Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

More posts to come in the new year ...
I know you're so excited!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I really should know these things!

Am I the only one who didn't know that the Queen was married??? And why isn't he called the King??? She's such a rascal ...

Oct 15, 10:00 am ET

LONDON (Reuters Life!) – Britain's Queen Elizabeth stunned theater-goers in London this week when she and her husband slipped in to see a play unannounced and at the last minute, newspapers reported.

The queen and Prince Philip apologetically squeezed past other theater-goers to get into their seats for the West End production of World War One play "War Horse" at the New London Theater.

"The Queen and the Duke sat down as the lights dimmed and it was a huge shock when people realized who they were," said a journalist at the show for The Lady magazine. "They were incredibly apologetic for asking people to let them past and there was no hubbub or fuss about it all."

The queen and her husband often make incognito trips to the West End, but are rarely spotted, an aide told London's Evening Standard newspaper.

"The Queen has regularly undertaken similar private visits throughout her reign without any fuss," the aide said. "It allows her to live a bit more of a normal life."

The journalist from The Lady said the queen appeared to enjoy the performance, disappeared during the interval and then reappeared discreetly.

"When they left at the end, they were given a round of applause, which the Queen acknowledged with a wave," she said.

(Reporting by Paul Casciato; Editing by Steve Addison)

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Yestehday, I was back East, wheh people don't say theh "R's". They say things like ... "Let's go get in the cah!"

Connecticut, Massachusetts & Rhode Island = magnificent.

Now I'm home, in the West, where we say our "R's" a bit differently ... but I'm choosing to say them like they do in the East for just a little while longeh.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's here ...

It all started when this little guy was about eight-years-old.
Oh my goodness how time has flown!

Keaton wanted to play football. I had never had a child play football before and I was a little nervous about it, but we registered him and purchased our first jock strap together.

Pop Warner was a serious business. The first two weeks they practiced Monday through Thursday for 2 1/2 hours in record breaking heat (because every summer here seems to break some kind of record). The coaches were loud and the parents were louder. I soon found myself feeling like I had found my long lost everything and I was eatin' it up like Mint Chip Ice Cream. Keaton, on the other hand, decided that it was not for him. I remember it like it was yesterday. My sweet, innocent, little boy, clinging for dear life to the headrest on the back of my seat in the car ... and me putting all of my weight into pulling his sweet soul out onto the warm, green grass. I would begin teaching the lesson of commitment & perseverance, and it was a hard lesson to teach.

He finished the year, and year after year he decided to do it again.

Tomorrow this little guy is playing his first game of his last year. A Senior on the Varsity Football Team. I can barely type the words without my chin quivering.

I'm so excited I can't even stand it!

I don't know where the time went, but this boy has given me more joy than I could have ever imagined.

This boy.
This game.
This weekend.
It's here.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wish me luck ... and make your appointment!

Today is a great day for a Mammogram!
I have my appointment this morning ... when is yours?

Hopefully there will be no "bumps in the road".

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm trying to come back ... really I am.

So you're wondering where I've been eh? Well I've been on an extended visit to a place called Stressland. Maybe you've been there? I don't know if I remember how to write. Surely I've forgotten how to spell. I feel the titanium plate in my head morphing into it's own little robot trying to make an escape far away from my crazy brain. Maybe writing more will help me escape things as well.

Things that have happened since I last posted:

I can no longer wear contact lenses ... the ole' eyes are too darn ... old. In fact, my new bi-focals are waiting for me to pick up at Walmart. Old I tell you!

I graduated from Elementary School! That's right. All of my children are either in Junior High, High School or College ... or working full-time and recording a CD. I'm super proud of them all and I'm happy to be done with Elementary Orchestra concerts ... the agony!

Gary is gone a lot. I only saw him one day last month, but it was a really good day.

I am working full time, which I have already been doing for the past two years, but now I am doing a lot of training and going into "my office" a lot more because I enjoy acting important.

I am also trying to pretend that I am Gary's bookkeeper and Accountant.
P.S. I've never made it past MA087.

