Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 Christmas Letter

It's another one of those crazy years for our family...we've been running here and we've been running there!  And as always it amazes us when Christmas comes around because we really can't believe another year has passed...BUT IT HAS!!! We've got or tree all set up for Christmas, started our Christmas baking (which never stops this time of year), shopping is done, and gifts are almost wrapped and of course our families two most favorite things are in full gear...listing to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies all month long!!!  (OK maybe that's moms and Seth's favorite things about Christmas)


We hope that as you are reading this you and your family re well and in good spirits.  DJ, Suzi, Josh (14), Seth (11) and of course Cayla, Craig and our soon to be new grandson, Eric (should be born around December 23 or sooner we hope) have kept ourselves sort of busy this past year.  We are still up in the Estrella Foothills, in Goodyear, AZ, loving the area, watching it and our boys grow everyday!  As always mom and dad seem to live the quiet lives lately while the kids live the exciting lives...perhaps its age, who knows, but it's been kind of nice to sit back and have a pretty quiet year...well other than the kids!!!

The biggest news for our family this year of course was Cayla and Craig's news and that of course was the announcement of a new baby!!  Of course we were so excited to become new grandparents and we can't wait.  Then came the news that the baby was going to be a boy and possibly born on Christmas!  What a great Christmas gift to our family!  Cayla has been doing great during her pregnancy, she looks wonderful, she feels wonderful (OK at times she might disagree with that) but she is doing GREAT!!  Cayla and Craig also moved this summer to the cutes two bedroom town home, with a pool.  It's right across from their church building and in a good neighborhood.  Now lets get Eric into this world by Christmas and things will be perfect for the Holidays!!  As for us, we can't wait to be grandparents, well it took sometime for DJ to get use to the the idea...well maybe he's still getting use to the idea and the boys just think its weird that they are going to be uncles.  Seth just wants to teach Eric all the cool things you can do.  I think Cay better watch out.

Now Joshua started out this year shorter than his mom and now he is as tall if not just taller than her.  He has decided to start growing...which is fine with everyone in the family cuz we were kind of worried he was going to stop growing like Cayla did at age 12, but boy did he fool us!! As always he is busy in scouts and school.  In May he graduated from 8thgrade and is now in High School.  At the start of the year he played for his 8th grade schools baseball team where they took 2nd place in the district.  This year in High School he has already received an Academic Achievement Award in English and an award for showing respect in their Character counts program.  He's keeping very busy with scouts and is getting ready to start working on his Eagle project which he hopes to have finished this next year.  Right now in church he is serving as the Teachers quorum President, which really keeps him busy but we think he enjoys it.


As always, Seth is our crazy child, but we love him and will keep him, even though mom keeps trying to sell him on Facebook to all her friends.  Seth is really having a great year this year at school.  He's got a wonderful teacher who really works with him and sees that he is a pretty smart kid.  He's been getting all "A's" this year, which is AMAZING!!  He's also found a new love this year!!  We've always known that he was a clown/ham, but he has discovered the Drama Club and he LOVES IT!!  They say he's pretty good.  Seth has also worked really hard this year in Cub Scouts and earned his Webelos badge in October and his Arrow of Light!  Hes tried really hard this year!

As for mom and dad, we, we just sit back and try and keep our family going.  DJ is still working with DPS.  This January marks his 20 years with them!  He made a BIG decision this summer and in July retired from the military after 25 years of service...it was a very hard decision for him to do but he felt it was time for a change.  He is still serving in the High Council at church and enjoys that a great deal.  Suzi just tries to keep everyone's life in order.  Helping the boys and her friends when they need it.  Plus try to keep our dogs, Mia and Dakota from tearing the house apart or running away is a full time job.  We don't have 2 kids left at home...we now have 4!!  (Josh, Seth, Mia, and Dakota, oh and lets not forget DJ)

As you can see our family is doing well.  We keep ourselves out of trouble, sorta and busy.  We try and stay healthy!  We try and stay happy and we stay strong in the gospel!

From our house to your, we hope you have a Merry Christmas, and
May your New Year be Fun and Happy!

All our Love,
DJ, Suzi, Joshua and Seth

Recipes for the Holiday Baby Shower

So a few of you have asked for some of the Recipes from the shower.  So here ya go...



