wADmM5mNLtOv064mhMCS_CYE3Bc Just Dorothy: April 2011

Today was a good day

I got a phone call this morning from the 4H office.  They told me that someone had given $500 towards his CWF Washington trip!  He knows this couple and they have spent time together going to games and things.  They are friends of friends and they apparently adore him!!  He's easy to adore, but I'm biased :)  It was a wonderful surprise that brought tears to my eyes.  There ARE beautiful people in this world!  Now if he'd just stop putting happy faces on the dog with permanent marker....

Zach told me he wanted to cuddle with me and watch tv when I got home and make monkey bread.  Done and done!  It's that kind of day, drizzly, cold, gray.  A monkey bread kind of day. 

Phase 2 of My 3 Phase Life

I am not sure I like this title.  It sort of sounds like I'm on the downhill slide of life and going fast.  Not the meaning behind it though, it just sounds like it.

Phase 1 was when I got married and had kids.  The boys were fabulous.  Except for that little twerp Zach.  Boy did he give us anxiety!  No, seriously....he was a very needy baby and extremely tempermental and if you don't believe me just ask anyone that was at Thousand Pines Family Camp in Crestline California in May of 2002, (cabin 15 to be exact), and mention the "ba-ba chockit milk" incident.  That boy's never gonna live it down.  But he's grown into a wonderful young man that is my little warrior, my gentleman and just one of three reasons I live and breathe.  Completely beside the point, I just had to make up for that twerp comment.  Anywho, back to phase 1. You know how it is.  Your kids are born, you feel all queen-like for this amazing creation and you figure out what works and what doesn't and you get into a routine.  You really talk up Santa, Lucky the Leprechaun, troopin fairies, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy.  You totally get into it and buy into the pretend stuff.  It's a lot of fun.  And then they get older and they hear from one of their damn friends that Santa isn't real and their mom's are the tooth fairy.  So you change the way you word things like, "Yes, the spirit of Santa is real".  That bought us about another 6 months before the jig was up. 

Enter Phase 2, where we are now.  We are so completely out of the whole Santa, Easter Bunny, etc phase it's almost like it never existed.  No one wakes up early on Christmas morning in anticipation of what Santa put under the tree.  Now the talk is about penises and farts and other bodily functions.  Not that I don't appreciate a good fart joke every now and again but still.  I don't get to buy Easter baskets anymore and fill plastic eggs or even color hard boiled eggs.  In some ways I'm grateful.  Ok, honestly in most ways I'm grateful.  I always felt pressure that I didn't get them the right things or I didn't get them enough.  Now they get nothing and I don't have to shop and I don't have to worry.  It's pretty much a win win.  Right now I'm listening to Ryan teach Zach how to work the hand held mixer to make the brownies they've both been craving.  This, this I am truly enjoying.  Listening to them cooperate for a change, one instructing the other (and in a nice way!) is music to my ears.  This stage in their lives where they understand each other on an "adult" level...it's a beautifully sweet thing.  Give it 40 minutes when the brownies are done and see if they don't fight over who gets the first piece, but for now, it is what it is.

I'm looking forward to Phase 3 but certainly not any time soon.  This is the phase when I will get to sort of start over again with the whole Santa, Easter Bunny thing with my grandchildren.  The most wonderful thing about it though is that I will be able to load them up on chocolate bunnies and jelly beans and send them home.  I think I'm gonna love Phase 3!  Not that I'm in any hurry, of course. 

PR Friendly? PR Friendly!

So I've been seeing a lot of blogs lately that review things and talk about them. But it's not just a nice write up of what you guess is the idea of said product.  Companies GIVE stuff to them to review.  FREE stuff.  I want in on this gig! 

