Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fall finally hits the valley. In January.

After spending a morning making this

and this
*this is where the picture of the pistachio fudge cake would be, if I had been wise enough to take one...*

Our family was off to Mesa to celebrate Mayzie and Grandpa's birthdays with the extended fam.

Ordinarily, I would have been watching over the cakes while Shane drove, but Shane took the Ultima so that he could attend a car show that night. And so, my cake protecting job fell upon
Nevan's slight shoulders.

On the very first turn, the cakes toppled.

Luckily, the one with all of the frosting landed inside the glass dome and not on the dirty floor of the van, so we saved it.

After lunch,

and after Grandpa's nap,

we enjoyed our not-so-lovely, yet sinfully rich, birthday cake.

I love how you can see that their profiles are the same in this picture.

But, with the weather, a lovely 86 degrees,

not even birthday festivities could keep us inside for long.

As you can see, Mr. Bix was very excited to have us all outside with him.

"Hey! Who's stepping on my ear?"

"It smells like... me!"
Who knew that snow skates could also be leaf skates?!

The kids were excited that it was finally "fall" or whatever semblance we get of it here in the Valley of the Sun. They all pitched in, raking up the weeping willow leaves.

It was a lot of work to make even this little pile, but despite being desert dwellers, they knew what to do with it!

Jump, of course!

And throw, of course!

And let the leaves stick in your hair, of course!

And smell the autumn goodness, of course!

Ike and Keziah enjoyed watching the other cousins just be wacky.

After all of the leaf fun, I followed Shane over to the Pavillions to see all of the cars out for the weekend of Barrett Jackson. There were oodles.

I got this picture of Shane. Look closely, he's there in his orange shirt reflecting his magnificence onto this lowly gas cap of a Shelby Daytona Coupe.

I also got this shot of Shane's car. I rather like it.

Can you tell that we were parked under these?

While the light was still fair, I tried to get a few pictures of some of the other guests.

and I am sure this one is your favorite:


But pretty soon, it was growing dark

and it was time for me to head home.
It was a cake-toppling fun day of leaf fights, palm trees, roller-turned-snow-turned-leaf skates, and stepped on ears.
Can you beat a day like that?
I dare say, "NOPE!"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Free Baking Classes from King Arthur Flour

I was just thumbing through today's paper and saw this. Thought I'd share for my local yocals.

Friday January 30
Mesa, AZ
Holiday Inn & Suites
1600 South Country Club Drive

12:00pm class
sweet & savory yeast breads

7:00pm class
festive cookies & pies

No registration required.
Attend one or both classes.
New and experienced bakers welcome!

Frugal Moms Unite! Fight CPSIA!

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning (don't stop reading yet...). But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades.

I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all. View this article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it has passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued or fined for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”
Sign the petition:
Vote for Change at
The Handmade Toy Alliance has provided a sample letter and listed contact info for your Congress Person and Senators:
National Bankruptcy Day Site:
Write to the man who sponsored this bill and send him an item of yours that will be illegal to sell after Feb 9th, 2009 in protest.
Bobby L. Rush (D)
Washington Office
2416 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
phone: 202-225-4372
fax: 202-226-0333

A Sparkling Stormy Night (Wordful Wednesday)

You do it.

We do it.

Everyone does it.

Some people don't like to talk about it.

Others... it's their favorite subject.

It has many names:



break wind,

cut the cheese.

pass gas.


At our house, 


The week we dog-sat Stormy, 

we came to know about

Dog Smog.

We were innocently playing a board game when 
the smog rolled in.

I thought Shane was gonna






throw up.

The kids found that the cleanest air was on 
the other side of the opposite couch.

It was really baaaaaaad.

The stinkiest, 






most fetid putrescence. 

What do you call it at your house?

Wordful Wednesday is hosted by

The moment before the Big Spill. (Wordless Wednesday)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mayzie made a choice.

This past Sunday was a special day in our family;

A life changing day.

It was Mayzie's baptism day.

She looked like an angel to me.

I enjoyed taking photos of just my special girl

on just her special day.

Just being Mayzie.

Happy tears were flowing freely.

Grateful tears.

Well... mostly.

My little Sunshine had to pull an Eeyore Black Cloud maneuver.  
But it didn't last long.

Mayzie loves Bishop, as you can see.

It was such a wonderful day.  Thank you so much to all of the friends and family who came.  It makes me choke up and cry again just remembering you were there.  I am so grateful.

Mayzie, I am so grateful for your sweet spirit in our family.  I am so proud of you for your choice to follow in Jesus' footsteps and be baptized.  I am so happy for you Mayzie.  I love you more than anything!  Thank you, Mayzie; Thank you so much for choosing our family.  
We love you!
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