Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

This has been a busy week! I have a lot to do for our wards Trunk or Treat tonight, so this post will be short. Yesterday after school I took the kids to a local pumpkin patch. Now that they are older the thrill of looking at pumpkins has kind of worn off. We have a small one here in Maricopa and I wanted pictures so off we went right after school. They don't have any fun activities there, but I did get some cute shots of them with the pumpkins at least for Halloween. Tomorrow I will post pictures of them in their costumes. I didn't get costumes for Nick and I like I wanted, but I did get one for Sparky so I am excited to see them all dressed up and I will try and post those tomorrow. The costumes for Nick and I were just too darn expensive and I couldn't justify spending that much for a one time wear. Here are my "little pumpkins" who clearly aren't that little anymore. Dang, they grow up fast!

They had to take turns sitting on the higher up hay bale.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Our New Car!

Some of you know that we have been looking for a new car to buy for awhile now. My van is no longer under warranty and is going to need some repairs soon and we don't feel like dumping a lot of money into it. We've been looking for awhile and on Wednesday we FINALLY found one! It's an '06 Silver Dodge Durango. I love it! It's such a nice car and I like that I sit up higher than I do in the van. It's got so much more room in it also. It was an all day process, but we finally walked out of there with a new car and said good bye to the van since we traded it in. We have some fond memories of the van, but I wasn't sad about saying good bye to it one bit! :) Here are some pictures of our fancy new car. ;)

I was really hoping that I didn't show up in the pictures, but it doesn't look like my wish came true. It was first thing in the morning on the way to take kids to school.

Nie Nie Dialogues

So I have been reflecting on my life lately. I've been following the Nie Nie Dialogues. It's the blog that is done by Stephanie Nielsen, aka Nie Nie. She lives in Mesa and her and her husband Christian were in a terrible airplane crash back in August. The pilot was killed and they were both badly burned. Christian wasn't as burned as her but Stephanie was burned over 80% of her body and is BARELY coming out of her coma just this week. She has been going through various skin graphs. Her blog is inspiring. She is such a sweet mother to her 4 children and a sweet wife to Christian. They've been having various fund raisers for them. The medical costs are astounding. Her sister C Jane keeps her blog full of updates on Nie Nie.

As I read the updates and I read Nie Nie's blog, I think to myself, if something like that happened to me, how would I want to be remembered? Would I want people to remember that I was a pretty good cook? What about a great housekeeper (that's not even true), or what about a great swim teacher? Well, those things are trivial. What I'd want people to remember me as is that I'm a great mother and a great wife. Those are the things that matter most to me. They go hand in hand. I need to work on both. I would also like to be known for being a great friend and someone who is caring and who puts others before myself. I have some things to work on, that's for sure. There are definitely things that I need to improve on. I know that especially after reading about Nie Nie's life. She has a great life and lives it to the fullest with her children and husband. She puts them first over everything. It sounds like she is going to pull through, but has a long recovery still. Christian is out of the hospital and is in rehab now. He is staying here in AZ with his parents and all of the kids are with her family in Utah. How sad that they can't be closer to their parents. She has many more months to recover and with 80% or her body burned, will she ever be completely back to normal? I'm just glad those kids will have their parents back, I can't imagine those 4 kids being on this earth without their mother. The oldest is only 7!

If you haven't heard of or haven't read either blog, you should check them both out. I feel so lucky that I have my health and that I have a wonderful husband and two great kids who keep me laughing every day. I'm very blessed and very thankful!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Recipe # 6

Since we had a potluck with family on Sunday, I didn't make anything new. Instead I made the Garlic Chicken Farfalle for the potluck and my entire family loved it. That is the best thing to make for potlucks cause it makes a ton and there was plenty for everyone to have some. So, last night is when I made something new. I made my friend Julie's recipe, Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup. It was delish! You can find the recipe here. My kids who are pretty picky eaters even loved it. I had some leftovers today for lunch too! Thanks for the great recipe Julie! Tracy, I thought of you yesterday while I was making it. You need to try it!

