Sunday, November 30, 2008

Luscious Green GRASS!

You don't know how homey and comforting and welcoming it is until you move to Arizona. Then you get crazy for it. Like you've been thirsty for a long time but just didn't know it. And then every so often when you do see something green, you just start breathing deeper and you feel like you just drank a really tall glass of cold water.

I've been really dehydrated. We had to have some green.

And now, after countless calories, beads of sweat, and hours of manpower, we have a front lawn!

This is how it makes me feel:
Notice the luscious green background? Yeah, that's grass. And it's on our front yard! :)

Pie Party

Pie Party is code for luring family and friends to come and sing and play with you! For me, it was an extension of my overflowing feelings from Thanksgiving: for Friends, Family, the dozens of people who helped us turn rocks into grass in our front yard, for abundance of food, for glorious music and for people to share it with.

And to Adam Dibble for letting me steal his cool photo collage from that night!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Much to be Thankful For

This rainbow appeared on Thanksgiving, reminding me how thankful I am for rain. And the beauty of nature.
And bounteous food prepared lovingly from scratch. And to be surrounded by family ...who I think we wore out because they worked really really hard to make a wonderful day for the whole family...
Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Matt's Mission CALL!!!

My 19 year-old brother Matthew has just received a mission call from the Headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
We had a family conference call this afternoon, with 14 of us on the phone as he opened the letter and read it out loud!

He is postponing college and girls and YouTube and he is going to serve and work and help people learn more about Christ and our gospel for 24 months!

He has been asked to check into the MTC (Missionary Training Center) on March 25th, 2009, and he has been asked to serve the people in .................(drumroll, please!).............................


AHHH!! We are so excited for him (x 10) ! And we are so grateful to him for his example of worthiness, selflessness and service.

We love you MATT!! You're going to learn Japanese! Holy cow!

Now excuse us, we're going to go to Wikipedia and learn everything we can about Nagoya, Japan!!

Field Trip!

I got to rock out with the 3rd graders yesterday!

Would you believe me if I told you that our tour guide's name was Crystal? It's true.

Our favorite part was the plates of food made all out of rocks! Crunch ~ Crunch!

What a fun class trip!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It Turns out the Millionth Kiss is Even Better Than the First

That was us 10 years ago today.

That's us now. We have more chins, but we still like each other! :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Twilight Girls

It's so fun to have some girlfriends to go to a chick flick with!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Did I mention we were in the Paper this week!! :)

Check it out!

Lizzie was thrilled to see herself quoted at the bottom. She didn't make it into the print version, so she was happy to be here online!

I love the article, but the only part I don't like is that it sounds like I'm implying that without the CCC, I just stay in bed and nothing will get me out. And really, it was only like that once in a while. ;)

Oh - and also the reference to "2nd string violin!" Isn't that funny? It sounds like a football team and if the First String of violinist got knocked out from an errant bowing, I would be brought in as backup! Or maybe it means that I only played my Second String. I just love that "A"!

You can read the Article HERE! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What has Adam been up to Anyway???

Not to be out-projected, Adam has taken on the FRONT YARD.

Just to give you a brief History of Our Front "Yard":

- It has had no drip system since we moved in two and a half years ago.
- The big Green Ficus tree Froze in January 2007. It turned brown and crispy.
- The big Brown Ficus tree was chopped down in February 2008. Only a stump remained.
- The stump started growing into a Green Leafy Ficus bush.
- Adam decided to start trimming our Ficus Bush. It became a Green Ficus Cube.
- Discussions were had on whether we could trim our Ficus Cube into a Ficus Pumpkin for Halloween.
- The Red Yucca never shot out its Red Yucca parts (perhaps because it was never dripped on?), so it just looked like a Dingy Yucka.
- The large bush at the front of the "yard" obscured our water meter, which resulted in 6 months of outrageous water bills.

So as you can see, it was time to take a Hatchet (not a Scalpel) to the Shame of Fairview St.

Enter Mike Neerings, my cousin-in-law! He works for a place that makes sprinkler supplies! He sent us a timer and other yard-watering system necessities. Adam spent weeks tweeking and tuning the pipes and digging in the dirt. He ended up having to dig several tunnels. At that point, we decided we might as well put our sprinkler system in now rather than later. It would be easier now, we thought.