ROASTED RED POTATO BITES
from cook book called Party Foods

1 1/2 Pounds red potatoes (about 15 small)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cupHellmanns's or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
10 slices bacon, crisp cooed and crumbled (I sliced before I cooked mine)

1.  preheat oven to 400'. On large baking sheet, arrange potatoes and bake 35 minutes or until tender.  Let stand until cool enough to handle. 
2.  Cut each potato in half, then cut thin slice from bottom of each potato half.  With small melon baller or spoon, scoop pulp from potatoes leaving 1/4 inch shell.  Place pulp in medium bowl; set shells aside.
3.  In medium bowl, lightly mash reserved pulp.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Spoon or pipe potato filling into potato shells.
4.  Arrange filled shells on baking sheet and broil 3 minutes or until golden and heated through.
Makes 30 bites
(I made these the night before without placing under the broiler until I was ready to use them, they worked out fine!)

PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE PIE BITES
from the Betty Crocker Fall Baking Recipe Book

1 box refrigerated pie crust, softened
3 eggs
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin (I used freshed pumpkin I rendered down)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Chocolate Drizzle (optional)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

1.  Bring pie crust to room temp for 15 minutes.  Unroll pie crust; using rolling pin, roll out each crust to 12 inches.  Use 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter to cut 15 rounds from each crust.
2.  Heat oven to 350'.  In small bowl, beat 1 egg white (reserve yolk), brush dough rounds with egg white.  Press rounds, eggs wash side up, into 30 miniature muffin cups.  From leftover dough, cut small pumpkin stems about 1/4 inch long; attach to top of each dough round.
3.  In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Add pumpkin, reserved egg yolk, remaining 2 eggs, the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice; beat on medium speed until smooth.  Spoon 1 generous tablespoon filling into each dough cup.
4.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until filling is set and crust is lightly browned.  Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. 
6.  In small microwave bowl, microwave chocolate chips uncovered on high 1 minutes, stirring once, until softened and chips can be stirred smooth.  Stir in oil.  Spoon into small resealable food storage plastic bag; seal bag; Cut off tiny corner of bag.  Squeez ba to drizzle chocolate over cooled pies.  Store in refrigerator. 

SNOW CAPPED GINGERSNAPS
from Gold Medal Extra Special Holiday Baking Recipe Book

1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 shortening
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 1/4 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Granulated sugar
1 package (6ouces) white baking chips
1 tablespoon shorting
White sparkling sprinkles sugar

Mix brown sugar, shortening, molasses and egg in large bowl.  Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves and salt.  Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.
Heart oven to 375'.  Lightly grease cookie sheet.  Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls; dip tops into granulated sugar.  Place balls, sugared sides up, about 3 inches apart on cookie sheet to wire rack; cool completely. 
Cover cookie sheet with wax paper.  Place chips and shortening in microwaveable bowl.  Microwave uncovered on Medium-high 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, stirring every 15 seconds, until smooth.  Dip half of each cooled cookie into melted mixture; sprinkle with sprinkles.  Place on wax paper; let stand until coating is firm. 
about 4 dozen cookies

BAKED ZITI WITH PUMPKIN AND SAUSAGE
from Toll House Nestle Holiday Recipes
This was one of Caylas favorite dishes at the shower

4 cups (12 ounces) dry regular or whole wheat ziti
1 can (15ounces) pure pumpkin   (I used fresh pumpkin I rendered down myself)
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon slat
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 can (12 fluid ounces) Evaporated Fat Free Milk
4 links (12 ounces) fully cooked Italian-seasoned chicken sausages, cut into 1/4inch slices
1 package (6 ounces) or about 4 cups pre washed baby spinach
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part skin or 2% milk reduced fat mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounce) shredded Parmesan cheese,

1.  Preheat oven to 425'.  Spray 4-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2.  Prepare pasta according to package directions.  Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and set aside for later use.  Drain pasta; return to cooking pot.
3.  Meanwhile, combine pumpkin, flour, garlic powder, salt, nutmeg and cayenne pepper in medium skillet over medium heat.  Slowly add evaporated milk, stirring until smooth.  Cook stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture begins to thinken slightly.  Pour over pasta in pot.  Add sausage and reserve pasta cooking water; stir well.
4.  Spread half of pasta mixture into prepared baking dish.  Top with spinach.  Cover with remaining pasta mixture.  Lightly spray piece of foil with nonstick cooking spray.  Cover ziti with foil, greased-side-down.
5.  Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. Combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheese in small bowl.  Remove foil;  sprinkle with cheese mixture.  Bake uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
I made this up the night before and didn't bake it til I was read to serve it...it worked out perfect, just covered and stored in the fridge over night.
 CRANBERRIES (or POMEGRANATE) AND CITRUS BROCCOLI SALAD
from Betty Crocker Holiday Recipe Book

Tip:  Make the salad a day ahead...it tastes even better when all the flavors blend...but it can be made the day of!