I didn't use bread bowls like she suggests because I didn't know where to get them from. I want to get them the next time I make it though. Does anyone know where in AZ I can get bread bowls at? I also cooked my chicken in the crock pot on high for 3 hours and then shredded it before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. I love making soups this time of year cause they are easy and they are great for cooler weather. I know 90 degrees during the day isn't very cool, but it does get nice and cool at dinner time. This is so YUMMY!

We have a new Bear!

Cole recieved his Bear in Scouts on Tuesday night at Pack meeting. He will now be a Webelo in December. Wow, I can't believe that! We are so proud of him and he was super proud of himself too. He is going to run for Vice President of the Student Council at school next. We'll be cheering him on for that. I've added a few updated pictures of him at his football party and of him getting his trophy. It's under the post Football Champs, in case anyone wants to check them out.

Here's our handsome Bear. Look at that smile. That is Sister Buckmister, one of his leaders in the background.

Here is the Cubmaster handing Cole his awards. He got 2 arrow points and his Bear. Way to go Cole! :)
Cole is supposed to be pinning a Bear pin on me. Right as Nick took the picture, Cole dropped it, LOL.

Sunday with Cousins!

Sunday my nephew who just turned 12, was ordained a deacon. We were able to go to his ordination, which was really nice and then we all got together for a potluck afterwards. We don't see our cousins that often, so it was nice to get together and have some time to chat.

Here is my 5 year old niece pulling Jacob in a wagon. He is a big kid and two years older than her. She was struggling with that! The 2nd picture is of the 2 of them playing with my older niece's dog, Maggie. Sadie loves Maggie and carries her everywhere when she sees her. Poor dog, I don't think she likes it very much and Sadie never lets her down either! Maggie is even in the wagon with Jacob. :)

Here is Cole and Savannah. They are the exact same age, but Savannah is a little taller than Cole. He was pulling her around in this small stroller thing and her legs were all over the place. It was so funny, cause they kept hitting the floor. She didn't know what to do with them. Cole was trying to push her over the door jam to the outside, but he was struggling with that a bit. Her legs kept getting in the way! :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Ode to Sugar!

Oh my dear sugar, how I love you cause you taste oh so sweet. Yet how I hate you cause you're not good for my body. Three years ago I stopped eating you and felt better and lost a lot of weight. Then something made with your sweet substance tempted me and I could no longer fight my feelings any longer. I gave in to the temptation and haven't been able to stop eating you since. I started trying to substitute you with Nutrasweet, until I read that they originally made that to kill rats. That was poison I was putting in my body so again, I went back to my original true love. Just today I ate a piece of leftover cake that someone from a party last night convinced me to take. I knew I should resist but my children were tempting me to take it cause they promised they would eat it. Well no kids or husband are home right now so the cake sits in the kitchen taunting me with it's lucious sugar filled buttercream frosting. How could I say no? Then forgetting about the cake I had just eaten I thought I would make sugar cookies for the kids to frost and decorate for Halloween when they get home. How could I not? The dough tastes just like sugar cookie dough should taste. Filled with your delicious substance. Just wait til they are covered in yummy, sugar filled frosting. You make chocolate taste the best, and that is by far the hardest to resist. Why do you tempt me so, dear sugar? Exercise I must, but where and when can I fit that in? Oh you're my weakness and I wish I could hate you, but hating you isn't an option so I will try my hardest to avoid you and not give in to your daily temptations. So I bid you farewell until next time one of your devine desserts calls to me like a Siren, making it oh so hard for me to say, "not this time, dear sugar"!

