lately she's been calling Joe her boyfriend and asking him if she's his girlfriend. His usual response is that "mommy's his only girlfriend" which she starts crying......then he'll say, "but you're my friend AND your a girl so you're my girlfriend too" which she smiles. So, we're all eating dinner, and Ava and I leave the table, so Joe and Annalise are sitting alone. Suddenly she starts acting all flirty and girly and says, "Soooo, isn't it nice that we're having dinner alone together? " Then she throws her head back and giggles like a school girl! I, of course started laughing hysterically because she is SO my child, and Joe just sat there feeling a little uncomfortable - which is SO Joe! So can everyone pray that we can contain this flirty little girl! :-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Princess Chili?

I had to write this down because if was such a funny moment. Maybe you had to be there, but I want to remember it. Here was our conversation at dinner tonight which happened to be chili:

Joe: Ava, take a bite, come on you can do it!
Ava: NO!
Joe: Come on Ava, I'll help you....just one more bite.
Ava: No, I not want it!!
Joe: Do you know what this is? Ava, this is what all the princesses, like Cinderella and Belle eat. It's princess chili and if you eat it you will turn into a princess!
Ava: (in a very stern and know it all voice) THIS NOT PRINCESS CHILI!!

So, maybe you have to know my child and how she would sound saying this, but I was busting up. She was serious and mad when she said it. Like she knew he was trying to pull one over on her. Maybe she'd have believed it if he had said it was Dora the Explorer Chili! That seems a little more appropriate! :-)

Oh, and another cute thing, for my own memories sake, Ava "meowed" the prayer yesterday. Joe asked her to say the prayers and he was helping her. Instead of repeating his words, she'd just meow like a kitten. After a few lines of meowing the prayer we all busted up laughing. She loves pretending she's a kitten -this is usually the only time I get some good snuggles so it's fine with me! :-)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Cabin Trip

We really do love our cabin in Greer, heck we named Ava's middle name Greer - that's how much we love it! Here's a few pics of one of our trips this summer.

Ava picking the flowers that I loved to pick when I was a little girl.
Notice her toe in her mouth - nice! :-)
"Fishing" for crawdads in the stream
We spent hours staining these logs for the new porch addition. Glad that's over!
Joe and I went horseback riding, it was a lot of fun.

That's my hard working man, making the cabin look nice!
Cousin Love!
The poor dog Maggie that Ava wouldn't leave alone.

Hands off Buddy!!

See ya soon Cabin!