Well, there is only one small detail standing in the way of an Arizonan going from xerascape to lushious grassyscape.

Rocks. Tons of them. (Literally.)

We dug and scraped and shoveled and after 6 feet deep of rock removal, do you know what we found? More rocks. There was just no end to those rocks.

Now, you may be familiar with the game "Rock Band." Adam is lucky enough to have a friend, Shane, who invites him over to play this and other games with him for a Guys' Night Out kind of event. Adam decided it was his turn to play host for the Guys' Night Out. Only this was a Different version of Rock Band. The end result yielded much more expended calories and improvement of my yard than when they go to someone else's house.

Adam didn't want to hoard all the fun to his adult friends, so a few days later, he invited the Teacher's Quorum to the party. This time it was a Roto-tiller party. It involved a very manly-man machine and alot of dirt.
Because, once you get all the rocks off, they don't tell you that in Arizona, even the acutal dirt is not really dirt. It is cement. Caliche, for short. It means that even with this manly machine, you can not break through it. Caliche - it's tougher than a manly roto-tiller.

Did you notice our Green Ficus Cube? Well, it's gone now.

Hey Guys, thanks for coming to our Rock Party. Next time, you can host.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cowgirl Comin' to Town

These boots were made for Horseback Ridin'. And Lizzie's wearin' them.

Yeh see, she's had a dream of ridin' horses since she was born. Now, eight and a half long years later, she's finally learnin.

She was a Happy Girl tonight!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Halloween on Veteran's Day?? So sue me.

The Halloween Wrap-up! Adam was Himself 15 years ago... This is what a Busy Mom's Halloween costume looks like. I happened to be wearing a zebra-striped shirt that day...add some fake lashes, and voila... Zebra!

This was the Annual Pre-Trick-or-Treating Chili Dinner - the only way we actually get to eat a decent dinner before the candy influx - Thank you McCooks!
This is the face of Halloween Night anticipation!!

This is after we have Tricked and Treated ourselves to exhaustion. Now we're all hanging out on the driveway passing out candy to the last trickle of Treaters.
This is Lizzie playing with the Funny Glasses.
Oooh! Scary Ninja with the humungo glasses!
This is Ivy after asking if we can have some of her hard-earned candy:

This is what the beginning of a late night sugar crash looks like. Time to go to bed!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Park Time!

This is what we do after school when the weather finally cools down: We sit in the shade and talk while the kids play in the greenbelt after school.

We've been waiting three months since school started for it to finally cool down enough - and this week, it finally did!

Thanks for taking the picture, Ivy! :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


The kids brought home their school pictures today!

Here's Eli's:

You probably think it's pretty cute, huh.

But if you know Eli, you know that he has lips. So look carefully at the picture.

This is what we call in our family "Eli No-Lips." It's this game that the kids play when they smile a ridiculous smile in which the lips are pulled in and tucked up into the gums and completely out of sight. The kids regularly make this face to drive me crazy.

Couple that with his mischevious twinkle in his eyes, and what do you get? A pre-meditated prankster picture! Argh!!

It reminds me of another school picture taken of another such mischevious prankster a few years ago. Check this out:

The truth is, Matt doesn't even wear glasses! Can you imagine holding that pose wearing fake glasses without cracking while the school photographer took your picture??? Takes alot of guts, I say. And for the record, this was way before Twitch came along with his fake glasses.

And Matt didn't even tell my mom - he just brought home the school pictures a few months later and dropped them in front of her on the kitchen counter. She almost had a heart attack.

It's like Eli's been taking lessons from him or something.

Oh, and today is Matt's 19th Birthday!! Keep Smiling, Brotha! Cant' wait to hear about your mission call!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ivy Stewart

Did you know what we just found out? Well, Adam's ancestor, Levi Stewart settled Kanab Utah back in the 1800's and he had a great-granddaughter born 1889 named Ivy Stewart! Ha! We didn't know "Ivy Stewart" was a family name! Isn't that cool?

Hooray for geneology!

Ivy's a swimmer

Ivy is a swimmer!

It's really a must here in Arizona especially when you have a diving pool in the backyard. But we are so proud of all she has accomplished in swimming lessons in the last six months!

Check her out! She's graduated from the Otter Class!