1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing   (I used mayonnaise)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
3 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets (about 8 oz)
1 medium orange, peeled, cut into bite-size chunks (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup pomegranate seed (from 1 pomegranate) or sweetened dried cranberries (I used cranberries)
1/3 cup roasted salted sunflower nuts (I didn't add these)
2 tablespoons sliced red onion

1.  In large serving bowl, mix mayonnaise, orange juice, sugar, salt, and pepper.
2 Add remaining ingredients; toss until well coated.  Store covered in refrigerator. 

HAM AND SWISS BRUNCH BAKE
from Betty Crocker Holiday Recipe Book
This was one of everyones favorite recipes

1 loaf (1lb) French bread, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (I really just used however much I needed to cover)
8 oz thinly sliced cooked ham (I used however much was needed)
8 oz thinly sliced swiss cheese (used however much was needed)
4 eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup progresso plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1.  In ungreased 13x9 inch glass baking dish, arrange half of the bread slices overlapping as needed (I covered the whole bottom, you couldn't see any openings at all) Brush bread in dish with mustard (this is where I just used as much as was needed).  Top evenly with ham and swiss cheese, overlapping as needed.  Top with remaining bread slices, arranging them over first layer of bread slices to make sandwiches. 
2.  In medium bowl, beat eggs and milk with wire whisk until well blended.  Carefully pour over sandwich.  Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour but no longer than 12 hours.
3.  Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, parsley and butter.
4.  Heat oven to 375'.  Sprinkle crumb topping over casserole.  Bake uncovered 30 to 35 minutes or until sandwiches are puffed and golden brown. 

I did make this up the night before, but didn't add the topping til the morning before cooking.  It worked out great.

CANDY CANE CAKE
from Betty Crocker Holiday Recipe Book

1 package Betty Crocker Super Moist white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon red food color
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
VANILLA GLAZE
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon regular vanilla or clear vanilla

1.  Heat oven to 350'.  Generously grease 10 to 12 cup fluted tube cake pan with shortening (do not spray with cooking spray); lightly coat with flour.  Make cake mix as directed on package; using water, oil and egg whites.  Pour about 2 cups batter into pan.  Into small bowl, pour about 3.4 cup batter; stir in food color and peppermint extract.  Carefully pour pink batter over white batter in pan. Carefully pour remaining white batter over pink batter.
2.  Bake 38 to 42 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes.  Remove from pan to wire rack or heatpoof serving plate.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.
3.  In small bowl, mix powder sugar, 1 tablespoon milk and the vanilla.  Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth and consistency of thick syrup.  Spread glaze over cake, allowing some to drizzle down side.  Store loosely covered at room temperature. 

PEPPERMINT CREAM BROWNIE TORTE
from Betty Crocker Holiday Entrees Recipe Book

1 package Betty Crocker Original Supreme Brownie Mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
Peppermint Cream (below)
Dark Chocolate Ganache (below)
10 to 12 hard peppermint candies, coarsely crushed
Chocolate trees if desired

1.  Heat oven to 350'.  Line rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches, with 17x12-inch piece of aluminum foil.  Grease bottom only of foil with shortening.  Make brownie mix as directed on package for fudgelike brownies, using water, oil and eggs.  Spread batter in pan bake as directed. Cool completely in pan on wire rack, about 1 hour. 
2.  Make peppermint cream and dark chocolate gananche.  Remove brownies from pan, using foil to lift.  Cut brownies crosswise to make 3 equal rectangles. Trim sides if desired.
3.  To assemble torte, place 1 brownie rectangle on serving platter; spread with 2/3 cup Peppermint Cream.  Top with second brownie rectangle;  spread with Dark Chocolate Ganache.  Top with third brownie rectangle; spread with remaining cream.  Refrigerate uncovered until serving. 
4.  Just before serving, sprinkle with candies and arrange Chocolate Trees on top.  Store covered in refrigerator.

Peppermint Cream
1/2 cup whipping (heavy) cream
1/2 package (8ounce size) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Beat whipping cream in medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form; set aside.  Beat remaining ingredients in medium bowl on low speed until blended;  beat on medium speed until smooth.  Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.

Dark Chocolate Ganache
1/4 cup whipping (heavy) cream
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Heat whipping cream in 1 quart saucepan over low heat until hot but not boiling; remove from heat.  Stir in chocolate chips until melted.  let stand at room temperature about one hour or until slightly thickened. 

