Monday, December 13, 2010

I was in a gang for a half-hour today

You heard right. It was not by choice, however. And it was done without my knowledge, too. You see, when I left to go to work this morning, my car looked very much like this:

Nice, right? I get off work around 2:30, I eat my daily apple as I walk down four flights of stairs (for the little exercise I get daily) and head over to the parking garage where said vehicle is parked. I walk up to my car and the sun is shining right on it, but it looks funny. Like the light is catching it weird. Well, that's because it looks like this when I find it:

Tagged up in primer grey paint. It wasn't even a creative color. Primer grey? Really? I guess the South Side Locos ran out of colorful paint before they got to my car. Lucky for me, our super awesome maintenance guy, Rick, had some graffiti remover handy and took it right off. No damage to the paint or the clear coat; like it never even happened. Mike: 1 SSL: 0

Nice try, gangstas. Thanks for letting be a gang thug for, like, 20 or 30 minutes. It was great while it lasted. I learned a lot about myself. Like I don't get angry when you tag my car. I found that I really didn't care that much. I even laughed when I saw it. Mostly because I'm one of the whitest guys you'll ever meet and pretty much the polar opposite of anything related to gang life. Good times. Now, you little gangsters should all go home and start working on your GED.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

They got their hairs cut!

This week the girls got hair cuts from my wonderful neighbor and friend Jessica Olsen. She just recently finished her beautiful in home salon and I was so excited to try it out.

Taylor loved playing in the dog's pens. It was hard to get her out.
Brooklyn's after shot.
Taylor's before shot. It's her first haircut!
She was a little nervous so I sat her on my lap.
It took a couple days, but I got her to pose for an after shot.
Then she had to dance for me.

I love staying home with my girls. They make me so happy. . . most of the time. I'm so thankful for my husband and all the hard work he does. I'm also thankful for him providing a way for me to go back to school. I'm having so much fun even though it makes planning the everyday things so much harder. I'm so thankful for being where we are in life right now. We have a wonderful support system through our family and friends and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Gobble Gobble!

Early Mexican Thanksgiving

My husband's family has a fun tradition of having a Mexican themed Thanksgiving dinner before the actual holiday. We had so much fun being with family and crafting on full tummies.

Brooklyn was so happy to have someone her age there with her. Shealee was born the same year as Brooklyn and now I think they actually look forward to seeing each other.
Aunt Holly is always fun :)
Truman is the newest great grandbaby in the family.
He's a stud muffin.
Thanks Holly for the fun craft! I'll display it with a supplies list next Saturday on my other blog My Everyday Me

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

1st day of School jitters!

I'm getting another home also known as, The Art Institute of Phoenix! Classes start tomorrow! I'm studying to be an Interior Designer. What field? Who knows, I like it all right now. Of course, most people lean towards residential. I'm glad it covers others like commercial, health care, retail and hospitality.

Kristi Harris:
Scout leader

"Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use." --Earl Nightingale

Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


We thoroughly enjoyed the rain this week. I let my girls go outside in the back yard. I didn't realize it was going to rain as hard as it did. Let's just say the bath water was dirty after this. They had lots of fun though. Yeah for rain!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Tempe Sound: A Brief Education

By: Mike

Gin Blossoms. The Refreshments. Dead Hot Workshop. The Pistoleros. The Meat Puppets. Gloritone

What do all these bands have in common? Two things: The '90's and Tempe, AZ. The 1990's were an incredible time for music and produced some of the most influential bands in the last 30 years. We received Nirvana, Green Day, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins and countless others. Amid the din of all the grunge music and plaid shirts of Seattle, Tempe, AZ was busy having their own musical uprising. A handful of bands were gaining notoriety not only with the locals but nationally as well. Any record company looking for the next big thing to come out of Seattle, had an eye on Tempe,. Some people even went as far as dubbing Tempe “the next Seattle” from all the talent surfacing.

Mill Avenue was the epicenter of the the Tempe Sound and at it's heart was Long Wong's. Long Wong's on Mill was your typical dive. The name is almost synonymous with hot wings to locals but perhaps better known as where all the above listed bands played and were discovered by many. Sadly Long Wong's on Mill closed its doors in 2004 but the musical legacy that it left behind is still alive today.

So what exactly is this so-called Tempe Sound? Truthfully, it's hard to describe. It's easier to say, “let me play you a few songs and you'll know”. Gin Blossoms' “Hey Jealousy”, The Refreshments' “Banditos” or “Down Together” or The Pistoleros “My Guardian Angel” are perfect places to start. One mark of the Tempe Sound is Mexico. Whether it's the mention of the country, mariachi horns in a song or spanish in the lyrics or title, Mexico is a running theme. You'd be hard pressed to find a Refreshments (or Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers) song without some reference to Mexico. The sound also has a pop/rock feel to it. This is widespread amongst the bands in that time. Catchy choruses, upbeat riffs and hooks that could ensnare anyone..even if you hate pop/rock. One listen to the albums Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big and Buzzy (Refreshments) or New Miserable Experience (Gin Blossoms) and you can't deny that these guys have talent.

