Saturday, December 30, 2006

Last hike of 2006

We met at the trailhead at nine thirty and started up the trail a little before 10 AM. Babies in slings and camel backs with water on many backs. Trail mix (m&ms, reeses pieces, raisins, mixed nuts and fresh pecans), jerky, granola bars, pop tarts, and many other delicious treats in back packs and fanny packs.

4.5 miles from the trailhead to the top of Fremont Saddle, overlooking Weaver's Needle in the Superstition Wilderness. Although the sun was out, it is amazing how cold it was sitting and eating our trail snacks.

Here is a picture of the three biggest kids with Weaver's Needle in the background. The air wasn't as clear as it could be due to fog that was rolling in.

The kids made it all the way up and most of the way down. Both babies were carried by everyone and both took a nap during the four hours of our hike. By the end they were done and wanted to walk so they got to walk a little.

Hiking has been something we have enjoyed so much through the years. The first time we did this hike we were badly out of shape and it was so much further and steeper than it seemed this time. Years ago LVH and Alex's Human hiked this trail with me. It was much warmer that day. The trail is well worn and is one of the favorite hikes for the locals. Unfortuantely that means that there are always a lot of other hikers along the trail. You have to stop and let the faster people pass.

It was so much fun getting to hike with all of our kids - minus the bear- Not too much complaining although G'rat did tell us that he expended all his energy as a child and doesn't have any left. But even though his fingers are strong from WOW, he and his couch potato self did a really good job making it to the top. It was a good way to end this year.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Ready for Christmas?

Abe put the star on top of the tree, but this year we sang We Three Kings, instead of our traditional Oh Christmas Tree, simply because we really don't know the words.

Our bear was home and helped put the lights up, he was also there to add some great Bass to our song. I doubt if we are ready for any grand choir, but we sound better than I thought we might.

This wonderful addition to our front yard was given to our bear in Texas when they greeted the troops. We are hoping that the tomb raider's on the other side of town don't decide it would look better in their front yard.

Are we ready for Christmas? Tomorrow night we will read the Christmas Story and bake some cookies. Hopefully on Sunday we can take a few things around to some of our friends. The gifts will happen, they always do, but what I really want this year is that feeling on Christmas, the one you feel so much love for everyone around you. When you follow through on those thoughts of giving and sharing with others.

I hope this year we are truly ready for Christmas.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bear News

According to G'rat, da bear called from Iraq on Friday to let us know that he had made it back safely. I was working on the beginnings of a cold and had taken some medicine. So I was asleep most of the day so I don't really remember the phone call. I sure hope that I spoke nicely to him!

Some pics

Here are a couple of pictures of Connie Mitchell and me on our trip to the ACTE Convention in Atlanta.

Six weird things

THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the '6 weird things about you.' People who get tagged need to write a blog post of their own 6 weird things as well as state these rules clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says 'you are tagged' in their comments and tell them to read your blog. I'm not so sure what the definition of weird is so here goes:

1. I can't say simple words like Butt, and Fart so I use other words like Bum and Fluff.
2. I like to eat in the bathtub - okay, maybe not weird, but really gross if you think about food in the bathroom.
3. I don't like it when my kids say anything bad about each other or their spouses.
4. I would rather eat dessert than food so if I go to a restaurant I often get a small salad and then dessert instead of a meal. Here is a picture of some creme brulee that we had in Atlanta.
5. I only listen to music at Christmas time- starting in mid-November, the rest of the year I listen to talk radio.
6. Since socks seems to be a family thing, my weirdness is that most of my "dress" socks are seasonal - Fall, Christmas, Valentine's Day, etc. I noticed that the pair I had on the other day actually aren't a pair, they are just two similarly colored snowmen socks.

It was hard only choosing six things because I have so many weird things to list.....Okay, this isn't fair tif-do as I can't tag anyone- will something bad happen to me?????

Friday, November 24, 2006


After too much food we all went to one of the green areas near leaner's home. JVA remembered to bring the whiffle balls, and a couple of bats so that we would have something to do besides lay around watching football. They managed to come up with two four person teams, Rhayn on one and Gavin on the other. There was one base and home plate so after hitting the ball you had to run past the pitcher and possibly another membe of your team on your way to the base. Needless to say, a good time was had by all.