MINI MAC AND CHEESE PIES
from Pinterest

1 1/2 cups Ritz crackers, crushed (I used one whole sleeved and used my food processor to crush the crackers
2 cups white cheddar cheese, grated and divided
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
4 1/2 cups cooked elbow macaroni (about 8ounces uncooked)
One 5.2 ounce container of Boursin Garlic and Herb cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch red pepper flakes
Parsley, for garnish, optional

1.  Preheat the oven to 350'.  Generously spray 8 cups of your muffin pan with cooking spray (I used the mini muffin pans instead and it worked great)
2.  In a large bowl, combine the crushed Ritz crackers, 1 cup of the shredded white cheddar cheese, and the melted butter, mixing well until the mixture holds together and resembles coarse sand.
3.  Divide the mixture among the muffin cups and using your fingers of the back of a spoon, firmly press the crust into the bottoms and up the sides of each muffin cup.
4.  In another large bowl, combine the cooked (and still hot) macaroni with 1/2 cup of the shredded white cheddar, the Boursin cheese, and the butter, mixing well.
5.  In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk sour cream, salt, and red pepper flakes, mixing well.
6.  Add the egg/milk mixture to the cooked macaroni, mixing until all the ingredients are melted and smooth. 
7.  Place about 2-3 tablespoons of macaroni mixture into each muffin cup (you will probably have little leftover macaroni, I did.  Save this and bake it separately, if desired.)
8.  Top each muffin cup with the remaining white cheddar.
9.  Bake the mac and cheese pies until lightly golden on top about 20 to 25 minutes.
10.  Let cool slightly before removing from the muffin pan, garnish with parsley.

PINEAPPLE RASPBERRY PUNCH
from Holiday Celebrations Book

5 cups Dole Pineapple Juice
1 quart raspberry-cranberry drink
1 pink fresh or frozen raspberries
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Ice

Chill ingredients. Combine in punch bowl.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Candy Canes, Eggnog, presents galore...

As always I'm a day late and a dollar short (well when it comes to posting pics and recipes for everyone...the recipes will be on the next blog)!  BUT what a day it ways!!! 
Caylas Holiday Baby Shower was December 1st and boy (haha, I made a funny) but boy did we have fun!! 
There was FAMILY, FRIENDS, FOOD AND FUN to last us the whole season!!!
Cayla had so much fun and truly enjoyed herself.
And might I add...isn't my baby adorable!!!

Family and Friends all seemed to have fun and we can't thank you all enough for coming and spending such a fun day with us! 






Of course the best part of the the whole day was the food!!  
At the top:  Cream cheese Pumpkin Pie Bits
                  Strawberry Cream Puffs
                  Snow Capped Gingersnaps
                  Cupcakes...eggnog, chocolate, and candy cane
                  Ginger bread butterscotch Trifle








We also had: 
Peppermint Cream Brownie Torte
Ham and Swiss Brunch Bake
Cranberries and Citrus Broccoli Salad
Baked Ziti with Pumpkin & Sausage
Roasted Red Potato Bites
and of course to drink:
Pineapple Raspberry Punch

I think the best part of the the whole day was the FOOD!!  You get a bunch of women around FOOD and you know, theres NO HOLDING US BACK!! 

Of course we can't thank all of you enough for coming to the this Holiday Baby Shower for Cayla and Baby Eric...Yes we have the name in case you missed it!!  We are so blessed that you could spend this special day with us!  We hope you enjoyed your time spending it with family and friends!! 



WE LOVE YOU ALL VERY MUCH!! 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Summer in Review

I know...As always I'm a day late and a dollar short...I was down loading some pics off the camera and I realized there were a few pics I should share!  So  I thought I should catch ya'll up on some of the things that happened...so here we go!! 
June started off with Caylas birthday...shall I say how old...it's not nice to tell a womens age but than again she is my baby...she's 20!! 
 Crazy to think that Josh is now 14...Geesh hes growing up fast...hes taller than his big sister now and shes not too happy about that...guess now he can call her his little sister!! 

 So it's July 4th and it started to POUR cats and dogs!!  As you can see we have Lake Hansen behind the boys (and this is after it started drying out), but the weather was PERFECT (especially in the summer)!  So we roasted hotdogs and made smores!!  Had a PERFECT and YUMMY night!!!!! 


We also had a week when Staton and GiGi came and stayed!!  We love it when they come and spend time playing with us!!  They loved playing at Starpoint pool...We spent hours there everyday!!  They loved getting wet by the BIG DIPPER!! 