Is it just as easy as putting a blurb on your blog saying, "Hey, I'm available, pick me!!"?  Or is there more to it?  I am not sure but I'm gonna find out!  I have a review on my blog for Pier 1 due to my affiliation with Social Spark.  It's a good start.  I'm also still going to work on the giveaway with Mama's Monologues but will wait until I return from AZ after the 1st so I can devote the time it deserves to make it a great giveaway.  Until then .... anyone want to send me products to review? Hehehe

I'm hoppin

Free Hot Samples

The Daily Grind

Arrived back last night after a blessed 3 and a half days with family.  Grandma had a beautiful service; wonderful stories were told, memories were shared and then of course we had great food at my parents house after.  Family was able to reconnect, catch up.  It was nice. 

After the formality of the funeral and all of that, we got to have fun.  It's so weird to say that together and it makes me feel bad, like saying I had a good time with all this sadness and grief.  But in all reality, grandma was more than ready to go.  She had been saying since February that she wanted to go home and be with Jesus.  She was 87.  So I'm sad to see her pass away, yes, but I'm also happy because she lived a long, great life.  She was someone to celebrate.  And she's happy now, no more pain, no more weakness, no more confusion.  She's whole and complete and surrounded in heaven by more of our angels.  There isn't much to grieve!

With that being said, we got down to the business of wedding stuff for Amy.  I got to see the venue for the wedding.  It will look awesome when all the tables, chairs, linens and centerpieces are in the gallery.  I got to try falafel at a middle eastern deli.  Not my favorite.   It was ok but I don't think I'd order it a second time.  Liked the lemonade and the greek salad though.  Got to hang with my favorite nephews, Matthew, Mason and Sambo.  I LOVE those kids!  Matty is my matching "red".  Also got my birthday mega exciting event planned for the Duce.  I think.  And....I got a facial by one of my dear, dear friends DeAnna over at Par Exsolance at City Scapes in downtown Phoenix.  Me and a special someone went and got them and it was tons of fun.  I have pictures but promised I wouldn't post them.  He's a cool guy and has a reputation to maintain so I'll have to restrain myself and not post them.  I won't.  Post. Them.  As bad as I want to...I won't. 

So, here's to Grandma and her toast.  Thanks for the legacy.

It's a nice place to visit, but I sure wouldn't want to live there

The above is a working title.  The alternate title is, "You can never go home again" (by choice).  I'm writing this from my dad's office.  Hi Dad!!  I'm in Arizona now and it's hot.  It's crowded.  It's brown and it's dirty. 

Yesterday the news started with a jumper off the 43rd ave. overpass and a police shooting.  Then we went to the funeral.  It was completely AWESOME to see the entire family.  Cousins I haven't seen in years, Aunts, my Uncle.  Awesome!  However, I could totally bypass the heat.  And the traffic and the violence.  I also am a fan of green grass and trees. 

Yesterday some family that also lives out of state expressed their desire to move back home too.  But everyone agreed that we couldn't move back to the Phoenix area.  We'd all like to move north of Phoenix like Prescott or Flagstaff or even Cordes Junction or something.  Anywhere but here.  Those places would offer the best of both worlds.  Something to think about.  They will probably make it here before we will but they can pave the way.

Anyway, you can't go home again and ever have it be the same as it was before.  And that's ok.  I just want to be within decent driving distance to all of my family.  Eventually, we will ge there!

Finally, spring has sprung!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

You wouldn't know it right now by looking outside.  We've got high winds, thunderstorms and snow.  Yes.  Snow.  In the middle of April.  And it's supposed to be spring!  Just a few days ago we were hovering around 90 degrees so I'm hopeful that soon this nasty weather will be behind us for awhile.

So here's what I'm dreaming of to tide me over until spring actually gets here:



So I can sit and watch my darling grill those amazing steaks!  But I'd also need this:


One for each kid!  And because the Midwest is so buggy we'd have to add the citronella!  These are too adorable to pass up, sitting on the table! 


They would probably prefer the Papasan chair so they could curl up with their current reads.  They could take this inside once it gets too cold, sit it in front of the television and their gaming system.


Add a bucket of Corona and a little Bob Marley "Three Little Birds" and life would be perfect!