The automatic watering system was apparently set for about the time we were there and so we had to keep moving game locations. And when the sprinklers hit the last dry place we had to make a mad dash away before we got wet also.

After the game we went back for pie - too much food earlier to eat dessert. JVA found a recipe for a pumpkin pie with a cheesecake layer that he wanted to make. Brie made two apple pies from scratch - a lot of peeling went into those pies. We also had a regular pumpkin pie and a pecan pie. SLA made half of the crust, JVA made the other half. Brie rolled it all out. JVA mixed the roll dough, and SLA made it into butter rolls. I just supervised and cleaned while they did most of the baking.

The powell's and G'rat's had to move on to their extended families, so we all settled in and watched some Christmas claymation movies.

We ended the evening on a high note as the girls took on the boys in Trivial Pursuit. Since the powell's and G'rat's family weren't there, it may have been an unfair advantage. For the first time in ever the game ended in a tie. With the girls almost winning, even SLA earned a piece of pie with a correct answer.

The picture shows our three sons and one grandson.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Two calls and a wall

What an interesting day yesterday was. It started bright and early at 5:40 AM when abe's alarm went off. We had been called by the Stake Exec Secretary and were asked to visit with the Stake Pres at 7 am this Saturday morning. Knowing that they were planning on splitting the ward on Sunday, this was a real nerve wrenching phone call. Abe, true to form, had some inkling as to why we needed to visit with the SP. So we both put on our Sunday best and drove the 20 miles to the meeting place. We knew that he wasn't being called to be the Bishop as our current Bishop was still going to be in place. He thought that it may be the 2nd counselor, and he thought that may not be too bad. When the SP told him that he was being called as the first counselor, the full magnitude of what he was asking began to sink in. After we left the Stake Center, we drove to Cracker Barrell for breakfast. Sitting there we discussed how we thought this may change our lives, and how the ward was going to be split. Knowing it was all speculation, we discussed who would be in which ward. Would Suzy and Morris be with us? What about the Powell's or the Carpenter's? We had to wait until today to find out how the line would be drawn.

Later, we drove to Phoenix to go to Rhayn’s school. They were having a Winter Faire and so Grandparents and other family and friends were invited to join the festivities. As we approached the school we all noticed the 30 foot climbing wall set up especially for the occasion. We all thought it looked like the National Guard was there recruiting from the really young crowd that was attending. But there weren’t any recruiters anywhere. Just a lady taking tickets for a climb up the wall. We asked Rhayn if she wanted to climb and at first she didn’t seem interested, but soon she was ready to go. That is after her daddy told her that he knew she could do it. She climbed into the harness and was hooked to the rappelling rope. She began her ascent very confidently and other than a couple of short pauses she was on her way to the bell at the top. With a group of admirers oohing and aahing below, she made it to the very top. Pretty amazing for a such a little lady.

Then to cap the day off, our bear called and told us he would be here on Monday. And when and where he should be picked up. So we'll all be together for Thanksgiving for the first time in four years.

Sunday: The Coolidge Ward became two independent wards. The people who live within just a few miles of us, who have watched our family grow; the people who have become such an important part of our lives have now been moved to what seems like hundreds of miles away to the other ward in town. We are now members of the Coolidge Second Ward, Suzy, Morris, Brie and Scott are all part of the Coolidge First Ward. Split almost directly North and South along Coolidge Ave. New and old in both of the wards, which is how it should be. Although a lot of the members were hoping for old in one ward and new in the other. This is a better mix of young families and older families.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The man

Happy Birthday to one of the best men in the world!

We won't discuss which birthday it is, just that it is one of those landmark ones.

(Notice how much this picture looks like our Madders)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

abeNanna Split

Our disclaimer is that the title of this blog is the name of our newest geocache. What more appropriate title than a banana split???

Now this is one way to prove just just how our "addiction" is advancing. Today abe and I went out into the desert and put out three new geocaches. We started by planning on putting out one by this really cool rock that the Priesthood used to have activities by. Then we found another neat place and put a micro cache. After that we stopped and put our last cache out. When we got home, between conference and lunch, we logged them all in and are awaiting final approval from geocaching to see if they will be activated. Oh, and I forgot to mention the puzzle cache that we put out just specially for those Taco's who live right outside of town. The fun part of this is waiting for the caches to appear on the geocaching website. Then you just sit back and see who gets there first.