I have a new calling in Church which places me in the position to advise a hand full of girls ages 14 - 16 years old. Last week we took a little trip to the lake and had a lovely sleepover and tonight they will come to my house to make cupcakes from scratch. This is where I start to pretend that I can bake. And they are dying to hear my oldest son sing to them in person! So cute!

As Kacey mentioned, we are knee deep in football season. Every Monday I get to take lunch down to some of the Varsity players so that they can eat and watch film clips of other sweaty football players during lunch. Tonight is Keaton's first scrimmage, but I will be making cupcakes and trying to forget what I am missing. Jake's practices finally moved from five days a week down to two days a week, but we missed certification because my aforementioned brain forgot to tell me that this was going on while I had my girls at the lake. Next Friday will be Keaton's first game and Saturday will be Jake's ... I will just sleep in red and blue on Friday night and be ready first thing Saturday morning.

My car has been breaking down a couple times a month ... but she's runnin' now! During one of my broken down times, I borrowed a friend's car. During this time, I left nearly all of my groceries in the trunk (milk, corn on the cob, avocados) for a 24-hour period of 114 degree weather. I'm not sure I've been forgiven yet, and I had to go grocery shopping twice.

My washing machine broke ... but it's runnin now!

The leak in my roof still leaks as it has for about six years now. But I've placed the bowl directly under the spot that is taking down the ceiling, and now I can enjoy the Monsoon if it ever comes.

My back door knob kept breaking. We have an ugly industrial strength one now that will live forever I'm afraid.

Keaton just texted me to let me know what his number on his jersey will be tonight ... now I am going to cry.

Many little things seem to add up to my little place I call Stressland. I'm trying different types of breathing techniques, which often duplicate the look of intense labor pains. I'm trying to cope.

My kids have been brilliant.

Today I stopped by the cemetery and found that it was irrigation day. I rolled up my pants, hopped out of the car, got Julie on the phone and had a relaxing visit with Kristi. I need these moments more often ...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Where in the world is Karen Shaker?

Hello fellow bloggers. Some of you may remember Karen Shaker. A long long time ago, she used to blog about her life. Unfortunately, she has found herself far too busy to communicate with the outside world. Luckily- she has a daughter that knows her password. Allow me to update you on the life of Karen.

Karen's husband, Gary, has been out of town for weeks at a time working very hard to support their family. So she is holding down the fort alone.

Matt, Karen's oldest son is now 22 years old. He is doing great working as a CSR.

His band and his music are really progressing!
And we trimmed his mullet. 
Kacey, Karen's first and only daughter is 20 and loving life. 
She has been practicing her homemaking skills and has just received her AA degree. She is also doing great with her photography! (Kacey's View)

Keaton, Karen's middle child, turned 18 years old this summer! He is preparing for his last year of high school football. This saddens Karen. For she lives to watch her boy play. 
Keaton now drives himself to school for his senior year!
Jake, the 13 year old boy genius, is still doing well with piano and taking care of his chickens. He just started 8th grade and is beaming with self confidence!
Little Red, Garrison, is now 12. He was given the Priesthood by his father and he just started junior high! He is adjusting well and having a lot of fun being a kid.

Karen should return shortly.... she has many things she is so excited to tell you! Like her new washer and dryer... her new desk... her new calling... her new hair cut.... AND we have a mouse!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


This is my little friend Ashley. Her family lives around the corner from me and I was her teacher in church! I love Ashley! She has tried out for this show four times as she has chased her dream of dance.

She says that tonight, she needs our help. Please check your local listings for Fox's So You Think You Can Dance ...


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's late ... and it's dark ~

It's after midnight and I was just enjoying my late night television while I was listening to the nice, stormy weather we're having ... when all of the sudden I hear a zing and a pop followed by a bright light outside of my bedroom window followed by two more zings, pops and blinding lights.

I sat straight up in my bed (fully encompassed by the same sort of metal that I'm sure was used in the Benjamin Franklin/kite incident) and I wondered if I had just been through a near death experience involving lightening OR if I dared move since my bed was obviously not great for electrical storms.