The perfect thing about Pier 1 outdoor furniture is that it can easily transition to indoor furniture.   When the outdoor season sadly comes to an end, I'd put the settee and chairs downstairs and just switch the cushions to match more closely with my other indoor furniture.  Corona and Bob Marley transition nicely too!

Pier 1 Tweetups Check this out if you happen to be in the area!

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Peace and Quiet Please!

Ok, let me first say, I am CRAZY about my kids!  Like insane crazy, just like lots of other mommas out there.  But I'm so excited for the "quiet" I'm about to have.

My first of two solo trips back to AZ starts today.  I'm so excited, can't even begin to describe how I feel about that.  Which reminds me, I have to do my toes today.  But I digress....Let me begin by saying my kids are obnoxiously noisy.  That's not quite true or fair to say.  I don't think they are unlike lots of other kids, but these two boys.  Oh. My. Gosh.  If Zach's not sleeping he's chattering.  To me, to Steve, to Ryan, to the dogs, to the tv, to the xbox, to himself, by himself.  He chatters upstairs, downstairs, in the kitchen, the living room.  The bathroom.  No one and no place is safe from Zach's chatter.  Most of the time I don't mind but lately it is driving me certifiably insane.  It's loud, it's obnoxious.  It's constant.  I love that kid beyond belief, he's my random one that asks about yoda shoes and toxic farts.  He has a great comeback for everything.  Once Ryan said, "In this family Zach, you are low man on the totem pole."  Zach's response? "Oh yeah?  Well, you're the stupid one on the totem pole."  That would be my kid. 

Ryan is not immune to my agitation lately either.  He has drum sticks but no drums.  He really needs drums.  Not that I think it would help with my agitation situation but at least he could go downstairs and I could shut the door.  So he taps on everything.  The walls, the doors, the kitchen table, the floor, the bed, it never stops.  He's pretty great at keeping a beat and making up rhythms with those sticks but jeez...enough already.  I love this kid too, beyond belief, he's my kid that is so conscientious about things and (mostly) analyzes things that kids his age just don't.  He has a good head on his shoulders when it comes to friends and influences and for that I am forever grateful.  I'm a proud momma!

So even though I am visiting with family coming in for my grandma's funeral and there will be loud, noisy kids around, it's not in my own house from which there is no escape.  When it's not your kids, you can just tune it out or leave, right?  Right??

Making Dough

Ok, here's a confession, just in case you haven't noticed on my blog.  I'm trying the whole "make money with your blog!" thing.  I figure I'm on here all the time anyway, I'm GOING to post all kinds of stuff, nearly every day, so why not.  I have "readership" in Jamaica, Sweden, the Ukraine, Russia, Hong Kong so....why not!!?? 

Anyway, if you see a little advertisement on the right hand side of my blog and it intrigues you, click on it!  If it doesn't, click on it anyway.  Just kidding.  I'm also doing reviews of things.  I possibly have a Pier 1 ad review.  I'm just figuring all this out as I go and seeing if it works for me so...bear with me.  I have seen how bloggers have a little spot claiming they are PR friendly.  I would like to but don't know the ins and outs of that either.  Give me time.  If nothing else, I am determined to do what I LOVE and that is blab  blog. 

Still working on the giveaway, rolling it around in my brain.  Kim over at Mama's Monologues has so graciously offered to help me with this.  I'm totally taking her up on it!  When I get it going YOU will be the first to know!

Until next time America ~ sorry, I just had a Maury Povich moment.


There are many questions kids ask me.  My own kids, the preschool kids.  Some answers I know, some I can make something up and make it sound really good.  Hey, they obviously don't know since they are asking me!

There are a few things I just have no answers for.  It seems like the questions I can't answer come from Zach.  One time he asked me what kind of shoes Yoda wears.  Here was today's question:

Are farts toxic? 

I sat there for a minute, completely silent, not really sure I heard that right.  So I said, "Uhhhhh, ummm, I don't know!"  Steve's answer was better.  He said, "Only yours Zach!"