After mentioning a couple albums I feel I need to give you more suggestions to add to your music library if you don't already own them (which you totally should):
Gin Blossoms – New Miserable Experience
The Refreshments - Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big and Buzzy
Dead Hot Workshop – 1001
Gloritone – Cup Runneth Over
The Pistoleros – Hang On to Nothing

This list, while not entirely comprehensive, is awesome. Five CD's that shaped the way I listen to music today. When I was younger my world revolved around these bands and in some ways it still does. I now crave bands that have this sound but my searches are often fruitless. There are some who choose to keep this sound alive rather than try to mold it into something else. A good friend of mine is the drummer in a band called Elvis Before Noon. They have an awesome track called “Loss of Words” (among other awesome tracks) that blows me away. Solid vocals, a great chorus and writing make this song great (and having Scott Johnson on guitar helps a bit, too). This song has Tempe written all over it, and I love it.

Though relatively short lived in its day, the Tempe Sound marked a time of music that was less “production” gimmicks and still had more raw talent than Katy Perry or Justin Bieber could ever hope to find. Take my advice, listen to these guys. If you like them, pass them on. Spread the word to those who missed them in the 90's. If not, no harm done – just don't tell me. Also, we can't be friends anymore.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cheese balls and Oreos

Why is it that only kids can get away with rubbing oreo on their face and still look as cute as ever?
Ya, I know, what kind of parent feeds cheese ball AND oreos to their child?
I do it because I get this look when it doesn't go her way. :) In real life you would be a simmering pile of ash if she gave you this look. Gotta love her!

Monday, August 23, 2010


She's a "grader" and there's nothing greater than that. Here's Brooklyn on her 1st day of first grade. She did so well and was so ready to do something other than being bored at home. I'm just glad I don't have to listen to SpongeBob anymore!

(Taylor always wants in on the action.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Here are the current projects. Two dressers and a toddler bed. We already did our office desk, but the room is still being assembled so pictures will be posted soon.

First is the sad Michael Jackson dresser that's been missing some handles. Mike put the stickers on when he was a kid. I can honestly tell you that Michael Jackson no longer exists on this dresser. It's time to let go (*sniff*) This dresser will be sanded down, stained, then will be struttin' some new hardware.

This was Brooklyn's toddler bed that we got for $35 from IKEA. Taylor's room is already yellow so the orange would be a horrible clash of color. All I have to do is remove the hardware and spray paint it white. Can't wait for the clean look!

This is a dresser I got from a neighbor who was giving it away for free. Tip for the wanna be DIY-ers, if it's free, just take it! This one I want to get creative with. This bad boy is going to get a new color, a pattern painted on the drawers and some pretty new knobs. This will be going in Brooklyn's room so I want to make it look good. Stay tuned for the results!


Yeah for new hair cuts! This was to just get my hair healthy looking again. I've been working so hard at growing it out that I haven't cut my hair in about a year. Finally it got long enough that running my fingers through it wasn't working so well anymore. Luckily Jessica (Killian) Olsen is one of my neighbors and while she cut Brooklyn's hair for the new school year I decided to get mine cut as well. Voila! Hello swoopy bangs and layers once more!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


(I posted 3 things today. Don't forget to check them all out!)

We've had so many projects lately that if you ever need to find us on Saturday, just drive down to Home Depot. Projects include weed killing, landscaping, fixing sprinklers, shelves for a pantry, Mike's pedal board and Mike's pieced together guitar.


(Don't forget to check the other new post after this one)

Last week we had a Girls' Night Out in Strawberry! My best friend Rebecca and her girls and me and my girls all drove up to Rebecca's parent's cabin. It's still being completed, but it had running water and toilets and electricity which is all you really need, right? We had a blast just hanging out and relaxing. I'm so glad we went. Thanks so much Rebecca for inviting us! Here's the pics:

Back seat drivers :)

Taylor loves car rides, Kimberlee hates bumpy roads.


Yes, they wanted to be there.

Chillin' in the loft.

Having fun at the Llama farm that had mostly goats, but here is a llama.
Llama face!

Oh yeah, she's 6!

I can't believe I haven't posted about Brooklyn's birthday yet. I'm such a dork. Anyways, just over a month ago Brooklyn turned 6! We were away on a family vacation on her birthday so we didn't do a big party or anything. I admit my dork-i-ness one more time when I say I forgot my camera.

When we got back we had a little cupcake party with some friends and again I forgot to take pictures until it was over and there was only one friend left. This is Brooklyn's across the street friend Leah. We're glad she comes over to play with Brooklyn. They are almost exactly a year apart in age so it works out just right.

Happy Birthday Brooklyn! You're sweet when you want to be and love to be happy. You're a goof ball and a fire cracker all rolled into one. You keep us on our toes and you make us laugh so much. I love your curiosity even though I don't have the answer for you every time. Good luck in 1st grade this year. I know you'll make lots of new friends at your new school.