Profile for abeNanna

Thursday, September 21, 2006


10 years since this picture, which was taken around our 20th wedding anniversary. Where has the time gone?

I was trying to remember little things about the actual ceremony. I don't even know what time it was, or if we ate anything at all that day. I do know that all we had at the reception was cake and mints and nuts. But where the mints homemade or not.

I remember going to buy my wedding dress. Mom had made both of the other girls, and I thought she would make mine. But she had been so sick earlier in the year (we almost lost her) she didn't want to try it. I knew what I wanted my dress to look like. They had the perfect dress, but for some reason I don't even remember I didn't try it on. I ended up with a different dress. One I really didn't like, but mom did.

I made one of the bridesmaids dresses, but when it came time to put the zipper in, I chickened out. Mom was still not steady enough on the sewing machine to do it, so she sewed it in by hand.

Our cake had a banana nut top layer that we ate on our first wedding anniversary. I don't know if the rest was chocolate or vanilla or what. I wanted my sister-in-law to sing at our wedding, but instead we had one of the other members of our small branch sing "Annie's song" (John Denver). We were married by our bishop, whose name was Tom Jones.

We invited family and a few friends to the actual ceremony and then later we had the reception, I think we invited the whole community (of course, that would only be about 350 people). Abe's best friend and his whole family were there. Several of my aunt's and uncle's came from all over the country. One of my uncles was a professional photographer, so he took the pictures.

The invitation we chose had a picture of a flower on it, with the inscription "Love is the flower, marriage is the fruit." This was because my dad explained plants in almost that same way. It made me think of him and his wisdom.

Now so many years later and I am so glad that regardless of the ups and downs, we have made it this far. When we spend time alone together we relish every minute. We love our family, but the main thing is that we love each other so much more than we did then. He IS my very best friend.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Message from our bear

Last night came with a phone call from our middlest of children. It was good to hear his voice from those thousands of miles away. Although I wasn't home he did leave a message on my phone and he was able to talk to dad, Jesse and Brie . When he was here in July he mentioned a girl that he had his eye on. She is in his unit and would be in Iraq with him. He had talked to her a few times at church, but hadn't gotten up the nerve to ask her on a date. The good news is he finally took the step and she told him she had been hoping he would. Is there love in the air in Baghdad? We'll keep you informed, who knows, maybe we'll have to start planning another wedding.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Attack of the caterpillars

On our visit to The Valley we decided to stop by the Cemetery where my great parents and great-great grandparents are buried. Leaner and SLA had never been there and it seemed like a good thing to take up a little time. The usually barren cemetery was covered with all sorts of wild ground cover but we entered anyway. After walking in a few feet dacheese noticed the caterpillars that were crawling everywhere. SLA pushed at one with her foot and it curled up and gooed at her. A weird green goo out of it’s mouth. We also noticed that each one had a horn on it’s back. We trudged through the growth and the caterpillars until we reached Mons Larson’s grave, where he rests peacefully next to his two wives. By this point the girls had reached almost panic mode from these scary pillars.

We tried to find a way out where the undergrowth wasn’t as dense and the caterpillars weren’t as numerous. This was impossible as they were everywhere. At one point we reached what looked like a dead end, the brush was probably four inches deep, which meant that your foot could actually be below the plants and a pillar could attack you. We found the one area that we could get through and headed straight for the exit. While waiting for everyone to get out alive SLA noticed one of the pillars was actually coming towards her. As the area echoed with her screams, the rest of the group hastened to escape from the terrors of this daytime cemetery.

With one final act of defiance, Leaner told anna to kill one of these ferocious pillars. So, being such a good mom, anna took her at her word. As anna stepped on the pillar, the head of the beast curled up onto her sandal as if to attack. This did not stop anna from fulfilling her motherly duties. She again lifted her foot and placed it squarely on the monster. What was left of the poor innocent critter was an empty skin and green juice.

Were these really something from beyond the grave? Or were they just blameless caterpillars fulfilling their lifes purpose on the greenery that grew in this old cemetery? We will never know, but we will always remember the horrors in the graveyard.


Driving home dacheese looked down at her foot and spied one of the pillars that had tried to hitch a ride. She placed it on the arm rest next to SLA, who was driving. SLA almost swerved off the road, but managed to regain control of the vehicle and dacheese threw the offensive critter out of the window.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Out with some fun guys or is that fungi?