Jake & Garrison were fast asleep, Keaton was sleeping in a tent at his friends house, but I soon heard Kacey yell from the other room ...

"I'm pretty sure I'm TERRIFIED!"

And then I heard Matthew complaining that Petey (the dog) could not sleep without air conditioning.

So I grabbed my coal miner's head lamp that rests on the metal post of my dangerous bed (doesn't everybody have one of these JUST for situations this catastrophic?) and I decided to put some clothes on before going out to explore my surroundings.

Matthew came out with me, and even though we could see that the whole street was dark, we began to test the breakers ... just in case everybody else's power was out because of the freaky power surge that I beheld, but OUR house would only be a slight breaker problem. No such luck. However, in the process of flipping said breaker switches, I'm pretty sure we caused some permanent damage and I'm now waiting to see if we will be the only ones left without power because we had to go messin' with switches in an electrical storm!

There was a small fire in the ally behind our house. Fire trucks have been nearby, as well as the electric company. The last truck just left our ally and I think he forgot to finish the job ... because alas we are still in the dark.

All of our cell phones need to be charged, and a feeling of being not-so-prepared has come over me like a soggy wet blanket. Then I saw something. I saw a little blue light shining like a beacon in the night. It was coming from my computer! My computer is backed up by battery! YES! I now have access to the outside world for at least 45 minutes! Should I try to reach someone? Should I try to find help for all of my frozen food that has begun the thawing process? Should I quickly learn Morse Code just in case I am left with only my head lamp to communicate with? No. I should blog.

I really need to work on my priorities.

I think it's going to be a long night.

Update: It is now 1:55 a.m. While all of this was going on, a white truck full of blond girls came by and generously delivered some toilet paper all over our lawn and trees. How did they know that we needed this?

The street was all lit again ... except for my lone house. I had to call my father-in-law across the street, who woke up my brother-in-law the electrician ... and they have temporarily fixed the aforementioned breaker. I don't think it was our fault.

While I was traipsing around pretending to be an electrical engineer, I stepped on a tiny piece of glass that is now lodged in my brittle heel because I hate shoes.

My new goal; learn to love shoes.

I was right. Long night.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Boys will be boys ...

Garrison: "Mom! We found a dead lizard, so we decided to dissect it! We cut it open and it was filled with maggots ... so now we're going to go blow it up with a firecracker!"

Me: Covering my mouth and trying not to vomit at the visualization I was just given.

Oh gosh.

Friday, June 5, 2009

On your mark ... get set ... SAVE ~

Thanks Erin! I just found out about this super savin' blog ... and I like it ... so I'm sharing it.

Click away!

The Good Deal Gal

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm a Skyper ~

So I just downloaded my free Skype. I'm a Skyper. I would like to Skype, but I don't know any other Skypers. Do you Skype? Download your free Skype, and let's start a Skyping club.

P.S. I have no idea how to Skype.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

UP ~

If you have not seen this movie ...


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hot pursuit on the Sabbath -

Today was the "day of rest". Ha! I was sooooo tired. During the last hour of church, I was seriously nodding off ... and not just because we were talking about how to store a year's supply of water.

So I came home and had a lovely grilled cheese sandwich prepared by my lovely daughter. I cleaned the kitchen up, started the dishwasher, began a load of wash because I have mountains of dirty laundry that didn't get done yesterday ... and I floated down the hall to my comfy bed for a nice little nap.

I was fast asleep, when a convoy of children (video camera in hand) made their way into my area of slumber as they screamed ugly names and violent threats to one another. So glad we have that on film!

Long story short, teasing turned into fighting and Garrison took the wheels right out of his Heely's, packed his bag, hopped on his bike and ran away ... again.

This is where the remaining fruit of my loins decided that they hadn't been very supportive of their little red-headed brother and redemption had to be made (even though Kacey, Matt & myself were all asleep during the onset of this tumultuous Sabbath experience). Kacey hopped in her car, Matt hopped in his, Keaton and Jake got on their bikes and high-tech Verizon telecommunications aided in their sibling hunt.