Meet DJ...the HUMAN JUNGLE JIM!!! 
As always, Summer MUST come to an End!!! 
Then its back to school!!!





Tuesday, August 28, 2012

24 Hours....

(THIS HAS BEEN SAVED IN MY DRAFT FOR A FEW YEARS AND FOR SOME REASON NEVER GOT POSTED SO I DECIDED IT WAS TIME TO POST IT...YES ITS OLD BUT ITS PART OF MY FAMILY STORY SO IT NEEDS TO BE POSTED...SORRY IT SO OLD) 

Sunday, May 30th, our new ward, West Park, met for the first time for one hour and they called our new Bishopric....

Bishop...Jared Schank (No big surprise there...he was our bishop in the Buckeye 2nd ward and he'd only been in a few months, so most of us guessed he'd be called again...;D)

His 1st counselor...Bret Little (I figured he'd get called...I've served with Bret before in our old stk when he was in the bishopric then and he's pretty awesome and funny, plus he's DJ's hunting buddy.)

Then his 2nd counselor...Clint Schultz (now I really don't know him, but I know his wife and she is awesome and Cayla says hes really funny and can play basketball and is crazy on the court!)


Our Stake President called them and said they would meet and set them apart at 4pm. Your asking yourself...why am I telling you the time they are being set apart...because I got a call at 5:12pm from Bro. Northway, Bishops Exec. Secretary, wanting to meet with me on Tuesday. The fact that they set the new Bishopric apart at 4 and I got a call so fast after that could only mean one thing and really didn't like where that was going, BUT there was hope, they didn't ask to meet with DJ...that is until DJ got home that night and said that he ran into the Bishop at the church and he asked if DJ would be willing to support me in ANY calling that was issued to me...I said did you say NO...UGH!!!! LEADERSHIP...Ok not just any leadership, President, the Bishop calls the president. Ok not that I wont serve where the Lord wants me to serve, but I truly was enjoying my life in YW's Just teaching...yep, I know, I caused this myself...I GOT COMFORTABLE...REMEMBER THAT PEOPLE...IF YOU ARE IN A CALLING...NEVER, NEVER GET COMFORTABLE...THAT IS UNLESS YOU WANT TO GET RELEASED!!!


I knew it was going to be the president of something, but what I didn't know. I've served as a primary president before, a stake president, a YW's president, never a RS president. I was pretty sure it wasn't that. I don't think the Lord was that cruel and would do that to the ward! But either way, I felt very unsure of myself. I really don't know anyone in either ward making up the new wards. I know that sounds funny and bad but I've been in my own little world for 3 years.


So I wait and pray for 2 torturous days, I have some names come to me. I write them down. I feel faint, I feels sick, I feel nautous. Is Tuesday ever going to get here!!! It finally comes. But then those feelings just get worst. Will someone just kill me already!!!!


So I get to church but I need a reason to be there cuz I now everyone is going to wonder why I'm there, so I figure I'll get my temple recommend renewed with the stake...I'm soooo good!!! I'll kill two birds with one stone. I wont lie to anyone. I'll just tell them I'm there to renew my recommend...it's the truth!!!


So I walk in with the Bishop and I tell him I would be Happy to except the calling as Primary Chorister!!! Boy I didn't realize how close I was....He extended the calling as Primary President to me!! I was surprised but I wasn't. It'sn not like gong into an already established ward primary... we are starting from scratch. It's a new ward! Then he asks if I'm aware of all those that came from our ward...Nop...I know, I'm bad... plus, I don't know nay of the kids. I'm coming in as a new member to a new ward! What a craziness this will be. But I was able to come up with 3 great ladies to serve with me. I think we will be wonderful group.


So this happen Tuesday night, Wednesday morning at about 6:15, the phone rings. The phone ringing at our house early isn't really that uncommon. Sometimes if DJ doesn't hear his cell phone his work will call. So I jump up and run and look for the phone. Saw it was my moms house and I knew something was up...When I answered it, it was mom and she gave me the news...My grandpa...the kids great grandpa (big papa) had passed away at 4:30 that morning. All I could say at the moment over and over was are you ok mommy?


My grandpa was a stubborn, cracky, pigheaded, old man, who loved my little kids more than life! He would do anything for those little boogers!! He showed a soft side that only his family could see. When people saw my grandfather they didn't see what we saw, we saw a man with a heart of gold!