Thanks hairball for inviting us to the mountains for your celebration. It was cool and wet and we had a really good time. The rain has done some wonderful things to our forests between the wildflowers and the grass there are things growing everywhere.

We took Chester Copperpot with us for a little geocaching and hiking. Along the way we managed to take a few pictures of the "plethora" of mushrooms/ toadstools in the undergrowth.

We even managed to find one of the mysterious red dotted fungi from years past. In the same general area - and also on the reservation - maybe they are only found there???

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The good ole days

Last night dacheese, SLA, and Scott went to the college to try their hand at pottery. This left us alone with Madders. As we were just finishing our delicious dinner which G'rat and purplelurple cooked for us the power went out. It was still a little light outside and we thought the power would be back on within a few minutes. So we sat there in the semi-dark looking out the window at the tree blowing in the wind. After a short while and no restoration of power we all went out into the back yard to watch the storm as best we could and enjoy the breeze, because it hadn't cooled much from the 105 degree day. Madders loves being outside so this was fine with her anyway.

Abe decided to find some battery lanterns that we had on the camping trip and get those ready in case the power wasn't restored soon. G'rat and I went into the house and worked on the kerosene lanterns, which of course we always have at the ready...except this time we noticed that one had a way too short wick and the other was completely dry. So we put the two together and created one working lantern. We also lit the candles in the fireplace which actually produced a nice amount of light.

We opened up the windows and both doors after we moved back inside to let some of the breeze blow through. G'rat put the kids to bed. Then they went for a drive to see exactly where there was power in cooltown. Abe and madders and I went and sat on the swing on the front porch and watched the light show in the sky. JVA came over and we sat and talked waiting for the potters to return from school. As we were sitting there listening to the start of the rain we realized that if this were 'back in the day we would not only be sitting out here, we would probably be sleeping out here as well. Our neighbor was also sitting on their front porch watching the storm and trying to escape the heat of the indoor world.

It was great stepping back in time for a short while, where there is no TV, no computers, nothing to interrupt spending time with family. But when we heard the whir of the everything powering back up right before 10 we were glad also as sleeping without fans was going to be really uncomfortable.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Round two

Our bear called last Sunday night from the airport in New York. He was on his way to Kuwait and will be there for about a month before moving on to Baghdad. We knew this second tour was immenent, but we weren't ready for him to be going back so soon. In typical fashion he enjoys this new experience and relies on his faith that he will be protected.

For the next year I will have my cell phone at the ready and charged. With every meeting I attend letting those around me know that I will leave at a moments notice if my cell phone goes off. People will be asking how he is doing, have we heard from him, how are we coping with him being in harms way. We will smile and say he is doing well and no, he doesn't get to call very often. Something we got used to when he was gone the first two years.

He will return to us, this I believe, after all it is the only thing that keeps me sane.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

One more wedding

In order to have a wedding, you must take pictures of the bride and groom to put in the invitations. Anyway, that is how it is in our family lately. And in order to take pictures, you must find some place that there are many photo ops. So on Saturday, we packed a picnic lunch and headed to Superior to the Arboretum. Our thinking was that since the monsoons have actually produced rain this year it may be green there. We were not disappointed. I have been having some really bad stress related problems lately, and the drive through a desert that is alive and blooming with wild flowers was exactly what I needed.

After walking the 1.5 mile loop trail and taking pictures whenever we saw a perfect spot we weren't even too hot. Afterwards we drove up to Oak Flat and sat under a tree eating our picnic lunch. The weather was perfect, a light breeze and just the right temperature to be outside. We sat and watched the clouds coming up over the Superstition Mountains and wondered if it would rain that afternoon.

G'rat and family went home and Abe and I went on up the mountain to Globe to visit some relatives, and talk to a cousin about a horse trailer. After that we decided to see how the Salt River and Roosevelt Lake look. We haven't seen that much water flowing into Roosevelt in a long time. Thick, brown, water roaring over the dike and down into the Lake. Abe got a little excited about fishing once the water slows down.

Friday, June 30, 2006


Since most of the bloggers in the family were at
the reunion, it will be hard to add anything new.

We enjoyed each others company and made a lot of new memories. The weather was great even with the rain and hail.