I'm sure girls would never ask questions like these!

Is it over yet?

This week has my permission to end.  This month has my permission to become a distant memory.  It's been a crazy, busy, frustrating, sad, sad, sad week. 

Work is insane but it is to be expected with the end of the year stuff going on for the school.  April goes by fast for us.  May will be one week longer than we expected due to snow days but it, too, will go by fast.  Then I will be done and hopefully move on to my summer job (if I for sure have one, still not 100% yet). 

But the sad, sad, sad part of the week is, my Grandma passed away yesterday.  I feel happy and sad at the same time.  I'm not sad for her, she's with other family that has gone before us and she's happy and healthy again.  She's with Jesus.  I'm sad for us, the ones she left behind.  I'm sad for her kids and us grandkids.  I'm especially sad for the great grandkids that will never know her like we did.  They will never have Red Rover adventures in the backyard of the bird farm.  Or Thanksgiving at Grandma's.  In all reality, we haven't been able to have those things for years and years at her house for various reasons.  It was great being a kid and being able to shimmy up the tree and pick tangelos and run from those damn Cape Barren Attack Geese.  And if you can picture me trying to climb a tree.....jeez Louise.  It never quite worked out for me.  Grandma let me and my cousin Shelley make chocolate chip cookies once and sell them at the bird farm.  We had a few customers but they tried to talk us down on the ones with the burnt bottoms.

When I was young we'd go to Powwow's and Grandma would be making Indian Fry Bread with her Indian Ladies group.  She'd wear her turquoise or her beaded indian necklace.  It was fun going to those.  And every summer she'd take grandkids to her house in Prescott where we'd stay for about 2 weeks at a time and walk, walk, walk everywhere!  I have very, very fond memories of the time at the Prescott house with Grandma and Grandpa. 

It seems like as we get older we forget those things that really made our childhood special or different, or we just get too busy to remember.  I don't want to do that.  I want to remember and cherish those things that made spending time with her special. 

Here is one thing I do remember and will never, ever, EVER forget!  My brother Johnny's birthday is about the same time as Grandma's.  I had everyone sign both cards and when I handed them over to be signed I said, "this one is for Johnny, this one is for Grandma".  Only Steve got them mixed up and signed the one to my Grandma, "Happy Birthday Sweet Pants".  If you are reading this and don't know Steve, Johnny or my Grandma, this is probably not pee your pants funny to you.  But if you do know them.... I just can't stop smiling over that one! 

Anyway, I will miss my Grandma but I know she's in a much better place than we are.  And that thought makes me happy.

I now have an award winning blog!

Just ask Stacey over at http://wearnailpolish.blogspot.com/.  She was kind enough to award me, Dorothy Mcfadden, mombo880, et al, the Versatile Blogger Award!

There are "stipulations" to accepting the award.  You know, the rules, the fine print, etc.
And here they be:
#1 Link back to the person that gave you the award.  DONE! Nail Polish

#2 Tell 7 things about yourself
      1. I love blogging
      2. I work with children
      3. I don't get paid enough to work with children :)
      4. I'm afraid of thunder, tubes of biscuits and balloons
      5. I am a horrible doggie mommy that accidentally leaves at least one dog out in the rain on occassion
      6. I adore deep fat fried pickles
      7. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up

#3 Award 15 recently discovered new bloggers:
      1. A Hootie Hoot
      2. Mama Mommy Mom
      3. Mamas Monologues
      4. MomMe Time
      5. Moms Invent
      7. The Bumble in the Bee
      8. Wynnie Bee
      9. The Unglamorous Mommy
     11. The Olive Parent
     13. My Life's Stories
     14. Sweatpants Mom

#4 Contact these bloggers and let them know they've won the award!

Cheers to all, I enjoy reading you :)


It's Idea Sunday

What a beautiful. wonderful Sunday morning!  Steve and I got up and ran to town to Walgreens.  I haven't shopped in Walgreens in awhile.  Anyway, it is absolutely gorgeous outside, slightly overcast, nice and breezy.  We will definitely be grilling out tonight. 