Meanwhile, I was still in my bed, still trying to wake up and definitely still wondering what the heck just happened and where I had failed. For any of you who witnessed the trail of Shaker's running amok on wheels throughout the hood ... now you know. Mission was accomplished ... little red was apprehended.

Currently, I am listening to two dogs howling (at the prompting of my oldest son), a rooster crowing (because that's what he does all day and all night long), Jake performing some kind of Gwen Stefani "Sweet Escape" version of the 'WEEOOOOOH WEEOOOOOOH" part only (over and over again because it prompts more howling from the dogs) ... and Garrison has locked himself in the shed in the back yard. Throughout all of this, a request for dinner has been mentioned 13 times.

I think Garrison has the right idea. I'll either be joining him shortly in the shed, or running away myself.

Aaahhhh, the day of rest.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'd rather be ...

Today I found myself wishing that I could run away.
Visions like these ran through my head ...




I decided on all three ...
and I'm cravin' a vacation something fierce!

What three pictures would describe
your perfect get-away?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Giggles ~

I had the most delightful weekend with my sister and three of her wee ones. Since I'm pretty much single these days ... my room was made into THE room. Julie shared my bed (which I won't normally allow with anybody except my husband, but now that she lives in Yuma she gets what she wants. Who am I kidding? She has always gotten what she wants.)

Little baby Jack (who has the best dang cheeks and mouth for smooching) was on the floor with some comfy blankets and Boston was at the foot of my bed in his very own cot. Little Kristi shared a bed with Kacey (or Kace as she calls her).

Lucky for us, all of Kristi's doctors are in Phoenix so they are forced to visit us regularly. If you recall, my sister's name was Kristi Lee ... and she passed away from Breast Cancer. We were sooooo happy to have another Kristi Lee in the family, and unfortunately she was dealt Tuberous Sclerosis. The moral of this story ... do not name your daughter Kristi Lee! But little Kristi seems to be progressing wonderfully. We occasionally sneak across the border to get her "Mexication" for seizures ... which works perfectly. She has her regular visits with the Neurologist, Eye Doctor (whatever ologist that is), Cardiologist and most recently the kidney doctor (yet another ologist of some sort). They keep an eye on her tumors and make sure that they aren't interrupting her organs. She's in the best hands ... and she's a sweetheart.

Not too long ago, I received a package in the mail from the above mentioned sister. I opened it up and found a LARGE, LARGE pair of purple underwear. The size was politely left off of the Walmart tag (who says Walmart doesn't have class), but here is Kacey modeling them to give you an idea of their massiveness.

The underwear came with a note that simply said "IT COULD BE WORSE!" I don't recall having a need to be cheered up that day, but when this package arrived, the giggles were heard from here to Yuma and all the way in between. Who doesn't need giggles?! My Grandma happened to be at my house when I opened the package, and rarely have I seen her giggle like this ... almost to the point of being unladylike!

Laughter is always something that my family has relished. We utilize it so much that we may be called irreverent on occasion, but it gets us through stuff ... lots of stuff.

I think everyone should have these three things in their life ...
and if you don't ... go find them!

1. Cheeks to smooch.

2. Little people around that remind you to have fun.

3. Somebody that creates laughter in your world.

I have all three ... I'm so dang blessed!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Combo Deal ~

My daughter is a fox, and my cousin takes a good picture. They're a great combination! Check 'em out HERE!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kacey got a letter ...

She's been waiting ... and waiting ...
for her letter of acceptance to
Arizona State University.

I knew she'd get in ...
but apparently she was getting a little worried.

So when she came home screaming
"Mom! Mom!" ... we grabbed the camera!

... and read the good news.

She stood there and exclaimed

You go girl.
Aunt Kristi must be very proud.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Text Messages from High School ...

Keaton: Mom I'm so sick.

Me: What's wrong?

Keaton: I can't even swallow. Megan (Prom date) is being tested right now for Mono or some Mexican Flu that's going around.