This is for everyone out there who has an addiction to sugar! Hi, my name is Sheri and I'm addicted to sugar! Whew! I admitted it and that is the first step. :) My work here is done. I'm off to bake those sugar cookies for my kids so they can frost me one when they get home! HAHA! If you all want the recipe I found it here. Now does anyone have a recipe for Monkey Bread? I've been wanting to make that for awhile now. :)

Please share your weakness. It will make me feel better if I'm not the only one with an addiction to something, LOL. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Founders Day

Every year our City of Maricopa, celebrates it's "birth" by having a founders day celebration. Our little city started out as a small town many years ago. Five years ago, due to all of the growth, it became a city and these celebrations have gotten bigger over the years. Saturday was this years and there were 9000 people there! It was amazing and despite the wind and the chill in the air, we had a lot of fun! I didn't take too many pictures cause I was busy looking at everything there. Here are a few from the day. Savannah was with us for Saturday also. We were going to come back later that evening to see the band Lifehouse and see the fireworks display, but it really got too cold so we decided not to do that. I heard they were really great though!

They had a balloon lightsaber made and were having lightsaber fights. Look at all the people in the background.

Jacob's lightsaber broke and boy was he mad!

In this picture he's yelling at Cole for making his lightsaber break and Cole is taunting him. Um, it's a balloon Jacob! :) Savannah thinks they're nuts!

Here's our little cowboy again. This was after the lightsaber incident, so it put him in a happy mood again. He was sad this saddle wasn't attached to a real horse. :)

Monday, October 13, 2008


It really cooled off this weekend, so we decided on Friday night to do something fun outdoors with the kids. We took them to Rawhide to see doom town that they have there during October. I must say, it was pretty creepy. My niece, Savannah, who is Cole's exact age, was hanging out with us and all 3 of the kids were pretty scared. We saw the headless horseman, the coffin maker a scary clown man and some other unknown creatures. I was freaked out cause some scary man kept following behind me a little close. I had to run just to lose him. My niece thinks he had a crush on me, haha! I don't think that's true. He was doing the same thing to all the women there.

We decided to venture through the haunted house and that was even more creepy! Mike Myers came at us with a chainsaw at the end of the haunted house. I've never seen the kids run that fast before. I was laughing so hard that I had tears when I came out of there. I had Savannah and Jacob hanging on my arms and hiding behind my back. Cole wouldn't let go of Nick for one minute either. Jacob loves Rawhide cause he loves to see the cowboys that walk around. He got dressed in his cowboy gear complete with his Mickey Mouse cowboy hat and his boots! :)

Jacob ---- Cole

Here they are acting like real cowboys behind this cowboy cut out. Sometimes night pictures turn out blurry on my camera. Not sure why. Savannah is in the middle.

Here's me and the kids in this old, rickety horse carriage. I was a little nervous that we would make it come crashing to the ground cause it is so old.

This is the creepy guy that kept following us around. Savannah had to keep her eye in him. I was nervous too. I didn't dare get too close and I'm posing in my running position for a quick getaway. HAHA! :)

The coffin maker was measuring Jacob for a coffin. He kept following people with his big stick.

Here's our little cowboy. He really wanted to ride a real horse but all of the real horses had scary people riding them like the headless horseman. He kept his distance from them. A skeleton from the haunted house squirted water on us so that's what is on his shirt in case some of you are wondering if that's sweat or something else.

We managed to get the little rascals in jail, but they soon found their way out and before you knew it they had repented of their ways and were being sworn in as honorary sherriff's! :)

Here's a picture of them with their new boss, the Sherriff!

Jacob was intrigued with the real cowboys there that could twirl their guns around. He tried doing it like them, but he needs quite a bit of practice still.

Here's Mike Myers as he comes chasing people with his chain saw at the end of the haunted house. He was being shy so I didn't get a very clear picture of his face.

We had such a good time there! I haven't been to Rawhide before at Halloween time, so it was neat to see all the fun things there. It's free to get in, but then they do charge you for things to do once you're in there. We didn't eat there, but I did have a craving for steak once we left. I have no Sunday recipe this week cause we barbecued steaks for Sunday dinner, in honor of Rawhide! HAHA. I also think that the Charlie Daniels song I have on my playlist goes perfect with this post! :) Happy Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Recipe # 5

I didn't cook on Sunday cause we got invited to dinner, thanks for that by the way, so my dinner that was going to be on Sunday was actually on Tuesday instead. It was a new one to us. I've never made it before, but it turned out really good. We all really liked it. Even Cole who is picky about his chicken. It wasn't too orangey tasting either.