It was fun geocaching with Alex's Human, and taking pennuts family to show them our favorite activity.

Hopefully next time everyone can be there. We love you all so much...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Counting down

The second tri-annual Carter reunion is just 11 days away. Yes, it is hot in AZ, but we are going to the mountains. It will not be 113 degrees there, the high should be in the high 70s or 80s and since it is in the mountains there is always a small chance of rain. The night time lows in Show Low are dipping into the low 50s so it should cool off at night.

There will be water and we will be able to fish. This is a picture that we took last summer in the White Mountains. It is closer to Big Lake so it is a little higher elevation, but it is still in Arizona.

The main thing is that we are going to spend time getting to know each other a little better. So it will be a good time no matter what. Just wish everyone would be able to attend.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Edge

Saturday before we picked up G'Gma C at the airport we picked up Rhayn and took her to see "Over the Hedge" She wasn't sure which movie she wanted to see then she decided that it would be "The Edge".

We bought tickets then went to Rubio's and had fish tacos. Rhayn wanted chips, she said when we got to the movie we would need to get popcorn, then some candy in a small box. We took our sodas from Rubio's into the theater and bought popcorn and Reeses Pieces. When they showed previews there was a scary one about a house that is alive. She said that it was too scary for her and we decided it was too scary for us also. After the movie we had almost two hours before we needed to pick up G'Gma C.

She told us to go to Target and get something for her mom. When we started to park she wanted to park by the flowers, which was almost as far away from the store as you could possibly get. We decided to get a picture of her by the flowers. She went over and posed for us. One pic was a "lip smile" and one was a "teeth smile" according to this big girl. The only thing she wanted to look at were the toys. We did buy a few things, but we didn't let her pick out more than one thing for herself.

At the airport Grandpa spoiled her and bought her some chocolate milk from Starbucks. It was a fun day and we enjoyed spending time with her by ourselves without all the other family members around.


Last weekend we ran away from home with Scott and Crystal C. We wanted to get out of the desert heat so we headed south. We knew most people would head north to the mountains, so we went to the mountains everyone forgets about. We were able to go on a hike. One of our favorite in the Chiricahuas - the trail from the Massai Point and through the heart of the rocks then down to the visitor center. It is 7.5 miles and took us a little over 3 hours. In a previous life I was a Girl Scout leader and we took about 10 eleven year old girls on this same hike. There was a lot less griping this time.

This is a pic of the duck on a rock and two dusty sweaty hikers that were on the path. Scott C wasn't able to hike so he provided shuttle service for us. After the hike we drove to the Dragoons and Cochise Stronghold and looked around there for awhile before driving back to the valley and doing a little geocaching. On Monday we drove home along the old Klondyke road and then stoopped in Eden at the Carpenter homestead where abe got stung by a bee.

Monday, May 22, 2006

G'rat and the move

Okay I guess I was wrong and no one knows what is happening with the G'rat. We will make the long drive to Ely one last time in early June to help them move back to Cooltown. They will be here for the reunion, which is really great. We needed a few more people in our home during the summer. Once they get settled and find a job they are planning on staying in the area.

Also, da Bear will be home from July 2-12. He will be heading for Iraq in August.

What's up

So it has been over a month since I have written anything. Probably because all the exiting events in my life are about the grandkids at this point. If I write that the babies each have two teeth you would all say "that's not news, their moms wrote about that". If I tell you Garrett is moving home, you would reply "purplelurple wrote about that".

See how hard this is? I don't want to complain about work all the time, that gets pretty old after awhile, besides it has been a lot better now that all the new people have pretty much gone on to greener pastures (hope they step in some manure along the way).

If I posted our June and July calendar it would depress me too much. There is only one week where there is nothing happening, after that it is total chaos. So I am going to be really busy the first week of June making sure that everything is accomplished before the craziness begins.

The only thing new in my life is after almost a year of not having a calling in the church, I was called to be an assistant librarian. We are going to recatalog the pictures and take turns being there on Wednesday night. We are also going to go through all the interesting things that have accumulated and weed out the things that are outdated, etc. It should be fun and the other two ladies will be good to work with.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Suzy took G'ma Carter to the doctor today for her follow-up appointment. The diagnosis was "Benign Positional Vertigo" or BPV. G'ma had told Suzy last week that they had cleaned out her inner ear and that they were going to clean out the other one this week. This sounded really strange to Morris as they can't just clean out the inner ear. The main thing is that it is something that is definitely there and not Parkinson's or something that she will have to learn to live with. They should be able to treat it, and according to several sites that I googled, it may even be better after the second visit. Basically there are crystals that form in the ear and roll around making her dizzy. They move the crystals to a different part of the ear so that they can dissolve. Worst case scenario sounds like they may have to operate, but we will keep our fingers crossed that it won't come to that.