I was just catching up on some of my favorite blogs and came across this idea from The Bumble in the Bee on posting a weekly menu.  I really like that idea.  In a magazine the other day I read some sort of impressive tidbit of info on the statistics of not eating meat for one day.  Of course, I can't remember what those statistic were or the magazine I was reading it in (see this post in reference!) However, the thing that stuck with me was pretty clear for a health and environmental standpoint.  Cut back on meat!  So, we're going meatless on Monday's.  Shhhhh, don't tell the boys. 

Here's what I think our dinner week will look like:

Monday - Kitchen Sink Quesadillas (Thanks Mrs. Bee and This Week for Dinner)

Tuesday - Pizza, I have a meeting out of town and this guarantees my kids will be fed while I'm gone :)

Wednesday - Meatball Subs with chips

Thursday - Chicken with potatoes

Friday - Spaghetti, salad

Saturday - Pork Chops, steamed veggies

Sunday - Meatloaf with mashed potatoes

I think I need to buy another bag of potatoes! 

Also, as of today, I'm beginning my quest to become the Money Saving Maven of Minden.  If any of my local (or not so local) friends and family want to send/save me their coupons, I'd be thrilled!! 

So, that will do it for today, I'm getting a little worn out from all this planning and organizing! lol
I'm also dwelling on the fact that I am lusting after a new camera.  Would LOVE to have a professional quality one to take pictures of my family.  If I can be the Money Saving Maven and save big bucks like those Extreme Couponing crazy folks do, I could possibly get the camera!  It's a total win/win, right??


Does anyone know of a home based business or an etsy crafter who would want to giveaway something?  I'd love to host

Overwhelmed, confused...just me?

So I'm somewhat new to the whole blogging thing.  There are several that I came across a few months ago that I really admire.  But as I'm getting more and more into writing my own blogs, searching other blogs and blog hopping, I've come across ones that are review and giveaway sites. 

I certainly understand the concept behind all of them, I just don't know HOW you do them.  And then there are ads and sponsors and....I don't know all what.  I've placed a few ads from Revenue Curve but who knows if that will generate anything.  I'd LOVE to make money from blogging but I don't think I will ever build a nest egg from it.  It's a nice thought though.  Trying to research it just makes me even more confused.  Anyone with me on all of this?  Anyone have any ideas/advice on how to wade thorough it or where to start?  Like I need to add one more thing to my to do list, right? :)

Ahhh, Friday, how I love thee

I only work 3 - 5 hours on Fridays.  I LOVE it!  This week in particular has been chaotic at work with just two of us there.  It was all good until yesterday.  Why do some parents think it's ok to come into a class and take over??  It always amazes me.  Anyway, it's Friday, no school kids and tomorrow is supposed to be in the 80's.  Yeeehawww!

Money Saving Maven

My friend at work had mentioned this show to me a month or so ago but I hadn't seen it or even heard of it.  Then last night.....it was like a hallalejua moment.  The Holy Grail of couponing!  I want to be known in my neighborhood as "The Crazy Coupon Lady".  Ok, maybe I prefer "Money Saving Maven".  Either way, I HAVE to jump on this bandwagon.

This one lady saved between $40 and $50 THOUSAND in the 2 years she's been doing this.  These women get anywhere between $500 to nearly $2000 worth of groceries for anywhere from $5 to $100.  I WANT TO BE THEM! 

With all my recent blog bitching about the cost of everything I think I really should do this.  Not really sure where to start.  It seems like a full time job, which I already have.  BUT, if I could spend $100 a month on groceries I could quit my job.  The stockpiles of these families were ah may zing and a bit obsessive and hoardish, but still....We should all be so lucky to have enough food and products on hand to sustain our families for a year or three should the need ever arise.  Right? 

Ok, sign me up, where do I start.  Someone, anyone, jump start me on this amazing thing called Extreme Couponing!!

