Saturday, January 31, 2009

OH ... MY ... GOSH !!!

I have waited until the day before the Superbowl to post about our Cardinals, because I knew that I could get way out of hand with this topic. So here we are, 24 hours until history takes place.

Regardless of the outcome of this remarkable event, I am super proud of our birds. If you live in Arizona, you know that this has been a LONG time in the making. Until now, it has been kind of embarrassing to house the Cards. Admit it! Season after season of ridiculous losses created a title that we couldn't be proud of. We were always one of the WORST!

LOOOOONG story short, teamwork has finally paid off. Our level-headed coaching staff, a Jesus loving quarterback and a slew of the toughest boys I've ever seen have finally started working together, believing in themselves and have become a team that is now known as Conference Champions, prepared to shock the world!

This game is so exciting I can hardly think about it. I have always loved the Superbowl (partly because we are the same age), and it has always been a big day around our house. But this day ... OH THIS DAY! This is a HUGE DAY!

Let me tell you how a win for the Cardinals will affect my life as a self-proclaimed motivational lecturer (not like the one I gave yesterday in the hallway ... or in the car).

Hypothetical situation A: Daughter comes to me in tears stating that she is never going to be able to graduate with a double major from Arizona State University ... and she is thinking of quitting.

My response: Honey (in my nurturing tone), if the Cardinals can win the Superbowl, then you can do this!

Hypothetical situation B: Son comes to me in tears, stating that he is never going to be able to afford to buy his dream home for his family.

My response: Honey (again in my nurturing tone), if the Cardinals can win the Superbowl, then you can do this!

Hypothetical situation C: Granddaughter comes to me in tears, stating that she doesn't think she has what it takes to continue running against her competition in the race for Governor of Arizona.

My response: Honey, (voice trembling with age and my triceps flapping in the wind) I remember back in 2009 when the CARDINALS WON THE SUPERBOWL! If they could do that ... then by golly you can do this! Now give me my cane!

You get the picture! If the Arizona Cardinals WIN THIS SUPERBOWL, there is hope for EVERYTHING! There is hope for humanity, there is hope for peace and there is definitely hope for our future. (Cue music in the background right about now ... something like Lee Greenwood's I'm Proud To Be an American). Because if WE ... the ARIZONA CARDINALS ...THE ALL TIME UNDERDOGS OF THE WORLD ... can take home the NFL Championship ...

Then gosh dang it, anything is possible, anybody can do anything ... and the number 13, will no longer be unlucky!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Note to self ... buy more boxers ~

Hop out of bed at 6:00 a.m. Check!

Switch laundry because Little Red wants to wear his Cardinals shirt two days in a row. Check!

Husband making french toast for the kids! CHECK!

Wake everyone up at 6:40 a.m. Check!

Wake Jake up again at 7:00 a.m. Check!

Listen to Jake telling me that he has no clean boxers. Check!

Look ferociously through every drawer since I have hardly any dirty laundry (odd but true). Check!

Frantically begin a load of boxers because Jake's eyes are now "watering". Check!

Watch Jake walk around all morning in a towel because he refuses to wear a pair of pajama bottoms while aforementioned boxers are being washed. Check!

Quickly throw boxers in with the dry load in the dryer to give them a quicker process. Check!

Look at the disappointed look on Jake's face as he puts on his new Cardinal's shirt that is larger than he prefers, and then takes it off again. Check!

Tell Jake that the next shirt that he has chosen is too wrinkly and it isn't even Cardinal colors. Check!

Watch Jake take his second outfit off and throw it on the floor. Check!

Stomp up and down the hall, flailing undesirable adjectives in Jake's direction. Check!

Proceed with part B of the undesirable lecture in the car ALL THE WAY to school. Check!

Notice that Jake is now late for school and needs to be excused by his mother ... who is sitting in the car ... in her pajamas. Check!

REFUSE to get out of the car, which creates a pink slip for Jake to take to class as his eyes are "watering". Check!

Call the school and leave a very sarcastic message with more undesirable adjectives explaining that Jake's tardy was excused. Check!

Sit at home, alone, feel guilty about my lack of nurturing ability these days. CHECK!

Plan a vacation. ______

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Southwest Side Story

My poor mother-in-law is smack in the middle of a series of ice storms in good ole' Arkansas. Thousands are without electricity and the whole place is just plain frozen over.

"Oh it's ok, I'm just sleeping down at the Hospice center and things will clear up real soon".

Bless her heart!

So I thought it might be the perfect time to remind people why we live here and invite her to come back.