She had asked for a blessing from Abe and Morris the night before the appointment and so when the doctor told her he knew what it was it wasn't a surprise. No tests or prolonged probing, just simply "I know what is causing your problem". Faith is a wonderful thing.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Rest for the Weary?

Now that the whirlwind "wedding Bonanza week" is over, and all the family have gone home to their various states we're hoping that we can get back to some semblance of normalacy.

It was so nice having G'rats family so we could enjoy all of the wild childs. We got to watch them one night so that G and J could have a date night. Something they don't get to do too often. It was nice having g'ma A and CYEIEIO visiting at our house and leaners.

A trip to the zoo, the Grand Canyon, the Botanical Gardens made for one crazy week. But other than being exhausted we really enjoyed spending time with family. Only one thing wrong in it all and that is that our bear wasn't able to be here.

How great it is to have kids that actual seem to enjoy each others company and want to share in each others lives. It was also great having extended family that showed up early to help get the food together and then stayed til the end to help clean up.

Don't know what we would do without all of you and want everyone of you to know how much we love you and wish that everyone could have been with us as we welcomed the newest member into the Carter family.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Bath Party

Last night we threw a bridal shower for SLO of course Rhayn got quite excited and asked her mom if it was going to be a Bath Party like we had for Meh Meh before Madders was born, pretty good for a 5 year old.

Ten minutes to seven and three people had dropped gifts off and told us they weren't going to be able to come. We were all a little worried that we wouldn't have anyone there. Rhaynnon was assigned the job of answering the door and taking the gifts to the gift table, she took her job quite seriously. At seven there was only the immediate family and a next door neighbor. Not too great of a turn out, but in typical MST fashion (and that isn't Mountain Standard Time) the rest of the party started arriving at promptly 7:10. There were over 25 people there and after games we opened gifts. After the gifts we had our traditional Costco Cake, which Rhaynnon helped serve.

SLO recieved a lot of really good gifts, nice things that she can use around the house, including measuring cups and a cookbook. She also received some fun stuff to decorate the house with and a big fluffy bath towel. The most exciting gift may have been the candy bra, which the
bride to be modeled for us after most of the guests were gone. According to the package it is a 30 serving bra. Hairball also gave her the great gift of chocolate body paint, which she informed us was quite good. We all told her that that was WAY too much information.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

One thing leads to another

A week ago Monday I went to Mesa to meet Jesse to help him buy meat for the wedding. I planned on buying paint to redo my big bathroom. It has been purple for over 3 years and wanted to spruce it up. Jesse went home and I continued doing a little shopping. Jesse called and asked if dad had called and told me about the water leak in the little bathroom. He hadn't so I called home and decided I better get home to find out what was going on.

Apparently the moisture build up in the bathroom had nothing to do with 6 adults taking showers. There was a hole in the ceiling and a very visibly broken pipe. Craig was covered with dust when I walked into the bathroom and he told me that it looked like he would stay home over the weekend and work on the bathroom while we went to Safford to Jason's play. I told him that I would have to stay home with him and work on the other bathroom and we could get a lot done. We would send the kids with G'ma and have the house to ourselves.

He turned off the water to that part of the house, which meant we could use the other bathroom, and kitchen but no hot water, no laundy. We walked across the street to Jva's apartment for showers. Did dishes by boiling water so it wasn't too bad. The laundry piled up, but only for one week.

In the meantime, Jesse took his dining room table over to his apartment and Brie tried to clean the really antique linoleum. What we found is that part would clean nicely and part was really bad. So we decided to retile over the existing floor. We bought 250 square feet of tile and on Friday night we redid the floor. Did you know that when you get older crawling around on the floor can leave you sore the next day? We finished around midnight, and then we looked at our new floor and realized that the counter- which was really gross before- now looked even worse.