His funeral was Monday and it was amazing to listen to DJ and my uncle Dennis as they talked about his life! My heart broke as I watched the great grandkids try to understand that Heavenly Father has a plan and that we are all a part of it. But what an experience for them to see the military honor their grandfather in a 21 gun salute. That is something they will always remember.


I'm grateful that my mom had that last day with my grandfather. It was a great day. She was able to spend hours visiting with him. He was doing so well. This all came kind of as a shock to all of us. You see a few months ago, we would have expected this, but right now, he was holding his own, but this just shows you that we live on Gods time and its all in his hands.


So as you can see...I had a pretty stressful 24 hours.

It's that time of year...AGAIN....

(OK SO THIS BLOG GOT POSTED WAY LATE!!!  THIS IS FROM 2 YEARS AGO, ITS BEEN SAVED IN MY BLOGS AND NEVER WAS POSTED SO I DECIDED I NEEDED TO POST IT! BETTER LATE THAN NEVER)

WOW!!! I can't believe it's that time of year again. Really, how does time fly by so fast? However, some days feel like they last FOREVER, but other days are over so fast. Some say its age that makes time fly, but again I think it's kids...follow me on this one...they run you from here to there, they need this and that, and mess up all of that...so of course you never have time for ANYTHING and before you know it ~ YEP...the day is over and you didn't get ANYTHING done! But hey it's all good and that's what moms are for, RIGHT?!?!


This week is our School Book Fair. I love it when our school gets the book fair! BUT its a lot of hours for my friend and I. We are usually the only two that work the fair and well, anything else that happens at the school this year. BUT that's OK, it's ALL FOR MY KIDDOS!


BUT the books, they are crazy this time. Like today, we were looking at this one book...YOU TALK ABOUT SCARY! We actually gave ourselves goose bums as we were readying what this book was about. It had a scary looking dead ghost girl on the cover and then as we were readying it, the air clicked on in our room, made us cold and well, we kind of scared ourselves. I think the best part was as we were going around (when there wasn't any classes visiting) looking for all the scary books, my friend had her back to me and she said "Now I feel like someone is watching me." I just started laughing, cuz I just happened to be staring at her back. She felt my stare and it gave her the hebe jebes! I LOVE IT!


You know what else it is right now...SCIENCE FAIR time! Josh has built the COOLEST thing, but I'm telling you, I have NO idea how I'm going to get the big thing to school this week. He built a Trebuchet...basically a BIG, OK it's big to me, but really its not true to size. A trebuchet is like a catapult. This thing is SOOOOO COOL! But really, it's almost as big as me! And it has changeable arms on it which makes it taller! His project is all about physics with levers and weights. The kid came up with it all on his own...funny little guy! (OK maybe he's not so little any more).


The kids, and when I say kids, I mean DJ, too. Had so much fun these last few weeks throwing balls and seeing what will fly farther! Cayla was telling a bunch of her friends about it, and when we were doing the science part (you know running the actual test), all these guys said they wanted to come out and play with it too. (Boys and their toys).


THIS SCIENCE PROJECT IS GOING TO BE THE BEST WATER BALLOON LAUNCHER AROUND...of course that's not what it was made for, BUT that's what it will be used as if I know my boys!

Test your REDNECK vocabulary!!!

So I'm at the store the other day and I see this card and I just have to get it for my brother and my brother-in-law...yes, I got them the same card (sorry Dan and Trav)...but it made me laugh, so I had to get them both the same.  I thought this card was funny and my kids and hubby thought it was funny (then again our family is a bit strange...hummm)...so I thought I would test all of YOUR REDNECK vocabulary and see how you'll do...now most of you probably wont think this is funny at all, but oh well, we did and I'm thinkin thats all that matters, right, right!!!  SO, here we go...lets see how ya do!!!


See if you can use these words in a sentence: (no peeking at the end of the blog)

BASS
CHEER
RANCH
DID
BARD
RAT
AWL
FAR

SO, did you come up with your sentences...Lets see if they work the way a true REDNECK would use them...

BASS...That was the BASS moonshine I ever had!
CHEER...Pappy sure does like sitting in his rockin' CHEER!
RANCH...Can you hand me the RANCH from my toolbox?
DID...There's a DID possum in the middle of the road!
BARD...I BARD that El Camino from my cousin Jimmy.
RAT...Go down the road and make a RAT turn at the bait shop.
AWL...I need to get a quart of AWL for my outboard motor.
FAR...My still blew up and caught on FAR!

So how'd you'll do? 

And then of course I told my brother I hoped that he would have the BASS birthday ever!!!