This is the view from my back door. It's 63 degrees outside. The sun is shining and our little world is basking in it. Aaaaahhhh ~

Update: It is now 71 degrees:)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Prayers for my pal -

Remember my lunch/Disneyland friends? Well, we had another birthday to celebrate this month, so celebrate we did! Of course we had a lovely meal accompanied by good conversation mingled with a bit of hysteria.

See the cutie smack in the middle of this picture? This is our little friend Cynthia. Cynthia keeps getting handed loads of garbage to deal with and it looks like this year will be no different. She is the mother to this fine young man that we prayed for a few months ago. Cynthia was wonderful enough to wait until her son was all healed before she came down with a nasty case of cancer.

Tomorrow is her big day. She will be having surgery at the Majestic Mayo Clinic ... lucky!

So here I am again asking for prayers around the universe ... because we have many more lunches and celebrations that we must attend to. You can check out her blog here for periodic updates. Go get 'em Cynthia!

Monday, January 26, 2009

One, Two, Three .. YIPEE!

This weekend was full of a bit of pride.

Child #1: Performed for a full house at "his best concert ever" and was able to distribute his first CD to all of his "fans". I think the CD turned out splendid and you can check it out on

He is the lead singer and wrote two of the songs on the CD. Atta boy Matty!

Child #2: Received a letter from her college exclaiming that her "superior academic achievement qualified her for the President's Honor Roll!" Woo hoo to a 4.0 grade point average! Atta girl Kacey!

Child #3: Attended his first Varsity Football Banquet where he received his Letter!

I LOVE football and it has been amazing for my #3. Mark my words, a couple of these boys are going to go far. It's incredible to see such athleticism in such young men. Oh ya, anybody a Raven's fan? The kid on the right is Todd Heap's lil' bro. All extremely stellar boys and I'm proud of all of them. Atta boy Keater!

So far we have a musician, a scholar and an athlete in the family. I wonder what #4 and #5 have in store for us!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Oh W, I miss you already!

So let me get this straight. During his first few days in office he has ...

1) Botched a very easy oath. Fishy and/or ridiculous.

2) Vowed to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison within one year, which holds individuals classified (by us) as enemy combatants ... without a fallback plan even mentioned.
Fishy and/or stupid.

3) Provided an easier avenue for abortions to be funded. Criminal and/or pathetic.

I'm afraid that I am going to have to recant my aforementioned efforts not to badmouth our President. I gave him a chance, he's already blown it.

He just showed us what his priorities are by choosing these issues first. All of this Hollywood talk about change, has given us just that. For our first act, we will free terrorists and kill babies. Yes! Change is awesome!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Southwestern Ignorance - A Love Affair

I am a native to this great Southwestern state. I am proud to call it home, but I was embarrassed when I received an email last weekend.

A friend of mine (from the East side of the U.S. of A.) has convinced her parents to come to the Grand Canyon and Sedona this summer because she knows of it's beauty first hand. So obviously she is going to ask the native Arizonan for some traveling suggestions and recommendations. Right?

So here's the deal. I've lived here for 43 years (barring that three month mistake I made in Texas), but I don't go anywhere! I've been to the Grand Canyon, but I didn't really pay attention to how I got there or even what rim I was on, and then I left! I've been to Sedona, but again, I wasn't paying attention and it was long, long ago.

I have no idea where people stay when they venture out and I sure don't know what they do.

I know, I know ... shame on me!

So if you all would be so kind as to leave your own suggestions and recommendations here so that Brandi and I can both benefit from your own experiences ... that would be super!

I think this summer I will try to enjoy more that this great state has to offer.

I love you Arizona ... I really, really do!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Long Needles and Peace -

I've had an interesting journey these past few months. It all began back in October when I learned that my family doctor did not take my new health insurance. And here is a very short version of what happened after that ...

Went to a new doctor and had a physical.

New doctor found a lump in my breast that he didn't like.

New doctor sent me for a mammogram (even though I had just had one in April).

Mammogram showed spots that were suspicious, but if they could be aspirated were nothing to worry about.

New doctor tried to aspirate ... with a long needle ... and was unsuccessful (I now have empathy for pincushions everywhere) ... sent me to a surgeon.

Surgeon was able to aspirate ... HOORAY... with a long needle ... but found spots that he didn't like on his ultrasound ... BOO ... and sent me for an MRI.

Got an MRI for my birthday ... WOO HOO ... where they found a suspicious clump (as opposed to a lump) ... ON THE OTHER BREAST! Scheduled me for yet more aspirating ... with a long needle ... accompanied by a biopsy with some sort of sadistic needle/knife/vacuum contraption.


All the while through this journey, I felt at peace. I really knew that everything would be fine. Alas, at the end of my journey ... my poor boob looks like a very populated road map.

I just got back from my follow-up visit with the first surgeon and he says that everything came back benign. His exact words "Fibroadenoma with moderate epithelial hyerplasia and a few calcifications." Uh huh, just as I thought.