Crock Pot Chicken Ala Orange
8 frozen boneless skinless chicken -breast halves
12 oz Jar orange marmalade
1/2 cup Russian dressing
1 tbsp Dried parsley, or to taste

Place chicken in slow cooker. Combine marmalade and dressing. Pour over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley. Cover. Cook on low 4-6 hrs. Serve with rice.

This is what it looks like in the crock pot. I've started using those crock pot liners. They are so nice and really make an easy clean up!

Here is what it looks like when it's done. It's better served over rice but this was Cole's plate. He can't have different foods touching each other. :) I poured some of the leftover sauce onto my chicken.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Family night at the park!

Monday night we went to a park in Chandler and met my sisters and their kids there. It's been a long time since we've all seen each other. I guess that's what happens since I live way out in the country, so I'm told. :) We had a good time. Desert Breeze park is always a fun place to go. The boys are out of school this week due to fall break, so we made it a day yesterday. We went to Target so they could spend their hard earned money and we went to a halloween store to get their costumes. Jacob was a little scared in there, the silly goose. He kept insisting that if we didn't get out of there soon, he was going to have nightmares! Such a drama king sometimes. :)

Jacob and my 5 year old niece, Sadie, were going pretty fast on this swing and this was just BEFORE Jacob flew off. Yes, flew off and landed in the dirt with a big thud! It happened so fast that I didn't have my camera ready.

My little monkey. Seriously, I can't believe this crazy kid hasn't gotten a broken bone yet!

There was a splash pad there and they didn't get in, but they sat on these toys that squirt water and I was seriously ready to crack up if the water would have come on!

He's all boy! He likes climbing on just about anything. This was a nice rock he decided to relax on.

Like I said, no broken bones, and for that I'm grateful. He scares me sometimes! He's not such a great example to Sadie.

All of them decided to take part in hanging off of a high fence with nothing below them except the hard ground! Crazy kids!

Football Champs!

Football is now over. Jacob had his last game Thursday night and Cole had his last game on Saturday. Cole actually had two on Saturday cause his age group played in a single elimination tournament and then he played in the championship game. His team, The Broncos, had an undefeated season and won the championship game! It was an exciting day! Here are some pictures and video. I didn't get a video of either of them scoring a touchdown, Cole made at least one sometimes two per game, but he was so dang fast that I didn't hit record in time. The videos are mostly for my mom who mentioned that she was sad she wouldn't be able to see any of their games. Here you go mom/Nene, these videos are for you. :)

Here is Jacob running after someone and then he just stops suddenly. :)

Here is Cole on defense blocking a pass!

Here is Cole running really fast and he almost makes a TD! This is from the Championship game and it was so good!

Here is Jacob at his team party with the other players from his team.

He sure loved the cake that we had there. Not sure why he has to do this with every piece of cake he eats. :)
Here is Jacob with his trophy. Not sure what that expression means. Then here he is with his coach/dad!

Here is Cole's entire team after they won the championship game. A local company was there taking pictures and mentioned they may put it on the internet. Cole said he's going to be famous! Yeah, he wishes. :) They were excited to be #1!

UPDATE: Cole had his party last week and so here are a few pictures of him with his team and trophy.

He looks thrilled to be part of the championship team and winning a trophy, doesn't he? The 2nd picture is him with his coach and some team mates.

He's waiting for that cake that I got suckered into bringing home the leftovers. The 2nd picture is of him and his team mates hanging out. They were deciding whether or not to jump in the pool that was right there. No way though! It wasn't heated and way too cold!
Here's Jacob at the party drinking a soda out of a can that he opened all by himself. He was so proud!