Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Nice Reprieve

After the disaster with Christmas brunch, Sam and Trudy took us away for a drive later in the afternoon. We went down to South Mountain. It was such a beautiful day! We enjoyed the view of Phoenix and the beauty of the mountain.
Rod and Sam are using the big Bronze Compass to point to different land marks off in the distance.
Here is a close up of the Bronze.And a close up of some of the diagrams on the Bronze. It was pretty cool.
The wind sock showed a nice southeast wind. It was pretty chilly, actually.
The radio towers.
Smile for the birdie! (what does that mean, anyway?)
Merry Christmas, Rod. I love you! You have been such a marvelous gift in my life!
Thanks, Sam and Trudy, for such a nice and relaxing afternoon and evening. Trudy even took us home and made us a wonderful dinner! We are so blessed to have many wonderful friends!

Christmas Brunch Disaster

As is tradition, I invited like 23 people for Christmas brunch at 11. It is something I love to do! Especially if the people don't happen to have family around. I truly wish I could invite more, but there is only so much space in my house! The traditional menu is breakfast burritos and biscuits and gravy. We got up and started cooking at 9 AM. I did 4 pounds of hash browns - done up just right. I put them in the oven to stay warm. Got the bacon in the oven to heat up, and got the biscuits baking, too. We had a crock pot full of gravy heating up. Rod was browning the sausage and I was cracking eggs into a bowl - I had put the hash browns in my huge glass Pyrex casserole pan, covered it with foil to stay warm, and set it on the stove so I could bake the biscuits in the oven. I turned on a burner to heat a pan to scramble the eggs. As Rod was doing the sausage, there was this HUGE explosion! There was glass everywhere! I had turned on the WRONG burner and the Pyrex casserole full of hash browns exploded from the direct heat of the burner. It was a disaster! Just 15 minutes before 11, and the first guests were arriving!
Rod hurried to the store to buy more hash browns and Allen and Nick helped me clean up this awful mess! And I mean it was awful! Just picture 4 pounds of steaming hot hash browns totally infused with shattered Pyrex glass sitting on top of a hot burner. Yikes! I didn't know where to begin. First I turned off the burner (duh). I grabbed a broom and dust pan. Allen started looking for some insulated gloves, and ended up with our good hot pot holder mittens that Rod uses with the sun ovens. They worked great! He scooped the hot mass into the trash can. Really, there was glass all over that kitchen! In places you wouldn't even think of. Nick and Allen scooped and swept and wiped. They used Clorox clean up cloths, which were actually quite a good magnet for all of the little glass shards stuck all over. During the clean up, I punctured one finger with glass, and burned the top of my left hand with hot potatoes.
When Rod got back, we decided not to do the breakfast burritos - it was just too stressful to try to cook 4 more pounds of potatoes and no sausage. We decided not to use the sausage as there were little glass shards all over the kitchen and we felt it would not be safe as the sausage was right next to the exploding pan. We did not want to endanger anyone from our food being infused with glass pieces! We ended up serving biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon and fresh squeezed orange juice (thank you to Rondaleen for many bags of fresh oranges!). There was plenty of food, too. I do have some pretty good blisters on a couple of my fingers (can't wear my wedding ring for a while), but I know the burns will heal up just fine.
Thank you so much, Nick, Allen, and Rod. I don't know what I would have done without you! You were all so helpful and supportive. I love you all! I was so shaken and stressed that I didn't even take any pictures! But my wonderful guys were there to help me through it. And the stress really was unnecessary, though very real to me.
So that is my Christmas Brunch Disaster. I'm sure we will laugh about it in years to come, but it was rather stressful (as I mentioned) as it happened! Lots of the people came, and they didn't seem to mind that we had no breakfast burritos! They all had plenty to eat and there was much friendly visiting and conversation. I'm so thankful that we have many wonderful friends and neighbors that would grace our home on Christmas Morning.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Very Special Night

Tonight was a very special night. My dear friend (on the right), Donna, was finally baptized! She has been attending with us for several years. Her neighbor, and another dear friend (on the left) Shillene, has been talking to her about the gospel for years. Shillene has been bringing Donna and her girls to church and to activities during all this time. She is an amazing member-missionary. Donna's daughters, Jamie and Tiffany, were baptized this past fall. They were so happy to see their mom baptized tonight. President Perkins performed the baptism. He was Bishop when Donna first started coming to our ward. It was an amazing baptismal service, and long awaited! I am so excited for Donna and will cherish her friendship always. She has an amazing testimony of the Savior, and of Joseph Smith and the restoration. I know she will influence many people for good. She was an amazing missionary even before she was able to get baptized herself!
Congratulations, Donna! We love you!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

An Early Merry Christmas!