Well, we found them funny, hope you did too!! 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The end of the SCHOOL year (I guess thats MAY)

You know its been an interesting few weeks...both VERY GOOD and VERY BAD...for now I think I'll leave the bad out...well maybe. With me you never can tell what I might say or do!  I kind of have a mind of my own...well and a mouth of my own...it kind of has gotten me in trouble over the year......

Oh well, life does go on!!



But to start with the GOOD!! 

Its really a CRAZY thing!!  As many of you have probably have heard by now and if you haven't well then you must have your head in the clouds... you might want to come down...cuz its kind of exciting... the Gassaway house hold is going to be getting a VERY FUN and SPECIAL Christmas gift from Santa this year...thats right!! My Baby girl is going to have a BABY.....

DID YOU ALL HEAR ME!!!! 



CAYLA IS HAVING A BABY!!! Isn't that so EXCITING!!!  OK, not to leave Craig out he did help!!  But Cayla, my baby!!  No, really, its the best thing EVER!!  Well until the next time!!  So they are due December 23...So Seth is hoping for a December 17th day cuz he thinks it will be kind of cool if the baby is born on his birthday, cuz then he thinks he will be the coolest Uncle around.  So who knows we just might have a Christmas baby!  Guess we'll all have to wait and see! Seth was due on Christmas but I had him early and he's kind of hoping for the same thing...lets wait and see what happens together!!  Who knows maybe Seth will get either the BEST birthday presnt ever or the BEST Christmas gift ever...either way December is gonna be FUN this year!!

The next big thing is Joshua's 8th grade promotion.  ------- (I'll work up to that for you)

It was a pretty big end of the year for him...you see he decided to play for his school baseball team this year...the COMETS!!  They took second place in the district!!  Pretty AMAZING if you ask me...but of course you didn't but I'm a mom so I told you what I thought anyways!  He played outfield...usually right field but every now and then he played left...his favorite place is Right, lots of action out there he says. 

He was also very active in NJHS this year...Thats National Jr Honor Society...is pretty much been active in this since 6th grade... he did  have fun with some of the volunteer work they did, like when he worked in a haunted house during Halloween time!  He came home every night looking pretty gross...grosser than normal for a boy his age! 

His 8th grade class took a lot, and I mean a lot of trips this year but I think the coolest and the funnest trip for him was the last trip they took which was to Catalina Island!  Of course it was educational but it was also FUN as he put it!  They showed him that education can be fun!  They did so much stuff...snorkeling, hiking, there was animals, they learned about the environment.  They left at midnight and got home 3 or 4 days later at the same time. 

Then the next day was promotion day.  It was a bit more relaxed then I thought it would be but all the same he was glad it was finished!  The next chapter to his life begins and he starts HIGH SCHOOL!   Hes very excited!  Of course after the promotion we headed out to his favorite eating place...of all the places on earth my kid could go to...where does he always want to go...for birthdays...for anything...lets see...ummm...RED ROBIN, YUMMM...yep thats it!!  What a typical GUY!!! 



Not to leave Seth out but on the last day of school they has an awards Assembly and during the months of April and May our school was doing a bike safety program...they were having people come from the Goodyear police department and from the Phoenix Suns and the Coyotes and just everyone during different times. During the month they would give out awards if you were waring your helmet and stuff like that.  You had to walk your bike in the cross walk and everything.  Pretty much everyone would do what they needed to do.  It was a pretty good program.  Well, how do you pick winners then if everyone one is doing it, I think it would be pretty hard, well somehow Seth got pick for always being polite and he won an award, plus a gift card to one of his favorite restaurants, applebees.  Your probably wondering why its his favorite restaurant.  Well, my kido loves soup and salad and they serve a soup and salad during lunch.  But at times Seth can be very charming to others and can win anyone over with those dimples of his...well anyone BUT his mother and father that is!! 

So during the month of May as you can see we did have so pretty good things happen...like I said there was some pretty bad things, but adding in the good I'd say it was a wash...well maybe...I'll have to wait and see.......CUZ everyone who knows me...knows I see the glass as half empty instead of half full...I know, I'm working on it...ok really I'm  not but I thought I would add that little bit to make us end on a postive not!  Yeah Me!!! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Those songs....

We all have those certain songs we hear that remind us of our youth, places we lived, those we had curshes on, places we visited, etc...don't say you don't cuz I know you do, we all do!  Well one of those songs came on tonight and it got me thinking, again, I know thats hard to believe...

BUT...