Feeling violated (and relieved)

So I did it.  After dreading it for ages and ages I had my first mammogram today. 

I had heard stories of flat as a pancake boobies and never had any desire to participate in that kind of thing.  But with advancements in medicine and the invention of digital mammography...it was a piece of cake!  Ok, not really a piece of cake because it still felt invasive to have some tech chick pick up a boob and plop it where she wanted to, pushing, pulling it into the postition she wanted.  Just very...odd.  And a relief to know that it wasn't as bad as I expected.  Pancakes are something you have for breakfast, not something your body is supposed to resemble!

Results will come in a week or so but for now, I'll just know that next year it's no big deal!

P.S. NOT what I look like!  I'd kill for that waistline!

Spring Fever!

I love, love, love how the grass turns green over night here.  All the snow we had really helped but, being a desert girl, it still amazes me that every morning when I wake up the grass is just a bit greener than it was the day before and we haven't done anything to it!  I know, it's simple, right??  Back home we'd never see this kind of green without billions of gallons of water.  And then it still wouldn't be this lush and...fluffy?  Getting anxious to start a garden.  I'm hopeful that it will be successful this year.  Years past, very little success.  We've decided on raised beds this year, so that's something new.  I also want to start a compost bin.  That's new too.  It's still to early to start planting and that's ok because, although I'm anxious to start, I'm not anywhere near ready yet.  Wish me luck!

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

When I cook it's always the same stuff over and over again mostly.  I like to try new and different things.  Nothing too wild and crazy but just different.  Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't.  Live and learn, right?  :) 

I'll follow a recipe if I've never made something before but mostly I'm a "little bit of this and a little bit of that" kind of cook.  For the most part it turns out pretty good.  I like to experiment with different things.  I hope I'm passing that on to the boys too.  I want them to be able to cook for themselves when they leave our cozy nest but I also want them to be able to cook for their families too and not leave it all up to their wives.  Ryan doesn't seem to mind cooking and he likes to bake.  You're welcome, future wife!  Zach, well, I don't really like it when he touches the microwave so we'll see how that goes.  I was at work the other day and he wanted to make french fries and Ryan wouldn't make them for him.  So I walk him through turning on the over, putting them in the oven, taking them out of the oven.  The house didn't burn down and the fries were gone by the time I got home so I would say it was a success! 

Here's a recipe that was given to me by friends of ours and I can't remember the exact measurements because I never use the exact measurements.  It's all by sight and taste, but generally is equal size packages:

1 bag of hashbrowns
1 container sour cream
1 container cottage cheese
green onions
garlic powder, salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and cook in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or so, until hash browns are done. 



I've been making cards for the last few days and am really loving coming up with the different patterns and layouts and all that other stuff.  And today I started working with watercolors.  Kind of elementary, really.  I have zero artistic ability when it comes to that kind of artistry.  But I tried and I was pleased with my first 2 amaturish tries.  We'll see how long this lasts before I get bored with it because I can't do anything with it.... :)  Me and my half completed projects.  Story of my life! 

It's a familiar feeling that I just don't like....

I've determined that I have a love/hate relationship with money.  I love to have it, hate to spend it.  I bet you are the same way, no?  Buying groceries every week is killing me!  I try to be choosy about what I put in the cart and it doesn't matter if it's a little or a lot, it's almost always at least $100 or more.  And it pisses me off, makes me physically queasy to know that I don't have a choice, I have to buy groceries!!! 

And it's not like it's convenient to get those groceries, either.  It's a 20+ mile trek just to get to the store if you need to buy anything more than milk or eggs.  One way.  So, we always make sure we have a plan, combine 2 trips into the one.  Like oil change and grocery shopping at the same time so we can multi-task.  Which leads me to the whole gas thing.  $70 to fill up today.  I was telling a much younger co-worker today that I could remember paying 99 cents a gallon when I was in high school.  An movies were a nickle! Haha, you get the idea. 

It's just my little vent today.  Damn supply and demand crap!