We opened our Christmas presents a week early because Becca will not be with us for Christmas this year. We had quite an enjoyable morning with Becca and Nick. They are still kids...
What's in the stockings?
Ah! The traditional Christmas pajamas!
Just what she wanted, a little Cannon digital.
Thanks, Katie!
Thanks, Julie!
It's funny how socks and underwear are quite exciting when you are older... Shoes, and Jeans, too!
Nick got himself this amazing little helicopter. I told him if he would wait, that Santa would bring it to him, but he wanted it NOW!
We had such a fun morning! Merry Christmas, Becca and Nick!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Saturday - what a busy, fun day!

Saturday was busy from start to finish. We had biscuits and gravy for breakfast, and Cooper went shopping with Rod and got everyone a treat to eat a the movie, Tangled. What a cute movie! Then we headed to Mesa to go to Organ Stop Pizza. We got there early so we could get a good spot in line. The kids entertained themselves while we waited.
Cooper found a good climbing tree.
We were first in line, and got to order our pizza and find a good seat. Just as we finished eating, the show started. This huge organ comes up out of the floor and the guy that plays is fantastic! The whole room is alive with the music he makes. What a talented musician! And the organ is beautiful! There are pipes everywhere, and percussion, too. I have never seen anything like it!
Savannah was pretty happy with the whole thing!
Cannon is such a flirt!
Luka loved his pizza, and when the music started he was so excited. He pointed, and bounced to the music.
Even Cannon was delighted with the music.
My beautiful girl.
He played some wonderful Christmas music and lots of popular songs.
Then we went over to the Mesa Temple grounds to enjoy the lights. Two more beautiful girls!
Cooper and Savannah liked the water.
The lights were so beautiful.
Me and my wonderful sweetie. Thanks for all your hard work and support to make this such a wonderful weekend! I love you!
I love the lights at the Mesa Temple. Merry Christmas!
I am so glad that Katie and Ryan were willing to make the sacrifice to drive their four lively children all the way to Phoenix to spend this time with us. What treasured memories we have made! Thanks for coming. We love you and we miss you! I must say, it was a very quiet and lonely Monday morning with no little people around.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Phoenix Children's Museum - Something for Everyone!

What do you do the day after Thanksgiving? You have your friends come and drag you out of bed, blindfold you, place a birthday girl crown on your head, and take you to IHop for breakfast! After that, you hop in the car and drive to the Phoenix Children's Museum with your niece and nephews. I was totally impressed with this place! It had something at every exhibit for every kid. I think my grandkids were in heaven! There was so much to do and so much to see that we could have spend days at that place!
The Flying Bathtub.
I thought this boat in the air was hilarious!
Caged up Cooper!
Hi, Cannon!
Luka riding through the Car Wash.
Katie wanted to take these trailer bikes home.
Seems like Luka attracts stray little girls where ever he goes...
The boys loved the Lego table. You can see where Cannon got hit in the face with the swing at the park yesterday. Poor baby! He gets so beat up, but he just wants to be in the middle of all the action! His brothers and sister are so cute to play with him and include him in everything.
Cooper concentrates on construction.
They all liked the air tubes.
Hmmm.... how does this thing work?
The lighted sand table. Beautiful!
Vannah and cooper made paper chains to count down the days till Christmas.
The noodle forest. Cannon had a blast running through there. Katie had a hard time keeping track of him!
Luka is weighing legumes at the store.
Cooper is checking out the groceries.
Cannon is designing his own Pizza.
Savannah shows off her salad.
Maybe it will fit in this end...
Easy Rider.
What an amazing place! A Fabulous Black Friday. We didn't even have to fight traffic or shoppers. We walked down to the Arizona Center for lunch in between museum activities, and enjoyed yet another beautiful November day.