Unfortunately I just have very complicated (dense and full of cysts) breasts. So this process, coupled with my sister's history of Breast Cancer, will create more dramatic and possibly excessively thorough visits in the future.

The next suggestion he gave me was to have some genetic testing done to see if there is some sort of freaky DNA evident (obviously he doesn't know me very well if he is only questioning this) that would possibly encourage the onset of Breast Cancer.

So here's the question. Do we really want to know what kind of freaky DNA we have? Am I willing to dissect every organ, limb or vessel that might provide controversial counts on a diagram?

Part of me exclaims YES! Let's see what it says and take my boobs if need be. The other part of me believes in the process of a higher power with miraculous outcomes (no matter what my DNA is) that are part of my story and divine destiny. And then I continue to wander in my wonder if this high tech strategy IS part of that God given gift to us and our destiny.

I don't know. I'll probably have it done, see what it says and go from there. But I'd really like to know what you think. It's all a phenomenon to me!

All I know is that today, unlike millions of others, I am cancer free ... and I am grateful.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

White Obama Cake

Last night we gathered our kids around and talked about the historic nature of today's events. We talked about how lucky we all are to have been born in a time where freedom has continued to progress and define itself. We talked about how cool it would be to see Lincoln's Bible. We also talked about our new President of the United States of America.

While none of the Shakers were even remotely leaning towards an Obama victory, we have decided to support the leaders of our great nation. We have decided that our funny jokes (some of them pretty darn hysterical) need to come to an end ... as soon as I'm done making fun of him slaughtering the oath. Sorry, that was uncalled for. But seriously, if you knew this was coming, wouldn't you have practiced or something? Ok I'm done. Anyway, we have decided that we will not become like most of the Obama supporters were as they mocked our Commander In Chief (but we might still mock those supporters).

In light of this momentous day, I suggested that anybody who wanted to stay home from school to watch the inauguration was welcome to do so ... G Man quickly became the most patriotic citizen in the house at this point. So he stayed home (only to find out that they watched it at school) and he created a white Obama cake (this is where the old me would have delivered the perfect joke). We ate the whole cake, and it was delicious.

I don't know what the future of this nation is going to hold. The prospects of this change scare me and intrigue me all at the same time. I am admittedly nervous and worried, but hopeful. If nothing else, maybe Ashton, Demi and all of Hollywood will be able to unite us and bring pride back to the land of opportunity. And if that doesn't work ... we can always just make cake. Because I believe that we can have our cake and eat it too.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I'm baaaaack.

Wow that was a long break, but I'm back. I grew a bit tired of blogging, so I stepped away ... far, far away from it until I craved it like a bowl full of homemade salsa (but not the kind that I attempted to make during the Cardinal's game yesterday because I swear my breath will never be the same again). And now, I am going to attempt to post something every day this week. You heard me, I'm coming back strong ... so stay tuned and thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Grateful Sunday

Is everybody's house simply TRASHED after Christmas, or is it just me? I took down all of my Christmas decor and gave a good cleaning to the South end of the house, but the North end always seems to get neglected and would be last on my list to clean ... if I ever made a list.

So imagine my embarrassment, when Gary got a call during church today. First from our home alarm company and then from his Dad. Yep, our house was broken into while we were at church (pretty smart idiots I'd say). The entire house, even the North end, was given a detailed search by our handsome men in black AND my father-in-law.

The alarm scared off the bad guys (or girls, who am I to stereotype) so nothing was taken, except my dignity. Quite frankly, the way my bedroom looked, I don't know how the officers could really know if anybody was in there or not. I should probably get up right now and look again for myself!

So maybe this should be my New Year's Resolution. Although I really don't believe in them, because I don't like being told what to do ... even by me ... but I do like to have a clean home - from South to North.

Regardless of the Sabbath Day humility that I am experiencing, I am grateful. I am grateful that we have a house alarm. I am grateful that Gary had a feeling that we should actually set it before we left for church. I am grateful that my home was not disturbed (not even Matthew, who slept through the entire incident until he was looking at a long, sturdy flashlight being held by a policeman who was quick to ask him for his identification). I am grateful.

Maybe from now on, I'll just begin with the North end of things. We'll see.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

LIttle man Jack -

This little man came to visit me this weekend. There was clearly no time to be wasted with trivial matters like putting on make-up ... or doing my hair.

Here is the youngest of my parent's grandchildren ... and my Grandma's Great grandchildren ... trying to wake up the oldest. What a difference a quick 21 years makes!

And now the little man is gone. It was quick, but I'll take him whenever I can get him!

We love you Jack!

Oh, and it was lovely having my sister here too! :)