On Saturday we got up and moved all the furniture out of the living room to try and polish the wood floor. The kids and g'ma left so we cleaned and polished the floor then went to the local home depot (20 miles away) to buy base board to put around the entire room. As we were driving we both decided that maybe we should go ahead and buy a new countertop. Not the tile one we had planned on putting in, but a laminate one since anything would be better than what we have. We checked on delivery time for a countertop and found out it would take over 2 weeks. So we walked over to the tile and decided that we should take the plunge and lay the ceramic tile. Long story short is they didn't have the tile CLA liked so off to the new Lowes in Chandler.

By the time the kids walked in the door Sunday, after a fun time at a play and then geocaching in the Gila Valley, we had the tile complete (except for the grout), the bathroom back together the furniture ready to put back in the living room. We worked more than we rested and since the weather was perfect we just opened up the house and got so much accomplished. The big bathroom did not get repainted, it still has purple cabinets (which isn't as gross as it sounds). We did get a new shower curtain and took down the flowers from Elise's wedding.

Now we have one week to finish the wedding preparations and do a little touch up, clean up around the house.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Did you know that Frito Lay doesn't donate to organizations anymore? They don't give away their day old chips. For the past nine years we have had an annual Open House at the high school. For the past nine years we have gotten donations of chips. The one thing that we didn't have to think about. This morning the teacher who was assigned nothing more than writing a letter asking for donations informed me that he had not heard from Frito Lay. He said he had called and left a message, but they hadn't contacted him. I asked him to try them one more time. Ten minutes later he returned with a message that they don't donate any more.

Tomorrow is our open house. We are planning on around 200 people, we have chili-dogs and soda, and cookies, but the one thing, the easiest of all, the one that I had assigned to someone else wasn't going to happen. I called the district office and called in a favor from the individual that processes purchase orders and then went to the store to buy nine boxes of 24 count chips. Have I made it too easy for the teachers because they know that I will take care of things and that they can skim by doing the bare minimum? They each get paid between $500 and $750 for helping put on this one event. I am seriously debating following through on the threat that they get only half of their money if they don't fulfill all their duties. They each signed a contract that stated that "if" they didn't follow through, they "might" not get the full amount. Last year we had two teachers that didn't do anything and I did have the district office not pay them their second installment.

I just know that I really hate being so anal about every little detail. The flyer that one teacher developed was so bad that we reused the one that I made last year. I sent out over 300 invitations to all the 8th graders and the board members. I left it up to the teachers to announce it and to post flyers around the school. If no one comes I will feel like I didn't do enough and yet I made assignments so that others could earn their money.

Maybe I am just stressing about this event. Maybe there are just too many things going on right now in my life. Maybe I need to take some St. Johns Wart and Vitamin B complex and then a nice warm bath. Either way it will be over tomorrow and I can go on to the next stress inducing event.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Red Neck Birthday Bonanza Party Week

What better gift for a city boy than his very own 22, complete with camo hat and shirt and a brick of shells? Dacheese wanted to make sure that her boy had a real family celebration this year. So we called all the inlaws, outlaws and others peoples from cooltown to come over to surprise him.

We started with a pre-surprise party on Tuesday with a small cake, icecream, candles and just the five that were home that night. Then tonight we had the real surprise party. Dacheese made a Texas Sheetcake that was delicious . We also had chili-dogs with real elk chili meat. SLO took some beans, cheese, chili and layered it on a chip. The weather was great so we ate on the patio. Then we discussed alternate names for the birthday boy; Billy Bob, Dwayne, Howie, and other names appropriate for a cooltown red neck. The best part was we surprised him two times in two days for his twenty second b-day. That's a whole lot of twos, maybe we should play the lottery?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Wedding invites

We printed the invitations (125 of them), then JVA decided that he wanted them done differently. He insisted on changing them and printing a sample one so that SLO could make up her mind. She looked at them and decided that JVA hadn't asked for much when it comes to wedding plans so he should get his way in this.

Printed 125 more, then noticed that 90 of them had a typo on them, a big "n" right in the middle. Great, printing a third time and hoping that this would be good enough. So after hours of stamping and folding and stuffing we finally got them into the mail.

Yes, they are home made, but they weren't cheap, after all, that much ink and paper can be pretty pricey.

Now only 150 more things to do to get ready for this mid March event. We should be ready by May.