I wouldn't want to relive my youth or childhood, I'm not saying it was bad at all, but I wouldn't want to relive it...

...but sometimes I wish I could have the less complicated life I had back then!  Looking back at some of the things I had to deal with during my childhood and youth years, my life was so much less stressful and less complicated than it is now!  Sometimes how I wish for those days!  Back then I thought my would would fall apart over the littlest things, if only I knew!  If only I knew then how life would be as an adult! 

Leave it to an old song to bring back old memories! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Deep thoughts while driving...

I know, me have a deep thought...well it has been know to happen sometimes, not often mind you but sometimes.

This thought came to me Sunday on our way to church.  So at around 1 a.m DJ got called out to a pretty bad accident.  He got home at around 8 a.m.  Which is when we usually leave to church but of course we decided to wait for him when he said he was on his way home...currently we are a one family vehicle, with our one vehicle that's working have problems (that's a long story for another day)...but anywho....

We waited for DJ to get ready.  He shaved and showered, which trust me after working an accident all night is an important thing to do.  Then he got dressed for church and we were out the door within 20 minutes...not bad at all, we were only 5 minutes late for church.  Now DJ barely went to bed at around midnight.  Its a bad habit hes gotten into so you can imagine just how tired he was.  But he was ok on our drive to church...it was when he started slowing down that the lack of sleep started catching up with him...sacrament was very long for the poor guy, but lucky for him he had to run to a few other wards to meet with some Bishops so that kept him awake til we got home!  

As we were driving to church, DJ started telling us about the accident, mainly cuz he wanted to use it as a teaching tool for the boys.  

The accident was actually two different accidents connected together.  A drunk was involved in the first accident, which was pretty bad and then someone using drugs was in the second one, hitting into the first accident causing it to spin out of control.  But in the second vehicle involved there was a lady who may not live and if she does she wont be able to breath on her own ever again...why, one reason, she wasn't wearing her seat belt.  

So of course DJ took this opportunity to talk to the boys about the importance of always wearing their seat belts.  

But it got me thinking...no comments now about thinking...but wearing your seat belt is such a simple law, which we have to protect us.  When we obey this law then we will be safe, but if we break this law, there are consequences, such as a loss of life or something simple like a ticket.  In this girls case it might be the latter.  

Its like the laws our Heavenly Father gives us to help protect us.  Most of these laws, commandments, guidelines, rules, whatever way you want to look at it are so very simple...like reading our scriptures, saying our prayers, attending our church meetings.  If we don't obey these very simple laws from our Father in Heaven then we can't return to him, we wont have his spirit with us always, etc...BUT if we obey these laws we will receive the greatest gifts ever...the gift of eternal life, to return home to our Heavenly Father, to be an eternal Family, to have the atonement in our lives!  And so much more.  Just by doing the simple things our Heavenly Father has asked us we will be protected!!!  

So why is it these simple laws sometimes can be so hard to follow, when there is so much at stake!?!?  Like this girl, it was such a simple law to follow but she took it for granted and now has to deal with the consequences of her actions, however sad they may be.  Its the same with us. We sometimes take these simple commandments for granted.

So there you have my deep thought for the day!  Follow the commandments our Heavenly Father has set for us.  Really they're not that hard, we just make them hard!   

Saturday, February 4, 2012

One month down-11 to go...

Hard to believe we are already over a month into 2012!!!  Already this year has been a busy year for our family and if it continues this way then maybe...just maybe this year will go by fast!!  Which by the way I'm hoping for cuz then Josh will be in high school and maybe life will be a little bit less stressful and crazy for him...oh wait, poor guy, hes my son...life will always be crazy and stressful!!   

The month of January had DJ having surgery (he recovered just fine, so no need to worry about him), me heading to Disneyland with my Aunt and cousin (fun fun fun), pinewood derby for Seth (might I add his last one!!), I think 4 maybe 5 major projects Josh needed to do for school (over kill if you ask me!), issues with our truck and the engine we got but now need to return, which now makes us a one vehicle family.  Plus Scouts (they seemed to have something every time we turned around, merit badge stuff), cub scouts (that in itself is a very long story but one I don't think I'm ready to share yet), long work outs with Teresa and it seems like tons of other stuff!  This was just the month of January! Crazy busy month!!   

It really seemed like something everyday and every week during January.  I'm telling you if the rest of the year is like this...I'll be happy that its going by fast...but at the same time I will be stressing wishing for a time to slow down!!

Heres to February!!!  BRING IT ON!!!  I just might of dug my grave with that statement...oh well...BRING IT February!!!