Keaton: Ya and I shared her drink of water.

Me: Turning pale, feeling flush and having visions of burning down the house to save my family from a pandemic ... since Keaton was in Mexico a few weeks ago.


Me: Gary, Keaton's Prom date is being tested for Mono or Swine Flu and Keaton is now sick.

Start bleaching EVERYTHING!

Me: Turning pale, feeling flush and dreading all the work - very aware that this is bigger than bleach ... now my throat hurts.


Keaton: Mom, Megan says it's just Strep Throat.

You are to breathe on NO ONE!

At least it's not Swine Flu.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Keaton's first Prom ~

Well I went with Paula Deen's recipe for the Lemon Bars, because I thought anything with that much butter HAS to be great!

They turned out delicious ... but I recommend letting them refrigerate for longer than I did to let them set up a bit more.

When all is said and done, nobody is going to care about my Lemon Bars. There are way too many other things to worry about ... it's PROM! I missed Kacey's photography (she's hiking with her Biology class at the San Pedro River ... ha ha, she's in a van down by the river), but Keaton and his group looked mighty handsome.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I need a super fantastic ...


& lovely

recipe for Lemon Bars -

for Keaton's Prom dinner on Saturday!


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Jake!

I can't believe this little man is 13 years old.
Alas, another teenager on the loose!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Christmas in April -

Well that was fun ... I should beg more often! Thanks for the motivation and fab topic ideas. I'll be using those soon.


For over 20 years, I've had a love/hate relationship with Santa Claus. The big guy creates a whirlwind of emotions for me that are not always very jolly.

Every year, I methodically make equal lists of desired objects that will bring smiles to the faces of my wee ones. I fight the crowds, spend the money, stay up all night on Christmas Eve preparing the best possible exhibit upon entry ... and give St. Nick some of the credit!

Occasionally, the choice is placed before me in the form of a question of whether or not to continue the bold-faced lie. As they grow older and have logical questions about fireplaces and reindeer, they begin to inquire. The appropriate age has always been a quandary to me. When exactly are they old enough to be told that we've lied to them since birth?

I guess since the answer to this question is a bit fuzzy ... I've never REALLY answered the question ... to any of my kids ... EVER!

This week was no different.

Jake: "Mom, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny aren't really real, right?"

Me: Dead silence.

Me, a minute later, as I pondered what the Super Nanny would tell me to say: "What do YOU think?"

Jake: "I don't think they're real."

Me: "Well, you'll still get gifts."

Jake: "Ya, I know."

So there it is. A deep conversation with my son about the truths of the universe!

I have no problem talking to my kids about ANY other topic. I am the parent who talks to them about body parts and functions. I talk to them about boys and girls. I talk to them about EVERYTHING! So why is this such an uncomfortable thing for me?

The bottom line here is that I only have one child left to lie to. Truth be known, he already knows the facts of Christmas. But for now, I guess he still enjoys living the adolescent dream ... anticipating what tricks we will play to continue the story on his behalf as the scene is created Christmas morning.

Does anybody else have a hard time telling their kids the truth???

Monday, April 13, 2009

Help me ... help you.

I need to be BEGGED!

I'm worn out.


I'm a bit LAZY.

I don't want to blog.

If you REALLY want me to ...
then come out of hiding and tell me you care!

Do you WANT me to update this blog?


Monday, April 6, 2009

Life goes on ...

Life continues to go on without Gary at home.

My roses have started to bloom. I LOVE that!

Jake is still a chicken "farmer". He LOVES his rooster (Big Tom) and carries it around with him every chance he gets. Don't worry though, he makes sure to wrap it up in one of my good towels ... just in case.

And Keaton continues to amaze us with his athletic ability. Today he brought home a trophy from football practice. It's actually a Softball trophy (he doesn't play softball) ... with a girl on it (he's clearly NOT a girl) ... awarded to somebody in 2007. But when he saw it in the trash can, he just couldn't pass it up. Atta boy Keaton ... you make us proud!