Monday, January 09, 2006

End of Christmas

We sent Jesse over to G'mas to help fix her TV and he came home and told us that we needed to go over and take down her lights. I called Suzy and Malcolm and asked them if they wanted to help. Da familia dacheese went to the zoo with ragininaz so they didn't get to help.

We all showed up by 6 PM so that we could undecorate. Everytime we thought that we all had everything down we noticed one more thing. We stopped to eat pizza and then continued putting everything away and then put back all the treasures that she had taken down to put up all the Christmas glitz and glitter. With everyone's help, including the girls, we got a lot done in a short amount of time.

G'ma has been very depressed lately, she is still having dizzy spells and so she has been very confined to her house. She says that Christmas went by and it never seemed like a holiday at all. She also said that she feels so close to dad right now. I can't imagine how lonely it must be for her.

We don't spend enough time with her and it is sad when we realize that a week has gone by without us visiting her. I had made a resolution that we would get over there at least one time a week and then the first week of January we didn't make it over there. We will try better the rest of the year.

Friday, January 06, 2006


Monday was a great day, no work, so abe and I decided to go on a mini hike and find some new geocaches in the area. So early afternoon we headed out and found a mountain to climb - only half a mile up the hill and then back down, a really good 1 mile hike. The workout felt so good. We have been so bad about not hiking the way we used to. While we were driving to the next cache I was working on the solution to a puzzle to one of the caches - like the new sudoko puzzles that are everywhere right now. I solved the puzzle, but it was too late, abe had to be up early (12 AM) to go to work. I called Suzy the next day to see if they had solved this puzzle and see if they wanted to join us on a caching adventure. They had the solution - thanks to a friend of hairball. So we planned a trip to CG on Thursday early afternoon. We also had a few other puzzles to solve and find in the area.

We attempted to find one cache, but I knew that my solution was based on a vivid imagination. Nothing there, but it could have been. Then we worked on one that Suzy and Morris had worked on for quite awhile. We found three clues and headed off to the cache. After arriving in the middle of a field (on private property) we knew that we had something wrong. Morris checked the math for the coordinates and he found an error. Back four miles, the same four miles we had just driven, to the hill on the water tank. We drove around to the back and started climbing up, the gps told us it was on the "no trespassing" side of the fence, but we weren't going to be denied again. After slipping, sliding, endangering our lives we climbed to where the gps zeroed out. We looked for a really long time and then decided that we had something wrong. Carefully going back to the car we managed to not kill ourselves.

I took the paper with the information and found two little errors that Morris missed. Minor details like 4+2 = 2 ( I had subtracted, not added) . So moving on to the cache that we knew we could find. The sun was beginning to set and we had to drive 8 miles into the wilderness to find the cache. We parked as close as we could to the cache and then hiked the little bit to find the nicely hidden ammo box in the pile of rocks- aka an Arizona Cache.

Abe mentioned that geocaching was the one activity that would cause us to hike and climb places that we wouldn't otherwise, just say there is a cache and Suzy and I are ready to go and scale the alps.

So now that we have found almost 400 caches, we should be tired of this sport right? I went to the site to log in our find from yesterday and noticed that there is a new one in Casa Grande, just this morning. How soon before we can jump in the car and find this one........

Part two, I called Suzy and at 3 PM we ran back to CG to not only get the one cache we missed yesterday, we hit the new one. 100% on the day! No addiction here.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


We weren't able to spend Christmas with Garrett and family, so we drove to NV the next day and spent a few days with them. The weather was good, even though it snowed the day after Christmas. We stayed at a motel with an indoor pool and the kids got to swim then the next day they had a snowball fight with g'pa. The kids are growing up so fast.

It is so hard having them so far away, but they are within driving distance, so we have burned up the road three to four times a year every year. We don't need a map to get there anymore and know all the good places to stop.

There is nothing better than a great big hug from your grandchild, followed by a kiss and an I love you g'ma. Watching the little things they do and remembering their parent at that age and seeing those same attributes in these new special children.

We kept the kids overnight and watched Madagascar on the TV. The parents had some alone time, and we had some time with the kids. Donuts and hot chocolate in the morning with a few more laps in the pool before we had to check out of the motel. It was such a great visit. Today is Brendon's seventh birthday, and in nine days Garrett will turn 27, then Beth will turn eight on the 21st.