Oh yeah, Taylor had fun too.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Just wanted to say . . .

I love new backgrounds. Starts everything fresh and inspires new ideas to write about. Who knows if I'll actually get around to doing it.

That's all :)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

18 Months!

On May 25th Taylor reached the official nursery age! Amazing how time flies! It seems like yesterday I was getting 4 hours of interrupted sleep at night and letting her cry it out while I made dinner. Now she's as happy as can be. She's great at entertaining herself and sleeps a good 12-13 hours at night without waking up! She's quickly learning that it's funny to make mommy run after her and that switches make lights go on and off and handles open doors to the magical bowl of water, aka the toilet. She loves "reading" books and riding her trike. She is getting better at saying "Mommy" and "Daddy", "Papa" and "Mama", "Puppy" and "Mow" (meow for cat), she's still getting the hang of Brooklyn. It sounds like Boo-n more than anything. She knows sign language for more, please, tree, flower, all done, down, hello/goodbye, and points to the door and says "Go!" She loves taking walks and playing in the dirt. She still loves her "tag" blanket from Aunt Holly and sleeps with it everyday. It's tricky when I have to wash it without her knowing. She's my angel with goofy faces and giggles all around. I'm so glad she's a part of our family! Happy 18 month birthday Taylor!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"Distant Land" by John Rutter

I heard this on Music and the Spoken Word this morning and loved it. Just thought I'd share.

I see a distant land: it shines so clear.
Sometimes it seems so far, sometimes so near.
Come, join together, take the dusty road;
Help one another: share the heavy load.

The journey may be long: no end in sight;
There may be hills to climb, or giants to fight:
But if you’ll take my hand,
we’ll walk together t’ward the land of freedom.

I hear the distant son: it fills the air.
I hear it, deep and strong, rise up in prayer:
O Lord, we are many; help us to be one.
Heal our divisions: Let thy will be done.

I know the time will come when war must cease:
A time of truth and love, a time of peace.
The people cry, ‘How long
till all the world can join the song of freedom.’

I touch a distant hand and feel its glow,
the hand I hoped was there: at last I know.
Swords into ploughshares: can it all come true?
Friends out of strangers: start with me and you.

I see another time, another place
where we can all be one, one human race.
The walls will melt away,
we’ll come together on the day of freedom.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A few of my favorite things

People keep asking me if I've taken pictures of the new house. Well I finally did and here they are to who ever is interested. These are a few of my favorite things about the house.

I love the entry way.
It's the perfect spot for our Jesus picture!

I got my dream fridge! Thank you Sears Outlet!

Before going up the stairs you get a beautiful view of my piano cubby.
I love our banister! Not many houses come like this anymore.
Mike let me do what I wanted to our bedroom so we have a chocolate brown accent wall with a light blue on the others. I had some fun prepping the walls with tape outlining trees. This is just one of two on the same wall. If I don't end up liking it, I can always just finish painting the room. It was fun and I felt art-sy. And FINALLY, we have a ceiling fan in our bedroom! It's been a while.

Who knows when our back yard will be finished. Mike both ended his ASU classes this week and started at the Art Institute. Brooklyn only has 2 weeks left before summer vacation. The heat is already upon us. Oh well. It will happen when it happens. We're just happy to be home! Thanks to everyone who helped us move!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Who wants to help us move!?

So, I'm fairly confident that you're sitting at your computer and your hand just shot up in the air volunteering for this joyous task. I (Mike) sent out an email to the contacts I have but for those that may have slipped through the cracks, I extend an invitation and many thanks in advance.

We're starting at our current address at 8 AM this Saturday (5/1/10) to load the truck.

We hope to start unloading at the new house around 10-ish.

We could use help on either end so if anybody is willing, we'd love to have you and would love for you to see our new home, too.

If you'd like to help, or even think you might be able to, just leave a comment with your email address and we'll send you the details.


New houses are fun but, holy crap, are the a lot of work!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Just finished reading this book. This is actually the 2nd volume. Yes, I've been sucked into another series that apparently hasn't been finished yet. It's a great easy read and very imaginative. I'd place it up there with Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia. Lots of magic and mystery for a couple of middle school aged kids. Lots of good twists and irony. Not as predictable as you would imagine. I often get caught up in the climax really worried, not knowing how it will turn out. Who knew reading a book could also raise your heart rate? :) I happened to pick this volume up at Costco for $4.97 (paperback). I love good cheap books. I think I'll go back and just buy the series. I'm sure Brooklyn would like to read it one day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

24 days and counting . . .

I'm so excited about this move. I can't go a single day without thinking about little things like cleaning the new kitchen or HAVING CARPET. One thing I have my eye on right now is this:

I can't wait to have a new refrigerator to fill it with all the fun healthy stuff and not have to bend over backwards to see what I forgot to eat earlier in the week or to dig in my "freggie" drawers (thanks Brittney for the most awesome healthy term ever. aka fruits and veggies) Only 24 days until we get the keys and praying things go smoothly!